Monday, July 10, 2017


Look for a great selection of memoirs on the library shelves.  Some are written by celebrities, while others are the product of ordinary people who have taken extraordinary life journeys.  Check out the latest titles in the New Non-fiction section on the main floor.

Canada by Mike Myers (792.7028 MY).  A.k.a. Austin Powers, Wayne of Wayne’s World, and comedian for Saturday Night Live, Mike Myers spent his formative years in Canada.  This is Meyers’ tribute to that country of gracious, compassionate, fair-minded and industrious people who helped shape his view of the world - especially his view of the United States where he now resides.  Stories of the author’s outdoorsy childhood are very similar to those of us who grew up in the Upper Peninsula.  As you might expect from a famous comedian, this books is full of humor and some laugh-out-loud moments.

Jackie's Girl by Kathy McKeon (921 McKeon) is an intimate recollection of McKeon’s thirteen years as personal assistant to Jackie Kennedy after the death of President John F. Kennedy.  She tells about her interview for the job and getting to know the other staff, as well as the Kennedy children, John and Caroline.  McKeon also reflects back to her own childhood, which influenced how she viewed the famous Kennedys and adjusted to their prosperous way of life.  Many years later, after leaving her job to marry, McKeon kept in touch with Jackie, and was still regarded as a member of their family.  The book contains several pages of original photos from McKeon’s scrapbook

Vegan Betrayal: Love, Lies and Hunger in a Plant Only World by Mara J. Kahn (613.262 KA) begins as Kahn, a vegan of 25 years, prepares to bite into a bison burger. The results are surprising.  Kahn chronicles her own journey through veganism, as well as a wider history of vegetarians and vegans.   She delves into the finer points of food science and the nutrients that come from plants, meats, and dairy. Whatever kind of food you choose to consume and be identified with – be informed!

This Fight is Our Fight by Elizabeth Warren (305.55 WA) is officially about politics, but Warren weaves in stories from her family history to illustrate how political policies affect all American families.  She writes about how her grandparents lived through the Great Depression, and about the measures taken by Franklin Roosevelt to create a Social Security safety net for the working class.  Warren travels through the politics of the twentieth century, bringing us forward to her years in Congress.  One of her concerns with the country’s current political situation is watching Roosevelt’s safety net crumble away each day, leaving the middle class without resources.  This book is a researcher’s dream with a section of notes and an index in the back.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (921 Noah) is a witty memoir about Noah’s childhood in South Africa.  The child of a black mother and white Swiss father, he was an outcast, as interracial relationships were illegal.  Just like the title, he was “born a crime.”  The first page of each chapter gives statistical or cultural information about South Africa, providing context to Noah’s stories about growing up in a country where 11 official languages were spoken, and each tribal culture clashed with the next.  Try to stifle a giggle while reading the story of the prom date and hold back your tears when Noah’s mom becomes the victim of domestic violence.

Neverthless by Alec Baldwin (921 Baldwin) begins with the author’s childhood as one of six children in a financially strapped household in Massapequa, New York.  His unremarkable - and a bit dysfunctional - upbringing taught him to observe life and create from within.  He grew up, went away to college, took an interest in politics, and ended up enrolling in acting classes.  Baldwin’s first break was landing a steady acting job on “The Doctors” a 1980’s era soap opera.  From there he moved to California and became one of Hollywood’s most recognized stars.  The book also covers Baldwin’s less-than-perfect public moments.  Don’t miss “The Actors Index” at the back of the book which reflects Baldwin’s ongoing romance with the profession of acting.

Traveling with Ghosts by Shannon Fowler (921 Fowler) is a love story about building a life with your chosen partner, only to have that person die unexpectedly of a jellyfish sting in a foreign country.  Even worse was Fowler’s battle with authorities who wanted to declare her husband’s death a drunk drowning because a beach full of lethal jellyfish wouldn’t be good for tourism.  What direction does one take in their life journey toward healing and wholeness?  Fowler honored her partner by continuing to travel the world until she was able to start a new chapter of her life.

--Lynette Suckow, Reference Department

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