Books - memoir

Years ago I spent a lot of time browsing through record bins looking for the next LP that was going to change my life forever I would pause to admire the cover art on record albums. The titles were another thing to consider. If I liked the cover and/or the title I would frequently purchase those LPs even if I had never heard of the recording artists. This willingness to encounter the unknown sounds hidden within those album jackets often paid off splendidly. I happened upon some amazing recordings by doing so.

I don't usually get nervous before an interview. I have found that if I have read the book and I'm well prepared that my nerves are usually not an issue. I wasn't nervous before my interview with Donald Trump. When I interviewed Ohio Governor John Kasich last year I felt totally relaxed. Perhaps that was because I had interviewed him before? I wasn't nervous before I interviewed Charlton Heston. Even though he had a reputation for being somewhat stern I wasn't concerned about that.

Clifton Fadiman was one of my boyhood idols. I admired him-to my young mind he epitomized wisdom and savoir faire. He was quick and witty and so very erudite. I hadn't thought about him in years. Then last summer an advance copy of a memoir crossed my desk. It was a book by Anne Fadiman, Clifton's daughter, and the book is mostly about her relationship with him. I was intrigued and I immediately contacted her publicist to request an interview with the author upon the publication of her book.

Bruce Campbell has had a long acting career. He recently published his second memoir. If you don't recognize his name you'll probably recognize his face. You'll say, oh yeah, that guy! Here's a link to his Wikipedia page that provides an accounting of some of the projects he has undertaken.

There are quite a few memoirs being published. Every famous rock star from 50 years ago seems to have written one. At least, the ones who are still alive. Many of the memoirs that are coming out were penned by people who never have had a hit on the Top 40. People like you and me. We have stories to tell, too!

This is a time when some of us are feeling desensitized. The 24 hour news cycle churns out the latest shocking and outrageous reports. There's a blurring sensation that takes place. Books can give us a sanctuary, temporary cocoons to shelter us from all of this brouhaha.

After leaving the White House Ronald Reagan maintained an office in Los Angeles. It was a busy place; he met with dignitaries, celebrities, and ordinary Americans at his office. Peggy Grande was there, she became the former president's executive assistant, the person who managed his busy schedule. She got to know him quite well.

Gabrielle Civil is a performance artist. "Swallow the Fish" is her memoir. In this book the author reveals how she became a performance artist and how she approaches her craft. The author admits that her work is political and she confesses that while she is performing she is trying to remain present inside her body. She describes a number of the pieces which she has performed. There are numerous photographs as well as essays about this author's experiences, inspirations, and beliefs.

Have you ever considered writing your memoir? Have you had an interesting life? Do you believe you can express yourself in print in a compelling way? And what if you had to illustrate every chapter of your memoir with a painting that you created to depict the events that you were describing? Now that would be difficult, wouldn't it?

In 1999 John Glenn published a book called "John Glenn: a Memoir." Glenn never intended to write down his life story but he changed his mind after deciding that some tape recordings he made for his grandchildren might merit a larger audience. Glenn and his wife Annie made the recordings so that their grandkids could know more about their lives.

Mardi Jo Link returned to the program to talk about her latest memoir. Here's my review that ran in the Cox Ohio newspapers:

Mardi Jo Link had always wanted to make some deep, long lasting friendships. In October of 1993 she began her journey to creating those relationships when she was invited to spend the weekend on an island in northern Michigan with three of her co-workers. She describes this transformative event in her memoir “The Drummond Girls: A Story of Fierce Friendship Beyond Time and Chance.”