Footnotes: The Black Artists Who Rewrote the Rules of the Great White Way by Caseen GainesWhat it's about: the groundbreaking 1921 production of Shuffle Along, Broadway's first musical with an all-Black cast and creative team.
Read it for: a well-researched and nuanced behind-the-scenes account of how the production both challenged and reinforced the era's prevailing racial stereotypes.
Did you know? Shuffle Along was Josephine Baker's big break.
How Y'all Doing? Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived by Leslie JordanWhat it is: a folksy memoir-in-essays from Emmy Award-winning actor Leslie Jordan, whose laugh-out-loud Instagram videos catapulted him to viral stardom during the early days of quarantine.
Why you might like it: Jordan's dishy collection offers equal parts Southern charm and dry irreverence.
Essays include: "The Time Debbie Reynolds Called My Mother," in which Carrie Fisher arranged a phone call between Jordan's mother and her own after Jordan's drag show gaffe made The National Enquirer.
A Runner's High: My Life in Motion by Dean KarnazesWhat it's about: 50-something ultramarathon runner Dean Karnazes' return to the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, a race he first participated in decades ago.
What's inside: self-deprecating insights and motivational advice that will inspire athletes of all ages and experience levels.
Did you know? Among his many accomplishments, Karnazes is known for running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days.
Films of Endearment: A Mother, a Son and the '80s Films That Defined Us by Michael KoreskyHow it began: On the eve of his 40th birthday, film critic Michael Koresky set out to revisit the 1980s movies he grew up watching with his mother.
Why you might like it: Koresky's intimate memoir explores how the pop culture touchstones of his youth reflected the pair's own experiences.
On the watchlist: 9 to 5, Terms of Endearment, The Color Purple, Mommie Dearest, Aliens, and more.
Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life by Julianna MarguliesWhat it is: a candid memoir from Emmy Award-winning ER and The Good Wife actress Julianna Margulies.
Topics include: how Margulies' unconventional upbringing fueled her desire to perform; her decision to leave ER at the height of the show's popularity, turning down $27 million to renew her contract; finding love after a series of unfulfilling relationships.
For fans of: well-crafted celebrity memoirs that favor deep reflection over gossip, like Gabriel Byrne's Walking with Ghosts.
A Team of Their Own: How an International Sisterhood Made Olympic History by Seth BerkmanWhat it's about: how South Korea's women's ice hockey team recruited players from Canada, the United States, and North Korea to compete as a unified team in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Read it for: an inspiring underdog story of overcoming cultural differences in pursuit of a common goal.
Book buzz: A Team of Their Own was one of ESPN's 25 Can't Miss Books of 2019.
Olympic Pride, American Prejudice: The Untold Story of 18 African Americans Who Defied... by Deborah Riley Draper and Travis Thrasher What it is: a compelling chronicle of the 18 Black athletes who represented the United States in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin; a companion to the 2016 documentary of the same name.
What sets it apart: Though Jesse Owens remains the most famous of the profiled athletes, this accessible history also spotlights lesser-known Olympians whose trailblazing accomplishments have been overlooked.
Try this next: For another inspiring, odds-defying tale set during the 1936 Olympics, check out Daniel James Brown's The Boys in the Boat.
The Sixth Man by Andre Iguodala with Carvell WallaceWhat it's about: NBA swingman, 2012 All-Star, and 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala's remarkable life both on and off the court.
Topics include: Iguodala's gold medal win in the 2012 Summer Olympics, his three NBA championship wins with the Golden State Warriors, and his success as a Silicon Valley investor.
Reviewers say: "the best basketball memoir since Bill Russell's Go Up for Glory...a sports memoir for the ages" (Booklist).
Butterfly: From Refugee to Olympian, My Story of Rescue, Hope, and Triumph by Yusra MardiniWhat it is: a moving account of swimmer Yusra Mardini's flight from war-torn Syria in 2015 and her subsequent asylum in Germany.
About the author: At age 18, Mardini was a member of the Refugee Olympic Athletes Team at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Reviewers say: "A rousing, exciting true story of remarkable resilience" (Kirkus Reviews).
Forward by Abby WambachWhat it is: a heartfelt chronicle of soccer player Abby Wambach's perseverance in the face of gender discrimination, homophobia, and substance abuse to become one of soccer's highest goal scorers of all time and one of its most beloved players.
Why you might like it: Forward is as much about Wambach's relationships off the field as it is about hers on the field, as she grapples with balancing private and public selves.
For fans of: Megan Rapinoe's One Life.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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