Category Archives: Memoir or Biography

Life, by Keith Richards (2009)

Any book that starts off about a road trip with Ronnie Wood through backwoods Arkansas in a car full to the rafters with weed is not going to be boring, and Keith Richards’s autobiography, “Life,” is rarely that. “Life” recounts … Continue reading

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Who I Am, by Pete Townshend (2013)

I just finished Pete Townshend’s amazing autobiography, “Who Am I,” and there is so much information, so much insight into how a great artist’s mind works, that I didn’t quite know how to start my review. So I put on … Continue reading

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“Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker,” by Chuck Haddix (2013)

(nb: I received an advance review copy from the publisher via NetGalley) Soaring–and Crashing–with Bird “Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker” is Chuck Haddix’s faithful biography of Charlie “Bird” Parker, and I use the adjective “faithful” advisedly. Writing … Continue reading

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One Man’s Initiation: 1917, by John Dos Passos

One thing I noticed while reading John Dos Passos’s “One Man’s Initiation: 1917” is how much I know about World War 2. And how much I know about Vietnam. Even about the Korean War. All I know about World War … Continue reading

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Cotton Tenants: Three Families, by James Agee and Walker Evans (2013)

(nb: I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss) “Cotton Tenants: Three Families” takes us inside the backbreaking work and soul-breaking poverty of three tenant farmers in 1936 rural Alabama. It is hard to … Continue reading

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Playing With Purpose: Mariano Rivera: The Closer Who Got Saved, by Jesse Florea & Mike Yorkey (2013)

(nb: I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley) The last baseball book I read before this one was “The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood”, which recounted the misbehavior and redemption of Yankee … Continue reading

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VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave, by Nina Blackwood, et al (2013)

(nb: I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley) To those of us who grew up in the early 1980’s, it’s impossible not to remember MTV. The videos’ quality was generally horrific–as was some of the music–but MTV … Continue reading

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Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?, by Marion Meade (1987, 2006)

The phrase “exhaustively researched” has never applied more to a book I’ve read than it does to Marion Meade’s splendid biography “Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?” Mrs. Parker had a career spanning five decades. She wrote short stories, … Continue reading

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Just Keep Breathing, by Joan Scott Curtis (2013)

(nb: I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley) My mother once asked, “Who counsels the counselor? Who ministers to the minister, or nurses the nurse?” “Just Keep Breathing” deals with these questions. Author Joan Scott Curtis found … Continue reading

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Saint Francis of Assisi, by Demi (2012)

(nb: I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley) With the newly minted leader of the Catholic Church choosing to name himself after Saint Francis of Assisi, this book could be perfect if you have kids with questions. … Continue reading

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