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The Book Club Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Memoir/biography recommendations please
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Member # 8873
Default  Posted: 12:49 PM, November 14th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman
Richard Feynman was a physicist, a Nobel prize winner, a participant of the Manhattan project, the founder of quantum mechanics,.... also a prankster, studies how to be a ladies man, and a pretty good safecracker....

"Hey, does this rag smell like chloroform to you?

Posts: 1032 | Registered: Nov 2005 | From: Oklahoma
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Member # 20547
Default  Posted: 12:29 PM, December 4th (Sunday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Anything by Augusten Burroughs, especially Dry. Running with Scissors is good too.

BS- me.
FWS- him.
DDay 6/07 (immediately separated)
RDay 8/07
OC born 3/08
OC Adopted 2014


Posts: 2333 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: PNW
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Member # 28377
Default  Posted: 9:54 PM, December 5th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have always been obsessed with rock stars, so I have read Life by Keith Richards (even posted about it a few months back on here) and also Steven Tyler of Aerosmith's book. I have read my very favorite - Sammy Hagar's bio - very good too. I have a Janis Joplin one right now. I am reading a bio by Christopher Buckley - son of William F. Buckley. Chris lost both his parents within a year of each other and is an only child. Same situation I am in except I don't have his family's money to escape some of it. Still good read tho. And last but not least, I am going to read next the bio of Kirk and Candace Cameron's mom, Barbara Cameron - about their life growing up I think title is "A Full House of Growing Pains" and in just looking thru book when I got it from library (as I always do) I saw that she and her husband (their dad) had separated, maybe even divorced and reconciled and are apparently doing very well now - a bonus on that one. Oh, and one more - "Brady,Brady,Brady" by Sherwood Schwartz and his don Lloyd who created and produced, directed, etc. "The Brady Bunch"...just got it from library to look at the pics but ended up reading it in 2 days - very good book surprisingly.

Biographies are my favorites too - as they say "truth is stranger than fiction".

Me - W - 48
Him - H - 47
Together since we were 14/15
Married 27 yrs in August (renewed our vows in 2011-H's idea!)
DD-23, DS-15
Separated for 7 mos & were 3 wks from divorce when we reconciled
Happily R for almost 4 years

Posts: 1451 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: MO
solus sto
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Member # 30989
Default  Posted: 4:16 PM, December 8th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm starting the Abigail Adams one mentioned earlier. She really was a remarkable woman--quite feminist for the era.

She also was my great-great-great-great-great grandmother :)

BS-me, 52
WH (Trac-fone), 53, PD
2 kids-DD25, DS18
multiple d-days
Alone, most strangely, I live on~Rupert Brooke

Posts: 9010 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: midwest
Member # 34109
Default  Posted: 6:34 PM, December 8th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Have to second on "Alive," anything by Jon Krakauer (I think I read Into Thin Air 4 times; it is phenomenal).

One of my favorite autobiographies is Life and Death in Shanghai by Nien Cheng

I've reread it over many years. It's about a middle-aged Chinese woman placed in solitary confinement for being "bourgeois" during the cultural revolution. It is drop-dead inspirational, honest, real. In fact, I think I'll read it again.

Recently read The Glass Castle -- holy cow! Dysfunctional childhood much?

Also, try Paul Bowles's autobiography, "Without Stopping," and the biography of Jane Bowles, "A Little Original Sin."

They were a brilliant, adventurous literary couple with a strange marriage (both bisexual), travel, drug escapades... His novels are ominous and disturbing; several were made into films. Yet a lot of scholars argue that she was the real genius and muse.

Posts: 358 | Registered: Dec 2011
alex mama
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Member # 11858
Default  Posted: 11:29 PM, December 8th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just (tonight) finished "Running with Scissors". It's one of those books that makes you laugh at loud, and makes you feel horrified that you're laughing at this poor person.

I read "Happens Every Day" by the woman who plays Elliot Stabler's wife on Law & Order: SVU. It's her memoir of her husband's affair and the decline of her marriage. The writing wasn't fantastic, and at times it was super triggery, and I can't say that I "enjoyed" it, but I certainly identified with it.

My boss just finished the Steve Jobs book and LOVED it, and just read the new James Garfield biography and said it was FANTASTIC, so both of those are going on my list.

My mom just finished Barbara Walters' biography, and won't stop talking about it, so that's going on my list too.

My all-time favorite memoir, though, is The Tender Bar. I'm a word nerd, and a sucker for a good writer, and this book made me want to run away and find this author and stalk him so he'd marry me.

"Love yourself. Don't take no shit." - my oldest and dearest friend

Posts: 3311 | Registered: Aug 2006
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Member # 28753
Default  Posted: 7:56 PM, December 20th (Tuesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My favorite is Katherine Graham's Washington. Jimmy Carter's memoirs are good; I find him to be a gentle writer. Any of the McCullough stuff. The biographies that presidential hopefuls put out are usually good for a laugh as long as you're in the mood to be snarky.

Hm. Apparently I'm a fan of politics. Or at least of reading about politicians. Who knew?

ETA: Looking up The Tender Bar right now... thank you, fellow word nerd!

[This message edited by ImNellNow at 7:59 PM, December 20th (Tuesday)]

BS & D
Drinking wine and thinking bliss is on the other side of this.

Posts: 2370 | Registered: Jun 2010 | From: Baby steps on my new path
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Default  Posted: 10:34 AM, December 23rd (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Just finished "Stories I only tell my friends" by Rob Lowe. It was a really good read.

Also read the Heroin Diaries at the suggestion of someone upthread - pretty good, especially the first half.

I also recently read Bossypants by Tina Fey and didn't love it like I thought I would. I did like parts of it and she's definitely funny, but I think it's hard sometimes for a funny person to feel "real" to me through their humor. Maybe it's just me though.

Posts: 3197 | Registered: Mar 2005
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Member # 16725
Default  Posted: 9:17 PM, December 23rd (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I pretty much only read books about crazy people and natural disasters so I submit:

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic - Alison Bechdel
Drinking: A Love Story and Appetites: Why Women Want - Caroline Knapp
Half-Broke Horses - Jeannette Walls
The Final Frontiersman - James Campbell
In Pharaoh's Army and This Boy's Life - Tobias Wolff
Bird by Bird and Traveling Mercies - Annie Lamott
On Writing - Stephen King
Shot in the Heart - Mikal Gilmore
Open - Andre Agassi
Crazy for the Storm - Norman Ollestad
Split: A Memoir of Divorce - Suzanne Finnamore
Isaac's Storm - Erik Larson

“There is a limit to the amount of misery and disarray you will put up with, for love, just as there is a limit to the amount of mess you can stand around a house. You can’t know the limit beforehand, but you will know when you’ve reached it."

Posts: 930 | Registered: Oct 2007
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Member # 33681
Default  Posted: 10:38 PM, December 23rd (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Life by Keith Richards and Open by Agassi were surprisingly good biographies I read a few months ago.

Him WH
Two kids
Dday sept 28 2011
Together since 2000, married 2005
On our way to ??

Posts: 98 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: Florida
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Member # 8142
Default  Posted: 3:48 AM, December 24th (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This book stands out in my mind:

"The Bubble Reputation" by Cathy Peletier. Well written!

~XWH told me what I wanted to hear but he always did whatever he wanted to do~

Posts: 25435 | Registered: Sep 2005
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Member # 24902
Default  Posted: 6:39 AM, December 24th (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Anything by Krakauer....he wrote a book on the FLDS that now escapes my mind.

And for an alternative look @ one of our heroes? The Imperial Cruise about Teddy Roosevelt. Just confirmed my opinion that we need to throw out all our history books.

me BS the Big 6-0!!
him WS 56
married 28 years
together 31
DD 6/10/08
ow #1,2 lta on and off since 1995
ow 3 ons summer 2005
2 D, mine from prior marriage, but he raised them
R'ing...probably not....but then again, maybe....

Posts: 1375 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: Colorado
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Member # 32232
Default  Posted: 7:57 PM, December 24th (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Biography of LBJ by Robert Caro. I'm at the other end of political spectrum, but it is so well written that i really enjoyed it.

Posts: 720 | Registered: May 2011
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Member # 25341
Default  Posted: 10:32 AM, December 26th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City--A Diary

A blurb:
For eight weeks in 1945, as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman kept a daily record of life in her apartment building and among its residents. "With bald honesty and brutal lyricism" (Elle), the anonymous author depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity, as well as their cravenness, corrupted first by hunger and then by the Russians. "Spare and unpredictable, minutely observed and utterly free of self-pity" (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland), A Woman in Berlin tells of the complex relationship between civilians and an occupying army and the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject--the mass rape suffered by all, regardless of age or infirmity.

A Woman in Berlin stands as "one of the essential books for understanding war and life" (A. S. Byatt, author of Possession).

Me (BS), Him (WH): early 50's
3 DS: teens!!! :)
M: 25 (19 1/2 at Dday), Together 30
Dday: Dec 2008
Limbo-ish, again (after multiple S) -- weighing my options

Posts: 2659 | Registered: Aug 2009 | From: EU
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Member # 7276
Default  Posted: 2:38 PM, December 27th (Tuesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Stalking this thread and making a list for my Nook.

Me: BS 48
Him: Doesn't matter any more.
The Royal Court, formerly known as the Princess Posse:
DD31 - Belle
DD23 - Xena
GD10 - Jasmine
GD8 - Ariel
GD Born 9/4/12 - Tink
GS Born 6/23/2014 - Little Prince

Posts: 14400 | Registered: Jun 2005 | From: Massachusetts
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Member # 9344
Default  Posted: 11:40 AM, December 29th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Anything by Krakauer....he wrote a book on the FLDS that now escapes my mind.

Under the Banner of Heaven. Great read.

Just finished Mary: Mrs. A. Lincoln by Janis Cooke Newman.


She packed up her potential and all she had learned and headed out to change a few things.

Posts: 7605 | Registered: Jan 2006 | From: Poolside
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Member # 33899
Default  Posted: 2:34 PM, December 31st (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Steven Tyler: Does the noise in my head bother you? Unbelievable!!

Posts: 190 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: FLORIDA
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Member # 6687
Default  Posted: 6:29 PM, January 1st (Sunday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Steven Tyler: Does the noise in my head bother you? Unbelievable!!

Thanks for recommending this! I'm reading it right now & knew from a few sentences in I would love it.

Posts: 3197 | Registered: Mar 2005
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Member # 10798
Default  Posted: 10:36 PM, January 1st (Sunday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Expecting Adam by Martha Beck is really good. I'm pretty sure it's by Martha Beck. I think she writes a column for Oprah's magazine.

Act as if what you do matters. It does. William James

Posts: 2140 | Registered: May 2006 | From: Midwest
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Member # 21139
Default  Posted: 10:17 AM, January 5th (Thursday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Smacked by Melinda Ferguson. Her struggles with drug addiction culminating in being gang raped. She has written a follow up book on the various ways in which she has survived and kept drug free. Both great books!

Posts: 637 | Registered: Oct 2008
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