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.
Naturally Tan by Tan FranceWhat it is: a charming coming-of-age memoir from Queer Eye fashion expert Tan France.
Why you might like it: With wit and candor, France tackles topics both affecting (the racist bullying he endured as a Pakistani Muslim teen in England) and amusing (his penchant for no-nonsense sartorial advice).
For fans of: fellow Fab Five personality Karamo Brown's Karamo: My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing, and Hope.
The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont by Shawn LevyWhat it's about: the iconic Los Angeles hotel Chateau Marmont, which for nearly a century has attracted celebrities to its secluded bungalows for all manner of decadence and debauchery.
Want a taste? "Chateau Marmont is the ultimate Hollywood hotel because it is, like Hollywood itself, bigger than life even when it is obviously fake."
Try this next: For another dishy history of a storied landmark, try Julie Satow's The Plaza: The Secret Life of America's Most Famous Hotel.
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.
Don't Let Me Down by Erin HosierWhat it's about: how the music of the Beatles shaped author Erin Hosier's complicated relationship with her evangelical father, Jack, during her fraught coming-of-age in 1980s small-town Ohio.
What sets it apart: This evocative two-part memoir, structured as sides of a record (Side One is about Jack, while Side Two is about the author herself), includes chapter headings named after Beatles songs.
Reviewers say: "A vividly rhythmic chronicle of reconciliation couched with a 1960s rock-'n'-roll soundtrack" (Kirkus Reviews).
Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir by Victoria RiskinStarring: King Kong star and original scream queen Fay Wray, and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Robert Riskin (It Happened One Night), who were happily married until Riskin's 1955 death.
About the author: Writer/producer Victoria Riskin pays affectionate tribute to her parents in this nostalgic portrait of Hollywood's early days.
Read it for: a refreshingly scandal-free Hollywood love story.
Pounding the Rock: Basketball Dreams and Real Life in a Bronx High School by Marc SkeltonWhat it is: a heartwarming and plainspoken account of the Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School Panthers' 2016-2017 championship basketball season, written by Panthers coach Marc Skelton.
Why you might like it: Though the tiny Bronx school is located in the poorest congressional district in America, its basketball team has an almost 100% graduation rate thanks to its players' determination and Skelton's drive to impart skills both on and off the court.
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.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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