Multcolib Staff Picks: Best biography & memoir, 2013

The Still Point of the Turning World
The Still Point of the Turning World By Rapp, Emily Book - 2013 B-R221s 2013 Available in some locations

Annotation:How do you parent a child when you know that he is dying? Rapp brilliantly captures grief, frustration, confusion, and sadness like no one else. Her writing style is fierce, just like her love for her son.

Blue Plate Special
Blue Plate Special An Autobiography of My Appetites By Christensen, Kate Book - 2013 B-Ch4622b 2013 Available in some locations

Annotation:This memoir has it all; beautiful descriptions of food, dysfunctional families, loneliness, using food to fill the void, resilience, and humor.

Her A Memoir By Parravani, Christa Book - 2013 B-Pa247h 2013 Available in some locations

Annotation:"The best memoirs should come with a warning label, the kind that make you take a deep breath before you open the cover. Her announces its challenges immediately while also establishing the voice that will pull you through the darkness of loss, memory, and expiation." Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina

With or Without You
With or Without You A Memoir By Ruta, Domenica Book - 2013 B-Ru93w 2013 Available in some locations

Annotation:I heard Domenica Ruta talking about her book on NPR and had to read it. She writes about her childhood, raised by a drug addicted mother who wanted Domenica to get pregnant and stay home, in heartbreaking detail. Despite the gloom, I found this to be an incredible story of survival and hope.

Shocked My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me By Volk, Patricia Book - 2013 B-Vo882sh 2013 Available in some locations

Annotation:We all have that one book that we read as a child that impacted our life. For Patricia Volk, that book is Elsa Schiaparelli's Shocking Life. Volk's family life was less than ideal, so she opted to adopt Elsa as her mother, rather than her own.

Hyperbole and A Half
Hyperbole and A Half Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened By Brosh, Allie Book - 2013 792.7028 B8741h 2013 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 47 copies

Annotation:Oregon based blogger Allie Brosh has been entertaining the masses with her humorous blog ( that includes her fabulously creative sketches. Her dry wit, and way of looking at everyday things from a different perspective make for some great reading.

The Bully Pulpit
The Bully Pulpit Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism By Goodwin, Doris Kearns Book - 2013 973.911 G6564b 2013 Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 34 copies

Annotation:When Doris Kearns Goodwin publishes a book, you read it. Enough said.

Rob Delaney
Rob Delaney Mother, Wife, Sister, Human, Warrior, Falcon, Yardstick, Turban, Cabbage By Delaney, Rob Book - 2013 792.7028 D3375r 2013 Available in some locations

Annotation:Comedy writer, but perhaps better known for his hilarious twitter feed, busts out a memoir that was so funny I snorted multiple times.

The Little Way of Ruthie Leming
The Little Way of Ruthie Leming A Southern Girl, A Small Town, and the Secret of A Good Life By Dreher, Rod Book - 2013 B-Dr812L 2013 Available in some locations

Annotation:Author Rod Dreher couldn't wait to get out of his small Louisiana home town. As soon as he could, he fled to a larger city. He became a journalist and never understood why his sister opted to stay in their hometown. When his sister was battling cancer, his perspective changed. This book chronicles his journey home.

After Visiting Friends
After Visiting Friends A Son's Story By Hainey, Michael Book - 2013 070.92 H1534h 2013 Available in some locations

Annotation:Michael Hainey remembers being six. He remembers his uncle pounding on the family's back door to wake them up. He remembers being told his father was dead. Hainey uses his reporter skills to investigate the mystery surrounding his father's death, but no one is talking.

The Faraway Nearby
The Faraway Nearby By Solnit, Rebecca Book - 2013 814.54 S688f 2013 All copies in use Availability details Holds: 1 on 13 copies

Annotation:Buddhists believe that change is a given and suffering is the inevitable consequence of attachment and then asks what you are going to do about it. This is the premise of Solnit's beautiful crafted memoir about her mother's Alzheimer's, the loss of a friend, and her own journey with cancer. Solnit's writing envelopes you.

Five Days at Memorial
Five Days at Memorial Life and Death in A Storm-ravaged Hospital By Fink, Sheri Book - 2013 362.1109763 F4994f 2013 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 26 copies

Annotation:If you had no power, limited access to food and water, and no promise of rescue--what would you do? Fink's captivating account of the staff at Memorial Hospital and how they survived hurricane Katrina will make you wonder how you would react.

The Girls of Atomic City
The Girls of Atomic City The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II By Kiernan, Denise Book - 2013 976.873 K475g 2013 Available in some locations

Annotation:"At the height of World War II Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, consuming more electricity than New York City. But to most of the world, the town did not exist. Thousands of civilians--many of them young women from small towns across the south--were recruited to this secret city, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work. Kept very much in the dark, few would ever guess the true nature of the tasks they performed each day in the hulking factories in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. That is, until the end of the war--when Oak Ridge's secret was revealed." Amazon review.

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