Summertime Vibes | Memoir

A Field Guide to Awkward Silences

The memoirs this month are quick, quirky books perfect for reading in a hammock while soaking up some summertime vibes.

Dads Plus Mollusks, Millennials, and Margaret Mead | What We’re Reading

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Dads pop up all over in this week’s “What We’re Reading” column.

Nomads, Dolphins, & America’s Deadliest Natural Disaster | Audio in Advance August 2015 | Nonfiction

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Ananthaswamy, Anil. The Man Who Wasn’t There: Investigations into the Strange New Science of the Self. Books on Tape. ISBN 9781101914939. Read by Rene Ruiz. In the tradition of Oliver Sacks, this book offers a tour of the latest neuroscience of schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, ecstatic epilepsy, Cotard’s syndrome, out-of-body experiences, and other disorders. Ananthaswamy […]

The Power of Silence, Social Gospel, Environmentalism, & More | Spirituality & Religion Reviews, May 15, 2015

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This season offers an immense variety of experiences in spirituality, which range in gravity and quality. There are also memoirs and calls to action, for readers of various persuasions.

Cocaine, Creativity, & Life on Mars | Audio in Advance July 2015 | Nonfiction

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Braestrup, Kate. Anchor and Flares: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hope, and Service. Blackstone. ISBN 9781478933953. Read by the author. When her eldest son joins the Marines, Braestrap is at a crossroads: can she reconcile her desire to protect her children with her family’s legacy of service? Can parents balance the joy of a child’s independence with […]

Reich on Capitalism, Schiff on the Salem Witch Trials, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Oct. 2015, Pt. 4

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Hotchner, A.E. Hemingway in Love: A Memoir. St. Martin’s. Oct. 2015. 176p. ISBN 9781250077486. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466889484. CD/downloadable: Macmillan Audio. MEMOIR/LITERATURE Published in 1966, Papa Hemingway offers an affecting personal portrait of Hotchner’s close friend Ernest Hemingway. But there was more to the story. Apparently, in deference to Hemingway’s fourth wife, Mary, and his […]

Eight Essential Memoirs from Barrymore, Cisneros, Fraser, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2015, Pt. 4

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Barrymore, Drew. Wildflower. Dutton. Oct. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781101983799. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781101983805. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. MEMOIR While 1990’s Little Girl Lost details Barrymore’s drug and alcohol abuse as a very young actress, this book covers the durable actress’s life since age 14, when she found herself living on her own. How it’s all come […]

Russian Oligarchs, Sunken Pirate Ships, & Aziz Ansari on Romance | June 2015 Audio in Advance | Nonfiction

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Ahlers, Amy & Christine Arylo. Reform Your Inner Mean Girl: 7 Steps to Stop Bullying Yourself and Start Loving Yourself. Tantor. ISBN 9781494560553. Read by the authors. The Inner Mean Girl is the judgmental, critical, and belittling inner bully that almost every woman hears running through her mind on a daily basis. The Inner Mean Girl creates undue […]

Henry Louis Gates Jr., Diana Nyad, Patti Smith, Simon Winchester | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Oct. 2015, Pt. 1

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Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., & Kevin M. Burke. And Still I Rise: From Black Power to the White House. Ecco. Oct. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9780062427007. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780062427014. HISTORY Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard, outstanding scholar Gates offers […]

September 2015 Music Picks from Chrissie Hynde & Patti Smith

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Full disclosure: my good-time listening music dates mostly from the medieval and Renaissance eras. But I love music in general as a country without borders, and I’m always happy to feature books by or about major rock/pop/blues/jazz musicians in Prepub Alert. There has been a flood of such books lately, and since most of them […]