New Biographies & Memoirs | Week of April 7

07 Apr 2015

The Folded Clock: A Diary

The Folded Clock

Heidi Julavits

Like many young people, Heidi Julavits kept a diary. Decades later she found her old diaries in a storage bin, and hoped to discover the early evidence of the person (and writer) she’d since become. Instead, “The actual diaries revealed me to possess the mind of a paranoid tax auditor.” The entries are daily chronicles of anxieties about grades, looks, boys, and popularity. After reading the confessions of her past self, writes Julavits, “I want to good-naturedly laugh at this person. I want to but I can’t. What she wanted then is scarcely different from what I want today.”

kindlehardcoveraudiobook

A Fine Romance

A Fine Romance

Candice Bergen

A Fine Romance begins with Bergen’s charming first husband, French director Louis Malle, whose huge appetite for life broadened her horizons and whose occasional darkness never diminished their love for each other. But her real romance begins when she discovers overpowering love for her daughter after years of ambivalence about motherhood. As Chloe grows up, Bergen finds her comic genius in the biggest TV role of the 80s, Murphy Brown, and makes unwanted headlines when Dan Quayle pulls her into the 1992 presidential campaign.

kindlehardcoveraudiobook

Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World

Headstrong

Rachel Swaby
check out the NiB staff review

In 2013, the New York Times published an obituary for Yvonne Brill. It began: “She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job, and took eight years off from work to raise three children.” It wasn’t until the second paragraph that readers discovered why the Times had devoted several hundred words to her life: Brill was a brilliant rocket scientist who invented a propulsion system to keep communications satellites in orbit, and had recently been awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Among the questions the obituary—and consequent outcry—prompted were, Who are the role models for today’s female scientists, and where can we find the stories that cast them in their true light?

kindlepaperbackaudiobook

The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy

The Brothers

Masha Gessen

On April 15, 2013, two homemade bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston marathon, killing three people and wounding more than 264 others. In the ensuing manhunt, Tamerlan Tsarnaev died, and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, was captured and ultimately charged on thirty federal counts. Yet long after the bombings and the terror they sowed, after all the testimony and debate, what we still haven’t learned is why. Why did the American Dream go so wrong for two immigrants? How did such a nightmare come to pass?

kindlepaperbackaudiobook

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician's First Year

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly

Matt McCarthy

This funny, candid memoir of McCarthy’s intern year at a New York hospital provides a scorchingly frank look at how doctors are made, taking readers into patients’ rooms and doctors’ conferences to witness a physician’s journey from ineptitude to competence. McCarthy’s one stroke of luck paired him with a brilliant second-year adviser he called “Baio” (owing to his resemblance to the Charles in Charge star), who proved to be a remarkable teacher with a wicked sense of humor. McCarthy would learn even more from the people he cared for, including a man named Benny, who was living in the hospital for months at a time awaiting a heart transplant. But no teacher could help McCarthy when an accident put his own health at risk, and showed him all too painfully the thin line between doctor and patient.

kindlehardcoveraudiobook

Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation

Toms River

Dan Fagin

The riveting true story of a small town ravaged by industrial pollution, Toms River melds hard-hitting investigative reporting, a fascinating scientific detective story, and an unforgettable cast of characters into a sweeping narrative in the tradition of A Civil Action, The Emperor of All Maladies, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

kindlepaperbackhardcoveraudiobook

They Are All My Family: A Daring Rescue in the Chaos of Saigon’s Fall

They Are All My Family

John Riordan and Monique Brinson Demery

In the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War in April 1975, as Americans fled and their Vietnamese allies and employees prepared for the worst, John Riordan, a young banker, the assistant manager of Citibank’s Saigon branch succeeded in rescuing 106 Vietnamese. They were his 33 Vietnamese staff members and their families. Unable to secure exit papers for the employees, Citibank ordered Riordan to leave the country alone. Safe in Hong Kong, Riordan could not imagine leaving behind his employees and defied instructions from his superiors not to return to Saigon. But once he did make it back on the last commercial flight, his actions were daring and ingenious.

kindlekindlekindle

Cycle of Lies

Juliet Macur

In June 2013, when Lance Armstrong fled his palatial home in Texas, downsizing in the face of multimillion-dollar lawsuits, Juliet Macur was there—talking to his girlfriend and children and listening to Armstrong’s version of the truth. She was one of the few media members aside from Oprah Winfrey to be granted extended one-on-one access to the most famous pariah in sports. At the center of Cycle of Lies is Armstrong himself, revealed through face-to-face interviews.

kindlepaperbackhardcoveraudiobook

Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty

Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty

Diane Keaton

Diane Keaton has spent a lifetime coloring outside the lines of the conventional notion of beauty. In Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty, she shares the wisdom she’s accumulated through the years as a mother, daughter, actress, artist, and international style icon. This is a book only Diane Keaton could write—a smart and funny chronicle of the ups and downs of living and working in a world obsessed with beauty.

kindle paperback hardcover audiobook

Visions and Revisions

Visions and Revisions

Dale Peck

Novelist and critic Dale Peck’s latest work—part memoir, part extended essay—is a foray into what the author calls “the second half of the first half of the AIDS epidemic,” i.e., the period between 1987, when the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) was founded, and 1996, when the advent of combination therapy transformed AIDS from a virtual death sentence into a chronic manageable illness.

kindlekindlekindle
Sign up for our email and we’ll send you a weekly email with the best new books in your favorite genres.

 

share

Taylor

Taylor loves books with a heavy dose of absurdity, hilarity, and beautiful prose. She is a marketer, adventurer, nature-lover, Hufflepuff, wannabe world traveler, and advocate of laughter.

Leave a Reply