Memoir

Mergers and acquisitions : or, everything I know about love I learned on the wedding pages : a memoir book cover

Mergers and acquisitions : or, everything I know about love I learned on the wedding pages : a memoir

Cate Doty

395.22 /Doty
Memoir

A compulsively readable behind-the-scenes memoir that takes readers inside the weddings section of the New York Times-- the good, bad, and just plain weird-- through the eyes of a young reporter just as she's falling in love herself.

Amanda's picture

I loved the writer’s style and she has so many great stories to share from her days working the wedding desk at the Times. I drank this up! And even better? Her slow burn of a love story that unfolds throughout the book that made me squee. And when you Google her you find their NYT wedding announcement and that makes me beam. Truly a delight to read! -Amanda

The Office bffs : tales of the Office from two best friends who were there book cover

The Office bffs : tales of the Office from two best friends who were there

Jenna Fischer


Memoir, Art / Art History

"An intimate, behind-the-scenes, richly illustrated celebration of beloved The Office co-stars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey's friendship, and an insiders' view of Pam Beesly, Angela Martin, and the iconic TV show. Featuring many of their never-before-seen photos"--

Amanda's picture

An absolute must-read for fans of The Office! You cannot contain the joy these two have for their show and their co-workers and crew. So much fun trivia and behind-the-scenes stories to make you want to binge watch it again! -Amanda

I keep trying to catch his eye : a memoir of loss, grief, and love book cover

I keep trying to catch his eye : a memoir of loss, grief, and love

Ivan Maisel

155.937 /Maisel
Biographies, Memoir

"In February 2015, Ivan Maisel received a call that would alter his life forever: his son Max's car was found abandoned in a parking next to Lake Ontario. Two months later, Max's body would be found in the lake. I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye is the story of Maisel's love for a son who was so different from him, but who he loved so deeply, and how he came to learn that grief for Max was nothing more than a last, ultimate expression of love. Navigating the moments of their complicated relationship, as well as their love each other, Maisel explores the bridges he tried to build to his son and the grief that engulfed him and his family after Max's death by suicide. Taking its title from Max's love of photography--and his tendency to only love the camera when he was behind it, looking away whenever his picture was taken--I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye delves into the tragically transformative reality of losing a child, all with grace, depth, and refinement. But by humanizing Max and humanizing his grief, Maisel evokes understanding instead of sorrow, appreciation instead of anxiety--and love instead of fear"--

Amanda's picture

This is a heartbreaking memoir, but I found it so beautiful and comforting as well. We get to learn about a close and loving family and the their talented son who was gone too soon. It's a heavy read, but a transformative one as well. -Amanda

Without you, there is no us : my time with the sons of North Korea's elite book cover

Without you, there is no us : my time with the sons of North Korea's elite

Suki Kim

951.93 /Kim
Memoir

It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, the students sent to construction fields-- except for the 270 students at the all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), a walled compound where portraits of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il look on impassively from the walls of every room. Suki Kim offers a moving and incalculably rare glimpse of life in the world's most unknowable country, and at the privileged young men she calls "soldiers and slaves."

Fang's picture

With her personal experience and empathetic analysis, the author presented one of the few factual narratives about the elite descendants from North Korea’s ruling class, about how did they shape and carry that kind of collectivist culture from the dictatorship of Kim’s reign. -Fang

I'm still here : black dignity in a world made for whiteness book cover

I'm still here : black dignity in a world made for whiteness

Austin Channing Brown

305.896 /Brown
Black Lives Matter, Memoir

The author's first encounter with a racialized America came at age seven, when her parents told her they named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. She grew up in majority-white schools, organizations, and churches, and has spent her life navigating America's racial divide as a writer, a speaker, and an expert helping organizations practice genuine inclusion. While so many institutions claim to value diversity in their mission statements, many fall short of matching actions to words. Brown highlights how white middle-class evangelicalism has participated in the rise of racial hostility, and encourages the reader to confront apathy and recognize God's ongoing work in the world.

Mykle's picture

Austin Channing Brown provides an enlightening view of what life in America is like for a black woman. Her account is humbling, informative, and inspiring. -Mykle

Sea state : a memoir book cover

Sea state : a memoir

Tabitha Lasley

BIOGRAPHY Lasley, Tabitha
Literary Nonfiction, Nonfiction, Memoir, Adventure

"A stunning and brutally honest memoir that shines a light on what happens when female desire conflicts with a culture of masculinity in crisis In her midthirties and newly free from a terrible relationship, Tabitha Lasley quit her job at a London magazine, packed her bags, and poured her savings into a six-month lease on an apartment in Aberdeen, Scotland. She decided to make good on a long-deferred idea for a book about oil rigs and the men who work on them. Why oil rigs? She wanted to see what men were like with no women around. In Aberdeen, Tabitha became deeply entrenched in the world of roughnecks, a teeming subculture rich with brawls, hard labor, competition, and the deepest friendships imaginable. The longer she stayed, the more she found her presence had a destabilizing effect on the men--and her. Sea State is on the one hand a portrait of an overlooked industry: "offshore" is a way of life for generations of primarily working-class men and also a potent metaphor for those parts of life we keep at bay--class, masculinity, the transactions of desire, and the awful slipperiness of a ladder that could, if we tried hard enough, lead us to security. Sea State is on the other hand the story of a journalist whose professional distance from her subject becomes perilously thin. In Aberdeen, Tabitha gets high and dances with abandon, reliving her youth, when the music was good and the boys were bad. Twenty years on, there is Caden: a married rig worker who spends three weeks on and three weeks off. Alone and in an increasingly precarious state, Tabitha dives into their growing attraction. The relationship, reckless and explosive, will lay them both bare"--

Melody's picture

This book is in my selection area, and I found my interest piqued each time I came across a review for it. It's one of those "under the radar" reads--worthy of "best of" rankings but not explosively viral like Educated or Atomic Habits. The author's narrative writing style allows a reader to (sea) breeze through the book. Read it if you're in the mood for a true story about living a life in search of something more. -Melody

Somebody's daughter : a memoir book cover

Somebody's daughter : a memoir

Ashley C. Ford

BIOGRAPHY Ford, Ashley C.
Memoir

"One of the most prominent voices of her generation debuts with an extraordinarily powerful memoir: the story of a childhood defined by the ever looming absence of her incarcerated father and the path we must take to both honor and overcome our origins. For as long as she could remember, Ashley has put her father on a pedestal. Despite having only vague memories of seeing him face-to-face, she believes he's the only person in the entire world who understands her. She thinks she understands him too. He's sensitive like her, an artist, and maybe even just as afraid of the dark. She's certain that one day they'll be reunited again, and she'll finally feel complete. There are just a few problems: he's in prison, and she doesn't know what he did to end up there. Through poverty, puberty, and a fraught relationship with her mother, Ashley returns to her image of her father for hope and encouragement. She doesn't know how to deal with the incessant worries that keep her up at night, or how to handle the changes in her body that draw unwanted attention from men. In her search for unconditional love, Ashley begins dating a boy her mother hates; when the relationship turns sour, he assaults her. Still reeling from the rape, which she keeps secret from her family, Ashley finally finds out why her father is in prison. And that's where the story really begins. Somebody's Daughter steps into the world of growing up a poor Black girl, exploring how isolating and complex such a childhood can be. As Ashley battles her body and her environment, she provides a poignant coming-of-age recollection that speaks to finding the threads between who you are and what you were born into, and the complicated familial love that often binds them. 'Ashley Ford's prose is glass-so clear, sharp and smooth that the reader sees, in vivid focus, her complicated childhood, brilliant mind, and golden heart. The gravity and urgency of Somebody's Daughter anchored me to my chair and slowed my heartbeat-like no book has since Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. Ashley Ford is a writer for the ages, and Somebody's Daughter will be a book of the year.'-- Glennon Doyle, author of #1 New York Times bestseller Untamed and founder of Together Rising" --

Victoria's picture

This was such a raw, honest and hopeful book about making sense of our past to put our best selves forward into the future. I couldn't get enough of this book. -Victoria

We came, we saw, we left : a family gap year book cover

We came, we saw, we left : a family gap year

Charles J. Wheelan

910.41 /Wheelan
Memoir, Travel

"Charlie Wheelan and his family do what others dream of: they take a year off to travel the world. This is their story. What would happen if you quit your life for a year? In a pre-COVID-19 world, the Wheelan family decided to find out; leaving behind work, school, and even the family dogs to travel the world on a modest budget. Equal parts "how-to" and "how-not-to"--and with an eye toward a world emerging from a pandemic--We Came, We Saw, We Left is the insightful and often hilarious account of one family's gap-year experiment. Wheelan paints a picture of adventure and connectivity, juggling themes of local politics, global economics, and family dynamics while exploring answers to questions like: How do you sneak out of a Peruvian town that has been barricaded by the local army? And where can you get treatment for a flesh-eating bacteria your daughter picked up two continents ago? From Colombia to Cambodia, We Came, We Saw, We Left chronicles nine months across six continents with three teenagers. What could go wrong?"--

Anne W's picture

In the middle of an Iowa winter, two years into a pandemic, during the week of Valentine's Day, what better to read than a funny, heartwarming, fascinating memoir of a middle-aged couple who spend a year traveling the world with three teenagers? Charles Wheelan brings a dry humor to his clear, concise descriptions of beautiful and surreal landscapes like the Bolivian salt flats and beaches of Zanzibar, as well as snafus like cleaning up his daughter's vomit with a bedsheet on a night train through India and getting lost in the Chilean jungle. He and his wife and their teenagers visit dozens of countries on a 9-month trip around the world with a strict, low-budget daily spending limit. Their adventures are so interesting and their experiences parenting teens so relatable you won't want this tale to end! -Anne W

Seek you : a journey through American loneliness book cover

Seek you : a journey through American loneliness

Kristen Radtke

155.92 Radtke
Science, Graphic Novels, Memoir

"When Kristen Radtke was in her twenties, she learned that, as her father was growing up, he would crawl onto his roof in rural Wisconsin and send signals out on his ham radio. Those CQ calls were his attempt to reach somebody--anybody--who would respond. In Seek You, Radtke uses this image as her jumping off point into a piercing exploration of loneliness and the ways in which we attempt to feel closer to one another. She looks at the very real current crisis of loneliness through the lenses of gender, violence, technology, and art. Ranging from the invention of the laugh-track to Instagram to Harry Harlow's experiments in which infant monkeys were given inanimate surrogate mothers, Radtke uncovers all she can about how we engage with friends, family, and strangers alike, and what happens--to us and to them--when we disengage."--

Mari's picture

A great mixture of autobiographical and social science examination. I loved this unique graphic format and felt very relevant in the pandemic world with more isolation. -Mari

Winterdance : the fine madness of running the Iditarod book cover

Winterdance : the fine madness of running the Iditarod

Gary Paulsen

798.8 /Paulsen
Memoir, Music

Casey's picture

Gary Paulsen is one of the authors who made me a reader, I know I am far from alone. I'm going back to this memoir as I remember loving it when I read it the first time. -Casey