Tag Archive: biography




A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War IIA Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II by Sonia Purnell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Juliet Stevenson (Narrator) kept this story alive. I felt I was right in the moment with Virginia Hall as she attempted to end the war on her own, seeing that few men could do what this poor, disabled woman could.

This book was written very well. I often find nonfiction biographies boring and stilted. The author was able to write this with the urgency of a fictional spy thriller.

In this day of women losing rights, this will strengthen your determination to keep everyone free. This was a true American who happened to be a woman. Please read it if you have the chance.

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Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still CouldMidnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could by Adam Schiff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Midnight in Washington was not a good book to read before going to sleep. It was a Libby (library) audio in the author’s voice, so I wanted to neither keep myself awake on reliving the horror of January 6th or miss parts of the story by falling asleep as the recording continued. So I settled on listening while busy with my hobbies, keeping my hands busy but my mind engaged in the reading.

I saw the author, Adam Schiff, on several talk shows and knew I wanted to hear his account of what had happened. I was surprised and pleased to see he included an autobiography. Meaning you were seeing what happened from his point of view.

I felt the book was honest and fair to others as it occurred to the author.

It is interesting having read this before the hearings we are listening to today. I feel more engaged and understand more. I highly recommend this book, especially in Adam Schiff’s calming voice.

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PersistPersist by Elizabeth Warren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this audiobook up on Libby. For a non-fiction memoir, it was a quick ‘read.” I think it was a couple of sessions. Elizabeth Warren read her book, which made it even better. She is so enthusiastic and thorough. I love her take on the world. I wish I felt as optimistic as she is that all this could work. But I’m all for trying.

Ms. Warren brought up every issue facing women. She also gave ideas on how to handle the bigotry in the world. Her voice and energy are contagious. I enjoyed the stories of her life. I highly recommend this book.

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How To Write a Beloved (and Bestselling) Memoir (Creative Catalyst Series)How To Write a Beloved (and Bestselling) Memoir by Laura Bradbury
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started this short read when I couldn’t sleep one night and finished before I knew it. It was very informative.

Laura Bradbury, the author, kept the information accessible and alive. Though I read this via Kindle Unlimited on text-to-speech, I am thinking about buying this as a paper book for reference.

If you are writing a memoir or autobiography like I am, this is a great book to help you along. I’m still at the “Messy” part of vomiting the story out. But as I get to the following stages, I want to check in and see what Ms. Bradbury has to say about it. She even covers editing and publishing. I love that she aims to help you write it with a creative bent.

Because it was so inspiring, I picked up her first memoir in her Grape series, My Grape Year. I can’t wait to dive in.

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Apparently There Were Complaints: A MemoirApparently There Were Complaints: A Memoir by Sharon Gless
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sharon Gless was on the View not that long ago promoting this book. Though I am not a cop show fan, I like shows about strong women. Cagney and Lacey was that kind of show for me. I still love these two actors in everything I’ve seen them in. So I looked at the library link for Libby and found this book in audio form there. Yay! I knew it would be in Ms. Gless’s voice.

As with all autobiographies, I feel it hard to give a review. This is, after all, her life. Her trials and triumphs. Who am I to judge? Still, it was less and more than I expected. But it was heartfelt and her truth. And I was glad to have read/heard it.

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Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest TrailThru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail by Carrot Quinn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book will stay with me for a while. Erin Spencer (Narrator) made me feel like I was right there, on the trail, soaking wet or extremely tired. Sometimes a narrator is so good that you think it has to be the author as they seem to maintain the cadence of the written speech as if it were their own. It was fantastically done.

That means the writing was natural and felt genuine. This was a journal of sort of the hiker, Carrot Quinn. She was honest and told the good and the bad of her travels. There were times that I laughed out loud at what happened. And there were tears of seeing the incredible scenery and tears of hurt along the way.

I have to admit I want to do this. But it seems so far away from possible when just getting the dog and I out for our mile walk is tough. A windy day will keep us in. Rain is my dog’s least favorite. She won’t go out, yet I have the raincoat and boots and plenty of umbrellas. Snow is my favorite, but my dog can’t handle it very long, even with coat and pad coverings, so we walk around the yard. So much for my trek.

So it is fun to live vicariously through those who do the long hikes or marathons. Inspiration helps with daily life and gives hope for more.

I want to read this again soon.

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Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of LifeWhy Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life by Lulu Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a lot more fun than the last book I read. I really enjoyed hearing Lulu Miller tell her story and someone else’s while showing what had influenced her life.

I wanted to be a marine biologist in my way younger days. So this book was up my alley in many ways. Of course, that only lasted for ninth grade, and I learned that math was required for that and being an astronaut. Still, the love of the non-existent fish (and space travel) lingers in my life.

My friend recommended this, and I was able to find it on Libby. I didn’t want to do anything but listen to this story, so I got it done far quicker than most books. Lulu Miller did a great job weaving her life with one she admired. I felt like I was with her experiencing everything with her.

If you get the chance to read/listen to this book, I highly recommend it!

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The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great MigrationThe Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book and the narrator, Robin Miles, were excellent. It is a biography of a few people told like a novel and captivating from the beginning. Ms. Miles was able to act out all the characters so one could identify who was who.

I have two hours left in the book, but I took a break to write this. I spent today with Pandora playing ‘classical study music’ quietly in the background so I could use the whole day to listen to this book without distractions. I wouldn’t have been able to handle it if it were boring. ADD would have sent me away from the book and into other ventures. That gives you a clue of how good this book is.

The other reason I spent the day reading (listening) to this book is that it is a Libby library copy that is due soon, and I have a lineup of books to read that I have already checked out. You know how that is. With some books, I would let it go. Return the book unfinished. But I want to know how it ends. Besides, I have never heard so many facts and insights before, and I feel I am somewhat ‘woke.’ This is a history not told in history classes when I was a student. I hope this book is used in the classroom now.

I highly recommend this and Isabel Wilkerson’s other book, Caste.

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The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of DepressionThe Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know who recommended this book for me. Whoever, thank you! This was so interesting!

Having borrowed the Libby audio narrated by the author, I now hope to buy the book someday.

The thing is, this is more than a book about depression, or even one person’s account of his own journey. This book includes a bit of history of the diagnosis and treatment for centuries. It also includes how the disorder affects different socioeconomic sets of people.

I highly recommend this for anyone who has gone through depression or know of others who might be suffering. It leads to not only a deeper understanding, but medical issues and ways to find health.

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The Elephant WhispererThe Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s funny what happens when you start researching a book you are writing. I have an elephant in my story, and he tells another character that his favorite book is… Well, that meant I needed to find a book for him to refer to. I looked up elephant books on Amazon, and this one came up. I chose the Audible version because I had a credit waiting for my next listen. I am not sure it is my character elephant’s favorite book. But I did enjoy it as my night read.

Simon Vance did a great job narrating this autobiography. His voice is believable as the author’s own, I suppose. I don’t know what the author sounded like, as my guess is the author passed before finishing the book. That was a little jarring.

The author shared his experiment by having a place for a herd to come and live. He shared his getting to know the elephants’ personalities personally. All in all, I did enjoy the story. I just need an elephant book more personal to the elephant and not the human. I did have my guy like Dumbo. But I need more.

If you love elephants, you will love this book.

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