Tag Archives: Biography

Go Down Together by Jeff Guinn

Go Down Together by Jeff GuinnTitle:  Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde 

Author:  Jeff Guinn

Call #:  364.1522 GUI

Author Guinn expertly tells the story of Bonnie and Clyde and not the tale. In the over 75 years since this criminal couple were gunned down in an ambush in Louisiana, they have been mythologized, romanticized and idolized in books, magazines and film. Many in Depression-Era American lauded their attacks on the banks and the law, but Guinn depicts them as they truly were: inept crooks who robbed and murdered their way across the Midwest and the South over a nearly two year period in the 1930’s.

Recommended by:  Mike

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The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe

End of Your Life Book ClubTitle:  The End of Your Life Book Club

Author:  Will Schwalbe

Call #:  BIOGRAPHY SCHWALBE

Most readers have asked or been asked “What are you reading?” at one point in their lives and the question does not hold substance after the initial answer. This question was asked of Will Schwalbe by his mother while she was awaiting cancer treatment and it was the beginning of a mother/son book club. Through the titles they read you learn more about Will, his mother Mary Anne and their relationship. If you are not afraid to shed a tear, join their journey and their book club.

Recommended by:  Crystal

A Widow’s Story by Joyce Carol Oates

A Widow's Story by Joyce Carol OatesTitle:  A Widow’s Story

Author:  Joyce Carol Oates

Call #:  B OAT

Acclaimed writer Oates has written a touching and thoughtful book to the memory of her husband of 47 years Ray Smith who died in 2008 of an infection he received in the hospital while being treated for pneumonia.  With honesty and deep affection, Oates describes the personal devastation she endured with her husband’s passing and how since then she has lived what she calls her “posthumous life.”  Constant thoughts of suicide, fear of addiction to prescribed medications and regrets of things both done and not done while her husband was alive haunt her throughout the book.  Agonizing that perhaps she never really knew her husband well, she comes across an unfinished manuscript he had worked on for years and by reading it she discovers several factors in his young life that leads her to a better understanding of the man he became.

Recommended by:  Mike

Even Silence Has an End by Ingrid Betancourt

Even Silence Has an End by Ingrid BetancourtTitle:  Even Silence Has an End:  My Six Years in Captivity in the Colombian Jungle

Author:  Ingrid Betancourt

Call #:  986.106 BET

In this agonizing story of being held prisoner in the jungle for six years by leftist guerrillas, former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt takes us on a devastating journey through her nightmare existence as she wages a battle for her physical and mental survival and struggles to save her soul from despair and surrender.  Chained by the neck for great lengths of time, often ill and abused, she endured not only physical pain but mental torture as both guards and prisoners fought for their sanity.  Despite several failed escape attempts, Betancourt displays personal courage and a rare strength of will to finally reach freedom.

Recommended by:  Mike

Reading Jackie by William Kuhn

Reading Jackie by William KuhnTitle:  Reading Jackie

Author:  William Kuhn

Call #:  KUH

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis never wrote a memoir and chose to lead as private a life as possible despite the mythic proportions under which she was forced to live.  But after her marriages and the growth of her children, she carved out a life for herself that was singularly “Jackie.”  Turning to her love of books she became an editor at both Viking and Doubleday and for the last two decades of her life brought nearly 100 books into print; all of which reflected many facets of her personal tastes and passions.  Reading Jackie is probably the closest we will ever come to knowing the woman and not just the legend.

Recommended by:  Mike

Running the Books by Avi Steinberg

Running the Books by Avi SteinbergTitle:  Running the Books

Author:  Avi Steinberg

Call #:  B STE

In this unusual story about a Harvard student becoming a prison librarian in Boston many lessons are learned, both by the author a well as the inmates.  Sadness mixes with humor as Steinberg reflects on his experiences, including being robed on the street by a former prison library patron.  The book reminds us how libraries have always been havens for the soul, including those behind bars.

Recommended by:  Mike

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

Washington by Ron ChernowTitle: Washington: A Life

Author: Ron Chernow

Call #: B WAS

As Washington himself supposedly said “I cannot tell a lie” and neither can I; Chernow’s biography of the Father of Our Country may be the definitive one for years to come.  You will see Washington the icon become Washington the man.  An imperfect person who had a temper, could often put self-interest above all else and kept slaves even as president yet at great personal sacrifice as a warrior and public servant made America a home for liberty and freedom.

Recommended by: Mike