autobiography

Sirens : a memoir

By Joshua Mohr
5
Rated by Andrew P
Jan 18, 2018

I wonder if this book emits its own hiss. What happens when you hold it to your ear? Can you make out my scorched music?


How do you describe a rocket launcher to your nose? Or a landmine to your brain? In Sirens, Joshua more does just that. Each chapter is broken into snippets of time all wrapped up in a purple haze. Mohr doesn’t spare the reader, nor himself, from the brutal truth of his life as an addict. From the corner of Columbus and Columbus to the shining heights of rehab, he describes in detail the horrors and celebrations that propelled him from junkie to author.


The

Nov 10, 2017

In the current political climate, one might think the transition from comedy writer to politician would be rather seamless. In Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Franken describes his struggles trying to get elected by the people of Minnesota in 2008, the balance he has been able to find when working with ideologically opposed members of congress, the work ethic that enabled him to more easily secure re-election in 2014, and the current political climate in Washington.


Franken's latest book is, of course, humorous with several moments where I laughed out loud or held the person nearest to me

Aug 24, 2017

As an avid watcher of The Daily Show, I knew Trevor Noah was born and raised in South Africa. What I didn't know was how amazing his life circumstances were growing up and just how much he had to overcome to be the person he is today. In Born A Crime, Noah chronicles his life as he remembers it, detailing not only his experiences but also the culture of South Africa just before, then after, the end of apartheid. During apartheid it was illegal for black and white people to be together, let alone have a child. Noah's birth, to a black mother and white father, made him literally born a crime.

Oct 1, 2016

The title of Love, Loss and What We Ate is what sparked my interest: what could be more relatable? I knew nothing about Padma Lakshmi and didn’t even recognize her name. But it doesn’t matter; anyone can find aspects of her story engaging. She writes with honesty and simplicity about the events of her life. Although she has been a model, actress, foodie, and was even married to the likes of Salman Rushdie, we can relate to her tales of cooking, childhood, career moves, relationships, and motherhood. She writes with a curious blend of candor and self-consciousness, which is both endearing and a

Yes Please

By Amy Poehler
4
Rated by Kari E.
Jun 7, 2016

Listening to the audiobook of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please exceeds expectations. To hear the comedic build-up, delivery, and nuance of each joke she lands is a joy. Poehler tells us writing is hard and she is trying to lower expectations so when it turns out well we are impressed. However, there is no need to try and fool the reader; the writing is crisp, witty, hilarious, and often soul-searching. Yes Please showcases the hard work, time, and dedication Poehler puts into her comedy. 


This is not only a memoir; it is an exploration of a life in and outside the spotlight. I expected to enjoy

Mar 14, 2016

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Edwin E. Catmull  is a book about creativity but also about leadership from Catmull's perspective. He is the president of Disney Studios and the co-founder and president of Pixar Animation Studios.  Catmull's leadership philosophy is that everyone has the potential to be creative and to encourage that development is a noble pursuit for any manager.  He also outlines the blocks to creativity and how to overcome them. 


I first heard about this book while I was reading Rising Strong by Brene Brown.

Call the Midwife

By Worth, Jennifer
5
Rated by Jed D.
Jun 29, 2014

These poignant and lightly humorous episodes are based on Jennifer Worth’s memoirs about midwifery in East London in the 1950's.  The nurses and nuns that run Nonnatus House are well developed, and I especially adore nurse Chummy Browne’s fish out of water storylines.   Sister Monica Jean’s aging-but -still -feisty storyline is also very affecting.  The plots of some of the episodes can get a little heavy since we are dealing with 1950’s obstetrics and gynecology, so be prepared for  messy births, unhealthy mothers and children, and frank discussion of Catholicism vs. birth control.   I

One Man's Dream: My Town, My Team, My Time

By Frank White with Bill Althaus
2
Rated by Vincent S.
May 10, 2014

This is the autobiography of Frank White, the 8-time Gold Glove second baseman for the Kansas City Royals. White describes his childhood and the loving support of his family while growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, his high school days at Lincoln High School, and playing baseball as a young teen. He was a pretty good pitcher in those days. Interestingly, he describes fearful moments when visiting relatives in his birthplace, Mississippi, during the 1950s and 1960s when he and his friends dashed away from roadsides when cars filled with white people sped along the roads.


White describes

Oct 2, 2013

Don’t be fooled, you’ll learn nothing about diabetes or owls here, but the random suggestion makes it all the more entertaining.  Shortly before this book was released, I had the privilege of attending “An Evening with David Sedaris” in Kansas City, where I got a preview of some of the hilarious treasures to come in Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.  Sedaris likes to test his pieces with various live audiences, tweaking them along the way until they are primed for publishing, and I was excited to hear some of my favorites again in their polished state. 


This collection is packed with a

Jun 3, 2013

Blood, Bones, and Butter—the title piqued my curiosity.  For the audiobook, Hamilton has a pretty straight tone as a reader, which made me hesitant at first, but it’s true to her personality and works surprisingly well for me as a listener.  I generally enjoy biographical pieces, and this was no exception.  Hamilton begins by recounting various trials that influenced her skills and approach as a chef, then her focus shifts more to her wavering, nontraditional relationship with her “Italian Italian” husband and in-laws.

Readers who appreciate deep emotional reflection may find this to be

Oct 16, 2012

Grant Morrison is something of a divisive figure in the world of comics. Some people love him, while others can't stand him, finding him pretentious and deliberately obtuse. I'm one of the people who think he's brilliant. I love his comics, especially when he writes superheroes, so I jumped on Supergods as soon as it came out.

Supergods is part overview of the history of superheroes, focusing mostly on the two big comics companies, DC and Marvel, and part autobiography/memoir. Morrison gives a broad history of superheroes, interjecting his own opinions on various trends, characters and

Aug 29, 2012

Alan Alda's insightful autobiography Never Have Your Dog Stuffed gives us a peek into the highs, lows, and adventures of an actor's life.  Growing up among a family of burlesque performers, perhaps Alda was fated for acting, but his journey had its fair share of bumps.  He laces candid humor throughout the telling of his trials and tribulations, from growing up with a schizophrenic mother to enduring emergency surgery in the remote Chilean mountains, but his successes are equally exciting.  And yes, his father really did take his childhood dog to a taxidermist. I have a fond appreciation for

Aug 11, 2010

Thousphts of an Unfinished Life“Life is a work in progress” and Joan Anderson’s autobiography A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Life encourages us to take time to reflect. Joan has been married many years and she and her husband have raised two sons to adulthood. One evening Joan’s husband comes home from work and tells her that it’s time to pack her bags, his job is requiring them to, once again, move. This time Joan resists. Her life has been dedicated to husband and sons. Now she needs time for herself. What follows Joan’s decision is a year spent alone in a rustic family cottage on Cape Cod. Anderson

Mar 5, 2010

mennonite-cover.gifRhoda Janzen has it all. She has her Ph.D, her Prada and her lake house. She also has a very handsome husband, Nick, who has just left her for a man named Bob that he met on gay.com. If that isn't enough, Rhoda is involved in a serious car accident one short week after learning about Bob. How can this possibly be one of the funniest memoirs I've read to date? Well, Rhoda is also a Mennonite and although she long ago departed the faith, she wisely returns to her childhood home to heal. Her mother's unwavering love and the Mennonites devotion to serving others leaves Rhoda no time to sit on her