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Biography & Memoir

Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder by Salman Rushdie

On August 12, 2022, internationally renowned author Salman Rushdie was giving a public lecture when he was abruptly attacked and stabbed multiple times, nearly losing his life and ultimately losing sight in one eye and the use of one hand. Having lived under threat of death since 1989, when a fatwa calling for his assassination over The Satanic Verses was issued by Iran’s supreme leader, Rushdie has now written his own account of this violent attack and its aftermath and of his determination to carry on in life, art, and words. —Jocelyn


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ISBN: 9780593730249
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Published: Random House - April 16th, 2024

Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent by Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench is a national treasure. Okay, not our nation, she’s British, but still: national treasure. The Man Who Pays the Rent is a charming and witty stroll through her stage career and offers fascinating insights into Shakespeare’s plays and characters, but more importantly, into the actor herself. It’s both a guide to Shakespeare’s canon and a memoir for Dench fans. If you enjoyed Patrick Stewart’s Making it So and My Shakespeare by Gregory Doran, this is for you.  —Aaron

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Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent By Judi Dench, Brendan O'Hea Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250325778
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Published: St. Martin's Press - April 23rd, 2024

Reading the Room: A Bookseller’s Tale by Paul Yamazaki

Paul Yamazaki has been the buyer at City Lights for more than 50 years, but this delightful memoir is more than just a book about bookselling. It is a wide-ranging yet perfectly distilled treatise on a life evolving, from childhood Boy Scouts to San Francisco State activism in the ’60s to curating a singular bookstore today. And still, it is about the books, the book world, mostly the stories, and the joy, which Paul says is “the enhancement of happiness through knowledge.” I could not love this little gem more.  —Melinda

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Reading the Room: A Bookseller's Tale By Paul Yamazaki, Rick Simonson (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Paul Yamazaki, Rick Simonson (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781958846698
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Published: Ode Books - May 8th, 2024

Fi: A Memoir of My Son by Alexandra Fuller

This is very much a grief memoir, one that chronicles the unimaginable journey of a mother following the unexpected death of her 21-year-old son. But with Alexandra Fuller’s authentic voice and exquisite writing, Fi is a widening experience, funny, raw, connective, real. Her exploration of grief is intimate and expansive, from her childhood in Zimbabwe to parenting in Wyoming, from poetry, philosophy, and literature to the natural world. It is a gift she shares with us—knowing she has loved like this, and that we do, too.  —Melinda

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ISBN: 9780802161048
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Published: Grove Press - April 9th, 2024

Biting the Hand: Growing Up Asian in Black and White America by Julia Lee

Julia Lee has written a powerful memoir of growing up Korean American in the ’80s and finding her way in academia and the world, repeatedly coming up against racial structures that cast her as other, as invisible, as guilty. Now as a professor who teaches African American and Caribbean literature, she writes broadly with intelligence, experience, anger, and awareness, speaking directly to the unique role of Asian Americans in US history and more broadly to a way forward for all of us together.  —Melinda

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Biting the Hand: Growing Up Asian in Black and White America By Julia Lee Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250861573
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Published: Holt Paperbacks - April 16th, 2024

His Name Is George Floyd by Robert Samuels & Toluse Olorunnipa

Many of us know of George Floyd from the horrific circumstances of his death, but this illuminating biography, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, gives us a full look at his life and the systemic racism that shaped it. A beloved member of his community, Floyd was a sensitive and big-hearted man who had hopes, dreams, and shortcomings. Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa expertly reclaim his humanity, painting a portrait of the man behind the rallying cry, within the context of ancestral injustice, racism, prejudice, and persecution.  —S.B.

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His Name Is George Floyd (Pulitzer Prize Winner): One Man's Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice By Robert Samuels, Toluse Olorunnipa Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593490822
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Published: Penguin Books - May 7th, 2024

Cactus Country: A Boyhood Memoir by Zoë Bossiere

A beautiful, visceral memoir from genderfluid writer Zoë Bossiere of a desert boyhood of sun and dogs, a trailer park, a cold, hot city, and a female body. Of children’s cruelty and camaraderie. Of dysphoria and danger in puberty, violence, attraction, and a community stuck on a binary. Of being perceived as girl, woman, slut. Of the ultimate determination to survive and thrive as themselves, finally. I’m grateful to Zoë for sharing their story of growing up, for this book that you’ll devour like popsicles in summer.  —Jocelyn

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ISBN: 9781419773181
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Published: Abrams Press - May 21st, 2024

The Editor by Sarah B. Franklin

Literature lovers will savor this page-turning biography of legendary book editor Judith Jones, whose great instincts and belief in her authors had a huge impact on American culture. Not only was she responsible for bringing some of my favorite culinary writers—including Edna Lewis and Julia Child—to bookshelves in the US, but she nurtured the careers of other literary icons like Sylvia Plath, John Updike, and Sharon Olds. She was even responsible for finding The Diary of Anne Frank in a sea of rejected manuscripts and begging her boss to consider publishing it in America! Jones’s life and work makes for a fascinating read.   —S.B.

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The Editor: How Publishing Legend Judith Jones Shaped Culture in America By Sara B. Franklin Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982134341
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Published: Atria Books - May 28th, 2024


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