Biography, Autobiography, Memoir discussion

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Favorite Bio, Autobio, or Memoir of 2017

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message 1: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 2746 comments Mod
Another year is almost in the books (pun intended, I know, groan away). What was your favorite this year?


message 2: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 2746 comments Mod
My favorite book this year, at least at the time I read it, was Al Franken, Giant of the Senate. But i have to say, if I was reading it now in light of all the controversy that came out after the book was published, I might have felt differently. But I loved this book when I read it so it is going at the top of my list for this year.
Another one I really liked was This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class by Elizabeth Warren. Love books about strong women.
Also on my list is Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. This book is funny, just like he is.


message 3: by Julie (last edited Dec 28, 2017 03:02PM) (new)

Julie (julielill) | 1248 comments Best Bios I Read in 2017
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Max Perkins: Editor of Genius by Scott A. Berg
Princesses Behaving Badly-Real Stories from History Without the Fairy Tale Endings by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie - Technically not a biography but I really enjoyed it.
The Wicked Boy-The Mystery of A Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summersdale


message 4: by Selina (last edited Dec 28, 2017 08:11PM) (new)

Selina (literatelibrarian) | 2230 comments Its hard to pick a favourite and to remember what I read... I did enjoy Cuckoo in the Nest by Nat Luurtsema about a thirty something who went back to live with her parents and what a trial it was getting on with her mother.

It doesnt take much to have drama in your life. You just need to be born and stay at home. Lol


message 5: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 2746 comments Mod
Selina wrote: "Its hard to pick a favourite and to remember what I read... I did enjoy Cuckoo in the Nest by Nat Luurtsema about a thirty something who went back to live with her parents and what ..."

Selina, I cant always remember what I read either. I went to the top of the page where it says 'my books' then 'read' and do down the list, which is in order by date read, and I just looked for the books that I had given 5 stars.


message 6: by Jon (new)

Jon Finkel | 1 comments Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller – Ron Chernow

This book is the size of a cinderblock. I think it weighs 400 pounds. Opening to the first page is intimidating…like taking your first step to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. I haven’t climbed Kilimanjaro… But I did manage to read this book and it is really, really, really good. (I figure if a book is about 800 pages one ‘really’ isn’t good enough). I knew very little about Rockefeller other than what I remembered from 8th grade US History class – which was nothing beyond the fact that he was crazy wealthy.

What did I learn in this book as an adult? Everything I would ever want to know about Rockefeller; but also about early capitalism and monopolies and economics and self-talk and persistence and systems over goals and partnerships and ruthlessness and greed and charity and family and legacy and on and on. There is a vivid section of this book featuring a young Rockefeller, unable to get a job, going door-to-door dressed in a suit, day after day, applying for work. Each day he fails. The next day he tries again. Over and over. His faith in himself never waivers. He believes he’s destined for something and he keeps at it until someone hires him. Ten years later he’s the most powerful man in town. Ten years after that he’s arguably the most powerful man in America. Ten more years and he’s the richest man in the world. Read it. Titan The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow


message 7: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 1619 comments I loved Kurzweil's "Whipping Boy," a very personal memoir of the author's international quest to track down the school bully who made him miserable at age 12, an ordeal he was never able to let go of until he met with the guy face to face and cleared the air. It was simply a delightful read about two rather quirky people who glanced off each other very briefly and left one of the marked forever by the experience.


message 8: by Daniel (last edited Feb 21, 2018 04:08PM) (new)

Daniel Hiland (danhiland) Ushant An Essay by Conrad Aiken Collected Travel Writings Great Britain and America by Henry James Ushant, by Conrad Aiken. It was my third attempt to read Aiken's densely packed, surreal, stream-of-consciousness memoir. Though difficult to understand, I get a little further with each read. And why does it draw me back? Being a poet, his use of words is astounding, the imagery something you can lose yourself in, and the psychological aspects of his life story fascinating. Henry James' "Collected Travel Writings: Great Britain and America": James is one of those writers whose words should not be hurried through, any more than one would a fancy meal. The Library of America edition's dust jacket notes describe James' style as a combination of "sensuous response to the beauty of place, and his penetrating, sometimes sardonically amusing analysis of national characteristics and customs." The scores of Joseph Pennell illustrations scattered throughout the book are a great addition that capture the mood of every essay.


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