Not my father's son : a memoir book cover

Not my father's son : a memoir

Alan Cumming


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

"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

"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

Everything that remains : a memoir by The Minimalists book cover

Everything that remains : a memoir by The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn

158.1 /Millburn
Nonfiction, Memoir

What if everything you ever wanted isn't what you actually want? Twenty-something, suit-clad, and upwardly mobile, Joshua Fields Millburn thought he had everything anyone could ever want. Until he didn't anymore. Blindsided by the loss of his mother and his marriage in the same month, Millburn started questioning every aspect of the life he had built for himself. Then, he accidentally discovered a lifestyle known as minimalism...and everything started to change. That was four years ago. Since, Millburn, now 32, has embraced simplicity. In the pursuit of looking for something more substantial than compulsory consumption and the broken American Dream, he jettisoned most of his material possessions, paid off loads of crippling debt, and walked away from his six-figure career.

Meredith's picture

Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus thought they were living The American Dream. They had high-paying jobs and homes filled with things, but it wasn't until they gave everything up that they found the happiness that eluded them. -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

Dear Fahrenheit 451 : love and heartbreak in the stacks : a librarian's love letters and breakup notes to the books in her life book cover

Dear Fahrenheit 451 : love and heartbreak in the stacks : a librarian's love letters and breakup notes to the books in her life

Annie Spence

028.9 /Spence
Nonfiction, Memoir

If you love to read, and presumably you do since you've picked up this book, you know that some books affect you so profoundly they forever change the way you think about the world. Some books, on the other hand, disappoint you so much you want to throw them against the wall. Either way, it's clear that a book can be your new soul mate or the bad relationship you need to end. In Dear Fahrenheit 451, librarian Annie Spence has crafted love letters and breakup notes to the iconic and eclectic books she has encountered over the years. From breaking up with The Giving Tree (a dysfunctional relationship book if ever there was one), to her love letter to The Time Traveler's Wife (a novel less about time travel and more about the life of a marriage, with all of its ups and downs), Spence will make you think of old favorites in a new way. Filled with suggested reading lists, Spence's take on classic and contemporary books is very much like the best of literature sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes surprisingly poignant, and filled with universal truths. A celebration of reading, Dear Fahrenheit 451 is for anyone who loves nothing more than curling up with a good book...and another, and another, and another!

Meredith's picture

I loved this book. Books about books are like crack to me. You can tell a lot about a person by what they read. And if they don’t read ... well, Annie has thoughts about that, too. -Meredith