November Reading Challenge

Become inspired by reading a memoir this month! 

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The beauty in breaking : a memoir

The beauty in breaking : a memoir

Harper, Michele, author.
2020

"A series of connected personal stories drawn from the author's life and work as an ER doctor that explores how we are all broken--physically, emotionally, and psychically--and what we can do to heal ourselves as we try to heal others."-- Provided by publisher.

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The book of Rosy : a mother's story of separation at the border

The book of Rosy : a mother's story of separation at the border

Pablo Cruz, Rosayra, author
2020

"From a mother whose children were taken from her at the U.S. border by the American government in 2018 and another mother who helped reunite the family, a ... story about the immigration odyssey, family separation and reunification, and the power of individuals to band together to overcome even the most cruel and unjust circumstances"-- Provided by publisher.

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The chiffon trenches : a memoir

The chiffon trenches : a memoir

Talley, André Leon.
2020

"Discover what truly happens behind the scenes in the world of high fashion in this detailed, storied memoir from style icon, and former Vogue creative director André Leon Talley. During André Leon Talley's first magazine job assisting Andy Warhol at Interview, a fateful meeting with Karl Lagerfeld began a decade's long friendship with the enigmatic, often caustic designer. Propelled into the upper echelons by his knowledge and adoration of fashion, Talley moved to Paris as bureau chief of John Fairchild's Women's Wear Daily, befriending fashion's most important designers. But as Talley made friends, he also made enemies. A racially tinged encounter with a member of the house of Yves Saint Laurent sent him back to New York and into the offices of Vogue under Grace Mirabella. There, he developed an unlikely but intimate friendship with Anna Wintour, and as she rose to the top of Vogue's masthead, Talley became the most influential man in fashion. The Chiffon Trenches is a candid look at the who's who of the last fifty years of fashion, and proof that fact is always fascinatingly more devilish than fiction. André Leon Talley's engaging memoir tells the story of how he not only survived but thrived--despite racism, illicit rumors, and all the other challenges of this notoriously cutthroat industry--to become one of the most legendary voices and faces in fashion"-- Provided by publisher.

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Eat a peach : a memoir

Eat a peach : a memoir

Chang, David, 1977- author
2020

"The chef behind Momofuku and star of Netflix's Ugly Delicious gets uncomfortably real in his debut memoir"-- Provided by publisher.

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Empty : a memoir

Empty : a memoir

Burton, Susan, 1973- author.
2020

For almost thirty years, Susan Burton has hidden her obsession with food and the secret life of compulsive eating and starving that dominated her adolescence. This is the relentlessly honest, fiercely intelligent story of living with both anorexia and binge-eating disorder, moving past her shame, and learning to tell her secret. In tart, soulful prose Burton strikes a blow for the importance of this kind of story; brings to life an indelible cast of characters; and tells an exhilarating story of longing, compulsion and hard-earned self-revelation.

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Girl decoded

Girl decoded

El Kaliouby, Rana, author.
2020

In a captivating narrative into the research and developments of Emotion AI, Affectiva founder Rana el Kaliouby shows that we are only scratching the surface of our computers' full potential. Her personal experience is what helped drive her research in bringing emotional intelligence to our machines. This book brings together el Kaliouby's personal story as a Muslim woman in a coding universe dominated by men, with her pioneering efforts to bring the new universe of Emotion AI into our lives, through her company's work in the automotive industry, health and wellness, and robotics.

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H is for Hawk

H is for Hawk

Macdonald, Helen, 1970- author
2015


Hell and other destinations : a 21st century memoir

Hell and other destinations : a 21st century memoir

Albright, Madeleine Korbel, author
2020

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright reflects on the final stages of one's career, and working productively into your later decades in this revealing, funny, and inspiring memoir. For nearly twenty years, Albright has been in constant motion, navigating half a dozen professions, clashing with presidents and prime ministers, learning every day. Since leaving the State Department, she has blazed her own trail - and given voice to millions who yearn for respect, regardless of gender, background, or age.

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Hollywood Park : a memoir

Hollywood Park : a memoir

Jollett, Mikel, author
2020

Mikel Jollett commences his story in an experimental commune in California, which later morphed into the Church of Synanon, one of the country's most infamous and dangerous cults. Per the leader's mandate, all children, including Jollett and his older brother, were separated from their parents when they were six months old, and handed over to the cult's "School." This book is told at first through the limited perspective of a child, and then broadens as Jollett begins to understand the world around him. Although Mikel Jollett's story is filled with heartbreak, it is ultimately an unforgettable portrayal of love at its fiercest and most loyal.

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Men we reaped : a memoir

Men we reaped : a memoir

Ward, Jesmyn, author
2013


Open book

Open book

Simpson, Jessica, 1980- author
2020


Recollections of my nonexistence : a memoir

Recollections of my nonexistence : a memoir

Solnit, Rebecca, author
2020

"In this memoir, celebrated author, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit relates how she found her voice as a writer and as a feminist during the 1980s in San Francisco, in an atmosphere of gender violence on the street and the exclusion of women from cultural arenas. Then in her early twenties, Solnit tells of being poor, hopeful, and adrift in the city, which became her great teacher; of the small apartment she found, which became a home in which to metamorphosize; of how punk rock gave form and voice to her own fury and explosive energy. Solnit explores the way some men attempted to erase her, to shut her up, keep her out and challenge her credibility, as well as contemplating other kinds of nonexistence of groups for gender, ethnicity, and orientation. Her book ends with what liberated her as a person and as a writer--books themselves, the gay men and community who presented a new model of what else gender, family, and celebration could be, and her awakening to the spacious landscapes of the American west, which taught her how to write in the way she has ever since. Recollections of My Nonexistence connects Solnit's hugely popular polemical feminist writings of the last decade with the more lyrical, personal writing of her beloved earlier books A Field Guide to Getting Lost and The Faraway Nearby. This book is for everyone who has endured erasure and dismissal while coming of age in male-dominated spaces"-- Provided by publisher.

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The rural diaries : love, livestock, and big life lessons down on Mischief Farm

The rural diaries : love, livestock, and big life lessons down on Mischief Farm

Morgan, Hilarie Burton, 1982- author
2020

The beloved actress Hilarie Burton tells the inspiring story of leaving Hollywood for a radically different kind of life in upstate New York with her husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Burton chronicles her inspiring story of farm life and looks back at her transition from urban to country living. Burton's charisma, wide eyed attitude, and fortitude propels this moving story of transformation and self-discovery. Burton honours the values and lifestyle of small-town America and offers inspiration for anyone longing to embark on their own unconventional journey.

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Stray : a memoir

Stray : a memoir

Danler, Stephanie, author
2020

After selling her first novel, Stephanie Danler knew she should be happy. Instead, she found herself driven to face the difficult past she'd left behind a decade ago: a mother disabled by years of alcoholism and a father who abandoned the family when she was three. Danler works toward answers, uncovering hard truths about her parents and herself as she explores whether it's possible to change the course of her history.

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There I am : the journey from hopelessness to healing : a memoir

There I am : the journey from hopelessness to healing : a memoir

Lindsey, Ruthie.
2020

"At seventeen years old, Ruthie Lindsey is hit by an ambulance near her home in rural Louisiana. She's given a five percent chance of survival and one percent chance of walking again. One month later after a spinal fusion surgery, Ruthie defies the odds, leaving the hospital on her own two feet. Just a few years later, newly married and living in Nashville, Ruthie begins to experience debilitating pain. Her case confounds doctors and after numerous rounds of testing, imaging, and treatment, they prescribe narcotic painkillers--lots of them. Ruthie has become bedridden, dependent on painkillers, and hopeless, when an X-ray reveals that the wire used to fuse her spine is piercing her brain stem. Without another staggeringly expensive experimental surgery, she could well become paralyzed, but in many ways, she already is. Ruthie goes into the hospital in chronic pain, dependent on prescription painkillers, and leaves that way. She can still walk, but has no idea where she's going. As her life unravels, Ruthie returns home to Louisiana and sets out on a journey to learn joy again. She trades fentanyl for sunsets and morphine for wildflowers, weaning herself off of the drugs and beginning the process of healing--of coming home to her body. Raw and redemptive, There I Am is not just about the magic of optimism, but the work of it. Ruthie's extraordinary memoir urges us to unlearn the stories of brokenness that we tell ourselves and embrace the wholeness, joy, and healing that lives inside all of us." --Amazon.com.

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A very punchable face : a memoir

A very punchable face : a memoir

Jost, Colin, 1982- author
2020

"Saturday Night Live head writer and Weekend Update co-anchor, Colin Jost, has six sets of stitches on his face alone. He's been punched in at least four different sketches on Saturday Night Live, including once by his boss, Lorne Michaels. But if there's one trait that makes someone well suited to comedy, it's being able to take a punch-metaphorically and, occasionally, physically. From growing up as an overweight kid in a family of firefighters on Staten Island to commuting three hours a day to high school and "seeing the sights" (like watching a Russian woman throw a stroller off the back of a ferry) to attending Harvard while Facebook was created (and choosing comedy instead!), Colin shares how he has navigated the world like a "slightly smarter Forrest Gump." You'll also discover things about Colin that will surprise and confuse you. You'll go behind the scenes at SNL (where he's written some of the most iconic sketches and characters of the past fifteen years) and Weekend Update (where's he's been "the white guy next to Leslie Jones.") And you'll experience the life of a touring stand-up comedian-from performing in rural cafeterias at noon to opening for Dave Chappelle at Radio City Music Hall. For every accomplishment (hosting the Emmys), there is a setback (hosting the Emmys). And for every absurd moment (watching paramedics give CPR to a raccoon), there is an honest, emotional one (recounting his mother's experience on the scene of the Twin Towers' collapse on 9/11.) A Very Punchable Face reveals the brilliant mind behind some of the dumbest sketches on television and lays bare the heart and humor of a hardworking guy-with a face you can't help but want to punch"-- Provided by publisher.

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Wine girl : the obstacles, humiliations, and triumphs of America's youngest sommelier

Wine girl : the obstacles, humiliations, and triumphs of America's youngest sommelier

James, Victoria (Sommelier), author
2020

At just twenty-one, Victoria James became the country's youngest sommelier at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Exhilarating and inspiring, this is the memoir of a young woman breaking free from an abusive and traumatic childhood on her own terms; an ethnography of the glittering, high-octane, but notoriously corrosive restaurant industry; and above all, a love letter to the restorative and life-changing effects of good wine and good hospitality.

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