One Goal: A Coach, a Team, and the Game That Brought a Divided Town Together by Amy BassWhat it is: a timely and inspiring account of the 2015 Lewiston, Maine high school soccer season and its ethnically diverse team, many of whom were Somali refugees. The Somalis' impact on the town ruffled the feathers of town residents hesitant to accept its immigrant population.
Why you might like it: Author Amy Bass portrays Lewiston as a microcosm of America, movingly depicting a town struggling to overcome its prejudiced views and the coach who put aside his own preconceived notions about his players to help bridge a divided community.
Raw: My Journey into the Wu-Tang by Lamont U-God HawkinsWhat it is: a gritty and fast-paced memoir from a founding member of the influential hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, chronicling his early life of poverty and drug dealing in Staten Island, the evolution and disbanding of the Wu-Tang Clan, and his prison sentences and struggles with mental illness.
Read it for: Lamont U-God Hawkins' vivid, detailed storytelling.
Did you know? 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the group's first album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).
Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America's Favorite Guilty Pleasure by Amy KaufmanWhat it's about: In this dishy exposé, Amy Kaufman peeks behind the curtain of long-running reality show The Bachelor, interviewing former contestants and profiling the show's manipulative producers. Commentary from celebrity fans like Amy Schumer and Donnie Wahlberg is interspersed throughout.
About the author: Los Angeles Times entertainment reporter Kaufman is a longtime fan of the show who has hosted viewing parties and written weekly recaps, though ABC banned her from press calls for coverage deemed too negative.
Is it for you? Fans of the show -- whether conflicted or unabashed in their admiration for it -- will appreciate Kaufman's fun, fascinating perspective.
Stealing the Show: How Women Are Revolutionizing Television by Joy PressWhat it's about: Drawing from extensive research and reporting, cultural critic Joy Press spotlights the careers of pioneering female showrunners over the last 30 years.
Chapters include: Sharply written profiles of 13 showrunners and their works, ranging from Diane English (creator of Murphy Brown) to Jill Soloway (creator of Transparent, who now identifies as non-binary).
Further reading: Sabrina the Teenage Witch creator Nell Scovell's lively and frank memoir Just the Funny Parts: And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boys' Club.
My Days: Happy and Otherwise by Marion Ross with David Laurell What it is: a revealing memoir by Happy Days actress Marion Ross ("Mrs. C") recalling her hardscrabble Minnesota childhood, her early career as a Hollywood outsider (her contract at Paramount wasn't renewed), and her ultimate success in television, eventually attaining status as one of the most beloved TV moms.
Read it for: Ross' warmth and optimism, much like that of her Happy Days character; insightful interviews with her castmates.
Reviewers say: "This book will please fans with its down-to-earth account of the dedicated actress behind an adored character" (Publishers Weekly).
Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970 by David BrowneWhat it's about: 1970 marked a crucial moment in rock music history, underscoring the cultural fractures of a disillusioned America. The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young all released their final albums; the release of James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James signaled a shift to a gentler sound that would dominate the genre in the decade to come.
What sets it apart: David Browne's use of rare documents and recordings re-contextualizes a turning point in music history.
Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction by Grady HendrixWhat it is: a tongue-in-cheek survey of pulpy horror paperbacks of the 1970s and '80s, featuring insightful commentary that illuminates the cultural contexts behind publishing trends.
What's inside: Nazi leprechauns, killer embryos, ghost trains, and feral frogs, rendered in sordid detail via colorful cover art reproductions (350 in total).
Don't miss: Playful chapter titles ("Real Estate Nightmares") and subsections ("Salads of the Damned").
Never a Dull Moment: 1971 -- The Year That Rock Exploded by David HepworthWhat it is: an entertaining and gossipy month-by-month account of an influential year in music history, tracking the creation of such albums as Carole King's Tapestry and the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers.
About the author: David Hepworth is a music journalist and the author of Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall of the Rock Stars.
Why you might like it: Hepworth explores the impact of instant classics as well as albums that have only recently come into a wider appreciation (such as Nick Drake's Bryter Layter).
Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed PiskorWhat it is: an epic graphic novel tracing the development and impact of New York City's hip-hop scene.
Featuring: Bright, cartoon-like art reminiscent of 1970s comics and urban graffiti.
Series alert: This is the first book in a four-volume series. Volume 1 covers 1970-1981; each subsequent volume chronologically covers a brief period of two to three years.
Spider From Mars: My Life with Bowie by Woody WoodmanseyWhat it's about: In this engaging memoir -- the first to be published following David Bowie's 2016 death -- Woody Woodmansey recounts his four-year tenure as the drummer for The Spiders from Mars, and his struggle to stay grounded as the group catapulted to stardom.
Supplemental materials: Never-before-seen photographs.
Reviewers say: "Those interested in rock history won't want to miss this slice of music history" (Publishers Weekly).
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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Downers Grove, Illinois 60515