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Biography and Memoir February 2014
"Ruby Stevens from the streets of Brooklyn, who danced in cabarets and clubs, a Broadway star at twenty, was a daughter of the American Revolution."
~ from Victoria Wilson's A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940
New and Recently Released!
Unremarried Widow: A Memoir - by Artis Henderson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 01/07/2014
Share Unremarried Widow%3a A Memoir ISBN-13: 9781451649284
ISBN-10: 1451649282
Author Artis Henderson was a recent college graduate with dreams of traveling and becoming a writer when she met and fell in love with fighter pilot Miles Henderson. Though becoming a military wife had been the furthest notion from her mind, she married Miles and worked to adjust to life on military bases. A few years later, Miles deployed to Iraq; soon after he arrived, he died in an accidental helicopter crash. In this poignant and elegantly written memoir, Henderson relates her love story, her grief, and her struggle to cope with life after Miles' death. Kirkus Reviews declares Unremarried Widow a "beautiful debut."
The Letters of John F. Kennedy - by John F. Kennedy; edited by Martin W. Sandler
Publisher: Bloomsbury Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 10/29/2013
Share The Letters of John F. Kennedy ISBN-13: 9781608192717
ISBN-10: 1608192717
The Letters of John F. Kennedy offers much more than a selection of correspondence; it constitutes an informative and engaging full biography of the 35th President of the United States. Historian Martin Sandler presents letters from and to JFK carefully framed by a biographical sketch and contextual information. From Kennedy's childhood to near the end of his life, the letters portray his character, sense of humor, leadership skills, and his clear and precise writing style, while communications with such figures as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nikita Khrushchev offer significant insight into Kennedy's political career. This portrait of Kennedy and his times "will fascinate general readers as well as scholars," says Library Journal.
My Mistake: A Memoir - by Daniel Menaker
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/19/2013
Share My Mistake%3a A Memoir ISBN-13: 9780547794235
ISBN-10: 0547794231
Daniel Menaker worked as an editor for The New Yorker for 26 years, then moved to Random House, where the first book he edited was the bestselling political novel Primary Colors, by Anonymous. Menaker's life has been as exciting as that first publishing success, filled with personal and family connections to famous people. In My Mistake, Menaker muses on small and large personal and career failures and triumphs. He vividly and wittily sketches characters such as New Yorker editor William Shawn and warmly and humorously depicts his loved ones. He relates his sorrows, including his older brother's untimely death and Menaker's own lung cancer, with compassion. My Mistake provides an entertaining and insightful meditation on how life should be lived.
The Heir Apparent: A Life of Edward VII, the Playboy Prince - by Jane Ridley
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 12/03/2013
Share The Heir Apparent%3a A Life of Edward VII, the Playboy Prince ISBN-13: 9781400062553
ISBN-10: 1400062551
King Edward VII of Great Britain lent his name to an era in history -- "Edwardian" -- that became synonymous with elegant style and conspicuous consumption. As the Prince of Wales and heir to Queen Victoria, he was excluded from participating in matters of state, so he threw himself into the role of playboy. Yet when at age 59 he became the sovereign of the vast British Empire, he threw himself into the modernization of Britain's constitutional monarchy. Biographer Jane Ridley vividly portrays the wild youth of the Prince (called "Bertie"), but also convincingly demonstrates the significance of his achievements as King, which have often been underestimated. Anyone interested in British history will find The Heir Apparent informative and delightful.
A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940 - by Victoria Wilson
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/12/2013
Share A Life of Barbara Stanwyck%3a  Steel-True 1907-1940 ISBN-13: 9780684831688
ISBN-10: 0684831686
Born in New York City in 1907 and named Ruby Stevens, Hollywood star Barbara Stanwyck started in the chorus line (including a stint as a Ziegfeld Girl in the Follies) before developing into an award-winning actress. In this biography, author Victoria Wilson enthrallingly details the actress' life, providing not only personal details but a panoramic view of the American motion picture industry. Wilson offers fascinating insight into Stanwyck's childhood and its influence on her later life, the ways in which her natural abilities appealed to certain directors and suited her to particular roles, and much more. Exhaustively researched and vividly portrayed, A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940 absorbs readers into Stanwyck's world, leaving them hungry for the still unpublished volume 2.
Some Books You Might Have Missed in 2013
My Way: An Autobiography - by Paul Anka with David Dalton
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/09/2013
Share My Way%3a An Autobiography ISBN-13: 9780312381042
ISBN-10: 0312381042
Fans of 1950s and '60s popular music will relish this autobiography of Canadian singer-songwriter Paul Anka, who achieved his first hit, "Diana," when he was 16. The following year, 1958, he had five more hits, and he became one of the most popular singers of the early '60s. As he focused more on songwriting, Anka became closely associated with the Rat Pack, drinking and gambling with Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and even mobsters. Sharing details of his own life and insights into the personalities of other pop stars and Rat Pack members, Anka's "lively, entertaining" (Booklist) account brings readers up to date, attributing his long life to his diet and exercise routines.
Country Girl: A Memoir - by Edna O'Brien
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/30/2013
Share Country Girl%3a A Memoir ISBN-13: 9780316122702
ISBN-10: 031612270X
Irish author Edna O'Brien, born in 1930, grew up in the countryside, where her convent education didn't encourage her dreams of becoming a writer. As a young woman she took a job in Dublin in hopes of meeting established writers and joining their fraternity. By 1960 she had moved to London, where her first novel, The Country Girls, found success -- though it was long banned in Ireland. Her evocative tales continued to bring critical acclaim, numerous awards, and celebrity. In Country Girl, O'Brien employs her lyrical, evocative writing to recount her life. Even when she's describing her years as a swinger, her core essence as an outstanding writer shines through.
Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill - by Michael Shelden
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 03/12/2013
Share Young Titan%3a The Making of Winston Churchill ISBN-13: 9781451609912
ISBN-10: 1451609914
Now best remembered as Britain's indomitable leader during World War II, Winston Churchill began his political career four decades earlier, entering Parliament in 1901. In Young Titan, biographer Michael Shelden focuses on Churchill's life up to 1915, during which he was rejected by a young woman he loved, began a successful political career, and subsequently resigned as First Lord of the Admiralty after the disastrous defeat at Gallipoli. Shelden interweaves details about Churchill's adventures throughout the British Empire with accounts of his education, love life, and writing, producing an engaging close-up of the young man who would eventually make his mark as one of Britain's greatest statesmen.
All the Great Prizes: The Life of John Hay, from Lincoln to Roosevelt - by John Taliaferro
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 05/14/2013
Share All the Great Prizes%3a The Life of John Hay, from Lincoln to Roosevelt ISBN-13: 9781416597308
ISBN-10: 1416597301
John Hay, President Abraham Lincoln's secretary during the Civil War, was more a scholar and writer than a politician, but he willingly served Lincoln and several other presidents until his death in 1905 when he was Theodore Roosevelt's Secretary of State. In All the Great Prizes, author John Taliaferro presents a comprehensive biography of Hay that emphasizes his literary bent (he co-wrote the first biography of Lincoln) while providing details of his government service. Though Hay is less well known than many other leading figures of the late 19th century, readers will find Taliaferro's layered portrait absorbing both as a history of the period and as an intimate biography of the man. For a profile of Hay's service with Lincoln, read Lincoln's Boys, a brand-new book by Joshua Zeitz.
Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me - by Patricia Volk
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/02/2013
Share Shocked%3a My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me ISBN-13: 9780307962102
ISBN-10: 0307962105
Growing up in fashion-conscious circles in New York City, author Patricia Volk admired and loved her beautiful mother Audrey, observing her ability to maintain her gorgeous image and her womanly mystique. Despite being impressed with her mother, though, Patricia couldn't adhere to Audrey's expectations. At age ten she discovered a very different model of womanhood when she read fashionista Elsa Schiaparelli's memoir A Shocking Life. In her memoir Shocked, Patricia reviews the contradictory effects of these two role models on her persona as she depicts her life and the New York society that formed her. Employing sharply witty vignettes, she paints a portrait of three lives -- her own, her mother's, and Schiaparelli's. "Witty, tender, and vividly nostalgic," says Kirkus Reviews.
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