Biography and Memoir
Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America by Nefertiti AustinWhat it's about: black single mother Nefertiti Austin's experiences parenting her two adopted black children.
What sets it apart: This heartwarming memoir offers "a necessary corrective to the primarily white narrative on adoption" (Booklist).
What's inside: eye-opening research on black adoption; insightful interviews with other black parents; a reading group guide.
Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne BrodeurHow it began: At age 14, Adrienne Brodeur became privy to a life-changing secret: her mother was having an affair with a family friend.
What happened next: For decades, Brodeur served as her mother's confidant, often providing alibis for the clandestine lovebirds. Her complicity would have devastating consequences for her own relationships -- including a romance with her mother's lover's son.
Read it for: a dramatic and page-turning tale of deception.
Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA by Amaryllis FoxWhat it is: a suspenseful account of Amaryllis Fox's decade spent working counterterrorism operations for the CIA while also starting a family with her husband, a fellow agent.
Don't miss: Fox's wedding day, during which she muses on the strange and lonely nature of intelligence life: "I walk down the aisle, past work friends whose real names I'll never know."
Media buzz: Academy Award winner Brie Larson is set to play Fox in a forthcoming Apple streaming series.
How We Fight for Our Lives by Saeed JonesWhat it's about: Award-winning poet Saeed Jones candidly reflects on his fraught coming-of-age and his struggle to make a life for himself.
Want a taste? "If America was going to hate me for being black and gay, then I might as well make a weapon out of myself."
Book buzz: A Kirkus Prize winner, How We Fight For Our Lives counts Roxane Gay and Jacqueline Woodson among its many fans.
Edison by Edmund MorrisWhat it is: an illuminating and inventive portrait of Thomas Edison that renowned biographer Edmund Morris spent seven years researching, perusing millions of Edison's archival papers stored in a bombproof lab.
What sets it apart: Edison unfolds in reverse chronological order, lending a uniquely mythic air to the richly detailed, you-are-there proceedings.
About the author: The late Edmund Morris won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for 1979's The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt.
The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma's Table by Rick BraggWhat it's about: In this nostalgic tribute to the cuisine of his Alabama childhood, author Rick Bragg (All Over but the Shoutin') shares the stories behind his family's recipes.
Recipes include: pinto beans and ham bone; baked possum.
Want a taste? "She cooks in dabs, and smidgens, and tads, and a measurement she mysteriously refers to as 'you know, hon, just some.'"
In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker's Odyssey by Samuel FromartzWhat it is: a lively and engaging account of journalist and amateur baker Samuel Fromartz's globe-trotting adventures in bread-baking.
Don't miss: Fromartz's stint in the famous Parisian bakery Arnaud Delmontel, where he learns to make prize-winning baguettes.
Recipes include: emmer flatbread; turkey red miche; pain de campagne.
Life from Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness by Sasha MartinWhat it's about: Food writer and blogger Sasha Martin's four-year quest to cook a meal from every country in the world.
Read it for: a cathartic exploration of how cooking helped Martin navigate a traumatic and impoverished childhood.
Recipes include: German tree cake; Maldivian fire-roasted fish.
Notes from a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi with Joshua David SteinWhat it's about: Top Chef star and two-time Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree Kwame Onwuachi's rise in the world of fine dining.
Who it's for: Fans of Top Chef Masters winner Marcus Samuelsson's James Beard Award-winning Yes, Chef will enjoy this frank and inspiring memoir of a black chef navigating the challenges of working in a predominantly white industry.
Recipes include: cheesecake; chicken and waffles; Nigerian egusi stew.
Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook by Alice WatersWhat it is: a charming memoir from activist, chef, and restaurateur Alice Waters, who opened the famed Berkeley, California locavore hotspot Chez Panisse in 1971.
Featuring: cameo appearances from Julia Child and James Beard.
Is it for you? Though Waters saves the recipes for her other books (including The Art of Simple Food), the evocative descriptions of her culinary coming-of-age are a treat all their own.
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