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Biography & Memoir from our 2021 Winter Newsletter

These titles were featured in our 2021 Winter Newsletter.


Poet Warrior by Joy Harjo

Reading poet laureate Joy Harjo’s memoir is like soaking in peaceful, healing waters. We're introduced to the Poet Girl and stanza by stanza, chapter by chapter, we come to know her as the Poet Warrior. Through the telling of her own historical trauma, Harjo gently, with great understanding and wisdom, helps us to see how we can sit with and talk to the broken parts of our own story and retell it to ourselves as an act of grieving, healing, and maybe even strength. I will give this book to my sisters and my friends knowing that what is experienced in reading this book is more than I could ever say myself, and everything I want them to know.—Jenny

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Poet Warrior: A Memoir By Joy Harjo Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393248524
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 7th, 2021

Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography by Laurie Woolver

Like so many people around the world, I felt like I really knew Anthony Bourdain despite never having met him. His open and honest writing style and magnanimous TV personality are charismatic, endearing, and—according to his friend and longtime assistant Laurie Woolever—not too far off from how he actually was. Woolever spent years interviewing 91 people, from his mother to Anderson Cooper, who knew Bourdain at different times in his life and she has managed to weave these many interviews into a narrative that will hold your attention from start to finish. Fans of Bourdain will not be disappointed, and even those who have read and watched his entire body of work will find something new within this book.—Jade 

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Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography By Laurie Woolever Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062909107
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - September 28th, 2021

You Got Anything Stronger? by Gabrielle Union

In the follow-up to her much-loved memoir We’re Going to Need More Wine, Union shares her thoughts on marriage, motherhood, and feminism, and reflects on her career and how she has changed in the four years since her previous book came out. I only had a short sample of this book so I can’t speak to its entirety, but the parts I read were powerfully honest and inspiring, with a strong focus on family, vulnerability, and Black joy. No doubt the rest of the book is heartfelt and empowering, just like its author.—Jade

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You Got Anything Stronger?: Stories By Gabrielle Union Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062979933
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Dey Street Books - September 14th, 2021

Greedy: Notes from a Bisexual Who Wants Too Much by Jen Winston

Through an array of personal essays ranging from childhood anecdotes to serious, introspective pieces on sexuality, privilege, and gender identity, Greedy gets to it all—it’s laugh-out-loud funny even while delivering its gut punches. Jen Winston’s debut memoir is something I won’t stop talking about all winter long. If you’re bi, this is a must read. If you’re not, this is still a must read!—Andrea

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Greedy: Notes from a Bisexual Who Wants Too Much By Jen Winston Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982179175
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - October 5th, 2021

The Deeper the Roots by Michael Tubbs

Michael Tubbs’s memoir is absolutely engrossing and inspiring. From an intelligent, capable, but frequently underestimated Black child, to Stanford and international experiences, to being elected Stockton’s first Black mayor (and youngest ever mayor of a city with a population over 100,000) in 2016, Tubbs’ thoughtful reflection ties his life into our systemic patterns and problems, while proving there is action and hope for even the darkest moments. I closed this galvanized, knowing I, too, can do more in and for the world around me.—Jocelyn

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The Deeper the Roots: A Memoir of Hope and Home By Michael Tubbs Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250173447
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books: An Oprah Book - November 16th, 2021

Smile by Sarah Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl, internationally acclaimed playwright, saw half her face become paralyzed with Bell's palsy hours after she gave birth to twins. In Smile, she chronicles her journey through both motherhood and the inherently demonstrative world of theater, wondering if the lack of expression on her face, especially as a woman, has a bearing on how people perceive her and how she perceives herself. A thoughtful, heartfelt, resilient yet realistic rumination on a journey of self-discovery, one that feels particularly relevant as we think about the effects of wearing our smile behind our mask.—Casey

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Smile: The Story of a Face By Sarah Ruhl Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982150945
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 5th, 2021

Dear Memory by Victoria Chang

Dear Memory is the artful memoir from accomplished poet Victoria Chang. With literary references and lyrical precision, she explores her family’s history by using documents from their pasts, marriage licenses, old photos, to create evocative collages with what they reveal. These are interspersed among imagined letters to those she wishes for answers, each asking questions but also telling more of the story. Here we come to know a family separated by countries, time, generations, and loss, and the poet-guide who spins their memories.—Melinda

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Dear Memory: Letters on Writing, Silence, and Grief By Victoria Chang Cover Image
ISBN: 9781571313928
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Milkweed Editions - October 12th, 2021

Hero of Two Worlds by Mike Duncan

Hamilton fans rejoice! Revolutions podcaster Mike Duncan is back with one of the biggest history biographies of the season. This page-turning, honest, and humorous narrative lets us follow the Marquis de Lafayette as he champions liberty on both sides of the Atlantic. “An outstanding account of an almost impossibly eventful life,” says Kirkus’s starred review. 

Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution By Mike Duncan Cover Image
ISBN: 9781541730335
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: PublicAffairs - August 24th, 2021

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