The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri
History & Biography

New Biographies and Memoirs

These recently published biographies and memoirs cover a wide range of topics, including the story of the real Downton Abbey, a reality housewife’s tale, and an account of a secretary who became a female king in Africa. 

Click on a title to see if there are copies available for checkout or to place a hold on a book if it has a waiting list.

 Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and its Aftermath by Mimi Alford.
In the summer of 1962, 19-year-old Mimi Beardsley began an internship in the White House press office. After just three days at the White House, she was presented to the President himself. Almost immediately, the two began an affair that would continue for the next eighteen months.


 Hiding from Reality: My Story of Love, Loss and Finding the Courage Within by Taylor Armstrong.
A moving, soul-searing tale charting Armstrong’s journey from the abusive home in which she was raised, to her tumultuous marriage to Russell, his suicide, and her realization that she must tell her story to help other women trapped by their abusers.


 King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village by Peggielene Bartels and Eleanor Herman.
The charming real-life fairy tale of an American secretary who discovers she has been chosen king of an impoverished fishing village on the west coast of Africa.


 Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by The Countess of Carnarvon.
Tells the story behind Highclere Castle, the real-life inspiration and setting for Julian Fellowes's Emmy Award-winning PBS show, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon.


 The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian's Hunt for Sustenance by Tovar Cerulli.
A vegan turned hunter reignites the connection between humans and our food sources and continues the dialogue begun by Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver.



 My Name is Victoria: The Extraordinary Story of One Woman's Struggle to Reclaim Her True Identity by Victoria Donda ; translated by Magda Bogin.
The youngest member of the Argentine National Congress tells the story of her uncle's involvement in her birth parents' murder, her kidnapping and adoption, and the shock waves created in her life when she learned of her true identity at the age of 27 as the daughter of one of the 1976 coup's "disappeared."


 Bringing up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman.
Pamela Druckerman sets out to discover the correlation between the well-behaved children she encounters in France and the way in which they are raised.



 Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts by Stacy A. Cordery.
In celebration of the Girl Scouts' centennial, this biography is a salute to its maverick founder.




 Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the '60s and Beyond by Jane Maas.
A wickedly funny, inside look at what it was really like to be an ad woman on Madison Avenue in the 1960s and 1970s, from casual sex to professional serfdom, in this immensely entertaining and bittersweet memoir.


 A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home by Steve Pemberton.
Caught in the clutches of a cruel foster family and subjected to constant abuse, Steve finds his only refuge in a box of books given to him by a kind stranger. Armed with just a single clue, Steve embarks on an extraordinary quest for his identity, only to learn that nothing is as it appears.


 Charlotte au Chocolat: Memories of a Restaurant Girlhood by Charlotte Silver.
A celebration of the magic of a beautiful presentation and the virtues of good manners, as well as a loving tribute to the author's mother -- a woman who always showed her best face to the world.


 Ali in Wonderland: And Other Tall Tales by Ali Wentworth.
Chelsea Handler meets Nora Ephron in this uproarious memoir from the acclaimed actress and comedian.



  That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor by Anne Sebba.
The first full scale biography of Wallis Simpson to be written by a woman, exploring the mind of one of the most glamorous and reviled figures of the 20th Century.



 Why be Happy When You Could be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson.
A tough-minded search for belonging, for love, an identity, a home, and a mother by the author of "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit" -- winner of the Whitbread First Novel award and the inspiration behind the award-winning BBC television adaptation "Oranges."

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