Why Fish Don't Exist, by Lulu Miller

Staff Pick

NPR science reporter and podcaster Lulu Miller grew up with a scientist father who believed that, in the cosmic scheme of things, human lives were meaningless. Wrestling with this idea, she became fascinated with scientist David Starr Jordan, who in the late 19th and early 20th centuries catalogued more fish species than any other researcher and then withstood professional catastrophes that destroyed years of his work. Probing Jordan’s resilience amid professional tragedy led Miller to a more worrisome discovery: later in life, Jordan became a rabid eugenicist whose racist beliefs exposed a darker side of scientific research. Miller tackles the contradictions of Jordan’s career as she examines the evolution of her own life--and the years she has spent reckoning with how to find meaning and purpose in an inherently chaotic world.

 

Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781501160349
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 6th, 2021

Memorial Drive, by Natasha Tretheway

Staff Pick

This extraordinary memoir--a daughter’s memoir, says the subtitle--has been out for a few years but is timeless in its power and message. Tretheway, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former Poet Laureate, returns to a subject that has haunted her since the day it happened: the murder of her mother by her second husband outside the apartment building where they lived in Atlanta. It takes years for Tretheway to fully revisit the pain of that tragedy and explore the underlying contributions of race, gender, class, and historical legacy to her mother’s death, and to the broader subject of violence against women, especially Black women. Tretheway takes the reader on this elegiac journey of discovery, one that plumbs very dark places but finds light and hope at the end. Not surprisingly, Tretheway’s prose is poetic—her book a beautifully written tale of finding oneself, one’s place, and one’s home as society’s cross-currents swirl around you.

 

Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062248589
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Ecco - June 1st, 2021

Broken Horses, by Brandi Carlile

Staff Pick

I almost didn’t read Grammy award winning singer Brandi Carlile’s memoir, thinking it was another celebrity tell-all. But so many people raved about it that I thought I should see for myself. I’m glad I did. Carlile was born to very young parents--her father was also an alcoholic—and lived as a child with poverty, instability, and questions about how to reconcile her Christianity with her sexual identity. Then there’s her singing career, which began when she was a child and evolved through numerous ups and downs as a teenager and young adult. These topics alone could carry the book; Carlile’s charm, candor, and irrepressible curiosity make an already fascinating story even more engaging. By the end, the reader understands how Carlile grew into a famous star without relinquishing her sense of self or the lessons of her humble roots. Bonus: the book includes some of her favorite songs.

Broken Horses: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593237243
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Crown - April 6th, 2021

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