Tagged: Biography

Jul 19

And Furthermore by Judi Dench

And Furthermore

by Judi Dench

as told to John Miller

(5/5)

Autobiography: And Furthermore by Judi Dench

Autobiography / Biography / Memoir / Non-Fiction
Publisher: Phoenix
First Published in 2010

Click here to buy the book And Furthermore by Judi Dench (with free delivery)

Book Review:

This autobiography of Judi Dench’s career was a fun and easy read. As an actor myself, I loved reading about her stage productions and the different experiences, directors and actors she encountered. Dench comes across extremely down to earth and hard working actor with a playful sense of humour. I read the book with a mixture of envy and awe – Dench was actually fought over to play Shakespeare’s Cleopatra by two directors, Peter Hall and Terry Hands, who had both decided to direct the play at the same time!

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Dec 08

Mao’s Last Dancer

Mao’s Last Dancer

by Li Cunxin

Autobiography / Biography / Memoir / Non-Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Books
First Published in 2003

Click here to buy the book Mao’s Last Dancer (with free delivery)

Here’s Reading Like Rabbit’s first guest review by a good friend of mine, Naazli Somjee, who being such a fast reader, probably gets through more book than I do!

Thanks for your recommendation Naaz!

x Julie


Book Review:


A book you have to read is Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin! It is lovely, touching story about the author’s growing up years in China towards the end of Chairman Mao’s rule. He talks about the abject poverty of his childhood and his feelings for his family and the opportunities he is given. It could all become very melancholic but he writes with a combination of humour and matter-of-factness that you need to keep turning the pages till you reach the end. You will then feel the need to youtube the author to watch him dance, and go out and watch a ballet, and hug your parents all at the same time :)

x Naazli

Online Bookstore and Book Review Site

-Reading Like Rabbits-

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Dec 05

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly:

A Memoir of Life in Death

by Jean-Dominique Bauby

Translated from the French by Jeremy Leggatt

(4.5/5)

Memoir / Non-Fiction / Inspirational
First Published in 1998
Publisher: Random House
International Bestseller

Click here to buy The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (with free delivery)


Book Synopsis:

At the age of 43,  Jean-Dominique Bauby, the editor-in-chief for French Elle, survived a massive stroke which resulted in locked-in syndrome.  Paralysed from head to toe, but with his mind still as alert as ever, Bauby wrote this book with the help of Claude Mendibil. Mendibil would recite the alphabet to him and when she arrived at the letter he wanted, Bauby would blink. Blinking his left eyelid was Bauby’s only means of communication with the outside world. This book was literally crafted letter by letter.

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Jul 15

Desert Children by Waris Dirie

Desert Children

by Waris Dirie

with Corinna Milborne

Translated by Sheelagh Alabaster

(5/5)

Non-Fiction / Memoir
First Published in: 2005
Publisher: Virago

Click here to buy Desert Children by Waris Dirie with free delivery

Book Synopsis:

Desert Children is about Waris Dirie and Corinna Milborn’s investigation into the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Europe. It is estimated that up to half a million girls and women have undergone or are at risk of FGM in Europe.

Presently, France is the only country that convicts offenders. What’s more the threat of female genital mutilation is not officially recognized by any European country as a reason for asylum.

Waris Dirie was a top model and UN ambassador. Her story, Desert Flower, of growing up in Somalia, enduring FGM at the age of 5, fleeing though the desert and being discovered as a model by Terence Donovan was an international bestseller.

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Jun 10

Nomad by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Nomad

by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Memoir / Biography / Autobiography
First Published in 2010
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Sequel to Hirsi Ali’s autobiography Infidel (click here to read the book review of Infidel)

Hirsi Ali has also written The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam

Click here to buy a book by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (free delivery worldwide)

I have great respect for Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Against the odds, she is standing up and speaking out for what she believes in. Ayaan’s journey in her first memoir Infidel is fascinating. And I have just got my hands on Nomad, her follow up memoir about her new life in America, based on my friend Vani’s email, which she has allowed me to publish:

Hi friends,

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Jun 01

Stolen Lives – Twenty Years in a Desert Jail

Stolen Lives – Twenty Years in a Desert Jail

a memoir by Malika Oufkir and Michele Fitoussi

(5/5)

Autobiography / Biography / Memoir / Non- Fiction
First Published in 1999
Publisher: Hyperion
Oprah’s Book Club Selection

Click here to buy Stolen Lives by Malika Oufkir and Michele Fitoussi (free delivery)

Book Cover Synopsis:

Malika Oufkir has led a split life. She spent her childhood days raised as a princess, but from the age of nineteen, she was imprisoned with her mother and siblings for the next 20 years.

Maika was General Oufkir’s eldest daughter. He was the closest aide of the King of Morocco, who adopted five-year-old Malika and brought her up as his daughter’s companion. Malika grew up in privilege and luxury, in the shelter of the court harem.

But on 16th August 1972, everything changed. General Oufkir was executed for attempting to assassinate the king. Malika, her mother, her five siblings, and two loyal friends were immediately arrested and imprisoned.

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Jan 07

The Year of Magical Thinking

The Year of Magical Thinking

by Joan Didion

(4/5)

Picture 1 Non-Fiction / Autobiography / Memoir
First Published in 2005
Publisher: Knopf
Winner of The National Book Award 2005
and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and The Pulitzer Prize (Biography/Autobiography)

Click here to buy this book (with free delivery)

Book Synopsis:

In a second, Joan Didion’s life was thrown into turmoil when her husband John Gregory Dunne unexpectedly died of a massive heart attack in 2003. Not only was her husband of 40 years gone, but two days before his death, their daughter Quintana had been hospitalized after falling seriously ill. Life as Joan knew it had ended.

Joan’s grief leads her to a state of ‘magical thinking’, and Joan lucidly writes of her experience of that time in her life. A time when although she knew intellectually that John was dead, she found herself keeping John’s shoes for him. For when he returned.

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Jan 01

Infidel

Infidel

by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

(5/5)

Picture 1Autobiography / Non-Fiction
First Published in 2007
Publisher: The Free Press

Click to buy this book (free delivery)

Book Synopsis:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is among today’s most controversial yet admired political figures. She made international headlines when her friend and colleague Theo Van Gogh was assassinated in the Netherlands for making the film Submission with Hirsi Ali. His Islamist murderer stabbed a note to his body threatening that Hirsi Ali would be next.

This celebrated writer of The Caged Virgin, and courageous champion of free speech has led an extraordinary life.

In her astonishing memoir, she tells of growing up in Somalia in a staunch Muslim household, to escaping an arranged marriage, to her intellectual re-birth in the Netherlands, to becoming a member of the Dutch parliament, and finally of her life under constant security protection because of her open critique of Islam.

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Dec 20

The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle

a memoir

by Jeanette Walls

(5/5)

Picture 1Memoir/Autobiography
First Published in 2005
Publisher: Scribner International

Click to buy this book (free delivery)

Book Synopsis:

The Glass Castle is an extraordinary memoir of a dysfunctional yet effervescent American family. Jeanette’s father is an intelligent, compelling figure, who educates his children on geology, physics and joie de vivre. However, more often than not, he was a drunk who was caustic and dishonest.

Jeanette’s mother was a free spirit who loved painting but hated conformity and the domestic life of raising children.

And so, Jeanette and her siblings grew up taking care of themselves. Jeanette became a successful writer in New York, a place where her parents eventually moved, choosing out of their own free will to live homeless.

In The Glass Castle, the behavior of Rex and Rose Mary Walls is shocking and unacceptable, yet at the same time, it is abundantly clear that they possess deep love and loyalty for their children. It is this contradiction that makes this memoir so gripping.

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Nov 29

Train Man

Train Man

by Nakano Hitori

Translated by Bonnie Elliott.

(4/5)

Train Man PictureFiction / Biography (Train Man is supposedly based on true internet chat forum conversations)
First Published in 2004
Publisher: Del Ray Books (USA), Shinchosha (Japan)
Set in: present day Japan

Click to buy this book (free delivery)

Book cover synopsis:

“The story of the Train man who fell in love with the girl, Hermes.

The best selling internet-generation love story from Japan.’

Train Man is lifted directly from Japan’s 2-Channel chat forum, the world’s largest message board and the most popular website in Japan, handling a million posts every day.

On the web you can say what you feel and be who you want, no strings attached. But sometimes the web escapes into reality and the truth becomes more amazing than fiction.

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Nov 28

Maus

Maus

I – My Father Bleeds History

II – And Here My Trouble Begin

by Art Spiegelman

(5/5)

Maus PictureFiction, Graphic Novel
Winner of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize
First Published in 1980-1991 in RAW magazine
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Set: Nazi Poland and modern day New York, USA

Click to buy this book (free delivery)

Book Synopsis:

“The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but they are not human.” – Adolf Hitler

Maus is the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe, and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father, his father’s terrifying story, and history itself. It’s form, the cartoon (Nazi’s are cats, the Jews are mice), succeeds perfectly in shocking us out of our any lingering sense of familiarity with the events described, approaching, as it does, the unspeakable through the diminutive. It is, as the New York Times Book Review has commented, “a remarkable feat of documentary detail and novelistic vividness…an unfolding literary event.”

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Nov 28

Freedom

Freedom – The Story of My Second Life

a memoir by Malika Oufkir

(4.5/5)

Freedom CoverAutobiography
First Published in 2006
Publisher: Miramax Books
Set in: France, USA

Freedom is the sequel to Oufkir’s Autobiography Stolen Lives

Click to buy Freedom by Malika Oufkir (free delivery)

Book Cover Synopsis:

Stolen Lives, Malika Oufkir’s intensely moving account of her twenty years imprisoned in a desert jail in Morocco, was a surprise international bestseller.

In her highly anticipated follow-up, Malika reflects on the life she lived before and during incarceration and how dramatically the world had changed when she emerged. Malika was born into extreme privilege as the daughter of the king of Morocco’s closest aide, and she grew up in the palace as companion to the Moroccan princess. But in 1972, her life of luxury came to a crashing halt. Her family was locked away for two decades. After a remarkable escape, Malika and her family returned to the world they’d left behind, only to find it transformed.

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