Staff Picks by Tag

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In the Dream House: A Memoir By Carmen Maria Machado Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781644450383
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - December 1st, 2020

In picking the carcass of her own experience, Carmen Maria Machado has written a new kind of memoir. Short vignettes, told through kaleidoscopic lenses, are pieced together by the reader—not that it feels anything like work. It feels more like therapy.


Review by Kitri

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How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir By Saeed Jones Cover Image
$26.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9781501132735
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 8th, 2019

Saeed Jones's memoir is my favorite fall book so far. Expanded from an essay (entitled How Men Fight For Their Lives) he originally published on The Rumpus in 2012, How We Fight For Our Lives exposes intersections of racism and homophobia in moments of intensity as well as moments of quiet. Jones lets the reader know him--his vulnerability is at the forefront as he details his coming of age, his relationship with his mother, and his understanding of the world and how to survive in it. I read it in one sitting.


Review by Alyson

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Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss By Margaret Renkl Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781571313836
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Milkweed Editions - March 30th, 2021

Part memoir, part backyard natural history Late Migrations packs a wallop in a tiny package. Renkl treats the lives and deaths she sees in her backyard with the same deference and respect as that of her family. A beautiful study on grief and loss and the importance of living a full life. 


Review by Erin

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The Sun Is a Compass: My 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds By Caroline Van Hemert Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316414449
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Little, Brown Spark - February 25th, 2020

This book is a local wanderlust machine! Caroline (a passionate Alaskan biologist) expertly catalogs her post-grad coming of age as she undertakes a human-powered trip to the Arctic Circle with her husband Pat (a self-taught builder from Bellingham).  In the midst of decisions about family, work, and one's place in the natural world, there are raging rapids and cold winds, whales and chickadees, snow and sunlight. Hopefully it will teach you something new about the PNW, and comfort you with the knowledge that it's okay to change course.  


Review by Katelynn

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My Body Is a Book of Rules By Elissa Washuta Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781597099691
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Red Hen Press - August 12th, 2014

When is a body a house, a trap, an experience, a burden, a book, a treasure, or a betrayal? When is a body yours alone, and when, in its history, has it belonged in fact or in feeling to others? Elissa Washuta's memoir is a powerful confrontation of the ways in which sexual trauma, mental illness, catholicism, law & order, Indigeneity, settler colonialism, history, and instant messaging have informed her identity and relationship to her body. It's a raw, visceral, unflinching book with a wide streak of dark humor.


Review by Christina

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All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir By Nicole Chung Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781948226370
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Catapult - October 15th, 2019

An incredibly touching memoir that explores family and race through the eyes of a Korean American adoptee on the brink of motherhood. Nicole Chung has written a geniune account of adoption and what it means to be a mother, a daughter, and a sister in a complicated family full of secrets. This is a beautiful, emotional book that would be great to share with a family member.


Review by Kalani

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How To Write An Autobiographical Novel: Essays By Alexander Chee Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781328764522
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Mariner Books - April 17th, 2018

A beautiful, generous book of personal essays. As a writer, Chee is interested in the constructed self, how identity can be a mask that conceals and also reveals. His self-reflection on how his own identities have served, protected, and hindered him is also an persistent, gentle invitation to the reader to remember that "the ways you are human are not always visible to yourself." There's lots of germane advice for writers here, re: this book's title, but this book is for anyone with a brain and a heart.


Review by Christina

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The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath By Leslie Jamison Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316259583
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Back Bay Books - January 15th, 2019

This is not just another addiction memoir. But don't worry—that's the point. Jamison's own story is told in fragments, interspersed with the stories of many others (names you already know, others the world never will), brilliantly structured much like the AA meetings that ultimately helped her get sober. Each story is a drop in the bucket, a part of the whole. It is Jamison's voice—unflinching, self aware—and not necessarily her story that captivates. She is not tone deaf to the experiences of others, which serves her well as she presents so many stories alongside her own. I was so ready to dismiss this book, but I simply couldn't. I couldn't put it down; nor could I put it out of my mind.


Review by Kitri

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Spinning By Tillie Walden, Tillie Walden (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Tillie Walden, Tillie Walden (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781626729407
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: First Second - September 12th, 2017

At the insanely young age of 21, Tillie Walden is already an incredible talent, and Spinning is exactly the kind of moving, insightful coming-of-age tale for girls that my wife is always complaining don't exist.


Review by Stephen

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Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body By Roxane Gay Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062420718
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Harper Perennial - June 12th, 2018

This is a raw and intimate account of one's relationship to the context of one's body. Gay lays herself bare as she explores the 'why' of her body, all the while forcing the reader (at least this one) to do the same. An amazing read for anyone currently residing in a body.



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