Filed under Biography

The Shepherd’s Life

The Shepard's Life cover

Long before Romantic poets such as Wordsworth and Coleridge made the Lake District a celebrated landscape, generation after generation of shepherds were farming this mountainous region of northwest England. These “nobodies,” as The Shepherd’s Life author James Rebanks likes to say, are “the great forgotten silent majority of people who live, work, love and die without leaving much of a trace that they were ever here.” Rebanks can no longer claim to be a nobody. On his popular Twitter account (@herdyshepherd1), he shares picturesque scenes from his Lake District sheep farm with his 68,000 followers, and now he’s written a best-selling book about the cycles of the shepherding year, his deep roots in Cumbria, and the farming culture of the region.
Continue reading

H is for Hawk

H is for Hawk cover

Devastated by the sudden death of her beloved father, H is for Hawk author Helen Macdonald attempts to deal with her grief by acquiring and training a goshawk named Mabel, intending, like the famous British author and falconer T.H. White, to become “ferocious, feral and free.” H is for Hawk is a seamless blend of memoir, nature writing, and literary criticism: not only does it chronicle the development of Macdonald’s extraordinary relationship with Mabel , but it also follows the arc of the author’s grief and examines White’s process of training his own goshawk, drawing from his aptly named classic The Goshawk.
Continue reading

The Splendid Things We Planned

If you have an interest in memoirs about addicts, alcoholics, the mentally ill, or anyone who is just generally self-destructive, this book has it all!  In Splendid Things, author Blake Bailey, known for his biographies of John Cheever and Richard Yates, tells the story of his own family.  While Bailey is truly open and honest in his depiction of both his own chaotic life and that of his parents; his father Burck, a lawyer from Oklahoma and his narcissistic, German born mother Marlies,  the memoir primarily focuses around his brother Scott, an undiagnosed, mentally ill addict and alcoholic.
Continue reading

A Story Lately Told

The first of Anjelica Huston’s two-volume memoir begins with tales of her storybook childhood home (a richly-decorated estate) in Ireland, her teenage home in hip sixties London, and her troubling first years in New York.

Karen Continue reading

Twelve Years a Slave

Imagine yourself having a drink with friends in a public tavern. The next thing you know you’re chained to a floor awaiting transport to an undisclosed location. Is this the Middle East? No. This was the United States in 1841.

Solomon Northup was a freely born African American traveling in New York when he was abducted and sold into slavery. Solomon spent twelve years on the plantations of southern Louisiana.

Click here to go to Lynn's bio Continue reading

An Exclusive Love

Johanna Adorjan’s grandparents endured the Holocaust, fled Hungary during the 1956 revolt and in October 1991, took their own lives in their Denmark apartment. Years later, Adorjan explores this moment in her family history in order to gain a deeper understanding of her grandparents’ lives.
Click here to go to Melanie's bio Continue reading