Monday, September 17, 2007

Some Possibilities

Just out of coincidence, I've been reading a few books lately that fit this bill, so I thought I'd post links to my thoughts on them in case anyone is interested in listing them for this challenge.

His Excellency: George Washington - Joseph J. Ellis (biography)

Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi (memoir)

Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert (memoir)

Best wishes and happy reading!

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Hi guys! Since I have quite a few books that fall into this challenge on my TBR list, I thought I'd share the pool. I'm not going to decide until closer to when the challenge begins, but here're allll the ones I'm considering:

Che Guevara by Jon Lee Anderson (a very long, intensive look at one of the leading revolutionaries of the twentieth century; considered the definitive biography)
Jane Austen: Her Life and Letters by William and Richard Austen-Leigh (written by her two great-nephews)
Wild Swans by Jun Chang (both a biograpy and a memoir about thre generations of Chinese women, and the changing country they lived in)
Reason for Hope by Jane Goodall (a memoir by the famous scientist focusing on her spiritual journey)
Sketches from a Life by George Kennan (a memoir by the former diplomat who created America's Cold War 'containment' foreign policy)
The Boys of My Youth by Jo Ann Beard (a memoir-in essays-about a 1960s American childhood)
She's Not There by Jennifer Finney Boylan (a memoir about a transgendered professor who undergoes a sex-change operation)
Emergency Sex by Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postelwait, and Andrew Thomson (a memoir of two American UN workers and a New Zealand doctor who spend the 90s in the world's most troubled regions)
Seminary Boy by John Cornwell (a memoir about a rebellious British youngster and his journey to the Catholic priesthood)
The Only Girl in the Car Kathy Dobie (a memoir about a girl in the 1960s whose sexual adventures are cut short by a brutal experience and its aftermath)
Out of Isak Dinesen in Africa by Linda Donelson (a biography of the writer behind Out of Africa)
My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglas (an autobiography of the famous American former slave who became an abolitionist)
The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. du Bois (a 'laregely autobiographical' look at the lives of African Americans post-slavery)
Oscar Wilde by Richard Ellmann (considered the definitive biography of the famous English playwright)
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller (a memoir of a white Zimbabwean girl's childhood)
An Autobiography by Mahatma Gandhi (the autobiography of the man who led India to independence)
Behind Embassy Walls by Brandon Grove (autobiography of a career American diplomat, who eventually became an ambassador)
The Best of Friends by Sara James and Ginger Mauney (a memoir of the friendship between two modern American women)
Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (a book based on ten years of following an extended family who lived in poverty in the Bronx)
Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee (a biography of the famous American writer)
Moments of Reprieve by Primo Levi (a memoir of the Holocaust)
Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life by Beverly Lowry (the brand-new biography of this famous American abolitionist and former slave)
A Russian Diary by Anna Politkovskaya (journals of the Russian journalist killed this year for her fearless coverage of Chechnya)
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela(the autobiography of the former South African president and a fighter of apartheid)
TheColor of Water James McBride (a memoir of a black man about his white mother)
Dorothy Parker Marion Meade (a biography of the famous satirist)
Red Azalea by Anchee Min (a memoir from 1960s and 70s Communist China)
Blowing My Cover by Lindsey Moran (a memoir of the author's time in the CIA)
Mitfords by Charlotte Mossey, ed. (the letters of six well-connected British sisters that focus on the WWI-WWII period; coming out in the States this November)
Black Elk Speaks John Niehardt (a memoir of a nineteenth-century Native American)
Underwater to Get out of the Rain by Trevor Norton (an autobiography of a marine biologist)
Return with Honor by O'Grady, Scott (a memoir of the American pilot shot down in no-man's-land in the Balkans, and who escaped)
Joan of Arc: Her Story by Regine Pernoud(a biography)
Jane Goodall by Dale Peterson(a biography)
Poster Child by Emily Rapp(a memoir of a girl who was born with one shortened leg)
Making the Corps by Thomas Ricks (a memoir of the author's experience becoming a US Marine)
The Spy Who Wore Red by Aline Countess Romanones (memoirs of an undercover agent for the CIA prototype during WWII)
Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet (a memoir of an autistic savaunt)
The Verneys by Adrian Tinniswood(focuses on an important British family during the 17th century and the times that they lived in)

I hope that this inspires anyone who isn't sure that memoirs, biographies, or autobiographies are their thing! These cover pretty much the whole spectrum of life. :)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

This challenge is very inspiring to me..

Here are the books that are on my list. I am hoping to at least get to 12 of the 14 which would be one a month. I may not be able to wait to start a couple of these so the list may get edited a bit before January. I own all of these so the temptation to start them may get to be too great! :)

Expecting Adam

Defending Baltimore Against Enemy Attack

A Woman in Berlin

Waiting for Birdy

Where She Came From

In My Hands: memories of a holocaust rescuer

Mostly True: a memoir of family, food, and baseball

Song of Survival

Beyond the Narrow Gate

Without Reservations: the travels of an independent woman


Bag Balm and Duct Tape

Falling Leaves

Notes From a Small Island

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Jill is brainstorming

(Cross-posted from my blog)

I am still brainstorming ideas for this challenge but wanted to capture my thoughts here so I don't forget:

1) Three Weeks With My Brother - Nicholas Sparks
2) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Barbara Kingsolver
3) Cross Creek - Marjorie Rawlings
4) Marley and Me - John Grogan
5) A Mirror Garden - Monir Farmanfarmaian
6) The Faith of a Writer: Life, Craft, Art - Joyce Carol Oates

Subject to change - in fact, almost guaranteed to be altered! =)