Biography, Autobiography, Memoir discussion

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Biography, Autobiography, Memoir Read In 2016

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message 1: by Koren (last edited Feb 05, 2016 06:36PM) (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3021 comments Mod
The Nurses by Alexandra Robbins The Nurses A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital by Alexandra Robbins
Behind the scenes look at what it is like to be a nurse in a big city ER. It follows the personal lives of 4 woman. This was a good, comprehensive look at the stress of being a nurse. After a while it seemed to be a lot of complaining. I would have like to see more of the rewarding part of nursing.

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly by Matt McCarthy The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly A Physician's First Year by Matt McCarthy
The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician's First Year by Matt McCarthy
5 stars
This book is exactly what the title says. It moves along quickly. There are hilarious moments and heartbreaking moments. If you like medical memoirs this is a good one.
Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy by Kate Clifford Larsen Rosemary The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson As the parent of a child with learning disabilities I was horrified by what happened to this woman. I tried to tell myself it was a different time and we've learned so much since then but I still couldnt wrap my head around a parent who was ashamed of their child because they were different or 'couldnt keep up'. I almost didnt finish this book and now I wish I hadnt.

Boys In Trees by Carly Simon Boys in the Trees A Memoir by Carly Simon Oh was a bit disappointed in this. It is a bit too introspective for me. She dwells too much on her childhood and her feelings of insecurity. She doesnt really spend much time talking about her music life. I would have liked to have read more about the 70's music scene. At times this seemed to be more of a 'look who I know' book. There are better books than this to read ore about 70's music.

The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin The Children's Blizzard  by David Laskin 5 stars. Could not put this one down. Even though the subject material is difficult (many children were killed in this blizzard), it is very interesting to read about life in the late 1800's and made me feel grateful that we have much more acurate forecasting today. As a matter of fact, just 2 days after I read this we had a blizzard where I live and we knew several days ahead of time it was coming.

Do Go Gentle by by Christopher Stookey Do Go Gentle Bringing My Father Home to Die with Dignity After a Devastating Stroke by Christopher Stookey
The author is a doctor and his father has a major stroke and brings his father home on hospice to die. As a nurse who works with hospice clients I cant say I learned anything I didnt already know but if you want to learn more about hospice care and taking care of a dying relative this is a good one.


message 2: by SouthWestZippy (last edited Feb 04, 2016 10:25AM) (new)


message 3: by Robin (new)

Robin So far in 2016
Heaven Is Here An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy by Stephanie Nielson
California Apricots The Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley by Robin Chapman

Is it OK to whine about Shelfari going away here? Because I'm really whiny about it. :-(


message 4: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3021 comments Mod
Robin wrote: "So far in 2016
Heaven Is Here An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy by Stephanie Nielson
California Apricots The Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley by Robin Chapman

Is it OK to..."


I will start a chit chat discussion. You are free to whine all you want there. I will probably join in your misery.


message 5: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3021 comments Mod
Robin wrote: "So far in 2016
Heaven Is Here An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy by Stephanie Nielson
California Apricots The Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley by Robin Chapman

Is it OK to..."


Robin, were you in the Biography group on Shelfari? I'm not recognizing who you are. Did you have a different name on Shelfari?


message 6: by Robin (new)

Robin I was Robin B. I didn't comment a lot but now I'm feeling the need for my Shelfari family.


message 7: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3021 comments Mod
Robin wrote: "I was Robin B. I didn't comment a lot but now I'm feeling the need for my Shelfari family."

I hope you will be an active member of our group. Nice to see you here.


message 8: by Robin (new)

Robin Thanks! It's so much nicer to talk to book people about books than to talk to Facebook people about breakfast. ;-)


message 9: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3021 comments Mod
Robin wrote: "Thanks! It's so much nicer to talk to book people about books than to talk to Facebook people about breakfast. ;-)"

You are funny!


message 10: by Selina (new)

Selina (literatelibrarian) | 2538 comments my whine..

Shelfari had more colours!!! I miss my wooden look bookshelf.


message 11: by Selina (new)

Selina (literatelibrarian) | 2538 comments oh books read..well. can we write reviews on here?
Seems like people are just showing what they read. I haven't read anything new lately, but will add some I missed on shelfari.

Hollywood in Heels: A Small-Town Girl's Adventures in Tinseltown


message 13: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3021 comments Mod
Selina wrote: "my whine..

Shelfari had more colours!!! I miss my wooden look bookshelf."


Me Too!!


message 14: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3021 comments Mod
Selina wrote: "oh books read..well. can we write reviews on here?
Seems like people are just showing what they read. I haven't read anything new lately, but will add some I missed on shelfari.

[book:Hollywood i..."


Yes Selina. You certainly can post reviews here. I just havent been doing it because I havent had time.


message 15: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3021 comments Mod
Koren wrote: "Selina wrote: "oh books read..well. can we write reviews on here?
Seems like people are just showing what they read. I haven't read anything new lately, but will add some I missed on shelfari.

[b..."


OK, I'm caught up on my reviews.


message 16: by Robin (new)

Robin Selina wrote: "my whine..

Shelfari had more colours!!! I miss my wooden look bookshelf."


I miss my wooden shelf as well. I also miss sorting "I've read" books by date added.


message 17: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop A Memoir, a History by Lewis Buzbee The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee – 3***
The subtitle is: A Memoir, a History. That pretty much describes this book. What I liked most about the book were his stories about bookshops from his personal experience, i.e. the memoir sections. But Buzbee also gives the reader a history of books – from clay tablets to scrolls to paper – and book-selling. And those sections I found less engaging.
Full Review HERE


message 18: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3021 comments Mod
Gifted Hands by Ben Carson. Yes, the same Ben Carson that is running for president. He came from a poor background to rise to the level of neurosurgeon through faith in God and hard work. An inspirational read.

Gifted Hands The Ben Carson Story by Ben Carson


message 19: by Lady ♥ Belleza (new)

Lady ♥ Belleza (bella_foxx) | 216 comments I was reading The Road Through Wonderland: Surviving John Holmes, which although being billed as True Crime is actually more autobio/memoir. I didn't finish it, it wasn't grabbing me.

The Road Through Wonderland Surviving John Holmes (5 Year Anniversary) by Dawn Schiller


message 20: by Lady ♥ Belleza (new)

Lady ♥ Belleza (bella_foxx) | 216 comments Robin wrote: "Selina wrote: "my whine..

Shelfari had more colours!!! I miss my wooden look bookshelf."

I miss my wooden shelf as well. I also miss sorting "I've read" books by date added."


If you click on 'date added', your books will sort by that date.


message 21: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3021 comments Mod
♥Belleza★✰ wrote: "I was reading The Road Through Wonderland: Surviving John Holmes, which although being billed as True Crime is actually more autobio/memoir. I didn't finish it, it wasn't grabbing me..."

I did finish this book but wasnt impressed. The book is more about her than about the crime and there was very little about John Holmes.


message 22: by SouthWestZippy (new)

SouthWestZippy Naked by David Sedaris
3 stars
Good book about the dysfunctional, yet functional life of David Sedaris. Some stories are a little long winded and dry but overall a interesting read with a few of laugh out loud parts.


message 23: by Selina (new)

Selina (literatelibrarian) | 2538 comments Koren wrote: "Gifted Hands by Ben Carson. Yes, the same Ben Carson that is running for president. He came from a poor background to rise to the level of neurosurgeon through faith in God and hard work. An inspir..."

I will have to read that one.


message 24: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3021 comments Mod
Shattered by Debra Puglisi Sharp
5 stars

Shattered by Debra Puglisi Sharp.

Wow! This lady is one strong woman. She went through a kidnapping, rape and murder of her husband to come out stronger in the end. This is not a 'feel sorry for me' book. It is well-written. The story moves along quickly, although at times becomes bogged down in the details. Once I started I couldnt put it down. 5 stars. There is a good lesson here on what to do if something similar should ever happen.
Shattered Reclaiming a Life Torn Apart by Violence by Debra Puglisi Sharp


message 25: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 1707 comments Koren wrote: "Selina wrote: "my whine..

Shelfari had more colours!!! I miss my wooden look bookshelf."

Me Too!!"


Me three!

I just greatly enjoyed Brad Warner's There Is No God and He Is Always with You: A Search for God in Odd Places. That might not sound biographical, but all his books seem to be basically autobiography.


message 26: by Koren (last edited Feb 14, 2016 03:03PM) (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3021 comments Mod
Fishface wrote: "Koren wrote: "Selina wrote: "my whine..

Shelfari had more colours!!! I miss my wooden look bookshelf."

Me Too!!"

Me three!



I just greatly enjoyed Brad Warner's [book:There Is No God and He Is A..."


I think to some extent, most nonfiction is at least partially memoir, biography, or autobiography.


message 27: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3021 comments Mod
Almost finished with Things We Lost In The Night Book 1 Night People by Larry J Dunlap. Most boring book EVER! I'm only finishing because I'm reading it for a challenge in another group. Review will follow when I'm done.


message 28: by Robin (new)

Robin Book Concierge wrote: "The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop A Memoir, a History by Lewis Buzbee The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee – 3***

I've also read this book. I live in the same area as the author and went to all of the bookshops he writes about and the nostalgia of those wonderful little shops was wonderful. I agree with his assessment of the book vs. the technology. I actually enjoyed the descriptions of the history of printing as well. What I did not enjoy about this book is his judgment of what constituted good literature and his snooty criticism of people who read novels - what he calls "Costco books." Basically, if you don't read Proust, Chaucer, or Hemingway, you just aren't a reader. He didn't apply the advice from Greta very well.



message 29: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 1707 comments Robin wrote: "Book Concierge wrote: "The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop A Memoir, a History by Lewis Buzbee The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee – 3***

I've also read this book. I live in the same area as the author and went ..."


A bookie, eh? (Like a foodie, only the snobbery applies to books.) If he thinks Hemingway is one of the only writers worth reading, I have a bone to pick with him already...


message 31: by Robin (new)

Robin I've also read this book. I live in the same area as the au..."

Hahahaha, Fishface! I do believe you are right and I also agree with your assessment of Hemingway!


message 32: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3021 comments Mod
Finished Night People, Book 1. This book is a memoir about trying to break into the music business in the 60's. His band is called Stark Naked and the Car Thieves. Perhaps it might have been a better book if I had ever heard of them. Maybe not. I was hoping this would be a walk down memory lane but it was more about the author and who he met and the music they covered. Should it come as any surprise that the sex and drugs were rampant? Ha! This was a free with Prime book from Amazon. I would skip it.


message 33: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 1707 comments Koren wrote: "Finished Night People, Book 1. This book is a memoir about trying to break into the music business in the 60's. His band is called Stark Naked and the Car Thieves. Perhaps it might ..."

You get what you pay for, huh?

I just marked Murders in the Mist: Who Killed Dian Fossey? as a 5-star travel and TC memoir because it is, in a way -- it's also a biography, in a way. The author got fired from his job and decided to use that as an opportunity to investigate the murder of Dian Fossey, the gorilla advocate. He learned that there had been almost no investigation; that officials had named a suspect, WAYNE McGuire, but the story about him made no sense and the Rwandan government had left him leave the country; and that Dian Fossey had no many enemies that at first glance the case resembled Murder on the Orient Express. This book is about what Nick Gordon found when he went to Rwanda to find out for himself.


message 34: by Robin (new)

Robin Koren wrote: "Finished Night People, Book 1. This book is a memoir about trying to break into the music business in the 60's. His band is called Stark Naked and the Car Thieves. Perhaps it might ..."

Oh, that's too bad. When you first commented that it was about breaking into music in the 60s I got excited. But, I have never heard of them either and I don't need to relive his bad decisions with him. There are plenty of people with memoirs out there who are actually famous. Book 1? He had enough to say that there is a book 2 as well?


message 35: by Selina (new)

Selina (literatelibrarian) | 2538 comments This is your captain speakiThis Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith and Life

A really interesting book. I have just been on a Princess Cruise and was curious to know all about the Love Boat (I watched some episodes in my cabin, and got hooked), found this memoir of the Captain, and its just a great story of his life, how he became a well known actor, and his inspiring journey of faith.

I didn't know he was on the Mary Tyler Moore show (never seen it either) before that. He is so positive and upbeat you can't help but smile even during the valleys of his life, to know he got through that and left behind a lasting legacy that touches peoples lives really is a gift.


message 36: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3021 comments Mod
Selina wrote: "This is your captain speakiThis Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith and Life

A really interesting book. I have just been on a Princess Cruise and..."


I am going to check that book out. Selina, you must be much younger than I am. I loved the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Love Boat. Wasnt his name Murry on MTM?


message 37: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Stancomb (anthonystancombgmailcom) IThe Carly Simon The Boys in the Trees way better than 90% of the usual Hollywood autobiographies. Introspective and highly intelligent writing, in my opinion - not the sort of thing that Hollywood people are wont to write!
Naked by David Sedaris, I thought a brilliant piece of comic story telling . So what if maybe he makes an embellished story. It's a book of our time, and a literary one at that. I don't know if he's ever got a literary award, but he should have.


message 38: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 1707 comments I forgot all about Murder on Shadow Mountain. It's the life story of a guy who could never settle down and live his life because he was so terrified that the law would catch up with him...for saving someone's life.


message 39: by Selina (new)

Selina (literatelibrarian) | 2538 comments Koren wrote: "Selina wrote: "This is your captain speakiThis Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith and Life

A really interesting book. I have just been on a Prin..."


yes it was Murray. Well, I was one of the young ones on the cruise. I kinda had an early retirement, lol. Most all the young ones on the cruise would be the staff....but I recommend anyone to take a cruise if they need a real holiday.

Gavin Macleod is in his 80s now.


message 40: by Selina (new)

Selina (literatelibrarian) | 2538 comments Anthony wrote: "IThe Carly Simon The Boys in the Trees way better than 90% of the usual Hollywood autobiographies. Introspective and highly intelligent writing, in my opinion - not the sort of thing that Hollywood..."

I thought Carly Simon was a singer and not part of the Hollywood scene, she was more of a New Yorker, and her parents were in publishing - Simon and Schuster.
As for Sedaris, he writes things bout his life and pokes fun, I wouldn't say he was literary but just a bit quirky and offbeat. He's ok in small doses I find. But I think he would just be real annoying to live with.


message 41: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Stancomb (anthonystancombgmailcom) I should have said 'Showbiz' and not Hollywood!
I think you're probably right about Sedaris and the like. Smart-arses usually are. My wife says that I write like one, and that I'm real annoying to live with, too. (see my books!).


message 42: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3021 comments Mod
Anthony wrote: "I should have said 'Showbiz' and not Hollywood!
I think you're probably right about Sedaris and the like. Smart-arses usually are. My wife says that I write like one, and that I'm real annoying to ..."


Not really show biz either. Just the music biz. I didnt think she really talked all the much about the music biz. I didnt care for so much introspection but that's just me. Glad you liked it.


message 43: by Fishface (last edited Feb 20, 2016 11:31AM) (new)

Fishface | 1707 comments Just started Black Wave: A Family's Adventure at Sea and the Disaster That Saved Them this morning. After I got through upchucking -- she gushes about how perfectly fabulous, wonderful, beautiful and fulfilling every single thing in her blonde, privileged, preppie life is until I was ready to slap her -- the story started to get good.


message 44: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3021 comments Mod
Finished Girls Are Coming. This is the memoir of a young woman going to college in the early 70's and ran out of money so needed a job. The equal opportunities act had just been passed and companies were looking to hire women to comply with the law. The author applied at a gas company as a pipefitter. She had no experience but it paid good money so she decided to give it a try. She got hired and the book is the story of her experience being one of the first women to work as a pipefitter at Minnegasco in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In addition to some prejudice as a woman, she also faced prejudice as a black woman. She faced each obstacle with humor and a good attitude and eventually was accepted and went on to work there for a number of years. I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick, light read.
Girls Are Coming by Peggie Carlson


message 45: by Robin (new)

Robin Selina wrote: "This is your captain speakiThis Is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith and Life

A really interesting book. I have just been on a Princess Cruise and..."


I never missed the MTM show or Love Boat. I need to add this to my "to read" list!


message 46: by SouthWestZippy (new)

SouthWestZippy The Most Dangerous Animal of All Searching for My Father . . . and Finding the Zodiac Killer by Gary L. Stewart
2 stars
Interesting walk though the mind of a man trying to find out the truth of his existence and his birth family. Book has way to much speculation on peoples thinking and what happen. I am giving it two stars because it does make you stop and think about the evidence and that time line filled with coincidence.


message 47: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 1707 comments I read, and mostly enjoyed, Black Wave: A Family's Adventure at Sea and the Disaster That Saved Them. It's a true disaster story about a family of six -- the youngest was the 5-year-old daughter -- travelling around the world on their catamaran, and what happened after they hung up on a coral reef, the boat busted up and the 2,500-lb mast pinned dad underneath it. I have to admit I needed to overcome my revulsion for the family at first -- they are just the sort of people I have hated all my life and it was very hard to be sympathetic. The mom, who wrote the first half, gushes on and on about how gosh-darn wonderful her privileged life is, until you sort of want to slap her. Dad wrote the second half, and it was an interesting tangent into how another ship cracked up on the same piece of coral over a century before, and how they coped as opposed to his own family. He also gave some very interesting side-information on Captain Bligh and Captain Cook.

Overall it rated 3 stars.


message 48: by Selina (last edited Feb 21, 2016 12:03PM) (new)

Selina (literatelibrarian) | 2538 comments Tried to read 50 Women Every Christian Should Know: Learning from Heroines of the Faith, but gave up after number 17 and just read the short bios of the ones I already know.

I don't really like being told I SHOULD know something...

I would say, the book was a good attempt but it seemed a bit cookie cutter and arbitrary like most books in that genre eg 1001 books you should read before you die etc.

And some of the women were just overly religious and not even christian, so I was scratching my head about some of them. It seems the author admired radical women, but I had never heard of half of them. It wasn't people that she knew personally, but women in church history as it was chronological. I thought she would have included women in the Bible.


message 49: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 1707 comments Robin wrote: "How is everyone getting on with organizing your shelves over here on Goodreads? Since all my 'tags' from Shelfari came over as 'shelves' cleaning it up has been a trial. It took me awhile to figure..."

I'm surprised your shelves transferred over at all! Mine sure didn't.


message 50: by Robin (new)

Robin All but about 100 of my books came over - those 100 are next on my list of fix-its. However, those that came over came without any reviews, without any "dates read", and a shelf was created here on Goodreads for every single tag on every single book. They misunderstand the difference between a shelf and a tag over here. After much work reorganizing, I am down to only 6 PAGES of shelves. It is tedious, to say the least, but I need it to be done so I can refer back here when Shelfari goes away permanently.


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