Survivors’ Stories from the Tennessee Children’s Home Society

Book review: Before and After, by Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate (Amazon / Book Depository) Author Lisa Wingate wrote a popular novel in 2017, Before We Were Yours, a fictionalized story about children adopted from the notorious Tennessee Children's Home Society ("TCHS"). Starting in the 1920s through 1950, a woman named Georgia Tann ran this "questionable"... Continue Reading →

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The “Haunting Melodies” of Liz Phair’s Life

Book review: Horror Stories, by Liz Phair (Amazon / Book Depository) We can be monsters, we human beings, in the most offhand and cavalier ways. I don't much like celebrity memoirs unless they're about escaping Scientology or Tina Fey's. The writing can drag and I don't care about behind-the-scenes stories, so I'd planned to skip... Continue Reading →

More Funny Tales From the Quirky Life of John Hodgman

Book review: Medallion Status, by John Hodgman (Amazon / Book Depository) Comedian, author and podcaster John Hodgman's second memoir-in-essay collection, Medallion Status, is ostensibly built around his obsession with the loyalty program of the airline he calls "Beloved Airlines," and the travels, specifically for acting jobs, he's had in connection with earning those miles. It's... Continue Reading →

A Tragicomic Memoir of a Dysfunctional Family

Book review: The Splendid Things We Planned, by Blake Bailey (Amazon / Book Depository) Award-winning biographer Blake Bailey took on a different kind of challenging biographical subject in The Splendid Things We Planned -- his own dysfunctional family. The central point of his memoir, around which everything in this story revolves, is his older brother, Scott. Scott... Continue Reading →

One Parisian Street in Profile

Book review: The Only Street in Paris, by Elaine Sciolino (Amazon / Book Depository) Former New York Times Paris Bureau Chief Elaine Sciolino's The Only Street in Paris is a travelogue memoir meets micro-history and sociocultural study of the Parisian street where she and her family made their home for a time. There's a lot going... Continue Reading →

Oral Histories from “The Last of the Soviets” #WITMonth

Book review: Secondhand Time, by Svetlana Alexievich (Amazon / Book Depository) In writing, I’m piecing together the history of “domestic,” “interior” socialism. As it existed in a person’s soul. I’ve always been drawn to this miniature expanse: one person, the individual. It’s where everything really happens. 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature winner Svetlana Alexievich's Secondhand Time is... Continue Reading →

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