Best Books of the Month: Biographies & Memoirs

Jon Foro on March 18, 2019
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It's a good thing we have separate lists for nonfiction and history, because March is stuffed with great biographies and memoirs, including: an exploration of Louisa May Alcott's time as a Civil War nurse; a journey into the mysterious underground of magic and magicians; a deeply researched biography of Sandra Day O'Connor, the Supreme Court's first female justice; and a hilarious coming-of-age memoir from the star of Broadway's The Book of Mormon. And if none of those interest you, there are seven more!


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I.M.: A Memoir by Isaac Mizrahi

Mizrahi delves into his lifelong battles with weight, insomnia, and depression, and tells what it was like to be an out gay man in a homophobic age and to witness the ravaging effects of the AIDS epidemic. I.M. reveals not just the glamour of his years, but the grit beneath the glitz.

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Era of Ignition: Coming of Age in a Time of Rage and Revolution by Amber Tamblyn

Through her op-eds and tireless work as one of the founders of the Time's Up organization, Amber has emerged as a bold, outspoken, and respected advocate for women's rights. In Era of Ignition, she addresses a range of issues including gender inequality, misogyny and discrimination, trauma and the complexities of consent, reproductive rights and sexual assault—all told through the lens of her own experiences.


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Louisa on the Front Lines: Louisa May Alcott in the Civil War by Samantha Seiple

An eye-opening look at Little Women author Louisa May Alcott's time as a Civil War nurse, and the far-reaching implications her service had on her writing and her activism.


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The Impossible Climb: Alex Honnold, El Capitan, and the Climbing Life by Mark Synnott

Fans of the Academy Award-winning documentary Free Solo will be enthralled by Mark Synnott’s deeply reported, insider perspective of Honnold’s historic achievement and the culture and history of climbing.


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No Happy Endings: A Memoir by Nora McInerny

McInerny has written a book for people living life after life has fallen apart. It’s a book for people who know life isn’t always happy, but it isn’t the end: there will be unimaginable joy and incomprehensible tragedy. As she reminds us, there will be no happy endings—but there will be new beginnings.


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The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds by Caroline Van Hemert

For fans of Cheryl Strayed, the gripping story of a biologist's human-powered journey from the Pacific Northwest to the Arctic to rediscover her love of birds, nature, and adventure.


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Magic Is Dead: My Journey into the World's Most Secretive Society of Magicians by Ian Frisch

In the vein of Neil Strauss’ The Game and Joshua Foer’s Moonwalking with Einstein comes the fascinating story of one man’s colorful, mysterious, and personal journey into the world of magic, and his unlikely invitation into an underground secret society of revolutionary magicians from around the world.


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Too Much Is Not Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood by Andrew Rannells

From the star of Broadway's The Book of Mormon and HBO's Girls, the heartfelt and hilarious coming-of-age memoir of a Midwestern boy surviving bad auditions, bad relationships, and some really bad highlights as he chases his dreams in New York City.


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First: Sandra Day O'Connor by Evan Thomas

The intimate, inspiring, and authoritative biography of Sandra Day O’Connor, America’s first female Supreme Court justice, drawing on exclusive interviews and first-time access to Justice O’Connor’s archives.


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Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob

A bold, wry, and intimate graphic memoir about American identity, interracial families, and the realities that divide us, from the acclaimed author of The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing.


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