Biographies

Who is Flynn?

The ReenactmentsWhat would it be like to have Robert De Niro pretending to be you?  Ask Nick Flynn.  His latest book reveals his life story portrayed in the movie Being Flynn and the surreal experience of watching it replayed for all to see.  Check it out: The Reenactments.

Worse Than Driving with a Cell Phone

BossypantsI only watch Saturday Night Live occasionally, and I rarely watch stand-up comedy on TV.  (Yes, I do have a sense of humor in spite of this.)  However, I cannot stop listening to the audiobook of Tina Fey’s new Bossypants.  I listen to it as I’m driving, and more than once I’ve had to turn it off so I could stop laughing long enough to be a responsible driver.  I recommend the audiobook over the book so you can hear Tina Fey herself deliver the lines as only she can do.

 

Database - Biography Resource Center

Do you need to do a report about famous person? Does your instructor require print resources? Just curious about notable women or Russian monarchs?

The Biography Resource Center provides information on more than 350,000 people from all sorts of times and places. Patrons, at the library branch or remotely, can search this database by using Search by Name (i.e. - Catherine th Great), Category Browse (i.e. - Notable Women), Biographical Facts Search (i.e. - occupation), or Advanced Search. Users can even click on the Spotlight On... person.

Reading in Other People's Shoes

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My reading tastes run almost exclusively to fiction.  But, every now and again, I get a desire to immerse myself in biographies or memoirs.  When I was in the third grade, I read our entire classroom collection of biographies of famous Americans.  Perhaps it serves as a more grounded version of my fiction bibliotherapy -- taking a vacation from my life and experiencing someone else's thoughts and world.  I've got my hands on a particularly good crop of biographies and memoirs right now, some of which you might also enjoy:

Biographies in Bite Size

American SketchesIf you’re a biography reader, you’ve probably read something from Walter Isaacson.  This summer while you’re sitting in the sun or passing the long afternoons away, read his bite-size biographies in American Sketches: Great Leaders, Creative Thinkers, and Heroes of a Hurricane.

 

First Ladies

The First Ladies of the United States of AmericaFirst Ladies of the United States are often more interesting than their powerful husbands.  Read a little about Dolly Madison or Mary Todd Lincoln, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.  For a really interesting read, try Presidential Wives by

Stephen King – Not So Scary After All

Haunted HeartStephen King scares me. (See my other blog post this week.) But don’t you find that once you get to know someone, they don’t intimidate you as much as before? I plan to find out. I’m starting a 2008 biography of King written by Lisa Rogak, who also wrote biographies of Shel Silverstein and Dan Brown.

On the Shelf: Penguin Lives

Biographies are not my first (second, third or fourth!) choice of reading material. It’s not that I have no interest in the lives interesting (often infamous) people have led throughout history. I simply don’t enjoy wading through the depth and breadth of information provided by most biographers.

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