Couric, Harjo, Ruhl, Sedaris & More: Memoir Previews, Oct. 2021, Pt. 3

An award-winning journalist, a U.S. Poet Laureate, actors with stories, and a man redeemed. 

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Couric, Katie. Going There. Little, Brown. Oct. 2021. 368p. ISBN 9780316535861. $30. lrg. prnt. MEMOIR

Harjo, Joy. Poet Warrior. Norton. Sept. 2021. 240p. ISBN 9780393248524. $25. MEMOIRcover of Harjo's Poet Warrior

Love, Bobby & Cheryl Love. The Redemption of Bobby Love: A Story of Faith, Family, and Justice. Houghton Harcourt. Oct. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9780358566052. $28. MEMOIR

Ruhl, Sarah. Smile: The Story of a Face. S. & S. Oct. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9781982150945. $27. CD. MEMOIR

Sedaris, David. A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003–2020). Little, Brown. Oct. 2021. 560p. ISBN 9780316558792. $32. lrg. prnt. CD. MEMOIR

Sharif, Omar, Jr. A Tale of Two Omars: A Memoir of Family, Revolution, and Coming Out During the Arab Spring . Counterpoint. Oct. 2021. 224p. ISBN 9781640094987. $26. MEMOIR

Wassef, Nadia. Shelf Life: Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller. Farrar. Oct. 2021. 240p. ISBN 9780374600181. $27. MEMOIR

The first woman to solo anchor a network evening newscast, winner of multiple honors (including numerous Emmys and two Edward R. Murrow awards), and cofounder of Stand ​Up To Cancer, Couric discusses her personal and professional lives in Going There (750,000-copy first printing). The current U.S. Poet Laureate and a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Harjo relates how she came to be a Poet Warrior whose verse bespeaks compassion and demands justice. As revealed in Brandon Stanton’s photoblog Humans of New York—and now in The Redemption of Bobby Love—at age 14 Love was charged with disorderly conduct in the Jim Crow South, subsequently drawn into a band of thieves, and facing a 30-year prison sentence when he escaped to New York, changed his name, and led the model life of a family man with multiple jobs, church, and Little League until the FBI and NYPD came calling after decades (150,000-copy first printing). After successfully negotiating the high-risk birth of twins, two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Ruhl came down with Bell’s palsy—a condition paralyzing half the face—and unlike most patients did not recover quickly; Smile relates how she spent a decade searching for a cure while grappling with her suddenly inexpressive face (100,000-copy first printing). Picking up directly after Theft by Finding, Sedaris’s previous volume of diaries, A Carnival of Snackery brings us up to the present (750,000-copy first printing). Told by Egyptian Canadian actor Sharif, A Tale of Two Omars relates his life as the grandson of the famed actor on his father’s side and Holocaust survivors on his mother’s while also reflecting on his life as a gay man in the Arab (and larger) world. Featured on the Forbes List of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the Middle East in 2014, 2015, and 2016, Wassef is the founder and manager of the Cairo-based Diwan, Egypt’s first modern bookstore, which now has ten locations, 150 employees, countless loyal customers, and a book of its own with Shelf Life (25,000-copy first printing).

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Book Review; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president of the National Book Critics Circle, to which she has just been reelected.

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