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Closed Discussion Topic > April book nominations ~ biography/autobiography

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message 1: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (notestothemoon) | 846 comments Biography/autobiography is our theme for April.

If you lead last month then it is up to you whether or not you choose to nominate this month.

Please can you give me all of the following:

The title, the author

Brief description of the book

**If you nominate a book I assume that you are willing to lead the discussion. It's not hard to do I promise!**


One nomination per person please. Thank you!

You have 3 days to nominate!

message 2: by Donna (last edited Mar 17, 2010 06:13AM) (new)

Donna (electrogirl68) | 116 comments I'd like to nominate Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi. I have just started it and it looks fascinating.

The life of one of the most charismatic tennis players of recent years.

message 3: by Cecily (last edited Mar 15, 2010 06:56AM) (new)

Cecily | 576 comments The trouble with biography as a category is that people tend to have narrower interests than with fiction, tending to focus on lives they can relate to (similar culture, career or age etc) or lives of those they admire.

At first I thought Toast by Nigel Slater would be interesting and amusing, but it would only really work for Brits of a similar age to Nigel Slater, who can remember all the very specific references.

Then I thought of Dreams from My Father by Barak Obama, but suspect that those who want to read it have already done so.

I have bought and will soon read A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates by Blake Bailey, but I suspect only existing Yates fans would be interested.

So, I'll nominate Making It Up by Penelope Lively, as a slightly different slant on autobiography, and one that should be interesting to a much wider range of people. Lively is primarily a novelist, but in this book of confabulations, she explores turning points in her life and how her life might have been if she'd taken a different turning, e.g. if when fleeing Egypt, her family had gone to S Africa instead of Palestine then England, and if she'd got pregnant when young and single. Each self-contained diversion is opened and closed with the real life context. A clever concept, well executed.

message 4: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (sianin) | 453 comments The thing about biographies is that even if you don't know the person or the cultural/historical context, they are often fascinating and give such a personal insight into lives different than our own. The 2 nominated so far look great and I will throw Dreams from My Father because it is on my TBR list and I suspect it might be on a few others as well.

Cecily I am not trying to be contrary and I do understand your thoughts and reasonings. I had been debating between a couple of offerings as well but when I saw you had posted and rejected one of the ones that I was thinking of I thought that it may be worth popping in.

message 5: by Cecily (new)

Cecily | 576 comments Shannon, I don't think you contrary - and it wouldn't matter if I did: we're all equal here. (Anyway, I'd be perfectly happy if Dreams from my Father is selected, as it's a fascinating book.)

message 6: by Karen (new)

Karen (karenofthebookworm) I'd like to nominate Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China. This is the story not only of three women - grandmother, mother and daughter - but also of 20th century China. I think that it looks like a fascinating read.

message 7: by Jo (new)

Jo (Jo_Wales) | 62 comments I'd like to nominate
Beatrix Potter A Life in Nature by Linda Lear

Beatrix Potter, the twentieth century’s most beloved children’s writer and illustrator, created books that will forever conjure nature for millions. Yet though she is a household name around the world, her personal life and her other significant achievements remain largely unknown. This biography is an exploration of the life and times of an extraordinary woman.

Her move to the Lake District and purchase of Hill Top Farm saw her develop as a successful landowner and country farmer. Her love of the Lake District led to her becoming a leading conservationist of her time in order to preserve the landscape that had inspired her art and, through the lands she bequeathed to the National Trust on her death, she saved whole areas of the Lake District.

If you love Peter Rabbit and the Lake District you’ll love this one! A word of warning – it is a big book!

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