Sunny Side Up

Sunny Side UpBy Jennifer L. Holm

From the groundbreaking and award-winning sister-brother team behind Babymouse comes a middle-grade, semi-autobiographical graphic novel.

Following the lives of kids whose older brother’s delinquent behavior has thrown their family into chaos, Sunny Side Up is at once a compelling “problem” story and a love letter to the comic books that help the protagonist make sense of her world.

By sister-bother team Jennifer and Matthew Holm. A 200-page, full-color graphic novel in the vein of Raina Telgemeier’s Smile.

Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs

Hold StillA renowned photographer tells her family’s history in photos and words, after sorting through a box of old papers that revealed scandals, alcohol and domestic abuse, affairs, family land ownership, large amounts of money earned and lost and racial complications.

Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation

Empire of DeceptionDocuments the multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme of charismatic lawyer Leo Koretz in Roaring Twenties Chicago, the subsequent international manhunt by an ambitious state attorney, and Leo’s mysterious death in prison.

What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir

What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir Abigail Thomas Presents an uplifting memoir about the author’s life after the devastating loss of her husband, changes in a once-platonic friendship, her daughter’s illness, and the death of a beloved dog.

The Wild Truth

WildTruthThe Wild Truth
By Carine McCandless

The Wild Truth is an important book on two fronts: It sets the record straight about a story that has touched thousands of readers, and it opens up a conversation about hideous domestic violence hidden behind a mask of prosperity and propriety.” —NPR.org

In the more than twenty years since the body of Chris McCandless was discovered in the wilds of Alaska, his spellbinding story has captivated millions who have either read Jon Krakauer’s iconic Into the Wild or seen Sean Penn’s acclaimed film of the same name.

And yet, only one person has truly understood what motivated Chris’s unconventional decision to forsake his belongings, abandon his family, and embrace the harsh wilderness. In The Wild Truth, his beloved sister Carine McCandless finally provides a deeply personal account of the many misconceptions about Chris, revealing the truth behind his fateful journey while sharing the remarkable details of her own.

Exposing the dark reality that existed behind the McCandless’s seemingly idyllic home in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Carine details a violent home life, one where both parents manipulated the truth about a second family – a deception that pushed Chris over the edge and set the stage for his willing departure into the wild. And though he cut off all family ties, Carine understood – through their indelible bond and some cryptic communication – what Chris was seeking.

This understanding, kept under wraps for years as Carine struggled to maintain a relationship with her parents, now comes to spectacular light in the pages of The Wild Truth. In the decades since Chris’s death, Carine and her half-siblings have come together to find their own truth and build their own beauty in his absence. In each other, they’ve found absolution, just as Chris found absolution in the wild before he died.

Beautiful and haunting, told with candor and heartbreaking insight, The Wild Truth presents a man the world only thought they knew – and the sister who has finally found redemption in sharing the rest of their story.

I was published in the New York Times!

New York TimesAs part of our Writer’s Workshops with Judith Marks-White, we were asked to write from a selection of prompts. I wrote a “Dear Santa” letter and submitted it, at Judith’s suggestion, to the Metropolitan Diary section of the New York Times. It was printed on December 23, 2014 and the comments that followed are as wonderful as seeing my name in print.

Here it is:

Dear Diary:

Dear Santa,

I would really like you to keep the New York of my youth. You know, the one without all the crowds of people.

I want the New York when my grandparents took me downstairs from their apartment to get ice cream at Schrafft’s.

I want the New York when my mom took me to the Plaza’s Palm Court for my birthday because I loved Eloise so much.

I want the Rockefeller Center where I run into my college buddies — no matter how often and when I visit.

I want the Pan Am Building back.

I want the New York where my other grandmother, thinking I would like opera, took me to “The Barber of Seville” before there were subtitles.

I want the New York where I can walk right up to Saint Patrick’s without a line and find peace in the quiet back chapel where the old ladies pray to Mary — even though I am not a Catholic.

So, knowing that my old New York is faded, could you please take care of the horses that pull the carriages until I get the chance to fulfill my dream to get a ride through Central Park?

I still believe,

Alice

P.S. Thank you for not letting them wreck the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Terminal and for keeping the Metropolitan Museum.

Fire Shut Up In My Bones

Fire Shut UpBy Charles M. Blow

“”Fire Shut Up in My Bones” is a luminous memoir that digs deep into territory I’ve longed to read about in black men’s writing into the horror of being submerged in a vast drowning swirl of racial, spiritual, and sexual complexity, only to somehow find one’s self afloat, though gasping for breath, and then, at long last and at great cost, swimming. I believe both Ancestors and Descendants will cheer.”
–ALICE WALKER

Year of No Sugar

YearNoSugarBy Eve O. Schaub

Did you know that there’s sugar in your organic chicken broth, tortellini, smoked salmon, bacon, crackers, salad dressing, and baby food? Sugar is everywhere, spreading sickness and obesity, and we’re just coming to realize it. In an age when sugar is continuously unmasked as a health villain, this memoir chronicles the story of the Schaub family’s twelve months without added sugar of any sort.

My Salinger Year

My Salinger YearBy Joanna Rakoff

Poignant, keenly observed, and irresistibly funny: a memoir about literary New York in the late nineties, a pre-digital world on the cusp of vanishing, where a young woman finds herself entangled with one of the last great figures of the century.

At twenty-three, after leaving graduate school to pursue her dreams of becoming a poet, Joanna Rakoff moves to New York City and takes a job as assistant to the storied literary agent for J. D. Salinger. She spends her days in a plush, wood-paneled office, where Dictaphones and typewriters still reign and old-time agents doze at their desks after martini lunches. At night she goes home to the tiny, threadbare Williamsburg apartment she shares with her socialist boyfriend. Precariously balanced between glamour and poverty, surrounded by titanic personalities, and struggling to trust her own artistic instinct, Rakoff is tasked with answering Salinger’s voluminous fan mail. But as she reads the candid, heart-wrenching letters from his readers around the world, she finds herself unable to type out the agency’s decades-old form response. Instead, drawn inexorably into the emotional world of Salinger’s devotees, she abandons the template and begins writing back. Over the course of the year, she finds her own voice by acting as Salinger’s, on her own dangerous and liberating terms.

Rakoff paints a vibrant portrait of a bright, hungry young woman navigating a heady and longed-for world, trying to square romantic aspirations with burgeoning self-awareness, the idea of a life with life itself. Charming and deeply moving, filled with electrifying glimpses of an American literary icon, My Salinger Year is the coming-of-age story of a talented writer. Above all, it is a testament to the universal power of books to shape our lives and awaken our true selves.

Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines

TweakBy Nic Sheff

This New York Times-bestselling memoir of a young man’s addiction to methamphetamine tells a raw, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful tale of the road from relapse to recovery and complements his father’s parallel memoir, Beautiful Boy.

Nic Sheff was drunk for the first time at age eleven. In the years that followed, he would regularly smoke pot, do cocaine and Ecstasy, and develop addictions to crystal meth and heroin. Even so, he felt like he would always be able to quit and put his life together whenever he needed to. It took a violent relapse one summer in California to convince him otherwise. In a voice that is raw and honest, Nic spares no detail in telling us the compelling, heartbreaking, and true story of his relapse and the road to recovery. As we watch Nic plunge the mental and physical depths of drug addiction, he paints a picture for us of a person at odds with his past, with his family, with his substances, and with himself. It’s a harrowing portrait – but not one without hope.

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