Biography and Memoir
The Cartiers: The Untold Story of the Family Behind the Jewelry Empire by Francesca Cartier BrickellWhat it is: a sweeping family history of French jewelry dynasty the Cartiers, from their humble 19th-century Parisian beginnings to their contemporary status as purveyors of globally-renowned luxury goods.
Read it for: the glitz, the glamour, and the gossip.
Author alert: Francesca Cartier Brickell is the great-granddaughter of Louis-François Cartier, who founded the eponymous company in 1847.
She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman by Erica Armstrong DunbarWhat it is: a short, conversational biography of heroic Underground Railroad conductor, Union Army spy, and abolitionist Harriet Tubman.
Why you might like it: Filled with photographs and eye-catching illustrations and sidebars, this engaging, pop-culture infused read "will leave even the least historically inclined readers in awe" (Booklist).
All Blood Runs Red: The Legendary Life of Eugene Bullard -- Boxer, Pilot, Soldier, Spy by Phil Keith with Tom ClavinStarring: the first African American fighter pilot, Eugene Bullard, a war hero whose remarkable life has been largely forgotten by history.
What he did: Bullard achieved fame as boxer "Black Sparrow," served in the French Foreign Legion during both world wars, ran a Paris nightclub during World War II that he used to spy on Germans, and much more.
Don't miss: the surprising connection Bullard's life had to Casablanca; a jaw-dropping who's who of famous figures.
What We Will Become: A Mother, a Son, and a Journey of Transformation by Mimi LemayWhat it's about: debut author Mimi Lemay's experiences parenting her young transgender son, Jacob.
Why you might like it: Told in alternating chapters, Lemay chronicles Jacob's transition and her own identity journey -- in her 20s, Lemay made the decision to leave behind the strict Orthodox Judaism of her childhood.
Try this next: Jodie Patterson's moving memoir The Bold World explores themes of family and identity from a black mother's perspective.
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria MachadoWhat it's about: In this inventive collection of short essays, award-winning author Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties) unflinchingly recounts a relationship with an unstable woman that devolved into physical and psychological abuse.
What sets it apart: Machado's fragmented, genre-defying prose plays with storytelling tropes, offering a multilayered view of her relationship as a choose your own adventure, a noir, a stoner comedy, and more.
Book buzz: In the Dream House was longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction.
Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give by Ada CalhounWhat it is: an expansion of Ada Calhoun's 2015 essay "The Wedding Toast I'll Never Give," originally published in the New York Times' Modern Love column.
What's inside: a funny and insightful exploration of marriage -- both Calhoun's own and the concept itself -- aided by extensive research and interviews with couples, scholars, and clergy.
Who it's for: Newlyweds and longtime spouses alike will appreciate this engaging collection blending personal reflections with frank advice.
Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me by Bill HayesWhat it's about: After the death of his longtime partner, Bill Hayes moved to New York City in 2009 and found a second chance at love with renowned neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks, who died in 2015.
Read it for: a moving portrait of Sacks' late-in-life acceptance of his sexuality; Hayes' poignant recollections of Sacks' idiosyncrasies.
Don't miss: Sacks wearing protective googles to pop his first bottle of champagne.
Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady by Susan QuinnWhat it's about: the 30-year relationship between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and reporter Lorena Hickok, who championed each other's pursuits to make the world a better place.
Why you might like it: Fast-paced and meticulously researched, this illuminating dual biography chronicles the evolution of an empowering love.
Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer's by B. Smith & Dan Gasby with Michael Shnayerson; foreword by Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhDWhat it is: a heartfelt account of restaurateur B. Smith's life with early-onset Alzheimer's, co-written by her husband and caregiver Dan Gasby.
Is it for you? Packed with tips, resources, and lessons the couple have learned, this candid blend of memoir and self-help guide will be best appreciated by Alzheimer's patients and their families.
Reviewers say: "an enduring love story of care and adoration" (Publishers Weekly).
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Chatham Public Library
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Chatham, New York 12037