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Biography and Memoir October 2012
“If I could explain it to the average person, I wouldn't have been worth the Nobel Prize.”
Richard Feynman (1918-1988), American theoretical physicist
New and Recently Released!
I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High - by Tony Danza
Publisher: Crown Archetype
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/11/2012
Share I ISBN-13: 9780307887863
ISBN-10: 0307887863
Best known for his television roles on Taxi and Who's the Boss?, actor Tony Danza decided to make a career change to teaching high school English after his talk show was cancelled in 2007. In this "thoughtful and passionate" memoir (Kirkus Reviews), Danza describes his efforts to plan creative lessons and activities, many of which fell far short of his imagining. He also engaged individually with his students, helping them to wrestle not only with Shakespeare's sonnets but with their personal issues. Those who care about what happens in schoolrooms will appreciate Danza's presentation of the sobering reality he discovered.
Visiting Tom: A Man, a Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace - by Michael Perry
Publisher: Harper
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 08/21/2012
Share Visiting Tom%3a A Man, a Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace ISBN-13: 9780061894442
ISBN-10: 0061894443
After he moved to rural Wisconsin, NPR correspondent and Men's Health contributor Michael Perry began visiting neighboring farmer Tom Hartwig to get help with small mechanical repairs. Perry soon became captivated with Hartwig's interesting projects (including building and firing cannons), his dignified character, and his strong 60-year relationship with his wife, Arlene. The couple came to represent for Perry a connection to a rural America that is being pushed aside by interstate highways that feed urban sprawl. Hartwig's homespun commentary enlivens this intriguing American portrait, which may remind readers of William Least Heat-Moon's Blue Highways.
Heretic Queen: Queen Elizabeth I and the Wars of Religion - by Susan Ronald
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 08/07/2012
Share Heretic Queen%3a Queen Elizabeth I and the Wars of Religion ISBN-13: 9780312645380
ISBN-10: 0312645384
Queen Elizabeth I, accused by her older sister Queen Mary I of heresy and excommunicated by the Pope, was determined to find a "middle way" among competing religious factions to help her unify Britain and strengthen her position against foes on the Continent. Author Susan Ronald (who wrote another Elizabethan biography, The Pirate Queen) details Elizabeth's skill at walking the tightrope between contentious church and political leaders while reserving her right to remain unwed -- and therefore unallied with any other royal family. Ronald's extensive research and compelling narrative will thoroughly engage readers interested Elizabeth I and her reign.
January First: A Child's Descent into Madness and Her Father's Struggle to Save Her - by Michael Schofield
Publisher: Crown Publishers
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 08/07/2012
Share January First%3a A Child ISBN-13: 9780307719089
ISBN-10: 0307719081
When she was just six, January Schofield's extremely odd behavior was diagnosed as child-onset schizophrenia, and her family descended into a heart-wrenching struggle to find treatment that would allow her to live a relatively normal life. Her father, Michael Schofield, an English professor at Cal State Northridge, describes not only Jani's dangerous condition but his own despair and the effects on his wife and their son. This distressing saga (which concludes hopefully) was featured on ABC's 20/20 and on the Oprah Show, and offers a detailed personal view of the challenges that severe mental illness can inflict on patients and their families. For another moving account of childhood mental illness, try Patrick Cockburn's Henry's Demons.
Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child - by Bob Spitz
Publisher: Knopf
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 08/07/2012
Share Dearie%3a The Remarkable Life of Julia Child ISBN-13: 9780307272225
ISBN-10: 0307272222
Julia Child, cookbook author and television star, lived a rich and complex life even before she discovered French cuisine in 1948. In Dearie, biographer Bob Spitz recounts details of Child's California upbringing, her wartime service with the OSS, her loving relationship with her husband, and her friendships and professional ties. Her apparently inexhaustible energy, joie de vivre, and charm come to life on the pages of this biography. Fans of her televised cooking shows and of Mastering the Art of French Cooking will savor these details, some of which have been published in Child's memoir My Life in France and brought to the screen in the movie Julie and Julia.
Focus on: Nobel Laureates
An Hour Before Daylight: Memories of a Rural Boyhood - by Jimmy Carter
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 10/16/2001
Share An Hour Before Daylight%3a Memories of a Rural Boyhood ISBN-13: 9780743211994
ISBN-10: 0743211995
For Depression-era farming families like Jimmy Carter's, work began "an hour before daylight" -- and didn't stop until dark. Yet the title of Carter's thoughtful memoir also refers to race relations during Carter's childhood, when segregation was still the rule in the South. In vivid detail, Carter relives the experiences of his youth, from the difficulties of farming without electricity to his close friendships with his African-American neighbors. Carter's memoir also profiles many of the people who shaped his life, which has been dedicated to working for international peace, democracy, and human rights -- recognized in 2002 when the Nobel Committee awarded him the Peace Prize.
Living to Tell the Tale - by Gabriel García Márquez; translated by Edith Grossman
Publisher: A.A. Knopf
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/01/2003
Share Living to Tell the Tale ISBN-13: 9781400041343
ISBN-10: 1400041341
Colómbian novelist Gabriel García Márquez fills his works with the bizarre, if often charming, experiences of his characters, and is credited with developing a literary genre known as "magical realism" (though García Márquez himself rejects this label); the content and style of his stories earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. In his memoir Living to Tell the Tale, he returns to his youth from 1927 to 1950, painting a loving portrait of his family and early mentors, recalling the unrest in Colómbian politics, and describing his determined efforts to become a fiction writer while making a living as a newspaper editorialist. Gerald Martin's recent biography, Gabriel García Márquez, will bring you up to date on his life.
Unbowed: A Memoir - by Wangari Maathai
Publisher: Anchor Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/11/2007
Share Unbowed%3a A Memoir ISBN-13: 9780307275202
ISBN-10: 0307275205
In this powerful book, Wangari Maathai, the winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, recounts her life as a political activist, feminist, and environmentalist in Kenya. Born in a rural village in 1940, she was determined to get an education, a highly unusual ambition for girls at the time. She went on to earn a Ph.D. and to head the department of Veterinary Anatomy at the University of Nairobi. Later, Maathai dealt with political efforts to squelch her Green Belt Movement, which helps restore indigenous forests in Kenya while aiding rural women by paying them to plant trees. For more on her conservation work, read her other books, Replenishing the Earth and The Challenge for Africa.
Pearl Buck in China: Journey to The Good Earth - by Hilary Spurling
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 06/01/2010
Share Pearl Buck in China%3a Journey to The Good Earth ISBN-13: 9781416540427
ISBN-10: 1416540423
Born in 1892 in West Virginia, Pearl Buck lived much of her life in China, where her parents were Presbyterian missionaries. She became a bestselling novelist, and in 1938 she received the Nobel Prize for Literature in recognition of her evocative descriptions of China and the lives of ordinary Chinese people. In this engaging biography, Hilary Spurling illuminates the complexities of Buck's life, which was formed by her early experiences in China and later challenged by political turmoil, her daughter's chronic illness, and a diminishing critical view of her writing. For a contemporary assessment of Buck's legacy, read the biographical novel Pearl of China by Chinese novelist Anchee Min, who was moved by her depiction of his native land.
All Rivers Run to the Sea: Memoirs - by Elie Wiesel
Publisher: Schocken Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/01/1996
Share All Rivers Run to the Sea%3a Memoirs ISBN-13: 9780805210286
ISBN-10: 0805210288
Elie Wiesel, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for his unceasing message of "peace, atonement, and human dignity" (Nobel Foundation), survived incarceration in the Auschwitz death camp and has devoted the rest of his life to making the world aware of the evils of the Holocaust. His poetic writing style has captivated many readers as he depicts both despair and possibility through his fiction and nonfiction. All Rivers Run to the Sea relates his boyhood, his experience in Auschwitz, and the early years after World War II. He continues his memoirs in And the Sea Is Never Full.
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