Seattle Picks: Biography & Memoir

Orange County
Orange County A Personal History By Arellano, Gustavo Book - 2008 979.49605 Ar32A 2008 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 6 copies

Annotation:An edgy Hispanic columnist interweaves the tale of his family’s immigration to Orange County with the history of an iconic American locale whose history has often excluded the contributions of Mexican-American workers.

My Song
My Song A Memoir By Belafonte, Harry Book - 2011 782.42164 B4101B 2011 Available in some locations

Annotation:Belafonte describes how his rise from poverty and his emergence from unhappy family life in Jamaica and Harlem launched his career as an entertainer and social justice activist, leading him to friends, influence and fame.

Juliette Gordon Low
Juliette Gordon Low The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts By Cordery, Stacy A. Book - 2012 369.46309 L9506C 2012 Available in some locations

Annotation:A Southern belle rises above the aimlessness of a privileged life, battling cultural and personal challenges to achieve social change, become a role model for girls and found the Girl Scouts in 1912 Savannah.

The Forger's Spell
The Forger's Spell A True Story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century By Dolnick, Edward Book - 2008 759.9492 M47D 2008 All copies in use Availability details

Annotation:Living in Nazi-occupied Holland, a painter creates “lost” paintings of Vermeer and all the documentation to authenticate them in a thrilling tale of art, war and a con man.

Sergeant Rex
Sergeant Rex The Unbreakable Bond Between A Marine and His Military Working Dog By Dowling, Mike C. Book - 2011 956.70443 D756D 2011 Available in some locations

Annotation:In war-torn Iraq, a bomb-sniffing dog and a tough Marine form a lasting connection and develop a relationship based on training, work and trust.

Sister Queens
Sister Queens The Noble, Tragic Lives of Katherine of Aragon and Juana, Queen of Castile By Fox, Julia Book - 2011 B C284F 2011 Available in some locations

Annotation:The tumultuous lives of the daughters of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain are presented with compassion and context as they become dynastic pawns in the power games of 15th-century European royalty.

Stormy Weather
Stormy Weather The Life of Lena Horne By Gavin, James Book - 2009 B H7838G 2009 Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 3 copies

Annotation:Emerging from the segregated nightclubs of jazz-era Harlem to become an entertainment icon, Horne broke racial and cinematic barriers, but ultimately became a prisoner of society.

Looking Like the Enemy
Looking Like the Enemy My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese-American Internment Camps By Gruenewald, Mary Matsuda Book - 2005 940.53177 G922L 2005 Available in some locations

Annotation:A Vashon Island teenager is ripped from her prewar life and interned, leaving her with feelings of anger, depression and shame, while learning to live with dignity in trying circumstances.

The Translator
The Translator A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur By Hari, Daoud Book - 2008 962.4043 H2245H 2008 Available in some locations

Annotation:A Sudanese native living in the chaotic and genocidal world of Darfur translates for western media and UN investigators, surviving imprisonment, exile and refugee camps while recalling tribal life before the days of war.

Rat Girl
Rat Girl By Hersh, Kristin Book - 2010 782.42166 H4392H 2010 Available in some locations Holds: 4 on 4 copies

Annotation:The singer-songwriter from the indie rock band Throwing Muses uses diary entries to recount the exhilaration of recording her first album while also grappling with a bipolar disorder diagnosis and an unplanned pregnancy in the mid-1980s.

Thoughts Without Cigarettes
Thoughts Without Cigarettes A Memoir By Hijuelos, Oscar Book - 2011 B H539H 2011 Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 13 copies

Annotation:From prerevolutionary Cuba to gritty Latino New York, a writer forced to abandon his native language learns to absorb his experiences, channel his self-expression and develop into a great novelist.

Gertrude Bell
Gertrude Bell Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations By Howell, Georgina Book - 2007

Annotation:A Victorian woman who defied convention and defined nations is vividly portrayed as an explorer, linguist, archaeologist and perhaps the most powerful woman in the British Empire.

Frank The Voice By Kaplan, James Book - 2010 782.42164 Si61K 2010 Available in some locations

Annotation:Looking at the first half of a career that went from the streets of Hoboken to a defining role in popular culture by 1954, this Sinatra biography analyzes the singer’s private life and public persona.

A Natural Woman
A Natural Woman A Memoir By King, Carole Book - 2012 782.42166 K5806K 2012 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 17 copies

Annotation:In a journey ranging from writing rock’n’roll classics like “The Locomotion,” to becoming the queen of singer-songwriters, as well as a wife and a mother, this intimate memoir is a reflection of King’s personal “Tapestry.”

Ghost in the Wires
Ghost in the Wires My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker By Mitnick, Kevin D. Book - 2011 364.16809 M6971M 2011 Available in some locations

Annotation:Eventually imprisoned, a hacker considered the greatest of all by the FBI reveals the thrills behind the infiltration of security systems and the manipulation of human foibles.

Not Just the Levees Broke
Not Just the Levees Broke My Story During and After Hurricane Katrina By Montana-Leblanc, Phyllis Book - 2008 363.34922 M7624M 2008 All copies in use Availability details

Annotation:Hurricane Katrina overwhelms the life of a New Orleans woman who survives the storm in a ravaged city and then must confront political and cultural winds. Her story appeared in a Spike Lee documentary.

Rin Tin Tin
Rin Tin Tin The Life and the Legend By Orlean, Susan Book - 2011 636.7376 Or53R 2011 Available in some locations

Annotation:In a biography shared between dogs and their people, the original Rin Tin Tin, who was rescued from a Great War bunker, created a model for successor dogs and a career for a dog-obsessed owner.

Small Memories
Small Memories By Saramago, José Book - 2011 B Sa714S 2011 All copies in use Availability details Holds: 3 on 3 copies

Annotation:Exquisitely recalled by the Portuguese Nobel Prize winner, this memoir relives episodes that span from fishing villages to life in Lisbon, inhabited with characters vividly drawn.

Cleopatra A Life By Schiff, Stacy Book - 2010 B C594S 2010 Available in some locations Holds: 4 on 25 copies

Annotation:This page-turning biography of a woman at the crux of power, who bedded both Caesar and Antony, retells the story of how intelligence and ambition gave her a legendary life and inspired a romantic legacy.

Love Is A Mix Tape
Love Is A Mix Tape Life and Loss, One Song at A Time By Sheffield, Rob Book - 2007 781.64092 Sh39S 2007 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 3 copies

Annotation:Remember mix tapes? They anchor each chapter of this sweet, funny and heartbreaking memoir—a loving tribute from a Rolling Stone editor to his former wife Renée, a “real cool, hell-raising Appalachian punk-rock girl.”

A More Perfect Heaven
A More Perfect Heaven How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos By Sobel, Dava Book - 2011 520.92 C7909S 2011 Available in some locations

Annotation:An aging Catholic, at the urging of a young Protestant scholar, bravely publishes a heretical view of the universe, and changes our orientation of science and humankind.

Pearl Buck in China
Pearl Buck in China Journey to the Good Earth By Spurling, Hilary Book - 2010 B B8555S 2010 Available in some locations

Annotation:A Nobel Prize winner and at one time the prime explainer of Chinese culture to America, Buck overcame a complicated personal life to support racial equality and international understanding.

American Emperor
American Emperor Aaron Burr's Challenge to Jefferson's America By Stewart, David O. Book - 2011 973.46092 St492A 2011 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 3 copies

Annotation:Ambition and arrogance drove founding father Aaron Burr to high office, but also to disgrace, leading to a plot to make him Emperor of a breakaway part of the new nation.

Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens A Life By Tomalin, Claire Book - 2011 B D555C 2011 Available in some locations

Annotation:Was the inner Charles Dickens reflected in the lives of his characters? A bicentennial biography reveals a life, a marriage and a career of self-contradiction that illuminates the pairing of greatness and a dark side.

Autobiography of Mark Twain
Autobiography of Mark Twain Volume 1 By Twain, Mark Book - 2010 B T911T 2010 Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 20 copies

Annotation:A century after his death, the first of three parts of Twain’s uncensored memoir was finally published. This unstructured series of wry vignettes reveals his vitriolic humor and observations free from societal restraint.

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe By Tzemach Lemmon, Gayle Book - 2011 958.1 Se28T 2011 Available in some locations Holds: 3 on 23 copies

Annotation:Amidst war and the repression of women, an educated and determined Afghani supports her family and other local women through a home business despite official disapproval and fear of punishment.

David Crockett
David Crockett The Lion of the West By Wallis, Michael Book - 2011 B C8727W 2011 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 7 copies

Annotation:Fascinating in the telling, this demythologization of a legend reveals a frontiersman who was a politician, a defender of Native Americans, a believer in westward expansion and finally a fabled martyr at the Alamo.

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