46 Best Biography Books of 2019

Here are the 46 best biography books of 2019 according to Google. Find your new favorite book from the local library with one click.

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1. In the Dream House

by: Carmen Maria Machado
Release date: Nov 05, 2019
Number of Pages: 240
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A revolutionary memoir about domestic abuse by the award-winning author of Her Body and Other Parties. In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado’s engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming. And it’s that struggle that gives the book its original structure: each chapter is driven by its own narrative trope–haunted houses, erotica, bildungsroman–in which Machado holds the events up to the light and examines them from different angles. She looks back at her religious adolescence, unpacks the stereotype of lesbian relationships as safe and utopian, and widens the view with essayistic explorations about the history and reality of abuse in queer relationships. Machado’s dire narrative is leavened with her characteristic wit, playfulness, and openness to inquiry. She casts a critical eye over legal proceedings, Star Trek and Disney villains, fairy tales, as well as iconic works of film and fiction. The result is a wrenching, riveting book that explodes our ideas about what a memoir can do and be.

2. Know My Name

by: Chanel Miller
Release date: Sep 24, 2019
Number of Pages: 384
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Universally acclaimed, rapturously reviewed, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography, and an instant New York Times bestseller, Chanel Miller’s breathtaking memoir “gives readers the privilege of knowing her not just as Emily Doe, but as Chanel Miller the writer, the artist, the survivor, the fighter.” (The Wrap). “I opened Know My Name with the intention to bear witness to the story of a survivor. Instead, I found myself falling into the hands of one of the great writers and thinkers of our time. Chanel Miller is a philosopher, a cultural critic, a deep observer, a writer’s writer, a true artist. I could not put this phenomenal book down.” –Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love Warrior and Untamed “Know My Name is a gut-punch, and in the end, somehow, also blessedly hopeful.” –Washington Post She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford’s campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral–viewed by eleven million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time. Now she reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words. It was the perfect case, in many ways–there were eyewitnesses, Turner ran away, physical evidence was immediately secured. But her struggles with isolation and shame during the aftermath and the trial reveal the oppression victims face in even the best-case scenarios. Her story illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicts a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shines with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life. Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing. It also introduces readers to an extraordinary writer, one whose words have already changed our world. Entwining pain, resilience, and humor, this memoir will stand as a modern classic. Chosen as a BEST BOOK OF 2019 by The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, TIME, Elle, Glamour, Parade, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, BookRiot

3. The Five

by: Hallie Rubenhold
Release date: Apr 09, 2019
Number of Pages: 333
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Miscast in the media for nearly 130 years, the victims of Jack the Ripper finally get their full stories told in this eye-opening and chilling reminder that life for middle-class women in Victorian London could be full of social pitfalls and peril.

4. Our Man

by: George Packer
Release date: May 07, 2019
Number of Pages: 608
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*Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Biography* *Winner of the Los Angeles Times Prize for Biography* *Winner of the 2019 Hitchens Prize* “Portrays Holbrooke in all of his endearing and exasperating self-willed glory…Both a sweeping diplomatic history and a Shakespearean tragicomedy… If you could read one book to comprehend American’s foreign policy and its quixotic forays into quicksands over the past 50 years, this would be it.”–Walter Isaacson, The New York Times Book Review “By the end of the second page, maybe the third, you will be hooked…There never was a diplomat-activist quite like [Holbrooke], and there seldom has been a book quite like this — sweeping and sentimental, beguiling and brutal, catty and critical, much like the man himself.”–David M. Shribman, The Boston Globe Richard Holbrooke was brilliant, utterly self-absorbed, and possessed of almost inhuman energy and appetites. Admired and detested, he was the force behind the Dayton Accords that ended the Balkan wars, America’s greatest diplomatic achievement in the post-Cold War era. His power lay in an utter belief in himself and his idea of a muscular, generous foreign policy. From his days as a young adviser in Vietnam to his last efforts to end the war in Afghanistan, Holbrooke embodied the postwar American impulse to take the lead on the global stage. But his sharp elbows and tireless self-promotion ensured that he never rose to the highest levels in government that he so desperately coveted. His story is thus the story of America during its era of supremacy: its strength, drive, and sense of possibility, as well as its penchant for overreach and heedless self-confidence. In Our Man, drawn from Holbrooke’s diaries and papers, we are given a nonfiction narrative that is both intimate and epic in its revelatory portrait of this extraordinary and deeply flawed man and the elite spheres of society and government he inhabited.

5. The Undying

by: Anne Boyer
Release date: Sep 17, 2019
Number of Pages: 320
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WINNER OF THE 2020 PULITZER PRIZE IN GENERAL NONFICTION “The Undying is a startling, urgent intervention in our discourses about sickness and health, art and science, language and literature, and mortality and death. In dissecting what she terms ‘the ideological regime of cancer,’ Anne Boyer has produced a profound and unforgettable document on the experience of life itself.” —Sally Rooney, author of Normal People “Anne Boyer’s radically unsentimental account of cancer and the ‘carcinogenosphere’ obliterates cliche. By demonstrating how her utterly specific experience is also irreducibly social, she opens up new spaces for thinking and feeling together. The Undying is an outraged, beautiful, and brilliant work of embodied critique.” —Ben Lerner, author of The Topeka School A week after her forty-first birthday, the acclaimed poet Anne Boyer was diagnosed with highly aggressive triple-negative breast cancer. For a single mother living paycheck to paycheck who had always been the caregiver rather than the one needing care, the catastrophic illness was both a crisis and an initiation into new ideas about mortality and the gendered politics of illness. A twenty-first-century Illness as Metaphor, as well as a harrowing memoir of survival, The Undying explores the experience of illness as mediated by digital screens, weaving in ancient Roman dream diarists, cancer hoaxers and fetishists, cancer vloggers, corporate lies, John Donne, pro-pain ”dolorists,” the ecological costs of chemotherapy, and the many little murders of capitalism. It excoriates the pharmaceutical industry and the bland hypocrisies of ”pink ribbon culture” while also diving into the long literary line of women writing about their own illnesses and ongoing deaths: Audre Lorde, Kathy Acker, Susan Sontag, and others. A genre-bending memoir in the tradition of The Argonauts, The Undying will break your heart, make you angry enough to spit, and show you contemporary America as a thing both desperately ill and occasionally, perversely glorious. Includes black-and-white illustrations

6. Go Ahead in the Rain

by: Hanif Abdurraqib
Release date: Feb 01, 2019
Number of Pages: 216
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How does one pay homage to A Tribe Called Quest? The seminal rap group brought jazz into the genre, resurrecting timeless rhythms to create masterpieces such as The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders. Seventeen years after their last album, they resurrected themselves with an intense, socially conscious record, We Got It from Here . . . Thank You 4 Your Service, which arrived when fans needed it most, in the aftermath of the 2016 election. Poet and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib digs into the group’s history and draws from his own experience to reflect on how its distinctive sound resonated among fans like himself. The result is as ambitious and genre-bending as the rap group itself. Abdurraqib traces the Tribe’s creative career, from their early days as part of the Afrocentric rap collective known as the Native Tongues, through their first three classic albums, to their eventual breakup and long hiatus. Their work is placed in the context of the broader rap landscape of the 1990s, one upended by sampling laws that forced a reinvention in production methods, the East Coast–West Coast rivalry that threatened to destroy the genre, and some record labels’ shift from focusing on groups to individual MCs. Throughout the narrative Abdurraqib connects the music and cultural history to their street-level impact. Whether he’s remembering The Source magazine cover announcing the Tribe’s 1998 breakup or writing personal letters to the group after bandmate Phife Dawg’s death, Abdurraqib seeks the deeper truths of A Tribe Called Quest; truths that—like the low end, the bass—are not simply heard in the head, but felt in the chest.

7. The Yellow House

by: Sarah M. Broom
Release date: Aug 13, 2019
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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION A brilliant, haunting and unforgettable memoir from a stunning new talent about the inexorable pull of home and family, set in a shotgun house in New Orleans East. In 1961, Sarah M. Broom’s mother Ivory Mae bought a shotgun house in the then-promising neighborhood of New Orleans East and built her world inside of it. It was the height of the Space Race and the neighborhood was home to a major NASA plant—the postwar optimism seemed assured. Widowed, Ivory Mae remarried Sarah’s father Simon Broom; their combined family would eventually number twelve children. But after Simon died, six months after Sarah’s birth, the Yellow House would become Ivory Mae’s thirteenth and most unruly child. A book of great ambition, Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House tells a hundred years of her family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America’s most mythologized cities. This is the story of a mother’s struggle against a house’s entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina. The Yellow House expands the map of New Orleans to include the stories of its lesser known natives, guided deftly by one of its native daughters, to demonstrate how enduring drives of clan, pride, and familial love resist and defy erasure. Located in the gap between the “Big Easy” of tourist guides and the New Orleans in which Broom was raised, The Yellow House is a brilliant memoir of place, class, race, the seeping rot of inequality, and the internalized shame that often follows. It is a transformative, deeply moving story from an unparalleled new voice of startling clarity, authority, and power.

8. Me

by: Elton John
Release date: Oct 15, 2019
Number of Pages: 384
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INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In his first and only official autobiography, music icon Elton John reveals the truth about his extraordinary life, from his rollercoaster lifestyle as shown in the film Rocketman, to becoming a living legend. Christened Reginald Dwight, he was a shy boy with Buddy Holly glasses who grew up in the London suburb of Pinner and dreamed of becoming a pop star. By the age of twenty-three he was performing his first gig in America, facing an astonished audience in his bright yellow dungarees, a star-spangled T-shirt, and boots with wings. Elton John had arrived and the music world would never be the same again. His life has been full of drama, from the early rejection of his work with song-writing partner Bernie Taupin to spinning out of control as a chart-topping superstar; from half-heartedly trying to drown himself in his LA swimming pool to disco-dancing with Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth; from friendships with John Lennon, Freddie Mercury, and George Michael to setting up his AIDS Foundation to conquering Broadway with Aida, The Lion King, and Billy Elliot the Musical. All the while Elton was hiding a drug addiction that would grip him for over a decade. In Me, Elton also writes powerfully about getting clean and changing his life, about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father. In a voice that is warm, humble, and open, this is Elton on his music and his relationships, his passions and his mistakes. This is a story that will stay with you by a living legend.

9. L.E.L.

by: Lucasta Miller
Release date: May 16, 2019
Number of Pages: 416
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A famous poet, a mysterious death and a story stranger than fiction. – this is the lost life and mytserious death of the ‘Female Byron’ On 15 October 1838, the body of a thirty-six-year-old woman was found in Cape Coast Castle, West Africa, a bottle of prussic acid in her hand. She was one of the most famous English poets of her day: Letitia Elizabeth Landon, known by her initials ‘L.E.L.’ What was she doing in Africa? Was her death an accident? Had she committed suicide, or even been murdered? To her contemporaries, she was an icon, hailed as the ‘female Byron’. However, she was also a woman with secrets, the mother of three illegitimate children whose existence was subsequently wiped from the record. After her death, she became the subject of a cover-up which this book unravels, excavating with it a whole lost literary culture. FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BRONTE MYTH

10. Sontag

by: Benjamin Moser
Release date: Sep 17, 2019
Number of Pages: 832
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WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award Finalist for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography Named one of the Best Books of the Year by: O Magazine, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Seattle Times The definitive portrait of one of the American Century’s most towering intellectuals: her writing and her radical thought, her public activism and her hidden private face No writer is as emblematic of the American twentieth century as Susan Sontag. Mythologized and misunderstood, lauded and loathed, a girl from the suburbs who became a proud symbol of cosmopolitanism, Sontag left a legacy of writing on art and politics, feminism and homosexuality, celebrity and style, medicine and drugs, radicalism and Fascism and Freudianism and Communism and Americanism, that forms an indispensable key to modern culture. She was there when the Cuban Revolution began, and when the Berlin Wall came down; in Vietnam under American bombardment, in wartime Israel, in besieged Sarajevo. She was in New York when artists tried to resist the tug of money—and when many gave in. No writer negotiated as many worlds; no serious writer had as many glamorous lovers. Sontag tells these stories and examines the work upon which her reputation was based. It explores the agonizing insecurity behind the formidable public face: the broken relationships, the struggles with her sexuality, that animated—and undermined—her writing. And it shows her attempts to respond to the cruelties and absurdities of a country that had lost its way, and her conviction that fidelity to high culture was an activism of its own. Utilizing hundreds of interviews conducted from Maui to Stockholm and from London to Sarajevo—and featuring nearly one hundred images—Sontag is the first book based on the writer’s restricted archives, and on access to many people who have never before spoken about Sontag, including Annie Leibovitz. It is a definitive portrait—a great American novel in the form of a biography.

11. Three Women

by: Lisa Taddeo
Release date: Jul 09, 2019
Number of Pages: 320
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * #1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER * #1 INDIE NEXT PICK Named a Best Book of the Year: The Washington Post * NPR * The Atlantic * New York Public Library * Vanity Fair * PBS * Time * Economist * Entertainment Weekly * Financial Times * Shelf Awareness * Guardian * Sunday Times * BBC * Esquire * Good Housekeeping * Elle * Real Simple * And more than twenty additional outlets “Staggeringly intimate…Taddeo spent eight years reporting this groundbreaking book.” —Entertainment Weekly “A breathtaking and important book…What a fine thing it is to be enthralled by another writer’s sentences. To be stunned by her intellect and heart.” —Cheryl Strayed “Extraordinary…This is a nonfiction literary masterpiece…I can’t remember the last time a book affected me as profoundly as Three Women.” —Elizabeth Gilbert “A revolutionary look at women’s desire, this feat of journalism reveals three women who are carnal, brave, and beautifully flawed.” —People (Book of the Week) A riveting true story about the sex lives of three real American women, based on nearly a decade of reporting. Lina, a young mother in suburban Indiana whose marriage has lost its passion, reconnects with an old flame through social media and embarks on an affair that quickly becomes all-consuming. Maggie, a seventeen-year-old high school student in North Dakota, allegedly engages in a relationship with her married English teacher; the ensuing criminal trial turns their quiet community upside down. Sloane, a successful restaurant owner in an exclusive enclave of the Northeast, is happily married to a man who likes to watch her have sex with other men and women. Hailed as “a dazzling achievement” (Los Angeles Times) and “a riveting page-turner that explores desire, heartbreak, and infatuation in all its messy, complicated nuance” (The Washington Post), Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women has captivated readers, booksellers, and critics—and topped bestseller lists—worldwide. Based on eight years of immersive research, it is “an astonishing work of literary reportage” (The Atlantic) that introduces us to three unforgettable women—and one remarkable writer—whose experiences remind us that we are not alone.

12. On Chapel Sands

by: Laura Cumming
Release date: Aug 27, 2019
Number of Pages: 320
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NOMINATED FOR THE 2019 NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR AUTOBIOGRAPHY ONE OF NPR’S BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NONFICTION SHORTLISTED FOR THE RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE LONGLISTED FOR THE RSL ONDAATJE PRIZE The acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Velazquez shares a riveting true story “with as many twists and turns as any mystery” (Los Angeles Times) describing her mother’s mysterious kidnapping as a toddler in a small English coastal village—“an incredible and incredibly unusual book about family secrets” (Nick Hornby, The Believer). In the fall of 1929, when Laura Cumming’s mother was three years old, she was kidnapped from a beach on the Lincolnshire coast of England. There were no screams when she was taken, suggesting the culprit was someone familiar to her, and when she turned up again in a nearby village several days later, she was happy and in perfect health. No one was ever accused of a crime. The incident quickly faded from her memory, and her parents never discussed it. To the contrary, they deliberately hid it from her, and she did not learn of it for half a century. This was not the only secret her parents kept from her. For many years, while raising her in draconian isolation and protectiveness, they also hid the fact that she’d been adopted, and that shortly after the kidnapping, her name was changed from Grace to Betty. “Both page-turning and richly absorbing” (The Providence Journal), On Chapel Sands (originally titled Five Days Gone) unspools the tale of Cumming’s mother’s life and unravels the multiple mysteries at its core. Using photographs from the time, historical documents, and works of art, Cumming investigates this case of stolen identity w​ith the toolset of a detective and the unique intimacy of a daughter trying to understand her family’s past and its legacies. “Brilliant” (The Guardian) and “a story told with such depth of feeling and observation and such lyrical writing I couldn’t put it down” (Anna Quindlen), On Chapel Sands is a masterful blend of memoir and history, an extraordinary personal narrative unlike any other.

13. Constellations

by: Sinéad Gleeson
Release date: Apr 04, 2019
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*Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2020* *Winner of non-fiction book of the year at the Irish Book Awards* ‘Utterly magnificent. Raw, thought-provoking and galvanising; this is a book every woman should read.’ –Eimear McBride, author of A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing. I have come to think of all the metal in my body as artificial stars, glistening beneath the skin, a constellation of old and new metal. A map, a tracing of connections and a guide to looking at things from different angles. How do you tell the story of a life in a body, as it goes through sickness, health, motherhood? How do you tell that story when you are not just a woman but a woman in Ireland? In the powerful and daring essays in Constellations Sinéad Gleeson does that very thing. All of life is within these pages, from birth to first love, pregnancy to motherhood, terrifying sickness, old age and loss to death itself. Throughout this wide-ranging collection she also turns her restless eye outwards delving into work, art and our very ways of seeing. In the tradition of some of our finest life writers, and yet still in her own spirited, generous voice, Sinéad takes us on a journey that is both uniquely personal and yet universal in its resonance. Here is the fierce joy and pain of being alive. ‘Breathtaking and sublime.’ – Nina Stibbe ‘Absolutely extraordinary and life-enhancing.’ – Daisy Buchanan, author of How to be Grown-up.

14. My Name Is Why

by: Lemn Sissay
Release date: Aug 29, 2019
Number of Pages: 224
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THE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER INDIE BOOK AWARDS NON-FICTION WINNER ‘EXTRAORDINARY’ The Times, ‘BEAUTIFUL’ Dolly Alderton, ‘SHATTERING’ Observer, ‘INCREDIBLE’ Benjamin Zephaniah, ‘UNPUTDOWNABLE’ Sunday Times, ‘ASTOUNDING’ Matt Haig ‘POWERFUL’ Elif Shafak At the age of seventeen, after a childhood in a foster family followed by six years in care homes, Norman Greenwood was given his birth certificate. He learned that his real name was not Norman. It was Lemn Sissay. He was British and Ethiopian. And he learned that his mother had been pleading for his safe return to her since his birth. This is Lemn’s story: a story of neglect and determination, misfortune and hope, cruelty and triumph. Sissay reflects on his childhood, self-expression and Britishness, and in doing so explores the institutional care system, race, family and the meaning of home. Written with all the lyricism and power you would expect from one of the nation’s best-loved poets, this moving, frank and timely memoir is the result of a life spent asking questions, and a celebration of the redemptive power of creativity.

15. I Never Said I Loved You

by: Rhik Samadder
Release date: Aug 06, 2019
Number of Pages: 320
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‘I Never Said I Love You is one of the most electric, enchanting, engrossing and energising memoirs of self-harm, self-loathing, grief, eating disorders, suicide – and sex – that you will read.’ The Sunday Times ‘Indecently entertaining… one of the most uplifting and eccentric memoirs I have ever read.’ Observer ‘Brutally honest and relentlessly funny.’ Adam Kay, author of ‘This is Going to Hurt’ ‘A brilliant memoir full of gasp-inducing honesty about depression and family and taking control of your own pain. Funny, sad, hopeful, I Never Said I Loved You is an irresistible, strangely empowering read.’ Matt Haig ‘This mind-blowingly wonderful memoir had me convulsing with laughter even while my heart was breaking. It’s utterly effing BEAUTIFUL.’ Marian Keyes ‘I found myself blindsided by this extraordinary book … I was deeply moved by its capacity both to depict pain, and offer consolation. I loved it, and won’t ever forget it.’ Sarah Perry ‘Both touching and funny’ the Telegraph On an unlikely backpacking trip, Rhik and his mother find themselves speaking openly for the first time in years. Afterwards, the depression that has weighed down on Rhik begins to loosen its grip for a moment – so he seizes the opportunity: to own it, to understand it, and to find out where it came from. Through this begins a journey of investigation, healing and recovery. Along the way Rhik learns some shocking truths about his family, and realizes that, in turn, he will need to confront the secrets he has long buried. But through this, he triumphs over his fears and brings his depression into the light. I Never Said I Loved You is the story of how Rhik learned to let go, and then keep going. With unique humour and honesty, he has created a powerfully rich, funny and poignant exploration of the light and dark in all of us. A vital, moving and darkly funny memoir by a powerful new voice in non-fiction. ‘Both unputdownable and beautifully-written, bracing and consoling. A book that tackles mental health and the darkest things with razor-sharp wit and mordant laughs aplenty … read this.’ Sharlene Teo ‘Touching, funny, wildly readable … Look out for it.’ Sathnam Sanghera ‘No one writes better, or more sweetly, about how it feels to feel. Even the darkest times are shot through with glorious, bright beams of wit.’ Janet Ellis ‘It’s honest and funny (and beautifully painful and brutal at times), but also – oh goodness – it’s so elegant. The writing is graceful and kind, even when it hurts a little to remember it’s a memoir.’ Joanna Cannon ‘Equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking. What an absolutely riveting read.’ Nikita Gill ‘Heartbreaking, funny, raw, brave and – yes! – even better than the egg thing.’ Erin Kelly ‘I have always loved Rhik Samadder’s writing. And now there’s a whole book!’ Jessie Burton ‘A sparkling, thoughtful memoir. It manages to be witty, charming, brooding and devastating all the same time.’ Justin Myers, The Guyliner

16. Furious Hours

by: Casey Cep
Release date: May 07, 2019
Number of Pages: 336
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This “superbly written true-crime story” (Michael Lewis, The New York Times Book Review) masterfully brings together the tales of a serial killer in 1970s Alabama and of Harper Lee, the beloved author of To Kill a Mockingbird, who tried to write his story. Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members, but with the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative assassinated him at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted—thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the reverend himself. Sitting in the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who spent a year in town reporting on the Maxwell case and many more trying to finish the book she called The Reverend. Cep brings this remarkable story to life, from the horrifying murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South, while offering a deeply moving portrait of one of our most revered writers.

17. Underland

by: Robert Macfarlane
Release date: May 02, 2019
Number of Pages: 496
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A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE 2019 WINNER OF THE STANFORD DOLMAN TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2020 ‘You’d be crazy not to read this book’ The Sunday Times A Guardian Best Book of the 21st Century From the internationally bestselling, prize-winning author of Landmarks, The Lost Words and The Old Ways In Underland, Robert Macfarlane takes us on a journey into the worlds beneath our feet. From the ice-blue depths of Greenland’s glaciers, to the underground networks by which trees communicate, from Bronze Age burial chambers to the rock art of remote Arctic sea-caves, this is a deep-time voyage into the planet’s past and future. Global in its geography, gripping in its voice and haunting in its implications, Underland is a work of huge range and power, and a remarkable new chapter in Macfarlane’s long-term exploration of landscape and the human heart. SHORTLISTED FOR THE RSL ONDAATJE PRIZE 2020 ‘Macfarlane has invented a new kind of book, really a new genre entirely’ The Irish Times ‘He is the great nature writer, and nature poet, of this generation’ Wall Street Journal ‘Macfarlane has shown how utterly beautiful a brilliantly written travel book can still be’ Observer on The Old Ways ‘Irradiated by a profound sense of wonder… Few books give such a sense of enchantment; it is a book to give to many, and to return to repeatedly’ Independent on Landmarks ‘It sets the imagination tingling…like reading a prose Odyssey sprinkled with imagist poems’ The Sunday Times on The Old Ways

18. A Woman Like Her

by: Sanam Maher
Release date: Jul 11, 2019
Number of Pages: 336
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‘The powerful story of a woman who was ahead of her time’ Mishal Husain, presenter at BBC World News, BBC Weekend News, BBC News at Six, Radio 4 A beautiful woman in winged eyeliner and a low-cut top lies on a bed urging her favourite cricketer to win the next match. In another post, she pouts at the camera from a hot tub. She posts a selfie with a cleric, wearing his cap at a jaunty angle. Her posts are viewed millions of times and the comments beneath them are full of hate. As her notoriety grows, the comments made about her on national talk shows are just as vitriolic. They call her Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian, they say she’ll do anything for attention. When she’s murdered, they’re transfixed by the footage of her body. Drawing on interviews and in-depth research, Sanam Maher pieces together Qandeel’s life from the village where she grew up in the backwaters of rural Pakistan, to her stint in a women’s shelter after escaping her marriage, to her incarnation as a social media sensation and the Muslim world’s most unlikely feminist icon.

19. They Don’t Teach This

by: Eniola Aluko
Release date: Aug 29, 2019
Number of Pages: 496
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*SHORTLISTED FOR THE TELEGRAPH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS* Eni Aluko: 102 appearances for England women’s national football team. First female pundit on Match of the Day. UN Women UK ambassador. Guardian columnist. First class honors law degree. Now an inspirational author. They Don’t Teach This steps beyond the realms of memoir to explore themes of dual nationality and identity, race and institutional prejudice, success, failure and faith. It is an inspiring manifesto to change the way readers and the future generation choose to view the challenges that come in their life applying life lessons with raw truths of Eni’s own personal experience. ‘A fascinating examination of her multiple identities – British and Nigerian, a girl in a boy’s world, footballer and academic, a kid from an estate with upper-middle-class parents, a God-fearing rebel… Aluko does not hold back – and few people from the football establishment emerge with their reputation intact’ Guardian

20. She Said

by: Jodi KantorMegan Twohey
Release date: Sep 10, 2019
Number of Pages: 320
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The instant New York Times bestseller. “An instant classic of investigative journalism…‘All the President’s Men’ for the Me Too era.” — Carlos Lozada, The Washington Post From the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters who broke the news of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment and abuse for the New York Times, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the thrilling untold story of their investigation and its consequences for the #MeToo movement For many years, reporters had tried to get to the truth about Harvey Weinstein’s treatment of women. Rumors of wrongdoing had long circulated. But in 2017, when Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey began their investigation into the prominent Hollywood producer for the New York Times, his name was still synonymous with power. During months of confidential interviews with top actresses, former Weinstein employees, and other sources, many disturbing and long-buried allegations were unearthed, and a web of onerous secret payouts and nondisclosure agreements was revealed. These shadowy settlements had long been used to hide sexual harassment and abuse, but with a breakthrough reporting technique Kantor and Twohey helped to expose it. But Weinstein had evaded scrutiny in the past, and he was not going down without a fight; he employed a team of high-profile lawyers, private investigators, and other allies to thwart the investigation. When Kantor and Twohey were finally able to convince some sources to go on the record, a dramatic final showdown between Weinstein and the New York Times was set in motion. Nothing could have prepared Kantor and Twohey for what followed the publication of their initial Weinstein story on October 5, 2017. Within days, a veritable Pandora’s box of sexual harassment and abuse was opened. Women all over the world came forward with their own traumatic stories. Over the next twelve months, hundreds of men from every walk of life and industry were outed following allegations of wrongdoing. But did too much change—or not enough? Those questions hung in the air months later as Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court, and Christine Blasey Ford came forward to testify that he had assaulted her decades earlier. Kantor and Twohey, who had unique access to Ford and her team, bring to light the odyssey that led her to come forward, the overwhelming forces that came to bear on her, and what happened after she shared her allegation with the world. In the tradition of great investigative journalism, She Said tells a thrilling story about the power of truth, with shocking new information from hidden sources. Kantor and Twohey describe not only the consequences of their reporting for the #MeToo movement, but the inspiring and affecting journeys of the women who spoke up—for the sake of other women, for future generations, and for themselves.

21. Solitary

by: Albert Woodfox
Release date: Mar 12, 2019
Number of Pages: 448
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FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE IN GENERAL NONFICTION FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN NONFICTION Named One of Barack Obama’s Favorite Books of 2019 Named the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Book of the Year Named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, Publishers Weekly, BookBrowse, and Literary Hub Winner of the BookBrowse Award for Best Debut of 2019 A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Solitary is the unforgettable life story of a man who served more than four decades in solitary confinement?in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell, 23 hours a day, in notorious Angola prison in Louisiana?all for a crime he did not commit. That Albert Woodfox survived was, in itself, a feat of extraordinary endurance against the violence and deprivation he faced daily. That he was able to emerge whole from his odyssey within America’s prison and judicial systems is a triumph of the human spirit, and makes his book a clarion call to reform the inhumanity of solitary confinement in the U.S. and around the world. Arrested often as a teenager in New Orleans, inspired behind bars in his early twenties to join the Black Panther Party because of its social commitment and code of living, Albert was serving a 50-year sentence in Angola for armed robbery when on April 17, 1972, a white guard was killed. Albert and another member of the Panthers were accused of the crime and immediately put in solitary confinement by the warden. Without a shred of actual evidence against them, their trial was a sham of justice that gave them life sentences in solitary. Decades passed before Albert gained a lawyer of consequence; even so, sixteen more years and multiple appeals were needed before he was finally released in February 2016. Remarkably self-aware that anger or bitterness would have destroyed him in solitary confinement, sustained by the shared solidarity of two fellow Panthers, Albert turned his anger into activism and resistance. The Angola 3, as they became known, resolved never to be broken by the grinding inhumanity and corruption that effectively held them for decades as political prisoners. He survived to give us Solitary, a chronicle of rare power and humanity that proves the better spirits of our nature can thrive against any odds.

22. How We Fight for Our Lives

by: Saeed Jones
Release date: Oct 08, 2019
Number of Pages: 208
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From award-winning poet Saeed Jones, How We Fight for Our Lives—winner of the Kirkus Prize and the Stonewall Book Award—is a “moving, bracingly honest memoir” (The New York Times Book Review) written at the crossroads of sex, race, and power. One of the best books of the year as selected by The New York Times; The Washington Post; NPR; Time; The New Yorker; O, The Oprah Magazine; Harper’s Bazaar; Elle; BuzzFeed; Goodreads; and many more. “People don’t just happen,” writes Saeed Jones. “We sacrifice former versions of ourselves. We sacrifice the people who dared to raise us. The ‘I’ it seems doesn’t exist until we are able to say, ‘I am no longer yours.’” Haunted and haunting, How We Fight for Our Lives is a stunning coming-of-age memoir about a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Through a series of vignettes that chart a course across the American landscape, Jones draws readers into his boyhood and adolescence—into tumultuous relationships with his family, into passing flings with lovers, friends, and strangers. Each piece builds into a larger examination of race and queerness, power and vulnerability, love and grief: a portrait of what we all do for one another—and to one another—as we fight to become ourselves. An award-winning poet, Jones has developed a style that’s as beautiful as it is powerful—a voice that’s by turns a river, a blues, and a nightscape set ablaze. How We Fight for Our Lives is a one-of-a-kind memoir and a book that cements Saeed Jones as an essential writer for our time.

23. The Education of an Idealist

by: Samantha Power
Release date: Sep 10, 2019
Number of Pages: 592
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A NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER An intimate, powerful, and galvanizing memoir by Pulitzer Prize winner, human rights advocate, and former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power. Named one of the best books of the year: The New York Times • National Public Radio • Time • The Economist • The Washington Post • Vanity Fair • Christian Science Monitor • Publishers Weekly • Audible “Her highly personal and reflective memoir . . . is a must-read for anyone who cares about our role in a changing world.”—President Barack Obama Includes an updated afterword Tracing her distinctly American journey from immigrant to war correspondent to presidential Cabinet official, Samantha Power’s acclaimed memoir is a unique blend of suspenseful storytelling, vivid character portraits, and shrewd political insight. After her critiques of US foreign policy caught the eye of Senator Barack Obama, he invited her to work with him on Capitol Hill and then on his presidential campaign. When Obama won the presidency, Power went from being an activist outsider to serving as his human rights adviser and, in 2013, becoming the youngest-ever US Ambassador to the United Nations. Power transports us from her childhood in Dublin to the streets of war-torn Bosnia to the White House Situation Room and the world of high-stakes diplomacy, offering a compelling and deeply honest look at navigating the halls of power while trying to put one’s ideals into practice. Along the way, she lays bare the searing battles and defining moments of her life, shows how she juggled the demands of a 24/7 national security job with raising two young children, and makes the case for how we each can advance the cause of human dignity. This is an unforgettable account of the power of idealism—and of one person’s fierce determination to make a difference. “This is a wonderful book. […] The interweaving of Power’s personal story, family story, diplomatic history and moral arguments is executed seamlessly and with unblinking honesty.”—THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, The New York Times Book Review “Truly engrossing…A pleasure to read.”—RACHEL MADDOW “A beautiful memoir about the times we’re living in and the questions we must ask ourselves…I honestly couldn’t put it down.” —CHERYL STRAYED, author of Wild “Power’s compelling memoir provides critically important insights we should all understand as we face some of the most vexing issues of our time.” —BRYAN STEVENSON, author of Just Mercy

24. No Visible Bruises

by: Rachel Louise Snyder
Release date: May 14, 2019
Number of Pages: 320
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An award-winning journalist’s exploration of America’s domestic violence epidemic, how we have misunderstood it, what it portends about other types of violence, and how to address it.We call it domestic violence. We call it private violence. Sometimes we call it intimate terrorism. But whatever we call it, we generally do not believe it has anything at all to do with us, despite the World Health Organization deeming it a ‘global epidemic.’ In America, intimate partner violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime, and yet it remains an object of silence, spoken of in hushed tones, even as its tendrils reach unseen into every national issue from our economy to our education system, from mass shootings to mass incarceration to #MeToo. We still have not taken the true measure of this problem.In No Visible Bruises, journalist Rachel Louise Snyder gives an urgent and immersive account of the scope of domestic violence in our country, structured around key case studies that explode the common myths – that if things were bad enough, victims would just leave; that a violent person cannot become nonviolent; that shelter is an adequate response; that violence inside the home is separate from other forms of violence like mass shootings, gang violence, and sexual assault. Through the stories of victims, perpetrators, law enforcement, and reform movements from across the country, Snyder explores not only the real roots of domestic violence, but also its far-reaching consequences for society, and what it will take to truly address it.

25. What You Have Heard Is True

by: Carolyn Forché
Release date: Mar 19, 2019
Number of Pages: 400
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2019 National Book Award Finalist “Reading it will change you, perhaps forever.” —San Francisco Chronicle “Astonishing, powerful, so important at this time.” –Margaret Atwood What You Have Heard is True is a devastating, lyrical, and visionary memoir about a young woman’s brave choice to engage with horror in order to help others. Written by one of the most gifted poets of her generation, this is the story of a woman’s radical act of empathy, and her fateful encounter with an intriguing man who changes the course of her life. Carolyn Forché is twenty-seven when the mysterious stranger appears on her doorstep. The relative of a friend, he is a charming polymath with a mind as seemingly disordered as it is brilliant. She’s heard rumors from her friend about who he might be: a lone wolf, a communist, a CIA operative, a sharpshooter, a revolutionary, a small coffee farmer, but according to her, no one seemed to know for certain. He has driven from El Salvador to invite Forché to visit and learn about his country. Captivated for reasons she doesn’t fully understand, she accepts and becomes enmeshed in something beyond her comprehension. Together they meet with high-ranking military officers, impoverished farm workers, and clergy desperately trying to assist the poor and keep the peace. These encounters are a part of his plan to educate her, but also to learn for himself just how close the country is to war. As priests and farm-workers are murdered and protest marches attacked, he is determined to save his country, and Forché is swept up in his work and in the lives of his friends. Pursued by death squads and sheltering in safe houses, the two forge a rich friendship, as she attempts to make sense of what she’s experiencing and establish a moral foothold amidst profound suffering. This is the powerful story of a poet’s experience in a country on the verge of war, and a journey toward social conscience in a perilous time.

26. Truth Worth Telling

by: Scott Pelley
Release date: May 21, 2019
Number of Pages: 352
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“A monument to journalistic excellence…. Highly recommended!” —Douglas Brinkley, author of Cronkite and American Moonshot An inspiring memoir from the frontlines of history by the award-winning 60 Minutes correspondent. Don’t ask the meaning of life. Life is asking, what’s the meaning of you? With this provocative question, Truth Worth Telling introduces us to unforgettable people who discovered the meaning of their lives in the historic events of our times. A 60 Minutes correspondent and former anchor of the CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley writes as a witness to events that changed our world. In moving, detailed prose, he stands with firefighters at the collapsing World Trade Center on 9/11, advances with American troops in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, and reveals private moments with presidents (and would-be presidents) he’s known for decades. Pelley also offers a resounding defense of free speech and a free press as the rights that guarantee all others. Above all, Truth Worth Telling offers a collection of inspiring tales that reminds us of the importance of values in uncertain times. For readers who believe that values matter and that truth is worth telling, Pelley writes, “I have written this book for you.”

27. The Soul of an American President

by: Alan SearsCraig OstenRyan Cole
Release date: Jun 04, 2019
Number of Pages: 240
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While there have been many biographies of Dwight D. Eisenhower that focus on his military career or the time of his presidency, none clearly explores the important role faith played both in his personal life and in his public policy. This despite the fact that he is the only US president to be baptized as a Christian while in office. Alan Sears and Craig Osten invite you on a journey that is unique in American history and is essential to understanding one of the most consequential, admired, and complex Americans of the 20th Century. The story begins in abject poverty in rural Texas, then travels through Kansas, West Point, two World Wars, and down Pennsylvania Avenue. This is the untold story of a man whose growing faith sustained him through the loss of a young son, marital difficulties, depression, career disappointments, and being witness to some of the worst atrocities humankind has devised. A man whose faith was based in his own sincere personal conviction, not out of a sense of political expediency or social obligation. You’ve met Dwight Eisenhower the soldier and Dwight Eisenhower the president. Now meet Dwight Eisenhower the man of faith.

28. Maid

by: Stephanie Land
Release date: Jan 22, 2019
Number of Pages: 272
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND INSPIRATION FOR THE UPCOMING NETFLIX SERIES “A single mother’s personal, unflinching look at America’s class divide, a description of the tightrope many families walk just to get by, and a reminder of the dignity of all work.” -PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, Obama’s Summer Reading List At 28, Stephanie Land’s dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer quickly dissolved when a summer fling turned into an unplanned pregnancy. Before long, she found herself a single mother, scraping by as a housekeeper to make ends meet. Maid is an emotionally raw, masterful account of Stephanie’s years spent in service to upper middle class America as a “nameless ghost” who quietly shared in her clients’ triumphs, tragedies, and deepest secrets. Driven to carve out a better life for her family, she cleaned by day and took online classes by night, writing relentlessly as she worked toward earning a college degree. She wrote of the true stories that weren’t being told: of living on food stamps and WIC coupons, of government programs that barely provided housing, of aloof government employees who shamed her for receiving what little assistance she did. Above all else, she wrote about pursuing the myth of the American Dream from the poverty line, all the while slashing through deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor. Maid is Stephanie’s story, but it’s not hers alone. It is an inspiring testament to the courage, determination, and ultimate strength of the human spirit.

29. The Queen

by: Josh Levin
Release date: May 21, 2019
Number of Pages: 432
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Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography In this critically acclaimed true crime tale of “welfare queen” Linda Taylor, a Slate editor reveals a “wild, only-in-America story” of political manipulation and murder (Attica Locke, Edgar Award-winning author). On the South Side of Chicago in 1974, Linda Taylor reported a phony burglary, concocting a lie about stolen furs and jewelry. The detective who checked it out soon discovered she was a welfare cheat who drove a Cadillac to collect ill-gotten government checks. And that was just the beginning: Taylor, it turned out, was also a kidnapper, and possibly a murderer. A desperately ill teacher, a combat-traumatized Marine, an elderly woman hungry for companionship — after Taylor came into their lives, all three ended up dead under suspicious circumstances. But nobody — not the journalists who touted her story, not the police, and not presidential candidate Ronald Reagan — seemed to care about anything but her welfare thievery. Growing up in the Jim Crow South, Taylor was made an outcast because of the color of her skin. As she rose to infamy, the press and politicians manipulated her image to demonize poor black women. Part social history, part true-crime investigation, Josh Levin’s mesmerizing book, the product of six years of reporting and research, is a fascinating account of American racism, and an exposé of the “welfare queen” myth, one that fueled political debates that reverberate to this day. The Queen tells, for the first time, the fascinating story of what was done to Linda Taylor, what she did to others, and what was done in her name. “In the finest tradition of investigative reporting, Josh Levin exposes how a story that once shaped the nation’s conscience was clouded by racism and lies. As he stunningly reveals in this “invaluable work of nonfiction,” the deeper truth, the messy truth, tells us something much larger about who we are (David Grann, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon).

30. Working

by: Robert A. Caro
Release date: Apr 09, 2019
Number of Pages: 240
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“One of the great reporters of our time and probably the greatest biographer.” —The Sunday Times (London) From the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Power Broker and The Years of Lyndon Johnson: an unprecedented gathering of vivid, candid, deeply moving recollections about his experiences researching and writing his acclaimed books. Now in paperback, Robert Caro gives us a glimpse into his own life and work in these evocatively written, personal pieces. He describes what it was like to interview the mighty Robert Moses and to begin discovering the extent of the political power Moses wielded; the combination of discouragement and exhilaration he felt confronting the vast holdings of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin, Texas; his encounters with witnesses, including longtime residents wrenchingly displaced by the construction of Moses’ Cross-Bronx Expressway and Lady Bird Johnson acknowledging the beauty and influence of one of LBJ’s mistresses. He gratefully remembers how, after years of working in solitude, he found a writers’ community at the New York Public Library, and details the ways he goes about planning and composing his books. Caro recalls the moments at which he came to understand that he wanted to write not just about the men who wielded power but about the people and the politics that were shaped by that power. And he talks about the importance to him of the writing itself, of how he tries to infuse it with a sense of place and mood to bring characters and situations to life on the page. Taken together, these reminiscences–some previously published, some written expressly for this book–bring into focus the passion, the wry self-deprecation, and the integrity with which this brilliant historian has always approached his work.

31. Save Me the Plums

by: Ruth Reichl
Release date: Apr 02, 2019
Number of Pages: 288
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Trailblazing food writer and beloved restaurant critic Ruth Reichl took the job (and the risk) of a lifetime when she entered the high-stakes world of magazine publishing. Now, for the first time, she chronicles her groundbreaking tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet. “A must for any food lover . . . Reichl is a warm, intimate writer. She peels back the curtain to a glamorous time of magazine-making. You’ll tear through this memoir.”—Refinery29 NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Real Simple • Good Housekeeping • Town & Country When Condé Nast offered Ruth Reichl the top position at America’s oldest epicurean magazine, she declined. She was a writer, not a manager, and had no inclination to be anyone’s boss. Yet Reichl had been reading Gourmet since she was eight; it had inspired her career. How could she say no? This is the story of a former Berkeley hippie entering the corporate world and worrying about losing her soul. It is the story of the moment restaurants became an important part of popular culture, a time when the rise of the farm-to-table movement changed, forever, the way we eat. Readers will meet legendary chefs like David Chang and Eric Ripert, idiosyncratic writers like David Foster Wallace, and a colorful group of editors and art directors who, under Reichl’s leadership, transformed stately Gourmet into a cutting-edge publication. This was the golden age of print media—the last spendthrift gasp before the Internet turned the magazine world upside down. Complete with recipes, Save Me the Plums is a personal journey of a woman coming to terms with being in charge and making a mark, following a passion and holding on to her dreams—even when she ends up in a place she never expected to be. Praise for Save Me the Plums “Poignant and hilarious . . . simply delicious . . . Each serving of magazine folklore is worth savoring. In fact, Reichl’s story is juicier than a Peter Luger porterhouse. Dig in.”—The New York Times Book Review “In this smart, touching, and dishy memoir . . . Ruth Reichl recalls her years at the helm of Gourmet magazine with clear eyes, a sense of humor, and some very appealing recipes.”—Town & Country “If you haven’t picked up food writing queen Ruth Reichl’s new book, Save Me the Plums, I highly recommend you fix that problem. . . . Reichl is in top form and ready to dish, with every chapter seeming like a dedicated behind-the-scenes documentary on its own.”—Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle

32. Inside Out

by: Demi Moore
Release date: Sep 24, 2019
Number of Pages: 272
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INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A Best Book of the Year: The New Yorker, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, Good Morning America, She Reads Famed American actress Demi Moore at last tells her own story in a surprisingly intimate and emotionally charged memoir. For decades, Demi Moore has been synonymous with celebrity. From iconic film roles to high-profile relationships, Moore has never been far from the spotlight—or the headlines. Even as Demi was becoming the highest paid actress in Hollywood, however, she was always outrunning her past, just one step ahead of the doubts and insecurities that defined her childhood. Throughout her rise to fame and during some of the most pivotal moments of her life, Demi battled addiction, body image issues, and childhood trauma that would follow her for years—all while juggling a skyrocketing career and at times negative public perception. As her success grew, Demi found herself questioning if she belonged in Hollywood, if she was a good mother, a good actress—and, always, if she was simply good enough. As much as her story is about adversity, it is also about tremendous resilience. In this deeply candid and reflective memoir, Demi pulls back the curtain and opens up about her career and personal life—laying bare her tumultuous relationship with her mother, her marriages, her struggles balancing stardom with raising a family, and her journey toward open heartedness. Inside Out is a story of survival, success, and surrender—a wrenchingly honest portrayal of one woman’s at once ordinary and iconic life.

33. The Matriarch

by: Susan Page
Release date: Apr 02, 2019
Number of Pages: 432
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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “[The] rare biography of a public figure that’s not only beautifully written, but also shockingly revelatory.” — The Atlantic A vivid biography of former First Lady Barbara Bush, one of the most influential and under-appreciated women in American political history. Barbara Pierce Bush was one of the country’s most popular and powerful figures, yet her full story has never been told. THE MATRIARCH tells the riveting tale of a woman who helped define two American presidencies and an entire political era. Written by USA TODAY’s Washington Bureau chief Susan Page, this biography is informed by more than one hundred interviews with Bush friends and family members, hours of conversation with Mrs. Bush herself in the final six months of her life, and access to her diaries that spanned decades. THE MATRIARCH examines not only her public persona but also less well-known aspects of her remarkable life. As a girl in Rye, New York, Barbara Bush weathered criticism of her weight from her mother, barbs that left lifelong scars. As a young wife, she coped with the death of her three-year-old daughter from leukemia, a loss that changed her forever. In middle age, she grappled with depression so serious that she contemplated suicide. And as first the wife and then the mother of American presidents, she made history as the only woman to see — and advise — both her husband and son in the Oval Office. As with many women of her era, Barbara Bush was routinely underestimated, her contributions often neither recognized nor acknowledged. But she became an astute and trusted political campaign strategist and a beloved First Lady. She invested herself deeply in expanding literacy programs in America, played a critical role in the end of the Cold War, and led the way in demonstrating love and compassion to those with HIV/AIDS. With her cooperation, this book offers Barbara Bush’s last words for history — on the evolution of her party, on the role of women, on Donald Trump, and on her family’s legacy. Barbara Bush’s accomplishments, struggles, and contributions are many. Now, Susan Page explores them all in THE MATRIARCH, a groundbreaking book certain to cement Barbara Bush as one of the most unique and influential women in American history.

34. How to Be an Antiracist

by: Ibram X. Kendi
Release date: Aug 13, 2019
Number of Pages: 320
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the National Book Award–winning author of Stamped from the Beginning comes a “groundbreaking” (Time) approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in our society—and in ourselves. “The most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind.”—The New York Times NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time • NPR • The Washington Post • Shelf Awareness • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly • Kirkus Reviews Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves. Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society. Praise for How to Be an Antiracist “Ibram X. Kendi’s new book, How to Be an Antiracist, couldn’t come at a better time. . . . Kendi has gifted us with a book that is not only an essential instruction manual but also a memoir of the author’s own path from anti-black racism to anti-white racism and, finally, to antiracism. . . . How to Be an Antiracist gives us a clear and compelling way to approach, as Kendi puts it in his introduction, ‘the basic struggle we’re all in, the struggle to be fully human and to see that others are fully human.’ ”—NPR “Kendi dissects why in a society where so few people consider themselves to be racist the divisions and inequalities of racism remain so prevalent. How to Be an Antiracist punctures the myths of a post-racial America, examining what racism really is—and what we should do about it.”—Time

35. Still Here

by: Alexandra Jacobs
Release date: Oct 22, 2019
Number of Pages: 352
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One of The New Yorker’s favorite nonfiction book of 2019 | A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Named one of Vogue’s “17 Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Fall” “Compulsively readable . . . ravenously consuming . . . manna from heaven . . . If ever someone knew how to put a genuinely irresistible book together, it’s Jacobs in Still Here.” —Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News Still Here is the first full telling of Elaine Stritch’s life. Rollicking but intimate, it tracks one of Broadway’s great personalities from her upbringing in Detroit during the Great Depression to her fateful move to New York City, where she studied alongside Marlon Brando, Bea Arthur, and Harry Belafonte. We accompany Elaine through her jagged rise to fame, to Hollywood and London, and across her later years, when she enjoyed a stunning renaissance, punctuated by a turn on the popular television show 30 Rock. We explore the influential—and often fraught—collaborations she developed with Noël Coward, Tennessee Williams, and above all Stephen Sondheim, as well as her courageous yet flawed attempts to control a serious drinking problem. And we see the entertainer triumphing over personal turmoil with the development of her Tony Award–winning one-woman show, Elaine Stritch at Liberty, which established her as an emblem of spiky independence and Manhattan life for an entirely new generation of admirers. In Still Here, Alexandra Jacobs conveys the full force of Stritch’s sardonic wit and brassy charm while acknowledging her many dark complexities. Following years of meticulous research and interviews, this is a portrait of a powerful, vulnerable, honest, and humorous figure who continues to reverberate in the public consciousness.

36. A Song for You

by: Robyn Crawford
Release date: Nov 12, 2019
Number of Pages: 336
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The New York Times Bestseller! After decades of silence, Robyn Crawford, close friend, collaborator, and confidante of Whitney Houston, shares her story. Whitney Houston is as big a superstar as the music business has ever known. She exploded on the scene in 1985 with her debut album and spent the next two decades dominating the charts and capturing the hearts of fans around the world. One person was there by her side through it all—her best friend, Robyn Crawford. Since Whitney’s death in 2012, Robyn has stayed out of the limelight and held the great joys, wild adventures, and hard truths of her life with Whitney close to her heart. Now, for the first time ever, Crawford opens up in her memoir, A Song for You. With warmth, candor, and an impressive recall of detail, Robyn describes the two meeting as teenagers in the 1980s, and how their lives and friendship evolved as Whitney recorded her first album and Robyn pursued her promising Division I basketball career. Together during countless sold-out world tours, behind the scenes as hit after hit was recorded, through Whitney’s marriage and the birth of her daughter, the two navigated often challenging families, great loves, and painful losses, always supporting each other with laughter and friendship. Deeply personal and heartfelt, A Song for You is the vital, honest, and previously untold story that provides an understanding of the complex life of Whitney Houston. Finally, the person who knew her best sets the record straight.

37. Over the Top

by: Jonathan Van Ness
Release date: Sep 24, 2019
Number of Pages: 288
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A laugh-and-cry-out-loud memoir from the beloved star of Netflix’s Queer Eye, Jonathan Van Ness Who gave Jonathan Van Ness permission to be the radiant human he is today? No one, honey. The truth is, it hasn’t always been gorgeous for this beacon of positivity and joy. Before he stole our hearts as the grooming and self-care expert on Netflix’s hit show Queer Eye, Jonathan was growing up in a small Midwestern town that didn’t understand why he was so…over the top. From choreographed carpet figure skating routines to the unavoidable fact that he was Just. So. Gay., Jonathan was an easy target and endured years of judgement, ridicule and trauma—yet none of it crushed his uniquely effervescent spirit. Over the Top uncovers the pain and passion it took to end up becoming the model of self-love and acceptance that Jonathan is today. In this revelatory, raw, and rambunctious memoir, Jonathan shares never-before-told secrets and reveals sides of himself that the public has never seen. JVN fans may think they know the man behind the stiletto heels, the crop tops, and the iconic sayings, but there’s much more to him than meets the Queer Eye. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll come away knowing that no matter how broken or lost you may be, you’re a Kelly Clarkson song, you’re strong, and you’ve got this.

38. Guest House for Young Widows

by: Azadeh Moaveni
Release date: Jan 01, 2019
Number of Pages: 352
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Based on years of immersive reporting, Pulitzer finalist Moaveni has written a gripping account of 13 women as they joined, endured, and, in some cases, escaped life in the Islamic State. Among the many books trying to understand the terrifying rise of ISIS, none has given voice to the women in the organization.n.

39. The Great Successor

by: Anna Fifield
Release date: Jun 11, 2019
Number of Pages: 336
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The behind-the-scenes story of the rise and reign of the world’s strangest and most elusive tyrant, Kim Jong Un, by the journalist with the best connections and insights into the bizarrely dangerous world of North Korea. Since his birth in 1984, Kim Jong Un has been swaddled in myth and propaganda, from the plainly silly — he could supposedly drive a car at the age of three — to the grimly bloody stories of family members who perished at his command. Anna Fifield reconstructs Kim’s past and present with exclusive access to sources near him and brings her unique understanding to explain the dynastic mission of the Kim family in North Korea. The archaic notion of despotic family rule matches the almost medieval hardship the country has suffered under the Kims. Few people thought that a young, untested, unhealthy, Swiss-educated basketball fanatic could hold together a country that should have fallen apart years ago. But Kim Jong Un has not just survived, he has thrived, abetted by the approval of Donald Trump and diplomacy’s weirdest bromance. Skeptical yet insightful, Fifield creates a captivating portrait of the oddest and most secretive political regime in the world — one that is isolated yet internationally relevant, bankrupt yet in possession of nuclear weapons — and its ruler, the self-proclaimed Beloved and Respected Leader, Kim Jong Un.

40. The Unwinding of the Miracle

by: Julie Yip-Williams
Release date: Feb 05, 2019
Number of Pages: 336
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Read with Jenna Book Club Pick as Featured on Today • As a young mother facing a terminal diagnosis, Julie Yip-Williams began to write her story, a story like no other. What began as the chronicle of an imminent and early death became something much more—a powerful exhortation to the living. “An exquisitely moving portrait of the daily stuff of life.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice) NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time • Real Simple • Good Housekeeping That Julie Yip-Williams survived infancy was a miracle. Born blind in Vietnam, she narrowly escaped euthanasia at the hands of her grandmother, only to flee with her family the political upheaval of her country in the late 1970s. Loaded into a rickety boat with three hundred other refugees, Julie made it to Hong Kong and, ultimately, America, where a surgeon at UCLA gave her partial sight. She would go on to become a Harvard-educated lawyer, with a husband, a family, and a life she had once assumed would be impossible. Then, at age thirty-seven, with two little girls at home, Julie was diagnosed with terminal metastatic colon cancer, and a different journey began. The Unwinding of the Miracle is the story of a vigorous life refracted through the prism of imminent death. When she was first diagnosed, Julie Yip-Williams sought clarity and guidance through the experience and, finding none, began to write her way through it—a chronicle that grew beyond her imagining. Motherhood, marriage, the immigrant experience, ambition, love, wanderlust, tennis, fortune-tellers, grief, reincarnation, jealousy, comfort, pain, the marvel of the body in full rebellion—this book is as sprawling and majestic as the life it records. It is inspiring and instructive, delightful and shattering. It is a book of indelible moments, seared deep—an incomparable guide to living vividly by facing hard truths consciously. With humor, bracing honesty, and the cleansing power of well-deployed anger, Julie Yip-Williams set the stage for her lasting legacy and one final miracle: the story of her life. Praise for The Unwinding of the Miracle “Everything worth understanding and holding on to is in this book. . . . A miracle indeed.”—Kelly Corrigan, New York Times bestselling author “A beautifully written, moving, and compassionate chronicle that deserves to be read and absorbed widely.”—Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies

41. When Life Gives You Pears

by: Jeannie Gaffigan
Release date: Oct 01, 2019
Number of Pages: 320
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The Big Sick meets Dad is Fat in this funny and heartfelt New York Times bestselling memoir from writer, director, wife, and mother, Jeannie Gaffigan, as she reflects on the life-changing impact of her battle with a pear-sized brain tumor. In 2017, Jeannie’s life came to a crashing halt when she was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor. As the mother of 5 kids — 6 if you include her husband — sat in the neurosurgery department in star-covered sweats too whimsical for the seriousness of the situation, all she could think was “Am I going to die?” Thankfully, Jeannie and her family were able to survive their time of crisis, and now she is sharing her deeply personal journey through this miraculous story: the challenging conversations she had with her children; how she came to terms with feeling powerless and ferociously crabby while bedridden and unable to eat for a month; and how she ultimately learned, re-learned and re re-learned to be more present in life. With sincerity and hilarity, Jeannie invites you into her heart (and brain) during this trying time, emphasizing the importance of family, faith and humor as keys to her recovery and leading a more fulfilling life.

42. The World According to Fannie Davis

by: Bridgett M. Davis
Release date: Jan 29, 2019
Number of Pages: 320
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As seen on the Today Show: This true story of an unforgettable mother, her devoted daughter, and their life in the Detroit numbers of the 1960s and 1970s highlights “the outstanding humanity of black America” (James McBride). In 1958, the very same year that an unknown songwriter named Berry Gordy borrowed $800 to found Motown Records, a pretty young mother from Nashville, Tennessee, borrowed $100 from her brother to run a numbers racket out of her home. That woman was Fannie Davis, Bridgett M. Davis’s mother. Part bookie, part banker, mother, wife, and granddaughter of slaves, Fannie ran her numbers business for thirty-four years, doing what it took to survive in a legitimate business that just happened to be illegal. She created a loving, joyful home, sent her children to the best schools, bought them the best clothes, mothered them to the highest standard, and when the tragedy of urban life struck, soldiered on with her stated belief: “Dying is easy. Living takes guts.” A daughter’s moving homage to an extraordinary parent, The World According to Fannie Davis is also the suspenseful, unforgettable story about the lengths to which a mother will go to “make a way out of no way” and provide a prosperous life for her family — and how those sacrifices resonate over time.

43. Under Red Skies

by: Karoline Kan
Release date: Mar 12, 2019
Number of Pages: 320
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A deeply personal and shocking look at how China is coming to terms with its conflicted past as it emerges into a modern, cutting-edge superpower. Through the stories of three generations of women in her family, Karoline Kan, a former New York Times reporter based in Beijing, reveals how they navigated their way in a country beset by poverty and often-violent political unrest. As the Kans move from quiet villages to crowded towns and through the urban streets of Beijing in search of a better way of life, they are forced to confront the past and break the chains of tradition, especially those forced on women. Raw and revealing, Karoline Kan offers gripping tales of her grandmother, who struggled to make a way for her family during the Great Famine; of her mother, who defied the One-Child Policy by giving birth to Karoline; of her cousin, a shoe factory worker scraping by on 6 yuan (88 cents) per hour; and of herself, as an ambitious millennial striving to find a job–and true love–during a time rife with bewildering social change. Under Red Skies is an engaging eyewitness account and Karoline’s quest to understand the rapidly evolving, shifting sands of China. It is the first English-language memoir from a Chinese millennial to be published in America, and a fascinating portrait of an otherwise-hidden world, written from the perspective of those who live there.

44. America’s Reluctant Prince

by: Steven M. Gillon
Release date: Jul 09, 2019
Number of Pages: 464
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*A New York Times Bestseller* A major new biography of John F. Kennedy Jr. from a leading historian who was also a close friend, America’s Reluctant Prince is a deeply researched, personal, surprising, and revealing portrait of the Kennedy heir the world lost too soon. Through the lens of their decades-long friendship and including exclusive interviews and details from previously classified documents, noted historian and New York Times bestselling author Steven M. Gillon examines John F. Kennedy Jr.’s life and legacy from before his birth to the day he died. Gillon covers the highs, the lows, and the surprising incidents, viewpoints, and relationships that John never discussed publicly, revealing the full story behind JFK Jr.’s complicated and rich life. In the end, Gillon proves that John’s life was far more than another tragedy—rather, it’s the true key to understanding both the Kennedy legacy and how America’s first family continues to shape the world we live in today.

45. Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America

by: James Poniewozik
Release date: Sep 10, 2019
Number of Pages: 304
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One of the Top 10 Politics and Current Events Books of Fall 2019 (Publishers Weekly) An incisive cultural history that captures a fractious nation through the prism of television and the rattled mind of a celebrity president. Television has entertained America, television has ensorcelled America, and with the election of Donald J. Trump, television has conquered America. In Audience of One, New York Times chief television critic James Poniewozik traces the history of TV and mass media from the Reagan era to today, explaining how a volcanic, camera-hogging antihero merged with America’s most powerful medium to become our forty-fifth president. In the tradition of Neil Postman’s masterpiece Amusing Ourselves to Death, Audience of One shows how American media have shaped American society and politics, by interweaving two crucial stories. The first story follows the evolution of television from the three-network era of the 20th century, which joined millions of Americans in a shared monoculture, into today’s zillion-channel, Internet-atomized universe, which sliced and diced them into fractious, alienated subcultures. The second story is a cultural critique of Donald Trump, the chameleonic celebrity who courted fame, achieved a mind-meld with the media beast, and rode it to ultimate power. Braiding together these disparate threads, Poniewozik combines a cultural history of modern America with a revelatory portrait of the most public American who has ever lived. Reaching back to the 1940s, when Trump and commercial television were born, Poniewozik illustrates how Donald became “a character that wrote itself, a brand mascot that jumped off the cereal box and entered the world, a simulacrum that replaced the thing it represented.” Viscerally attuned to the media, Trump shape-shifted into a boastful tabloid playboy in the 1980s; a self-parodic sitcom fixture in the 1990s; a reality-TV “You’re Fired” machine in the 2000s; and finally, the biggest role of his career, a Fox News–obsessed, Twitter-mad, culture-warring demagogue in the White House. Poniewozik deconstructs the chaotic Age of Trump as the 24-hour TV production that it is, decoding an era when politics has become pop culture, and vice versa. Trenchant and often slyly hilarious, Audience of One is a penetrating and sobering review of the raucous, raging, farcical reality show—performed for the benefit of an insomniac, cable-news-junkie “audience of one”—that we all came to live in, whether we liked it or not.

46. Promised Land

by: Khadija Mastur
Release date: Jul 15, 2019
Number of Pages: 216
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In the wake of the Partition, a new country is born. As millions of refugees pour into Pakistan, swept up in a welter of chaos and deprivation, Sajidah and her father find their way to the Walton refugee camp, uncertain of their future in what is to become their new home. Sajidah longs to be reunited with her beloved Salahuddin, but her journey out of the camp takes an altogether unforeseen route. Drawn into the lives of another family-refugees like herself-she is wary of its men, particularly Nazim, the eldest son whose gaze lingers over her. But it is the women of the household whose lives and choices will transform her the most: the passionately beseeching Saleema, her domineering mother Khala Bi, the kind but forlorn Amma Bi, and the feisty young housemaid Taji. With subtlety and insight, Khadija Mastur conjures a d ynamic portrait of spirited women whose lives are wrought by tragedy and trial even as they cling defiantly to the promise of a better future.

Last updated on October 17, 2021