Memoir

Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood

By Oliver Sacks

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"In an unforgettable portrait of an extraordinary mind, the distinguished neurologist who wrote Awakenings offers an account of his youth as fascinating as his celebrated case histories. Overflowing with humor, sadness, sensuous recollection, and the almost physical rapture of discovery, this bestseller re-creates the wonder of science as it is first experienced."

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Running with Scissors: A Memoir

By Augusten Burroughs

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The true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her unorthodox psychiatrist who bore a striking resemblance to Santa Claus. So at the age of twelve, Burroughs found himself amidst Victorian squalor living with the doctor's bizarre family, and befriending a pedophile who resided in the backyard shed.

Also available on audio.

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Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy

By Frances Mayes

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In Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mayes brings a poet's voice, the eye of a seasoned traveler, and the discerning palate of a cook and food writer together to create an enchanting and lyrical book about the life, the traditions, and the cuisine of Tuscany. This is definitely an example of the book far exceeding the film version; indeed, the film only bears resemblance to the book by its title.

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Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life

By Frances Mayes

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Frances Mayes offers her readers a deeply personal memoir of her present-day life in Tuscany, encompassing both the changes she has experienced since Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany appeared, and sensuous, evocative reflections on the timeless beauty and vivid pleasures of Italian life. Among the themes Mayes explores are how her experience of Tuscany dramatically expanded when she renovated and became a part-time resident of a 13th-century house with a stone roof in the mountains above Cortona, how life in the mountains introduced her to a "wilder" side of Tuscany--and with it a lively engagement with Tuscany's mountain people. Throughout, she reveals the concrete joys of life in her adopted hill town, with particular attention to life in the piazza, the art of Luca Signorelli (Renaissance painter from Cortona), and the pastoral pleasures of feasting from her garden.

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A Small Place in Italy

By Eric Newby

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Another couple restoring an old house in Italy. As Eric Newby and his wife, Wanda, restore a run-down Tuscan farmhouse, his account builds into a vivid portrait of rural Italy and its people, lovingly evoking the rhythms and rituals of country life.

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Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family

By Condoleezza Rice

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This is the story of Condoleezza Rice-- her early years growing up in the hostile environment of Birmingham, Alabama; her rise in the ranks at Stanford University to become the university's second-in-command and an expert in Soviet and Eastern European Affairs; and finally, in 2000, her appointment as the first Black woman to serve as Secretary of State.

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Vernon Can Read! A Memoir

By Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. with Annette Gordon-Reed

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Since the 1960s, civil rights activist Vernon Jordan has provided leadership to organizations such as the NAACP, the United Negro College Fund, and the National Urban League. Here, he describes his life including his work registering black voters in the South, his survival of an assassination attempt, and his relationships with American presidents and business leaders. The volume includes a section of b&w photographs from Jordan's childhood to the present.

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The Seventh Child

By Freddie Mae Baxter

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"The seventh of eight children, Freddie Mae Baxter was born in 1923 in rural South Carolina. When her father left the family, her mother had to raise the children alone, and Freddie Mae went to work--first picking cotton, then cooking for the white families in town. At seventeen, she decided to go up North in search of new horizons and a better life. Now, in an astonishingly original voice, Freddie Mae shares with us the wisdom of her seventy-five years, and some vivid memories: from her childhood in the South ('Two cents was money in those days. . .') to her life in Harlem, where she played saxophone in an all-girl band ('We just jammed!') and danced at all the hot clubs ('Anyplace that there was music, you could find me'). Through the good times, bad times, and the enormous changes she's lived through, Freddie Mae has remained steadfastly optimistic and emotionally generous."

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The Ditchdigger's Daughters: A Black Family's Astonishing Success Story

By Yvonne S. Thornton, as told to Jo Coudert

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"...the inspiring portrait by a loving daughter of an unusual man who was as clearheaded as he was ambitious and determined. Working two full-time jobs--and with the help of his equally remarkable wife, who worked as a cleaning woman--Donald thornton formed his bright and talented girls into a rhythm-and-blues band that played Harlem's Apollo Theater, at the same time ensuring that each of them completed her education and rose to stand on equal terms with anyone, man or woman, black or white."

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Pushed Back to Strength: A Black Woman's Journey Home

By Gloria Wade-Gayles

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"This Spelman College English professor and poet weaves back and forth through time, fashioning a richly textured autobiographical tapestry of her emotional, spiritual, and intellectual maturation as a southern black female."

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