Biography & Memoir

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs

A fascinating look at the life of Robert Peace, a young black man born to a poor single mother in Newark who worked hard and graduated from Yale with a degree in microbiology. Yet he ends up dead in a drug-related shooting. How could this have happened? The author, Rob’s Yale roommate, offers us a look at the lure of drugs and money even to the smartest in the class. Book discussion groups will find lots to talk about.

Biography PEACE, R. 

I Stand Corrected: How Teaching Western Manners in China Became Its Own Unforgettable Lesson by Eden Collinsworth

Hired to write a book explaining Western etiquette to the Chinese, long-time businesswoman Collinsworth spent a year living in China, exploring the differences between the cultures and customs of China and the West. I Stand Corrected is a funny and entertaining story of her life in China, her struggle to explain Western customs to her Chinese readers and her explanation of the ways China changed in the past decade.

395 COL 

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

This moving memoir, written in free verse, follows Jacqueline Woodson through her childhood as a young, black girl growing up during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The use of poetic verse allows Woodson to capture poignant moments in her childhood and share them in a way that really resonates with the reader.  She talks of growing up with her mother, grandparents, and siblings, first in South Carolina and then in New York City.

Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Croke

Englishman Billy Williams landed a job in Burma in 1920 as a “forest man” for a teak company and became enamored with the elephants used by the company to haul logs through remote jungle. Elephant Company is the story of these elephants, their native keepers and Billy’s increasing skill at handling them and fascination with their intelligence and personalities. When Japanese forces invaded Burma in 1942, Billy and the elephants had another job—helping the war effort and saving lives.

Paper Love by Sarah Wildman

Twenty-something Sarah Wildman stumbles across a secreted cache of photographs during the clean out of her late grandparent’s family home in New England. Sarah’s grandfather, Karl Wildman, emigrated from Vienna during the war establishing a family medical practice in Pittsfield, Massachusetts before marrying Sarah’s grandmother during the early 1940’s. These photographs, featuring a beautiful young woman and prominently signed “Your, Valy,” signal the beginning of Sarah’s odyssey to learn the story behind the woman her grandfather loved and left behind in occupied Berlin.

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” by Lena Dunham

Even if you’ve never heard of the hit HBO show “Girls” or its creator & star, Lena Dunham, there is much to enjoy in this collection of biographical essays. Focusing on sex, love, friendship, and work, Dunham happily shares all the details of her privileged NYC upbringing, awkward sexual encounters & her lifelong struggle with her body image. Some of the most enjoyable stories are about her mother, a well-known artist who may or may not have invented the selfie.

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

This is the story of the House of Romanov: Tsar Nicolas II of Russia, the wealthiest monarch in the world who ruled over 130 million people; his powerful wife; their friend Rasputin and his influence on them; and their five children. Included throughout are pictures and diary entries of the family, as well as those of the peasants who were just trying to survive.

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

This is the story of Tsar Nicolas II of Russia, the wealthiest monarch in the world, who ruled over 130 million people. It’s also the story of his powerful wife, their friend Rasputin, and their five children. Included throughout are pictures and diary entries from the family, as well as from the peasants who were struggling to survive. Miss Kelly says. “This is a fascinating history of Imperial Russia, for people who normally would not read a history book.

#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso

Sophia Amoruso loved to shop for vintage clothes, little did she know that she could turn her pet-project ebay shop into a top grossing online retailer in just a few short years. Her eye for style has allowed Nasty Gal to flourish and her no-nonsense attitude is seriously inspiring for entrepreneurs and misfits alike!  Not quite memoir, not quite self-help nor how-to, #Girlboss is simply the story of Amoruso's success and her particular brand of can-do attitude.

 

BIOGRAPHY AMORUSO, S.

Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good by Kathleen Flinn

If only all food memoirs were this funny and truly heartwarming!  An ode to her childhood and her relationship with food, Kathleen Flinn (author of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry) gives loving and hilarious family memories that ring true to those who’ve grown up appreciating the art of food. In 1960s rural Michigan, her family’s struggles to make ends meet on a farm with five constantly famished children strikes a chord of familiarity with many of her Midwestern readers.

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