No Walls and the Recurring Dream by Ani DiFrancoWhat it is: the freewheeling debut memoir from Grammy Award-winning musician and activist Ani DiFranco.
Topics include: DiFranco's creation of her independent label Righteous Babe Records (on which she has released all her studio albums); her bouts of homelessness after leaving home at age 15.
Read it for: snippets of the author's original poetry and her candid musings on politics and feminism.
Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football by John Urschel and Louisa ThomasWhat it's about: John Urschel's adventures in academia (he's currently pursuing a PhD in mathematics at MIT) and athletics (he was a Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman for three seasons).
Read it for: Urschel's infectious enthusiasm for his disparate passions.
Want a taste? "So often, people want to divide the world into two. Matter and energy. Wave and particle. Athlete and mathematician. Why can't something (or someone) be both?"
Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder by John WatersWhat it is: an irreverent and wide-ranging essay collection from cult filmmaker and self-proclaimed "garbage guru" John Waters.
Don't miss: juicy gossip about the making of Serial Mom and Polyester (Waters' favorites of his own films); tips for aspiring filmmakers.
Is it for you? The author's provocative sense of humor may be off-putting to readers unfamiliar with his work.
Books You Might Have Missed
Showtime at the Apollo: The Epic Tale of Harlem's Legendary Theater by Ted Fox; illustrated by James Otis SmithWhat it is: a lively graphic adaptation of Ted Fox's 1983 history of the Apollo Theater, which has been at the forefront of African American culture since the 1930s.
Featuring: Cab Calloway, Billie Holiday, Jimi Hendrix, Chris Rock, Lauryn Hill, and many more.
Art alert: Dynamic black and blue illustrations burst from the panels to mimic the experience of being in a dimly lit theater.
The princess diarist
by Carrie Fisher
The Hollywood icon best known for her role in "Star Wars" shares interconnected essays exploring her life as the child of Hollywood royalty, adventures on the sets of "Star Wars," and struggles with bipolar disorder.
The Wild Bunch: Sam Peckinpah, a Revolution in Hollywood, and the Making of a Legendary... by W.K. StrattonWhat it's about: Commemorating the 50th anniversary of 1969 revisionist western The Wild Bunch, this engaging making-of delves into director Sam Peckinpah's influences and filmmaking process, including the then-rare decision to cast Mexican actors for the film's Mexican roles.
Why it matters: Released during a tumultuous era marked by riots, assassinations, and the Vietnam War (not to mention Hollywood's overhaul of its archaic ratings system), The Wild Bunch signaled a shift toward more realistic depictions of onscreen violence.
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