Biographies

Conan Doyle for the defense : the true story of a sensational British murder, a quest for justice, and the world's most famous detective writer book cover

Conan Doyle for the defense : the true story of a sensational British murder, a quest for justice, and the world's most famous detective writer

Margalit Fox

364.1523 /Fox
True Crime, Biographies

"In 1908 an elderly woman was brutally murdered in her Glasgow apartment. The police found a convenient but innocent suspect in Oscar Slater--a Jewish cardsharp--who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, already the world-famous creator of Sherlock Holmes, was outraged by this injustice and became obsessed with the case. Over the years he scoured trial transcripts, newspaper accounts, and police diaries, meticulously noting myriad holes and inconsistencies. Finally, in 1927, his work won Slater's freedom. Conan Doyle for the Defense immerses readers in the science of Edwardian crime detection, telling the story of how Conan Doyle managed to get this murder conviction overturned by employing the methods of his most famous creation. Along the way, Fox illuminates a watershed moment in the history of criminal justice when reflexive prejudice began gradually to be replaced by reason and the scientific method"--

Heidi L's picture

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle solves a real murder case, although the ending isn't exactly happy or tidy like fiction is. This nonfiction reads as fast as a Sherlock Holmes mystery. -Heidi L

The brilliant deep : rebuilding the world's coral reefs : the story of Ken Nedimyer and the Coral Restoration Foundation book cover

The brilliant deep : rebuilding the world's coral reefs : the story of Ken Nedimyer and the Coral Restoration Foundation

Kate Messner

jE Messner
Picture Books, Biographies, Nature, Science

Looks at the life of the coral restoration pioneer Ken Nedimyer, from his early fascination with the ocean to his ongoing efforts to save and rebuild the world's coral reefs.

Casey's picture

Kate Messner and Matthew Forsythe's new picture book biography about Ken Nedimyer is absolutely stunning. This is a perfect place to start learning about our rapidly changing oceans and the efforts being made to combat the bleaching of coral reefs. Parents and children will love this title, not only for it's beautiful artwork, but for the wealth of information and hope that it embodies. It's never too early or late to learn that individuals have the power to impact great change. -Casey

John book cover

John

Cynthia Lennon

BIOGRAPHY Lennon, John
Biographies

Shawna's picture

Inspired by the recent Last Podcast on the Left episode about Mark David Chapman (murderer of John Lennon) I checked out this personal biography about John Lennon, written by his first wife, Cynthia (Powell) Lennon. The unique perspective of this book helps it to stand out from the litany of biographies about the idealistic Beatle. -Shawna

The Beatles : the biography book cover

The Beatles : the biography

Bob Spitz

781.66092 /Beatles
Biographies

Shawna's picture

Listening to a recent episode of Last Podcast on the Left which covered the murderer of John Lennon made me think about my favorite Beatles biography. The length of Spitz's book can be daunting, but Beatles fans will quickly become engaged and read through this comprehensive biography. -Shawna

Chasing Hilary: ten years, two presidential campaigns, and one intact glass ceiling book cover

Chasing Hilary: ten years, two presidential campaigns, and one intact glass ceiling

Amy Chozick

324.973 /Chozick
Nonfiction, Biographies

The dishy, rollicking, and deeply personal story of what really happened in the 2016 election, as seen through the eyes of the New York Times reporter who gave eight years of her life to covering the First Woman President who wasn't.

Melody's picture

Adding this book to me "to read" list. I cataloged this book when it came in, and I couldn't take my eyes off the sections on what it was like to be a political reporter covering candidates while they were in Iowa. The journalist details her times in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, writing about how different candidates were perceived at the State Fair. It's a book published by a mainstream publisher, and it mentions the butter cow! -Melody

The undoing project : a friendship that changed our minds book cover

The undoing project : a friendship that changed our minds

Michael (Michael M.) Lewis

612.8233 /Lewis
Science, Biographies

Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis's own work possible. Kahneman and Tversky are more responsible than anybody for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms.The Undoing Project is about a compelling collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university and on the battlefield--both had important careers in the Israeli military--and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences. Amos Tversky was a brilliant, self-confident warrior and extrovert, the center of rapt attention in any room; Kahneman, a fugitive from the Nazis in his childhood, was an introvert whose questing self-doubt was the seedbed of his ideas. They became one of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, working together so closely that they couldn't remember whose brain originated which ideas, or who should claim credit. They flipped a coin to decide the lead authorship on the first paper they wrote, and simply alternated thereafter.This story about the workings of the human mind is explored through the personalities of two fascinating individuals so fundamentally different from each other that they seem unlikely friends or colleagues. In the process they may well have changed, for good, mankind's view of its own mind.

Tom's picture

Added by Tom

Churchill and Orwell : the fight for freedom book cover

Churchill and Orwell : the fight for freedom

Thomas E. Ricks

941.084 /Ricks
History, Biographies

A "dual biography of Winston Churchill and George Orwell, with a focus on the pivotal years from the mid-1930s through the 1940s, when their farsighted vision and inspired action in the face of the threat of fascism and communism helped preserve democracy for the world"--

Heidi L's picture

A compelling read about two very different men who shared a horror of fascism. I learned a lot about the Spanish civil war from Orwell's book Homage to Catalonia, but did not know much about his life otherwise; this book filled that gap. -Heidi L

Fannie never flinched : one woman's courage in the struggle for American labor union rights book cover

Fannie never flinched : one woman's courage in the struggle for American labor union rights

Mary Cronk Farrell

jBIOGRAPHY Sellins, Fannnie
Kids, Nonfiction, Biographies, History

Fanny Sellins was a union activist who fought and gave her life for equality and labor reform.

Morgan's picture

For older elementary readers, this is the story of a remarkable woman who refused to back down from fighting for the rights of workers. -Morgan

Four Seasons in Rome : on twins, insomnia, and the biggest funeral in the history of the world book cover

Four Seasons in Rome : on twins, insomnia, and the biggest funeral in the history of the world

Anthony Doerr

914.5632 /Doerr
Travel, Biographies

"The recipient of an American Academy fellowship, Doerr, his wife, and their twin newborns are on their way to Rome for a year. Cultural isolation, the death of John Paul II, struggles to complete a novel, and the tales of first-time parenthood uniquely blend together as Doerr meanders his way through a one-year Roman holiday. Along the way, he meets Romans quick to praise his twins, Romans quick to prejudge an American, and Romans happy to share the secrets of their city with him. Set against this backdrop, Doerr finds it difficult to focus on the novel he plans on writing; instead, like so many other visitors, he falls for the Eternal City. For readers who have been to Rome, Doerr's reflections will leave them longing for a return trip. For those who have not, Doerr's stories of piazzas and pizzas will have them checking travel arrangements. Either way, this memoir is a wonderful combination of a writer's two dominant struggles: cultural identity and family."--

Candice's picture

Anthony Doerr (author of All the Light We Cannot See) was a brand-new father of twins when he was granted a sabbatical in Rome. He takes on the Eternal City and the newborns all in one go, and is rewarded for it. A sort of epic love poem to Rome and family, and all there is to be aware of and savor. -Candice