Biography Memoir

His Excellency: George Washington
His Excellency: George Washington Reviews

Review: This begins my journey to go through at least one biography per President. I decided to do this after I realized that there were many good things that I did not know about each president, and it would be time that I learned them as quickly as possible. So we begin, appropriately, with George Washington. This is a man who many people can cite for being a general in the American Revolution, and our first president, but little else. This is a somewhat incomplete picture that gives you an idea of th... Read more

Finding George Orwell in Burma
Finding George Orwell in Burma Reviews

Review: I read this book because we were traveling to Burma and I wanted some history. Interesting. Read more

Ascending Peculiarity: Edward Gorey on Edward Gorey
Ascending Peculiarity: Edward Gorey on Edward Gorey Reviews

Review: Some of the interviews repeat information (and most of it is very elemental - he started drawing at 1 1/2, his first drawing was of sausage-shaped railroad cars, he taught himself to read at 3 1/2, he attended nearly every performance (evening and matinee) of the New York City Ballet for 10 years...), but you glean at least one nugget of new information from each one. Since I love Gorey, it was fun to read more about his actual life, but after reading this, I'd rather read his actual work.
<... Read more

The Early Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 2: 1920-1923
The Early Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 2: 1920-1923 Reviews

Review: If you ever can bear to revisit the pains of late adolescence, Anaïs Nin's second diary can guide you through it in a delightful way.

This volume is written in English. She switches from her native French because she has so fallen in love with the English language. She remains strongly devoted to reading, consuming volumes by Emerson, Bossuet, Poe, Descartes, Darwin, Rostand, Tennyson, Henri Merger, Sinclair Lewis and Stevenson. (She was not a fain of Lewis'. She found his writing too pla... Read more

The Cat Who Covered the World: The Adventures Of Henrietta And Her Foreign Correspondent
The Cat Who Covered the World: The Adventures Of Henrietta And Her Foreign Correspondent Reviews

Review: Much better than the "average" cat story, because the author is a writer for the New York Times--he is smart and funny and so is this book.

Most cat books end with the cat dying...and I end up crying, which I don't like. In this one, yes, the cat dies at the end, but the author tells that part so quickly that I was able to read it without tears. That's a good thing! Read more

Blowing My Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy
Blowing My Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy Reviews

Review: It's a fun read about a fascinating topic (who doesn't want to read about life in the CIA?) It's also light: you're going to get amusing spy anecdotes, not confusing details of which terrorist/foreign leader did what.

The first half (about the recruitment and training process) was fantastic. The training section is a riot: the ineptness of some of the trainees (especially Tornado Sally) actually makes me a little worried about our country. Watching them learn about firearms, evasive driv... Read more

American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood
American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood Reviews

Review: It's autobiography, so in a sense you're stuck -- her life was what it was. I would have liked a slightly different emphasis. Most of her attention was given to her time in Peru, in Cartavo and Lima, and then an extended visit to her mother's family in Wyoming. The time after she returned to USA just was given a few pages at the end -- sort of a "oh, I became an American girl, but kept some of the Peruvian stuff too". I was left thinking that somehow it was a little more complicated than that. A... Read more

The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher
The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher Reviews

Review: Our book club was pretty well split between liking and not liking this book. Those who liked it said the good news is, if you are a history buff, you will find lots of little known information about noteworthy American historical events of the mid-180os woven into this incredibly well documented biography. The importance of Henry Ward Beecher's role has not been well known or documented until now, and it makes for interesting reading. Those who didn't like it said the bad news is that the overly... Read more

Untouchables: My Family's Triumphant Journey Out of the Caste System in Modern India
Untouchables: My Family's Triumphant Journey Out of the Caste System in Modern India Reviews

Review: What I learned from this book... all about the life in the lowest Indian caste. It's a compelling family story about rising from the life society dictates into a life of your own creation. Without education... this family never would have made it out. Read more

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