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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Biography, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 732
1. The Courage to Act

In this extraordinary story of politics and the people, the former chair of the Federal Reserve offers an insider's account of the cataclysmic financial crisis of 2007 and the extraordinary effort of the Fed and the Treasury Department to buoy the U.S. and world economies, preventing further catastrophe. Books mentioned in this post The Courage [...]

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2. Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton

Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton  bu Don Tate Peachtree, 2015 ISBN: 978-1-56145-825-7 Grades K-5 The reviewer received a galley from the publisher. Earlier this year Louise reviewed The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch written by Chris Barton and illustrated by Don Tate. Peachtree recently published a gorgeous picture book biography written and illustrated by Don Tate. Poet: The

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3. Fur, Fins, and Feathers by Cassandre Maxwell

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4. Gershwin and color: how blue is the Rhapsody?

Everyone knows George Gershwin as a composer, songwriter, pianist and icon of American music. But few know of his connections to the world of paintings and fine art. As a practicing artist himself, Gershwin produced over 100 paintings, drawings, and photographs.

The post Gershwin and color: how blue is the Rhapsody? appeared first on OUPblog.

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5. Caitlin Doughty’s Playlist for Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

The soundtrack perfectly suited to facing your own mortality. ("My Way," "Wind beneath My Wings," and other popular funeral songs need not apply.) 1. "Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo The first time I heard this song, I couldn't believe how good it was. It imagines death as a raucous adventure. "Who could ask for [...]

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6. James Baldwin and The Fire This Time

As the fires burned in Baltimore, following the arrest and subsequent death of Freddie Gray in April 2015, protesters brandished placards with quotations from James Baldwin’s work, and thousands of blogs and twitter feeds invoked the legendary writer.

The post James Baldwin and The Fire This Time appeared first on OUPblog.

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7. Gamelife

Michael Clune's mother accused him of using computer games to escape from reality. She wasn't wrong, but part of what's fascinating about Gamelife is where Clune escapes to and what he thinks about along the way. "I need to be somewhere else," he writes, and that is the gift and the curse computer games offer. [...]

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8. Signs

As a teenager, I didn't pay much attention to posted signs. I was a strange kid — both very confident and very lost. My façade, my own sign posted for the world, was a lie and I knew it. But I believed if I could just be patient enough, a kind of secret door would [...]

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9. Electrical Wizard

Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World. Elizabeth Rusch. Illustrated by Oliver Dominguez. 2013/2015. Candlewick. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

It never failed, when I was in school, that one of the year's assignments would be to read a biography and either write a written report or give an oral report. It was a boring assignment, but, it wouldn't have had to be. What did I look for in a biography? First, that it was a SHORT book, meeting the minimum number of required pages certainly, but, not looking to go OVER either. Second, that it had PICTURES. The more illustrations, the better, in my opinion. And if they were COLOR illustrations, it was EVEN better. The subject matter didn't matter as much to me--at least then--as did these two essentials. Electrical Wizard would have been an absolute dream come true to me as a kid. I really don't remember ANY biography coming close in terms of being kid friendly and visually appealing. Children are lucky to have such lovely biographies available today. This one happens to be published by Candlewick.

So, the book is a biography of Nicola Tesla. And Rusch managed quite effortlessly to make electricity easy to understand. And Tesla was quite an interesting--fascinating--man. So this one makes for a delightfully compelling read.

Seven chapters focus on his life. Several more focus on his impact and relevance. For example, "Ahead of His Time," shows the brilliance of Tesla's inventions. And "Tesla Vs. Edison" provides context for understanding/appreciating both men. Also included scientific notes, a time line, source notes, and selected biography.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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10. Drowning in Facts: A Conversation with Amy Stewart and Masie Cochran

Amy Stewart is the author of the novel Girl Waits with Gun and six other books, including The Drunken Botanist and Wicked Plants. Some of her earliest research for the novel happened right here in Portland, and Tin House editor Masie Cochran was there to witness it all. We've brought them back together to reminisce [...]

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11. 60 years of Guinness World Records

On 27 August 1955, the first edition of the Guinness Book of Records–now Guinness World Records, was published. Through listing world records of both human achievements and of the natural world, what started as a reference book became an international franchise, gaining popular interest around the globe. In celebration of this anniversary of weird and wonderful world records, we’ve selected a few favourites from talented individuals featured in our online products.

The post 60 years of Guinness World Records appeared first on OUPblog.

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12. Fab Four Friends

Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became the BEATLES  by Susanna Reich illustrated by Adam Gustavson Henry Holt Books and Company, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-8050-9458-9 Grades K-5 The reviewer received a copy of the book from the publisher. Over the past few years I've added two Beatles biographies to my school library collection: The Beatles Were Fab by Kathleen Krull and Who Were the Beatles? by Geoff

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13. Max Planck’s debt

The great German physicist Max Planck once said, “However many specialties science may split into, it remains fundamentally an indivisible whole.” He declared that the divisions and subdivisions of scientific disciplines were “not based on the nature of things.”

The post Max Planck’s debt appeared first on OUPblog.

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14. The Life of Charlotte Bronte (1857)

The Life of Charlotte Bronte. Elizabeth Gaskell. 1857/1975. Penguin Classics. 623 pages. [Source: Bought]

I should have read it years ago. I really should have. I simply loved, loved, loved Elizabeth Gaskell's biography of Charlotte Bronte. Yes, it's packed with information on the Brontes. But it's more than that. It's how this information is conveyed, it's how the story is written that makes it a compelling read. Not many biographies are impossible to put down. This one was. Gaskell, in many ways, let Charlotte Bronte speak for herself by sharing so many letters or excerpts from letters. One really gets a sense of "knowing" from reading it. And that isn't always the case with biographies, though it is sometimes the case with autobiographies. I appreciated Gaskell's narrative voice very much. It was a real treat. Anyone who loves Victorian literature should read this one. Or anyone who loves Jane Eyre or any other Bronte novel.

I read for the same reason that I ate or drank; because it was a real craving of nature. I wrote on the same principle as I spoke--out of the impulse and feelings of the mind; nor could I help it, for what came, came out, and there was the end of it. ~ Charlotte Bronte in a letter to Mr. Wordsworth, 1837
It is very edifying and profitable to create a world out of your own brains, and people it with inhabitants, who are so many Melchisedecs, and have no father nor mother but your own imagination. ~ Charlotte Bronte, 1840
Some of my greatest difficulties lie in things that would appear to you comparatively trivial. ~ Charlotte Bronte, 1841
Write to me often; very long letters. It will do both of us good. ~ Charlotte Bronte, 1841
If I could, I would always work in silence and obscurity, and let my efforts be known by their results. ~ Charlotte Bronte, 1841
They wanted learning. They came for learning. They would learn. Where they had a distinct purpose to be achieved in intercourse with their fellows, they forgot themselves; at all other times they were miserably shy. ~ Elizabeth Gaskell about Charlotte and Emily going to Brussells 
Any one who has studied her writings,—whether in print or in her letters; any one who has enjoyed the rare privilege of listening to her talk, must have noticed her singular felicity in the choice of words. She herself, in writing her books, was solicitous on this point. One set of words was the truthful mirror of her thoughts; no others, however apparently identical in meaning, would do. She had that strong practical regard for the simple holy truth of expression, which Mr. Trench has enforced, as a duty too often neglected. She would wait patiently searching for the right term, until it presented itself to her. It might be provincial, it might be derived from the Latin; so that it accurately represented her idea, she did not mind whence it came; but this care makes her style present the finish of a piece of mosaic. Each component part, however small, has been dropped into the right place. She never wrote down a sentence until she clearly understood what she wanted to say, had deliberately chosen the words, and arranged them in their right order. Hence it comes that, in the scraps of paper covered with her pencil writing which I have seen, there will occasionally be a sentence scored out, but seldom, if ever, a word or an expression. She wrote on these bits of paper in a minute hand, holding each against a piece of board, such as is used in binding books, for a desk. This plan was necessary for one so short-sighted as she was; and, besides, it enabled her to use pencil and paper, as she sat near the fire in the twilight hours, or if (as was too often the case) she was wakeful for hours in the night. Her finished manuscripts were copied from these pencil scraps, in clear, legible, delicate traced writing, almost as easy to read as print. ~ Elizabeth Gaskell about Charlotte Bronte's writing habits
Even at the risk of appearing very exacting, I can't help saying that I should like a letter as long as your last, every time you write. Short notes give one the feeling of a very small piece of a very good thing to eat,—they set the appetite on edge, and don't satisfy it,—a letter leaves you more contented; and yet, after all, I am very glad to get notes; so don't think, when you are pinched for time and materials, that it is useless to write a few lines; be assured, a few lines are very acceptable as far as they go; and though I like long letters, I would by no means have you to make a task of writing them. . . . ~ Charlotte Bronte, 1847
If "Jane Eyre" has any solid worth in it, it ought to weather a gust of unfavourable wind. ~ Charlotte Bronte, 1847
If I ever DO write another book, I think I will have nothing of what you call 'melodrama;' I think so, but I am not sure. I THINK, too, I will endeavour to follow the counsel which shines out of Miss Austen's 'mild eyes,' 'to finish more and be more subdued;' but neither am I sure of that. When authors write best, or, at least, when they write most fluently, an influence seems to waken in them, which becomes their master—which will have its own way—putting out of view all behests but its own, dictating certain words, and insisting on their being used, whether vehement or measured in their nature; new-moulding characters, giving unthought of turns to incidents, rejecting carefully-elaborated old ideas, and suddenly creating and adopting new ones. ~ Charlotte Bronte, 1848
Every one has a right to form his own conclusion respecting the merits and demerits of a book. I complain not of the judgment which the reviewer passes on "Jane Eyre." Opinions as to its tendency varied then, as they do now. While I write, I receive a letter from a clergyman in America in which he says: "We have in our sacred of sacreds a special shelf, highly adorned, as a place we delight to honour, of novels which we recognise as having had a good influence on character OUR character. Foremost is 'Jane Eyre.' ~ Elizabeth Gaskell on book reviews
I wish you did not think me a woman. I wish all reviewers believed 'Currer Bell' to be a man; they would be more just to him. You will, I know, keep measuring me by some standard of what you deem becoming to my sex; where I am not what you consider graceful, you will condemn me. All mouths will be open against that first chapter; and that first chapter is true as the Bible, nor is it exceptionable. Come what will, I cannot, when I write, think always of myself and of what is elegant and charming in femininity; it is not on those terms, or with such ideas, I ever took pen in hand: and if it is only on such terms my writing will be tolerated, I shall pass away from the public and trouble it no more. Out of obscurity I came, to obscurity I can easily return. Standing afar off, I now watch to see what will become of 'Shirley.' My expectations are very low, and my anticipations somewhat sad and bitter; still, I earnestly conjure you to say honestly what you think; flattery would be worse than vain; there is no consolation in flattery. As for condemnation I cannot, on reflection, see why I should much fear it; there is no one but myself to suffer therefrom, and both happiness and suffering in this life soon pass away. ~ Charlotte Bronte, 1849
You say that you suspect I have formed a large circle of acquaintance by this time. No: I cannot say that I have. I doubt whether I possess either the wish or the power to do so. A few friends I should like to have, and these few I should like to know well. ~ Charlotte Bronte, 1850
I have read Tennyson's 'In Memoriam,' or rather part of it; I closed the book when I had got about half way. It is beautiful; it is mournful; it is monotonous. ~ Charlotte Bronte, 1850
It is my intention to write a few lines of remark on 'Wuthering Heights,' which, however, I propose to place apart as a brief preface before the tale. I am likewise compelling myself to read it over, for the first time of opening the book since my sister's death. Its power fills me with renewed admiration; but yet I am oppressed: the reader is scarcely ever permitted a taste of unalloyed pleasure; every beam of sunshine is poured down through black bars of threatening cloud; every page is surcharged with a sort of moral electricity; and the writer was unconscious of all this—nothing could make her conscious of it. And this makes me reflect,—perhaps I am too incapable of perceiving the faults and peculiarities of my own style. ~ Charlotte Bronte, 1850
You charge me to write about myself. What can I say on that precious topic? My health is pretty good. My spirits are not always alike. Nothing happens to me. I hope and expect little in this world, and am thankful that I do not despond and suffer more. ~ Charlotte Bronte, 1851
Even if it should turn out reasonably well, still I regard it as ruin to the prosperity of an ephemeral book like a novel, to be much talked of beforehand, as if it were something great. People are apt to conceive, or at least to profess, exaggerated expectation, such as no performance can realise; then ensue disappointment and the due revenge, detraction, and failure.~ Charlotte Bronte, 1852

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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15. Commemorating Sri Aurobindo’s anniversary, the birth of a nation, and a new world

The fifteenth of August commemorates Sri Aurobindo’s birthday, and the birth of independent India, a historical landmark where he played a significant role. Aurobindo, the founder of Purna, or Integral Yoga, is a renowned and controversial poet, educationist, and literary critic, a politician, sociologist, and mystic whose evolutionary worldview represents a breakthrough in history. Nevertheless, what is the relevance of Aurobindo nowadays?

The post Commemorating Sri Aurobindo’s anniversary, the birth of a nation, and a new world appeared first on OUPblog.

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16. Street Poison

Street Poison is an illuminating portrait of the flawed and fascinating life of Iceberg Slim. Though not well known in literary circles, his books have had a profound effect on music, film, and inner-city culture. Gifford, his biographer, crafts a highly readable account of mid-20th-century African American history that feels both timely and relevant. Books [...]

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17. Mess

Barry Yourgrau's apartment was filled with sentimental keepsakes from traveling and from his family. True to his style, he began researching clutter, doing interviews, and going to group meetings, but not actually removing anything from his apartment. Eventually he began to work his way through the boxes of his father's books stacked underneath the piano, [...]

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18. Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer:  Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford illustrated by Ekua Holmes Candlewick Press, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-7636-6531-9 Grades 4-12 The reviewer received a copy of the book from the publisher. Voice of Freedom is a beautiful tribute to Fannie Lou Hamer, civil rights activist and voting rights champion. Fannie Lou Hamer, also known as the

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19. enormous SMALLNESS

enormous SMALLNESS: A Story of E.E. Cummings  by Matthew Burgess illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo Enchanted Lion Books, 2015 Grades 2-5 The reviewer borrowed a copy of the book from her local library. I've heard from several public librarians that picture book biographies rarely circulate from their biography collections. I'm fortunate that in the school library where I work my K-5 students

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20. What Happened, Miss Simone? : Liz Garbus’ documentary in review

Award-winning director Liz Garbus has made a compelling, if sometimes troubling, documentary about a compelling and troubling figure—the talented and increasingly iconic performer, Nina Simone. The title, What Happened, Miss Simone?, comes from an essay that Maya Angelou wrote in 1970. In the opening seconds of the film, excerpts from Angelou’s words appear: “Miss Simone, you are idolized, even loved, by millions now. But what happened, Miss Simone?”

The post What Happened, Miss Simone? : Liz Garbus’ documentary in review appeared first on OUPblog.

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21. A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Solnit is one of the most eloquent, urgent, and intelligent voices writing nonfiction today; from Men Explain Things to Me to Storming the Gates of Paradise, anything she's written is well worth reading. But her marvelous book of essays A Field Guide to Getting Lost might be her most poetic, ecstatic work. Field Guide is [...]

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22. Death is not the end: The rise and rise of Pierre Bourdieu in US sociology

Pierre Bourdieu would have turned 85 on 1 August 2015. Thirteen years after his death, the French sociologist remains one of the leading social scientists in the world. His work has been translated into dozens of languages (Sapiro & Bustamante 2009), and he is one of the most cited social theorists worldwide, ahead of major thinkers like Jurgen Habermas, Anthony Giddens, or Irving Goffman (Santoro 2008).

The post Death is not the end: The rise and rise of Pierre Bourdieu in US sociology appeared first on OUPblog.

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23. William Lawrence Bragg and Crystallography

The history of modern Crystallography is intertwined with the great discoveries’ of William Lawrence Bragg (WLB), still renowned to be the youngest Nobel Prize in Physics. Bragg received news of his Nobel Prize on the 14th November 1915 in the midst of the carnage of the Great War. This was to be shared with his father William Henry Bragg (WHB), and WHB and WLB are to date the only father and son team to be jointly awarded the Nobel Prize.

The post William Lawrence Bragg and Crystallography appeared first on OUPblog.

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24. We Should Hang Out Sometime Book Review

Title: We Should Hang Out Sometime Author: Josh Sundquist Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Publication Date: December 23, 2014 ISBN-13: 978-0316251020 336 pp. ARC provided by publisher Josh Sundquist is a Paralympian, motivational speaker, and YouTuber who's not so good with the ladies. This biography tells the tale of all the girls he's loved before (or at least crushed on

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25. The public life of Charles Dickens

Our Oxford World's Classics reading group, in its third season, has chosen Dickens's Great Expectations for discussion. In addition to analyzing that a work for its literary depth, it is just as important to consider an author's life and the context in which the work was written.

The post The public life of Charles Dickens appeared first on OUPblog.

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