Biography

Hunger makes me a modern girl

Hunger makes me a modern girl Book Cover

Before reading Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, I - like many others, I'm sure - only knew Carrie Brownstein from IFC's absurdist masterpiece Portlandia. I did know that she was once in a punk band, but I didn't know any other details from Brownstein's earlier life. It speaks to the transcendent, heartbreaking nature of the themes in this book that despite going in mostly blind, I was more moved by this memoir than by any other I've read in recent years. In this book, Brownstein lets you into the explosive, transformative, complicated world of the Riot Grrl movement, of Olympia and Portland during the 1990's. She demystifies and contradicts the perceived glamour of being in a successful touring band, even as she details how those few moments onstage each night were what temporarily obliterated her anxieties and fears, her loneliness, and made it all worth it. She writes about her life the same way she plays guitar and sings in her band, Sleater Kinney: masterfully, all cards on the table, allowing for and celebrating imperfection. I find it hard to imagine that any reader would not find something in this memoir that speaks deeply to them, or would not see something of themselves in Carrie Brownstein's candor, vulnerability, humor, and hunger for something nameless. This book has stayed with me long after I finished the last page.

Bossypants

Bossypants Book Cover

This book is a wonderful insight on the life of Tina Fey. I found myself laughing out loud and getting weird stares from people sitting next to me while reading this! She is just as hilarious in print as she is on Television. A wonderful treat!

The bedwetter: stories of courage, redemption, and pee

The bedwetter: stories of courage, redemption, and pee Book Cover

This quick read gave me a sneak peak at Sarah Silverman's childhood and life. You get to see a glimpse of her family, where some of her humor comes from, and the reader gets to see glimpse's of her childhood diary. Great read!

My Beloved World

My Beloved World Book Cover

A fascinating read about a very determined and self-motivated child/woman who overcame much in her life without feeling sorry for herself.

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness Book Cover

This book brought the realities of madness right to the forefront. I couldn’t put it down. Miss Cahalan is a journalist who retells the story of her diagnoses and treatment of a form of autoimmune encephalitis which attacked her brain. I couldn’t help but think “this could happen to anyone”. Her experience was terrifying and she shows selflessness in sharing her story with others. An unbelievable telling of an incredible journey back to wellness both mentally and physically.

When women were birds

When women were birds Book Cover

This is a memoir that continues the work of Williams’ “Refuge”, honoring her mother’s identity and memory. Her mother died of cancer at a young age and left Terry her journals, of which she was surprised to discover that they were all blank. It is a book about nature, family, history, and what it means to have a voice.

Mom & Me & Mom

Mom & Me & Mom Book Cover

Maya Angelou once again does not disappoint. She continues her series of auto-biographies with an incredibly well written book about her relationship with her mother. She writes with such eloquence and ease that I did not want to put the book down. The book illustrates the hardships in their relationship with respect and love and at the same time entertains.

Stieg Larsson : The Real Story of the Man Who Played With Fire

Stieg Larsson : The Real Story of the Man Who Played With Fire Book Cover

Pettersson begins with Larsson's childhood in rural Sweden, his love of reading as a child, and his early career in journalism. He explores how Larsson's commitment to left-wing causes, social injustice, and work as an anti-fascist activist influenced his Millenium Trilogy. I found Larsson a very interesting and dedicated person, and this book has inspired me to read Larsson's novels.

Life and Death in Shanghai

Life and Death in Shanghai Book Cover

Life and Death in Shanghai is Cheng’s first-hand account of her life during China’s Cultural Revolution. It is a haunting narrative of Cheng’s years of imprisonment for being wrongly accused of being an imperialist spy. During her imprisonment, Cheng never gave up and never gave in to lies and false denunciations. Her story is heartbreaking, courageous, and unforgettable.

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef Book Cover

This book is the autobiography of Gabrielle Hamilton, and her path to becoming a chef and owner of her restaurant in New York City at a relatively young age. Her unconventional path begins after her family begins to dissolve and she takes restaurant and catering jobs to survive. With an even more unconventional marriage, she has to learn as she goes about the restaurant business, family, and the balance between all of it that will define her life. This is a great book for anyone that appreciates food and the hard work that goes into the restaurant business.