Best Books of August: Biographies & Memoirs

Editor on August 09, 2016

Nadja-SpiegelmanHere are a few of our favorite titles in Biographies & Memoirs this month. See more editors' picks in the Best Books of the Month.

As the daughter of Maus-creator Art Spiegelman and New Yorker art editor Françoise Mouly, Nadja Spiegelman comes from a line rich in literary chops. And they didn't skip a generation: her new memoir of mothers and daughters, memory, and invention of family narrative, I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This, is one of our favorite books of August. Amazon editor Erin Kodicek writes:

I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This [is] not just a memoir about mothers and daughters (and grandmothers), but a story about stories and the malleability of memory. Spiegelman discovers that both her mother’s and grandmother’s accounts of the same events were often vastly (and heartbreakingly) different, yet neither was being more or less genuine ... It also serves as a valuable reminder to try and understand the motivation behind other people’s actions, not to mention our own. As this memoir attests, therein lies forgiveness, and the fortitude to forge ahead.

See more of the Best Biographies and Memoirs of the Month below, and browse all of our picks for August


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The Accidental Life: An Editor's Notes on Writing and Writers by Terry McDonell
McDonell's collection of anecdotes on writers and writing amassed over a four-decade career as an award-winning magazine editor is fascinating for his list of contemporaries and collaborators--Hunter S. Thompson, Annie Proulx, George Plimpton, and Elizabeth Gilbert to name a few--and might have you reaching for a few of their books, as well.

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The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art by Sebastian Smee
The Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic explores four friendships between painters--Manet and Degas, Picasso and Matisse, Pollock and de Kooning, Freud and Bacon--and how their insecurities and inevitable jealousies compelled each to find their own unique identities as artists.

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The Southern Education of a Jersey Girl: Adventures in Life and Love in the Heart of Dixie by Jaime Primak Sullivan
A frank, "knish-out-of-water" tale from the star of Bravo's Jersey Belle that explores the deepest mysteries below the Mason-Dixon line: fried foods, college football, and Southern etiquette.

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