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The Best Biographies and Memoirs of November



Amazon Book Review: You Will Not Have My HateSometimes when we're putting together our monthly lists, it's hard to see a theme until it's all finished and published. It was never intentional, but November features a number of infamous personalities with questionable intentions. But before we get to those, let's talk about something more inspiring: You Will Not Have My Hate, Antoine Leiris's memoir about the death of his wife, Hélène, in the 2015 Paris terror attacks. In her review, Amazon's Al Woodworth writes:

"Told during the immediate days after his wife's murder—'with a burst of machine gun fire, they shattered our puzzle' - Leiris, together with his seventeen month old son, grapples with how they must 'go on living alone, without the aid of the star whom they swore allegiance.' Leiris writes with intimacy and galvanizing affection. But what makes this memoir soar is Leiris's refusal to surrender to hatred and anger towards those that murdered his wife: 'So, no, I will not give you the satisfaction of hating you,' he writes '…all his life this little boy will defy you by being happy and free.' Humming with humanity, grace and intelligence, You Will Not Have My Hate will alter the ground below you and the sky above. Buy this book and then buy it for the ones you love—for in it Leiris has reminded us of what it is to live."

Now onto some more controversial characters. See all of our November picks for Biographies & Memoirs and more in the Best Books of the Month.

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Al Capone: His Life, Legacy, and Legend by Deirdre Bair
Written with the cooperation of his family, Bair - a National Book Award-winning author for Samuel Beckett - looks into the life of our most notorious gangster, revealing the truth about a man who was capable of monstrous violence (the St. Valentine's Day massacre) while being a dedicated patriarch.
 
 

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Walk Through Walls: A Memoir by Marina Abramovic
Apparently, she's polarizing. Erin Kodicek writes: "If you find yourself cringing, well then, that's the point. One of the main purposes of Abramović's art--of her life--is to learn how to confront and transcend the uncomfortable—the physically and the emotionally painful. You may come away from Walk Through Walls thinking, yeah, this lady, she cray. But there is something to be said for someone with the audacity to run towards what the rest of us are only too happy to flee."
 

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Bear: The Life and Times of Augustus Owsley Stanley III by Robert Greenfield
Genius polymath or pusherman? How about both? Owsley was something of an entrepreneurial seeker: a self-taught chemist who reverse-engineered Sandoz-grade LSD, manufacturing a million doses (and millions of dollars) stashed around Bay Area and inside the brains of countless hippies and Summer of Lovers. He also designed cutting-edge, drug-inspired studios and sound systems for the Dead, sitting behind their soundboard and archiving hundreds of their legendary live shows. Bear is his long, strange trip.
 


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