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The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience

Broad in scope, this will appeal to a wide audience owing to the range of women spotlighted. Given its length, this is a book to savor over multiple sittings, allowing readers to revisit well-known heroines or discover new ones among the pages.
PREMIUM

Stealing Cinderella: How I Became an International Fugitive for Love

Though it occasionally (if stereotypically) sheds light on differences between American and South Korean cultures, this memoir cannot be recommended. Readers in search of an American’s experience in South Korea might want instead to turn to Elizabeth Rice’s Rituals of Separation.
PREMIUM

Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol

Part self-help, part recovery memoir, this personal account provides useful and inspiring techniques for addiction recovery.
PREMIUM

Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family

Albom’s memoir is a lens into his grief but also a celebration of Chika’s spirit and lessons gleaned from their time together as a family. The heartbreaking but uplifting story is a testament to the bravery and resilience of children and the power of love. Essential for all public libraries.

Disturbance: Surviving Charlie Hebdo

Readers will learn details about the Charlie Hebdo attack that only Lançon can provide, and will empathize with Lançon’s slow, pained road to recovery while he summons the strength to share his most intimate fears with the world. Highly recommended for all audiences.
PREMIUM

Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving

This amusing, concise, and sometimes tender collection of profiles is recommended for readers content with short biographies in a limited narrative format.
PREMIUM

The Shadow of Vesuvius: A Life of Pliny

Not ideal for those looking for a straightforward biography of Pliny, the book will appeal to readers who are willing to follow Dunn’s enthusiastic and vividly drawn, if meandering, story about the lives and influences of both men.

Here for It: Or, How To Save Your Soul in America; Essays

A laugh-out-loud memoir that is strongly recommended for everyone.
PREMIUM

She Came To Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman

While Dunbar’s short, readable biography will appeal to many, it’s also true that events in Tubman’s life are not given the detail they deserve. As an introduction to the life of this American hero, it succeeds with style.

Crystal Eastman: A Revolutionary Life

For academics and general readers interested in women’s rights and biographies of achieving women.
PREMIUM

Lincoln’s Informer: Charles A. Dana and the Inside Story of the Union War

An insightful work about an influential but often overlooked political figure.

Know My Name: A Memoir

A much-needed memoir giving voice to those who must be heard. Miller’s writing stands apart.

Permanent Record

For those fascinated by electronic spying or impassioned by the issue of privacy rights, Snowden’s memoir casts an enlightening view of the U.S. intelligence community despite sometimes being marred by cumbersome jargon.
PREMIUM

Mary Ball Washington: The Untold Story of George Washington’s Mother

For general readers of American history, especially those interested in the revolutionary period.

The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini

Revealing the inner-workings of foreign policy, this engrossing memoir will appeal to informed readers and will inspire women contemplating careers in public service. [See Prepub Alert, 3/4/19.]
PREMIUM

A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee

A high-demand biography for fans of Lee and Marvel comics.
PREMIUM

Boss of the Grips: The Life of James H. Williams and the Red Caps of Grand Central Terminal

Washington’s illustrated and well-researched work will have some appeal for rail fans, but its true value is for readers interested in the social condition of African Americans in New York during the period.
PREMIUM

Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl

This fiercely written, sobering account of actions that alter lives forever is recommended for students of sociology, gender studies, and psychology, as well as general readers wishing to learn more about the effects of sexual assault and rape.
PREMIUM

Disasterama! Adventures in the Queer Underground 1977 to 1997

An important memoir to add to any library’s collection about the turbulent beginning of the AIDS epidemic.
PREMIUM

Making a Difference: My Fight for Native Rights and Social Justice

Recommended for all readers interested in Native American history, and careers in public service.

Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, and Me: A Memoir

Bair settles some scores and remains moot on a few issues of interest in the literary world in a narrative that will hold the most appeal for Beckett and de Beauvoir aficionados.

In the Dream House

A thought-provoking account for anyone interested in the experience of abuse survivors and lesbian narratives; trigger warning for descriptions of physical and emotional abuse.

PREMIUM

Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter

Greenidge’s meticulously documented, free-flowing narrative draws telling comparisons between the opening of the 20th and 21st centuries to reorient the career of black radicalism, showing how Trotter developed the art of public protest and civil disobedience. A must-read for both scholars and general readers interested in the civil rights movement.

PREMIUM

The Cartiers: The Untold Story of the Family Behind the Jewelry Empire

A thoroughly researched and enjoyable family business history that should appeal to history buffs and lovers of high-end fashion and jewelry alike.
PREMIUM

Walter Ralegh: Architect of Empire

A good choice for those already familiar with the broad strokes of Elizabethan England, and for readers seeking to expand their knowledge of Ralegh’s life and works.
PREMIUM

Idiot Wind

A very readable, even superior, addition to the addiction memoir genre.
PREMIUM

Battling Bella: The Protest Politics of Bella Abzug

A fascinating ride through some of the fastest-paced politics of the 1960s with a larger-than-life character and well suited for feminist history readers.

Edison

This biography is the new standard for scholarship on the Wizard of Menlo Park and is a work that will long sustain Morris’s legacy.

Here We Are: American Dreams, American Nightmares

This thought-provoking and thoroughly engrossing memoir offers the story of Shahani’s experience, as well as those of other families who, though they did not find the American Dream, nevertheless found home.
PREMIUM

All Blood Runs Red: The Legendary Life of Eugene Bullard—Boxer, Pilot, Soldier, Spy

Recommended for readers who enjoy compelling biography and fast-paced narrative, and especially for those interested in African American history. [See Prepub Alert, 4/28/19.]
PREMIUM

Dad’s Maybe Book

Fans of parenting books, memoirs, and stories of Vietnam War veterans will find enjoyment in these heartfelt words.

All the Powers of Earth: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln. Vol. 3: 1856–1860

In all this, Blumenthal speaks to our own time and, through Lincoln’s life and work, asks us to consider what price expediency and ego cost democracy. Brilliant, compelling, and memorable. [See Prepub Alert, 3/17/19.]
PREMIUM

The Survivors: A Story of War, Inheritance, and Healing

Readers of biography, history, and politics, and those interested in the effects of trauma on subsequent generations, will appreciate this thoughtful book.
PREMIUM

Dance Me to the End: Ten Months and Ten Days with ALS

A mesmerizing memoir by a talented writer on coming to terms with the unexpected.

Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights

This superb work should ensure that Roundtree receives the recognition she richly deserves.
PREMIUM

Eyes to the Wind: A Memoir of Love and Death, Hope and Resistance

Though Barkan’s memoir at times feels a little rushed and unfinished, his life in social justice is a story worth telling.

Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA

Fans of Showtime’s Homeland and espionage novels will devour this highly recommended memoir, as will readers interested in counterterrorism, nonprofileration, and peacemaking. [See Editors’ Fall Picks, “Fall Fireworks,” LJ 8/19.]
PREMIUM

We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir

Habib’s story will resonate with those who have faced similar challenges of finding their place in a culture different from their own. For all readers, it will illuminate the immigrant experience.

Year of the Monkey

Fans of Smith’s extensive body of work and those who enjoy well-crafted personal narratives will find much to love in this brief and vibrant book.

PREMIUM

Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands

This moving memoir exploring race, gender, childhood, colonialism, marriage, and immigration will be valuable for readers interested in learning more about these subjects through a personal lens.

Dressed in Dreams: A Black Girl’s Love Letter to the Power of Fashion

A winning look at black girl fashion and a solid addition for all collections

America’s Reluctant Prince: The Life of John F. Kennedy Jr.

Readers fascinated by the Kennedys will be delighted by this captivating biography. See Randy Taraborelli's The Kennedy Heirs for a comprehensive account of the third generation Kennedys.

PREMIUM

A State at Any Cost: The Life of David Ben-Gurion

Scholars and devoted readers of political history, notably of the Middle East, will turn to Segev’s majestic analysis of this pivotal leader for decades to come
PREMIUM

Think Black: A Memoir

Recommended for readers interested in histories of computing and business, and black history, especially regarding STEM

Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America

Austin’s experiences, both positive and negative, are recounted in this fast-paced, heartwarming memoir of motherhood and adoption told through an African American lens. ­Essential for all libraries.

PREMIUM

Sophonisba Breckinridge: Championing Women’s Activism in Modern America

A masterly contribution to the history of American women. Academics and general readers alike will applaud this nuanced biography of a feminist who dedicated her life to public service and improving the lives of women.

PREMIUM

Toil & Trouble: A Memoir

Although scientifically unsound, this book’s allegorical evidence for the belief in witchcraft will appeal to casual memoir readers, particularly those interested in the lighter side of religion and psychology. [See Prepub Alert, 4/1/19.]

PREMIUM

The King of Adobe: Reies López Tijerina, Lost Prophet of the Chicano Movement

With access to newly opened archives and extensive interviews with those close to Tijerina, Oropeza delivers a well-researched, nuanced, and balanced look at this somewhat forgotten figure. Highly recommended.

PREMIUM

Reading Behind Bars: A Memoir of Literature, Law, and Life as a Prison Librarian

Recommended for those studying library and information science or who are interested in America’s prison system.

PREMIUM

From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way

Although Thistle’s memoir does not deal extensively with issues of native identity and oppression, the theme of estrangement is powerfully portrayed in what is ultimately a story of courage and resilience certain to strike a chord with readers from many backgrounds.

PREMIUM

Prince Albert: The Man Who Saved the Monarchy

Readers interested in British history and royals will appreciate this accessible, well-researched study of an admired leader.

PREMIUM

The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You

A much-needed exploration of the refugee experience; Nayeri’s writing will be welcomed by a wide audience. [See Prepub Alert, 2/24/19.]
PREMIUM

Alexander the Great: His Life and His Mysterious Death

This work will appeal to fans of “Great Men” biographies, initiates in classical studies, and Everitt’s numerous followers.

PREMIUM

Barnum: An American Life

One of the themes in this work is our country’s complex relationship with the truth. Overall, Wilson’s skillful portrayal of the multifarious Barnum is affectionate, lucid, and lively, offering a new portrait of Victorian-era America, particularly its curious and playful side. Highly recommended.

PREMIUM

Condé Nast: The Man and His Empire; A Biography

With her breezy, gossipy style, Ronald brings to life the story of the influential American publisher and his magazines. Journalism students and readers of this time period will enjoy this biography
PREMIUM

And How Are You, Dr. Sacks? A Biographical Memoir of Oliver Sacks

This biographical memoir offers a window into the world Sacks inhabited: a world full of brilliance, insecurity, and a robust enthusiasm for life. Recommended for readers who wish they had had the privilege of knowing Sacks while he was alive.

PREMIUM

Five Days Gone: The Mystery of My Mother’s Disappearance as a Child

With its unique combination of artistry, investigation, and memoir, this story is likely to appeal to a wide range of readers and is recommended as a general purchase for large collections.

Oliver Wendell Holmes: A Life in War, Law, and Ideas

A winner from start to finish, this is a natural fit for anyone who enjoys history or biography.

Searching for Stonewall Jackson: A Quest for Legacy in a Divided America

Although the book may appeal to devoted fans of this hero of the Confederacy, it fails to provide new insight into Jackson’s character or accomplishments.

PREMIUM

Blood: A Memoir

Fans of Moorer or Shelby Lynne’s music will recognize this story from their country songs. Recommended for libraries where country musicians’ biographies are popular.

Four Friends: Promising Lives Cut Short

Cohan is a masterful biographer, even if the occasional slip into armchair cultural anthropologist misses the mark. His detailed research spans newspaper accounts and school records to weave a full narrative of privilege and tragedy.

PREMIUM

Bagehot: The Life and Times of the Greatest Victorian

Grant’s readable work both illuminates Bagehot’s life and places his writings in the conservative gold standard context of his time. [See Prepub Alert, 1/7/19.]
PREMIUM

George Marshall: Defender of the Republic

Recommended for those interested in the latest World War II biographies. [See Prepub Alert, 1/7/19.]

The Widow Washington: The Life of Mary Washington

All readers will value this vivid account that corrects Mary’s record and reveals the dilemmas and distorted sensibility of Virginian slave-holding white women, along with the devastation caused by the Revolutionary War

Young Castro: The Making of a Revolutionary

An important, thoroughly researched and documented recent work on Cuban history that belongs in all collections.

PREMIUM

The Washington War: FDR’s Inner Circle and the Politics of Power That Won World War II

A fantastic account for political scientists, 20th- century World War II and policy historians, and history aficionados. Lacey’s flow of language and wit make this an accessible and compelling read.

PREMIUM

Embers of Childhood: Growing Up a Whitney

Though well written, this honest memoir of a privileged life will likely most appeal to those interested in the Whitneys. The specificity of its subject matter reaching a somewhat limited audience.

PREMIUM

The Beneficiary: Fortune, Misfortune, and the Story of My Father

Scott’s account reads as lyrical nonfiction and extends beyond her own family to shed light on America’s elite from the Gilded Age through the present day. Recommended for most memoir collections
PREMIUM

Magical Realism for Non-Believers

A solid choice for large collections, especially where memoirs are popular.

PREMIUM

Mama’s Boy: A Story from Our Americas

This earnest memoir is somewhat overstuffed with discussions of religion and Hollywood; the greatest appreciation will likely come from readers interested in a heartfelt look at self-acceptance as well as the complexities of family or personal stories about mending divides between liberal and conservative

The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty

An engaging read full of rich behind-the-scenes details of a fascinating matriarch and public leader, including her struggles and triumphs.

The Kennedy Heirs: John, Caroline, and the New Generation

Kennedy followers will be intrigued by this absorbing narrative of the dynasty's continuing hold on American life.

Diplomatic Ties | Social Sciences, April 2019

Rudyard Kipling, Walter Bagehot, George Marshall | Biography Previews, Jul. 2019, Pt. 1 | Prepub Alert

Three Titles Advance the Life of Frederick Douglass

Traveling via Biography and Memoir | Wyatt's World

Maxwell King Explores the Life and Legacy of Mister Rogers | Fall Editors' Picks

PREMIUM

Thomas Cole's Journey: Atlantic Crossings

This thought-provoking and stimulating work presents the familiar made new and the new made clear.
PREMIUM

Frederic Church: A Painter's Pilgrimage

This lavishly illustrated and well-researched catalog will intrigue artists, art historians, art history students, and interested general readers.
PREMIUM

Stitching with Beatrix Potter: Stitch, Sew & Give 10 Adorable Projects Featuring Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck & Friends

Hill's designs celebrate the best-known works of Potter, while also bringing some of her lesser-known botanical illustrations to the forefront. Quilters interested in machine appliqué, as well as fans of Potter's work, will enjoy this collection.
PREMIUM

'Over the Hills and Far Away': The Life of Beatrix Potter

Dennison writes a concise summary of Potter's inspirations and legacy; fans already familiar with her life and works may want a more comprehensive retelling.
PREMIUM

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965

This is a big book but reads easily, filled with anecdotes from the principals. Although not a practiced historian, Reid learned well from Manchester, and the finished book is a worthy conclusion to what must be considered one of the most thorough treatments of Churchill so far produced. An essential conclusion to Manchester’s magnum opus.
PREMIUM

A Biographical Encyclopedia of Contemporary Genocide: Portraits of Evil and Good

This encyclopedia presents a variety of key individuals to study with respect to genocidal acts. The succinct text offers a valuable starting point for further study as well as an informative read for those generally interested in the unfortunate subject matter.
PREMIUM

Napoleon:Life, Legacy, and Image: A Biography

The narrative never bogs down or seems hurried, and is thus for lay readers a good introduction to Napoleon and his impact on French history. Libraries with other popular studies of Napoleon may consider it an optional purchase.
PREMIUM

Castlereagh: A Life

Castlereagh is best suited for academic libraries or collections where there is strong interest in the history of this period. Helpful chapter endnotes, as well as an exhaustive bibliography and index, provide a resource for further reading.
PREMIUM

The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo

While Reiss occasionally strays from the central narrative with an abundance of tangential detail regarding the French Revolution, this accessible read is recommended for fans of popular narrative nonfiction as well as for both casual and serious students of French history, and of the younger Dumas’s work.
PREMIUM

Young Henry: The Rise of Henry VIII

A good idea but it doesn’t work. Young Henry will satisfy neither the casual reader nor the academic (at whom it is not aimed in any case).
PREMIUM

Men in Eden: William Drummond Stewart and Same-Sex Desire in the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade

Given the dearth of explicit source material, Benemann, as in his previous book, does a lot of conjecturing and inferring, parsing Stewart’s letters and two novels for coded homoeroticism, but as in the earlier work, the results are utterly convincing. An engaging contribution to LGBT history; highly recommended.
PREMIUM

The Richest Woman in America: Hetty Green in the Gilded Age

Wallach covers much of the same ground as Slack, so it is unnecessary to own both books, but biography buffs and general readers will learn much from Wallach’s engaging study.
PREMIUM

Custer

Strongly recommended for public and school libraries as a masterful and insightful biography, as well as a guide to the key historical sources about Custer. This text will be appreciated by both scholars and Custer enthusiasts, even though theories about whether the general’s nature was inherently heroic, psychotic, or cowardly are not discussed here at any length.
PREMIUM

Katharine and R.J. Reynolds: Partners of Fortune in the Making of the New South

Gillespie has meticulously drawn the business, political, and social climate of the reinvented South. Though scholarly, the book is highly readable, having at its core the story of two people who genuinely respected and loved each other. A good choice for anyone interested in the business of tobacco in the South and related race and gender roles.
PREMIUM

Rome’s Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar

The biographical elements, rather than the references to current politics, will be of great interest to generalists fascinated by this period in Roman history and wanting more than the typical Caesarian or Pompeian perspectives. As such, recommended.
PREMIUM

He Rode with Butch and Sundance: The Story of Harvey “Kid Curry” Logan

Destined to become a required text for historical research on the Wild Bunch in general and Kid Curry in particular, this work will be useful in academic and public libraries for readers of Western outlaw literature who value historical accuracy over fictionalized romance.
PREMIUM

Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West

A solidly researched biography of a little-known turn-of-the century aerodynamicist and flyer compellingly framed against the broader tapestry of Western science and aviation. Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

Mao: The Real Story

One of the most important China books of recent years and a page-turner, too. [See Prepub Alert, 4/30/12.]
PREMIUM

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

General and academic readers will find a balanced, engaging, and realistic treatment of the forces motivatingthe third President, the subject of unending fascination and debate. [See Prepub Alert, 5/10/12.]
PREMIUM

John Quincy Adams

Unger does a masterful job. Although there are other books on John Quincy Adams, American history and political history buffs will find this stirring work irresistible.
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