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History & Politics

The Journal of Best Practices by David Finch

After being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrom at age 30, Finch realizes that his social and personal difficulties are tied to the particular way his brain functions. He creates a list on instructions to himself--his "Journal of Best Practices"--as a way to become the husband, father, and person he wants to be. This compulsivly honest memoir shows the difficulties he faced, his family's frustrations, and the strengths his approach provided. His insights on his illness and on life in general are presented in a quirky, often hilarious narration.

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The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439189719
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Scribner - January 3rd, 2012

Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp

As someone who shares the same love, I fell easily into this all too common tale of the high-functioning alcoholic. The honesty with which Knapp writes is refreshingly undramatic. There are a lot of gritty rock-bottom memoirs out there, but Drinking manages to have the soul baring quality of a best friend’s confidence without the gut wrenching cringe factor.

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Drinking: A Love Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385315548
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - May 12th, 1997

Big Sex, Little Death by Susie Bright

Susie Bright has the kind of life that memoirs were invented for—and finally she has written one! Chock full of “did-that-really-happen” moments and the fiercely intelligent and empathetic insight that she is known for, Big Sex Little Death is not to be skipped. Perfect for book group or class discussions

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Big Sex Little Death: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781580053938
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Seal Press - April 24th, 2012

Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer

Pat Tillman was a true American hero. An All Star football player, he gave up his career to join the Army, only to be killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan, a fact which the government covered up. Krakauer delves into the story, following Tillman's life as well as the actions that lead to his death, and cutting through the web of lies woven around it.

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Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307386045
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Anchor - July 27th, 2010

Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

Malcolm X holds nothing back in this engaging autobiography which is part personal philosophy, part personal narrative. With the help of Alex Haley (co-author), Malcolm X opens up about his amazing transition from a street-wise kid to one of the most influential African-Americans in history. Even if you've seen the movie (which is awesome), check out the inspiration!

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The Autobiography of Malcolm X Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345350688
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - October 12th, 1987

Malcolm X by Manning Marable

The late Manning Marable's acclaimed biography of Malcolm X does justice to one of the most influential and controversial figures of twentieth-century American history. Filled with new information and revelations, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America. “An extraordinary portrait of a man and his time. . . .A masterpiece.” —San Francisco Chronicle

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143120322
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Penguin Books - December 28th, 2011

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

This vividly detailed book follows the lives of various slum dwellers, all with different positions and castes, over almost four years, hinging on one event that ties them all together. Boo completely removes herself from the narrative, letting the people tell their story, and the result is a fascinating look at an extremely different culture that reads like a novel. It kept me up late into the night, anxious to know what would happen.

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Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400067558
Availability: Backordered
Published: Random House - February 7th, 2012

Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell

Full of rigorous research and wonderful analogies, this a fascinating book. The history of the Americanization of Hawai'i—first by Puritans then by politicians—is made highly memorable through Vowell's wry sense of humor and easily accessible through her personal connections. The end of Hawai'ian independence is still a tough issue and deserves a whole library of it's own, but for the uninitiated, this is an excellent start.

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Unfamiliar Fishes Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594485640
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - March 6th, 2012

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

Expanding on some of the themes found in her autobiographical novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Winterson writes in her new memoir about being adopted and raised by Pentecostal parents. The first half of the book is a series of stories and snapshots from Winterson’s young life as a girl and of her relationship with her adoptive, religious zealot mother who was thwarted and abusive. The second half of the memoir feels as if it’s almost written in “real-time” and tells of Winterson’s quest to find her biological parents. In some ways, Winterson has done for the feeling of displacement and yearning that comes with being adopted, what Joan Didion did for grief in Year of Magical Thinking: written a singular story that captures a universal topic. With woven words and tactile imagery, she has created a raw narrative of survival, wit, and the importance of claiming identity.
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ISBN: 9780802120106
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Grove Press - March 6th, 2012

Townie by Andre Dubus, III

Andre Dubus III (House of Sand and Fog) has long been one of my favorite novelists. The pulse and threat of violence is a prevalent theme in his books, and his new memoir offers an illuminating glimpse into the way violence shaped his childhood. Dubus grew up in an entirely different world from his famous novelist father (Andre Dubus), in rough neighborhoods where fighting was commonplace. A thoughtful, electric memoir, and a must-read for fans of Dubus.

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Townie: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393340679
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 6th, 2012


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