Surviving the White Gaze by Rebecca CarrollWhat it's about: Adopted by a white couple in infancy, Rebecca Carroll spent her formative years navigating racist vitriol -- including emotional abuse from her white birth mother -- as the only Black person in her small New Hampshire town.
Read it for: the author's frank and thoughtful account of her hard-won battle for self-acceptance.
Reviewers say: "A probing, wise investigation of racial identity" (Kirkus Reviews).
Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika JaouadHow it began: At 22, recent Princeton grad Suleika Jaouad was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
What happened next: Jaouad spent five years documenting her treatment for the New York Times; when her cancer went into remission, she embarked on a 100-day road trip to meet well-wishers.
Who it's for: Readers who appreciate candid accounts of illness and recovery will be inspired by Jaouad's hopeful, life-affirming debut.
Walk in My Combat Boots: True Stories from America's Bravest Warriors by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann with Chris MooneyWhat it is: a collection of eye-opening interviews with American military veterans conducted by bestselling author James Patterson and retired Army First Sergeant Matt Eversmann.
What's inside: vivid accounts of military campaigns; insights on life after service, including battles with addiction and PTSD; perspectives on military sexual harassment and discrimination.
Don't miss: dentist Major General Ron Silverman providing care to Saddam Hussein after the latter's 2003 capture.
The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James... by Anna Malaika TubbsWhat it is: a well-researched collective biography of Alberta King (Martin Luther King, Jr.'s mother), Louise Little (Malcolm X's mother), and Berdis Baldwin (James Baldwin's mother), each of whom were foundational influences on their sons' lives and careers.
Why it matters: Sociology doctoral candidate Anna Malaika Tubbs' illuminating debut celebrates three women whose contributions to the civil rights movement have largely been ignored and offers needed perspectives on Black women's experiences in the early 20th century.
Queens of the Crusades: England's Medieval Queens Book Two by Alison WeirWhat it is: a sweeping group biography of England's first five Plantagenet queens, packed with vivid detail and court intrigue.
Series alert: Queens of the Crusades is the 2nd in the England's Medieval Queens series, following Queens of the Conquest.
Is it for you? Fans of medieval history will enjoy this accessible volume, though historian Alison Weir's narrative employs speculation about events that haven't been well-documented.
Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne GlenconnerWhat it's about: Anne Glenconner's life in the royal spotlight, serving as maid of honor at Queen Elizabeth's 1953 coronation and lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret for more than 30 years.
Read it for: a candid, occasionally gossipy insider's account of what it's like to live among a famously private family.
Who it's for: Royal watchers and fans of Netflix's The Crown (in which actress Nancy Carroll played Glenconner in season three) will enjoy this "entertaining peek behind the royal curtain" (Booklist).
The World's Fastest Man: The Extraordinary Life of Cyclist Major Taylor, America's First... by Michael KranishStarring: Black athlete Marshall "Major" Taylor, who in early 20th-century America broke barriers -- and records -- by becoming the world's fastest bicyclist, persisting in the face of relentless racist harassment.
Why you should read it: This engaging biography celebrates a trailblazing yet forgotten sports hero who inspired other Black athletes, including heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson, who initially aspired to cycling stardom himself.
The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman's Extraordinary Life in the Business of Death... by Sarah KrasnosteinWhat it is: a riveting biography of Sandra Pankhurst, a larger-than-life trans woman who runs a trauma cleaning business in Australia.
Topics include: Pankhurst's rough childhood as an adoptee living in an abusive household; her complicated relationship with her own children; addiction battles; her brief foray into sex work.
Awards buzz: The Trauma Cleaner won the Victorian Prize for Literature and the Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction in 2018.
The Dalai La ma: An Extraordinary Life by Alexander NormanWhat it is: a compelling and well-researched biography of the Dalai Lama, with a particular interest in His Holiness' worldview and ambivalent relationship with politics.
About the author: Historian Alexander Norman began his friendship with His Holiness decades ago and was able to gain unique access to his subject after their collaboration on the autobiography Freedom in Exile.
Don't Give Up, Don't Give In: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life by Louis Zamperini & David RensinWhat it is: a spirited, life-affirming collection of anecdotes and advice written by Olympian, World War II POW, and Unbroken subject Louis Zamperini.
Featuring: Zamperini's quirky disaster preparedness tips, like to always keep a hard hat and boots nearby in case of an earthquake.
Reviewers say: This New York Times bestseller is "[an] inspirational odyssey of an American hero" (Kirkus Reviews).
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