The best biographies & memoirs of July

Jon Foro on July 24, 2019
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In this month's collection of the best in nonfiction: We ride shotgun on a legendary 10-year road-trip; revisit with Japanese concentration camps of World War II America through an exceptional graphic-memoir by a cultural icon; range midnight beaches on quest for a leviathan from the ocean's depths; and not one, but two (!) memoirs from fashion revolutionaries whose careers began decades apart, and on opposite coasts. 



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Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem: A Memoir by Daniel R. Day

According to the noted chef and chapeau-lover Marcus Samuelsson, “Dapper Dan is a true one of a kind, self-made, self-liberated, and the sharpest man you will ever see. He is couture himself.” With his legendary store on 125th Street in Harlem, Daniel Day pioneered high-end streetwear in the 1980s, mixing luxury-brand logos into his own innovative designs. Before that, he was a teen who gambled drug dealers out of their money and a young man in a prison cell who found nourishment in books. Spanning 70 years, Dapper Dan is a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of an America where the only constant is change.


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This Is Not a T-Shirt: A Brand, a Culture, a Community--a Life in Streetwear by Bobby Hundreds

Most fans are familiar with Bobby Hundreds as the co-founder of the popular streetwear brand, The Hundreds. But The Hundreds was never just about T-shirts. It was about people, about one-on-one connections, and about community. This is Not a T-Shirt is an inspiring memoir and an expert assessment of the history and future of streetwear, and the tale of Bobby’s commitment to his creative vision.


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Casting into the Light: Tales of a Fishing Life by Janet Messineo

Janet Messineo knew from the get-go that she wanted to become a great fisherman. She knew she was as capable as any man of catching and landing a huge fish. It took years—and many terrifying nights alone on the beach in complete darkness, in search of a huge creature to pull out of the sea—for her to prove to herself and to the male-dominated fishing community that she could make her dream real. With 18 of Messineo's favorite fish recipes!


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The Vagabonds: The Story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison's Ten-Year Road Trip by Jeff Guinn

Following a pair of books about notorious murderers (Manson, Jim Jones), Guinn has turned his attention to a killer road trip: The ten-year span beginning in 1914 when Ford and Edison (and later, Harvey Firestone) branded themselves "the Vagabonds," crisscrossing the country with a retinue of assistants, servants, and reporters—and in the process, inventing the iconic American summer vacation. 


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They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

Made famous via his role as Sulu in Star Trek, George Takei became a cultural phenomenon in the real world through his civil rights engagement and his support for democracy. Now, this graphic-memoir reveals the story of his family’s incarceration during the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Takei pivots between showing through his child’s eyes the years in internment with expressing his later, more-adult understanding of how deeply his parents suffered during and after their imprisonment. They Called Us Enemy inspires readers insists that we treat fellow human beings with fairness and dignity.


More of the best biographies & memoirs of July<:/p>


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