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PREMIUM

Refugee

With this heartfelt account, Mbolela succeeds in humanizing often-forgotten people trying to live a more fruitful and safe existence. A welcome memoir.
PREMIUM

The Soul of a Woman

Those looking for in-depth stories of Allende’s earlier life will need to turn to her earlier works, but this passionate memoir presents a vibrant portrait of the current-day author and her thoughts on the future of women, and will be highly appreciated by fans of her works.
PREMIUM

Mixed Plate: Chronicles of an All-American Combo

A beautiful exploration of finding hope, humor, and a voice. A must-read for fans of memoirs.

George Washington: The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father

In this lively and admirable study, Stewart offers a balanced and thoughtfully well-written appreciation of George Washington’s life and leadership. A must for fans of biographies.

Calhoun: American Heretic

This well-researched book offers a definitive account of Calhoun, and will appeal to anyone interested in early American history.
PREMIUM

Dusk Night Dawn: On Revival and Courage

Another standout from Lamott that will have wide appeal.
PREMIUM

Walk in My Combat Boots: True Stories from America’s Bravest Warriors

Readers of military service accounts will be absorbed.
PREMIUM

Broken (in the Best Possible Way)

Lawson already has thousands of fans, and she’s bound to pick up more with this latest memoir. Recommended for all public libraries.

Between Two Kingdoms

The author’s book title is a nod to Susan Sontag’s Illness as Metaphor, in which she asserts that there is a “kingdom of the well” and a “kingdom of the sick.” Jaouad does a beautiful job of writing from this place of “dual citizenship,” where she finds pain but also joy, kinship, and possibility.
PREMIUM

Black Magic: What Black Leaders Learned from Trauma and Triumph

This unique book gives attention to Black entrepreneurs and highlights communities that are often missing in popular narratives of business culture. Readers will find it frustrating, inspiring, and revelatory.
PREMIUM

Never Enough: A Navy SEAL Commander on Living a Life of Excellence, Agility, and Meaning

This useful distillation of the life philosophy of Navy SEALs can be used by anyone. Combining biography, business, and self-help, Hayes’s account will be welcome in library collections where patrons are looking for personal and professional guidance.
PREMIUM

Kamala’s Way: An American Life

This book will find its audiences among Harris fans and California politics readers. Those seeking more details about Harris’s personal life will relish her memoir, The Truths We Hold.
PREMIUM

A Window to Heaven: The Daring First Ascent of Denali: America’s Wildest Peak

From the Texas frontier to North America’s tallest peak, this balanced biography of Hudson Stuck offers provide plenty of adventure, setbacks, turmoil, and seeking a way to impact the world, and will engage
PREMIUM

Black Boy Out of Time

An unflinchingly honest assessment of the ways in which the lives and experiences of Black children are devalued. Recommended for readers interested in anti-racism.
PREMIUM

Consent

Springora widens her scope to indict not only Matzneff, but the French cultural elite that so readily enables and excuses his behavior. A fierce account from a woman hoping to wrest her story back. Recommended reading.
PREMIUM

Grace & Steel: Dorothy, Barbara, Laura, and the Women of the Bush Dynasty

Similar to Taraborrelli’s other books, this is a gossipy read for those who enjoy biography.

Three Books on Space Exploration | Science Reviews

PREMIUM

The Empathy Diaries

This genre-bending memoir is recommended for readers interested in Turkle’s work or in the interplay between technology and self.

So-Called Normal: A Memoir of Family, Depression and Resilience

While it may be a difficult read for some, this book is a wonderful and redemptive prize to finish. A definite recommendation for those who want to better support their loved ones with mental health issues, and a great start for further discussion.
PREMIUM

Speak, Okinawa

A can’t-miss memoir that will stay with readers after they finish the last page.
PREMIUM

The Last Queen: Elizabeth II’s Seventy Year Battle to Save the House of Windsor

A gossipy, yet critical look at the monarchy by a skillful writer who knows his subject well. Fans of The Crown will especially enjoy.
PREMIUM

Sanctuary

A must for fans of Rapp’s previous memoirs and for any reader trying to better understand grief and trauma. This poignant account will be of particular interest for those who have grieved the loss of a child.

Harnessing Grief: A Mother’s Quest for Meaning and Miracles

A stunning, candid memoir. Those seeking a relatable story as they process grief and fans of personal memoir will appreciate this book equally for its honest, insightful storytelling.
PREMIUM

American Daughter

In this sharp, heartrending work, Plymale reconciles with the truth of her mother’s life, finding forgiveness, hope, and even pride. Her testimony, while painful to read, is vital.
PREMIUM

Thaddeus Stevens

Easily the most detailed and important account of Stevens, this well-written biography belongs in every academic library and all other libraries with an emphasis on American history.

PREMIUM

The Ratline: The Exalted Life and Mysterious Death of a Nazi Fugitive

Full of twists and turns, cover-ups and complicity, this gripping historical thrill ride will appeal to fans of John le Carré.
PREMIUM

Against the Hounds of Hell: A Life of Howard Thurman

This thoroughly researched and well-written biography of an influential African American preacher and teacher shines a light on the origins of the civil rights movement by concentrating on one who lived and preached his Christian beliefs in his own personal way.

A Promised Land

An eloquently written, enjoyable, and important memoir that will have a wide readership. Highly recommended for all collections.
PREMIUM

Blindfold: A Memoir of Capture, Torture, and Enlightenment

An optional purchase for specialized Mideast collections.

More Than a Woman

Moran brings readers along during her fallible and human days, showing how we can all relate to feelings of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. A must-read.

Stalin: Passage to Revolution

This impressively researched biography provides remarkable and reliable details on the first part of Stalin’s life, along with the many fissures among the Left Communists. An important accomplishment.
PREMIUM

Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight

A perceptive consideration of an often-understudied First Lady and her lasting legacy. For public and academic libraries everywhere.
PREMIUM

Surviving the White Gaze

Though sometimes uneven, this personal account may engage fans of memoirs or readers interested in personal stories of adoptees.
PREMIUM

The Secret Life of Dorothy Soames

There are no easy resolutions in Cowan’s story, but this title should appeal to readers interested in family histories and complex mother-daughter relationships.
PREMIUM

True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee

Covering similar ground as 2019’s A Marvelous Life, this work by Riesman provides additional insight into Lee’s family dynamic and details about Lee’s business associates. For comics and Stan Lee fans looking for a critical take on this cultural icon.
PREMIUM

Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother’s Letter to Her Son

A shocking, heartbreaking tale of the wars and gender inequality in Afghanistan. This personal story, centered on Qaderi’s unquenchable spirit in the face of overwhelming odds, will appeal to a vast audience.
PREMIUM

Dog Flowers

An introspective reflection on the complexities of family relationships that will engage fans of memoirs.
PREMIUM

The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation

This compassionate book skillfully introduces three people who have had an important impact on the world but whose lives receive little attention. Readers will complete the book feeling their time was well spent.

With Her Fist Raised: Dorothy Pitman Hughes and the Transformative Power of Black Community Activism

This essential, well-written biography fills a huge gap in the history of American feminism.
PREMIUM

Shaking the Gates of Hell: A Search for Family and Truth in the Wake of the Civil Rights Revolution

A powerful reflection on the influences of family and community and the ability to act justly in tumultuous times. Biography readers, especially those interested in reconciling the past, will be captivated by Archibald’s honest, conversational style.
PREMIUM

The Night Lake: A Young Priest Maps the Topography of Grief

A stunning introspective memoir recommended for general readers, especially those dealing with grief.

Best Biographies and Memoirs of 2020

PREMIUM

Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now

This useful account will help readers understand Biden’s mindset and suggests a blueprint for the next four years. For more in-depth, but pre–2020 campaign accounts, see Steven Levingston’s Barack And Joe and Jules Witcover’s Joe Biden.
PREMIUM

All About the Story: News, Power, Politics, and the Washington Post

With the recent denigration of journalists by government officials and purveyors of fringe media, stories such as Downie’s are important. Aspiring journalism students and readers of the Post would especially appreciate this biography.

Centering Black Livelihoods | Social Sciences Reviews

Focusing on Collective Memory | Social Sciences Reviews

The Good American: The Epic Life of Bob Gersony, the U.S. Government’s Greatest Humanitarian

A must read for anyone interested in humanitarian work, foreign policy, and biography.

Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America

This riveting account will appeal to anyone with an interest in the history of immigration and current U.S. policies.
PREMIUM

Sylvia Pankhurst: Natural Born Rebel

Pankhurst's life is ripe for discovery by new readers and a younger generation. However, this biography is often so dense that her story often gets lost within its pages.

The Moth and the Mountain: A True Story of Love, War, and Everest.

Wilson has long been a footnote in Everest exploration, but this thorough and fascinating biography will remedy that. For readers of exploration, adventure, and Everest history.

All the Young Men

A must-read for anyone interested in narratives of front-line responses to the early AIDS crisis as well as personal accounts of kindness and determination.

Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell

Terrell is an understudied figure in American history, and this biography is well suited for scholars of history and women’s studies as well as aspiring agents of change.
PREMIUM

Frontier Follies: Adventures in Marriage and Motherhood in the Middle of Nowhere

Quirky and fun, this book offers a combination of practical tips, amusing stories, and moments of whimsy like the author’s list of ways to “add sparks to your marriage” by hiding a plastic snake in the house. A treat for fans of Drummond.
PREMIUM

Writing Kit Carson: Fallen Heroes in a Changing West

For readers who wish to know more about how history is written, its influencers, their writings, and how figures such as Carson fall from grace. An excellent addition for women’s studies collections.

Gaming Lives | Social Sciences Reviews

Two Books on The Kennedys | Biography Reviews

PREMIUM

Outpedaling the Big C: My Healing Cycle Across America

This striking personal account may serve as an inspiration to anyone facing difficulties in life. For fans of Rinker Buck’s The Oregon Trail and William Least Heat-Moon’s Blue Highways.

Madam C.J. Walker’s Gospel of Giving: Black Women’s Philanthropy During Jim Crow

A tremendous biography and a great study of philanthropy that will have strong YA crossover appeal.
PREMIUM

The Freezer Door

Those familiar with Sycamore’s writing and activist work will welcome this new installment; those unfamiliar but interested in exploring an unconventional angle on LGBTQ+ issues may find it illuminating.
PREMIUM

The Life She Once Knew: The Incredible True Story of Queena, the Bloomingdale Library Attack Survivor

Recommended to those seeking personal accounts of survivors of sexual violence, and those who have followed Queena’s story.

His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, a Life

This thorough account of a remarkable life will have wide appeal.

Philip and Alexander: Kings and Conquerors

The thorough and riveting narrative of both Philip and Alexander’s lives and accomplishments makes this an ideal choice for the general reader, with some fresh insights to offer to those familiar with the subjects as well.
PREMIUM

JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956

While a lengthy first volume, this study is accessible and entertaining. A wide array of history buffs, and readers previously reluctant to consume a Kennedy biography, will enjoy this highly recommended account.
PREMIUM

More Alike Than Different: My Life with Down Syndrome

There is much to learn from Egan’s experiences as a man with Down syndrome, his triumphs, defeats, and relentless drive.

The Last American Aristocrat: The Brilliant Life and Improbable Education of Henry Adams

This is a model of critical biography that will be appreciated by all lovers of history or biography.

PREMIUM

The Last Brahmin: Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. and the Making of the Cold War

This first dedicated biography of an understudied politician sheds insight into the evolving politics of the 20th century.

Catching the Wind: Edward Kennedy and the Liberal Hour, 1932-1975

While this is primarily a political biography, the book contains plenty of personal material about the Kennedy family to satisfy all levels of readers. An important contribution on this family dynasty.
PREMIUM

The Chiffon Trenches

This memoir of Talley’s life and the fingerprints he’s left on the world of fashion will appeal to fashion lovers and fans of celebrity memoirs, as well as those who enjoy stories of hard-earned, well-deserved success.

Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Readers Advisory

PREMIUM

I’ll Be Seeing You

With these reflections, Bergs sheds insight into the experience of caring for a parent. This eloquent book will especially appeal to those in an eldercare role.
PREMIUM

Eleanor

Roosevelt’s life does not necessarily lend itself well to concision. Blanche Wiesen Cook’s excellent volumes remain the definitive record.

Reclaiming Her Time: The Power of Maxine Waters

In turn both entertaining yet serious, this informal biography will especially engage political buffs but also general readers of excellent biography.
PREMIUM

Aftershocks

Owusu’s yearning for a maternal figure and acceptance of her identity surround this moving memoir. Recommended for readers who enjoy stories of identity and multiculturalism.

Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture

Tracing the growth of Louverture from revolutionary leader to mythic figure, this engrossing read reveals and recovers the historic place both he and the country of Haiti deserve to occupy in the story of the Atlantic world’s creation and re-creation.
PREMIUM

Hitler: Downfall: 1939-1945

A cogent retread of old ground, much of this densely detailed volume is about World War II and not Hitler personally; readers expecting a psychological deep dive should look elsewhere.

PREMIUM

Sid Meier's Memoir!: A Life in Computer Games

This overdue biography will thrill gaming fans, and belongs in all major public and academic library collections.

PREMIUM

The Dream Architects: Adventures in the Video Game Industry

Because of the current relative lack of stories by video gamers, this book will not only appeal to gaming enthusiasts, but will make an excellent addition to an academic library's business section. Recommended as well for large public libraries.

PREMIUM

Inferno: A Memoir of Motherhood and Madness

A candid memoir that reminds readers how much work we need to do to ensure that maternal care and mental illness are divested of stigma.

His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope

A well-crafted testament to a tumultuous time in American history and to one of the brave men who helped shape the world we know today. Essential for all collections.
PREMIUM

Finding My Father: His Century-Long Journey from World War I Warsaw and My Quest To Follow

An uneven biography, but a worthy addition to World War II and Holocaust memoirs.
PREMIUM

First and Always: A New Portrait of George Washington

For general readers interested in Washington as an individual, Henriques’s efforts should be lauded. Despite presenting his subject as flawed, one who succeeded in gaining fame across the ages in spite of them, the author’s high admiration of Washington is palpable. His analysis and narrative style, however, fall short of Joseph Ellis’s Founding Brothers.

This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing

Fans of Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs books will appreciate the connections she draws between her childhood and themes throughout the series. Yet the book will appeal well beyond Winspear’s fan base as a literary memoir deeply linked to history and as a meditation on place and family. Readers of literary memoir and coming-of-age stories may also enjoy Frances Mays’s Under Magnolia.
PREMIUM

My Time To Speak: Reclaiming Ancestry and Confronting Race

This memoir is a delicious media investigation in itself, but will be valued by all who love a good success story.
PREMIUM

Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times

Ambitious, comprehensive, and highly recommended for public and academic libraries.

Solutions and Other Problems

Another standout from Brosh that is both heartening and heartbreaking.

PREMIUM

Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains

This story will resonate with readers grappling with similar crises in their hometowns and is a recommended addition to memoir collections.

Tecumseh and the Prophet: The Shawnee Brothers Who Defied a Nation

Tecumseh's life and the wider struggle for the Great Lakes and Ohio River valley now has a current, solid work by an accomplished author.

Perfectly Wounded: A Memoir About What Happens After a Miracle

Day offers an incredibly relatable story that is both open and unflinching in its honesty and self-reflection. Parts of the narrative are utterly gut-wrenching, but those same parts are also what makes this an essential book that is well worth reading.

The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X

This gripping read, essential for anyone interested in the man or his times, delivers penetrating explanations and fresh insights into previously unexamined dimensions of Malcolm X and his becoming and being El-hajj Malik El Shabazz within the context of Black life. Highest recommendation.

PREMIUM

We Need To Talk: A Memoir About Wealth

An exciting look into the life of the privileged for curious readers.
PREMIUM

You Ought To Do a Story About Me: Addiction, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Endless Quest for Redemption

This story of a unique bond between two friends deserves wide readership in public libraries and is an ideal choice for book groups and discussions.
PREMIUM

Memoirs of a Kamikaze: A World War II Pilot’s Inspiring Story of Survival, Honor and Reconciliation

Odachi provides personal insight on the last days of empire, and his stories of crime in Tokyo give this memoir life. This book deserves a spot next to Yasuo Kawahara’s classic autobiography Kamikaze.
PREMIUM

Let Them Eat Pancakes: One Man’s Personal Revolution in the City of Light

An additional purchase for large collections where expat memoirs are in high demand or where Carlson’s previous work has circulated well.
PREMIUM

The Erratics

Similar to Maya Shanbhag Lang’s What We Carry, this account is a touching portrayal of grief, family, and what is best left unspoken.

Henry Kissinger and American Power: A Political Biography

This richly detailed investigation will find an appreciative audience among Cold War scholars and current history readers. See Barry Gewen’s The Inevitability of Tragedy for more insight into Kissinger’s political underpinnings.

Poetic License

This moving, well-written book is recommended to readers who enjoy dark family memoirs.
PREMIUM

Inventory

A poetic and brutal reflection on the ways the unspoken past haunts the present, the construction of histories from fragments and secrets, and the physical, mental, and emotional traumas that result when violence becomes part of the daily landscape.

Concealed: Memoir of a Jewish-Iranian Daughter Caught Between the Chador and America

Exploring issues of gender, religion, and culture, as well as the tensions between tradition and modernity, this wonderful account is highly recommended for readers interested in gender, immigration, and Judaic studies.
PREMIUM

Coming Full Circle: From Jim Crow to Journalism

Lloyd offers an inspiring account for women entering the field of journalism and a deeper understanding of life under Jim Crow segregation, as well as a fuller picture of diversity in 21st-century newsrooms.
PREMIUM

Singing Out Loud: A Memoir of an Ex-Mardi Gras Queen

A quick, fascinating read about a former Mardi Gras queen trying to find her path in life. Recommended for all memoir collections.
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