Memoir

Spinning book cover

Spinning

Tillie Walden

796.912092 /Walden
Young Adult, Graphic Novels, Memoir, LGBTQ+

Ignatz Award winner Tillie Walden's powerful graphic memoir captures what it's like to come of age, come out, and come to terms with leaving behind everything you used to know. It was the same every morning. Wake up, grab the ice skates, and head to the rink while the world was still dark. Weekends were spent in glitter and tights at competitions. Perform. Smile. And do it again. She was good. She won. And she hated it. For ten years, figure skating was Tillie Walden's life. She woke before dawn for morning lessons, went straight to group practice after school, and spent weekends competing at ice rinks across the state. Skating was a central piece of her identity, her safe haven from the stress of school, bullies, and family. But as she switched schools, got into art, and fell in love with her first girlfriend, she began to question how the close-minded world of figure skating fit in with the rest of her life, and whether all the work was worth it given the reality: that she, and her friends on the team, were nowhere close to Olympic hopefuls. The more Tillie thought about it, the more Tillie realized she'd outgrown her passion--and she finally needed to find her own voice.

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The best we could do : an illustrated memoir book cover

The best we could do : an illustrated memoir

Thi Bui

BIOGRAPHY Bui, Thi
Graphic Novels, Memoir, Biographies, History

The author describes her experiences as a young Vietnamese immigrant, highlighting her family's move from their war-torn home to the United States in graphic novel format.

Casey's picture

Combining genealogy, auto-biography, history and graphic novel, Thi Bui's memoir is haunting and beautiful. -Casey

Not my father's son : a memoir book cover

Not my father's son : a memoir

Alan Cumming

COMPACT DISC BIOGRAPHY Cumming, Alan
Memoir

In his unique and engaging voice, the acclaimed actor of stage and screen shares the emotional story of his complicated relationship with his father and the deeply buried family secrets that shaped his life and career.

Heidi L's picture

While Cumming's story about his father is often painful, there are many uplifting and positive moments. His relationships with other family members are loving and supportive, and one feels that his journey to learn more about his father and grandfather makes him a stronger person. The audio book, which I listened to, is narrated by Cumming himself, so I knew that all the right bits were being emphasized. The book version has photos of the family. -Heidi L

The wine lover's daughter : a memoir book cover

The wine lover's daughter : a memoir

Anne Fadiman

BIOGRAPHY Fadiman, Anne
Memoir

"A memoir exploring the author's father's love of wine" --

Heidi L's picture

What can be better than books and wine? Fadiman writes “My father had long associated books and wine: they both sparked conversation, they were both a lifetime project, they were both pleasurable to shelve, they were the only things he collected..." This lovely book is about an adult child coming to terms with an aging father, learning that father’s full story, and sharing much love and warmth along the way. -Heidi L

When they call you a terrorist : a Black Lives Matter memoir book cover

When they call you a terrorist : a Black Lives Matter memoir

Patrisse Khan-Cullors

305.896 /Khan-Cullors
Memoir

"A poetic and powerful memoir about what it means to be a Black woman in America--and the founding of a movement that demands restorative justice for all in the land at the tree Raised by a single mother in an impoverished neighborhood In Los Angeles, Patrisse KhanCullors experienced firsthand the prejudice and persecution Black Americans endure at the hands of law enforcement. For Patrisse, the most vulnerable people in the country are Black people. Deliberately and ruthlessly targeted by a criminal justice system serving a white privilege agenda, Black people are subjected to unjustifiable racial profiling and police brutality. In 2013, when Trayvon Martin's killer went free, Patrisse's outrage led her to co-found Black Lives Matter with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi. Condemned as terrorists and as a threat to America, these loving women founded a hashtag that birthed the movement to demand accountability from the authorities who continually turn a blind eye to the injustices inflicted upon people of Black and Brown skin. Championing human rights in the face of violent racism, Patrisse is a survivor. She transformed her personal pain into political power, giving voice to a people suffering inequality and a movement fueled by her strength and love, to tell the country--and the world--that Black Lives Matter. [This book] is Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele's reflection on humanity. It is an empowering account of survival, strength and resilience and a call to action to change the culture that declares innocent Black life expendable."--Dust jacket.

Heidi K's picture

I was surprised by this book in that I thought it would be more of a history of Black Lives Matter (which it does get to!) and less of a personal memoir. Well, I'm so glad the book is more of a traditional memoir. Patrisse Khan-Cullors evokes her youth and her path towards activism in a way that I found very eye-opening and original. Definitely a must-read book for 2018. -Heidi K

Thanks, Obama : my hopey changey White House years book cover

Thanks, Obama : my hopey changey White House years

David Litt

973.932 /Litt
Nonfiction, Memoir

"A different kind of White House memoir, presidential speechwriter David Litt's comic account of his years spent working with Barack Obama and his reflection on Obama's legacy in the age of Trump"--

Amanda's picture

I absolutely loved this book. David Litt was one of President Obama's speechwriters, and most often, he wrote jokes. This book is the funniest nonfiction I think I've ever read! It's hilarious, moving, hopeful, inspiring, and delightful. I couldn't put it down. -Amanda

An odyssey : a father, a son, and an epic book cover

An odyssey : a father, a son, and an epic

Daniel Adam Mendelsohn

BIOGRAPHY Mendelsohn, Daniel Adam
Memoir, Biographies

Presents the story of a father and son's transformative shared journey in reading in the wake of the father's late-in-life enrollment in his son's undergraduate seminar, where the two engaged in debates over how to interpret Homer's classic masterpiece.

Heidi L's picture

Author Daniel Mendelsohn is a classicist who teaches literature at Bard College. “An Odyssey: A Father, A Son, and An Epic” is about the semester his 81-year-old research scientist father joins his seminar on Homer’s Odyssey. After the seminar, the father and son decide to join an educational Mediterranean cruise that traces Odysseus’s homeward journey. The book blends the telling of these two experiences as it takes us through the Odyssey, and is rich in emotion and humor. Their adventure will remind sons and daughters that there likely are many facets of their parents’ lives that are unknown to them, until the circumstances are right to hear the stories. You need not have read the tale of Odysseus to enjoy this book, although if you have studied the Odyssey you will probably come away with some fresh insights about it. -Heidi L

Goodbye, things : the new Japanese minimalism book cover

Goodbye, things : the new Japanese minimalism

Fumio Sasaki

158.1 /Sasaki
Nonfiction, Memoir

Meredith's picture

This may sound similar to “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” but while Marie Kondo is an organizing guru, Fumio Sasaki is an ordinary guy who decided enough was enough. He got rid of everything he didn’t need and discovered a new way to live. -Meredith

The Wilder life : my adventures in the lost world of Little house on the prairie book cover

The Wilder life : my adventures in the lost world of Little house on the prairie

Wendy McClure

813.52 /WilderYm
Nonfiction, Memoir

In this funny and thoughtful guide to a romanticized version of the American expansion west, children's book editor and memoirist McClure (I'm Not the New Me) attempts to recapture her childhood vision of "Laura World" (i.e., the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Little House books about an 1880s pioneer family).

Meredith's picture

Did you ever want to try the snow-made molasses candy? Warning -- it could damage your teeth! Wendy McClure learned this the hard way -- and so much more. -Meredith

I will always write back : how one letter changed two lives book cover

I will always write back : how one letter changed two lives

Caitlin Alifirenka

305.235 /Alifirenka
Nonfiction, Memoir

It started as an assignment. Everyone in Caitlin's class wrote to an unknown student somewhere in a distant place. All the other kids picked countries like France or Germany, but when Caitlin saw Zimbabwe written on the board, it sounded like the most exotic place she had ever heard of -- so she chose it. Martin was lucky to even receive a pen pal letter. There were only ten letters, and forty kids in his class. But he was the top student, so he got the first one. That letter was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives.

Meredith's picture

It's so easy to focus on what we don't have; this book is a reminder to remember and be grateful for all that we do have. -Meredith