“Priestdaddy” by Patricia Lockwood – The Weight of Family Tradition
Patricia Lockwood had a childhood unlike most people, being even uncommon for the realm of religious upbringing. In her memoir titled Priestdaddy, Lockwood looks back on her childhood, adolescence and young adulthood which were strongly marked by her father, Greg Lockwood, a larger-than-life Catholic priest who defied all conventions.
“The Man in the Red Coat” by Julian Barnes – Free-Range Intellectualism
Julian Barnes has long ago distinguished himself as one of the most intellectually-stimulating authors of our times, and with The Man in the Red Coat he puts his talents to use once again, taking us to the heart of the Belle Epoque Paris.
Through a journey on which we are guided by Samuel Pozzi, a pioneering gynecologist of his times, we make the acquaintance of the many remarkable people who populated the end of the 19th century, and the unexpected parallels drawn between this epoch and our own.
“Renoir’s Dancer” by Catherine Hewitt – A Life of Fame and Secrecy
Catherine Hewitt belongs to a special class of authors, one which has taken it upon itself to uncover the history we forgot over time: the biographers. In her second published book, titled Renoir’s Dancer, she takes us on a journey through the life of Suzanne Valadon.
Born as an illegitimate daughter to a linen maid in the 19th century, she carved her own path through history, becoming a world-famous painting model, and later a celebrated painter in her own right.
“The Agony and the Ecstasy” by Irving Stone – The Grasp for Heaven
Irving Stone had a knack like none other for writing poignant biographical novels which still remained true to their sources, with The Agony and the Ecstasy arguably being his most famous and defining work.
Fictionalizing the life of Michelangelo Buonarroti, the all-time famous artist responsible for many immortal creations, the novel takes us on a grandiose and perilous journey through the Renaissance as the artist tries to find his way in life against all odds.
“Lady Clementine” by Marie Benedict – The Wife of Steel
Marie Benedict is one of the many authors today who have decided to delve into the lesser-known pages of our history, and her most recent efforts have resulted in the publication of Lady Clementine.
A biographical novel, it follows the story of Lady Clementine Churchill, the strong and ambitious wife to one of the nation’s most famous leaders. From saving her husband multiple times to forging on against the world’s expectations, her life was nothing if not extraordinary.
“The Only Woman in the Room” by Marie Benedict – Spark of Genius in the Dark
Human history holds many small marvels and curiosities for those willing to plunge below the surface, and Marie Benedict displays one of them to us in her biographical book The Only Woman in the Room.
It traces the story of Hedy Lamarr, Austrian-American Hollywood superstar whose invention revolutionized not only the field of modern communication, but also challenged the entire world’s perspective on what women are capable of accomplishing.
“The Ghosts of Eden Park” by Karen Abbott – The First King of Bootleggers
Karen Abbott has certainly found her niche in exploring the rich history the United States of America has to offer, and with The Ghosts of Eden Park she continues her journey by exploring the life of George Remus.
Somewhat overshadowed by Al Capone’s efforts, Remus was actually the first “King of the Bootleggers” in America during the earliest days of the prohibition, and his life ended up being far stranger than fiction.
“Do the Birds Still Sing in Hell?” by Horace Greasley – Escaping for Love
Joseph Horace Greasley is one of countless veterans from the Second World War who haven’t let their experience and memories go to waste, writing his autobiography shortly before his passing titled Do the Birds Still Sing in Hell?.
In this book, the brunt of the focus is placed on his time spent as a prisoner of war in a German camp, and his hundreds of successful attempts to sneak out and meet with his love interest, and then back in with anything to help his comrades.
“Janis” by Holly George-Warren – God Save the Queen of Rock & Roll
Holly George-Warren is an authority like few others when it comes to the storied yet short history of Rock & Roll, having dedicated a large portion of her life to studying the phenomenon. As such, who better than to write a profoundly-researched and intimate biography of Janis Joplin, the Queen of Rock & Roll?
In Janis, George-Warren aims to show the legend not only as a counterculture icon filled with suffering, but also as a passionate artist and perfectionist musician who was, in the end, human like the rest of us.
“Permanent Record” by Edward Snowden – The Electric Eye of Freedom
Edward Snowden is a name which comes up time and time again in news articles all around the world, but the truth is most people aren’t familiar with the importance of his whistleblowing below the surface level.
In September 2019 he published his first work as an author: Permanent Record. Autobiographical in its nature, Snowden details in his book how he helped to build the United States’ mass surveillance system, and how he came to be on the other side of the hill, trying to take it down.
“Space Odyssey” by Michael Benson – Rise of the Black Monolith
Michael Benson is an author who has dedicated much of his career to studying and understanding outer space, with many of his works exploring the recent strides and discoveries made in the domain.
For his latest book, Space Odyssey, he has decided to venture into the land of fiction, chronicling the eventful making of what is perhaps the most renowned and profound science-fiction movie of all time, 2001: A Space Odyssey, created in a joint effort between Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke.
“Echo in Ramadi” by Scott A. Huesing – Gluttonous Destruction
Scott A. Huesing is an author unlike most others. While most of those who write books about war have either researched or imagined the ordeal, Huesing is a man who lived through it first-hand and spent 24 years of his life in service of the U.S. Army.
Recently he decided to share a slice of his experience with the rest of the world in his autobiographical memoir titled Echo in Ramadi.
In it, he recounts the period from winter 2006 to spring 2007 during which he led Echo Company through the deadly streets of Ramadi, Iraq, where fighting kept raging on a daily basis and took its toll on everyone involved.