Category Archives: biography

Chasing Chopin: A Musical Journey Across Three Centuries, Four Countries, and a Half-Dozen Revolutions – Annik LaFarge

There have been many, many, biographies of Chopin. Do we really need a new one? Yep . . . we need this one, because it is a biography of Chopin’s music:  how he composed, how he played his music, how … Continue reading

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Galileo : and the Science Deniers – Mario Livio

There have been a great many biographies written about Galileo, but very few (if any) written by someone with Mario Livio’s credentials. He is an astrophysicist who has worked with the Hubble telescope, the descendant of Galileo’s telescope.  As a … Continue reading

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Raphael, Painter in Rome – Stephanie Storey

When Raphael was eleven, he promised his dying father that he would become the greatest artist in history. This book is the story of how he tried to keep that promise.  The painting of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel has been told … Continue reading

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Washington’s End: The Final Years and Forgotten Struggle – Jonathan Horn

When he left office in 1797, George Washington planned to stay busy with “rural amusements.” But it was not to be. He was in debt. The farm was a money pit. He needed to rid himself of his many slaves, … Continue reading

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Educated for Freedom: The Incredible Story of Two Fugitive Schoolboys who Grew Up to Change a Nation – Anna Mae Duane

In the 1820s most Americans did not see a need to educate black children. Reading, writing and a bit of math would do very well. After all, these children were seen as inferior. But the people who established the New York … Continue reading

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Conversations With RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty and Law – Jeffrey Rosen

Jeffrey Rosen is a law professor at George Washington University and a legal writer. He first met Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg when he was a young law clerk. They discovered a mutual love of opera, and began a … Continue reading

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The Way I Heard It: True Tales for the Curious Mind with a Short Attention – Mike Rowe

Part autobiography, part biography, this is a collection of stories from a master storyteller.  As I read, I heard hear his rich baritone telling the stories with the unique cadence of his voice.  Each short chapter focuses on a life-changing … Continue reading

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Daughters of Chivalry: The Forgotten Princesses of King Edward Longshanks – Kelcey Wilson-Lee

Joanna, Margaret, Mary and Elizabeth, were the daughters of Edward I, who reigned from 1239 to1307. The traditional view of medieval royal princesses is of quiet young ladies, tending to their needlework, participating in royal pageantry dressed in beautiful silks … Continue reading

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Prince Albert: The Man Who Saved the Monarchy – A. N. Wilson

Prince Albert lived only 42 years, but in that short time his influence helped mold Britain into a center of intellectual advancement. He was multi-talented:  engineer, politician, musician, composer. He was interested in everything, and was interested in making everything … Continue reading

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The Vagabonds: The Story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s Ten Year Road Trip – Jeff Guinn

It all began in February of 1914. Thomas Edison arrived in Fort Myers, Florida, for his annual escape from the cold of New Jersey with not only his wife and children, but naturalist John Burroughs and Henry Ford, and Ford’s … Continue reading

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The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West – David McCullough

The wilderness northwest of the Ohio River was ready to be settled and Manasseh Cutler was determined to have his conditions included in the Northwest Ordinance: free universal education, freedom of religion and prohibition of slavery. He was not sure … Continue reading

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Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen – Mary Norris

Mary Norris loves all things Greek, but especially the Greek language. Not modern, Greek, mind you, Ancient Greek. This book recounts her studies learning the language, speaking the language. We go with her on solo trips to Greece (Crete, Rhodes, … Continue reading

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Devices and Desires: Bess of Hardwick and the Building of Elizabethan England – Kate Hubbard Harper

Hardwick Hall was built in the 1590s, when Bess was in her seventies. It is still remarkable with clean lines,  amazing windows –  more glass than wall. It was the grand finale of building projects for Bess of Hardwick. being … Continue reading

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Code Name: Lise – The True Story of the Woman Who Became WWII’s Most Highly Decorated Spy – Larry Loftis

Odette was born and raised in France. Her father died a hero in the First World War, and every Sunday afternoon she and her brother placed flowers on his grave. Her Grandfather told the children that in twenty or twenty-five … Continue reading

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Eliza Hamilton: The Extraordinary Life and Times of the Wife of Alexander Hamilton – Tilar J. Mazzeo

It was the winter of 1779-80. Eliza was twenty-two and it was time for her to find a husband. Knowing that her old beau, Tench Tilghman, would be stationed at the army’s winter camp in Morristown, New Jersey, her father … Continue reading

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