Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Who am I?

Like biographies? Try some of these:

Elizabeth Cady Stanton: an American life, by Lori Ginzberg. This is a straight-up biography of one of the early pioneers of women's rights.

The Last of His Kind: the life and adventures of Bradford Washburn, America's boldest mountaineer, by David Roberts. Washburn had nine 'first ascents' of North American peaks under his belt when he died in 2006. He made numerous trips to Alaska, and in 1935 led a 3-month expedition into the then-unexplored vastness of the St. Elias Range.

Long Past Stopping, by Oran Canfield is actually a memoir, not a biography. But as the son of 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' guru Jack Canfield, he's got a bit of name recognition. He also has one messed-up childhood. If you're a fan of the Chicken Soup books, Oran's memoir might be a bit of an eye-opener.

The Secret Wife of Louis XIV: Francoise D'Aubigne, Madame de Maintenon by Veronica Buckley. Born in a prison, reduced to begging in the streets, Francoise marries a poet crippled by rheumatism. After his death, she becomes governess to the illegitimate children of the Sun King and soon catches his eye. A book full of social mores, political chicanery, opulence and history. Her life would make a great movie.

Where Men Win Glory: the odyssey of Pat Tillman, by Jon Krakauer. Bestselling author Krakauer turns his attention to a former NFL player he turned in his jersey to enlist following 9/11. His death in Afghanistan was a patriotic rallying point, until it was discovered that he had been killed by friendly fire. The Army cover-up was a huge scandal, which Krakauer picks apart.

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