Tagged: Biography Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ross Johnson 6:00 pm on 2019/06/28 Permalink
    Tags: , Biography, , common, , , life's a beach read, , ,   

    This Summer’s Essential Biographies & Memoirs 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/do/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    Biographies are great for the beach, are we’re declaring these 10 recent bios and memoirs as summer essentials. Some are serious, some are a little silly, but they’re all revelatory stories of some of intriguing and inspiring individuals.

    Educated, by Tara Westover
    A well-written memoir can make a mundane life fascinating, but Tara Westover’s life was anything but mundane, and she tells her own story with gripping, clear-eyed ferocity. Raised in the rural Idaho mountains by a family of fundamentalist Mormon survivalists, Westover never went to school until she turned 17, and lived out her days preparing for the worst:helping her fathersalvage scrap to sell, canning food with her mother to get them through the looming apocalypse, packing and repacking her bag of emergency supplies. She never saw a doctor, despite some serious injuries, including violence inflicted upon her by a sibling. Another brother did make it out, however, and came back to the mountain one day with tales of college, and a better life. Determined to follow in his footsteps, Westover taught herself enough math and science to gain admittance to Brigham University, where her life changed forever. This is the fascinating story of the strange ties that bind a family together, and the strength it takes to sever them and strike out on your own.

    Becoming, by Michelle Obama
    Michelle Obama remains a uniquely consequential figure who became a powerful advocate for women and girls around the world during her tenure, all while raising a family under the watchful eye of the media. Her life didn’t begin there, though: the Princeton and Harvard Law graduate was a lawyer, educator, and executive before ever stepping foot in the White House. In her own words, she candidly talks about her life, her career, her family, and her continuing story as she constructs a life for herself outside of the pressures and responsibilities politics. This memoir was one of 2018’s year’s biggest books before it even went on sale, and it deserves every one of those six-plus million copies sold.

    Howard Stern Comes Again, by Howard Stern
    At some point, the king of shock jocks became true radio royalty with a career spanning over four decades and success across multiple mediums. His first book became a hit movie, and his second was also a bestseller—but that was over 20 years ago, and much has changed in the life of Howard Stern since, from his departure from terrestrial radio, to his mega-bucks deal with SiriusXM, to shakeups in his personal life and a reality TV gig that won him fans among people who might not show up for his radio work. There’s no doubt that he has plenty of new stories to tell in his latest, told through the prism of some of his favorite and most revealing celebrity interviews, transcribed with new commentary.

    Lake of the Ozarks: My Surreal Summers in a Vanishing America, by Bill Geist
    Author and recently retired CBS News correspondent Bill Geist was popular for over three decades for his lighthearted, wonderfully corny human interest segments covering some of the weirder corners of American life. In his latest, the baby boomer looks back to his own childhood in the midcentury American midwest. Specifically, he revisits that middle-class summer vacation hot spot, Lake of the Ozarks, and the eccentric personalities he met there who influenced his life and career. It’s a charming, often very funny portrait of a bygone era.

    Let Love Have the Last Word, by Common
    Common has won Grammy Awards and Academy Awards, sold millions of albums and carved out a serious acting career, and he’s done so without a hint of controversy or scandal, a rare achievement in this day and age. Here he offers an uplifting and practical message for everyone: put simply, the title says it all. He argues that how you love is just as important as who and what you love. Covering topics as deeply personal as his relationship with his daughter to those as deeply spiritual as his relationship with God, Common uses his own experience as a guide to navigating a world increasingly rent with political and cultural divisions, and as a challenge to everyone to do better and to be better.

    All the Way: Football, Fame, and Redemption (B&N Exclusive Edition), by Joe Namath with Don Yaeger
    Fifty years after Namath lead the New York Jets to a Super Bowl victory against the Baltimore Colts, the icon tells the story of his journey from small-town Pennsylvania kid to sports legend. Across half a century, Namath spent time at the height of celebrity, but also dealt with debilitating injuries that contributed to an addiction to painkillers and alcohol. Here, he reveals that the charmed life he appeared to lead masked real challenges. It’s a story of incredible triumphs, incredible lows, and, ultimately, redemption.

    Life Will Be the Death of Me. . . and you too!, by Chelsea Handler
    Part confessional, part journey of self-discovery, Handler’s latest memoir describes a year in her life. Following the tumult of the 2016 presidential election, the comedian, writer, and television host made a commitment to confront her past and look her choices square in the face, embarking on a year of change, growth, and self-sufficiency through therapy, political activism, and picking up her own dog’s poo. It’s a funny and insightful journey, offering a roadmap to those of us looking to keep a smile on our faces as we chart new paths in life.

    Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith, and Braving the Storms of Life, by Randy Travis with Ken Abraham
    For the first time, the country and gospel superstar tells his own story. From a Nashville club singer, Travis had his first smash hit at only 27, inaugurating a new style of country that blends traditional style with pop elements. Over the following quarter-century, he went from hit record to hit record, with TV and movie roles coming in as well. Then, in 2009, his marriage and finances fell apart, leading to his increasing dependence on alcohol and an eventual arrest. On the road to putting his life back together, he suffered a near-fatal stroke. This confessional autobiography far more than the tale of his success—it’s a journey down the bumpy road of stardom.

    Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II, by Robert Matzen with Luca Dotti
    There’s something missing in our cultural understanding of Audrey Hepburn, one of the 20th century’s preeminent style icons. The meteoric rise that followed her award-winning performance in Roman Holiday made it seem as though she arrived fully formed to take the movie landscape by storm. But, of course, that’s never really the case, and particularly so in Hepburn’s. Via documents only recently made available, new interviews, and access to the actress’s own diaries, Matzen explores her formative years during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. In spite of the (initially) pro-Nazi views of her parents, Audrey participated in the Dutch Resistance as a doctor’s assistant during the brutal war that, according to her son, made her who she came to be.

    My Dad, Yogi: A Memoir of Family and Baseball, by Dale Berra with Mark Ribowsky
    Baseball fan or otherwise, most everyone knows the name Yogi Berra—his mastery of the game as a New York Yankee and his management of a championship Mets team made him a sports icon, but his personality and… unique speaking style, peppered with his signature Yogi-isms, made him a household name. But no one knew the real Yogi like his family, and here, his son Dale tells his own story of life with the American giant. Dale was blessed with a unique view of baseball and its great platers from an early age, and eventually followed in his father’s footsteps before a drug scandal put an end to his career. Through it all, Yogi supported his son and stayed close to him, and in this new memoir, Dale offers a one-of-a-kind perspective on the baseball great.

    Whose life stories inspire you?

    The post This Summer’s Essential Biographies & Memoirs appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Ross Johnson 6:00 pm on 2019/05/28 Permalink
    Tags: Biography, , ,   

    June’s Best Biographies & Memoirs 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/do/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    Naturally Tan, by Tan France
    While retaining the sense of fun, the more recent Queer Eye series has done the original one better, broadening the horizons of its makeover subjects and wresting more than a few tears from what might otherwise be a fun, but surface-level reality show. Tan France is a big part of the remake’s success, with a background that inspired his brand of radical compassion: the youngest in his family, he grew up in a South Asian Muslim family in a white community in South Yorkshire, England. At a distance from his neighbors because of his heritage and from his own family due to his sexuality, he eventually learned how to love himself, a skill he now passes along via the show. His new memoir takes us from his childhood to the present day, and goes behind the scenes of the show—and it even includes some of his trademark fashion tips.

    The Kennedy Heirs: John, Caroline, and the New Generation – A Legacy of Triumph and Tragedy, by J. Randy Taraborrelli
    Across years, journalist and celebrity biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli has visited the stories of the Kennedy family from a variety of angles. Until now, however, his books have largely focused on the generation led by JFK, Robert, and Ted. His newest looks at those that followed: the children of the three prominent siblings, who faced triumphs and tragedies in equal measures. Based on hundreds of interviews as well as first-hand research, The Kennedy Heirs explores the lives of John Kennedy, Jr., groomed as the heir to the family legacy before his tragic death; lawyer and politician Caroline; and the other younger Kennedys, all who grew up under the guidance of the family’s still-indomitable matriarch, Ethel. It’s a fascinating look into the world of American royalty.

    Small Fry, by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
    You can imagine Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ memoir as a portrait of her life as the daughter of the late Apple CEO, Steve Jobs. And yes, that’s a big part of it, but she is also careful to craft a story of her own identity and coming-of-age. As a child, Lisa’s father was a largely mythical figure who wanted nothing to do with her or her mother, loudly denying his paternity even after a DNA test made the facts clear. Brennan-Jobs grew up under the cloud of that public rejection until, years later, her father reentered her life. Suddenly, she was ushered into a world of mansions and private schools, and struggled with the sense of whiplash. It’s a fascinating and heartbreaking journey, told with tremendous compassion and love by a writer with real literary chops.

    Inside the Five-Sided Box: Lessons from a Lifetime of Leadership in the Pentagon, by Ash Carter
    With a career in public policy spanning almost four decades, Ash Carter has as much insider knowledge as anyone about what goes on inside the Pentagon, the building in which he’s spent many of those years—including a stint as secretary of defense. His goal with this new memoir is to demystify the five-sided building that’s so integral to American government, and yet almost entirely a mystery to most of the American public. The building houses the world’s most complex information network, a massive research and development infrastructure, and a bureaucracy that implements policies with global consequences—it’s probably about time we learned more about what goes on behind those walls. This memoir promises to be a fascinating look inside.

    The Sixth Man: A Memoir, by Andre Iguodala
    Andre Iguodala is one of basketball’s most impressive players on one of its best teams: the Golden State Warriors, winners of three of the last four NBA championships. Over the course of his career, he’s earned respect for more than his athletics: successful tech investments and broad-ranging philanthropy have made him an icon off the court as well. In this book, Iguodala discusses all of that, and also returns to a topic that’s generated controversy for him in the past: the conflicts that come from having a professional league largely made up of African American male athletes who play on teams mostly coached and owned by white men. Taking us from his childhood in Illinois dreaming of being the next Jordan to the top off the game, Iguodala shares insights into the conflicts that have driven him on the court, in business, and in his personal life.

    Whose story inspires you?

    The post June’s Best Biographies & Memoirs appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Ross Johnson 5:00 pm on 2019/04/29 Permalink
    Tags: Biography, , ,   

    May’s Best Biographies & Memoirs 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/do/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations, by William H. McRaven
    This retired Navy admiral’s earliest memories place him at American Officers’ Club in France among Allied officers recounting their adventures in WWII. The son of a career Air Force officer, William McRaven followed his father into the United States military and throughout his career was involved in some of the highest profile moments in modern military history, including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid that ended with the death of Osama bin Laden. The Navy SEAL and Special Operations Forces commander’s memoir is full of fascinating stories.

    Howard Stern Comes Again, by Howard Stern
    At some point, the king of shock jocks became true radio royalty with a career spanning over four decades and success across multiple mediums. His first book became a hit movie, and his second was also a bestseller—but that was over 20 years ago, and much has changed in the life of Howard Stern since, from his departure from terrestrial radio, to his mega-bucks deal with SiriusXM, to shakeups in his personal life. There’s no doubt that he has plenty of new stories to tell about his life, his celebrity encounters, and his perspective on the ever-changing realities of the radio business.

    Every Man a Hero: A Memoir of D-Day, the First Wave at Omaha Beach, and a World at War, by Ray Lambert and Jim DeFelice
    The number of individuals who can recount firsthand their experiences during World War II is sadly dwindling, but that doesn’t mean there are no new stories left to tell. Ninety-eight-year-old Ray Lambert was a combat medic and among the first wave of Allied soldiers to land at Omaha Beach on D-Day. Lambert grew up on a farm in Alabama during the Great Depression before he and his brother enlisted for service that took them to some of the war’s most important and harrowing battles. Timed for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing, Lambert’s memoir is a powerful addition to the library of works about the greatest and most terrible conflict in history.

    All the Way: Football, Fame, and Redemption (B&N Exclusive Edition), by Joe Namath with Don Yaeger
    Fifty years after Namath lead the New York Jets to a Super Bowl victory against the Baltimore Colts, the icon tells the story of his journey from small-town Pennsylvania kid to sports legend. Across half a century, Namath spent time at the height of celebrity, but also dealt with debilitating injuries that saw him addicted to painkillers and alcohol. Here, he reveals that the charmed life he appeared to lead masked real challenges. It’s a story of incredible triumphs, incredible lows, and, ultimately, redemption.

    Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself, by Jill Biden
    The 23-year-old Jill Jacobs was a divorced teacher coming off of a rebellious childhood when she first met Joe Biden, a father of two and a widower. Though the two hit it off immediately, she was reluctant to commit to the boisterous extended Biden family, as well as to take on the role of surrogate mother for Joe’s children. Of course, we know the relationship worked—the two married, and Jill continued her teaching career in some form right up until the 2008 presidential election that saw her take on the role of second lady. With a new election cycle heating up, her name is now back in the headlines, and in this memoir of the life of a family in the spotlight.

    Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, by Casey Cep
    In the 1970s, one Reverend Willie Maxwell was accused of killing five of his family members for insurance money. After he had given the eulogy for the stepdaughter he’d allegedly murdered, he himself was shot by another relative. The same lawyer who defended the Reverend secured an acquittal for the vigilante. No one was more intrigued by the sordid story than Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, who spent years working on a never-published true crime work to rival that of her friend Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. In this fascinating new book, Casey Cep explores both the original crime and Lee’s obsessive, ultimately futile work to craft it into a powerful work of non-fiction.

    Anthony Bourdain Remembered
    Bourdain’s death last year brought about an outpouring of love and affection from his most devoted fans, not to mention the casual viewers of his travel and food programs. If the tributes shared a theme, it was honoring the late master chef’s belief that the world would be a better place if we all spent more time walking in the shoes of others, and maybe trying a little of their food. It’s a valuable message, and this reminiscence celebrates Bourdain’s life with anecdotes from fans, friends, chefs, and luminaries like Barack Obama, Ken Burns, and Questlove.

    Becoming Dr. Seuss: Theodor Geisel and the Making of an American Imagination, by Brian Jay Jones
    Everyone knows Dr. Seuss, but Theodor Geisel is another matter entirely. The author, cartoonist, and animator produced some of the most popular and bestselling children’s books of all time, but began his career as a left-leaning political cartoonist during World War II, at first decrying non-interventionists and then producing posters and films to benefit the war effort directly.  The self-described subversive never lost his strong point of view, creating works for kids that eschewed traditional morals but which still carried messages. It worked, and this book proves his life was as fascinating and unique as his creations.

    Whose story inspires you?

    The post May’s Best Biographies & Memoirs appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Ross Johnson 6:00 pm on 2019/04/01 Permalink
    Tags: Biography, , , ,   

    April’s Best Biographies & Memoirs 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/do/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynastyby Susan Page
    Even before publication, this memoir of the former first lady made headlines for its candid observations about the current state of presidential politics, but journalist Page covers the entirety of Bush’s life, informed by extensive research, personal diaries, and interviews with family, friends, and Mrs. Bush herself during the last six months of her life. Sometimes controversial and frequently underestimated, Barbara Bush molded herself into the powerful head of a family that produced two United States presidents while navigating her role as a prominent woman across generations of change.

    Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward, by Valerie Jarrett
    Jarrett is best known as the ultimate insider: the trusted aid and confidante to both of the Obamas, and the one consistent voice during all of their years in the White House. Of course, there’s much more to the story: born in Iran to parents who sought better opportunities there than were to be found in segregated America, she grew up in Chicago of the 1960s before becoming a corporate lawyer while a black single mother during a time when those roles carried even greater challenges. She was a key figure in in the administration of Harold Wilson, Chicago’s first black mayor, but when she interviewed young lawyer Michelle Robinson for a city job in 1991, a new phase of her life and career began.

    Life Will Be the Death of Me. . . and you too!, by Chelsea Handler
    Part confessional, part journey of self-discovery, Handler’s latest memoir describes a year in her life. Following the tumult of the 2016 presidential election, the comedian, writer, and television host made a commitment to confront her past and look her choices square in the face, embarking on a year of change, growth, and self-sufficiency through therapy, political activism, and picking up her own dog’s poo. It’s a funny and insightful journey, offering a roadmap to those of us looking to keep a smile on our faces as we chart new paths in life.

    Backstage Pass, by Paul Stanley
    It’s entirely possible we’ll never again see a band with the scope, longevity, and popularity of KISS, and Starchild Paul Stanley is a big part of the reason. It’s one thing to rock ‘n’ roll all night and party every day, but Stanley has also been a canny marketer and a smart businessman, helping to bring a behind-the-scenes discipline to the glam band that’s allowed it to thrive for nearly 50 years. Here, Stanley shares lessons from a life in rock.

    Jimmy Page: The Definitive Biography, by Chris Salewicz
    Jimmy Page is rock royalty many times over, but the guitarist has remained an elusive figure during his six decades in the business, only rarely giving interviews or discussing his personal life. Salewicz takes on the task of crafting the definitive biography of a fascinating figure, a key part of the history of rock whose longstanding interest in the occult has only burnished his mysterious reputation. Relying on original research as well as years’ worth of interviews with Page himself, this one is destined to be a legendary rock biography.

    Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir, by Ruth Reichl
    Chef, food writer, and producer of Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie on PBS, Reichl had an impressive career well before she was offered the top job at America’s oldest food and wine magazine, Gourmet. Having no experience of management and no interest in corporate politics, she said no before she said yes, spending a decade as editor-in-chief at the journal during a time when restaurants and foodie culture were on the rise, but print media was just beginning a steep decline. Her latest memoir is the story of those years, and includes some of the recipes and examples of the food writing for which she’s so well loved.

    Shotgun Angels: My Story of Broken Roads and Unshakeable Hope, by Jay DeMarcus with Timothy D. Willard
    A part of the trio that makes up one of the most popular pop country groups of the past two decades, Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus takes fans backstage for the story of his early years in Ohio, his discovery of music, and the rise of one of the biggest bands in the world. Describing his surprises and setbacks with humor and heart, DeMarcus details a journey took him from anonymity in in Columbus, Ohio to fame and fortune in Nashville and beyond.

    Finding Your Harmony: Dream Big, Have Faith, and Achieve More Than You Can Imagine, by Ally Brooke
    After six years as the voice of Fifth Harmony, Mexican-American singer Ally Brooke recently embarked on a solo career that’s already set to rival the success of the multi-platinum selling group that got its start on American X-Factor. Detailing her childhood in San Antonio and her group’s meteoric rise, Brooke talks about the triumphs and challenges of being a young star, offering advice and life lessons for others with big dreams.

    Tiger Woods, by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian
    We thought we knew Tiger Woods—one of the world’s most famous and talented athletes—until a 2009 car crash exposed serial infidelities and caused his complicated personal life to bleed over into his professional career. Suddenly, the public image of golf’s shining star became a lot more complicated. Relying on years of reporting and new interviews with hundreds of people in Woods’ sphere, Benedict and Keteyian have crafted a portrait of the brilliant athlete that, for the first time, creates a 360-degree portrait of a complex figure.

    Whose story inspires you?

    The post April’s Best Biographies & Memoirs appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Ross Johnson 3:00 pm on 2019/03/04 Permalink
    Tags: Biography, , ,   

    March’s Best Biographies & Memoirs 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/do/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    First: Sandra Day O’Connor, by Evan Thomas
    While current Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been in the zeitgeist for a while now, it’s worth remembering the pioneering efforts of Sandra Day O’Connor, who paved the way for RBG, serving as the court’s first female justice (not quite two centuries following the establishment of the institution). Her service came at the mid-point of a remarkable career that saw her go from a quiet life on a cattle ranch to Stanford Law at a time when women lawyers were still rare. She became the majority leader of the Arizona state senate and then a judge before joining the Supreme Court for several incredibly consequential decades in American jurisprudence and politics. In crafting this definitive biography, Thomas has made use of exclusive interviews and gained access to the Justice’s archives for the first time.

    Madame Fourcade’s Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France’s Largest Spy Network Against Hitler, by Lynne Olson
    Marie-Madeleine Fourcade’s story is one of the great untold stories of World War II. Alliance was the code name for a vast intelligence organization in occupied France, a 3,000-member strong spy network that survived longer and provided more intelligence than any other, including maps crucial to the British and American commanders planning D-Day. It was all lead by “Hedgehog,” a mother of two who lived on the run and escaped Nazi capture twice. Lynne Olson tells the story of an incredible woman’s valor during her country’s darkest days.

    Gray Day: My Undercover Mission to Expose America’s First Cyber Spy, by Eric O’Neill
    Eric O’Neill was only 26 when he was tasked with collecting evidence on his boss, a fellow FBI agents named Robert Hanssen. Short-tempered and with a fondness for handguns, Hanssen spied for the Soviet Union and then for Russia for over two decades, staying ahead of spy hunters and cybersecurity experts in the then-nascent field. O’Neill’s story is both intensely personal and broadly relevant: a saga of cyber-spycraft with lessons far too relevant to America’s present-day efforts to stay ahead of “the competition.”

    Mostly Sunny: How I Learned to Keep Smiling Through the Rainiest Days, by Janice Dean
    For notoriously upbeat Fox & Friends meteorologist Janice Dean, there’s a silver lining to be found in every cloud. Finding it has not always been easy, however—as she reveals in her honest new memoir. A multiple sclerosis diagnosis at the age of 37 had her believing that her life was over; a bad reaction to a cosmetic procedure, which she felt was necessary due to the relentless pressure she felt as a woman in the entertainment industry, could have ended her career altogether. The stories she tells in this new memoir—some upbeat, some funny, and some heartbreaking—have informed her life and career.

    Karamo: My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing, and Hope, by Karamo Brown
    Queer Eye‘s culture expert Karamo Brown came to the role amid a fascinating life story: the child of Jamaican and Cuban parents who grew up in the American south before attending the historically black university of Florida A&M, he trained as asocial worker and psychotherapist even as he gained fame as a reality TV star. He’s also a gay single dad who’s dealt with emotional abuse and drug addiction. All of that experience certainly brings an expansive definition of “culture” to his work on the popular Netflix series. In this new memoir, he reflects upon all of it—the lessons he’s learned and the ones he hopes to pass on.

    Whose story inspires you?

    The post March’s Best Biographies & Memoirs appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
c
compose new post
j
next post/next comment
k
previous post/previous comment
r
reply
e
edit
o
show/hide comments
t
go to top
l
go to login
h
show/hide help
esc
cancel