User menu

Shopping cart

0 Items $0.00

Biography & Memoir

Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land by Toni Jensen

Toni Jensen’s poetic memoir in pieces is a beautiful exploration of her life as a Métis woman, one who is tied deeply to nature, affected by the men around her, and critical of the gun violence that prevails over all. This intersection frames her book and her life, as she reports on trafficked Indigenous women, stands with pipeline protesters at Standing Rock Reservation, and returns to her own family, seeing it all and asking questions with grace and intelligence. Truly a gorgeous and important read. — Melinda

Staff Pick Badge
Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984821188
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - September 8th, 2020

Eat a Peach: A Memoir by David Chang

In Eat a Peach, David Chang (who among other things opened a two-person, hole-in-the-wall ramen restaurant before ramen was anything but freeze-dried in the US) dutifully documents a legendary career that has left him an undeniable culinary legend, and then he uses his memoir to do his best to tear down any remaining images of himself as a luminary, god, or pedasteled hero, writing instead a brutally honest self-portrait of a real man in an unreal life. In clear, sincere, irreverent prose—written with Gabe Ulla—Chang shares the important moments of his journey, centering the book on his lifelong battle with bipolar disorder and self-destructive tendencies. His story is a needed milestone in the modern history of food.  — Jocelyn

Staff Pick Badge
Eat a Peach: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524759216
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Clarkson Potter - September 8th, 2020

Golem Girl: A Memoir by Riva Lehrer

In 1958, Riva Lehrer was born with spina bifida, and has since spent her life as a force to be reckoned with. Golem Girl is her frank, intimate, liberating memoir, spanning her childhood spent largely through a medical lens, her early adult life as a student, creative, and lover, and finally finding her place as a renowned visual artist and disability activist whose collaborative portraits reveal and celebrate people of all shapes and abilities, and whose work explores Disability Culture, gender, queerness, physical identity, and freedom of self. Enhanced with full-color artwork and personal photographs, this book is powerful and a joy to discover. — Melinda

Staff Pick Badge
Golem Girl: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984820303
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - October 6th, 2020

Conditional Citizens by Laila Lalami

We’re having a moment of reckoning right now in relation to race, immigration, and the trajectory of this country. Laila Lalami (The Other Americans) has a unique insight into what it means to be American through the act of choosing to become one. It’s not an easy process and, as Lalami expertly outlines, is never really a finished or concrete process either. An excellent contribution to this vital global conversation, Conditional Citizens brims with the beautiful language and insight we have come to expect from such an excellent writer. — Ivy

Staff Pick Badge
Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524747169
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon - September 22nd, 2020

The Dead Are Rising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne

This monumental new book, the culmination of nearly 30 years of work by Les Payne (continued after his passing by his daughter, Tamara Payne), crafts an expansive vision and remembering of the man who brought us all a little closer to freedom. Written with immense care, detail, and dedication and drawing on interviews with people ranging from FBI informants to childhood friends of Malcolm, The Dead Are Rising is a necessary companion to the Autobiography of Malcolm X for understanding Malcolm X and his contribution to Black liberation. — Citlalli

Staff Pick Badge
The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631491665
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - October 20th, 2020

The Power of Adrienne Rich by Hilary Holladay

Internationally acclaimed poet and Santa Cruz resident Adrienne Rich broke boundaries of identity, representation, and activism in the literary world for decades. Now Hilary Holladay explores Rich’s life—including details contributed by many Santa Cruz figures—in the most definitive biography yet of her journey to becoming a queer activist who used poetry to blaze new paths of feminism. There isn’t a day that goes by that Bookshop doesn’t miss our dear friend or isn’t inspired by her work. Now everyone has a chance to learn about her seminal life and legacy. — Casey

Staff Pick Badge
The Power of Adrienne Rich: A Biography Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385541503
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nan A. Talese - November 17th, 2020

Once I Was You by Maria Hinojosa

“I am the five things [the president] hates most: I am Mexican, an immigrant, a journalist, a woman, and pause—wait for it—I am flat-chested.” Award-winning journalist and Latinx activist Maria Hinojosa’s captivating memoir is a must. Pithy, powerful, and political, Once I Was You had me hysterical: laughing, crying, and furiously rereading. In this country where terrorism is linked by those in power with immigration and where her achievements are seen as a “unique contradiction,” Hinojosa gives voice to the anxiety-ridden experiences of imposter syndrome and institutional racism. An intimate exploration of the harrowing realities and ingrained invisibility faced by undocumented immigrants, Once I Was You is a crucial book for turbulent times.  — Charlotte

Staff Pick Badge
Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982128654
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - September 15th, 2020

Mad at the World: A Life of John Steinbeck by William Souder

Forged as a writer by the Great Depression, John Steinbeck is one of California's most beloved literary icons. In this biography, Pulitzer Prize–winning author William Souder examines the years that Steinbeck cut his teeth as a young writer and his evolution into a voice for the poor and oppressed. Off the page, Steinbeck was an alcoholic and womanizer, and Souder gives equal time to his darker side. — Aric

Staff Pick Badge
Mad at the World: A Life of John Steinbeck Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393292268
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 13th, 2020

Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots by Morgan Jerkins

Morgan Jerkins (This Will Be My Undoing) tracks her family’s genealogy from the Deep South to New Jersey but along her journey she unravels traditions of food, spirituality, labor and social life by deep diving into African American history by way of family trees. It excellently balances intimate field research with insightful personal revelations. A must read for those interested in genealogy, American history, and the multilayered bonds of kinship, familiar and otherwise.  —Celeste 

This book is part of our Fall Reading Challenge. Read more here.

Staff Pick Badge
Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062873040
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - August 4th, 2020

Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas by Roberto Lovato

Ranging back and forth between the United States and El Salvador, and from the ‘30s of his father’s childhood to his own journey of discovery, Roberto Lovato uncovers the history, trauma, resilience, and love which powers Salvadoreños across the Americas. From the US supported massacres of the indigenous people of El Salvador, to the ongoing gang and immigration hysteria, Lovato uncovers how unforgetting our history lets us begin to heal. Go on this journey with him. You won’t forget it.  —Dave

This book is part of our Fall Reading Challenge. Read more here.


Staff Pick Badge
Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062938473
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - September 1st, 2020


Subscribe to RSS - Biography & Memoir