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Biography & Memoir

Beautiful on the Outside by Adam Rippon

Adam Rippon became a household name (and self-professed America’s sweetheart) when he became the first openly gay U.S. athlete to win a Winter Olympics medal and at the same time made headlines for calling out Mike Pence for his failure to support the LGBTQ community. Rippon shares his underdog journey from beautiful mess to outrageous success in his hilarious, big-hearted memoir. “Fun and inspirational. The tone is breezy and cheeky, but Rippon is clear that becoming an Olympian takes serious work and focus.” —Publishers Weekly

Beautiful on the Outside: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781538732403
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - October 15th, 2019

Rough Beauty by Karen Auvinen

This is a beautiful story of a woman trying to find her own with powerful prose and captivating descriptions of nature. Auvienen’s metaphorical writing is surprisingly accessible while painting a vivid picture of her process of self-discovery through a Thoreau-esque four years in the woods with just her dog. As a dog mom, I relate to their heartfelt relationship. - R.H.

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Rough Beauty: Forty Seasons of Mountain Living Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781501152290
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - June 4th, 2019

Close to the Knives by David Wojnarowicz

David Wojnarowicz was many things throughout his life: a painter, photographer, writer, filmmaker, performance artist, and AIDS activist. Close to the Knives is a perennially relevant collection of intelligent, searing, and poetic essays that range from David’s teenage years on the streets of New York, working as an artist, taking a solo road trip across the country, gay life in the 1980s, the Reagan presidency, and the emergence of the AIDS crisis—all set against Daivd’s own AIDS diagnosis. Throughout the book David unflinchingly shares his worldview and reaffirms the personal as political: through profound examinations of death and survival, calls for change, and astute observations of America. “It is exhausting, living in a population where people don’t speak up if what they witness doesn’t directly threaten them.” - Billy

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Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780679732273
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 7th, 1991

The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

Sarah Broom’s memoir of her family in New Orleans—and the house that defined them while it was standing and as it was torn apart during Hurricane Katrina—is a searing portrait of identity, politics, race, and class. The urban history of New Orleans seeps both literally and figuratively through their family’s home and their tale of survival is a powerful story of displacement and connection throughout generations. This book is a must-read biography of our time. - Casey

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The Yellow House: A Memoir (2019 National Book Award Winner) Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780802125088
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Grove Press - August 13th, 2019

Eyes to the Wind by Ady Barkan

Ady Barkan is a force to be reckoned with, both before he received his devastating ALS diagnosis at the age of 32, and even more so now, three years in and bringing power and honesty to his roles as political activist, husband, and father. Writing with incredible intimacy, vitality, and humor, Barkan lays it all out in this memoir, his career as an organizer and his journey with illness. He has written a gift that is not just inspiring, but real. - Melinda

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Eyes to the Wind: A Memoir of Love and Death, Hope and Resistance Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982111540
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Atria Books - September 10th, 2019

Tomorrow Will Be Different by Sarah McBride

McBride’s story of self-discovery, determination, and love made me check my privilege, cheer, and cry. She earnestly and intelligently reflects on her life, from coming out as a trans woman, to walking to corridors of power, to falling in love and losing her husband. This compelling read highlights how far we still have to go towards actual liberty and justice for all. - Jocelyn

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Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality Cover Image
By Sarah McBride, Joe Biden (Foreword by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781524761486
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Three Rivers Press - March 5th, 2019

The Other Side by Lacy M. Johnson

At 21, Johnson was kidnapped and held captive by her abusive ex-boyfriend in the soundproof room where he intended to kill her, but her incredible memoir isn’t about that. It’s about the before and after, a reminder to believe survivors when they do the hard work of telling their stories. Johnson tells hers through lyrical prose that turns even the ugliest tragedy into something beautiful. - Kristi

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The Other Side: A Memoir Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781935639831
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - July 15th, 2014

Barbarian Days by William Finnegan

This is a perfect summer nonfiction read for anytime you want an escape. Finnegan paints with vivid strokes the places and times that shaped his identity as a surfer, from Hawaii to Santa Cruz, to parts few of us will ever hear about, much less see. The passion of a surfer will keep you turning pages that exude salt air and the feel of the ocean beneath a board under your feet. - Jocelyn

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Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143109396
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - April 26th, 2016

The Black Count by Tom Reiss

General Dumas’ story deserves epic operas and an acclaimed HBO series it’s so thrilling and adventurous. As the son of a Marquis and a Haitian slave, Dumas rose to the highest ranks of the French army and commanded the respect of nations. Reiss’ quest to uncover Dumas’ story is a joy to read and discovering the seeds of his son’s novels is an eye-opening pleasure. - Clara

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The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo (Pulitzer Prize for Biography) Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780307382474
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - May 14th, 2013

I Am I Am I Am by Maggie O'Farrell

Most of us walk through our daily lives without thinking too much about our mortality, but O’Farrell’s connection to life has been more tenuous than most. Over seventeen essays, she examines the experiences that have taught her how thin the membrane between life and death really is. Told in elegant prose that will resonate in your heart, this book is, ultimately, incredibly life-affirming. - Jess

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I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525436058
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - March 26th, 2019

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