Staff Pick

How We Fight For Our Lives: A Memoir (Simon & Schuster, $26) by Saeed Jones is for the reader on your holiday list that loves a good memoir. Known for his poetry, Jones departs from his usual genre to write about what it was like to grow up as a Black gay boy in the South. He gives us the privilege of reading about the intimate moments of his childhood through his college years without sparing any details. I enjoyed reading about his life and how he and those like him are fi ghting to be themselves in a world that does not invite Black gay men to be their best selves. It is an emotionally charged reading experience where each chapter is engaging and reveals a pivotal moment in Jones’s life. The vulnerability within the pages of this book will make it a memoir you will never forget.
 

How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501132735
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 8th, 2019

Staff Pick

Even if you’re not a fan of personal memoir, don’t count out In the Dream House (Graywolf, $26), by Carmen Maria Machado. The entire genre of non-fiction is brilliantly flipped on its head in this haunting, engrossing book about love, violence, and a woman grappling with who she is and who she can become. Between chapters that recount her volatile relationship with a past partner, Machado infuses essays about the history, stereotypes, and reality of abuse in queer relationships. Form and genre are suggestions rather than limitations for Machado as she offers readers everything from pop culture references like Star Trek and a choose-your-own-ending chapter, to informative footnotes that are often as gripping as the text itself and meditations on feminist and queer theory. While this book delves into the dark places of love (and, ultimately, the end of love), there is surprising hope at the end that is neither predictable nor overly saccharine. Dedicated readers of Machado’s fiction will love this book, but it’s bound to capture a whole new audience, as well, and both groups will walk away stunned, sobered, and sad to put it down. As she says in her dedication, “If you need this book, it is for you,” and as it turns out, we all need this book.

In the Dream House: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781644450031
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Graywolf Press - November 5th, 2019

Staff Pick

Tough Love (Simon & Schuster, $30) is Susan Rice’s fi rst book—and what a book it is. Fearless in her approach to life and work, Rice is equally fearless in telling her story. She recounts with candor and self-reflection the seminal moments from her childhood in Washington through her celebrated diplomatic career, which included appointments as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and National Security Advisor in the Obama Administration. Memoirs are hard to write, but Rice has the courage to venture where many others will not, describing in vivid terms the agony she felt as a child caught in the crucible of family tensions as she navigated her parents’ contentious divorce. She reckons with her own mistakes and limitations personally and professionally. And she doesn’t gloss over the tarnishing that comes when one has to operate in the cauldron of 21st-century politics—especially the fall-out of the Benghazi crisis, which cost her professionally and left deep emotional scars on her family. Tough Love is her story, in her words, unfiltered and unvarnished. Exactly what a great memoir ought to be.

Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501189975
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 8th, 2019

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