Featured favorites: Biographies


Book Den East

“Jennie: The Life of Lady Randolph Churchill” by Ralph G. Martin (1969) two volumes – The Romantic (1854-1895) and The Dramatic Years (1895-1922); Winston’s mother and quite the girl (and lady); a nice set. $30.

“John Adams” by David McCullough (2001) – The Vineyard’s own popular historian presents a biography of the second president of the United States. $30.

“Cosima Wagner’s Diaries” (volume one 1869-1877, volume two 1878-1883) edited by Martin Gregor-Dellin and Dietrich Mack (1977) – Diaries of the daughter of Franz Liszt, the flamboyant Cosima who was abandoned by her husband, the conductor Hans von Vulow, and attached herself irrevocably to her idol, Richard Wagner. $40.

“Andrew Wyeth: A Secret Life” by Richard Meryman (1996) The turbulent life of a brilliant artist makes for a fascinating read. $15.

“Alan Shrugged: Alan Greenspan, The Life and Times of the World’s Most Powerful Banker” by Jerome Tuccille (2002) – One wonders what the author would say today about the chief architect of the collapse of the world’s economy. $12.

Edgartown Books

“Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child” by Bob Spitz – In Spitz’s definitive, wonderfully affectionate biography, the Julia we know and love vividly – and surprisingly – to life.

“Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power” by Jon Meacham – In this magnificent biography, the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of “American Lion” and “Franklin and Winston” brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times.

“The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965” by William Manchester and Paul Reid – This book brilliantly recounts how Churchill organized his nation’s military response and defense; compelled FDR into supporting America’s cousins, and personified the “never surrender” ethos that helped the Allies.

“The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy” by David Nasaw – In this magisterial new work, the celebrated historian Nasaw tells the full story of Kennedy, the founder of the 20th century’s most famous political dynasty.

“Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness” by Susannah Cahalan – In this swift and breathtaking narrative, Cahalan tells the astonishing true story of her descent into madness and the brilliant, lifesaving diagnosis that almost didn’t happen.

Bunch of Grapes

“Wild–From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed – With the death of her mother, Cheryl Strayed takes a downward spiral into drugs and infidelity. With nothing to lose, she decides to hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, 1,100 miles.

“Letters from the Attic–Beloved Bedlam of Raising a Family in the 1950s” by Betty Eddy Lidgerwood – Unbeknowst to Betty (who lives in Chilmark), her cousin Eve, who always wanted to write a book, had been saving her letters for 10 years. She gives them to her saying “Now do something!” and that is what Betty has done.

“Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power” by Jon Meacham – Pulitzer Prize winning author Meacham brings us a comprehensive story of Jefferson, both politician and philosopher.

“Selected Letters of William Styron” by William Styron – In the days of letter writing, Styron wrote hundreds. This collection illuminates the personal side of the Pulitzer Prize winning author with conversations with his Jackie Kennedy, Norman Mailer, his wife Rose, and daughter Susanna.

“Elsewhere” by Richard Russo – If you have loved Russo’s novels, you will love this memoir. He grew up with a rarely present father and a mother who always thought she would be better off somewhere else. His tender love and caring for her is remarkable. Comic, heartbreaking, and beautiful.