Good Reads: The Season's Best Biographies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Half Broke Horses

Jeannette Walls
Scribner
$15.00

Walls (who wrote the much admired "Glass Castle") has written a vivid novelized biography of her remarkable maternal grandmother. This resilient and determined woman never accepted being told that there were things she couldn’t do-she just saw restrictions as a challenge. Walls brings this memorable character to life.

Atlantic

Simon Winchester
Harper
$27.99

What an undertaking! Winchester takes on the whole Atlantic Ocean as his biography subject. The reader travels from the formation to the present with sections on exploration and conflicts along the way. A great read for any lover of the seas.

Cleopatra

Stacy Schiff
Little Brown
$29.99

Schiff manages to unearth enough new information on Cleopatra to thoroughly reveal this great historical figure. She separates out the fictions that we have accepted as fact and gives us a fascinating portrayal of the person and the age.

Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

Siddhartha Mukherjee
Scribner
$30.00

Cancer will touch all of us at some point in our lives and yet it remains a mystery to most of us. This informative and often moving history of the disease looks at the whole picture. A remarkable book.

 

Washington, a Life

Ron Chernow
Penguin
$40.00

Who was George Washington? Turns out he was a pretty complex guy, not easily categorized. Chernow’s meticulously researched biography will be a worthy addition to any history buff’s shelf!

Autobiography of Mark Twain

Mark Twain
UC Press
$34.95

We’ve been waiting 100 years for this book. That is the publishing time set by Twain-presumably to make sure anyone who could take offense would be long dead! This is the first of three huge volumes of unabridged personal musings and memoirs. The most anticipated book of the year.

At Home: A Short History of Private Life

Bill Bryson
Doubleday
$28.95

While wandering around his old English home, Bryson became fascinated with the history of the objects of ordinary households. Why do we use what we do, eat what we do? How have some rooms evolved? You can’t beat Bryson for taking on a subject and making it absolutely astounding.

My Next Husband Will Be a Dog

Lisa Scottoline
Griffin
$14.99

Scottoline is known for her award-winning mysteries. Here she tackles the joys and challenges of "ordinary" women as they move through their daily lives. She is a very funny writer-you will be touched and also greatly amused.

Killing of Crazy Horse

Thomas Powers
Knopf
$30.00

The last days of Crazy Horse are still subject to much debate. Powers makes an engrossing attempt to piece together the true story of what happened and to give the reader a much better understanding of the man who brought down Custer.

Mary Ann in Autumn

Armistead Maupin
Harper
$25.99

Yes, this is fiction but these characters where so real to me when I first read their serialized adventures Chronicle in the ’70s. Here they all are many decades later-still friends and still going through their various struggles. Thank you Mr. Maupin for letting us in on what happened to them!

Categories: Arts + Culture, Community, Wellness