It's Funny Now
Part memoir, part family history, and part sociological study of the WASP world, (this) is a captivating examination of a cultural crack-up and a man trying to escape its wreckage.
One day in 1966, when the author was 12, she returned home from school to find her mother, Dolores, garishly made up and convinced that she was the Queen of Sheba. For the next 20 years, Lyden and her two younger sisters were subjected to their delusional parent's frequent episodes of manic-depressive behavior. (from Publishers Weekly)
For generations the Burdens were one of the wealthiest families in New York, thanks to the inherited fortune of Cornelius "The Commodore" Vanderbilt. By 1955, the year of Wendy's birth, the Burden's had become a clan of overfunded, quirky and brainy, steadfastly chauvinistic, and ultimately doomed bluebloods on the verge of financial and moral decline-and were rarely seen not holding a drink. (from summary)
After spending most of her life supporting her family, Karp is laid off from her office job during the recession, which sets off a chain of events that leaves her living in a trailer in an Orange County Walmart parking lot. (from summary)
Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation...(A) story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave (Walls) the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms. (from summary)
Mishna Wolff grew up in a poor black neighborhood with her single father, a white man who truly believed he was black..."You couldn't tell my father he was white. Believe me, I tried," writes Wolff. And so from early childhood on, her father began his crusade to make his white daughter Down .
Mildred Armstron Kalish
Offers a loving but realistic portrait of a "hearty-handshake Methodist" family that gave its members a remarkable legacy of kinship, kindness, and remembered pleasures...of growing up on an...Iowa farm during the depths of the Great Depression. (from summary)
An intelligent, wry, openhearted memoir of surviving a childhood and a cultural phenomenon that were both extraordinary. (from Booklist)
This moving story, set against the gossipy world of magazine publishing, reveals what it is like to be stripped bare, wander through the rubble, and to put oneself together again. (from summary)
(T)he true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her psychiatrist, a dead-ringer for Santa and a lunatic in the bargain. Suddenly, at age twelve, Augusten Burroughs found himself living in a dilapidated Victorian in perfect squalor. The doctor's bizarre family, a few patients, and a pedophile living in the backyard shed completed the tableau. (from summary)
Dickinson has made a career out of helping others, through her internationally syndicated advice column "Ask Amy." Readers love her for her honesty and for the fact that her motto is "I make the mistakes so you don't have to." Here, she shares those mistakes and her remarkable story. (summary)
Evelyn Ryan, an enterprising woman...kept poverty at bay with wit, poetry, and perfect prose during the "contest era" of the 1950s and 1960s. Standing up to the church, her alcoholic husband, and antiquated ideas about women, Evelyn turned every financial challenge into an opportunity for innovation, all the while raising her six sons and four daughters with the belief that miracles are an everyday occurrence. (from summary)
Having so eloquently probed the life of others, Sacks now takes a look at himself, unearthing the source of his scientific curiosity in a sometimes troubled childhood in wartime Britain. (School Library Journal Review)
Fisher reveals what it was really like to grow up a product of "Hollywood in-breeding," come of age on the set of a little movie called Star Wars, and become a cultural icon and bestselling action figure at the age of nineteen. (from summary)