Memoir

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

Disability visibility : first-person stories from the Twenty-first century book cover

Disability visibility : first-person stories from the Twenty-first century

305.908 /Disability
Memoir

"A groundbreaking collection of first-person writing on the joys and challenges of the modern disability experience: Disability Visibility brings together the voices of activists, authors, lawyers, politicians, artists, and everyday people whose daily lives are, in the words of playwright Neil Marcus, "an art . . . an ingenious way to live." According to the last census, one in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some are visible, some are hidden--but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Now, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, activist Alice Wong brings together an urgent, galvanizing collection of personal essays by contemporary disabled writers. There is Harriet McBryde Johnson's "Unspeakable Conversations," which describes her famous debate with Princeton philosopher Peter Singer over her own personhood. There is columnist s. e. smith's celebratory review of a work of theater by disabled performers. There are original pieces by up-and-coming authors like Keah Brown and Haben Girma. There are blog posts, manifestos, eulogies, and testimonies to Congress. Taken together, this anthology gives a glimpse of the vast richness and complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community. It invites readers to question their own assumptions and understandings. It celebrates and documents disability culture in the now. It looks to the future and past with hope and love."--

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Watercress book cover

Watercress

Andrea Wang

jE Wang
Picture Books, Read Woke, Memoir

Embarrassed about gathering watercress from a roadside ditch, a girl learns to appreciate her Chinese heritage after learning why the plant is so important to her parents.

Casey's picture

Inspired by Andrea Wang's upbringing in rural Ohio and illustrated by Jason Chin, Watercress is pertinent reading for all ages. Text and illustrations pair perfectly, elevating this story of hope shining through grief, and love overcoming loss, beyond solely a childhood audience. Great for sharing as a family or reading on your own. -Casey

Apple : skin to the core : a memoir in words and pictures book cover

Apple : skin to the core : a memoir in words and pictures

Eric L. Gansworth

BIOGRAPHY Gansworth, Eric L.
Read Woke, Memoir

"The term "Apple" is a slur in Native communities across the country. It's for someone supposedly "red on the outside, white on the inside." Eric Gansworth is telling his story in Apple (Skin to the Core). The story of his family, of Onondaga among Tuscaroras, of Native folks everywhere. From the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist who balances multiple worlds. Eric shatters that slur and reclaims it in verse and prose and imagery that truly lives up to the word heartbreaking." -- Inside front jacket flap.

Victoria's picture

A heartbreaking, poignant, and fascinating look into the world of Eric Gansworth, an Onondaga and his Native American experiences in the United States.. -Victoria

Time is the thing a body moves through book cover

Time is the thing a body moves through

T. Fleischmann

BIOGRAPHY Fleischmann, T.
Nonfiction, Memoir, LGBTQ+

"Sebald meets Maggie Nelson in this autobiographical narrative of embodiment, visual art, history, and loss. How do the bodies we inhabit affect our relationship with art? How does art affect our relationship to our bodies? T Fleischmann uses Felix Gonzáles-Torres's artworks--piles of candy, stacks of paper, puzzles--as a path through questions of love and loss, violence and rejuvenation, gender and sexuality. From the back porches of Buffalo, to the galleries of New York and L.A., to farmhouses of rural Tennessee, the artworks act as still points, sites for reflection situated in lived experience. Fleischmann combines serious engagement with warmth and clarity of prose, reveling in the experiences and pleasures of art and the body, identity and community."--

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Tomboyland : essays book cover

Tomboyland : essays

Melissa Faliveno

814.6 /Faliveno
Nonfiction, Memoir, LGBTQ+

"A fiercely personal and startlingly universal essay collection about the mysteries of gender and desire, of identity and class, of the stories we tell and the places we call home."--Publisher's description.

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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

306.768 /Lester
Nonfiction, LGBTQ+, Memoir

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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She, he, they, me : for the sisters, misters, and binary resisters book cover

She, he, they, me : for the sisters, misters, and binary resisters

Robyn Ryle

305.3 /Ryle
Nonfiction, Memoir, LGBTQ+

If you've ever questioned the logic of basing an entire identity around what you have between your legs, it's time to embark on a daring escape outside of the binary box... Open your eyes to what it means to be a boy or a girl -- and above and beyond! Within these pages, you get to choose which path to forge. Explore over one hundred different scenarios that embrace nearly every definition across the world, over history, and in the ever-widening realms of our imagination! What if your journey leads you into a world with several genders, or simply one? Do you live in a matriarchal society, or as a sworn virgin in the Balkans? How does gender (or the lack thereof) change the way we approach sex and love, life or death? Jump headfirst into this refreshingly creative exploration of the ways gender colors every shade and shape of our world. Above all, it's more important than ever for us to celebrate the fact that there are infinite gender paths -- and each of them is beautiful.

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