Victoria’s May Recommendation

Life From Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness by Sasha Martin

life from scratchRead a sample here!

It was a culinary journey like no other: Over the course of 195 weeks, food writer and blogger Sasha Martin set out to cook–and eat–a meal from every country in the world. As cooking unlocked the memories of her rough-and-tumble childhood and the loss and heartbreak that came with it, Martin became more determined than ever to find peace and elevate her life through the prism of food and world cultures. From the tiny, makeshift kitchen of her eccentric, creative mother, to a string of foster homes, to the house from which she launches her own cooking adventure, Marin’s heartfelt, brutally honest memoir reveals the power of cooking to bond, to empower, and to heal–and celebrates the simple truth that happiness is created from within. – from publisher

Blaise’s February Recommendation

Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan

glitter and glue

Blaise says:  “A moving memoir about mothers and motherhood.  She will be speaking at a benefit for the LuMind Foundation (supporting Down Syndrome research) on February 28th.  I’ll be there!”

Does this sound interesting?  Click here for a sample!

3 Similar Reads

Blue Plate Special:  An Autobiography of My Appetites by Kate Christensen – “Novelist Christensen (The Astral, 2011) pegs her tangy memoir of a peripatetic life to the endless quest for sustenance and the nurturing of the self” – Booklist

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion – “Didion really did need some magical thinking at the end of 2003: in quick succession, daughter Quintana Roo went into septic shock, husband John Gregory Dunne died of a heart attack, and Quintana Roo, having recovered, suddenly required brain surgery for a hematoma.” – Library Journal

Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe – “In 1982, 20-year-old Nina Stibbe moved to London to work as a nanny to two opinionated and lively young boys. In frequent letters home to her sister, Nina described her trials and triumphs.” – Summary from catalog

Richard’s February Recommendation

Talking to Girls About Duran Duran:  One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut by Rob Sheffield

talking to girls about duran duranRichard says:  “Talking to Girls About Duran Duran:  One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut is Rolling Stone contributor Rob Sheffield’s second book.  Like his first book, Love is a Mix Tape:  Life and Loss, One Song at a Time, Talking To Girls About Duran Duran… is part memoir, part pop culture commentary, and part coming-of-age story.  As a fan of Sheffield’s Rolling Stone articles and rock music in general, I love that this book is arranged like a greatest hits compilation.  Like that lost art of the perfect mix tape, it’s all about the flow of the narrative.  As such, each chapter is structured around one particularly memorable 1980s hit and how it influenced the author as a teenager.  Sheffield has a particular affinity for Duran Duran, whose biggest hits had a tremendous impact on him; however, he also gets to demonstrate his encyclopedic knowledge of all things new wave and pop culture as the book progresses.

Anyone with nostalgia–borrowed or otherwise–for a ‘greatest hits’ collection of the ’80s will find something to enjoy in this charming, funny, and incredibly accessible book.  Pop fans will also find a lot to love in how Sheffield effortlessly weaves his knowledge of the minutiae of ’80s media.  Likewise, anyone looking for a good coming-of-age story will appreciate the author’s candid exploration of his awkward adolescence and how Duran Duran (and pop music in general) taught him to relate to girls.  As an added bonus, you couldn’t get a better list of recommendations for your next new wave playlist.  Even if you spent all night watching reruns of VH1’s I Love the 80s or John Hughes films, then you’d still only scratch the surface of the popular culture highlights this book explores.  It’s like The Wonder Years for Generation X.  Highly recommended.”

Does this sound interesting?  Click here for a sample!

3 Similar Reads

Mad World:  An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s by Lori Majewski

Rip It Up and Start Again:  Postpunk 1978-1984 by Simon Reynolds (note:  this book is not available at River Forest Public Library.  It may be ordered through the SWAN network.)

Turn Around Bright Eyes:  The Rituals of Love and Karaoke by Rob Sheffield (note:  Sue Quinn reviewed the ebook in July 2014.)

Anna’s November Recommendation

Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

Equal parts hilarious anecdotes, thoughtful introspection, and sometimes genuine, sometimes absurd life advice, Yes, Please has something for everyone. The author is a giant in her field and shares both the beautiful and ugly sides of living life as Amy Poehler. SNL fans will rejoice at some behind-the-scenes stories from your favorite sketches; while others will cherish chapter headings such as “Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend.” Worth checking out if you’re a fan of humor, strong women, or just want to know more about the woman herself.


Similar Reads

Bossypants by Tina Fey

The Bedwetter : Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Mary Ann’s October Recommendation

I Work at a Public Library By Gina Sheridan

Mary Ann says:

Have fun with us at the library! Many hilarious, (some poignant) encounters Sheridan has experienced in her career at a public library.

Straight quotes, no fillers, very quick read.


“I want to use one of your public computers, but could you please disable Google?…They are taking over the United States.”

I need a book on dragons…a, an autobiography.”

“I have watched all your good movies. Do you have any good books here?

Four year old girl entering library for the first time – “I am in a castle!”

If you like this and want more, the author has a website:

Similar Reads About Librarians:

The World’s Strongest Librarian by Joshua Hanagame

Quiet, Please: Dispatches From a Public Librarian by Scott Douglas

Free For All: Oddballs, Geeks, Gangstas in the Public Library by Dan Borchert

Blaise’s October Recommendation

Blaise says: “I love memoirs because they give me a peek inside the life of someone else.  This one was especially fascinating as it also provided a look inside the world of Scientology, which I knew nothing much about other than the whole Tom Cruise connection.  In Hill’s memoir she shares how she grew up as part of the inner “clergy” of the church of Scientology.  I was prompted to read Going Clear by Lawrence Wright, after finishing this.”

3 Similar Reads

Going Clear by Lawrence Wright – The author draws from research and over 200 interview from those associated with Scientology in order to paint the origin story of Scientology and discuss its challenges.

Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography by Andrew Morton – Explore the life of a Hollywood actor closely associated with Scientology.

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings by Michelle Knight – Not about Scientology, but this memoir does describe the harrowing experience of being kidnapped for ten years.

Dorothy’s August Recommendation

When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir of Mexico, Maine by Monica Wood

when we were the kennedysRFPL owns this in ebook – Check it out now or request a print copy.

Dorothy Says:

“This memoir struck a cord with me.  Our stories aren’t the same, but I felt connected to the author nonetheless.  Her sense of time and place came through clearly as she recounted her family’s experience of losing their father unexpectedly, just months before JFK’s assassination.  If you enjoyed Haven Kimmel’s A Girl Named Zippy, Wood’s memoir should also appeal to you.”
Similar Titles:
That’s That: A Memoir by Colin Broderick – If you want to read a wartime novel, this one’s set overseas during Northern Irelands period of violence known as the Troubles. Here’s the NPR interview about the author.
The End of the World As We Know It by Robert Goolrick – A moving memoir about a dysfunctional family, with a focus on the father.