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Biography & Memoir from the 2015 Winter Newsletter

These titles were featured in our 2015 Winter Newsletter.


The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

This is a wonderful book for both writers and readers of memoir. Mary Karr, otherwise known as the queen of memoir for her best-selling books Liar’s Club, Cherry, and Lit, has written a brilliant book that celebrates the genre. With her characteristic wit and insight, Karr discusses her own writing process, focusing on unearthing one’s life story as well as taking us through excellent lessons and exercises on the mechanical how-to’s of writing autobiographical content. This inspiring book is one that you will continue to refer to. Make room on your shelf next to Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird and Steven King’s On Writing; Karr has taken on the genre of memoir and gifted us all.  --S.M.C.

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The Art of Memoir By Mary Karr Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062223067
Availability: Hard to Find - Believed to be Out of Stock Indefinitely
Published: Harper - September 15th, 2015

A House of My Own by Sandra Cisneros

Cisneros writes beautifully in any form, and she showcases her talent here in a colorful mosaic of essays, introductions, and speeches from her three decades of writing. Through her thoughts on place, art, and other writers, her remarkable life is revealed in ways more intimate than a typical memoir, taking us to Greece and Mexico, Chicago and San Antonio, and unveiling the smart, passionate mind of a poet and writer.  --Melinda

Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik

Notorious RBG began as a Tumblr tribute to the Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2013 by a law student, and is fleshed out here with the help of a journalist, a graffiti artist, and a whole lot of inspiration. With great fun, this book follows the trajectory of her life and career with admiration and affection, from her personal relationships to her recent scathing dissents in the Roberts court. This is a treatment of RBG as hero, and it’s well deserved.  --Melinda

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Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg By Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062415837
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dey Street Books - October 27th, 2015

The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf

You’ve probably never heard of Alexander von Humboldt, but you’ve seen his name. A naturalist and explorer in the 1800s, Humboldt essentially invented the concept of nature as we know it and was extremely influential, yet today he’s all but forgotten. With this thorough biography, Andrea Wulf makes his place in history known. Filled with history, science, and adventure, this will make you proud to know the story of Alexander von Humboldt.  --Flannery

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The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World By Andrea Wulf Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385350662
Availability: Hard to Find - Believed to be Out of Stock Indefinitely
Published: Knopf - September 15th, 2015

M Train by Patti Smith

Patti Smith’s follow-up memoir to Just Kids is a poignant and fluid meditation on places and objects that bear significance in her life, shifting seamlessly from dreamlike to reminiscent. Punctuated by coffee, literature, and detective shows, we meander through her memories of travel and relationships. Don’t expect a linear narrative—drift with Ms. Smith through what she describes as “a roadmap to my life.”  --Centa

(Bookshop will be hosting Patti Smith at an off-site event on November 17th—please see event page regarding ticket availability.)

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M Train By Patti Smith Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101875100
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Knopf - October 6th, 2015

Home Is Burning by Dan Marshall

Emotionally devastating and also incredibly funny, this memoir left me feeling grateful for the bonds of family. Dan Marshall’s mother has been fighting cancer (and winning!) since Dan was a kid. When his father is diagnosed with ALS, Marshall moves home to help battle a new medical challenge. It might have gone better if he was at all the responsible, mature, and resourceful person the situation called for. Instead he flails, fails, and acts wildly inappropriate. Sometimes there’s nothing more important than looking mortality in the face, admitting we’re scared as f*ck, and making a fart joke.  --Nici

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ISBN: 9781250068828
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Flatiron Books - October 20th, 2015

Montana by Keith Dunnavant

Joe Montana has had a place in my heart ever since he signed my grandmother’s arm in a grocery store line in Rocklin. Now, with Dunnavant’s biography, there’s even more to love. While chronicling Joe’s life and a hallowed time in 49er history, Dunnavant pays particular attention to Joe as the Comeback Kid, not just in the thrilling final minutes of a game, but also in returning from a potentially career-ending spine injury to win two more Super Bowls. A must-read for any Niner fan.  --Melinda

Find a Way by Diana Nyad

Diana Nyad has a remarkable story to tell. After four attempts, the first in 1978, she became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage…at the age of 64. Her indomitable personality shines through in this honest account of her life, her triumphs and struggles, the work she’s put in, and the community she’s built along the way. Utterly inspiring, she is the living example of never giving up on one’s dreams.  --Melinda

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Find a Way By Diana Nyad Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385353618
Availability: Hard to Find - Believed to be Out of Stock Indefinitely
Published: Knopf - October 20th, 2015

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