Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Monday, October 25, 2010

Memoir Monday... Memoir Rock-n-Rollers: Literally, Figuratively and Secretly Speaking

Yesterday I blogged about some great Fall reads, but it seems that there are quite a few Fall Memoirs coming out too! So, today I thought instead of highlighting just one memoir, I'd highlight 3! Three very prominent Rock-n-Rollers- one literally, one figuratively, and one secretly speaking! Intrigued? Well, let's get to them...

First we have our literally speaking Rock-n-Roller...

Life by Keith Richards... The long-awaited autobiography of the guitarist, songwriter, singer, and founding member of the Rolling Stones. Ladies and gentleman: Keith Richards. With The Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the songs that roused the world, and he lived the original rock and roll life. Now, at last, the man himself tells his story of life in the crossfire hurricane. Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records, learning guitar and forming a band with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones. The Rolling Stones's first fame and the notorious drug busts that led to his enduring image as an outlaw folk hero. Creating immortal riffs like the ones in "Jumping Jack Flash" and "Honky Tonk Women." His relationship with Anita Pallenberg and the death of Brian Jones. Tax exile in France, wildfire tours of the U.S., isolation and addiction. Falling in love with Patti Hansen. Estrangement from Jagger and subsequent reconciliation. Marriage, family, solo albums and Xpensive Winos, and the road that goes on forever.

I grew up first listening to the Beatles, Elton John, Billy Joel and groups like Journey, Boston, Jethro Tull... The Rolling Stones was not my generation. That said, I knew all about them- and about lead guitarist Keith Richards. I may have passed by this memoir, except I saw an interview segment on one of the Sunday morning shows yesterday that showed an entirely different man than what I had pictured. And he himself said there were two Keith Richards, one man the image of the bad boy rocker, and another later version that we see now as the family man, gardener, etc. It intrigued me enough that I had to stop and listen, and now read Life. This book will be released on Oct. 26th. *P.S. This Book will be Kindle Ready!

Next our figuratively speaking Rock-n-Roller...

Extraordinary, Ordinary People by Condoleeza Rice... From Booklist: Having served under two Bush presidencies—as national security advisor and secretary of state—Rice is well known for her icy demeanor and steely disposition. This memoir presents a young woman deeply attached to her devoted parents, who encouraged her at every step of her life to overcome racism, sexism, and her own personal doubts. Her roots are deep in the South, with a family that pridefully skirted racism—never using the “colored” facilities or riding in the back of the bus. Her mother, Angelena, was a cultured teacher who taught her piano, while her father, John, was a Presbyterian minister and later a college administrator who, despite his Republican politics, strongly admired black radicals, developing a friendship with Stokely Carmichael. He declined to march with Martin Luther King in nonviolent protests and was more inclined to sit on the front porch with a loaded shotgun to ward off white night riders. The Rice family personally knew the young girls who were killed in the church bombing, one of the more violent episodes the family endured before they eventually left the South. Rice presents a frank, poignant, and loving portrait of a family that maintained its closeness through cancer, death, career ups and downs, and turbulent changes in American society.

No matter what your political leanings are, you have to admire Condoleeza Rice whose strong family values and loving family came to shape her into the woman who would overcome racism and sexism to become the Secretary of State. It took 207 years before a woman was appointed to Secretary of State of the United States, and that was in 1997 with the appointment of Madeline Albright. Condoleeza Rice is only the second woman to ever hold the position. (Figuratively speaking she's a rock-n-roller, 'cause she rocks! ) *P.S. This Book is Kindle Ready!

And finally our secretly speaking Rock-n-Roller...

The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1 by Mark Twain and edited by Harriet E. Smith and others involved in The Mark Twain Project... From Goodreads: "I've struck it!" Mark Twain wrote in a 1904 letter to a friend. "And I will give it away-to you. You will never know how much enjoyment you have lost until you get to dictating your autobiography." Thus, after dozens of false starts and hundreds of pages, Twain embarked on his "Final (and Right) Plan" for telling the story of his life. His innovative notion-to "talk only about the thing which interests you for the moment"--meant that his thoughts could range freely. The strict instruction that these texts remain unpublished for 100 years meant that when they came out, he would be "dead, and unaware, and indifferent" and therefore free to speak his "whole frank mind." The year 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Twain's death. In celebration of this important milestone and in honor of the cherished tradition of publishing Mark Twain's works, UC Press is proud to offer for the first time Mark Twain's uncensored autobiography in its entirety and exactly as he left it. This major literary event brings to readers, admirers, and scholars the first of three essential volumes and presents Mark Twain's authentic and unsuppressed voice, brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions, and speaking clearly from the grave as he intended.

Mark Twain is our secret Rock-n-Roller because this is the book that will reveal a side to Samuel Langhorne Clemens, aka Mark Twain, that we may not have known. Mr. Twain specified that this book, his autobiography, should not be released until 100 years after his death. The reason being that he would not offend or embarrass any family or friends. The book will be published in three volumes. And I for one, and there have been many great reviews of this book, am looking forward to reading the "uncensored" version of Mark Twain. Official release date of this book is November 15th, but it is available now from Amazon. *P.S. This Book is Kindle Ready!


Marie Cloutier said...

Keith Richards- quite a guy, LOL :)

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Marie!
In the interview they actually had him cuddling a kitten! :-)

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