Memoir: August 2008 Archives

Biden book suddenly popular again

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Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics by Joe Biden has become Promises to Keep: The Acclaimed Memoir of the Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate.

That's Random House's swift capitalization of Biden's being tapped by presidential hopeful Barack Obama. The new paperback edition of Biden's 2007 best seller -- which originally was going to be released after the election -- will arrive in stores Thursday. The publisher has ordered a printing of 100,000


Promises to Keep


''Bringing out the hardcover last year during the hectic lead-in to the primaries didn't help the book because it was perceived by some to be a campaign tool," said Tom Perry, a deputy publisher at Random House. "It's actually a fine and moving memoir ... this is a new opportunity for the book and it's a great way to get to know who this man is and what he stands for."

Biden has served in the U.S. senate for 35 years.

Here's what the Christian Science Monitor had to say about the book: "Joe Biden's Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics is the most unlikely of campaign biographies: It's a ripping good read... Biden is a master storyteller and has stories worth telling. From conversations with President Bush and world leaders to overcoming personal tragedies and a childhood stutter, the book is paced to keep the pages turning."

Starbucks picks new featured book

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Starbucks has chosen another memoir by a West African to feature in its stores nationwide, according to the Associated Press.

The House at Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood (Simon & Schuster, 368 pages, 425), by New York Times reporter Helene Cooper, is a memoir about growing up in Liberia during that country's civil war.

Helene Cooper BOOKS STARBUCKS
Helene Cooper

Ishmael Beah's Long Way Gone, about being a boy soldier in Sierra Leone, was picked last year and became a best seller despite questions over how long Beah actually fought.

''I remember going into my local Starbucks on K Street in Washington for my morning coffee on my way to work, and seeing Long Way Gone on the counter,'' Cooper said in a statement released by Starbucks. ''I was thrilled for him as a fellow West African -- and so envious myself at the same time! I'm not ashamed to say that I stood in line daydreaming that one day it would be me. I'm absolutely thrilled."

Publisher's Weekly had this to say about The House at Sugar Beach:

"Journalist Cooper has a compelling story to tell: born into a wealthy, powerful, dynastic Liberian family descended from freed American slaves, she came of age in the 1980s when her homeland slipped into civil war. Cooper combines deeply personal and wide-ranging political strands in her memoir. A journalist-as-a-young-woman narrative unfolds as Cooper reports the career path that led her from local to national papers in the U.S. The stories themselves are fascinating..."

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Memoir category from August 2008.

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