Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tempting Titles: Nonfiction 800 - 900 - Biographies

Finshing up this round of good reading, still in Dewey Decimal order (The Biographies are all numbered 92 [Name of person biography is about] because they used be 920 but that got used to signify biographies of groups of people so libraries went with 92 or B. And, by the way, certain biographies are not there. If it's a writer or an actor, a musician, or an athlete their biography is in the Dewey Decimal number for his or her activity. Never mind, just ask at the Reference Desk. We'll tell you where.)

To get to the online catalog record click on the image or the book title link. There you can place a hold request, see similar subjects or other books by the same author, read first chapters, reviews or summaries, and enlarge the image.

800 Literature

Dog Years a memoir by Doty, Mark.

This sad, sad book represents a curious blend of memoir, journal, literary criticism, and prose elegy, and it borrows some structural elements from drama and poetry. Its tone is plangent, its complex formal structure is like memory itself, and its exquisite pace reminds one of nothing so much as a stroll in the park with Fido. Poignant, intelligent, and quite simply superb; highly recommended for most collections, although the Emily Dickinson criticism may make it too literary for the Marley & Me crowd. Library Journal.

Taz, the Blog Dog, suggests to look at the bookjacket to see what dogs are all about: "Why do dogs speak so profoundly to our inner lives? When poet Doty decides to adopt a dog as a companion for his dying partner, he finds himself bringing home Beau, a large golden retriever, malnourished and in need of loving care. Beau joins Arden, the black retriever, to complete their family. As Beau bounds back into life, the two dogs become Doty's intimate companions, his solace, and eventually the very life force that keeps him from abandoning all hope during the darkest days. Their tenacity, loyalty, and love inspire him when all else fails. This is a moving and intimate memoir interwoven with profound reflections on our feelings for animals and the lessons they teach us about life, love, and loss. Doty writes about the heart-wrenching vulnerability of dogs, the positive energy and joy they bring, and the gift they bear us of unconditional love."--Publisher bookjacket.

Thornton Wilder: Collected Plays and Writings on Theater by Wilder, Thornton / McClatchy, J.D. selected and wrote notes.

Starred Review. This latest Library of America collection is a doozy. This volume gathers a heap of Wilder's early one-acters with Our Town, The Skin of Our Teeth, and The Matchmaker, plus his writings on theater and a sweet bonus of his screenplay for Hitchcock's 1943 thriller Shadow of a Doubt. Overall, there are about three dozen plays and another dozen essays. Essential for theater collections. Library Journal

900 Geography, Travel, History, Biography

Empire of Blue Water: Captain Morgan’s Great Pirate Army, the Epic Battle for the Americas, and the Catastrophe that Ended the Outlaw’s Bloody Reign by Stephan Talty

A vivid portrait of pirate life, and even better as an analysis of why the ruthless outlaws were so peculiarly suited for success against hapless Spain. Kirkus

Necessary Sins: A Memoir by Lynn Darling

Anyone who is married will laugh with Darling as she describes the disappointment she felt when her new hubby gave her towels for Valentine’s Day, and underline her many insights into the “cycles [of] domestic life. “Unsettling and absorbing.” Kirkus

Too Close to the Sun: the Audacious Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton by Wheeler, Sara

Beautifully rendered biography of the last of the great Victorian gentlemen-adventurers, by accomplished English author Wheeler (Cherry, 2002, etc.). A charismatic personality of the first order, and with impeccable lineage to boot, Denys Finch Hatton (1887–1931) gained importance as one of the first-rank white hunters in British East Africa during the 1920s, as well as the lover of authors Karen Blixen (aka Isak Dinesen) and Beryl Markham, among others. Kirkus

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