Book Genre: Memoir

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Malala Yousafzai
Beckyr
4

Malala is well-known as the schoolgirl victim of a shooting by the Taliban in Pakistan. This memoir brings her to life. She is still a schoolgirl who misses her friends, but she is also an experienced activist who can speak confidently in front of international diplomats. Malala and her family...

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Kristen Iversen
Bobby
3

Moving to Colorado only a decade ago, I knew very little about Rocky Flats before reading this book.  The last of the (accounted for) plutonium had been shipped out and the name was something I would see in headlines regarding the legal suits but I didn’t know the history.  Iverson’s...

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Drew Magary
Charles
3

Someone Could Get Hurt is a memoir about parenting, written by someone who prior to parenthood was clueless about what it was like to actually be a parent.  The author, Drew Magary, paints a vivid, hilarious, hyperbolic picture of what parenting is like when you still haven’t given up your...

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David Sedaris
Brett
3

A just-okay collection of autobiographical essays from the author of When You are Engulfed in Flames. The first entry is hilarious: Sedaris relates the story of how his quest to find the perfect stuffed owl resulted in a macabre visit to a London taxidermist. Other essays are...

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David Sedaris
Rebecca
3

As I have previously noted, I have an unfortunate inability to connect with a lot of comedy. I'm not sure why this is, but it's true of most comedy media, whether books or movies or stand up or sitcoms. 

I do, however, like...

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Graham Nash
Janet Q
3

I normally avoid rock n roll biographies, but after I heard Graham Nash interviewed on Terry Gross, I decided to give this one a whirl. Nash is a devotee of what Dunstan Ramsay called "the Plain Style," and you will not find a lot of analysis within this book. However, Nash does...

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Russell Means
IAmGenesis
4

Russell Means writes about his sometimes tumultuous life growing up as a Northern American Indian in a reservation, of his involvement in the American Indian Movement (AIM), and of his consistent fight against injustice. This book is written at a leisurely pace and is easily readable. What...

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Jon Katz
Becker
3

A sweet, quick read, Katz recounts how his now wife Maria and her dog Frieda came into his life. Katz and Maria met when they were each married, and neither imagined that those marriages would fall apart, or that their deep connection, fueled by their creativity (Maria is a fiber artist, Katz a...

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Ellen Forney
Thane
4

Ellen Forney is an artist. When she first becomes diagnosed with bipolar disorder, her initial reaction is one of elation. She sees her diagnosis as proof that she is a “crazy artist” equal to Vangogh or Hemingway in passion and creativity. But as she descends from the euphoria of mania into the...

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Richard Phillips
Liz S
4

I actually listened to this as an audiobook, and I recommend this format if you are interested in Richard Phillips' story. I heard an interview with the author on Fresh Air a while ago, and then saw the Tom Hanks, Hollywood movie version of the story, Captain Phillips. It is a...

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Mindy Kaling
Adelina
3

Mindy takes us along on her re-telling of her life and career thus far up (to 2011, the time of the book's publication). Listening to her talk about her childhood, young adulthood and career. I listened to the audio book read by the author. I think it was more satisfying to listen to her telling...

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Dave Isay
Adelina
5

This book is a collection of StoryCorps stories with the theme of love. "All There Is" groups the stories into love found, love lost and love found at last. StoryCorps is an American oral history project recording the voices and emotions of their storytellers. I listened to this book on audio...

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Randy Christensen
Shanna
4

Ask Me Why I Hurt tells the story of Arizona pediatrician Dr. Randy Christensen, who left his position at the Phoenix Children's Hospital in order to convert an ancient Winnebago into a mobile doctor's office.  The Crews'n Healthmobile​ travels around Phoenix,...

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Andrés Vera Martínez
Bobby
4

This graphic memoir gives a glimpse into post-Mao Chinese society through the eyes of a child.  The stories are well told by appealing to a child's sense of curiosity and introduce readers to the cultural climate of the period such as nationalism, mythology, and rural/urban divides .  ...

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Joe Sacco
ShellyB
3

Palestine is a compilation of a comic book series chronicling the author's time spent in Israel and Palestine during the winter of 1991-1992.  Sacco does a great job of listening to the many people he meets and relaying their personal stories and experiences, and his art work...

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Malala Yousafzai
ShellyB
3

Malala does a wonderful job telling her story of growing up in the Swat Valley region of Pakistan, daughter of a very forward thinking and education advocating father.  Her mother is quite traditional, yet supports both her husband and Malala in their efforts to speak against those who...

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Sarah Smiley
ShellyB
4

When their Dad is scheduled for a one year (or longer) deployment to Africa and one of the three Smiley boys comments that he will be most missed at the family dinnertime, the Smileys decide to try inviting someone over for dinner once a week to help fill the empty space and distract them from...

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Kathleen Flinn
Liz S
2

I really enjoyed The Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry, Kathleen Flinn's previous book, which details her decision to leave behind her office job and move to Paris to attend the Cordon Bleu. 

Unfortunately, this book was a big let down. The Kitchen Counter...

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Rebecca Musser
Liz S
4

Written by an ex-member of the fundamentalist church of latter day saints (FLDS), Rebecca Musser was at one point the nineteenth wife of the group's then-prophet (he went on to have over forty wives). She describes physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, especially of young girls, some of...

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Tina Fey
Rebecca
3

I have a confession. It's something that distanced me from my peers in middle school, and interfered with my ability to make friends. It's not something that I tell a lot of people.

I don't really like Saturday Night Live. It's possible that I straight up don't like it at...

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Gunnar Hansen
Ken
3

This was a cool little book, it's probably only going to appeal to Texas Chain Saw Massacre, or horror movie fans, but they should find it interesting. The thing I really liked is that it was written by Gunnar Hansen, who played Leatherface in the original movie. The first two thirds of the book...

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Ken Ilgunas
Liz S
4

Ken Ilgunas's memoir, Walden on Wheels, presents the all too common experience of the debt-ridden liberal studies college graduate with few prospects for gainful or meaningful employment. At the age of 18, the author unwittingly takes out about $35,000 in loans for his undergraduate...

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Allie Brosh
Becker
4

Alternating between meditations on inner life (depression, self-worth, self-perception), childhood anecdotes (an obsession with eating a whole cake, getting lost in the woods), and dog stories (trying to train a dog who just doesn't get it), this book made me laugh out loud in places. It also...

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Billy Crystal
Michelle
2

Crystal is just much funnier on camera. When interviewed about this book, he cracks me up. When reading this part memoir/part aging commentary, he's just not that humorous. Frankly, it's a bit boring. If you are a serious Crystal fan, by all means, pick this up!

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David J Pelzer
Charlissa
1

I didn’t expect to enjoy a book about child abuse. But I did expect it to be good, moving, touching, heartbreaking, sobering, or inspiring in some way. It was not. This was the worst book I have ever read.

A Child Called “It” was not much more than a list of all...