Welcome to our series exploring some of the best books of the year. This post features a broad mix of biographies, autobiographies, essays and memoirs from world famous figures to lesser-known individuals with captivating stories to tell. If the selections in this blog post fail to strike a cord, try our Give 3 Get 3 service to receive more personalized recommendations.
Traces the author’s experiences as a child born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, describing her participation in her family’s paranoid stockpiling activities and her resolve to educate herself well enough to earn an acceptance into a prestigious university and the unfamiliar world beyond.
An intimate memoir by the former First Lady chronicles the experiences that have shaped her remarkable life, from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago through her setbacks and achievements in the White House.
During Smarsh’s turbulent childhood in Kansas in the ’80s and ’90s, the forces of cyclical poverty and the country’s changing economic policies solidified her family’s place among the working poor. Her personal history affirms the corrosive impact intergenerational poverty can have on individuals, families, and communities. Combining memoir with powerful analysis and cultural commentary, this is an uncompromising look at class, identity, and the particular perils of having less in a country known for its excess.
Presents a previously unpublished work that illuminates the horror and injustices of slavery in the true story of one of the last known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade, Cudjo Lewis, who was abducted from Africa on the last “Black Cargo” ship to arrive in the United States.
A personal narrative that illuminates national failures, Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable, an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family that begins with a confusing childhood—and continues through twenty-five years of haunting implosions and long reverberations.
A history of the century-old personality test conceived by a mother-and-daughter fiction-writing duo with no formal psychology training argues that their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator has been widely adopted in spite of a pervasive inability to validate its results.
David Sedaris returns with his most deeply personal and darkly hilarious book. If you’ve ever laughed your way through David Sedaris’s cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you’re getting with “Calypso.” You’d be wrong.
When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And life at the Sea Section, as he names the vacation home, is exactly as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it’s impossible to take a vacation from yourself.
Edward Gorey’s wickedly funny and deliciously sinister little books have influenced our culture in innumerable ways, from the works of Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman to Lemony Snicket. Some even call him the Grandfather of Goth. But who was this man, who lived with over twenty thousand books and six cats, who roomed with Frank O’Hara at Harvard, and was known–in the late 1940s, no less–to traipse around in full-length fur coats, clanking bracelets, and an Edwardian beard? He published over a hundred books and illustrated works by Samuel Beckett, T.S. Eliot, Edward Lear, John Updike, Charles Dickens, Hilaire Belloc, Muriel Spark, Bram Stoker, Gilbert & Sullivan, and others. At the same time, he was a deeply complicated and conflicted individual, a man whose art reflected his obsessions with the disquieting and the darkly hilarious.