History, Biography, and Politics

The entire focus of this memoir is the author’s experience of seventh grade. Brockmeier tells the story of his twelve-year old self in third person: He is Kevin, a kid “who cries too easily and laughs too easily” but “he is trying hard not to be him anymore, that kid.” What comes next is a chronicle of awareness, of awkward first kisses, and friends that turn enemies, and creativity squashed and encouraged and squashed again. Kevin is the kind of kid that knows awkwardness and loneliness and small victories while they are happening. His 12-year-old self is astute and awake enough to grasp exactly how harrowing growing up can be.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
$15.00
ISBN: 9780804169899
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - March 3rd, 2015

Music is often at the heart of stories of peace triumphing over war. We easily accept the idea of music as the universal communicator, but rarely utilize it in real life as such. Sandy Tolan though gives us a true story, following Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan (the literal posterboy for Palestinian intifada) as he grows and grows up with music, maintaining his anti-occupation beliefs, but pursuing peace, collaboration, and hope through music.
Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
$28.00
ISBN: 9781608198139
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - April 7th, 2015

Have you ever thought of something embarrassing you did as a child and cringe? If you’re like me—and Una LaMarche—you could fill an entire book with these humiliating moments. Fortunately for you, LaMarche has done just so in her new book, Unabrow. She pairs her 90’s R&B obsession quite nicely with all the advice you should have gotten from your strange older sister. Tuck this one next to Jenny Lawson on your bookshelf.

Reviewed by: 
Louise
$16.00
ISBN: 9780142181447
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Plume Books - March 31st, 2015

When the Lusitania sank near Ireland, it took 1,200 dead souls with it. The disaster pulled America into an already roiling World War I, shifting history's course in its wake. Dead Wake is masterfully crafted. Erik Larson’s pace and tone are akin to reading fiction. His lush backgrounds create the illusion of standing on the doomed deck or looking over Churchill's shoulder in Britain's secret intelligence building. He paints rich characters and, even knowing the outcome, keeps you in suspense until the bitter end.

Reviewed by: 
Ivy
$22.40
ISBN: 9780307408860
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - March 10th, 2015

For Anna Lyndsey, what begins as sensitivity to computer screens swiftly transforms into the unthinkable: a painful, burning reaction to all forms of light. Brilliantly, beautifully written, Lyndsey takes the reader on a maddening journey through her rare affliction of the skin, as she retreats to a fortress of darkness in her struggle to find a cure. Through creative tactics and unflinching resolve, she pushes forward, ever seeking the light at the end of the tunnel.
Reviewed by: 
Sara
$24.95
ISBN: 9780385539609
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday Books - March 3rd, 2015

Abigail Thomas writes the best kind of memoir, one that is telling, both of her life and of ours. In short essays, vignettes, thought pieces and considerations, she threads together a life and a way of living that is at once universal and familiar. Funny, thoughtful, frank, true—a work of art. Memoir is sometimes about the story, and sometimes about the form, the way it illuminates and satisfies. Lucky for us, this is both.
Reviewed by: 
Melinda
$24.00
ISBN: 9781476785059
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - March 24th, 2015

Lost Girls may be about unsolved murders, but it isn’t just any true crime book. It’s also an excellent example of great investigative journalism, as Kolker makes the story behind the crimes and their unsolved nature unsettling, moving, and infuriating. I couldn’t put it down.  

Reviewed by: 
Flannery
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062183651
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - May 6th, 2014

As most of us remember, Salman Rushdie was sentenced to death by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 for writing The Satanic Verses, and was forced to live underground for nearly two decades. Here, at last, is his story of trying to live a “normal” life while in hiding. Brilliant writing, and one hell of a story.  

Reviewed by: 
Rico
$18.00
ISBN: 9780812982602
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - September 10th, 2013

When the writer James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential, American Tabloid) was ten years old, his mother was found murdered in a Los Angeles suburb. The police could not solve the case. Not surprisingly, this event haunted Ellroy and, in a way, shaped his entire life. As an adult, he enlists the help of a retired L.A. County Sheriff and sets out to find his mother’s killer.  

Reviewed by: 
Rico
$15.95
ISBN: 9780679762058
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books - August 19th, 1997

As a history nerd, I know way too much about the British monarchy and, more specifically, the Plantagenet dynasty, but even I was surprised by Dan Jones's book. The Plantagenets are a fascinating family which helped shape the European world extensively. If you think your family has problems, you've got nothing on the murders and betrayals of the Plantagenets.

Reviewed by: 
Ivy
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143124924
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - March 25th, 2014

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