Category Archives: Biographies & Memoirs

Where the Birds Never Sing

Where the Birds Never Sing synopsis: In this riveting book, Jack Sacco tells the realistic, harrowing, at times horrifying, and ultimately triumphant tale of an American GI in World War II as seen through the eyes of his father, Joe Sacco — a farm boy from Alabama who was flung into the chaos of Normandy… Read More »

Clara’s War

Clara’s War synopsis: “A superlative memoir of survival….Few wartime memoirs convey with such harrowing immediacy the evil of the Nazi genocide.” —Daily Telegraph (London) “One Girl’s Story of Survival,” Clara’s War is based on Clara Kramer’s diary of her years spent hiding in an underground bunker with seventeen other people during the Nazi occupation of… Read More »

Kingfish

Kingfish synopsis: From the moment he took office as governor in 1928 to the day an assassin’s bullet cut him down in 1935, Huey Long wielded all but dictatorial control over the state of Louisiana. A man of shameless ambition and ruthless vindictiveness, Long orchestrated elections, hired and fired thousands at will, and deployed the… Read More »

Grant

Grant synopsis: Ulysses S. Grant’s life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and an inept businessman, or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War. But these stereotypes don’t come close to capturing him, as Chernow shows in his masterful biography, the first to… Read More »

Bunny Mellon

Bunny Mellon synopsis: A new biography of Bunny Mellon, the style icon and American aristocrat who designed the White House Rose Garden for her friend JFK and served as a living witness to 20th Century American history, operating in the high-level arenas of politics, diplomacy, art and fashion. Bunny Mellon, who died in 2014 at… Read More »

Cortés and the Aztec Conquest

Cortés and the Aztec Conquest synopsis: In three years, the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés, leading a few hundred Spanish soldiers, overcame a centuries-old empire that could put tens of thousands of warriors on the field. Even after his god-like reputation had been shattered, and his horses and cannons were no longer regarded as supernatural, his… Read More »

Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor synopsis: Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July, 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to be very close to Bin Laden with a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later,… Read More »

Tisha

Tisha synopsis: “From the time I’d been a girl, I’d been thrilled with the idea of living on a frontier. So when I was offered the job of teaching school in a gold-mining settlement called Chicken, I accepted right away.” Anne Hobbs was only nineteen in 1927, when she came to harsh and beautiful Alaska.… Read More »

In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood synopsis: Truman Capote’s masterpiece, In Cold Blood, created a sensation when it was first published, serially, in The New Yorker in 1965. The intensively researched, atmospheric narrative of the lives of the Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas, and of the two men, Richard Eugene Hickock and Perry Edward Smith, who brutally killed… Read More »

The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place synopsis: Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker who became a heroine of the Resistance, a survivor of Hitler’s concentration camps, and one of the most remarkable evangelists of the twentieth century. In World War II she and her family risked their lives to help Jews and underground workers escape from the… Read More »