The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison BechdelWhat it's about: beloved cartoonist Alison Bechdel's longtime obsession with exercise.
Read it for: a humorous and thought-provoking exploration of the role fitness has played in Bechdel's ongoing search for self; the connections she makes between exercise and various philosophical movements.
Art alert: This marks Bechdel's first time using full-color illustrations, and she employs vivid watercolors to express the joys of being alive.
The Windsor Diaries, 1940-45: My Childhood with the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret by Alathea Fitzalan HowardWhat it is: diary entries written in the early 1940s by aristocrat Alathea Fitzalan Howard, who spent her childhood years as a friend and neighbor of princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.
Why you might like it: Fitzalan Howard's intimate account offers a nostalgic peek behind the royal curtain.
For fans of: Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner.
The Happiest Man on Earth: The Beautiful Life of an Auschwitz Survivor by Eddie JakuWhat it is: a moving memoir from centenarian and Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku, who spent seven years in Buchenwald and Auschwitz.
Who it's for: Readers who enjoy short and reflective memoirs that share inspirational life lessons will be comforted by Jaku's words of wisdom.
Want a taste? "Kindness is the greatest wealth of all. Small acts of kindness last longer than a lifetime."
My Remarkable Journey by Katherine Johnson with Joylette Hylick and Katherine MooreWhat it's about: groundbreaking NASA mathematician (and Hidden Figures subject) Katherine Johnson's life and career.
Why you should read it: Johnson's engaging memoir, completed by her daughters after her death in 2020, reveals lesser-known life details, including her West Virginia childhood, her parents' support of her academic pursuits, and her first husband's tragic death.
Reviewers say: "Truly a lovely read, this is an important addition to every bookshelf devoted to great Americans" (Booklist).
My Time Will Come: A Memoir of Crime, Punishment, Hope, and Redemption by Ian Manuel; foreword by Bryan StevensonWhat it's about: At age 13, Ian Manuel shot a woman during a robbery. Tried as an adult, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole and spent the next 18 years in solitary confinement.
What happened next: Aided by Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative (who wrote the book's foreword), and with the support of the woman he had shot, Manuel was released from prison in 2016.
Don't miss: the author's unflinching prose and snippets of poetry.
Fairest by Meredith TalusanWhat it's about: Raised as a boy with albinism in her native Philippines, Meredith Talusan immigrated to America at age 15, grappling with a complex set of challenges regarding her racial and gender identity.
Topics include: Talusan's white-passing in privileged spaces; fraught family dynamics; her gender transition and search for love.
Reviewers say: Talusan's lyrical and vulnerable debut "sails past the conventions of trans and immigrant memoirs" (The New York Times).
Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality
by Sarah McBride
What it is: an enlightening and hopeful memoir tracing prominent trans activist Sarah McBride's journey towards self-acceptance and advocacy.
About the author: McBride is the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign.
Blazing a trail: McBride was the first trans person to serve as a White House intern and to speak at a national political convention.
The Stonewall Reader: Edited by the New York Public Library
by Jason Baumann
"For the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, an anthology chronicling the tumultuous fight for LGBTQ rights in the 1960s and the activists who spearheaded it, with a foreword by Edmund White. June 28, 2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, which is considered the most significant event in the gay liberation movement, and the catalyst for the modern fight for LGBTQ rights in the United States. Drawing from the New York Public Library's archives, The Stonewall Reader isa collection of first accounts, diaries, periodic literature, and articles from LGBTQ magazines and newspapers that documented both the years leading up to and the years following the riots. Most importantly the anthology spotlights both iconic activistswho were pivotal in the movement, such as Sylvia Rivera, co-founder of Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries (STAR), as well as forgotten figures like Ernestine Eckstein, one of the few out, African American, lesbian activists in the 1960s. The anthology focuses on the events of 1969, the five years before, and the five years after. Jason Baumann, the NYPL coordinator of humanities and LGBTQ collections, has edited and introduced the volume to coincide with the NYPL exhibition he has curated on theStonewall uprising and gay liberation movement of 1969"
Contact your librarian for more great books!