International Men’s Day is a day to celebrate all of the ways that men can express their masculinity, to highlight male role models and to bring awareness to men’s health issues. Today’s Friday Reads will highlight a small sample of new biographies and memoirs of the diverse life experiences of men.
Jared Kindred left his home and family at the age of eighteen, choosing a life of riding train cars and making friends on the street. He was an addict for most of his short life, drinking far too much and lying about it he was ultimately killed by an overdose. Yet he inspired the deepest love of Dave Kindred’s life. Leave Out the Tragic Parts is not merely a reflection on love and addiction and loss. It is a hard-won, and remarkably fair-minded, account of the life Jared chose for himself and the colorful people around him–people with names like Puzzles, Stray, and Booze Cop people with stories to tell. Kindred asks painful but important questions about the lies we tell to get along, and what binds families together or allows them to fracture. Jared’s story ended in tragedy, but the act of telling it is an act of healing and redemption. This is an important book on how to love your family, from a great writer who has lived its lessons.
“While surgeons on either side of the Iron Curtain competed to become the first to transplant organs like the kidney and heart, a young American neurosurgeon had an even more ambitious thought: Why not transplant the brain? Dr. Robert White was a friend to two popes and a founder of the Vatican’s Commission on Bioethics. He developed lifesaving neurosurgical techniques still used in hospitals today and was nominated for the Nobel Prize. But like Dr. Jekyll before him, Dr. White had another identity. In his lab, he was waging a battle against the limits of science, and against mortality itself-working to perfect a surgery that would allow the soul to live on after the human body had died.
The story of four men — Larry Doby, Bill Veeck, Bob Feller, and Satchel Paige — whose improbable union on the Cleveland Indians in the late 1940s would shape the immediate postwar era of Major League Baseball and beyond. Traces the story of the integration of the Cleveland Indians and their quest for a World Series title.
A memoir of grief, healing, and fatherhood through the story of a young man who adopts a baby magpie.
As a young boy growing up in the outskirts of Dublin, Gabriel Byrne sought refuge in a world of imagination among the fields and hills near his home, at the edge of a rapidly encroaching city. Born to working-class parents and the eldest of six children, he harbored a childhood desire to become a priest. When he was eleven years old, Byrne found himself crossing the Irish Sea to join a seminary in England. Four years later, Byrne had been expelled and he quickly returned to his native city. There he took odd jobs as a messenger boy and a factory laborer to get by. In his spare time, he visited the cinema where he could be alone and yet part of a crowd. It was here that he could begin to imagine a life beyond the grey world of sixties Ireland. He reveled in the theater and poetry of Dublin’s streets, populated by characters as eccentric and remarkable as any in fiction, those who spin a yarn with acuity and wit. It was a friend who suggested Byrne join an amateur drama group, a decision that would change his life forever and launch him on an extraordinary forty-year career in film and theater. Moving between sensual recollection of childhood in a now almost vanished Ireland and reflections on stardom in Hollywood and Broadway, Byrne also courageously recounts his battle with addiction and the ambivalence of fame. Walking with Ghosts is by turns hilarious and heartbreaking as well as a lyrical homage to the people and landscapes that ultimately shape our destinies.
A coming-of-age memoir about Blackness, masculinity, and addiction follows the author, a poet and screenwriter, as he recounts his experiences, revealing a perpetual outsider awkwardly squirming to find his way in.