Biography

Recollections of My Nonexistence: A Memoir by Rebecca Solnit - Book Review

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$26.00
ISBN: 9780593083338
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Published: Viking - March 10th, 2020

Ruminations on feminism, the art of writing, coming of age in a gay community, activism, and societal change. Solnit juggles these themes with a plea for valued, communal existence. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare


Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker - Book Review

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$29.95
ISBN: 9780385543767
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Published: Doubleday - April 7th, 2020

This biography tells the shocking story of a family with twelve children, six of whom are schizophrenic. The book chronicles the lives of the Galvin family as one by one their sons are diagnosed with this horrific disease. We are witness to the violence, abuse and chaos that runs rampant within the house on Hidden Valley Road. Each sick son has schizophrenia in varying degrees, all severe, and we see how the parents and healthy siblings are impacted due to such turbulent circumstances. In alternating chapters the author explores the family's life, and the psychiatric community at the time (1960’s-1970’s) and how it scrutinized the question of nature vs. nurture related to the development of schizophrenia. Eventually the Galvin family became a primary (and ideal) model for the study of genetics and behavior, testing and interviewing the sick boys, parents, and unaffected siblings for many years.
Fascinating story and extremely informative. ~ Reviewed by Jen Grigsby


Save Yourself by Cameron Esposito - Book Review

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$27.00
ISBN: 9781455591435
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Published: Grand Central Publishing - March 24th, 2020

It's hard to write as well as you speak - I've read memoirs I realized I'd rather hear - but damn does Esposito do it. Her stories start in one direction, and suddenly you turn a corner to a new dimension you hadn't expected. With the craft of an expert jokester, Esposito tells her life story in a stark yet hilarious way - the 80-block-walk defeats, the total-familial-acceptance highs. Her writing influenced and changed the way I write, and that is the highest compliment one can give. ~ Reviewed by Katelynne Shimkus


In the Land of Men: A Memoir by Adrienne Miller - Book Review

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$28.99
ISBN: 9780062682413
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Published: Ecco - February 11th, 2020

Adrienne Miller's mid-'90s' arrival in the literary "land of men" was met mostly with cynicism, for how young she was, how attractive, and how she came just out of college, a reaction she does not much dispel in this memoir. What Miller does argue, though, is the attitudes with which the other, very male editors at GQ and Esquire regard her, and how that devolves when her job becomes to work entirely at the behest of David Foster Wallace's brilliant madness. ~ Reviewed by Ray Marsocci


The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride - Book Review

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$16.00
ISBN: 9781594481925
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Published: Riverhead Books - February 7th, 2006

McBride's lyrical search for his heritage soars on multiple levels: a confessional memoir; a study of racism in the mid-20th Century South; an inquiry into Judaism and Christianity; and, most importantly, a young man's exploration of his mother's past. McBride's deeply-felt quest ends with a compassionate embrace of family. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare


The Dalai Lama: An Extraordinary Life by Alexander Norman - Book Review

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$30.00
ISBN: 9780544416581
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Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - February 25th, 2020

This is an excellent exploration of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan culture in general, as well as a history of 20th century Tibet. It is well researched and full of interesting stories. This is for anyone who wants the backstory of this great man or for those interested in Tibetan culture. It is a rich and varied tale of a world far removed from 21st century America. The irony of the horror of the Chinese invasion is that the world benefited enormously from the diffusion of the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism and from the expanded role the Dalai Lama was forced into. ~ Reviewed by Chris Morrow


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