Archive for the ‘Autobiography’ Category

Too Many Mothers – Roberta Taylor – Audio Book

August 15, 2007

Too Many Mothers – Roberta Taylor : Best known for her roles in EastEnders and The Bill   actress Roberta Taylor is also an accomplished writer, and this moving memoir of her early life has spent weeks on the bestseller lists.

Roberta’s distinctive voice really brings Too Many Mothers to life in this portrait of an embattled family at war with itself and the outside world; From petty crime: pet monkeys, tender romance to emotional blackmail, illegitimacy, adoption and even murder, Roberta Taylor has written a bittersweet and memoir of her early life.

This is another one of these books which you will find hard to put down. Its really well written. Its sad, funny. There are rough, tough women, hardship, tears but also lots of hope.  I highly recommend it to those interested who are interested in life in East-end London in the past. A lovely book.


Never Again – John Ashcroft – Audio Book

August 3, 2007

Never Again – John Ashcroft : The most controversial attorney general in U.S. history tells untold story behind the war on terror in post-9/11 America.

John Ashcroft’s service as U.S. attorney general began with turmoil: a loss to a deceased challenger in is U.S. Senate reelection campaign and a tumultuous confirmation battle. Then, on September 11, 2001, is job was transformed into the greatest leadership challenge an attorney general has ever faced.

Highly classified intelligence briefings, secret surveillance of terror cells, and terror war councils with President Bush gave Ashcroft a uniquely comprehensive – and uniquely chilling – view of the threats o American security.

In NEVER AGAIN, Ashcroft breaks his silence about historic events that transpired during his term of ffice – including the largest terrorist attack in U.S. history, the enactment and defense of the Patriot Act, the Robert Hanssen spy scandal, the execution of Timothy McVeigh, and the recently iscovered domestic surveillance program authorized by President Bush. In this provocative audiobook, listeners will meet the man behind the title, hear his take on the dangers to and within America from outside forces, and discover what he did to repair the serious breaches in our country’s security. NEVER GAIN is a fascinating and probing look at what Ashcroft believes will ultimately make America safe.

John Ashcroft served as attorney general of the United States from February 2001 to January 2005. Prior to his appointment, he served in the United States Senate and as the governor of Missouri.

This is a terribly important book written by a man in the epicenter of the national response to the wful attacks of September 11, 2001. It’s an easy read written in a friendly, conversational style hat puts to lie everything said about this man in the media. John Ashcroft describes in detail the events following 9/11 and his horrific discoveries of the ineptitude and blindness of the previous administration in combatting terrorism within the borders of the United States. As someone said : “John Ashcroft came and went and the world did not end”. I highly recommend this ook.

Inside Out – A Personal History of Pink Floyd – Nick Mason – Audio Book

July 27, 2007

Inside Out – A Personal History of Pink Floyd – Nick Mason : Pink Floyd is one of the most creative, successful and enduring bands of all time. Nick Mason’s Inside Out marks the first time that a Pink Floyd member has set down his Individual version of their story. “Of course, ” he says, “everyone has divergent views of what actually happened. I’ve tried to be honest about disasters and triumphs, and not to take all the credit – though I’ve been delighted to share out any blame.”

As the only constant member throughout the 40 years of the Floyd’s existence, Nick has been able to observe every phase of their career from his drum stool, including their time as the darlings of London’s late-1960s underground; the deterioration and departure of Syd Barrett; the huge worldwide success of The Dark Side Of The Moon , one of the bestselling albums ever; the rift with Roger Waters ; and the subsequent decision by Nick and David Gilmour to put their reputations on the line and continue as Pink Floyd

‘Anything but a hymn of praise to the mighty Floyd. Mason’s drummer’s tale is unstintingly and amusingly disrespectful about the band’ – The Sunday Times

‘As charmingly English as Pimm’s and heatstroke on a balmy summer’s day’ – Q magazine

‘Rock’s little drummer boy grows up into a sex cymbal. With a wit drier than an AA clinic, and a charm more disarming than a UN peace-keeping force, Nick Mason gives us a literary drum solo par excellence’ – Kathy Lette

Nick Mason is the only member of Pink Floyd to have played on every album they recorded. He’s also the first band member to put pen to paper and write about their time together.It’s onderfully written. This book exudes personality from every page. If you are into dry humour and itty observation then this book is definitely for you.

American Hostage – Micah Garen, Marie-Helene Carleton – Audio Book

July 13, 2007

American Hostage – Micah Garen, Marie-Helene Carleton : A rare and powerful story of hope, love, survival, and the struggle to bring back alive a hostage in Iraq.

Micah Garen and Marie-Helene Carleton were journalists and filmmakers working in Iraq on a documentary with their Iraqi translator Amir Doshi. In the late summer of 2004, they began to wrap up their work, and Marie-Helene returned home while Micah remained for a final two weeks of filming. As Micah and Amir were filming in a Nasiriyah market, something went horribly wrong: Micah was unmasked as a foreigner and kidnapped by militants in southern Iraq.

Home in New York, Marie-Helene awoke to a gut-wrenching phone call from Micah’s mother with word of his abduction. She promised Micah’s mother the impossible – that together they would bring Micah back alive.

American Hostage is the remarkable memoir of Micah Garen’s harrowing abduction and survival in captivity, as well as the heroic and successful struggle of Marie-Helene; along with family and friends to win Micah’s and Amir’s release from their captors. The world watched and waited as Micah’s drama unfolded, but the authors, now safely home and engaged to be married, detail the dramatic untold story.

The fight of Marie-Helene Carleton is the one which makes the impossible comes true and the proof s well that when one believes with all his or her strengh everything is feasable and possible. Its as well and astonishing read because we do discover a moving, sympathic portrait of Iraq and its people truggling against the chaos unleashed by the American liberation. And the description of Micah aren’s friendship with his translator Amir, an educated, secular Muslim. To read absolutly.

All of these People – Fergal Keane – Audio Book

May 16, 2007

All of these People – Fergal Keane : During his years of reporting from the world’s most savage and turbulent regions, Fergal Keane has witnessed the violence of the South African townships and the terror in Rwanda, the most extreme kinds of human behaviour, the horror of genocide and the bravery of peacekeepers faced with overwhelming odds.

As one of the BBC’s leading correspondents, he recounts extraordinary encounters on
the front lines. Alongside his often brutal experiences in the field, he also describes unflinchingly the challenges and demons he has faced in his personal life growing up in Ireland.

Keane’s existence as a war reporter is all that we imagine: frantic filing of reports and dodging shells, interspersed with rest in bombed-out hotels and concrete shelters.

Life in such vulnerable areas of the globe is emotionally draining, but full of astonishing moments of camaraderie and human bravery.

At the heart of Fergal Keane’s story is a descent into and recovery from alcoholism, panning two generations, father and son; a different kind of war, but as much part of he journey of the last 25 years as the bullets and bombs.

Reading Fergal Keane’s book gave me an insight into the man. I admire his honesty in writing his memoir, memoir which is haunted by his alcoholic father. His influence is felt in his early days as a reporter on the Irish Press to his dream job as BBC Southern Africa correspondent. He worked from Northern Ireland to the Balkans and he reported as well about the genocide in Rwanda. To forget all this he, too, became an alcoholic. This was the biggest battled he had to fight ! To me this book is like a confession of the guilt he carries about the dead and injured he has filmed and then left.

Don McCullin,war photographer, once said: he justifies himself: ‘You can’t focus with tears in your eyes.’

Undaunted Courage – Stephen E. Ambrose – Audio Book

May 7, 2007

Undaunted Courage – Stephen E. Ambrose : In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River, across the forbidding Rockies, and — by way of the Snake and mighty Columbia — down to the Pacific Ocean. Lewis and his partner, Captain William Clark, endured incredible hardships and witnessed astounding sights. With great perseverance, they worked their way into an unexplored West and when they returned two years later, they had long since been given up for dead.

Lewis is supported by a variety of colorful characters: Jefferson and his vision of the West; Clark, the artist and map-maker; and Lewis — the enigma, who let brilliantly but considered the mission a failure After suffering several periods of depression – and despite his status as a national hero — Lewis died mysteriously, apparently by his own hand.

If an aunt of Stephan Ambrose had not given to him a complete set of the newspapers of the explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to read, we would never have had the pleasure to read this magnificent and masterful autobiography.

Jarhead – Anthony Swofford – Audio Book

April 30, 2007

Jarhead – Anthony Swofford : Anthony Swofford weaves his experiences in war with vivid accounts of boot camp, reflections on the mythos of the marines, and remembrances of battles with lovers and family.

When the U.S. Marines — or “jarheads” — were sent to Saudi Arabia in 1990 for the first Gulf War, Anthony Swofford was there. He lived in sand for six months, he was punished by boredom and fear, he considered suicide, pulled a gun on a fellow marine, and was targeted by both enemy and friendly fire. And as engagement with the Iraqis drew near, he was forced to consider what it means to be an American, a soldier, a son of a soldier, and a man.

In Jarhead, Anthony Swofford has written a memoir of his life, particularly his involvement as a Marine during the first Persian Gulf war. He explains how he experiences the “Marine culture”, boredom and terror altogether and realized that to become a man was more demanding than becoming a soldier.This book is in its way a contribution to the literature of combat. Not an easy read but worth it.

Bad Boy – Walter Dean Myers – Audio Book

April 25, 2007

Bad Boy – Walter Dean Myers : Into a memoir that is gripping, funny, heartbreaking, and unforgettable, Walter Dean Myers richly weaves the details of his Harlem childhood in the 1940s and 1950s: a loving home life with his adopted parents, Bible school, street games, and the vitality of his neighborhood.

Although Walter spent much of his time either getting into trouble or on the basketball court, secretly he was a voracious reader and an aspiring writer. But as his prospects for a successful future diminished, the values he had been taught at home, in school, and in his community seemed worthless, and he turned to the streets and his books for comfort.

Here in his own words is the story of one of the strongest voices in children’s and young adult literature today.

His glimpse into his own childhood in Harlem in the 40s is really valuable, fascinating and inspiring for the young adult and children. His anecdotes and his memories are a mixture of joke and seriousness. Its the story of a colorful and unforgettable childhood. A real powerful read.

Case for Democracy, The – Natan Sharansky with Ron Dermer – Audio Book

April 22, 2007

Case for Democracy, The – Natan Sharansky with Ron Dermer : In this brilliantly analytical yet personal book, non democratic societies are put under a microscope to reveal the mechanics of tyranny that sustain them. In exposing the inner workings of a “fear society,” the authors explain why democracy is not beyond any nation’s reach, why it is essential for our security, and why there is much that can be done to promote it around the world. Freedom, Sharansky claims, is rooted in the right to dissent, to walk into the town square and declare one’s views without fear of punishment or reprisal.

he authors persuasively argue that societies that do not protect that right can never be reliable partners for peace and that the democracy that hates us is much safer than the dictatorship that loves us.

Natan Sharansky is a former Soviet dissident and political prisoner who has spent his life championing democracy and freedom.

A case for Democracy is a fascinating book. You will love it and you will have as well an idea of how our world functions, of how dictatorial government think about themselves and about the democratic government too. You will have as well an idea of how to compose or deal with such dictatorial government to be able to reach peace because the democratic societies also need the moral clarity to dentify… evil !

The Golden Mountain – Irene Kai – Audio Book

April 17, 2007

The Golden Mountain – Irene Kai : A journey back in time, The Golden Mountain is the gripping story of four generations of Chinese women who live and die under the restrictions of their cultureexcept for one, the author. Her story tells of growing up in Hong Kong and of her transition to New York City where she struggled to meld the American dream with her ethnic background. Finally, at age fifty, she dares to move into the present and understand the true nature of dreams and what it means to live.

Spanning continents, generations, immigrations, cultural changes, and social movements, The Golden Mountain is the deeply inspiring tale of a woman claiming her power.

How difficult it is to try to mix two cultures, to desperatly want to understand the new land in which one lives and at the same time not forget ones roots ! A very compelling story.