Brown girl dreaming book cover

Brown girl dreaming

Jacqueline Woodson

jBIOGRAPHY Woodson, Jacqueline
Black Lives Matter, Read Woke, Biographies, Poetry, Literary Nonfiction, Memoir

"The author shares her childhood memories and reveals the first sparks that ignited her writing career in free-verse poems about growing up in the North and South"--

Casey's picture

Pick this one up, especially now, even if you've read it before. Woodson's story resonates with quiet truth, resiliency, and hope. -Casey

The diary of a bookseller book cover

The diary of a bookseller

Shaun Bythell

BIOGRAPHY Bythell, Shaun
Nonfiction, 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

Amanda's picture

Being a former bookseller I could relate to a lot of this, and found the author’s observations on his co-workers and customers acerbic and amusing. And since it’s a diary, it’s a very easy book to pick up and put down as necessary, and no matter where you are in it you’ll find something delightful to chuckle at. -Amanda

You never forget your first : a biography of George Washington book cover

You never forget your first : a biography of George Washington

Alexis Coe

BIOGRAPHY Washington, George
Nonfiction, Biographies, History

"In a genre overdue for a shakeup, Alexis Coe takes a closer look at our first--and finds he's not quite the man we remember Young George Washington was raised by a struggling single mother, demanded military promotions, chased rich young women, caused an international incident, and never backed down--even when his dysentery got so bad he had to ride with a cushion on his saddle. But after he married Martha, everything changed. Washington became the kind of man who named his dog Sweetlips and hated to leave home. He took up arms against the British only when there was no other way, though he lost more battles than he won. Coe focuses on his activities off the battlefield--like espionage and propaganda. After an unlikely victory in the Revolutionary War, Washington once again shocked the world by giving up power, only to learn his compatriots wouldn't allow it. The founders pressured him into the presidency--twice. He established enduring norms but left office heartbroken over the partisan nightmare his backstabbing cabinet had created. Back on his plantation, the man who fought for liberty finally confronted his greatest hypocrisy--what to do with the hundreds of men, women, and children he owned--before succumbing to a brutal death. Alexis Coe combines rigorous research and unsentimental storytelling, finally separating the man from the legend."--

Amanda's picture

This is the first biography of Washington I’ve read since grade school, and was refreshing in its stories of Washington’s relationship to the women in his life and other human foibles that frequently get brushed over. Of course, everything involving the Founders these days gets colored through the lens of Hamilton the Musical, so being able to make those connections was also enjoyable. If you’re looking for a solid biography of Washington that doesn't intimidate, this is a great pick. -Amanda

The queer advantage : Conversations with LGBTQ+ Leaders on the Power of Identity book cover

The queer advantage : Conversations with LGBTQ+ Leaders on the Power of Identity

Andrew Gelwicks

LGBTQ+, Nonfiction, Self Help, Biographies

The people who are creating national public policy, running billion-dollar tech enterprises, and winning Olympic medals. Andrew Gelwicks interviews the leaders who have forged their own paths and changed the world. From Troye Sivan to Margaret Cho, George Takei to Billie Jean King, Shangela to Adam Rippon, each person credits their queer identity with giving them an edge in their paths to success. Their stories brim with the hard-won lessons gained over their careers. Collecting incisive, deeply personal conversations with LGBTQ+ trailblazers about how they leveraged the challenges and insights they had as relative outsiders to succeed in the worlds of business, tech, politics, Hollywood, sports and beyond, The Queer Advantage celebrates the unique, supercharged power of queerness.

Candice's picture

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Beyond magenta : transgender teens speak out book cover

Beyond magenta : transgender teens speak out

Susan Kuklin

LGBTQ+, Nonfiction, Young Adult, Biographies

Shares insights into the teen transgender experience, tracing six individual's emotional and physical journey as it was shaped by family dynamics, living situations, and the transition each teen made during the personal journey.

Candice's picture

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Trans like me : conversations for all of us book cover

Trans like me : conversations for all of us

C. N. Lester

LGBTQ+, Nonfiction, Biographies

A personal and culture-driven exploration of the most pressing questions facing the transgender community today, from a leading activist, musician, and academic. In Trans Like Me, CN Lester takes readers on a measured, thoughtful, intelligent yet approachable tour through the most important and high-profile narratives around the trans community, turning them inside out and examining where we really are in terms of progress. From the impact of the media's wording in covering trans people and issues, to the way parenting gender variant children is portrayed, Lester brings their charged personal narrative to every topic and expertly lays out the work left to be done. Trans Like Me explores the ways that we are all defined by ideas of gender--whether we live as he, she, or they--and how we can strive for authenticity in a world that forces limiting labels.

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Sontag book cover


Benjamin Moser

Nonfiction, Biographies, LGBTQ+

"Benjamin Moser's Sontag, a biography of Susan Sontag, is a portrait of the iconoclastic and prolific essayist, novelist, and critic and her role in the history of American intellectualism" --

Melody's picture

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The book of joy : lasting happiness in a changing world book cover

The book of joy : lasting happiness in a changing world

Dalai Lama XIV Bstan-ʼdzin-rgya-mtsho

294.3444 /Dalai Lama
Nonfiction, Self Help, Biographies, Religion

Two leading spiritual masters share their wisdom about living with joy even in the face of adversity, sharing personal stories and teachings about the science of profound happiness and the daily practices that anchor their emotional and spiritual lives.

Heidi K's picture

When Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama get together to talk about their lives, philosophies, and teachings, the result is a guidebook on how to transform joy from a fleeting emotion to a way of life. My favorite thing about this book are the funny bits of dialogue between the two men who prove that above all, they are merely human. The stories from their lives are great, and the themes discussed seem so relevant to the precarious times we have found ourselves in. -Heidi K

The less people know about us : a mystery of betrayal, family secrets, and stolen identity book cover

The less people know about us : a mystery of betrayal, family secrets, and stolen identity

Axton Betz-Hamilton

True Crime, Biographies

In this honest and engaging true-crime memoir, Betz-Hamilton revisits her small-town Indiana childhood and college years, and the identity fraud that rocked her family. Before it's an often-discussed crime, Betz-Hamilton's mother attributes the unpaid bills, fraudulent checks, and unknown property in her husband's name to stolen identity. Convinced that the perpetrator is someone close to them, the family of three learns not to trust anyone and becomes relatively isolated in the face of authorities' inability and unwillingness to help. The author is so affected by these events, especially after learning that a credit card was opened in her name when she was just 11, that she later studies consumer sciences with a focus on identity theft. It is only while going through her mother's belongings after her untimely death that Betz-Hamilton begins to unravel the truth. This memoir has all the suspense and twists of a thriller; even as readers begin to suspect the truth, it still shocks. This bloodless true-crime tale is highly recommended for fans of books about con artists and family secrets.

Candice's picture

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The splendid and the vile : a saga of Churchill, family, and defiance during the blitz book cover

The splendid and the vile : a saga of Churchill, family, and defiance during the blitz

Erik Larson

940.5421 /Larson
Nonfiction, History, Biographies

"The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake delivers a fresh and compelling portrait of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz On Winston Churchill's first day as prime minister, Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold the country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally-and willing to fight to the end. In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people "the art of being fearless." It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it's also an intimate domestic drama set against the backdrop of Churchill's prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports-some released only recently-Larson provides a new lens on London's darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents' wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela's illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the cadre of close advisers who comprised Churchill's "Secret Circle," including his lovestruck private secretary, John Colville; newspaper baron Lord Beaverbrook; and the Rasputin-like Frederick Lindemann. The Splendid and the Vile takes readers out of today's political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when-in the face of unrelenting horror-Churchill's eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together."--

Candice's picture

I never thought I would laugh out loud reading a Churchill biography, but leave it to Erik Larson to make that happen. A consummate researcher, he has the inscrutable knack for bringing people and past events to life, and with Churchill being, in some ways, a very unique and peculiar person, laugh I did. Not to make light of the topic of interest, which is the very specific time during World War II where Churchill has just been elected PM, France is just getting ready to capitulate to the Germans, and Germany is just about to bomb England. It's intense and overwhelming and imminent. Larson's book is the Churchill/WWII book for those who might have said they'd never read such a book, who might think it's not interesting or too remote. -Candice