Biography and Memoir
Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China by Jung ChangStarring: the well-to-do Soong sisters of Shanghai, whose marriages to powerful figures put them at the forefront of 20th-century China's evolving political scene -- and eventually, at odds with one another.
Don't miss: "Little Sister" May-ling saving her husband Chiang Kai-shek's life by helping to peacefully resolve the 1936 Xi'an Incident.
Reviewers say: "This juicy tale will satisfy readers interested in politics, world affairs, and family dynamics" (Publishers Weekly).
Ordinary Girls by Jaquira DíazWhat it's about: Growing up closeted and biracial in dysfunctional households in Puerto Rico and Florida, Jaquira Díaz found a much-needed fresh start when she enlisted in the United States Navy at 18.
What sets it apart: the thought-provoking insights into Boricua culture and Puerto Rico's history of colonialism.
Try this next: For another candid coming-of-age memoir exploring themes of sexual identity, addiction, and abuse, check out T Kira Madden's Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls.
Moving Forward: A Story of Hope, Hard Work, and the Promise of America by Karine Jean-PierreWhat it is: an inspiring chronicle of Haitian American Karine Jean-Pierre's career in American politics.
Author alert: Former Obama staffer Jean-Pierre is an MSBNC political analyst and serves as the chief public affairs officer for MoveOn.org.
Is it for you? Part memoir, part how-to guide for political activism, this engaging debut pulls no punches concerning the Trump administration.
Running with Sherman: The Donkey with the Heart of a Hero by Christopher McDougallWhat it's about: Encouraged to give his newly-adopted rescue donkey, Sherman, a purpose, author Christopher McDougall decided to enter his four-legged pal in the World Championship Pack Burro Race.
It takes a village: McDougall's Pennsylvania Amish community rallied around Sherman to offer support during his rehabilitation and training.
For fans of: animal-human friendships and heartwarming sports stories.
Blood by Allison MoorerWhat it is: country musician Allison Moorer's heartwrenching account of the tragedy that changed everything: when she was 14, her abusive father killed her mother before taking his own life.
Why it matters: This reflective journey toward healing will resonate with trauma survivors and readers who appreciate eye-opening memoirs.
Read it for: Grammy and Academy Award nominee Moorer's lyrical yet unflinching prose.
My Year of Running Dangerously: A Dad, a Daughter, and a Ridiculous Plan by Tom ForemanWhat it's about: More than 30 years after his career as a high school track star, CNN correspondent and self-proclaimed couch potato Tom Foreman laced up his running shoes to complete several marathons with his teenage daughter, including a 55-mile "ultra-marathon."
Why you might like it: peppered with plenty of self-deprecating humor, this upbeat read may just inspire you to accomplish some daunting goals of your own.
Want a taste? "I had the flexibility of a stepladder."
Okay Fine Whatever: The Year I Went from Being Afraid of Everything to Only Being... by Courtenay HameisterWhat it's about: In an effort to mitigate her obsessive compulsive disorder and severe anxiety, radio host Courtenay Hameister spent a year facing her fears by engaging in a number of "firsts."
What she did: used a sensory deprivation tank; visited a vegan strip club; met with a professional cuddler; tried online dating, and more.
Try this next: For another offbeat memoir about facing fear, read Tessa Fontaine's The Electric Woman, which chronicles the author's experiences performing in a traveling circus.
Year of No Clutter by Eve O. SchaubWelcome to... "the Hell Room," the overstuffed space in Year of No Sugar author Eve O. Schaub's home where junk reigns supreme. Let the "clutter-ectomy" begin!
What sets it apart: Schaub's funny yet introspective memoir/how-to guide addresses the reasons why the self-described amateur hoarder is unable to let go of objects long after they've outlived their usefulness.
Did you know? Between 2-6% of Americans have hoarding disorder.
Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy by Susan Spencer-Wendel with Bret WitterWhat it's about: Determined to live life to the fullest after her ALS diagnosis, journalist Susan Spencer-Wendel quit her job to travel with loved ones to the places she'd always hoped to visit.
Where she went: Northern California to meet her birth mother; the Yukon to see the Northern Lights; Cape Canaveral to witness a space shuttle launch.
Reviewers say: "A poignant, wise love story" (Kirkus).
Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America's National Parks by Mark WoodsWhat happened: Hoping to recapture the magic of his childhood vacations, burned-out newspaper columnist Mark Woods embarked on a year-long sabbatical to visit 12 of America's national parks. But his plans took a detour after his mother revealed she had terminal cancer.
Read it for: a heartfelt meditation on family, nature, and legacy.
Don't miss: Woods' big-picture discussions about the myriad challenges America's park system will face in the future.
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