Where the Children Take Us: How One Family Achieved the Unimaginable by Zain E. AsherWhat it's about: After the death of her father in a car accident, Zain E. Asher and her three siblings (including her older brother, Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor) were raised in South London by their tough-love mother Obiajulu, a survivor of the Nigerian Civil War.
Read it for: a moving ode to a mother's determination to see her family thrive in the face of tragedy.
From the Hood to the Holler: A Story of Separate Worlds, Shared Dreams, and the... by Charles BookerWhat it is: an inspiring memoir from former Kentucky state representative and United States Senate hopeful Charles Booker.
Topics include: growing up poor in Louisville's West End; bridging divides and finding common ground with Appalachian constituents.
Why you should read it: Booker is a rising progressive politician who is set to compete against Rand Paul in the 2022 Senate election; his thought-provoking debut illuminates the issues close to his heart.
Back to the Prairie: A Home Remade, A Life Rediscovered by Melissa Gilbert; foreword by Tim Busfield What it is: Little House on the Prairie actress Melissa Gilbert's chronicle of her attempts to rehab a Catskills cottage with her husband, The West Wing's Tim Busfield (who penned the book's foreword).
Featuring: recipes for spaghetti pie, loaded baked potato soup, and gingersnap pumpkin pie; the author's signature warmth and humor.
Try this next: Bright Lights, Prairie Dust: Reflections on Life, Loss and Love from Little House's Ma by Karen Grassle.
Fly Girl by Ann HoodWhat it's about: novelist Ann Hood's time spent working as a TWA flight attendant in the late 1970s and early '80s.
Read it for: a lively and engaging behind-the-scenes account of airline crew life, peppered with anecdotes about unusual passengers and unforgettable travels.
Don't miss: Hood's rigorous training, which included learning how to deliver a baby, plate a chateaubriand, and fix a broken coffeemaker.
Start Without Me: (I'll Be There in a Minute) by Gary JanettiWhat it is: the 2nd sardonic and freewheeling essay collection from Will and Grace producer Gary Janetti (Do You Mind If I Cancel?).
Topics include: Janetti's upbringing in an Italian American family in Queens; how his struggles to fit in at school led to an unlikely friendship with a soap opera-loving nun; learning to live on his own terms.
Want a taste? "The Catholics are the RuPaul's Drag Race of religions. We put on a show, honey."
My Seven Black Fathers: A Young Activist's Memoir of Race, Family, and the Mentors Who... by Will JawandoWhat it is: Maryland politician and community leader Will Jawando's uplifting "love letter to Black men" that pays tribute to seven influential male role models in his life.
Featuring: Jawando's biological father and stepfather; Mr. Williams, his 4th grade math teacher; Mr. Holmes, his high school choir director; Jay, his mother's openly gay coworker; businessman Deen Sanwoola, who helped him discover his Nigerian heritage; and Barack Obama.
Burn the Page: A True Story of Torching Doubts, Blazing Trails, and Igniting Change by Danica RoemWhat it is: the candid debut from Virginia Delegate Danica Roem, the first openly transgender state legislator in United States history.
Why you should read it: Part witty memoir, part thoughtful manifesto, Roem's eye-opening account inspires readers to unapologetically chase after their dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem.
Reviewers say: "A must read" (Library Journal).
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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