Carsick isn’t a straightforward On the Road clone, however. Waters impishly provides us with not only a day-by-day description of his actual hitchhike, but two novellas...
With this rich trove of material her book is at times funny, warm, emotional — a sort of personal bildungsroman that powerfully evokes both the angst of early adulthood and life in literary New York in the mid-1990s.
That Clinton keeps her cards close to her chest can be read as proof positive of a presidential run in her future. Maybe after that, she can finally give us the goods.
There are many nice moments in “Tibetan Peach Pie.” (Explaining the title is not worth the effort.) But it’s mostly a string of anecdotes; the author doesn’t reach deep for genuine self-examination. His similes sometimes work; just as often, they’re a professional charmer’s determined overkill.
“The Good Spy” provides a fresh and grainy view of the rise of organizations like Hezbollah, and of figures like Osama bin Laden. It allows us to meet in Ames a quiet but strong personality, a man whose fundamental decency allowed him to see both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict clearly.
Will history see Geithner as a great Treasury secretary? That is uncertain. He was certainly effective. But too much of this otherwise self-deprecating memoir is self-defence.
What happens? Not much. But Mr. Kinney has a chance to describe several different strata of Dylan admirers, from those who’ll eat cherry pie because he did to those who know the first name of his maternal great-grandmother...The stories are innocent and not particularly interesting.
Cheney conclusively demonstrates through the historical record that Madison, in word and deed, was a primary figure in shaping early American development and successfully establishes “a deeper understanding of the man who did more than any other to conceive and establish the nation we know.”
The real pleasures of “The Noble Hustle” come in the throwaway observations. ...Mr Whitehead may not have gone home in the money, but he has a way with upstanding sentences.
...there's genuine tenderness beneath her scribbled, glowering caricatures, and turning her family's slow disaster into gallows humor is clearly an act of love.
We are always drawn back to the sea that links us with our ancestors, across time and space. This is a magnificent book.
“AB” is reliably amusing, of course...And Stibbe herself is Bennett-like in her deadpan, ruthlessly honest observations. Properly heartwarming.
Ms. Warren's descriptions of herself may be the most interesting part of "A Fighting Chance." To judge by her own account, she seems prone to bullying...Yet she also portrays herself as a small-town gal with an aw-shucks demeanor. She vomits backstage before appearing on "The Daily Show," and on the campaign trail walks "straight into a pole."
The account of Barea is the most sombre and profound in the book. Vaill's style throughout is unusually intimate. She glides into characters' heads and keeps up the pace with smart asides. This can make it wonderfully exciting but the intimacy can grate...
Mr. Beam's "American Crucifixion" concentrates on the murder itself, which has received relatively little attention from historians of Mormonism. But the book is also a remarkably fair account of the origins and trajectory of Mormonism itself.
In a book of this scope, the narrative is inevitably top-heavy in spots, and the plot wears thin toward the end, but this is storytelling at its most seductive, a brash historical adventure.
What can a new biographer add? “Gandhi Before India” by Ramachandra Guha, India’s leading historian, offers plenty...it deals with Gandhi’s life up to 1914...Gandhi’s biographers usually pass over this period in a rush to get to the main show in India. But Mr Guha argues his “African Gandhi” is every bit as worthy of attention as the later man.
This is a generous tribute to an amusing and brilliant man but, ultimately, there just isn’t much incident. Not all great writers merit a big biography.
In the case of "Creativity, Inc.," by Ed Catmull, one of the founders of Pixar Animation, readers will want to take a big bite. Yes, there are clichés here...But the book also offers up a fascinating story about how some very smart people built something that profoundly changed the animation business and, along the way, popular culture.
As humane as it is sympathetic, Keegan’s work is a poignantly inspiring reminder of what is possible in the pursuit of dreams. A well-deserved tribute to a talented young writer.