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Books & Authors

New Perspectives in Biography

Everyone has a different experience, and these biographies are a great way to learn about someone else's journey! Sink your teeth into tales of struggle, growth, and adventure from around the world. 

 

Funny, You Don't Look Autistic : A Comedian's Guide to Life on the Spectrum by Michael McCreary
Like many others on the autism spectrum, 20-something stand-up comic Michael McCreary has been told by more than a few well-meaning folks that he doesn't "look" autistic. But, as he's quick to point out in this memoir, autism "looks" different for just about everyone with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Marmee & Louisa : The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother by Eve LaPlante
The author argues that Louisa's "Marmee," Abigail May Alcott, was in fact the intellectual and emotional center of her daughter's world--exploding the myth that her outspoken idealist father was the source of her progressive thinking and remarkable independence.

Missoula : Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer
In Missoula, Krakauer chronicles the searing experiences of several women in Missoula the nights when they were raped; their fear and self-doubt in the aftermath; the way they were treated by the police, prosecutors, defense attorneys; the public vilification and private anguish; their bravery in pushing forward and what it cost them.

Negroland : A Memoir by Margo Jefferson
"Born in 1947 in upper-crust black Chicago ... Margo Jefferson has spent most of her life among (call them what you will) the colored aristocracy, the colored elite, the blue-vein society. Since the nineteenth century they have stood apart, these inhabitants of Negroland, 'a small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a certain amount of privilege and plenty.' Reckoning with the strictures and demands of Negroland at crucial historical moments--the civil rights movement, the dawn of feminism, the fallacy of post-racial America--Jefferson ... charts the twists and turns of a life informed by psychological and moral contradictions."

Pumpkinflowers : A Soldier's Story by Matti Friedman
It was just one small hilltop in a small, unnamed war in the late 1990s, but it would send out ripples that are still felt worldwide today. The hill, in Lebanon, was called the Pumpkin; flowers was the military code word for "casualties." Award-winning writer Matti Friedman re-creates the harrowing experience of a band of young Israeli soldiers charged with holding this remote outpost, a task that would change them forever, wound the country in ways large and small, and foreshadow the unwinnable conflicts the United States would soon confront in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere.

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
Every Thursday morning for two years in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a bold and inspired teacher named Azar Nafisi secretly gathered seven of her most committed female students to read forbidden Western classics. As Islamic morality squads staged arbitrary raids in Tehran, fundamentalists seized hold of the universities, and a blind censor stifled artistic expression, the girls in Azar Nafisi's living room risked removing their veils and immersed themselves in the worlds of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov. "Reading Lolita in Tehran" is a remarkable exploration of resilience in the face of tyranny and a celebration of the liberating power of literature.

The Art of Waiting : On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood by Belle Boggs
In this essay, Boggs eloquently recounts her realization that she might never be able to conceive. Boggs also explores other aspects of fertility and infertility: the way longing for a child plays out in the classic Coen brothers film Raising Arizona; the depiction of childlessness in literature, from Macbeth to Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; the financial and legal complications that accompany alternative means of family making; the private and public expressions of iconic writers grappling with motherhood and fertility. She reports, with great empathy, complex stories of couples who adopted domestically and from overseas, LGBT couples considering assisted reproduction and surrogacy, and women and men reflecting on childless or child-free lives.

The World's Strongest Librarian : A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family by Josh Hanagarne
At an imposing 6'7' and literally incapable of sitting still, Josh Hanagarne is certainly not your average librarian. He is an aspiring strongman, a bookish nerd, a devoted family man, and a tearer of phone books. Born to Mormon parents in rural Utah, Josh was a funny, book-obsessed kid. Large for his age, he was onstage in his elementary school play when he suddenly started twitching uncontrollably. As his Tourette Syndrome symptoms became too drastic to ignore, Josh found his escape in books. But after the last page, reality and tics always returned. It turned out to be weight lifting that provided the most lasting relief, with increasingly intense workouts that helped 'throttle' his tics into submission.

Through the Shadowlands : A Science Writer's Odyssey Into an Illness Science Doesn't Understand by Julie Rehmeyer
This tale of struggle and perseverance brings scientific authority to a misunderstood disease while spinning an incredible and compelling story of tenacity, resourcefulness, acceptance, and love.

When They Call You a Terrorist : A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic memoir and reflection on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors' story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and Asha Bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.

 

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