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Topic: What Biographies/Memoirs Are You Reading?

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Subject: What Biographies/Memoirs Are You Reading?
Date Posted: 4/25/2017 8:11 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,966
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I have a number of reads in this classification that I keep moving to the top of my pile so I'll comment about them here as I complete them.  I hope that anyone else reading biographies on their lists will share their thoughts, too.

1.  My first read is Life in Motion by Misty Copeland, beginning 6/3/2017  It's an inspiriing read that I've found hard to put aside.  I kept wanting to know what happened to Misty next, how she felt about it and what she did to overcome negative experiences and/or feelings.  What a talented, talented dancer.  Great read.

2.  The Source of All Things by Tracy Ross, 9/8/2017.  If you regularly reads autobiographies or memoirs I recommend this one.  Tracy was sexually abused by her father from age eight into her teens.  It impacted her life immensely and she shares her experiences and feelings.  I don't know if I would have the courage to be as open about something so disturbing and personal but it lets the reader know how a child views what happens because someone she loves so much does something she knows is wrong,  Later as she grows and matures is colors her feelings for the men she meets even into her own marriage.   For me, this was a four star read.  

3.  Moonglow by Michael Chabon.  It's filled with his memories of his grandparents and their evxperiences.

 



Last Edited on: 12/4/17 6:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 13
Date Posted: 9/2/2017 6:17 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,999
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All Over but the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg. memoir

Date Posted: 9/2/2017 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 5,259
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Currently reading Here We Go Again: My Life in Television by Betty White.  Have loved Betty for years, and am now enjoying learning about her very early career.

 

 

Date Posted: 9/13/2017 8:14 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,999
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I wonder if Hillary Clinton's new book would be considered memoir or maybe auto bio. the title is What Happened.

Date Posted: 9/13/2017 6:57 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,177
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Just starting "Alone in Antarctica." Interestingly enough, this will be the SECOND book by a woman "going it alone" in Antarctica that I've read haha. 

Date Posted: 9/17/2017 3:37 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,999
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4S7T05zTqY

speaking of Betty White

Date Posted: 10/14/2017 8:55 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,999
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The Best of Times: An Informal Memoir by John Dos Passos

The book I have has a date of 1966 so it just barely makes the 50 year test. I found in this book that his father was Portuguese. I always wondered what the Dos Passos name meant. Really enjoying this book.



Last Edited on: 10/18/17 2:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/15/2017 8:27 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 5,259
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Just finished Man Up! Tales of My Delusional Self-Confidence by Ross Mathews.  Hilarious!

 

Date Posted: 10/19/2017 7:40 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,966
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Just finished Free Spirit:  Growing Up on the Road and Off the Grid by Joshua Safran, 4 stars.  It's a read that tweaked my heart over and over.  Amazing that the author was able to put such a life on paper.  His mother, Claudia, was a true free spirit who kept searching for a life untouched by our world as it is.  She also sought a companion who shared her visions.  I'm not sure, however, that she realised how it all affected her son.  Fascinating read.

Date Posted: 11/1/2017 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2011
Posts: 9,441
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I've done more than normal in the last few months in the memoir/biography/true crime genres.  I might do 3 or 4 of these a year but this year I've done a 7 or 8 so far. Here are the most recent and the ones I've liked best so far.  

Just finished Killers of the Flower Moon The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann.  An excellent and very disturbing story.  Divided into three parts, the first one talks about the the murders in the 1920s of members of the Osage tribe in Oklahoma.  At the time they were the richest community in the world due to their oil head rights but a disturbing number of the tribe were systematically murdered in what turned out to be a blatant grab of their wealth while the local authorities turned a blind and complicit eye to the events. The second part deals with the rise of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI and a former Texas Ranger turned federal agent, Tom White, the lead investigator of the murders.  The third part is about the author's research into this story.  Fascinating.  Heartbreaking.   

Before that I read Hillbilly Elegy: A Memior of a Family and Culture in Crisis by JD Vance.  I know this got rave reviews and I lot of attention during the 2016 presidential campaign and I did enjoy it but found glaring omissions in his story and not sure I agreed with his conclusions at the end.  

And before that I read (for my bio/memoir trifecta in the last month), Maude by Donna Mabry.  What an unexpectedly enjoyable story this turned out to be.  I picked it up on a whim for one of my 2017 reading challenges (a story of someone birth to death).  I'd never heard of it, never saw a review for it, saw it on the shelf and gave it a try and loved it.  Maude is just an ordinary woman living a very ordinary life, born in the late 19th century south, poor, orphaned, married at 14 years old, widowed, forced into an unhappy marriage and transplanted to Detroit during the Depression years where she raised a family and dealt with tragedy after tragedy with incredible grace and strength of character.  Her story is told by her granddaughter as recalled from the bedtime stories she was told growing up.  

This summer I did a different kind of memior, Snowman: The True Story of a Champion by Catherine Hapka, Rutherford G. Montgomery about one of the most famous horses in the world, Snowman. Snowman was a cart horse who, in the 1950s, was literally on his way to the glue factory and was bought and rescued by a man who turned him a champion show jumper and Horse of the Year.  This was an updated edition of a book I read as a teen and a real pleasure to revist. 

 



Last Edited on: 11/2/17 12:00 AM ET - Total times edited: 1