Articles tagged "James Baldwin"

Booklist’s Best Biographies of 2017

Booklist recently shared their Top 10 Biography reading lists of 2017*, including these five Macmillan titles:
Top 10 Biographies (full list)

BLACK ELK: The Life of an American Visionary by Joe Jackson
Jackson meticulously chronicles the struggle of the Sioux visionary and medicine man Black Elk to help his embattled people preserve their culture and traditions.

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF WILDE: Oscar Wilde and His Family by Emer O’Sullivan
O’Sullivan tells the great Irish writer’s story in concert with those of Wilde’s physician, archaeologist, antiquarian, and folklorist father, William; translator, poet, and mythographer mother, Jane; and brother, William, a gifted and troubled society journalist.

MAD ENCHANTMENT: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies by Ross King
With vivid specificity and poignant insights, King eloquently tells the wondrous story of the great impressionist Monet’s long struggle against war, grief, and fading eyesight to paint his monumental Water Lilies at Giverny.

NOT PRETTY ENOUGH: The Unlikely Triumph of Helen Gurley Brown by Gerri Hirshey
Hirshey’s entrancing biography reveals the full and astonishing tale of Helen Gurley Brown, the audacious powerhouse behind Cosmopolitan magazine, who was forever haunted by her hardscrabble Arkansas childhood.

Top 10 Biographies on Audio (full list)

IF AT BIRTH YOU DON’T SUCCEED: My Adventures with Disaster and Destiny by Zach Anner, read by the author
Reality-show winner and YouTube star Anner tells funny, outrageous stories while also admitting his regrets and fears with quiet honesty in his hilarious and heartfelt memoir.

Core Collection: Group Biographies (full list)

ALL WE KNOW: Three Lives by Lisa Cohen
Cohen tells the stories of three singular women who helped shaped modern culture as part of the “close-knit and fractious lesbian networks of New York, London, and Paris”: the brilliant Esther Murphy, feminist writer Mercedes de Acosta, and British fashion star Madge Garland.

AMERICAN RHAPSODY: Writers, Musicians, Movie Stars, and One Great Building by Claudia Roth Pierpont
Pierpont’s scintillating portrait gallery includes such embattled yet influential American artists as Dashiell Hammett, James Baldwin, Katharine Hepburn, and Nina Simone, as well as New York’s incandescent Chrysler Building.

THE FELLOWSHIP: The Literary Lives of the Inklings, J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis by Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski
The Zaleskis showcase the Oxford fantasists who called themselves the Inklings, focusing on J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield, and delving into how they shared a commitment to a vibrantly Christian creativity.

FLAPPERS: Six Women of a Dangerous Generation by Judith Mackrell
Mackrell chronicles with drama and panache the lives of six intrepid, stylish, trailblazing women artists who exemplify the flapper revolution: actors Lady Diana Cooper and Tallulah Bankhead, performer Josephine Baker, writers Nancy Cunard and Zelda Fitzgerald, and painter Tamara de Lempicka.

THE GLAMOUR OF STRANGENESS: Artists and the Last Age of the Exotic by Jamie James
James profiles artists who undertook “transcultural” adventures, from Gauguin in Tahiti to Raden Saleh, who left Indonesia for Holland; Swiss writer Isabelle Eberhardt roaming late-nineteenth-century North Africa dressed as a man; and the avant-garde American filmmaker Maya Deren in Haiti.

GROUP F.64: Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and the Community of Artists Who Revolutionized American Photography by Mary Street Alinder
Alinder’s landmark group study brings into sharp focus the California photographers who fought to establish photography as an art form.

IDENTITY UNKNOWN: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists by Donna Seaman
The painters and sculptors under scrutiny here—Gertrude Abercrombie, Joan Brown, Lois Maïlou Jones, Ree Morton, Christina Ramberg, Lenore Tawney, even Louise Nevelson—achieved fame only to be quickly relegated to the shadows.

OF ARMS AND ARTISTS: The American Revolution through Painters’ Eyes by Paul Staiti
Staiti zestfully portrays five artists whose paintings helped forge the new American ethos in the midst of the Revolutionary War: Charles Willson Peale, Benjamin West, John Trumbull, John Singleton Copley, and Gilbert Stuart.

*Titles included were reviewed between June 2016, and February 1, 2017.

Read, Reflect & Discuss

“After a contentious campaign season filled with divisive rhetoric, we are now hearing from our members and in the news media about incidents of bigotry and harassment within our communities. During times like these, our nation’s 120,000 public, academic, school, and special libraries are invaluable allies inspiring understanding and community healing. Libraries provide a safe place for individuals of all ages and backgrounds and for difficult discussions on social issues.— ALA President Julie B. Todaro’s statement on Libraries, the Association, Diversity, and Inclusion

It’s important, now more than ever, to continue reading, reflecting, and engaging in open dialogue about the issues facing us all as a nation. Here are our picks of new and forthcoming titles to help do just that:

TEARS WE CANNOT STOP: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
As the country grapples with race with anguish and anger at a level not seen since the 60s, one of America’s leading black voices speaks out honestly and provocatively to white America. “University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University and a leading public intellectual once ranked among the 100 Most Influential African Americans by Ebony magazine, Dyson here expands on his editorial, challenging white America to do its part in improving race relations. Brief yet pointed; with comparisons to James Baldwin’s THE FIRE NEXT TIME and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME.” — Library Journal, pre-pub alert

WE GON’ BE ALRIGHT: Notes on Race and Resegregation by Jeff Chang
A provocative and timely collection of essays from a celebrated cultural critic on race, diversity, and resegregation. “Readers seeking remedies to racial discord will instead find a multifaceted history lesson coupled with troubling updates on recent urban upsets within the author’s interconnected discourse. With his galvanizing message, Chang reiterates that while there is much work to be done on the inequality front, the opportunity to ‘get it right’ has not passed us by. A compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

I’M JUDGING YOU by Luvvie Ajayi
“Ajayi, known in the social-media sphere as Awesomely Luvvie after her blog, which attracts 500,000 readers a month, has crafted a smart, vividly humorous handbook for the social-media generation, which is all of us. Her ‘do-better’ calls for us to reclaim common sense, compassion, and critical thinking, in both personal and online interactions. Astute and timely advice, wittily presented.” — Booklist, starred review

WHITE RAGE: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson
From the end of the Civil War to our combustible present, an acclaimed historian reframes the conversation about race, chronicling the powerful forces opposed to black progress in America. “A book that provides necessary perspective on the racial conflagrations in the U.S.” — Kirkus Reviews readmoreremove

Booklist’s Top Biographies of 2016

Booklist‘s favorite Biographies in 2016* include these Macmillan titles:
Top 10 Biographies: 2016

AMERICAN RHAPSODY: Writers, Musicians, Movie Stars, and One Great Building by Claudia Roth Pierpont
Pierpont offers a scintillating portrait gallery of creative, embattled, yet profoundly influential modern Americans, including James Baldwin, Dashiell Hammett, Katharine Hepburn, and Bert Williams, along with the incandescent Chrysler Building.

THE LADY WITH THE BORZOI: Blanche Knopf, Literary Tastemaker Extraordinaire by Laura Claridge
Claridge is the first to bring Blanche Wolf Knopf fully out of the shadows of her husband and publishing partner, Alfred A. Knopf, citing her essential role in bringing epoch-defining writers into print while enduring relentless misogyny.

Top 10 Biographies on Audio: 2016

BOYS IN THE TREES by Carly Simon; Read by the author
Simon’s candid narration and memorable singing elevate her acclaimed memoir as she traces her personal and professional life and sings snippets from her familiar songs as well as one previously unreleased.

FURIOUSLY HAPPY by Jenny Lawson; Read by the author
At times over-the-top funny, at other times a deadly serious discussion of mental illness, journalist and blogger Lawson’s memoir reveals painful truths and courageous insights, all the more moving when heard in her voice.

Core Collection: Biographies of Progressive and Populist Leaders

THE CRUSADER: The Life and Tumultuous Times of Pat Buchanan by Timothy Stanley
Stanley vividly portrays Buchanan—conservative pundit, presidential advisor, and three-time presidential candidate—as a true believer who steered the Republican Party into the culture wars.

THE CRUSADES OF CESAR CHAVEZ by Miriam Pawel
Pawel astutely chronicles the life of the charismatic and revolutionary migrant-worker-rights activist Cesar Chavez, revealing his paradoxical nature and volatile relationships as well as his courageous and innovative protests and penitential fasts.
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