The August chill is still with us and I don’t know about you, but all I want to do is curl up with a good book and a cat on my lap. This month’s new biographies and memoirs in the collection are particularly inviting, including literary greats, world changing activists, stories of overcoming poverty and struggle, the glamour of Hollywood and everyday people who went on to make a difference.
Tell me everything : a memoir / Kelly, Minka
“Raised by a single mother who worked as a stripper and struggled with addiction, Minka spent years waking up in strange apartments as she and her mom bounced around the country, relying on friends and relatives to take them in. At times they even lived in storage units. She reconnected with her father, Aerosmith’s Rick Dufay, and eventually made her way to Los Angeles, where she landed the role of a lifetime on Friday Night Lights. Now an established actress and philanthropist, Minka takes this next step in her career as a writer. She has poured her soul into the pages of this book, which ultimately tells a story of triumph over adversity, and how resilience and love are all we have in the end.” (Adapted from Catalogue)
The marriage question : George Eliot’s double life / Carlisle, Clare
“When she was in her mid-thirties, Marian Evans transformed herself into George Eliot – an author celebrated for her genius as soon as she published her debut novel. During those years she also found her life partner, George Lewes – writer, philosopher and married father of three. After ‘eloping’ to Berlin in 1854 they lived together for twenty-four years: Eliot asked people to call her ‘Mrs Lewes’ and dedicated each novel to her ‘Husband’. Though they could not legally marry, she felt herself initiated into the ‘great experience’ of marriage – ‘this double life, which helps me to feel and think with double strength’. Reading them afresh, Carlisle’s searching new biography explores how marriage questions grow and change, and joins Eliot in her struggle to marry thought and feeling.” (Adapted from Catalogue)
Poor : grit, courage, and the life-changing value of self-belief / O’Sullivan, Katriona
“As the middle of five kids growing up in dire poverty, the odds were low on Katriona O’Sullivan making anything of her life. When she became a mother at 15 and ended up homeless, what followed were five years of barely coping. This is the extraordinary story – moving, funny, brave, and sometimes startling – of how Katriona turned her life around. How the seeds of self-belief planted by teachers in childhood stayed with her. How she found mentors whose encouragement revived those seeds in adulthood. Now an award-winning lecturer whose work challenges barriers to education, Poor stands as a stirring argument for the importance of looking out for our kids’ futures. Of giving them hope, practical support and meaningful opportunities.” (Catalogue)