The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison BechdelWhat it's about: beloved cartoonist Alison Bechdel's longtime obsession with exercise.
Read it for: a humorous and thought-provoking exploration of the role fitness has played in Bechdel's ongoing search for self; the connections she makes between exercise and various philosophical movements.
Art alert: This marks Bechdel's first time using full-color illustrations, and she employs vivid watercolors to express the joys of being alive.
The Windsor Diaries, 1940-45: My Childhood with the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret by Alathea Fitzalan HowardWhat it is: diary entries written in the early 1940s by aristocrat Alathea Fitzalan Howard, who spent her childhood years as a friend and neighbor of princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.
Why you might like it: Fitzalan Howard's intimate account offers a nostalgic peek behind the royal curtain.
For fans of: Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner.
The Happiest Man on Earth: The Beautiful Life of an Auschwitz Survivor by Eddie JakuWhat it is: a moving memoir from centenarian and Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku, who spent seven years in Buchenwald and Auschwitz.
Who it's for: Readers who enjoy short and reflective memoirs that share inspirational life lessons will be comforted by Jaku's words of wisdom.
Want a taste? "Kindness is the greatest wealth of all. Small acts of kindness last longer than a lifetime."
My Remarkable Journey by Katherine Johnson with Joylette Hylick and Katherine MooreWhat it's about: groundbreaking NASA mathematician (and Hidden Figures subject) Katherine Johnson's life and career.
Why you should read it: Johnson's engaging memoir, completed by her daughters after her death in 2020, reveals lesser-known life details, including her West Virginia childhood, her parents' support of her academic pursuits, and her first husband's tragic death.
Reviewers say: "Truly a lovely read, this is an important addition to every bookshelf devoted to great Americans" (Booklist).
My Time Will Come: A Memoir of Crime, Punishment, Hope, and Redemption by Ian Manuel; foreword by Bryan StevensonWhat it's about: At age 13, Ian Manuel shot a woman during a robbery. Tried as an adult, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole and spent the next 18 years in solitary confinement.
What happened next: Aided by Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative (who wrote the book's foreword), and with the support of the woman he had shot, Manuel was released from prison in 2016.
Don't miss: the author's unflinching prose and snippets of poetry.
The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood by Richard BlancoWhat it is: a heartwarming coming-of-age memoir written by Richard Blanco, America's first immigrant, first Latino, and first openly gay inaugural poet.
Read it for: an evocative portrait of the author's 1970s childhood in Miami's Cuban community, featuring an unforgettable cast of characters.
Awards buzz: Blanco's poignant exploration of his cultural identity and sexual awakening was a 2014 Lambda Literary Award winner.
The Times I Knew I Was Gay by Eleanor CrewesWhat it is: the debut graphic memoir from British illustrator Eleanor Crewes.
Why you might like it: Crewes' relatable recollections of her awkward and amusing attempts at coming out will resonate with readers navigating their own coming-out experiences.
Art alert: Originally published as a zine, The Times I Knew I Was Gay features cartoony, sketchbook-style pencil drawings that will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson.
Fairest by Meredith TalusanWhat it's about: Raised as a boy with albinism in her native Philippines, Meredith Talusan immigrated to America at age 15, grappling with a complex set of challenges regarding her racial and gender identity.
Topics include: Talusan's white-passing in privileged spaces; fraught family dynamics; her gender transition and search for love.
Reviewers say: Talusan's lyrical and vulnerable debut "sails past the conventions of trans and immigrant memoirs" (The New York Times).
Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America by R. Eric ThomasWhat it is: a self-deprecating essay collection from humorist and playwright R. Eric Thomas.
Why you should read it: At turns hilarious and heartfelt, Thomas' debut chronicles his search for belonging as a gay Black man raised in a conservative Christian community.
Book buzz: A New York Times bestseller, Here for It was a Read with Jenna Book Club Pick in 2020.
A Wild and Precious Life by Edie Windsor with Joshua LyonsWhat it's about: In 2013, Edie Windsor became famous as the plaintiff in United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court case that overturned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In this posthumous memoir, she shares insights from her life and decades of activism.
Don't miss: intimate reflections on Greenwich Village's gay scene pre-Stonewall.
Featuring: interviews with Windsor's friends and family.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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