Biographies and Memoirs

Biographies and Memoirs

Do the accounts of extraordinary peoples' lives inspire your own life?  Can the fortitude of individuals drive how you live your own life?  Our authors in the Biographies and Memoirs genre bring you the stories of people who have survived and grown through the most difficult of situations.  Their stories will move you to tears, to action, and to new levels in your own life. They will always do this for you on eBookHounds for free or for a discount.

 

Definition of the "Biographies and Memoirs Genre": Ebooks in both the Biographies and Memoirs genres focus on the life experiences of a single person.  Biographies are generally broader in the subject matters of a person's life experiences, while memoirs are more honed into the memories of that person.  However, there is very little difference between the two categories, which is why they are combined in a single genre. Ebooks in the Biographies and Memoirs genre also typically have a significant element of inspiration, as the stories which drove the writing of these ebooks are tremendously moving.

 

Examples of bestselling ebooks in the Biographies and Memoirs genre are Cheryl Strayed (Wild), Chris Kyle (American Sniper), Laura Hillenbrand (Unbroken), and Donna Mabry (Maude).

Physician: How Science Transformed the Art of Medicine

by Rajeev Kurapati


What happened that changed the priest—the revered healer of antiquity—into a person of science? How was the modern doctor made?

Physician is Rajeev Kurapati’s earnest attempt to answer this question and others central to the practice of medicine. For instance, how have the advances of medical technology influenced society’s perception of death? How do physicians balance thinking with feeling when dealing with critically ill patients? How do we meet the needs of patients seeking a personal connection to their doctor in what may seem to be an emotionally deficient medical landscape? Is it possible to overcome some of the compromises we’ve had to make along the way? What is the promise of modern medicine and its limitations? And notably—as medical care becomes more and more digitized and automated, will the medical degree—a universal badge of respectability—continue to hold value?

Dr. Kurapati, a practicing hospital physician, succeeds in gracefully exploring the depths of what it really means to be a doctor—and a patient—at this time in our human history, and his blueprint for building a stronger future of healthcare is an important and valuable one.

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Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident

by Donnie Eichar

 

New York Times bestseller! — What happened that night on Dead Mountain?

The mystery of Dead Mountain: In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened.

As gripping and bizarre as Hunt for the Skin Walker: This New York Times bestseller, Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident, is a gripping work of literary nonfiction that delves into the mystery of Dead Mountain through unprecedented access to the hikers' own journals and photographs, rarely seen government records, dozens of interviews, and the author's retracing of the hikers' fateful journey in the Russian winter.

You'll love this real-life tale: Dead Mountain is a fascinating portrait of young adventurers in the Soviet era, and a skillful interweaving of the hikers' narrative, the investigators' efforts, and the author's investigations. Here for the first time is the real story of what happened that night on Dead Mountain.

 

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Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island

by Regina Calcaterra


Regina’s Calcaterra memoir, Etched in Sand, is an inspiring and triumphant coming-of-age story of tenacity and hope.
 
Regina Calcaterra is a successful lawyer, New York State official, and activist. Her painful early life, however, was quite different. Regina and her four siblings survived an abusive and painful childhood only to find themselves faced with the challenges of the foster-care system and intermittent homelessness in the shadows of Manhattan and the Hamptons.
 
A true-life rags-to-riches story, Etched in Sand chronicles Regina’s rising above her past, while fighting to keep her brother and three sisters together through it all.
 
Beautifully written, with heartbreaking honesty, Etched in Sand is an unforgettable reminder that regardless of social status, the American Dream is still within reach for those who have the desire and the determination to succeed.

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Molly's Game: Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World

by Molly Bloom

 

Now a major motion picture, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin and starring Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, and Michael Cera—the true story of "Hollywood’s poker princess" who gambled everything, won big, then lost it all.

Molly Bloom reveals how she built one of the most exclusive, high-stakes underground poker games in the world—an insider’s story of excess and danger, glamour and greed.

In the late 2000s, Molly Bloom, a twentysomething petite brunette from Loveland Colorado, ran the highest stakes, most exclusive poker game Hollywood had ever seen—she was its mistress, its lion tamer, its agent, and its oxygen. Everyone wanted in, few were invited to play.

Hundreds of millions of dollars were won and lost at her table. Molly’s game became the game for those in the know—celebrities, business moguls, and millionaires. Molly staged her games in palatial suites with beautiful views and exquisite amenities. She flew privately, dined at exclusive restaurants, hobnobbed with the heads of Hollywood studios, was courted by handsome leading men, and was privy to the world’s most delicious gossip, until it all came crashing down around her.

Molly’s Game is a behind the scenes look at Molly’s game, the life she created, the life she lost, and what she learned in the process.

 

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The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland

by Jim DeFede


The True Story Behind the Events on 9/11 that Inspired Broadway’s Smash Hit Musical Come from Away

When 38 jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land at Gander International Airport in Canada by the closing of U.S. airspace on September 11, the population of this small town on Newfoundland Island swelled from 10,300 to nearly 17,000. The citizens of Gander met the stranded passengers with an overwhelming display of friendship and goodwill.

As the passengers stepped from the airplanes, exhausted, hungry and distraught after being held on board for nearly 24 hours while security checked all of the baggage, they were greeted with a feast prepared by the townspeople. Local bus drivers who had been on strike came off the picket lines to transport the passengers to the various shelters set up in local schools and churches. Linens and toiletries were bought and donated. A middle school provided showers, as well as access to computers, email, and televisions, allowing the passengers to stay in touch with family and follow the news.

Over the course of those four days, many of the passengers developed friendships with Gander residents that they expect to last a lifetime. As a show of thanks, scholarship funds for the children of Gander have been formed and donations have been made to provide new computers for the schools. This book recounts the inspiring story of the residents of Gander, Canada, whose acts of kindness have touched the lives of thousands of people and been an example of humanity and goodwill.

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Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

by David Grann


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER   -  NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST 

"Disturbing and riveting...It will sear your soul." Dave Eggers, New York Times Book Review

SHELF AWARENESS'S BEST BOOK OF 2017

Named a best book of the year by Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, GQ, Time, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, NPR's Maureen CorriganNPR's "On Point," Vogue, Smithsonian, Cosmopolitan, Seattle Times, Bloomberg, Lit Hub's "Ultimate Best Books," Library Journal, Paste, Kirkus, Slate.com and
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From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history
       
       In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.
      
      Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.
   
      In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the “Phantom Terror,” roamed—many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection.  Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. 
   
       In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating.

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You've Been So Lucky Already: A Memoir

by Alethea Black


From the award-winning author of I Knew You’d Be Lovely comes an empowering and disarmingly funny memoir about grief and illness—and the wit and wisdom it takes to survive it.

As a child, Alethea Black drifts between her father, a brilliant mathematician who is also her best friend, and her mother, a frank and outspoken woman on fire. After her father’s death, Alethea is left unmoored, a young woman more connected to life’s ethereal mysteries than to practical things such as doing laundry or paying taxes.

And then, just when life seems to be getting back on track, she’s suddenly racked by crushing fatigue, inexplicable pain, and memory loss. With her grasp on reality fading, and specialist after specialist declaring nothing is wrong, Alethea turns to her own research and desperate home remedies. But even as her frantic quest for wellness seems to lead to confusion and despair, she discovers more about her own strength than she ever could have imagined—and becomes a woman on fire herself.

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Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies

by J.B. West


In this New York Times bestseller, the White House chief usher for nearly three decades offers a behind-the-scenes look at America’s first families.
 

J. B. West, chief usher of the White House, directed the operations and maintenance of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—and coordinated its daily life—at the request of the president and his family. He directed state functions; planned parties, weddings and funerals, gardens and playgrounds, and extensive renovations; and, with a large staff, supervised every activity in the presidential home. For twenty-eight years, first as assistant to the chief usher, then as chief usher, he witnessed national crises and triumphs, and interacted daily with six consecutive presidents and first ladies, as well as their parents, children and grandchildren, and houseguests—including friends, relatives, and heads of state.
 
J. B. West, whom Jackie Kennedy called “one of the most extraordinary men I have ever met,” provides an absorbing, one-of-a-kind history of life among the first ladies. Alive with anecdotes ranging from Eleanor Roosevelt’s fascinating political strategies to Jackie Kennedy’s tragic loss and the personal struggles of Pat Nixon, Upstairs at the White House is a rich account of a slice of American history that usually remains behind closed doors.
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There Are Worse Things I Could Do

by Adrienne Barbeau


A HILARIOUS, WISE, REVEALING ROMP THROUGH FIVE DECADES OF HOLLYWOOD!

 

“Wow!!! Adrienne, like Mame, has LIVED!!!! And like Candide, she emerges unscathed, as dear as she was when she began. But what a wild ride!!!”Bette Midler

Originally published in 2006, this L.A. Times bestseller by Tony-nominated actress, iconic “scream queen”, and vampyre thriller author Adrienne Barbeau is many things: a touching coming-of-age journal, an inspiring actor’s handbook on how to survive in the biz, and a witty Hollywood memoir—chronicling five decades of stage, screen, and romance.

There’s only one Adrienne Barbeau, as singular and irreplaceable as Marilyn, Meryl, or Hepburn—and as down-to-earth as any soccer mom (which she is). Only one Swamp Thing girlfriend, only one Ruthie the snake charmer, only one original Rizzo. No other voice in Hollywood can you imagine as Creepshow’s Billie growling, “Get out of the way, Henry, or I swear to God you’ll be wearing your balls for earrings.”

Twelve-year-old Barbeau entrusted her journal with a secret: she must become an actress. She set out with single-minded determination, succeeding on the strengths of an unsurpassed work ethic and discipline, unshakable commitment to the truth of her characters, a soul-stirring voice, a preternaturally perfect beauty, and her bawdy sense of humor—all on full display here!

Barbeau hilariously details her early years as a naif in New York, securing her first apartment with roommates: “One of the girls was an alcoholic…. The other had male friends who left money on the dresser on the nights I’d come home to find myself locked out of the bedroom.” Then getting her first job, as a barmaid: “My boss … is a ‘big man’ in New York—although not a member of the Mafia, they are good friends.” And, memorably, starring on Broadway in Grease. She warmly remembers her two hit television series (Maude and Carnivale), and spins tales of her many television and feature films (The Fog, Escape from New York, Cannonball Run, Swamp Thing, Back to School, Creepshow).

But unlike most showbiz biographies, Barbeau’s story doesn’t stop—or even slow down—at fifty, which finds our heroine newly in love, wandering the halls of the maternity ward a new mother (the only new mother on the floor with an AARP card), becoming a published author (of vampire thrillers!), and taking up trapeze-performance at seventy.

Always behind the scenes of Adrienne’s rise to iconic “scream queen” is the introspective girl, facing her fears to develop her concert singing career, searching for self-knowledge, the right guy, and happiness as a wife and mother with a very busy career—and always pushing the boundaries.

WHO WILL LIKE IT: Fans of Hollywood memoirs, young artists seeking the secrets to success, every starstruck male who was older than thirteen when Maude’s daughter Carol popped into our living rooms, every woman who could use a touch of the encouraging warmth of a friend, anybody who needs a rip-roaring good laugh— or fifty.

This book will make you laugh, cry, and just root for the skinny little girl with glasses and bushy hair who became a beautiful woman, mother, wife and a darned good actress.Electric Review

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Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero

by Michael Hingson


Faith. Trust. Triumph.

“I’m sorry,” the doctor said. “He is permanently and totally blind. There is nothing we can do for him.”

George and Sarah Hingson looked at each other, devastated. Their six-month-old son, Michael was a happy, strawberry blond baby boy, healthy and normal in every way except one. When the Hingsons switched on a light or made silly faces, Michael did not react. Ever. “My best suggestion is that you send him to a home for the blind,” the doctor continued. “He will never be able to do anything for himself.”

Forty-seven years later, a yellow Labrador retriever puppy was born in the whelping unit of Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California. The puppy’s name was Roselle. On September 11, 2001, she saved Michael’s life. This is Roselle’s story too.

—From the Introduction

Every moment in Michael Hingson’s and Roselle’s lives seemed to lead up to this day. When one of four hijacked planes flew into the World Trade Center’s north tower on September 11, 2001, Michael Hingson, a district sales manager for a data protection and network security systems company, was sitting down for a meeting. His guide dog, Roselle, was at his feet. Paired for twenty-one months, man and dog spent that time forging a bond of trust, much like police partners who trust their lives to each other.

Michael couldn’t see a thing, but he could hear the sounds of shattering glass, falling debris, and terrified people flooding around him and Roselle. However, Roselle sat calmly beside him. In that moment, Michael chose to trust Roselle’s judgment and not to panic. They were a team.

Thunder Dog is a story that will forever change your spirit and your perspective. It illuminates Hingson’s lifelong determination to achieve parity in a sighted world and how the rare trust between a man and his guide dog can inspire an unshakable faith in each one of us.

 

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Wild (Oprah's Book Club 2.0 Digital Edition): From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

by Cheryl Strayed


#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

Oprah's Book Club 2.0 selection: This special eBook edition of Cheryl Strayed’s national best seller, Wild, features exclusive content, including Oprah’s personal notes highlighted within the text, and a reading group guide. 

One of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, The Boston GlobeEntertainment Weekly, Vogue, St. Louis Dispatch 

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In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom

by Yeonmi Park et al


“I am most grateful for two things: that I was born in North Korea, and that I escaped from North Korea.”

Yeonmi Park has told the harrowing story of her escape from North Korea as a child many times, but never before has she revealed the most intimate and devastating details of the repressive society she was raised in and the enormous price she paid to escape.

Park’s family was loving and close-knit, but life in North Korea was brutal, practically medieval. Park would regularly go without food and was made to believe that, Kim Jong Il, the country’s dictator, could read her mind. After her father was imprisoned and tortured by the regime for trading on the black-market, a risk he took in order to provide for his wife and two young daughters, Yeonmi and her family were branded as criminals and forced to the cruel margins of North Korean society. With thirteen-year-old Park suffering from a botched appendectomy and weighing a mere sixty pounds, she and her mother were smuggled across the border into China.

I wasn’t dreaming of freedom when I escaped from North Korea. I didn’t even know what it meant to be free. All I knew was that if my family stayed behind, we would probably die—from starvation, from disease, from the inhuman conditions of a prison labor camp. The hunger had become unbearable; I was willing to risk my life for the promise of a bowl of rice. But there was more to our journey than our own survival. My mother and I were searching for my older sister, Eunmi, who had left for China a few days earlier and had not been heard from since.

Park knew the journey would be difficult, but could not have imagined the extent of the hardship to come. Those years in China cost Park her childhood, and nearly her life.  By the time she and her mother made their way to South Korea two years later, her father was dead and her sister was still missing. Before now, only her mother knew what really happened between the time they crossed the Yalu river into China and when they followed the stars through the frigid Gobi Desert to freedom. As she writes, “I convinced myself that a lot of what I had experienced never happened. I taught myself to forget the rest.”

In In Order to Live, Park shines a light not just into the darkest corners of life in North Korea, describing the deprivation and deception she endured and which millions of North Korean people continue to endure to this day, but also onto her own most painful and difficult memories. She tells with bravery and dignity for the first time the story of how she and her mother were betrayed and sold into sexual slavery in China and forced to suffer terrible psychological and physical hardship before they finally made their way to Seoul, South Korea—and to freedom.

Still in her early twenties, Yeonmi Park has lived through experiences that few people of any age will ever know—and most people would never recover from. Park confronts her past with a startling resilience, refusing to be defeated or defined by the circumstances of her former life in North Korea and China. In spite of everything, she has never stopped being proud of where she is from, and never stopped striving for a better life. Indeed, today she is a human rights activist working determinedly to bring attention to the oppression taking place in her home country.

Park’s testimony is rare, edifying, and terribly important, and the story she tells in In Order to Live is heartbreaking and unimaginable, but never without hope. Her voice is riveting and dignified. This is the human spirit at its most indomitable.

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There and Back There Again

by Andrew Alsup

Introduction

Welcome to my book, There and Back There Again by Andy Alsup ~ Village Savant.

My story has a few themes:
- technology

- music

- culture

- Seattle

- religion

- Aspergers

- schizophrenia

- psychic musings

I write a lot about my daily experience. It primarily revolves around my ongoing conversation with a variety of voices I hear in my head. I call this experience a couple of things. It is psychic. It is a network of identities. It is public. It is hilarious.

This is an introduction to give you an idea what I’m talking about with the conflict oriented stuff I write, and what I call chipmunk.

I hear voices. They are best described as auditory hallucinations. Sometimes they’re identifiable. Sometimes they’re words in my thoughts that don’t have sound, they don’t belong there, and they’re clearly someone else’s words.

I have called them a psychic phenomenon. I believe these are real people. They sometimes identify themselves. Sometimes I can hear who they are. Almost always they lie about their identity. They are always consistently wrong about people I know. They attempt to be identified as these people for a variety of reasons, but mostly to try to establish credibility because they have none and to attempt to manipulate.

I always tell the voices I will not accept them trying to do that.

I call the voices chipmunk because they sound squeaky, clown car because it’s one after another, and douchebag because they’re intrusive and self satisfied losers.

The reality is that the attempts to manipulate are trying to control me or lure me into doing something for reasons they are never honest about.

The voices are abusive, hostile, immature, and nonstop nonsense. They are factually wrong about everything. They lie about their motives, their information, their coordination with each other, and people that I know are not how the voices describe them.

The voices constantly attempt to indicate they are interfering in my life or are people I would want to have input from. They do this for a variety of reasons but it comes down to stupidity and probably people just wasting their time who have nothing better to do.

Sometimes they describe this as entertainment. They say they watch me either through their computer, or that they experience the same phenomenon I do in their head, and they see me remotely. I don’t know what that is like. I do sometimes see people doing things, and I can sometimes hear their thoughts.

I have the ability to give them words I make them say. I can also give them thoughts, or make them do things.

I sometimes smell or feel things that are also psychic.

The voices are real people behaving badly.

~~~

sa·vant
saˈvän(t),säˈvän(t)
noun
a learned person, especially a distinguished scientist.
synonyms: intellectual, scholar, sage, philosopher, thinker, wise/learned person
~~
People have asked me about the choice of the word savant for my Facebook page.

I'll put it this way. Genius doesn't cover it. I'm beyond that.

Savant indicates epic level wisdom in an area that also accompanies a deficit.
My savant is people.

I can see your soul at a glance. I can write and speak words on every day topics that make you stand with applause. I can talk you under the table with logic. I can explain the universe in a few words. I can make science deliciously funny, 12 hours in the brisket lab with a pbr. I have done it all with technology, and I can take you into the future. I am fluent in music and film that people resonate with, but can't remember why. I think things that happen because I think them. I can change your words in your mouth. I know what to tell you to freak you out or calm you. I can describe you to yourself in ways you know but never knew.

I'll need your help to meet a girl.

~ Andy ~ Village Savant ~ The Smartest Guy On the Planet
https://www.facebook.com/villagesavant/

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Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal

by Conor Grennan


“Funny, touching, tragic….A remarkable tale of corruption, child trafficking and civil war in a far away land—and one man’s extraordinary quest to reunite lost Nepalese children with their parents.”
—Neil White, author of In the Sanctuary of Outcasts

Little Princes is the epic story of Conor Grennan’s battle to save the lost children of Nepal and how he found himself in the process. Part Three Cups of Tea, part Into Thin Air, Grennan’s remarkable memoir is at once gripping and inspirational, and it carries us deep into an exotic world that most readers know little about.

 

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This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare

by Gabourey Sidibe


“Gabourey Sidibe’s delightful memoir offers a memorable look into what happens when a black girl’s dreams come true, from the inside out. Sidibe is fearless, incredibly funny, and gorgeously open. What she offers of herself in these pages is a gift.”—Roxane Gay
 
In This Is Just My Face, Gabourey Sidibe—the “gives-zero-effs queen of Hollywood AND perceptive best friend in your head” (Lena Dunham)—paints her unconventional rise to fame with full-throttle honesty. Sidibe tells engrossing, inspiring stories about her Bed-Stuy/Harlem/Senegalese family life with a polygamous father and a gifted mother who supports her two children by singing in the subway, her first job as a phone sex “talker,” and her Oscar-nominated role in Lee Daniels’s Precious.
            Sidibe’s memoir hits hard with self-knowing dispatches on friendship, celebrity, weight, haters, fashion, race, and depression (“Sidibe’s heartfelt exploration of insecurity . . . makes us love her” —O Magazine). Irreverent, hilarious, and untraditional, This Is Just My Face will resonate with anyone who has ever felt different, and with anyone who has ever felt inspired to make a dream come true.

“This memoir [is] a book you will want to give your daughter.” —New York Times 

“Sidibe’s hilarious Twitter account is no fluke—the Empire actress’s memoir about growing up in New York City and finding unexpected fame in Hollywood is sharp, witty, and wonderfully substantive.” Entertainment Weekly

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A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story

by Linda Sue Park


The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

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The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border

by Francisco Cantú


The instant New York Times bestseller, "A must-read for anyone who thinks 'build a wall' is the answer to anything." --Esquire

For Francisco Cantú, the border is in the blood: his mother, a park ranger and daughter of a Mexican immigrant, raised him in the scrublands of the Southwest. Haunted by the landscape of his youth, Cantú joins the Border Patrol. He and his partners are posted to remote regions crisscrossed by drug routes and smuggling corridors, where they learn to track other humans under blistering sun and through frigid nights. They haul in the dead and deliver to detention those they find alive. Cantú tries not to think where the stories go from there.

Plagued by nightmares, he abandons the Patrol for civilian life. But when an immigrant friend travels to Mexico to visit his dying mother and does not return, Cantú discovers that the border has migrated with him, and now he must know the whole story. Searing and unforgettable, The Line Becomes a River goes behind the headlines, making urgent and personal the violence our border wreaks on both sides of the line

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Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology

by Leah Remini et al


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An eye-opening, no-holds-barred memoir about life in the Church of Scientology, now with a new afterword by the author—the outspoken actress and star of the A&E docuseries Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

Leah Remini has never been the type to hold her tongue. That willingness to speak her mind, stand her ground, and rattle the occasional cage has enabled this tough-talking girl from Brooklyn to forge an enduring and successful career in Hollywood. But being a troublemaker has come at a cost.

That was never more evident than in 2013, when Remini loudly and publicly broke with the Church of Scientology. Now, in this frank, funny, poignant memoir, the former King of Queens star opens up about that experience for the first time, revealing the in-depth details of her painful split with the church and its controversial practices.

Indoctrinated into the church as a child while living with her mother and sister in New York, Remini eventually moved to Los Angeles, where her dreams of becoming an actress and advancing Scientology’s causes grew increasingly intertwined. As an adult, she found the success she’d worked so hard for, and with it a prominent place in the hierarchy of celebrity Scientologists alongside people such as Tom Cruise, Scientology’s most high-profile adherent. Remini spent time directly with Cruise and was included among the guests at his 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes.

But when she began to raise questions about some of the church’s actions, she found herself a target. In the end, she was declared by the church to be a threat to their organization and therefore a “Suppressive Person,” and as a result, all of her fellow parishioners—including members of her own family—were told to disconnect from her. Forever.

Bold, brash, and bravely confessional, Troublemaker chronicles Leah Remini’s remarkable journey toward emotional and spiritual freedom, both for herself and for her family. This is a memoir designed to reveal the hard-won truths of a life lived honestly—from an author unafraid of the consequences.

Praise for Troublemaker

“An aggressively honest memoir . . . Troublemaker is the most raw and revealing Scientology memoir to date.”Entertainment Weekly

“Leah’s story is a juicy, inside-Hollywood read, but it’s more than that. It’s a moving story about the value of questioning authority and how one woman survived a profound crisis of faith.”People

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Educated: A Memoir

by Tara Westover


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times

“A coming-of-age memoir reminiscent of The Glass Castle.”O: The Oprah Magazine

“Tara Westover is living proof that some people are flat-out, boots-always-laced-up indomitable.”USA Today

“The extremity of Westover’s upbringing emerges gradually through her telling, which only makes the telling more alluring and harrowing.”—The New York Times Book Review


Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father’s junkyard.

Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent.

When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing one’s closest ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

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Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

by Ashlee Vance


In Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance provides the first inside look into the extraordinary life and times of Silicon Valley's most audacious entrepreneur. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family and friends, the book traces the entrepreneur's journey from a rough upbringing in South Africa to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent over 40 hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to 300 people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk's world-changing companies: PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity, and to characterize a man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation while making plenty of enemies along the way.

        Vance uses Musk's story to explore one of the pressing questions of our time: can the nation of inventors and creators which led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk--one of the most unusual and striking figures in American business history--is a contemporary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science-fiction fantasy.

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