Where I Come From: Stories from the Deep South by Rick BraggWhat it is: A collection of previously published pieces written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and memoirist Rick Bragg that celebrates his relationship to the American South's "gentler, easier nature."
Who it's for: Fans of Bragg and lovers of witty repartee will enjoy this breezy collection that feels like having a chat with an old friend.
Topics include: Southern music and cuisine; encounters with Southern celebrities Pat Conroy, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Harper Lee; the wonders of Tupperware.
Mad at the World: A Life of John Steinbeck by William SouderWhat it's about: The complicated life and career of Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning novelist John Steinbeck (1902-1968).
Read it for: A nuanced portrait of a man whose deep devotion to his craft did not extend to his relationships.
Don't miss: Steinbeck pitting his wife and mistress against each other to determine the "winner" of his affections; his response when asked if he deserved his Nobel.
Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life by Christie TateWhat it's about: After years spent battling suicidal ideation and bulimia, lawyer Christie Tate entered group therapy, where she found a renewed sense of self-worth.
Why you might like it: Tate's candid and hopeful account "empowers readers to better understand their own lives" (Booklist).
Book buzz: This New York Times bestselling debut was named a Reese's Book Club pick in November.
This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing by Jacqueline WinspearWhat it is: An evocative and richly detailed memoir of novelist Jacqueline Winspear's childhood in post-World War II Kent.
Want a taste? "Mist hangs across the land like a silk scarf -- not quite touching the earth, but not rising high enough to join a cloud."
Who it's for: Fans of Winspear's Maisie Dobbs mysteries will enjoy spotting real-life inspirations for the series; readers who appreciate family histories will also find much to savor in this reflective coming-of-age tale.
Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathon Through North America's Stolen Land by Noé ÁlvarezWhat it is: A lyrical memoir by the son of Mexican immigrants that chronicles his working-class Washington State upbringing and his 2004 participation in the four-month, 6,000-mile Indigenous people's Peace and Dignity Journey, a relay-style run from Canada to South America.
What's inside: Dangers (a mountain lion, unfriendly motorists, injuries); tensions between the runners; gatherings with Native American and First Nation groups; thoughtful musings about running and place.
Good Morning, Destroyer of Men's Souls: A Memoir of Women, Addiction, and Love by Nina Renata AronWhat it is: A disturbing and heartwrenching chronicle of Nina Renata Aron's troubled relationship with charismatic addict K, with whom she had a brief dalliance as a teenager in San Francisco. The pair later reconnected to the detriment of Aron's happy marriage.
Read it for: A nuanced and empathetic exploration of the relationship between addiction and enabling; an incisive, well-researched investigation into the role gender plays in codependency.
Missed Translations: Meeting the Immigrant Parents Who Raised Me by Sopan Deb; foreword by Hasan MinhajWhat it's about: Comedian and New York Times reporter Sopan Deb's attempts to reconnect with his divorced Bengali parents, from whom he became estranged in adulthood.
Why you might like it: Though Deb's insightful memoir candidly addresses topics like South Asian stereotypes, intergenerational trauma, and fractured family dynamics, his prose is witty and engaging.
The Art of Resistance: My Four Years in the French Underground by Justus RosenbergWhat it is: A riveting account of Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient Justus Rosenberg's time spent fighting in the French Resistance, which he joined after fleeing his native Poland as a teen.
About the author: As of this writing, the 99-year-old Rosenberg is the Professor Emeritus of Languages and Literature at Bard College.
Reviewers say: "Has all the suspense of a tense spy thriller" (Publishers Weekly); "a welcome addition to the World War II memoir shelf" (Kirkus).
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