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Memoir (RD 80 and 90)

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Blue like jazz : nonreligious thoughts on Christian spirituality

Miller, Donald

T. Nelson 2003

Presents a collection of essays that expore the author's experiences and opinions on Christian spirituality.

Bossypants

Fey, Tina

Back Bay Books/Little, Brown 2012

From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon, comedian Tina Fey reveals all, and proves that you're no one until someone calls you bossy.

Breaking through

Jimenez, Francisco

Houghton Mifflin 2001

Having come from Mexico to California ten years ago, fourteen-year-old Francisco is still working in the fields but fighting to improve his life and complete his education.

A child called "it" : an abused child's journey from victim to victor

Pelzer, David J

Health Communications 1995

[This book] is [an] account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played torturous, unpredictable games - games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother's games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an "it." -Back cover.

Crazy enough : a memoir

Large, Storm

Free Press 2012

The popular indie rock performer describes her battle against the hereditary mental illness that decimated her mother's health and prompted the author to engage in a self-destructive downward spiral before discovering her musical talent.

Dirty secret : a daughter comes clean about her mother's compulsive hoarding

Sholl, Jessie

Gallery Books 2011

To be the child of a compulsive hoarder is to live in a permanent state of unease. Because if your mother is one of those crazy junk-house people, then what does that make you?

Down these mean streets

Thomas, Piri

Vintage Books 1997

The author recalls his early experiences with poverty and discrimination, his involvement with drugs and gangs, and his prison sentence for armed robbery which led to his rehabilitation and work with street gangs and drug addicts.

Girl, interrupted

Kaysen, Susanna

Vintage Books 1994

In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she'd never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele--Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles--as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary. Kaysen's memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers. It is a brilliant evocation of a "parallel universe" set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the late sixties. Girl, Interrupted is a clear-sighted, unflinching document that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of sane and insane, mental illness and recovery.

Grace after midnight : a memoir

Pearson, Felicia Ritz, David

Grand Central Pub. 2009

While Felicia is a brilliant actor in a truly chilling role in The Wire, what's most remarkable about "Snoop" is what she has overcome in her life. Snoop was born a three-pound cross-eyed crack baby in East Baltimore. Those streets are among the toughest in the world, but Snoop was tougher. The runt of the ghetto showed an early aptitude for drug slinging and violence and thrived as a baby gangsta until she landed in prison after killing a woman in self-defense. There she rebelled violently against the system, and it was only through the intervention of her mentor that she turned her life around. Snoop was discovered in a nightclub and quickly recruited to be one of television's most frightening and intriguing villains. Snoop's is the story of a woman who defied traditional conventions on the hardest streets in America.--From publisher description.

I am Malala : the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban

Yousafzai, Malala Lamb, Christina

2013

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday October 9, 2012, she almost paid the ultimate price. When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. This is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. This story will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world. -- Publisher's description.

I am Nujood, age 10 and divorced

Ali, Nujood, Minoui, Delphine

Three Rivers Press 2010

The true story of the remarkable 10-year-old Yemeni girl who dared to defy her country's most archaic traditions by fighting for a divorce.

I am potential : eight lessons on living, loving, and reaching your dreams

Hughes, Patrick Henry Hughes, Patrick John, Stamford, Bryant A

Da Capo Press 2008

Patrick Henry Hughes was born with a rare genetic disorder that left him without eyes and physically disabled. But he was also blessed with exceptional musical talent.

I love yous are for white people : a memoir

Su, Lac

Harper Perennial 2009

Heart-wrenching and ultimately uplifting, this stirring memoir chronicles one Asian-American immigrant's struggle to find himself--and to transcend the dangers of gang life in Los Angeles.

Life is so good

Dawson, George Glaubman, Richard

Penguin Books 2001

What makes a happy person, a happy life? In this remarkable book, George Dawson, a 101-year-old man who learned to read when he was 98, reflects on the philosophy he learned from his father--a belief that "life is so good"--as he offers valuable lessons in living and a fresh, firsthand view of America during the twentieth century. Born in 1898 in Marshall, Texas, the grandson of slaves, George Dawson tells how his father, despite hardships, always believed in seeing the richness in life and trained his children to do the same. As a boy, George had to go to work to help support the family, and so he did not attend school or learn to read; yet he describes how he learned to read the world and survive in it. "We make our own way," he says. "Trouble is out there, but a person can leave it alone and just do the right thing. Then, if trouble still finds you, you've done the best you can." At ninety-eight, George decided to learn to read and enrolled in a literacy program, becoming a celebrated student. "Every morning I get up and I wonder what I might learn that day. You just never know." In Life is so good, he shares wisdom on everything from parenting ("With children, you got to raise them. Some parents these days are growing children, not raising them") to attitude ("People worry too much. Life is good, just the way it is"). Richard Glaubman captures George Dawson's irresistible voice and view of the world, offering insights into humanity, history, and America--eyewitness impressions of segregation, changes in human relations, the wars and the presidents, inventions such as the car and the airplane, and much, much more. And throughout his story, George Dawson inspires the reader with the message that sustained him happily for more than a century: "Life is so good. I do believe it's getting better."

A long way gone : memoirs of a boy soldier

Beah, Ishmael

Farrar, Straus & Giroux 2008

This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived. Ishmael Beah, now 25 years old, tells how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts.--From publisher description.

Longshot : the adventures of a deaf fundamentalist Mormon kid and his journey to the NBA

Allred, Lance

HarperOne 2009

The NBA's first legally deaf player recounts his childhood on a polygamist compound in Montana, the difficulties he faced playing collegiate basketball, his brief time playing professionally in Europe, and the success that brought him to the NBA.

Look me in the eye : my life with Asperger's

Robison, John Elder

Three Rivers Press 2008

Memoir of John Robison whose odd behavior was explained when he was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger's syndrome when he was forty and the change that made in his life.

The naked truth : young, beautiful, and (HIV) positive

Brown, Marvelyn, Martin, Courtney E

Amistad 2008

At nineteen, Marvelyn Brown was lying in a stark white hospital bed at Tennessee Christian Medical Center, feeling hopeless. A former top track and basketball athlete, she was in the best shape of her life, but she was battling a sudden illness in the intensive care unit. Doctors had no idea what was going on. It never occurred to Brown that she might be HIV positive. Having unprotected sex with her Prince Charming had set into swift motion a set of circumstances that not only landed her in the fight of her life, but also alienated her from her community. Rather than give up, however, Brown found a reason to fight and a reason to live.

Open : an autobiography

Agassi, Andre

A. Knopf 2009

"He is one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court- but from early childhood, Andre Agassi hated the game. Coaxed to swing a racket while still in the crib, forced to hit hundreds of balls a day while still in grade school, Agassi resented the constant pressure even as he drove himself to become a prodigy, an inner conflict that would define him. Now, in his beautiful, haunting autobiography, Agassi tells the story of a life framed by such conflicts, a life balanced precariously between self-destruction and perfectionism." -- Book Jacket

The other Wes Moore : one name, two fates

Moore, Wes

Spiegel & Grau 2010

Two kids with the same name were born blocks apart in the same decaying city within a few years of each other. One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, army officer, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison. Told in alternating dramatic narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, this is the story of two boys and the journey of a generation trying to find their way in a hostile world.

She's not there : a life in two genders

Boylan, Jennifer Finney

Broadway Books 2004

The exuberant memoir of a man named James who became a woman named Jenny.

The slave across the street : the true story of how an American teen survived the world of human trafficking

Flores, Theresa L, Wells, PeggySue

Ampelon Pub. 2010

While more and more people each day become aware of the dangerous world of human trafficking, many people in the U.S. believe this is something that happens to foreign women men and children not something that happens to their own children and neighbors. They couldn't be more wrong. --publisher.

The tattoo chronicles

Von D, Kat Bark, Sandra

Collins Design 2010

An illustrated diary offering an intimate look at a crucial year in the personal and professional life of Kat Von D, the charismatic, no-holds-barred tattooer and star of LA Ink. When Kat does a tattoo, she writes an entry about it in her journal, reflecting not only on the significance of the tattoo for the person who is receiving it but also on how the experience of creating this tattoo affects her personally. In these entries--some poignant, some hilarious, some confessional--Kat lays it on the line about how doing these tattoos influences her life and art, including her feelings about her fame, family, love life, friends, and fans. This graphically compelling diary is full of Kat's images, from sketches to the finished works, and candid shots of her unusual personal collections.--From publisher description.

War child : a child soldier's story

Jal, Emmanuel, Davies, Megan Lloyd

St. Martin's Press 2009

In the mid-1980s, Emmanuel Jal was a seven-year-old Sudanese boy, living in a small village. But as Sudan's civil war moved closer, his family moved again and again, seeking peace. Then, one terrible day, Jal was separated from his mother, and later learned she had been killed; his father Simon rose to become a powerful commander in the Christian Sudanese Liberation Army, fighting for the freedom of Sudan. Soon, Jal was conscripted into that army, one of 10,000 child soldiers, and fought through two separate civil wars over nearly a decade. Remarkably, he survived, and was adopted by a British aid worker, beginning the journey that would lead him to music: he recorded and released his own album, including the number one hip-hop single in Kenya, and has gone on to perform with international music stars, and to use his fame to help children like him.--From publisher description.

Warriors don't cry : a searing memoir of the battle to integrate Little Rock's Central High

Beals, Melba

Washington Square Press 1995

In 1957 Melba Pattillo turned sixteen. That was also the year she became a warrior on the front lines of a civil rights firestorm. Following the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board Education, she was one of nine teenagers chosen to integrate Little Rock's Central High School. This is her remarkable story. You will listen to the cruel taunts of her schoolmates and their parents. You will run with her from the threat of a lynch mob's rope. You will share her terror as she dodges lighted sticks of dynamite, and her pain as she washes away the acid sprayed into her eyes. But most of all you will share Melba's dignity and courage as she refuses to back down.

When broken glass floats : growing up under the Khmer Rouge

Him, Chanrithy

W.W. Norton 2001

A survivor of the Cambodian genocide recounts a childhood in Cambodia, where rudimentary labor camps filled with death and illness were the norm and modern technology, such as cars and electricity, no longer existed.

Wild : from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Strayed, Cheryl

Alfred A. Knopf 2012

A powerful, blazingly honest, inspiring memoir: the story of a 1,100 mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe--and built her back up again.