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Summer Newsletter 2022 Biography & Memoir

Riverman An American Odyssey by Ben McGrath

If, like many people, you’ve spent the last two years mostly stuck inside, anxious about the next COVID variant, you need to read this book right now. Dick Conant was a charismatic but troubled adventurer, a throwback to an older time. Though his story is ultimately tragic, he barreled his way through life unafraid, making friends, dodging death, and completing insane feats of endurance. Reading about him will make you want to go outside and do something fun and maybe even a little crazy and let Mother Nature wash your anxieties away.  —Rico

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Riverman: An American Odyssey By Ben McGrath Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451494009
Availability: This item is likely out of print! We may be able to order it from the publisher. If it's unavailable, we will refund you ASAP.
Published: Knopf - April 5th, 2022

Brown Neon by Raquel Gutiérrez

To cross a border is to both affirm the border’s existence and expose its futility. Gutiérrez’s stunning collection of essays about a queer existence in the Southwest is a meditation in this kind of border-crossing, jumping from the ’90s DIY-punk scene in Los Angeles to the guttingly tragic question of citizenship in the modern–day xenophobic landscape. Whether writing from the microscopic (an essay on the creation of adobe architecture) or the macroscopic (a shift in urban life and aesthetics based on immigration policies), Gutiérrez possesses the unique ability to call into question both our comforts and our fears. This book deliciously captures the modern and nostalgic experience of Southern California living.  —Caroline

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Brown Neon By Raquel Gutiérrez Cover Image
ISBN: 9781566896375
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - June 7th, 2022

Deaf Utopia by Nyle DiMarco

Deaf Utopia by Nyle DiMarco is a memoir I didn’t know I needed in my life. You can feel DiMarco’s passion for his heritage—coming from a multigenerational Deaf family—his love of ASL, and his determination to change cultural stereotypes about Deaf people. DiMarco explores Deaf history and culture and also discusses the trials and tribulations people in the Deaf community face. This memoir truly is “a love letter to a way of life.”  


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Deaf Utopia: A Memoir—and a Love Letter to a Way of Life By Nyle DiMarco, Robert Siebert Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063062368
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - April 4th, 2023

How You Get Famous Ten Years of Drag Madness in Brooklyn by Nicole Pasulka

In the years between 2010 and 2020, the Brooklyn drag scene shot to the forefront of queer entertainment, capturing attention with its slew of charismatic, unique, and talented performers who pushed boundaries and redefined the art of drag. This review of that decade will appeal to the queer popculture curious and the superfans of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Boulet Brothers’ Dragula for its combination of historical context with personal insight into the lives of various legendary artists. —Eli 

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How You Get Famous: Ten Years of Drag Madness in Brooklyn By Nicole Pasulka Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982115791
Availability: This item is likely out of print! We may be able to order it from the publisher. If it's unavailable, we will refund you ASAP.
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 7th, 2022

Somebody's Daughter by Ashley C. Ford

Ashley C. Ford has written a powerful memoir of growing up in the shadow of her father’s long imprisonment and the ways it affected her family, her complicated relationship with her mother, and her own self-identity. It is also the assured record of a Black girl rising. Her story is not bound by the trauma endured; it is truthful and hopeful. It shines with intelligence, resilience, and love, and the intimacy and awareness she shares with us is awe-inspiring.


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Somebody's Daughter: A Memoir By Ashley C. Ford Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250203229
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books: An Oprah Book - May 3rd, 2022

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson

Walter Issacson, bestselling biographer of geniuses like Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Steve Jobs, turns his attention to one of the smartest humans currently living, Jennifer Doudna. Enthralled by the mysteries of DNA from a young age, Doudna grew up to become a pioneer of the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR. Chronicling her work during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Code Breaker is the only biography I know of that sometimes seems like science fiction. —Aric

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The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race By Walter Isaacson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982115869
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - May 3rd, 2022

Patriarchy Blues by Frederick Joseph

In his new book, part memoir and part stream-of-consciousness poetry, Frederick Joseph reflects on the state of masculinity of Black men in contemporary America. Drawing from deep personal experiences, Joseph’s work tackles issues of toxic masculinity, transphobia, violence, and internet culture. Joseph calls out his heroes for their shortcomings (“The Blood Of Forty-Four”) and often puts the lens on his own anxiety and pursuit of perfection (“The Rot in The Garden”).


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Patriarchy Blues: Reflections on Manhood By Frederick Joseph Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063138322
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - May 17th, 2022

Constructing a Nervous System by Margo Jefferson

This memoir is an intimate, intellectual, mind-blowing journey and I’m not coming back. Margo Jefferson is “one of the first black/woman critics here” and it is this position as both observer and influencer since the 1970s that moves her book beyond the personal. Here she displays her cumulative wealth of context and connection, pulling from poets, writers, musicians, and more to reflect on race, class, and culture, even as she rebuilds her own life story—wholly original, an artist in her own right.


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Constructing a Nervous System: A Memoir By Margo Jefferson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525565710
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - April 11th, 2023

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