Multcolib Staff Picks: Best biography & memoir, 2013
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.
Annotation:This memoir has it all; beautiful descriptions of food, dysfunctional families, loneliness, using food to fill the void, resilience, and humor.
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
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.
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.
Annotation:Oregon based blogger Allie Brosh has been entertaining the masses with her humorous blog (http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com) 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.
Annotation:Comedy writer, but perhaps better known for his hilarious twitter feed, busts out a memoir that was so funny I snorted multiple times.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.