Staff Picks - Biography

Created on April 23, 2021, 12:28 pm

Last Updated May 31, 2021, 9:17 am

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Reminiscent of get rich quick schemes, Paula searches for happiness with new adventures including dance lessons, family movie day, and volunteering. Using a combination of wit and honesty, Paula left me laughing, cringing, and hoping the search for happiness never ends. - Sarah C
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For Ibtihaj Muhammad to become the first Muslim-American woman to medal at the Olympics it took skill & practice--but she also had to fight to find money to pay for her competitions & to find her place in a sometimes unfriendly sports world. Her story's one of perseverance! - Nico P
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In this timely memoir, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas details his life as an undocumented citizen and humanizes his struggle to belong. He raises an often overlooked issue - the reason for migration in the first place. - Alexandra S
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Caitlin seeks to understand our cultural fear of death. Working at a crematory and attending mortuary school, she describes the death industry practices and cultural norms that often leave the bereaved with little control of and far removed from the death process. - Sarah C
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An incredibly moving memoir of growing up in poverty that is both heartbreaking and awe-inspiring. The author's unbreakable spirit, intelligence, wit and family bonds result in a mostly happy ending in spite of some astonishing odds. - Patricia W
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Through well-written short essays, the author shares stories of his time working on an ambulance in Queens in the late 1960s. The author's writing style is direct, the result of which is the reader seeing and feeling the calls along with the author. - Sarah D
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Murphy has traversed the nation numerous times and spent miles observing and pondering trucking, and America's reality and legend. Coupled with his stories of long drives and difficult customers, the result is a humorous and engaging book with surprising weight. - Jennie R
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In this deeply personal graphic memoir, Forney chronicles her experience as a woman with bipolar disorder, as well as her discovery of other artists and writers with mood disorders. - Katelyn A
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This heartfelt and nostalgic memoir from two former first daughters offers decades of personal moments of their lives in the public eye and their bond as sisters. It is especially enjoyable on audio. - Alexandra S
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Do you have what it takes to become a Secret Service agent? You might have mundane days guarding a birthday cake for a head of state. Or more exciting days scanning crowds, ready to defend the President with your life. - Anne W.
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Fleming’s in-depth look at Russia’s last Tzar and his family excels at placing the revolution in context, comparing life inside the palace to the experience of the majority of Russians. - Jennifer R.
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When Sandra was 10, her refugee camp was attacked. She survived the massacre, but 166 people, including her little sister didn't. A moving and powerful memoir of a young woman recovering from trauma and becoming an activist for other refugees and survivors. - Jennifer R.
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It’s the human condition to search for one’s place and purpose. This memoir follows Hamilton’s search through kitchens all over the world, in a constant quest for the sense of family she had in childhood. - Megan B.
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If you are a fan of books of personal essays, you should check this one out. Scaachi Koul is funny and insightful and this collection will keep you reading until you are disappointed it is over. - Michelle M.
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When Laurie Hernandez stood on the podium at the Summer Olympic Games, years of practice, injury, competition, and sacrifice went into getting her there—but her love of gymnastics kept her smiling through it all. A charming and fun memoir. - Nico P.
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This true and tragic tale intertwines the personal story of two brothers kidnapped from their home with fascinating glimpses into Virginia history, and the history and world of circuses and sideshows. - Sarah D.
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Bui’s painful & honest graphic memoir recounts her family’s upheaval & survival in pre- and post-war Vietnam, & their later transculturation and struggle to survive as emigres to America. - Stephen H.
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In this heart-wrenching memoir, the mother of one of the Columbine shooters evaluates her son’s role in the tragedy, and how it might have been prevented. A well-researched, reasoned, and emotional read, this book will challenge your beliefs and change your perspective. - Tracy K.
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