The Bishop's Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright by Tom D. Crouch (DB 30316)
Both a biography and a history of early aviation. Crouch begins with the childhood of Wilbur and Orville in Dayton, Ohio. As their story unfolds, it becomes evident that the brothers, who were greatly influenced by their father, Bishop Milton Wright, were part of a family deeply devoted to each other and determined to succeed in spite of initial failures.
Fallen Astronauts: Heroes Who Died Reaching the Moon by Colin Burgess (DB 60535)
Profiles the eight American astronauts who lost their lives before the 1969 lunar landing of Apollo 11, three in a well-publicized launch pad fire, four in aircraft accidents, and another in an automobile crash. Also commemorates their counterparts, the Russian cosmonauts who died during the superpowers' space race.
Lindbergh by A. Scott Berg (DB 46913)
The authorized biography of the pilot who became a symbol of the aviation age. Describes Lindbergh's 1927 transatlantic flight as the defining moment of his life. Discusses his role in the development of aviation for use in war and peacetime. Explores facets of Lindbergh's public and private images.
The Lost City of Z by David Grann (DB 68618)
An investigative reporter examines the strange disappearance in 1925 of fifty-seven-year-old explorer Percy Fawcett and his team, who were searching for the ruins of a mysterious lost civilization in the Amazon Basin. Grann's research takes him on his own adventures into the jungle.
Selkirk's Island: The True and Strange Adventures of the Real Robinson Crusoe by Diana Souhami (DB 55499)
Portrait of the man who inspired Defoe's Robinson Crusoe--Alexander Selkirk, from Fife, in Scotland, who was marooned on an uninhabited island west of Chile in 1704. Describes his four years of solitary survival, his primitive state at rescue, and his subsequent career. Some descriptions of sex and some strong language.
Alice Walker: A Life by Evelyn C. White (DB 59554)
Chronicles the life of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple (DB 58842, BR 12265). Traces Walker's experiences as the daughter of Georgia sharecroppers, an acclaimed writer, and wife of a white NAACP lawyer. Explores her feminist and civil rights activism. Strong language.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcom X (DB 65510)
The life of African American religious leader Malcolm X (1925-1965). The author describes his boyhood in Lansing, Michigan, street life in Harlem, conversion to the Black Muslim movement while imprisoned for robbery, and evolution into a high-profile spokesman for black dignity, power, and separatism. Foreword by Alex Haley.
Book by Whoopi Goldberg (DB 45020)
Autobiographical essays from one of Hollywood's leading black comedians. Whoopi portrays growing up in New York in the sixties and presents her thoughts on how life today differs as a result of changes in society. She also writes about death, race, and her views on love. Strong language and descriptions of sex.
Childhood by Bill Cosby (DB 33925)
Cosby grew up in the 1940s in North Philadelphia. But unlike many of today's kids, Cosby says, he didn't find the word "bored" in his vocabulary. Interlaced with memories of his own childhood, which include tales of Weird Harold, Fat Albert, and his brother Russell, are stories of his five children's growing up. He reminisces about a frog in his father's milk, bedtime fights with Russell, and playing stickball in the streets.
A Hungry Heart: Memoir by Gordon Parks (DB 62034)
African-American artist Parks (1912-2006) continues reminiscing about his life since Voices in the Mirror (DB 33413). Chronicles his career path that includes work as a fashion photographer, photojournalist, author, film director, and composer. Discusses his several marriages and numerous children. Strong language and some violence.
Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past by Paul Cartledge (DB 59342)
British scholar, author of The Spartans (DB 58416), searches for the historical Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.), blending classical accounts with the findings of modern researchers. Chronicles the major battles and conquests, appraises Alexander's personal and political beliefs, and assesses problems of historical interpretation. 2004.
Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor by Anthony Everitt (DB 80698)
The author of Cicero (DB 54455) details the life of Caesar Augustus (Octavian) (63 B.C.E.-14 C.E.) the first emperor of Rome, who came to power after the assassination of his great-uncle Julius Caesar. Describes the changes Augustus implemented after he defeated his political rival Mark Antony. Some strong language. 2006.
Caesar: Life of a Colossus by Adrian Goldsworthy (DB 64400)
Biography of Caius Julius Caesar (c. 100-44 B.C.E.) uses original documents to detail Caesar's military role and political strategies, his dictatorship, and the fall of the Roman Republic. Portrays Caesar's womanizing and family affairs before his assassination on the Ides of March, which led to civil war. 2006.
Helen of Troy by Margaret George (DB 64785)
Beautiful Helen describes her reclusive life in Sparta after her parents hear the prophecy of a war she will cause. Tells of her passionless marriage to Menelaus before she falls in love with Trojan prince Paris, who spirits her away to his homeland and ignites a twenty-year-long conflict. 2006.
Plato by Bernard Williams (DB 56604)
Philosophy professor presents the fundamentals of Plato's thought. Williams analyzes key concepts from his most important works, including the allegory of the cave from The Republic and the central themes of the major Socratic dialogues. He also gives a brief overview of Plato's philosophical development. 1999.
De Kooning: An American Master by Mark Stevens (DB 60110)
Biography of Dutch-born artist Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), who became a major figure in the mid-twentieth-century New York abstract expressionism scene. Explores de Kooning's bohemian habits, friendship with Gorky, financial backing from Hirshhorn and Fourcade, only marriage, and passion for painting. Pulitzer Prize.
Degas: His Life, Times and Works by Roy McMullen (DB 23650)
Examines the impressionist artist in his artistic and historical contexts and portrays him as a complex and contradictory personality. McMullen confronts the mystery of Degas' apparent lifelong celibacy, suggesting impotence as the cause.
Giacometti, A Biography by James Lord (DB 24362)
The author, who turned a chance encounter with the great sculptor in 1952 into a lifelong obsession, here gives the story of a life lived purely for art. Included are many side-biographies of the great cultural figures with whom Giacometti shared his life--Sartre, Genet, Picasso, and Samuel Beckett.
Goya by Robert Hughes (DB 58883)
Interpretive biography of Spanish artist Francisco Goya (1746-1828) by Time magazine art critic and author of Culture of Complaint (DB 36854). Chronicles Goya's development as a man and artist, offering critical analyses of his work, social milieu, professional influences, and dominant events like the Inquisition.
Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King (DB 55756)
The author of Brunelleschi's Dome (DB 53639, BR 13856) recounts the struggle between Michelangelo and Pope Julius II over the painting of the Sistine Chapel. Discusses Renaissance politics, the rivalry between Michelangelo and Raphael, and the day-to-day work of creating frescoes. Dispels myth that Michelangelo painted the ceiling alone.
Call Me Anna by Patty Duke (DB 26954)
Patty Duke, who was a child star and later became president of the Screen Actors Guild, tells the painful story of her childhood in the public eye and under the control of her managers, John and Ethel Ross. The nightmare that her life became ended with the diagnosis of her manic-depressive illness, and rehabilitation. Bestseller.
Elizabeth by J. Randy Taraborrelli (DB 63718)
Bestselling author of a book on movie star Grace Kelly Once Upon a Time (DB 56443) presents an account of the life of actress Elizabeth Taylor, born in 1932. Discusses her childhood, eight marriages, numerous films, illnesses and addictions, philanthropic work, and awards and honors. 2006.
Gary Cooper: American Hero by Jeffrey Meyers (DB 48426)
Gary Cooper, raised in Montana by straight laced British parents, describes how he discovered that money could be made as a movie extra and how his good looks and riding ability made him prime "star material." Recalls his numerous love affairs, his films, and his conservative convictions during the blacklist years.
Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time by Valerie Bertinelli (DB 66058)
Bertinelli recounts her teen years acting in the 1975-1984 television series One Day at a Time and her twenty-year marriage to rocker Eddie Van Halen. Discusses being an actress, a divorced single mom, and a Jenny Craig spokesperson following a long struggle with her weight. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2008.
Yes I Can: The story of Sammy Davis, Jr. by Sammy Davis Jr. (DB 14965)
Self-portrait of the versatile entertainer from his childhood in vaudeville to his marriage to the Swedish actress May Britt. Some strong language.
George Gershwin: His Life and Work by Howard Pollack (DB 65242)
Biography of the twentieth-century American composer George Gershwin (1898-1937), whose brief career produced Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris, and Porgy and Bess, among others. Discusses his musical background, private life, and collaboration with his brother Ira. Assesses his Broadway-to-Hollywood popularity that also extended worldwide. 2006.
Jelly's Blues: The Life, Music, and Redemption of Jelly Roll Morton by Howard Reich (DB 57482)
Biography of Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton, a New Orleans-born pianist who claimed to have invented jazz. Drawing on recently discovered archives, the authors document the innovative composer's turn-of-the-century rise to fame, his 1930s fall into obscurity and poverty, and his later avant-garde scores. Also considers evidence belying his undeserved reputation as a hustler and liar. 2003.
Johann Sebastian Bach: Life and Work by Martin Geck (DB 63944)
German professor of musicology examines the career and music of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Highlights the composer's family life and connections to the aristocracy and the Protestant Church. Describes Bach's compositional technique, his music as a reflection of his faith, and the recognition he received. 2000.
The Lives of the Great Composers by Harold Schonberg (DB 44925)
The author traces the lives of more than fifty major composers in chronological order, showing how each has contributed to the evolution of music from Bach to the twentieth century. Emphasizes biographical aspects of each musician rather than musical criticism.
King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era by Edward A. Berlin (DB 42223)
A musicologist's documented account of the composer whose late 1800s and early 1900s works include "Maple Leaf Rag" and "The Entertainer." Integrates myths and anecdotes with information from public archives and provides some technical analysis of the music and a new perspective on the ragtime world Joplin occupied. Includes a listing of Joplin's works.
The Best Seat in the House: How I Woke Up One Tuesday and Was Paralyzed for Life by Allen Rucker (DB 64691)
Memoir by a screenwriter who at age fifty-one suddenly became paralyzed from the waist down by transverse myelitis. Discusses his rehabilitation and laments the lack of positive wheelchair role models in the movies. Relates interactions with the able-bodied from his wheelchair and his thoughts on disability. Some strong language. 2007.
Christopher Reeve: Actor and Activist by Margaret L. Finn (DB 45904)
From his youth, Reeve participated in several artistic endeavors, but soon decided on an acting career. Finn describes Reeve's childhood, early years as an actor, and the equestrian event that changed his life dramatically. The author also covers Reeve's role as an activist for persons with spinal cord injuries. For senior high and older readers.
Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See by Robert Kurson (DB 63747)
The author of Shadow Divers (DB 58650) profiles Michael May (born 1953), who was blinded at age three and later became a champion skier, CIA analyst, and entrepreneur. Relates May's internal conflict over whether or not to undergo an operation to restore his sight. 2007.
Disabled and Challenged: Reach for Your Dreams! By Terry Scott Cohen (DB 64685)
Young man with myotonic muscular dystrophy explains his daily and long-term difficulties. He relates his personal experiences and offers advice to others who are living with disability issues. Discusses learning to function independently, finding and keeping a job, creating personal relationships, and achieving goals. For senior high and older readers. 2005.
Flying without Wings: Personal Reflections on Being Disabled by Arnold Beisser (DB 30665)
At twenty-five, Beisser, a medical intern and tennis champion, developed polio. Forced to live in an iron lung, he first tried to view his disability as a competition he could win. Realizing that he would have to live with his disability, he redirected his life, becoming a psychiatrist. He reflects on time, space, relationships, health, and acceptance.
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (DB 58364)
Award-winning author chronicles the life of the foremost American founding father who never became president. Describes Hamilton (1757-1804) as self-pitying, cynically manipulative, yet compassionate. Documents his membership in the Constitutional Convention, service as Treasury secretary, and prolific authorship that helped shape U.S. political agendas and institutions. Bestseller. 2004.
Benjamin Franklin: His Life as He Wrote It by Benjamin Franklin (DB 33385)
The author has selected some of Franklin's personal letters and writings to supplement the Autobiography and added connecting paragraphs to produce a compact, coherent narrative of this founding father's life. Franklin emerges as a self-educated man of many careers who lived a long, well-documented life, often made interesting by his own gift for storytelling.
His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis (DB 59070)
Author of Founding Brothers (DB 51469, BR 12931) delves into the life and times of America's first president. Uses personal papers and historical accounts to recreate the man who was a French and Indian War soldier, plantation owner, businessman, and savvy politician who forged a new nation. Bestseller. 2004.
John Hancock: Merchant King and American Patriot by Harlow Giles Unger (DB 62213)
Biography of the wealthy Boston merchant who, as president of the Continental Congress, became the first to sign the Declaration of Independence. Uses first-hand accounts to reconstruct the life of Hancock and the fervor of revolutionary New England. Relates his philanthropy and postwar career as Massachusetts's governor. 2000.
John Jay: Founding Father by Walter Stahr (DB 60042)
Biography of American diplomat and coauthor of The Federalist Papers (DB 26691). Chronicles Jay's personal and political life that included stints as president of the Continental Congress, chief justice of the Supreme Court, secretary for foreign affairs, governor of New York, and president of the American Bible Society. 2005.
Alfred I. Du Pont: The Man and His Family by Joseph Frazier Wall (DB 34592)
Wall traces the intriguing personal lives of seven generations of du Ponts and the effect family contentions had on their gunpowder enterprise. Born into the dynasty, Alfred, unlike his father, inherited a head for the business and soon, amid family resentment, rose to the top. Eventually forced out of the family company, Alfred continued as a successful businessman in his own right.
Andrew Carnegie by Joseph Frazier Wall (DB 30169)
Carnegie was a paradoxical man. He was a pacifist, yet made steel for the Navy; a friend of labor, yet did not participate in strikes; a professed enemy of privilege, yet lived like royalty; and a man who made millions, yet gave most of it away. Wall writes of the diversity of Carnegie's life, destroying myths, establishing connections, and showing him to be a man who was a great empire-builder and philanthropist.
Citizen Hearst by W. A. Swanberg (DB 21179)
Explores the dual nature of the great newspaper magnate. His generosity and cheapness, kindness and cruelty, made Hearst one of the most influential and hated men of his time.
Memoirs by David Rockefeller (DB 57198)
Autobiography of billionaire John D. Rockefeller's youngest grandson, born in 1915. Recalls his childhood, college years, and military intelligence service during World War II. Describes his banking career, provides insights into the Rockefeller family, and presents many key twentieth-century figures of his acquaintance from the worlds of politics, finance, and the arts. 2002.
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder (DB 68285)
Top Wall Street analyst offers a portrait of American businessman, investor, and philanthropist Warren Buffett (b. 1930). Using Buffett's personal files and interviews with friends and associates, author highlights financial and life lessons to be learned from the billionaire. Bestseller. 2008.
Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls (DB 61540)
Reporter for MSNBC.com looks back on her unsettled life. Describes growing up in a dysfunctional family, which was always on the move. She recalls her father's dream of building a "glass castle," and relates how she and her siblings escaped to make lives of their own. Strong language.
Jesus Land: A Memoir by Julia Scheeres (DB 62245)
Blonde-haired Julia fondly recalls David, her adoptive black brother, and recounts their experiences surviving family violence and a stay at a Christian reform school in the Dominican Republic. Explicit descriptions of sex, strong language, and some violence. Alex Award.
The Night of the Gun by David Carr (DB 67535)
Successful New York Times columnist Carr documents his decades-long odyssey of cocaine and alcohol addiction, recovery, cancer, and single parenthood. Unable to rely on his own memory, Carr recreates and researches his personal history through police reports and medical records and interviews of friends and colleagues. Strong language.
True Compass: A Memoir by Edward M. Kennedy (DB 69538)
Autobiography of the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy (1932-2009). Reminisces about his family, childhood, education, marriages, and five decades in politics. Discusses the assassinations of his brothers John and Bobby, the 1969 car accident at Chappaquiddick, and his battle with terminal brain cancer.
The Seventeen Traditions by Ralph Nader (DB 65025)
Civic activist shares life lessons gleaned from family and community during his boyhood in rural Connecticut. Revisits the people and events that shaped his youth as he reflects on the importance of history, health, sibling equality, education, listening, independent thinking, simple enjoyments, work, discipline, reciprocity, charity, patriotism, and solitude.
Beverly...An Autobiography by Beverly Sills (DB 26017)
Reveals the private life and career of the operatic superstar and director of the New York City Opera. Begins with her comfortable Brooklyn childhood during which an indomitable mother braved her husband's disdain to get the talented Beverly started. Sills also describes the problems she and her husband faced in raising their two children--one deaf, the other mentally retarded. Some strong language. Book club main selection.
Blues All around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. Kingby B.B. King (DB 56350)
Acclaimed Grammy Award-winning bluesman, born in 1925 to Mississippi Delta sharecroppers, reminisces about his youth and family life, his career in the music business, and his relationships with other performers. Some descriptions of sex and some strong language. 1996.
Brother Ray: Ray Charles' Own Story by Ray Charles (DB 16618)
Candid autobiography of the musician, who was born black and poor in the Deep South, became blind as a small boy and was orphaned as a teenager. At thirty-two he was acclaimed as a musical genius. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex.
Cash: The Autobiography by Johnny Cash (DB 48368)
The country-western star relates his life in rural Arkansas as a boy picking cotton, his early career, and his continual concert touring. Chronicles his ups and downs with amphetamine addiction and his various rehabilitation attempts and describes his homes in Tennessee, Florida, and Jamaica. Includes a discography.
Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley by Peter Gurlnick (DB 40087)
In the first part of a projected two-volume biography, Guralnick describes the shy Tennessee boy who doted on his parents, loved to sing, and took his guitar to school each day. Elvis's quick rise to fame is detailed, as is his shock when, though a star, he is drafted into the army. Sure that he will soon be forgotten, Elvis is further devastated by the death of his "best girl," his adored mother. Strong language.
Nobel Peace Prize Winners
Alfred Nobel by Kenne Fant (DB 42027)
Life of the nineteenth-century Swedish chemist and industrialist best known as the inventor of dynamite and as the founder of the prestigious Nobel prizes. Using Nobel's writings and correspondence, the author reveals a man who was a talented writer, a successful businessman, and a caring benefactor, but who also was a misanthropic bachelor prone to unhappiness and melancholy.
And the Sea is Never Full: Memoirs, 1969- by Elie Wiesel (DB 51142)
The 1986 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize begins this concluding volume of his memoirs where All Rivers Run to the Sea (RC 45516) ended--on his wedding day in Jerusalem in 1969. Wiesel describes his work as a writer, humanist, and political activist while voicing the concerns of a Holocaust survivor. 1999.
Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope by Shirin Ebadi (DB 64528)
2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner describes her career as a lawyer, activist, and dissident. Explains her decision to remain in Iran to defend human rights and victims of violence after the 1979 Islamic Revolution--an overthrow she originally supported but which later.
Out of My Life and Thought: An Autobiography by Albert Schweitzer (DB 51858)
Autobiography of the German missionary doctor, organist, philosopher, theologian, and Nobel Peace Prize winner--first written in 1931 and revised by the author through 1960. Describes his childhood and education, religious views, organ building, and activities in Africa. Authorized translation with foreword by President Jimmy Carter. 1990.
Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris (DB 53306)
The sequel to The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (DB 14168) concentrates on TR's two terms of office as president following the assassination of William McKinley in 1901. Discusses Roosevelt's major achievements, including a Nobel Peace Prize, the Panama Canal Treaty, and enduring antitrust and conservation legislation. Some strong language. Bestseller.
Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self by Rebecca Walker (DB 52624)
The daughter of divorced African American author Alice Walker and Jewish civil rights lawyer Mel Leventhal recalls her unhappy childhood. Shuttled between two homes and cultures and feeling neglected, Rebecca turned to drugs and sex for comfort before escaping to Yale University. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex.
Burnt Bread and Chutney: Growing Up between Cultures; a Memoir of an Indian Jewish Girl by Carmit Delman (DB 58131)
Reminiscences of Delman's childhood in Ohio, New York, and Israel, flavored with her mother's Bombay Jewish heritage and her American father's Ashkenazi Jewish background. Compares tastes and traditions and relates matriarch Nana-bai's India memories. Some explicit descriptions of sex, some violence, and some strong language.
Frank Lloyd Wright by Meryle Secrest (DB 35765)
Portrait of the controversial "dean" of twentieth-century American architecture. The author connects Wright's tumultuous personal life to his equally stormy path as an artist over his long career. Wright, though poorly educated, possessed a high opinion of his genius and gradually acquired the skills to design the nature-related buildings that became synonymous with modern architecture.
Hero of Bataan: The Story of General Jonathan M. Wainwright by Duane P. Schultz (DB 18025)
Biography of the American general left behind to fight a delaying action on Corregidor. Finally forced to surrender the Philippines to the Japanese in 1942, he survived three years as a prisoner of war to return home a hero. Also provides a sketch of the prewar U.S. Army and a capsule history of the fall of the Philippines.
A Lawyer's Life by Johnnie Cochran (DB 55446)
Revealing autobiography from a man best known for his role in the O.J. Simpson "trial of the century." Cochran reflects on his life as a successful African American attorney, discussing his most memorable cases and high-profile clients as he probes the issue of racism in the legal system. 2002.
Avoid Boring People by James D. Watson (DB 66912)
Nobel Prize-winning DNA scientist punctuates his autobiography with irreverent lessons learned along the way, like the one in the title. Discusses his career, highlighting his work at Harvard and with fledgling scientists, and his personal life, including his marriage to a woman who is twenty years his junior.
Charles Darwin: Voyaging; Biography of Charles Darwin, Volume 1 by Janet Browne (DB 59259)
First of a two-volume biography revisits the naturalist's (1809-1882) privileged childhood, his five-year odyssey on the H.M.S. Beagle, and his marriage. Shows how observation and collection of biological specimens led Darwin to his theories on evolution and natural selection. Followed by Charles Darwin: The Power of Place (DB 59280). 1995.
Extreme Measures: The Dark Visions and Bright Ideas of Francis Galton by Martin Brookes (DB 63629)
Portrait of English scientist and eugenics founder Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911). Explores Galton's life, work, character, and lifelong battle with mental illness. Discusses how Galton sought to advance human progress by applying his cousin Charles Darwin's theories of evolution and natural selection to human development and genetics.
My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor (DB 67075)
Neuroanatomist chronicles a severe brain hemorrhage she had when she was in her mid-thirties and the following eight-year recovery period. She describes the joy of the present moment she felt when she was operating solely with her brain's right hemisphere and explains ways the experience changed her.
Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacy O’Brien (DB 68258)
The author, an assistant in the Caltech owl department in 1985, recounts adopting Wesley, a four-day-old barn owl with a nerve-damaged wing. She portrays the strong bond they developed over nineteen years, manifested by the owl's efforts to feed her mice, build her nests, and make her his mate.
All My Octobers: My Memories of Twelve World Series When the Yankees Ruled Baseball by Mickey Mantle (DB 39866)
Recollections of a man whose name is a symbol for baseball. Mantle writes about playing for the Yankees at a time that stands in the record books--twelve trips to the World Series in fourteen years. While he enjoyed the glory and excitement of those times, he blames alcohol for most of his injuries and for preventing him from playing his best. Bestseller.
Days of Grace: A Memoir by Arthur Ashe (DB 35939)
A reserved man despite his fame, late tennis champion Arthur Ashe described the difficulty of being forced to go public with the announcement that he had contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion four years earlier. Even after two heart surgeries, brain surgery, and the AIDS diagnosis, Ashe considered himself a "fortunate, blessed man." He discusses these blessings--his family, career, and beliefs. Bestseller.
George Foreman's Guide to Life: How to Get up off the Canvas When Life Knocks You Down by George Foreman (DB 57421)
Two-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world, father of ten, and author of By George (DB 40645) gives advice on how to handle life's challenges. Foreman shares what he learned from his own triumphs and losses--including lessons on overcoming adversity, keeping dreams alive, and raising children. 2002.
A Golfer's Life by Arnold Palmer (DB 54722)
Legendary golf champion recalls meaningful experiences from his private life and public career. He reminisces about other PGA-tour players and outstanding matches of the 1950s and 1960s, and discusses his marriage and family, his successes and disasters. 1999.
It's Only a Game by Terry Bradshaw (DB 54130)
Autobiography of celebrated Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and television broadcaster. Bradshaw discusses his rise to fame in football, his struggles with attention deficit disorder, his three divorces, and his strong belief in God. 2001.
Inner City Miracle by Greg Mathis (DB 57314)
Star of his own nationally syndicated television show recounts his transformation from troubled inner-city youth to Detroit district court judge. Mathis chronicles his early exploits on the wrong side of the law to the moment, at age seventeen, he learned his mother had cancer--a revelation that turned his life around. Strong language. 2002.
Paula Deen: It Ain't All about the Cookin' by Paula Deen (DB 64092)
Cook known as the "queen of Southern cuisine" pens memoir with recipes. Relates her rags-to-riches life as a single mother who started a brown-bag lunch business with her sons and became a restaurateur, television show host, and cookbook author. Describes her happy second marriage and recovery from agoraphobia. Bestseller. 2007.
Peter Jennings: A Reporter’s Life by Kate Darnton (DB 66757)
A tribute to the Canadian high school dropout who became an ABC news anchor. Comments from friends, family, colleagues, and celebrities are culled from a television program about Jennings that aired shortly after his 2005 death from lung cancer. Also includes Jennings's own words from speeches, interviews, and newscasts.
Steve and Me by Terri Irwin (DB 66251)
Former Oregonian wildlife rehabilitator Terri Irwin describes her late husband Steve Irwin's work rescuing crocodiles and other endangered animals, both as a television personality in The Crocodile Hunter and as an Australian zoo owner. Discusses family life, before and after Steve's 2006 death from a stingray barb. 2007.
Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler (DB 63503)
Author of Winchell (DB 39317) researched Walt Disney Company archives to chronicle the personal and professional life of its founder. Describes how the Mickey Mouse cartoons and later feature films transformed the animation industry. Highlights Disney's expansion into production of documentaries, television shows, theme parks, books, and related merchandise. 2006.
American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham (DB 68010)
Newsweek editor and author of Franklin and Winston (DB 57644) describe the expansion of the power of the American president begun in 1829 by Andrew Jackson. Highlights Jackson's belief in the will of the common man and discusses the development of the Democratic Party under his leadership.
Bill Clinton: Mastering the Presidency by Nigel Hamilton (DB 65586)
Author of Bill Clinton: An American Journey (DB 57118) details the forty-second president's first term. Chronicles early setbacks--such as catastrophes in Somalia and Haiti and failed attempts at healthcare reform--and later successes in establishing peace in the Balkans, achieving a balanced budget, and winning reelection in 1996. Some strong language. 2007.
FDR by Jean Edward Smith (DB 63751)
Author of John Marshall (DB 44531) draws on archives to pen a biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the thirty-second president of the United States. Chronicles his political career as governor of New York and four terms as commander in chief. Explores his complex personal life involving his family and mistresses. 2007.
Ike: An American Hero by Michael Korda (DB 65439)
Chronicles Dwight D. Eisenhower's rise from Mennonite, Kansas farm boy to Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II. Details Ike's personal life, military career, and two terms as U.S. president during the Cold War. Some strong language. 2007.
President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination by Richard Reeves (DB 62702)
The author of President Nixon (DB 55252) and President Kennedy (DB 37423) uses archives and anecdotes to portray Ronald Reagan's presidency. Covers the 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan's life and his meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985. Discusses Reagan's management style and achievements, highlighting his determination and negotiation skills. 2005.
Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives by Alan Bullock (DB 35408)
A dual biography probing the differences and similarities of two of the most tyrannical individuals in history. Bullock analyzes their willful personalities and describes how they obtained political and military power, committed inhuman crimes, and failed on a monumental scale. His investigation of these two monsters corresponds with events that created the Third Reich and the former Soviet Union.
Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America by Yossef Bodansky (DB 54260)
Biography of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and the radical militant Islamic movement he helped create. Provides background on fundamentalism in the Arab world before the 2001 strikes against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Discusses attacks on American targets in the 1990s and bin Laden's pursuit of unconventional weapons. Bestseller. 1999.
The 'Last' Nazi: The Life and Times of Dr. Joseph Mengele by Gerald Astor (DB 24394)
Investigative account into the life and unspeakable crimes of the Nazi 'Angel of Death' explores how Mengele rose to power in the Third Reich. The first half of this work is devoted to Mengele's early life and to the horrors of Auschwitz and other concentration camps. The second half concerns his escape from capture and his subsequent life in Germany, Italy, Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil where it is alleged his life ended in a drowning incident.
Stalin: A Biography by Robert Service (DB 60602)
Russian scholar and author of Lenin (DB 52071) uses archival material to unveil the life and regime of Soviet Union dictator Joseph Stalin (1879-1953). Exposes the contradictory characteristics of the ruler's personality and his involvement in the Communist Party, the October Revolution, World War II, and the Great Terror. 2004.
Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang (DB 61346)
Chang, author of Wild Swans (DB 34458), and university researcher Halliday detail the exploits of Chinese leader Mao Tse-tung (1893-1976), who they claim is responsible for more than seventy million deaths. Drawing on archives, published works, and interviews with Mao's former associates, the biographers portray a ruthless dictator. Violence, strong language, and some descriptions of sex. 2005.
Barbara Bush: A Biography by Pamela Kilian (DB 34695)
Kilian has known Barbara Bush for more than ten years and spoke with many of Mrs. Bush's friends and companions from her youth to her years in the White House. Kilian discusses Mrs. Bush's childhood in New York, education at a southern finishing school and at a prestigious women's college, marriage to George Bush, family setbacks, and life in politics.
Child Star by Shirley Temple Black (DB 29049)
In her autobiography, which also tends to be a social history, Black focuses on her life through 1953. She describes her experience as a child star and portrays daily filmings, her indomitable mother, her early marriage to an alcoholic and abusive husband, and her second marriage to Charlie Black. Not covered, however, is her career as a diplomat and stateswoman. Some strong language.
The Happy Bottom Riding Club: The Life and Times of Pancho Barnes by Lauren Kessler (DB 56787)
Biography of eccentric pioneering woman aviator. Florence Lowe's grandfather predicted she would be a flier, and in the 1920s Florence raced planes and worked as a movie stunt pilot. She later went through several marriages and lovers--one of whom gave her the nickname "Pancho"--and several fortunes before dying penniless. 2000.
I Feel Bad About My Neck: And other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron (DB 63378)
In a series of humorous vignettes, author Nora Ephron obsesses about being a woman in her sixties. Discusses her expensive regimen to camouflage signs of aging, her purse and its contents, parenting, ex-husbands, and former presidents. In "Serial Monogamy: A Memoir," Ephron admits her infatuation with famous chefs.
The Norton Book of Women’s Lives by Phyllis Rose (DB 37892)
English professor and biographer Rose has long been interested in the life stories of adventurous women, and her anthology is a collection of excerpts from the twentieth-century memoirs, journals, and autobiographies of such women. Selected authors include Maya Angelou, Anne Frank, Anais Nin, Sylvia Plath, Helen Keller, Margaret Mead, Virginia Woolf, and Simone de Beauvoir. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex.
Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature by Linda Lear (DB 65806)
Biography of the British children's author and illustrator Beatrix Potter (1866-1943), creator of The Tale of Peter Rabbit and other animal fables. Discusses her affinity for England's Lake District, her love of drawing rabbits and mice, her seventeenth-century farm Hill Top, and the publication of her first book.
Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtry (DB 67371)
Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lonesome Dove (DB 22959) writes about his passion for books--as a reader, author, and bookstore owner. Recounts anecdotes involving amazing people he has met, makes observations about authors he has known, and comments on literary works.
The Diary of H.L. Mencken by H.L. Mencken (DB 31073)
Journalist H.L. Mencken requested his diary be sealed from public view for twenty-five years following his death in January of 1956. These are his personal jottings covering the years 1930 to 1948. They reveal the man, his attitudes toward both his friends and his enemies, his prejudices, and his deep love for his wife, who died of tuberculosis after only four short years of marriage.
John Barleycorn: or, Alcoholic Memoirs by Jack London (DB 32385)
London's account of his lifelong struggle with "demon rum." First published in 1913, and written following one of the worst of his alcoholic binges, John Barleycorn is London's argument for prohibition. Introduced to beer at age five when he fetched a pail of it for his alcoholic stepfather, London never gave up drinking entirely and died of kidney disease in 1916 at the age of forty.
Frank Baum: Creator of Oz by Katherine M. Rogers (DB 58766)
Biography of celebrated children's author Lyman Frank Baum (1856-1919). Rogers discusses Baum's myriad of occupations preceding his career as the successful author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (DB 51047). Considers how Baum's interest in theosophy and his support of feminism influenced his life and work.