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PREMIUM

The Mountbattens: The Lives and Loves of Dickie and Edwina Mountbatten

For fans of any of the iterations of the Windsor story; an absorbing biography of important figures that will generate a lot of interest.

Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement

Painful and personal, yet beautiful and necessary, this book deserves to be read for its political significance and literary merit. Burke’s writing shines when she describes finding her voice as an aspiring activist.

The Lost Café Schindler: One Family, Two Wars, and the Search for Truth

A must-read work of narrative nonfiction that’s highly recommended for readers of memoirs or 20th-century European history.
PREMIUM

The Night the Lights Went Out: A Memoir of Life After Brain Damage

Fascinating, with wonderful digressions on human anatomy, medical science, and technological advancements in assistive devices. A must-read memoir for anyone seeking answers to their own medical mysteries or navigating the world post-trauma. Magary’s writing will draw in longtime fans and new readers.

Alpha: Eddie Gallagher and the War for the Soul of the Navy SEALs

This often-gripping narrative will appeal to readers interested in U.S. military courts’ prosecution of war crimes, or the mindsets of combatants in modern warfare.
PREMIUM

Seeing Ghosts

Chow’s book is an important and welcome addition to a growing catalogue of memoirs by a new generation of Asian American writers, including Michelle Zauner’s Crying in H Mart and Anna Qu’s Made in China.

PREMIUM

Concepcion: An Immigrant Family’s Fortunes

Samaha’s memoir of his family’s experience is a clear, moving, and powerful rumination on what it means to be an immigrant. Recommended for biography readers or for those wanting to read about the experiences of one immigrant family.
PREMIUM

I Live a Life Like Yours

An honest look at the complexities of being human no matter how one’s body functions. Grue’s reflections on life will spark the interest of all readers of literary nonfiction.
PREMIUM

The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power

This account lucidly illustrates Thiel’s rise as a right-wing power broker, during the hi-tech boom, bust, and resurgence; it will appeal to readers fascinated by the intersection of technology and politics. See Kurt Andersen’s Evil Geniuses for a narrative of how the United States aided the rise of the ruling billionaire class.
PREMIUM

Magical Habits

Recommended for all graduate students of literature and for readers who enjoy experimental writing styles.
PREMIUM

Easy Crafts for the Insane: A Mostly Funny Memoir of Mental Illness and Making Things

Brown is able to express the gravitas of the lowest point of her life while maintaining a sense of humor with her dry wit. By openly talking about mental illness, Brown will inspire readers to do what she struggled to do herself: express difficult emotions and find a way forward through the darkness. Recommended where mental health memoirs are in demand.
PREMIUM

Slonim Woods 9: A Memoir

A poetic and intimate memoir of a harrowing ordeal. Any reader interested in the workings of cults or the experiences of people in cults will find this book worthwhile.

Everything I Have Is Yours: A Marriage

An intimate, absorbing, and painful look at chronic illness in a relationship. Readers in similar situations will likely find it strikes a deep chord, but anyone who has endured difficulties in a long-term relationship will find much to ponder here as well.
PREMIUM

Year of Plagues: A Memoir of 2020

D’Aguiar’s memoir is intensely personal and candid, technically informative, and, as a result of its range and inviting style, far from morbid or dry.
PREMIUM

Ladyparts

A searing indictment of capitalism, the gig economy, and the U.S. medical system--all recounted with a sense of dark humor. Copaken’s latest will engage readers of feminist memoirs.
PREMIUM

Beautiful Country

A haunting memoir of people and places that will stay with readers long after the last page.
PREMIUM

Made in China: A Memoir of Love and Labor

A nuanced examination of complicated ripple effects of intergenerational emigration. A powerful memoir of finding self-worth.

Exodus, Revisited: My Unorthodox Journey to Berlin

A barebones description of the storyline doesn’t even begin to do justice to this magnificent piece of literature, which will stand the test of time. Like Feldman’s previous book, this is another captivating memoir that will find a wide audience.
PREMIUM

The Ambassador: Joseph P. Kennedy at the Court of St. James’s 1938–1940

Fans of popular history and biography should appreciate this addition to the ranks of books about the Kennedy family.

In the Shadow of the Empress: The Defiant Lives of Maria Theresa, Mother of Marie Antoinette, and Her Daughters

While there are fascinating details here about royal childhoods, courtships, marriages, and extramarital love affairs, this meticulously researched collective biography is best for serious readers of 18th-century European politics and history.

Vessel

Essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary life in China, and highly recommended for memoir enthusiasts in general. Readers interested in personal histories of elite Chinese political families should also consider Lan Yan’s memoir The House of Yan.
PREMIUM

The Great Peace

An honest and unadorned Hollywood confessional that casts a light on the darkness behind the scenes.
PREMIUM

The Big Hurt

Some will no doubt find the messiness of Schickel’s life and history too much to enjoy, but readers drawn to women’s stories of struggle, self-destruction, and attempted recovery will likely be wholly absorbed.

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty

The truth is often disturbing, and this thorough account by Keefe brings new truths to light. In recounting the exploits of the Sackler family, Keefe has written an engaging, unputdownable book.
PREMIUM

The Passion of Anne Hutchinson: An Extraordinary Woman, the Puritan Patriarchs, and the World They Made and Lost

In situating the Hutchinson controversy within the “religious heterodoxy, social volatility, and political instability” of the time, Westerkamp broadens our understanding of early American history, especially as it relates to women and the religious experience. A worthy addition to Perry Miller’s seminal works on the period.

A Quantum Life: My Unlikely Journey from the Street to the Stars

Oluseyi’s skills as public speaker and motivator are on full display as he recalls his long road to personal and professional success. A great read for memoir fans, who will be drawn in from the first page.
PREMIUM

The Ugly Cry

An honest account of an unconventional childhood, and of learning to accept the hard truths of loving people who disappoint you. Henderson’s debut is a treat for memoir fans.
PREMIUM

The Great Dissenter: The Story of John Marshall Harlan, America’s Judicial Hero

Canellos has written a skillful biography that illuminates the lives of both John Harlan and Robert Harlan. It will spark the interest of readers looking for more insight on the Reconstruction era. As in Canellos’s previous books, the life and times of his subjects come alive here.
PREMIUM

Nowhere Girl: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood

Diamond’s memoir is compulsively readable; for fans of suspense novels or memoirs like Tyler Wetherall’s No Way Home.
PREMIUM

The Ride of Her Life: The True Story of a Woman, Her Horse, and Their Last-Chance Journey Across America

Skillful prose and meticulous research combine to create a rich narrative and captivating character portraits of both Annie Wilkins and the people and places of the 1950s. Considering the popularity of her other nonfiction titles, the latest by Letts is likely to be on many hold lists.
PREMIUM

Somebody’s Daughter

Moving testimony about the effect of incarceration on the lives of the children and families who live in its shadow. Ford’s writing sets itself apart.
PREMIUM

Upper Bohemia

Herrera’s memoir engages in discussions of mental health, equality, and fulfillment without passing judgement on her subjects; a rare feat. A riveting story of necessary resilience.
PREMIUM

Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir

A must for fans of Freshwater; readers new to Emezi’s writing will find themselves drawn in by their way with words.

Miseducated

A memoir that will appeal to many readers as a story about triumph of the will. Fleming conveys his passion for learning and teaching, in writing that is by turns entertaining and moving. This is a must-read for educators, as a professional development tool and to consider for high school curricula.
PREMIUM

The Wreckage of My Presence

Equally irreverent and heartfelt, this collection is a roller-coaster, as Wilson shares her journey through the best and worst parts of her life. You might cry and scream, but you’ll be eager to get back in line to take another ride. For fans of Samantha Irby, Judy Greer, or Sarah Silverman.

PREMIUM

She Memes Well

Laid back and relatable, Brunson’s book is reminiscent of a chat with your oldest friend from high school. Her honesty and tenacity will inspire readers to follow their own dreams. For fans of Tiffany Haddish, Tina Fey, or Napoleon Dynamite.

PREMIUM

Committed: Dispatches from a Psychiatrist in Training

This well-written, engaging book will have a special appeal to those already in academia and will be of interest to those who are considering it. It is essential and recommended for all academic and public libraries.

Pride Month Picks | Social Science Reviews

In the Trees | Science Reviews

PREMIUM

Phosphorescence: A Memoir of Finding Joy When Your World Goes Dark

There are sections that are reminiscent of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, and sections similar to Amy Silverstein’s My Glory Was I Had Such Friends, but the book lacks cohesiveness and is a convoluted read overall.
PREMIUM

The Tiny Bee That Hovers at the Center of the World

A dreamlike, wandering meditation on place and memory. Readers of literature or poetic prose will enjoy riding along paths of the Southwest and wondering about bygone eras with Searcy.
PREMIUM

The Director: My Years Assisting J. Edgar Hoover

Readers should compare Letersky’s book with Hoover’s FBI by Cartha DeLoach, a 25-year FBI veteran who became number three in the agency (outranked only by Clyde Tolson); The Real J. Edgar Hoover by former assistant FBI director Ray Wannall; and the controversial book J. Edgar Hoover by Curt Gentry.

PREMIUM

Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power

Page has written a comprehensive biography of Pelosi that follows her entire career in politics and describes how early family experiences influenced her policies and political leadership style.
PREMIUM

The Windsor Diaries: My Childhood with the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret

An insider account that is essential for followers of the royal family.
PREMIUM

My Name Is Selma: The Remarkable Memoir of a Jewish Resistance Fighter and Ravensbrück Survivor

There are many extraordinary books written by survivors of the Holocaust, and this numbers among them. The author’s voice, strength, and pain are palpable throughout; everyone can benefit from reading her story.

Swimming to Freedom: My Escape from China and the Cultural Revolution

A touching and fascinating memoir that is essential for anyone interested in life during the Cultural Revolution or the experiences of the freedom swimmers. For a political assessment of the Cultural Revolution, readers should consider The World Turned Upside Down, by Yang Jisheng.

All the Colors Came Out: A Father, a Daughter, and a Lifetime of Lessons

With strong appeal for book clubs, this heartbreaking, yet strongly inspirational memoir is very highly recommended for all public library collections, and deserving of a wide readership.
PREMIUM

Sacrifice: A Gold Star Widow’s Fight for the Truth

A Gold Star family’s faltering path towards normalcy in the wake of loss is documented alongside a failed military operation. Though the book loses a little momentum towards the end, Black’s recollections on grief are especially poignant.

Punch Me Up to the Gods

Cleverly framed around Gwendolyn Brooks’s poem “We Real Cool,” Punch Me Up to the Gods is an exquisite and important memoir that will sit proudly among the likes of Kiese Laymon’s Heavy and Darnell L. Moore’s No Ashes in the Fire.

The Lost Boys of Montauk: The True Story of the ‘Wind Blown,’ Four Men Who Vanished at Sea, and the Survivors They Left Behind

Fairbanks deftly handles the story, with an eye for detail and page-turning prose. An evocative, well-researched, and compelling account, this highly recommended book will stay with readers past the last page.

My Remarkable Journey

Readers will enjoy Johnson’s personal accounts of the space race and the roles of Black women in STEM. This wonderful, insightful memoir is the perfect companion piece to Margot Lee Shetterly’s best-selling Hidden Figures, which recounted the lives of Johnson and her colleagues Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson.
PREMIUM

Chasing the Thrill: Obsession, Death, and Glory in America’s Most Extraordinary Treasure Hunt

Reminiscent of Douglas Preston’s adventures, this modern-day treasure hunt is an entertaining thrill ride.

Journey to the Edge of Reason: The Life of Kurt Gödel

Readers shouldn’t be discouraged by the complexity of Gödel’s mathematics; this is the first major biography of the brilliant yet tragic figure and, in all respects, a first-rate one.
PREMIUM

Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy

A deft, chilling, and long overdue biography of an American woman singled out by dark political and cultural forces that were bent on keeping women at home and “foreign” ideas out of American minds.
PREMIUM

Napoleon: A Life Told in Gardens and Shadows

Though this isn’t the first book one should about Napoleon, it is an attractive one, which presents an unusual perspective on the life of the general.
PREMIUM

Heartwood: The Art of Living with the End in Mind

An affecting and informative memoir about the lessons we can glean from life as well as death.
PREMIUM

Emma’s Laugh: The Gift of Second Chances

Overall, Kupershmit has managed to produce a noticeably well-written and eloquent narrative of motherhood, and a beautiful tribute to her daughter. Recommended for readers interested memoirs about the variety of human experiences within the United States.

The Happiest Man on Earth: The Beautiful Life of an Auschwitz Survivor

This short book is an inspiring, yet heartbreaking read. Jaku’s message, he says, is to above all remain grateful in the face of adversity. His words will resonate, and his story will engage readers interested in Jewish history or inspirational writing.
PREMIUM

Pure Flame: A Legacy

Part memoir, part social commentary, this book is a meditation on the evolving role of white women in Western society. Especially of interest for social science and gender studies collections.
PREMIUM

Mergers and Acquisitions: Or, Everything I Know about Love I Learned on the Wedding Pages

Doty’s love-filled memoir will delight readers hoping for an inside look at the wedding section, and fans of uplifting memoirs.

Better, Not Bitter: Living on Purpose in the Pursuit of Racial Justice

An important memoir and call to action that sheds light on the personal injustices of mass incarceration.

Biography & Memoir Best Sellers, Apr. 2021 | Most In-Demand in Libraries & Bookstores

PREMIUM

Twilight Man: Love and Ruin in the Shadows of Hollywood and the Clark Empire

This is a definite must-read for fans of early Hollywood, and those interested in LGBTQ history, with plenty of scandals and gossip to grab interest.
PREMIUM

Kin

Rodenberg writes with an evocative and unflinching style, despite sometimes jarring shifts in narrative. This is a richly nuanced portrait of people and place, along with the bounds of forgiveness. Good for biography readers eager to explore the complexities of family relationships, or readers interested in women’s lives in Appalachia.

The Profession: A Memoir of Community, Race, and the Arc of Policing in America

A candid, even-handed account that is highly recommended for popular collections. A natural fit for libraries where The Turnaround circulated well.

Abolitionist Leaders | Social Sciences Reviews

PREMIUM

Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell

Based on interviews and ideas replete in Sowell’s innumerable books, this biography is seasoned with selections from the economist’s sardonic quips. While many will disagree with his proposals, few should disregard his impact.
PREMIUM

Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR

Readers interested in feminism, women’s history, and biography will be rewarded with a great story that deserves to be widely known.
PREMIUM

How to Be Human: An Autistic Man’s Guide to Life

A unique memoir showing the importance of diversity of thought. Fleming also makes clear the lasting impacts of language. An ideal complement to I Have Been Buried under Years of Dust, by Valerie Gilpeer and Emily Grodin.
PREMIUM

Besharam: On Love and Other Bad Behaviors

A phenomenal debut, ideal for readers interested in women’s issues and women’s voices.
PREMIUM

Low Country

Jones’s gift for spinning a tale is readily apparent, and her intertwining the history of the Low Country with her own familial history gives the book depth. A haunting memoir with poetic prose that will appeal to a large audience, owing to its interesting subject and skillful writing.
PREMIUM

Permission to Dream

This fable-like tale, which blends biography and self-help, is an inspirational reminder to dream big and dream often. Gardner’s latest memoir will especially resonate with readers of Mitch Albom and Paulo Coelho.
PREMIUM

Everything Is Fine

Granata’s skills, as a writer and former English teacher, shine here; he not only brings a personal perspective to living alongside a family member with mental illness, but also shows that there isn’t a right way to grieve. A welcome memoir.
PREMIUM

The Beauty of Living Twice

A welcome memoir of finding your way when life doesn’t go according to plan. Stone’s vulnerability and rediscovery will resonate with many readers.

Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing

Although presented in essay format, this reads as a poignant, gripping memoir. A page-turning account of belonging and not belonging, and what it means to start over.
PREMIUM

Sensational: The Hidden History of America’s “Girl Stunt Reporters.”

Todd’s comprehensive account rightly sheds light on the many women who changed the face of journalism and helped jump-start the newspaper industry. Her accessible writing draws in readers from the first page.
PREMIUM

Little Matches: A Memoir of Grief and Light

O’Hara shares her sorrow with honesty and elegance, and her compelling story will resonate with anyone seeking a light in the darkest depths of grief.

William Still: The Underground Railroad and the Angel at Philadelphia

Based on extensive primary research, this biography adds a much-needed layer to existing scholarship about the era. An essential work that is a must-read for those interested in the Underground Railroad and Black history in the U.S.
PREMIUM

Sure, I’ll Be Your Black Friend: Notes from the Other Side of the Fist Bump

Philippe has created a funny, and at times harrowing, memoir of his experience as a Black man. Fans of similar memoirs, such as Damon Young’s What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker, will enjoy the irreverence and recognize themselves in these pages.

Lilyville: Mother, Daughter, and Other Roles I’ve Played

A vivid, charming memoir and reflection on an expansive career and family, which will delight memoir fans. This book will appeal to performing arts enthusiasts and fans of witty family memoirs. Readers who enjoy peeking into the personal and professional lives of performers may also enjoy Home Work by Julie Andrews.

My Broken Language: A Memoir

Hudes has written a can’t-miss love letter, in the form of a memoir, about the people and city that shaped her.
PREMIUM

Crying in H Mart

Zauner has created a memoir that is distinctly her own, but it will leave a mark on anyone who reads it; a mark that will not soon be forgotten.

PREMIUM

The First Ten Years: Two Sides of the Same Love Story

Proving that there are two sides to every story, Bashwiner and Fink succeed in sharing theirs with the world. A recommended purchase for libraries where Fink’s previous books (Welcome to Night Vale; Alice Isn’t Dead) circulate well. This memoir is primarily for longtime fans of either of the authors.
PREMIUM

Send a Runner: A Navajo Honors the Long Walk

This memoir is a solid read for patrons who would like to learn more about the Long Walk, and for patrons who would like to know more about Diné culture.
PREMIUM

Unstoppable: Siggi B. Wilzig’s Astonishing Journey from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Wall Street Legend

A must-read that hopefully will be adapted for the screen. Greene lets Wilzig’s effervescent spirit shine through, and his story will appeal to a wide variety of readers.

PREMIUM

The Triumph of Nancy Reagan

A thoroughly researched, evenhanded treatment of the most loyal and most important of Ronald Reagan’s influencers; likely to be popular in both subject collections and public libraries
PREMIUM

A Season with Mom: Love, Loss, and the Ultimate Baseball Adventure

A recommended memoir about the bond between mother and daughter, with a dash of baseball thrown in.
PREMIUM

A Coat of Yellow Paint: Moving through the Noise To Love the Life You Live

A self-serving view of white motherhood that will primarily interest Davis’s loyal Instagram followers; readers who aren’t already dazzled by this social media darling can probably sit this one out.
PREMIUM

The Next Everest: Surviving the Mountain’s Deadliest Day and Finding the Resilience To Climb Again

Davidson’s latest will appeal to readers interested in Everest and mountain climbing and to those seeking stories about overcoming setbacks.
PREMIUM

Buses Are a Comin’: Memoir of a Freedom Rider

Person’s engagingly rendered, intimate testimony offers a look at the power of character and conviction among grassroots activists who paid the painful price of direct action to penetrate America’s consciousness. His words call for continuing efforts to “do something.”
PREMIUM

Churchill & Son

A comprehensive account for those who like biographies about important historical figures.
PREMIUM

Elizabeth & Margaret: The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters

Morton’s insightful analysis of the complex relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret succeeds in humanizing two extremely public figures and the myths surrounding them. It will engage history buffs, biography readers, and especially fans of The Crown.

Blow Your House Down: A Story of Family, Feminism, and Treason

Uncompromisingly fearless in its candor, this memoir / feminist manifesto is a powerful account of a woman’s self-acceptance that deserves a place among the best literary memoirs of the last decade. Frangello’s groundbreaking testimony sets itself apart.
PREMIUM

The Officer’s Daughter: A Memoir of Family and Forgiveness

A powerful meditation on the long aftermath of violent crime that will engage a variety of readers.
PREMIUM

The Wild Silence

Winn’s writing beautifully evokes the natural world, whether she is describing a doe rummaging in an orchard or her innermost conflicted feelings. This is a perfect “what happened next” memoir that gives closure to readers of the first book, and which both fans and new readers will enjoy.

Every Day Is a Gift

An excellent work that will allow readers to get to know one of today’s most unique political voices. Readers from a wide range of backgrounds will find something to relate to in Duckworth’s story.

Heart of Fire: An Immigrant Daughter’s Story

Hirono offers an astoundingly compelling glance into U.S. politics, and also provides an honest look at how much grit it takes for people from less privileged backgrounds to make it in American politics and make a difference in their community. A must-read that demands a broad audience.
PREMIUM

The Unfit Heiress: The Tragic Life and Scandalous Sterilization of Ann Cooper Hewitt

Expertly blending biography and history, and using the life of Ann Cooper Hewitt as a backdrop, Farley has created an absorbing biography effectively explaining how the legacy of eugenics still persists today. Hewitt’s story will engage anyone interested in women’s history.

Places of Mind: A Life of Edward Said

While there is a great deal of theory in this sweeping biography, Brennan has succeeded in writing an account that is both an act of love and a solid study of a fascinating man.

I Have Been Buried under Years of Dust: A Memoir of Autism and Hope

In the epilogue, Grodin writes, “I am with you.” And now, because of this book, she is with all of us. An impactful memoir of self-discovery.
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