Memoir/Biography

Memoir/Biography

Like Father, Like Son by Michael Parkinson

Reviewed by Ian Lipke This book is regarded as more than simply a collection of reminiscences about Michael Parkinson’s father. The author sets out to record his father’s sporting obsessions, his sense of humour and his determination to produce a cricketer worthy of playing for Yorkshire. The book is intended to contain two viewpoints to

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Memoir/Biography

The Puzzle Solver by Tracie White

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Tracie White, award winning journalist and a science writer for Stanford University, has used her skills to present the story of a scientist and his desperate hunt to cure Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) in the hope to save his son. The first four chapters of this book introduce the

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Memoir/Biography

All the Young Men by Ruth Coker Burks

Reviewed by Rod McLary While the origins of HIV/AIDS remain uncertain, it seems that it was first recognised as a pandemic in the early 1980s.  There was then much confusion and misinformation about how it was transmitted and, in some circles, HIV/AIDS was known as the ‘homosexual disease’.  Indeed, in the 1980s, it was given

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Memoir/Biography

A Most Surprising Man by Mary Anne Fitzgerald

Reviewed by Ian Lipke This book is an expression of love. It was written to be a testament to love. It is a message to the reader that Leonie Matheson has an immutable love for her grandfather. This is captured within the covers, but overflows. It reveals itself within the prologue. A reader cannot do

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Memoir/Biography

Stalin: Passage to Revolution by Ronald Grigor Suny

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Suny’s monumental work is not the first to attempt to tell the story of how a young seminarian became the horrific butcher who left this world in 1953. Such misbegotten luminaries as Leon Trotsky and Isaac Deutscher made attempts that are viewed with some degree of askance today. Robert Tucker made

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Memoir/Biography

Mosul by Ben Mckelvey

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders To read Mosul is to take a journey into another world. In fact, it is several worlds that are connected by terrorism and war. At once secret, brutal, tragic, and chaotic, the worlds are populated by heroes and villains – most of whom are troubled individuals with axes to grind and

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Memoir/Biography

Son of the Brush by Tim Olsen

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Inspiration guided the person who coined the title of this memoir. Son of the Brush allows the writer to give the reading public information about the writer’s famous father – his virtues and vices, likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses while making available information about himself, one of the recognized business

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Memoir/Biography

Courage Under Fire by Daniel Keighran VC

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Dan Keighran’s book contains one of those stories that we treasure, one we keep coming back to when we think that life is tough. It is the story of a little boy who slept in the dirt but grew to be a man of principle to whom service to others was

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Memoir/Biography

Max by Alex Miller

Reviewed by Rod McLary In his previous book The Passage of Love, Alex Miller wrote a fictionalised memoir.  In that book, he speaks of Martin Bloch – a close friend who encouraged him in his writing.  The Passage of Love was reviewed in these pages in April 2018. The fictionalised Martin Bloch in the previous

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Memoir/Biography

Out of Copley Street by Geoff Goodfellow

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Out of Copley Street is a collection of short stories featuring the working-class boyhood of Geoff Goodfellow. He is better known for his poetry giving voice to the anger of the disenfranchised. He usually presented his poetry on building sites, in factories and in prisons. The book is dedicated to one

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Memoir/Biography

Agent Sonya by Ben Macintyre

Reviewed by Ian Lipke It doesn’t happen often, but just occasionally, with no warning whatsoever, along comes a book in an unprepossessing cover, that just glows with quality. It does not dazzle; it begins in a very ordinary way but, within a few pages, you know you will not put it down until the very

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Memoir/Biography

On Seamus Heaney by R. F. Foster

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Writing with the restraint of the professional academic but with all the vim of a youthful enthusiast, R. F. Foster has published On Seamus Heaney, his take on the life and writings of one of Ireland’s famous poets. A deep knowledge of Irish literature and the Irish people and their history

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Memoir/Biography

Pendragon by Anne Black

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Early colonial Australia featured a conglomeration of immigrants seeking a new life. One significant settler was Pendragon, the pen name of George Isaacs.  With a genial personality and an enthusiasm for life, he never seemed to lose his optimistic outlook, although he faced continuing hardship in both Adelaide and Melbourne. Adverse

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Memoir/Biography

Heartache & Birdsong by Sam Bloom

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve From a heartache, deep and near unbearable, to the carefree beauty of birdsong, the road crawled along by Sam Bloom is an unforgettable experience she shares with her readers.  The horror of her predicament, after a catastrophic accident on a family holiday in Thailand, is graphically and movingly conveyed in her

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Memoir/Biography

Paul Kelly by Stuart Coupe

Reviewed by Rod McLary I came to this biography of Paul Kelly knowing only a little about his music – as in From Little Things Big Things Grow – and even less about the man.  The subtitle of the biography is ‘The man, the music and the life in between’ but it doesn’t entirely meet

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