My first CBR 10 Bingo entry: Not my wheelhouse! I don’t read much history and I don’t read many biographies; an historical biography might be an actual first for me. I confess, I was swept away by the Hamilton Mania triggered by Lin-Manual Miranda’s fabulous musical about the founding father who grew up an orphan, immigrated to America, fought in the American Revolution, started the First Bank of the United States, and died as a result of a gunshot wound administered by Aaron Burr. Let’s face it, prior to Hamilton, the only reason most Americans had even heard about the […]
Edie: American Girl by Jean Stein is apparently one of the classic books on the sixties. After reading it, I can see why it’s garnered so many accolades. Prior to picking this up, I only really had vague notions of who Edie was, that all centred around her position as muse/decoration to Andy Warhol. Painstakingly compiled from interviews from the many that knew her, whether they be family, friends, or hangers-on (both famous and non-famous) covering her family history, childhood, explosion on to the New York scene and her five minutes of fame, and her swift descent into drug addiction […]
I have been a fan of Oliver Sacks and his writing for decades. When that first beautiful NYT article came out in early 2015 and revealed he was dying from cancer, I essentially hid my head in the sand and refused to read anything else from him for a long time. He was warm and kind and insightful and passionate and I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye. The day of Anthony Bourdain’s death, I walked into my library and On the Move was sitting there on the staff recommendations shelf and I knew it was time. It was just […]
I honest to the heavens thought I’d reviewed this one. The short version is: True crime fans/Murderinos will probably enjoy this one. I’m not sure anyone else will; the subject matter is pretty grim and the person in question warped like HH Holmes. Lizzie Borden may have killed her father and stepmother with an axe, but Belle Gunness killed a hell of a lot more, including her own children.
I know it is a terrible cliche, but every chapter inevitably had me thinking “this sounds familiar, I feel like we read this every day, the more things change…” While I did not grow up watching the television series, I was a voracious reader as a child, and repeatedly read The Little House of the Prairie series. I am also very interested in biographies of writers I enjoy, particularly when my perception of them isn’t particularly well matched by the reality (see also L. M. Montgomery). I saw this sitting in the new releases section of my library, with the […]
One of the unexpected joys I’ve discovered since I’ve started listening to audiobooks is the self-narrated biography or memoir. There is just something about hearing the voice of the subject that really enhances the experience. This is especially so for biographies written by entertainers and performers, who naturally make excellent narrators. So far, I have enjoyed biographies read and written by Alexei Sayle, Eddie Izzard, Magda Szubanski and David Attenborough. But there is only one so far that I would say HAS to be enjoyed in the audiobook format – and that’s the memoir of BRIAN BLESSED! And if […]
My previous review was for Sisters a biographical graphic novel about the relationship between the author, Raina Telgemeier, and her younger sister Amara. Before she wrote Sisters, Raina chronicled the difficult and awkward time of middle school through the transition to high school in Smile. Poor Raina, at a time when you can feel your most self conscious she had an extra complication of braces and dental work on a level I had never heard of before. At eleven years old an unfortunate accident knocked out one of Raina’s top front teeth and shoved the other one up inside her gums. At first they tried […]
Hillary Clinton’s memoir covering the historic 2016 US presidential elections is, of course, as uniquely polarizing as her person is. The book, as it has been said by many others, will change no one’s mind. And, while it’s impossible to know any intentions beyond those stated, changing minds seemed to no longer be on the agenda. Instead, the memoir serves the intended purpose(s) of a memoir: an account of her personal experiences and what she took away from them. The beginning dragged for me. There were many names, a lot of daily minutiae, and multiple anecdotes provided for amusement. All […]