Finding Me by Viola DavisWhat it is: a candid and hopeful memoir from revered actress Viola Davis, the first Black performer to achieve the triple crown of acting by winning an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, and a Tony Award.
Topics include: Davis' impoverished childhood in Rhode Island spent coping with her alcoholic father's abuse; honing her craft at the prestigious Juilliard School; career triumphs and setbacks.
Try this next: For another memoir written by an iconic Black actress of stage and screen, check out Just as I Am by Cicely Tyson.
Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life by Delia EphronHow it began: Shortly after losing both her husband, Jerry, and her sister, writer Nora Ephron, to cancer, You've Got Mail screenwriter Delia Ephron found a second chance at love with Peter, a man from her past.
What happened next: After receiving her own cancer diagnosis, Delia navigated the ups and downs of treatment with a doting Peter by her side (the pair eventually married in her hospital room).
Book buzz: Ephron's intimate memoir was named a "Most Anticipated Book of 2022" by TIME and a "Best Memoir of 2022" by Marie Claire.
Unmasked: My Life Solving America's Cold Cases by Paul Holes with Robin Gaby Fisher What it's about: cold case investigator Paul Holes' involvement in high-profile cases, including the capture of the Golden State Killer.
What's inside: a sobering glimpse of the psychological toll of investigative work; empathetic profiles of cold-case victims and survivors; insightful details on lesser-known crimes.
For fans of: I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara.
Constructing a Nervous System by Margo JeffersonWhat it is: an impressionistic memoir written by Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and author Margo Jefferson (Negroland).
Featuring: moving tributes to Black creatives who have shaped Jefferson's sense of self, including Ella Fitzgerald, Hattie McDaniel, and Josephine Baker.
Reviewers say: "This gorgeous memoir elevates the form to new heights" (Publishers Weekly).
Easy Beauty by Chloé Cooper JonesHow it begins: "I am in a bar in Brooklyn, listening to two men, my friends, discuss whether my life is worth living."
What it's about: philosophy professor Chloé Cooper Jones' experiences living with sacral agenesis, a congenital spinal condition that causes her immense physical and emotional pain.
Read it for: Jones' thought-provoking and life-affirming exploration of societal beauty standards, parenthood, and identity.
Riverman: An American Odyssey by Ben McGrathWho it's about: charismatic adventurer and canoer Dick Conant, who disappeared in 2014 and has been presumed dead ever since.
Read it for: an engaging mix of biography, travelogue, and mystery penned by New Yorker staff writer Ben McGrath, who had a chance encounter with Conant shortly before he disappeared.
For fans of: Into the Wild by John Krakauer.
Ancestor Trouble: A Reckoning and a Reconciliation by Maud NewtonWhat it's about: debut author Maud Newton's attempts to sort through her troublesome family history with the help of DNA testing and extensive genealogical research.
Why you should read it: Newton confronts her family's history of racism and white supremacy, mental illness, and religious fanaticism with candor and vulnerability.
Don't miss: the author communing with dead relatives at an Ancestral Lineage Healing Intensive.
On the Line: A Story of Class, Solidarity, and Two Women's Epic Fight to Build a Union by Daisy PitkinWhat it's about: In 2003 Phoenix, AZ, industrial laundry facility workers Daisy Pitkin and Alma (a pseudonym) teamed up to fight their employer's dangerous labor practices and unionize.
Read it for: a moving account of a young labor organizer coming into her own and finding transformative solidarity with her colleagues.
Further reading: Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor by Kim Kelly.
Hello, Molly! by Molly ShannonWhat it's about: After the death of her mother, sister, and cousin in a car crash when she was four, Molly Shannon channeled her grief into a desire to make others laugh, later finding success as an actress, comedian, and Saturday Night Live cast member.
Why you might like it: Equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious, Shannon's page-turning debut offers surprising insights into the inspiration behind her famous characters.
Reviewers say: "Supremely inspiring, this will leave fans astonished" (Publishers Weekly); "a cut above most celebrity memoirs" (Kirkus).
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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Amargosa Valley, Nevada 89020