Staff Pick

This could be one of your favorite D.C. memoirs if you are not into reading about policy decisions but instead  tend to enjoy 21st century Peyton Place antics set in the Old Executive Office Building.  The author answers an ad on Craigslist and, as luck would have it, becomes a White House stenographer traveling all over the world with “44” and witnessing history.  Aside from the fact that there is way too much cheating and way, way too much drinking and that all I wanted to do was shake some sense into Stein, her writing redeems her.  This memoir was so entertaining and hard to put down…enjoy!

From the Corner of the Oval: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525509127
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Spiegel & Grau - July 10th, 2018

Staff Pick

Sarah Smarsh’s passionate Heartland (Scribner, $26) uses various narrative strategies to call attention to the overlooked “distance between how poverty is handled in public policy and what it looks like in human lives.”  Specifically focusing on rural white working class poverty, Smarsh notes both how hard it is to talk about class in America and how little what sparse language there is has to do with her family of Kansas wheat farmers, carpenters, and waitresses; her relatives neither fit the definitions of “redneck,” “roughneck” or “hillbilly,” nor conformed to the stereotypes for “trailer trash.”  Far from being lazy, Smarsh’s people work incessantly, often holding down three or more jobs at once. The product of generations who survived the harsh prairies by knowing that “you either work together or starve alone,” Smarsh learned early that “what poverty requires” are “creative, industrious people.” So why did these hard-workers have so much trouble paying the bills?  Looking around at her mother’s and aunts’ teenage pregnancies, multiple marriages, and frustrated ambitions, she decided not to bring a child into poverty, but to break the cycle that had made her own childhood so unsettled.

Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501133091
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - September 18th, 2018

Staff Pick

This is far more than an inspirational guidebook for single parents struggling to raise children in a difficult world. The Power of Presence (Grand Central, $26) is also a moving memoir. Joy Thomas Moore is the mother of Wes Moore, the author, commentator, and now president of the Robin Hood Foundation whose own story of transforming from a troubled African-American adolescent to Rhodes Scholar became a national bestseller. His mother, whom he credits for much of his success, turns out to have a life story equally compelling. Joy Moore’s book recounts how she found her way through ill-considered decisions, personal tragedy, financial hardship, family medical crises, and the pressures of raising three small children alone. A successful businesswoman today, the life lessons she shares are wise, never preachy, and full of candor and grace. Woven into her narrative are poignant stories of other women she has met along the way who exemplify strength, resilience, and her secret sauce of parental success, “the power of presence” in one’s children’s lives.

The Power of Presence: Be a Voice in Your Child's Ear Even When You're Not with Them Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781538743805
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - September 18th, 2018

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