Over an award-winning career in film, on stage, and in iconic television roles including Star Trek: Voyager's Captain Kathryn Janeway and Orange Is the New Black's "Red," Kate Mulgrew has proven herself to be a versatile and talented actor. It turns out she's a damn fine writer, too. Her 2015 memoir, Born with Teeth, walks eloquently through a life as varied as her characters: her Catholic Irish upbringing with parents who knew "how to drink, how to dance, how to talk, and how to stir up the devil"; the grief and regret over a daughter given up for adoption; and the challenges faced over a decades-long stint in show business.
My top choices for best books of 2014/2015 are the Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante. The Neapolitan novel cycle is an unconditional masterpiece, I was completely riveted, fully immersed and simply could not and would not rest until I had completed all four, which meant hounding my bookstore for the concluding volume The Story of the Lost Child, the final, and utterly exquisite, novel in the cycle. No one else writes like Ferrante, in my experience. From My Brilliant Friend, to Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, through The Story of a New Name and, at last - wrung out and trembling, in a state of disbelief - I placed The Story of the Lost Child on my bed table and fell asleep, wondering how such a brave, ferocious and private writer got away with it. Genius.