July 2009 Biographies

 

Losing Mum and Pup by Christopher Buckley

From Bookmarks Magazine
Reviewers’ reactions to Losing Mum and Pup seemed to depend largely on the stake they had in the Buckleys and their legacy. Many critics did not care very much about whether William and Pat were actually the way Christopher describes. For them, the book was a refreshing take on parental loss that deviated from the usual clichés. But readers who knew the Buckleys, even if it was only through William’s writing, found parts of the memoir to be petty and unfair, though most still enjoyed the book as a whole. For both groups, though, Losing Mum and Pup fascinated because of the uniqueness of its characters who, despite their reputation as storytellers, are the kind of people you just can’t make up.
Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC

Resilience by Elizabeth Edwards

She’s one of the most beloved political figures in the country, and on the surface, seems to have led a charmed life. In many ways, she has. Beautiful family. Thriving career. Supportive friendship. Loving marriage. But she’s no stranger to adversity. Many know of the strength she had shown after her son, Wade, was killed in a freak car accident when he was only sixteen years old. She would exhibit this remarkable grace and courage again when the very private matter of her husband’s infidelity became public fodder. And her own life has been on the line. Days before the 2004 presidential election—when her husband John was running for vice president—she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After rounds of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation the cancer went away—only to reoccur in 2007.

While on the campaign trail, Elizabeth met many others who have had to contend with serious adversity in their lives, and in Resilience, she draws on their experiences as well as her own, crafting an unsentimental and ultimately inspirational meditation on the gifts we can find among life’s biggest challenges. This short, powerful, pocket-sized inspirational book makes an ideal gift for anyone dealing with difficulties in their life, who can find peace in knowing they are not alone, and promise that things can get better.

Boy Alone by Karl Taro Greenfield

From Publishers Weekly
Sibling rivalry—and love—of a ravaging kind is the subject of this unsparing memoir of the author’s life with his severely autistic brother. Journalist Greenfeld (Standard Deviations) describes his brother, Noah, as a spitting, jibbering, finger-twiddling, head-bobbing idiot; unable to speak or clean himself and given to violent tantrums, Noah and his utter indifference to others makes him permanently alone. But Karl feels almost as alienated; with his parents preoccupied with Noah’s needs (and Noah’s celebrity after his father, Joshua, wrote a bestselling account of his illness in A Child Called Noah), he turns to drugs and petty crime in the teenage wasteland of suburban Los Angeles. Greenfeld doesn’t flinch in his depiction of Noah’s raging dysfunctions or his critique of a callous mental health-care system and arrogant autism-research establishment. (He’s especially hard on the psychoanalytic theories of the Viennese charlatan Bruno Bettelheim.) But the author’s self-portrait is equally lacerating; he often wallows in self-pity—I return home stoned, drunk, puking on myself as I sit defecating into the toilet, crying to my parents… that I am a failure—and owns up to the coldness that Noah’s condition can provoke in him. The result is a bleak but affecting chronicle of a family simultaneously shattered and bound tight by autism. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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