Biography and Memoir
Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-JobsWhat it is: a poignant memoir about the complicated family dynamics between the author and her father, Apple founder Steve Jobs.
What sets it apart: the pair's lifelong rocky relationship was instigated by Jobs' denial of paternity, a claim later rebuked by DNA testing.
Further reading: Artist Chrisann Brennan (Brennan-Jobs' mother) wrote the 2013 memoir The Bite in the Apple, also about her relationship with Jobs.
The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell KingWhat it's about: This admiring biography of children's television icon Fred Rogers celebrates his cultural impact while also plumbing the hidden depths and contradictions of his work.
Did you know? "The man who conveyed a Zen-like calm on television saw a psychiatrist for decades."
Author alert: Maxwell King is a former Philadelphia Inquirer editor who knew Rogers.
Eliza Hamilton: The Extraordinary Life and Times of the Wife of Alexander Hamilton by Tilar J. MazzeoWhat it is: the first biography written about philanthropist Eliza Hamilton, the devoted wife of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.
Is it for you? Fans of Broadway sensation Hamilton will be captivated by this charming cradle-to-grave account of Eliza's remarkable life.
Don't miss: Author Tilar J. Mazzeo posits that Alexander's scandalous affair with Maria Reynolds was a ruse to mask his financial misdeeds -- and that Eliza protected his secrets.
Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist by Eli SaslowWhat it's about: Derek Black grew up espousing white nationalist views under the tutelage of his father, Stormfront founder Don Black, and his godfather, Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Everything changed when he enrolled in college, meeting classmates from all walks of life who challenged and transformed his beliefs.
About the author: Eli Saslow is a Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter for the Washington Post and the author of Ten Letters: The Stories Americans Tell Their President.
Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio VargasWhat it's about: In a stirring narrative bookended by removal proceedings, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas chronicles his journey as an undocumented immigrant in America "as if to dare the attorney general to come find him" (Kirkus Reviews).
Want a taste? "After 25 years of living illegally in a country that does not consider me one of its own, this book is the closest thing I have to freedom."
Books You Might Have Missed
A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story About Schizophrenia by Sandra AllenWhat it's about: In 2009, Sandra Allen received an incomprehensible 60-page manuscript from her estranged uncle Bob, a paranoid schizophrenic seeking her help to tell his story. Allen relished the challenge, digging into her family history as well as the history of schizophrenia itself.
Why you might like it: This thoughtful page-turner offers an intimate glimpse into living with a mental illness for which there remains no consensus on effective treatment.
Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality by Sarah McBrideWhat it is: an enlightening and hopeful memoir tracing prominent trans activist Sarah McBride's journey towards self-acceptance and advocacy.
About the author: McBride is the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign.
Blazing a trail: McBride was the first trans person to serve as a White House intern and to speak at a national political convention.
I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O'FarrellWhat it is: a contemplative, nonlinear collection of 17 essays detailing novelist Maggie O'Farrell's near-death experiences, accompanied by her intense, awe-inspiring will to survive.
Essays include: "Neck (1990);" "Baby and Bloodstream (2005);" "Cause Unknown (2003)"
For fans of: Cheryl Strayed's Wild and Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking.
The Last Man Who Knew Everything: The Life and Times of Enrico Fermi, Father of the... by David N. SchwartzWho it's about: Italian physicist and Nobel laureate Enrico Fermi, whose scientific breakthroughs included building the first atomic reactor that would be used in the Manhattan Project.
Reviewers say: "a rewarding, expert biography" (Kirkus Reviews); "scrupulously researched and lovingly crafted" (Publishers Weekly).
Further reading: Bettina Hoerlin and Gino Segrè's The Pope of Physics: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age.
Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life by Laura ThompsonWhat it is: an insightful biography of mystery author Agatha Christie, whose elusiveness rivaled that of her own fictional creations.
Topics include: the media circus surrounding Christie's perplexing 11-day disappearance in 1926; Christie's fondness for attending her husband's spotlight-free archaeological digs later in life.
Don't miss: interviews with Christie relatives, including her daughter and grandson.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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