Born a Crime - stories from a South African childhood book cover

Born a Crime - stories from a South African childhood

Trevor Noah

Nonfiction, Biographies

The book details Trevor Noah growing up in his native South Africa during the apartheid era. As the mixed-race son of a white father and a black mother, Noah himself was classified as a "coloured" in accordance to the apartheid system of racial classification. According to Noah, he stated that even under apartheid, he felt trouble fitting in because it was a crime "for [him] to be born as a mixed-race baby", hence the title of his book.[

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The diary of a bookseller book cover

The diary of a bookseller

Shaun Bythell

BIOGRAPHY Bythell, Shaun
Humor, Biographies

When Bythell first thought of taking over the bookstore in the remote Scottish village of Wigtown, it seemed like a book-lover's paradise. Here he details his experiences at the helm of The Book Shop, Scotland's largest second hand bookstore: the delightfully unusual staff members, eccentric customers, odd townsfolk and surreal buying trips to old estates and auctions. As he struggled to build his business-- and be polite-- he is seduced by the charm of small-town life, and the peculiar characters he meets. -- adapted from jacket

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The years of Lyndon Johnson book cover

The years of Lyndon Johnson

Robert A Caro

BIOGRAPHY Johnson, Lyndon B.
Nonfiction, Biographies

The Years of Lyndon Johnson is a biography of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson by Robert Caro. Four volumes have been published, running to more than 3,000 pages in total, detailing Johnson's early life, education, and political career. Book One: The Path to Power (1982), Book Two: Means of Ascent (1990), Book Three: Master of the Senate (2002), Book Four: The Passage of Power (2012).

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Richard Nixon : the life book cover

Richard Nixon : the life

John A. (John Aloysius) Farrell

BIOGRAPHY Nixon, Richard
Nonfiction, Biographies

"Brilliantly researched, authoritatively crafted by a prize-winning biographer, and lively on the page, this is the Nixon we've been waiting for. Richard Nixon opens with young Navy lieutenant "Nick" Nixon returning from the Pacific and setting his cap at Congress, an idealistic dreamer seeking to build a better world. Yet amid the turns of that now legendary 1946 campaign, Nixon's finer attributes quickly gave way to unapologetic ruthlessness. It is a stunning overture to John A. Farrell's magisterial portrait of a man who embodied postwar American cynicism. Within four years of that first win, Nixon would be a U.S. senator; in six the vice president of the United States of America. "Few came so far, so fast, and so alone," Farrell writes. Finally president, Nixon's staff was full of bright young men who devised forward-thinking reforms addressing health care, poverty, civil rights, and protection of the environment. It was a fine legacy, but Nixon cared little for it. He aspired to make his mark on the world stage instead, and his 1972 opening to China was the first great crack in the Cold War. Nixon had another legacy, too: an America divided and polarized. It was Nixon who launched the McCarthy era, who set South against North, and who spurred the Silent Majority to despise and distrust the country's elites. He persuaded Americans to gnaw, as he did, on grievances--and to look at one another as enemies. Finally, in August 1974, after two years of the mesmerizing intrigue and scandal known as Watergate, Nixon became the only president to resign in disgrace. Richard Nixon is an enthralling tour de force biography of our darkest president, one that reviewers will hail as a defining portrait, and the full life of Nixon readers have awaited."

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Untamed book cover


Glennon Doyle

BIOGRAPHY Doyle, Glennon

"There is a voice of longing inside every woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good mothers, daughters, partners, employees, citizens, and friends. We believe all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives, relationships, and world, and wonder: Wasn't it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? We quickly silence that question, telling ourselves to be grateful. We hide our simmering discontent--even from ourselves. Until we reach our boiling point. Four years ago, Glennon Doyle--bestselling Oprah-endorsed author, renowned activist and humanitarian, wife and mother of three--was speaking at a conference when a woman entered the room. Glennon looked at her and fell instantly in love. Three words flooded her mind: There She Is. At first, Glennon assumed these words came to her from on high. Soon she realized that they came to her from within. Glennon was finally hearing her own voice--the voice that had been silenced by decades of cultural conditioning, numbing addictions, and institutional allegiances. This was the voice of the girl Glennon had been before the world told her who to be. She vowed to never again abandon herself. She decided to build a life of her own--one based on her individual desire, intuition, and imagination. She would reclaim her true, untamed self. Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both a memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It offers a piercing, electrifying examination of the restrictive expectations women are issued from birth; shows how hustling to meet those expectations leaves women feeling dissatisfied and lost; and reveals that when we quit abandoning ourselves and instead abandon the world's expectations of us, we become women who can finally look at our lives and recognize: There She Is. Untamed shows us how to be brave. As Glennon insists: The braver we are, the luckier we get"--

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Becoming book cover


Michelle Obama

BIOGRAPHY Obama, Michelle

"An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States. When she was a little girl, Michelle Robinson's world was the South Side of Chicago, where she and her brother, Craig, shared a bedroom in their family's upstairs apartment and played catch in the park, and where her parents, Fraser and Marian Robinson, raised her to be outspoken and unafraid. But life soon look her much further afield, from the halls of Princeton, where she learned for the first time what if felt like to be the only black woman in a room, to the glassy office tower where she worked as a high-powered corporate lawyer--and where, one summer morning, a law student named Barack Obama appeared in her office and upended all her carefully made plans. Here, for the first time, Michelle Obama describes the early years of her marriage as she struggles to balance her work and family with her husband's fast-moving political career. She takes us inside their private debate over whether he should make a run for the presidency and her subsequent role as a popular but oft-criticized figure during his campaign. Narrating with grace, good humor, and uncommon candor, she provides a vivid, behind-the-scenes account of her family's history-making launch into the global limelight as well as their life inside the White House over eight momentous years--as she comes to know her country and her country comes to know her. [This book] takes us through modest Iowa kitchens and ballrooms at Buckingham Palace, through moments of heart-stopping grief and profound resilience, bringing us deep into the soul of a singular, groundbreaking figure in history as she strives to live authentically, marshaling her personal strength and voice in service of a set of higher ideals. In telling her story with honesty and boldness, she issues a challenge to the rest of us: Who are we and who do we want to become?"--Dust jacket.

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Sitting pretty : the view from my ordinary resilient disabled body book cover

Sitting pretty : the view from my ordinary resilient disabled body

Rebekah Taussig

BIOGRAPHY Taussig, Rebekah

Growing up as a paralyzed girl during the 90s and early 2000s, Taussig only saw disability depicted as something monstrous, inspirational, or angelic. She longed for more stories that allowed disability to be complex and ordinary, uncomfortable and fine, painful and fulfilling. Here she writes about the rhythms and textures of what it means to live in a body that doesn't fit. Taussig reflects on everything from the complications of kindness and charity, living both independently and dependently, experiencing intimacy, and how the pervasiveness of ableism in our everyday media directly translates to everyday life. She shows how disability affects all of us, directly or indirectly, at one point or another. -- adapted from jacket

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Cross of snow : a life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow book cover

Cross of snow : a life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Nicholas A. Basbanes

BIOGRAPHY Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth

"A biography of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his wife, Fanny Appleton Longfellow"--

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Longfellow lived a life of contradictions. In some ways, he has this incredibly charmed life--graduated top of his class at Bowdoin, hired to teach languages as a college professor immediately after graduation on the condition he travel through Europe and learn those languages, and gained the position of college librarian as long as he devoted one hour a day to the library. Of course, he was an internationally beloved poet, able to retire as a professor and devote his time to his literary craft. But he also lived a life of tragedy. His first wife passed away within four years of their marriage while traveling through Europe. He recovered the loss and married the delightful Fanny Appleton, an individual in her own right that deserves a full biography. She passed away prematurely as well (in a terrifying way!). I quietly moved through this book. It was a wonderfully, calming read (aside from poor Fanny's demise). Overall, Basbanes made me appreciate how much Longfellow influenced America's literary culture in ways we can still see today. -Anne M

Sometimes you have to lie : the life and times of Louise Fitzhugh, renegade author of Harriet the spy book cover

Sometimes you have to lie : the life and times of Louise Fitzhugh, renegade author of Harriet the spy

Leslie Brody

BIOGRAPHY Fitzhugh, Louise

"The protagonist and anti-heroine of Louise Fitzhugh's masterpiece Harriet the Spy, first published first in 1964, continues to mesmerize generation after generation of readers. Harriet is an erratic, unsentimental, and endearing prototype--someone very like the woman who dreamed her up, author and artist Louise Fitzhugh. Born in 1928, Fitzhugh was raised in a wealthy home in segregated Memphis, and she escaped her cloistered world and made a beeline for New York as soon as she could. Her expanded milieu stretched from the lesbian bars of Greenwich Village to the dance clubs of Harlem, on to the resurgent artist studios of post-war New York, France, and Italy. Her circle of friends included artists like Maurice Sendak and playwrights like Lorraine Hansberry. In the 1960s, Fitzhugh wrote Harriet the Spy, and in doing so she introduced "new realism" into children's books-she launched a genre of children's books that allowed characters to experience authentic feelings and acknowledged topics that were formerly considered taboo. Fitzhugh's books are full of resistance: to liars, to conformity, to authority, and even (radically, for a children's author) to make-believe. As a commercial children's author and lesbian, Fitzhugh often had to disguise the nature of her most intimate relationships. She lived her life as a dissenter--a friend to underdogs, outsiders, and artists--and her masterpiece remains long after her death to influence and provoke new generations of readers. Harriet is massively influential among girls and women in contemporary culture; she is the missing link between Jo March and Scout Finch, and it's not surprising that writers have thought of her as a kind of patron saint for misfit writers and unfeminine girls. This lively, rich biography brings Harriet's creator into the frame, shedding new light on an extraordinary author and her marvelous creation"--

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An absolutely delightful and engaging biography on the woman behind one of my favorite books, Harriet the Spy. I knew absolutely nothing about Louise Fitzhugh prior to reading this, and found her a truly wonderful artist who knew so many people and had a genuine talent that Harriet the Spy was able to exemplify... but she had so much more to offer. I highly recommend this to fans of Harriet, anyone who appreciates LGBTQ+ history, and fans of midcentury literature in general. -Amanda

Malala : my story of standing up for girls' rights book cover

Malala : my story of standing up for girls' rights

Malala Yousafzai

jREAD-ALONG Yousafzai
Kids, Biographies

"Malala retells her story of speaking out for girls' education rights for chapter book readers"--

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