Adult Biographies

Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt

Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors--yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance and remarkable forgiveness. 

BIO McCourt

The Bookseller of Kabul – Asne Seierstad

For more than 20 years, Sultan Khan defied the authorities -- whether Communist or Taliban -- to supply books to the people of Kabul. He has been arrested, interrogated, and imprisoned, and has watched illiterate Taliban soldiers burn piles of his books in the street. Yet he had persisted in his passion for books, shedding light in one of the world’s darkest places.

NF 958.1 Seierstad 

Call the Midwife: A true story of the East End in the 1950’s – Jennifer Worth

At the age of 22, Jennifer Worth left her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar London’s East End slums. The colorful characters she met while delivering babies all over London - from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lived to the woman with 24 children who couldn’t speak English to the prostitutes and dockers of the city’s seedier side - illuminate a fascinating time in history.

NF 305.5 Worth 

Cleopatra: A life – Stacy Schiff

The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt.

NF 932 SCH

A Dream Called Home – Reyna Grande

An inspiring account of one woman’s quest to find her place in America as a first-generation Latina university student and aspiring writer determined to build a new life for her family one fearless word at a time.     

BIO Grande 

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia – Elizabeth Gilbert

The memoir chronicles the author’s trip around the world after her divorce and what she discovered during her travels.

NF 910.4 GIL 

Educated – Tara Westover

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

BIO Westover

The Glass Castle – Jeannette Walls

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out of a home plagued with alcoholism and neglect, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is 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 her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.    

BIO Walls

The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest that will Bring Purpose to your Life – Chris Guillebeau 

When he set out to visit all of the planet’s countries by age thirty-five, compulsive goal seeker Chris Guillebeau never imagined that his journey’s biggest revelation would be how many people like himself exist--each pursuing a challenging quest.     

NF 158.1 Guillebeau

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers

Orphaned in his early twenties, Egger undertakes the care of his 8 year old brother Christopher "Toph" Eggers. Both hilarious and touching.

NF 973.9 Eggers  

The Hiding Place – Corrie Ten Boom

Corrie Ten Boom stood naked with her older sister Betsie, watching a concentration camp matron beating a prisoner. "Oh, the poor woman, " Corrie cried. "Yes. May God forgive her, " Betsie replied. And, once again, Corrie realized that it was for the souls of the brutal Nazi guards that her sister prayed. Here is a book aglow with the glory of God and the courage of a quiet Christian spinster whose life was transformed by it. A story of Christ’s message and the courageous woman who listened and lived to pass it along -- with joy and triumph!       

NF 940.53 Ten 

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis – J.D. Vance

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.   

NF 305.56 Vance

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body – Roxane Gay 

Gay details the horrific abuse that was the catalyst for her weight gain and outlines clearly and painfully what it means to be a woman of size in today’s world. It is both an admission of how her size has kept her safe, and how it has imprisoned her. She perfectly captures the strange mix of visibility and invisibility that she faces as a sizable woman living here and now.

NF 306.4 GAY  

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

This book captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right.

BIO Angelou

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier – Ishmael Beah

The devastating story of war through the eyes of a child soldier. Beah tells how, at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and became a soldier.

NF 966.404 BEA

Look me in the eye: My life with Asperger’s– John Elder Robison

Look Me in the Eye is the moving, darkly funny story of growing up with Asperger’s at a time when the diagnosis simply didn’t exist. This is the story of Robison’s journey from his world into ours, and his new life as a husband, father, and successful small business owner.     

BIO Robison

The Magnolia Story – Chip and Joanna Gaines 

The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today. 

BIO Gaines

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive – Stephanie Land

Maid explores the underbelly of upper-middle class America and the reality of what it’s like to be in service to them. "I’d become a nameless ghost," Stephanie writes about her relationship with her clients, many of whom do not know her from any other cleaner, but who she learns plenty about. As she begins to discover more about her clients’ lives-their sadness and love, too-she begins to find hope in her own path.  

BIO Land

My Story – Elizabeth Smart 

In this memoir, Elizabeth Smart reveals how she survived and the secret to forging a new life in the wake of a brutal crime. On June 5, 2002, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night by religious fanatic Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. Elizabeth was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped, and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. After her rescue on March 12, 2003, she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life.

NF 364.154 Smart

Night – Elie Wiesel 

Night is a work by Elie Wiesel about his experience with his father in the Nazi German concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald in 1944–1945, at the height of the Holocaust toward the end of the Second World War.     

BIO Wiesel

Running with Scissors – Augusten Burroughs

This is the 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. Here, there were no rules, there was no school. The Christmas tree stayed up until summer, and Valium was eaten like Pez. And when things got dull, there was always the vintage electroshock therapy machine under the stairs....          

BIO Burroughs  

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the creator of Nike  – Phil Knight 

The memoir chronicles the history of Nike from its early struggles to its evolution into one of the world’s most recognized and profitable companies.

BIO Knight

A Stolen Life: a memoir – Jaycee Dugard

On 10 June 1991, eleven-year-old Jaycee Dugard was abducted from a school bus stop within sight of her home in Tahoe, California. It was the last 

her family and friends saw of her for over eighteen years. Dugard’s memoir is written by the 30-year-old herself and covers the period from the time of her abduction in 1991 up until the present. In her stark, utterly honest and unflinching narrative, Jaycee opens up about what she experienced, including how she feels now.    

BIO Dugard

Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom 

This is about a series of visits Albom made to his former sociology professor Morrie Schwartz, as Schwartz gradually loses his life to ALS. 

NF 378.1 ALBOM

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail – Bill Bryson

After years of living in Britain, celebrated travel writer Bill Bryson returns to New Hampshire. But instead of retiring, the 60-year-old announces he’s going to hike over two thousand miles along the Appalachian Trail.      

NF 917.4 Bryson

When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated.   

NF 616.9 Kalanithi

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail – Cheryl Strayed

This is a 2012 memoir by American author Cheryl Strayed, describing her 1,100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995 as a journey of self-discovery. The book reached No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list, and was the first selection for Oprah’s Book Club.   

BIO Strayed

The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion

Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage–and a life, in good times and bad–that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.

BIO Didion