Are you trying to find biographies here at Kirkwood? They aren’t shelved in a single section like in some public libraries, they are filled in the regular run of non-fiction books where they belong. An athlete’s biography is shelved with the sports books, a politician is shelved with history books or social change books, a scientist with the science books, an actor with the movie and television books, etc. Enjoy some of the titles we’ve added this year. Check out our previous lists:
There are also specialized lists for example Sport Stars or Movie Stars and Directors.
Another Kind of Madness: A Journey Through the Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness by Stephen P. Hinshaw, Call Number: 616.89 H665a
NOTE: A young man realizes that his father has been hiding a mental illness – severe enough to warrant multiple hospitalizations from his own children. A powerful argument to destigmatize mental illness.
Autobiography of a Schizophrenic girl: The True Story of “Renee” by Renee, Call number 616.898 A939
Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience by Allison Pataki, Call Number: PB PAT
NOTE: Five months pregnant, on a flight to their “babymoon,” Allison Pataki turned to her husband when he asked if his eye looked strange and watched him suddenly lose consciousness. After an emergency landing, she discovered that Dave—a healthy thirty-year-old athlete and surgical resident—had suffered a rare and life-threatening stroke. Next thing Allison knew, she was sitting alone in the ER in Fargo, North Dakota, waiting to hear if her husband would survive the night. When Dave woke up, he could not carry memories from hour to hour, much less from one day to the next. Allison had lost the Dave she knew and loved when he lost consciousness on the plane. Within a few months, she found herself caring for both a newborn and a sick husband, struggling with the fear of what was to come.
Believe Me: My Battle with the Invisible Disability of Lyme Disease by Yolanda Hadid with Michele Bender, Call Number: 616.9 H129b
Beyond Promises by Ron Corbett, Call Number: 977.797 C789b
NOTE: The biography of the Cedar Rapids mayor now running for governor.
The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland by Dan Barry, Call Number: 362.3 B279b
The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying by Nina Riggs, Call Number: 362.196 R569b
NOTE: Nina Riggs was 37 and the mother of two when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, within a year she knew she was dying. This is how she lived her last year.
Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (in That Order) by Bridget Quinn, Call Number: 709.2 Q73b
The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute To His White Mother by James McBride, Call Number 974.7 M119c
NOTE: A man explores his mother’s story, how she was born in Poland, raised in the South, went north, married a black man, and worked to send 12 children to college.
Coming to My Sesnes: The Making of a Countercultural Cook by Alice Waters, Call Number: 641.509 W329co
NOTE: Waters retails her life as she developed as a cook and ultimately opened a top restaurant.
The Dog Lover Unite: Lessons in Courage from the World’s K9 Cops by Rachel Rose, Call Number: 363.2 R797d
NOTE: Rachel Rose embeds with K9 units all over the world to find out how they work and shares their stories with you.
Dottie Wiltse Collins: Strikeout Queen of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League by Carolyn M. Trombe, Call Number: 796.357 C712t
Driven from Within Michael Jordan edited by Mark Vancil, Call Number: 796.322 J824d
Endurance: A Year in Space, a Life Time of Discovery by Scott Kelly, Call Number: 629.45 K298e
NOTE: An astronaut who spent over a year on the International Space Station.
George Kennan: A Writing Life by Lee Congdon, Call Number: 327.73 K34k
NOTE: A diplomat and a writer, two very diverse parts of a man successful at both.
The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil, Call Number: 967.571 W243g
NOTE: According to Alexis Okeowo of NYT Book Review this book: “describe Wamariya’s idyllic early childhood in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, and the madness that followed with an analytic eye and, at times, a lyrical honesty…. Wamariya is piercing about her alienation in America and her effort to combat the perception that she is an exotic figure, to be pitied or dismissed…. Wamariya tells her own story with feeling, in vivid prose. She has remade herself, as she explains was necessary to do, on her own terms.”
Henry David Thoreau: A Life by Laura Dassow Walls, Call Number: 818 T488w
Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times by Kenneth Whyte, Call Number: 973.916 H789w
NOTE: The only US President born in Iowa, so far.
Human Origins: 7 Million Years and Counting (New Scientist), Call Number: 599.938 H918h
I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart, Call Number: 792.702 H325i
NOTE: Born an accident in poverty, today Hart is one of the biggest comedians in the world.
I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can: A Memoir by Barbara Gordon, Call Number: 362.29 G862i
NOTE: An extraordinary woman who has it all or thinks she does tries desperately to keep up the facade despite crippling anxiety attacks.
I’m Fine…And Other Lies by Whitney Cummings, Call Number: 792.7 C971i
NOTE: The comedian and creator of 2 Broke Girls tells stories of her life.
Is There No Place on Earth for Me? by Susan Sheehan, Call Number: 616.89 S541i
NOTE: This renowned journalist’s classic Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation of schizophrenia follows a flamboyant and fiercely intelligent young woman as she struggles in the throes of mental illness.
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay, Call Number: 306.4 G285h
NOTE: Gay recounts a childhood sexual assault that led her to purposely gain weight in order to be unseen and therefore “safe.” Gay warns at the beginning of the book that if you’re looking for a triumphant weight loss memoir, this is not it.
Jackie Robinson: Breaking Baseball’s Color Barrier by Budd Bailey, Call Number: ELA 006 R662b
The Jersey Brothers: A Missing Naval Officer in the Pacific and His Family’s Quest to Bring Him Home by Sally Mott Freeman, Call Number: 940.54 F855j
NOTE: The extraordinary, real-life adventure of three brothers at the center of the most dramatic turning points of World War II and their mad race to change history—and save one of their own.
Jeter Unfiltered by Derek Jeter, Call Number: 796.357 J587d
Katherine, It’s Time: The Incredible True Story of the Multiple Personalities of Kit Castle by Kit Castle and Stefan Bechtel, Call Number: 616.82 C353i
NOTE: Subjected to brutal physical, mental, and sexual abuse at a very early age, little Elizabeth Katherine Meyer escaped into other lives. For nearly forty years she existed as seven distinctly different people, switching personalities as often as two or three times in a single day – sometimes in a single hour.
Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night by Jason Zinoman, Call Number: 791.45 Z786L
The Measure of My Days by Florida Scott-Maxwell, Call Number: 301.43 S428m
NOTE: “We who are old know that age is more than a disability. It is an intense and varied experience….if it is a long defeat it is also a victory…”
Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, Call Number: 297.092 A316m
My Name is Caroline by Caroline Adams Miller, Call Number: 616.85 M647m
NOTE: A young pretty, popular girl was hiding bulimia.
Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography, Call Number 791.45 H315n
Nelson Mandela and the End of Apartheid by Ann Graham Gaines Rodriguez, Call Number: ELA 006 G142g
Odd Girl Out: My Extraordinary Autistic Life by Laura James, Call Number: 616.85 J279o
The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir by Maude Julien, Call Number: PB JUL
NOTE: Maude Julien’s parents were fanatics who believed it was their sacred duty to turn her into the ultimate survivor–raising her in isolation, tyrannizing her childhood and subjecting her to endless drills designed to “eliminate weakness.” Maude learned to hold an electric fence for minutes without flinching, and to sit perfectly still in a rat-infested cellar all night long (her mother sewed bells onto her clothes that would give her away if she moved). She endured a life without heat, hot water, adequate food, friendship, or any kind of affectionate treatment.
Priestdaddy: A Memoir by Patricia Lockwood, Call Number: 813.6 L564p
NOTE: The story of a girl whose father became a Catholic priest.
The Promise: A Tragic Accident, A Paralyzed Bride, and the Power of Love, Loyalty, and Friendship by Rachelle Friedman, Call Number: 362.4 F911p
NOTE: A friend pushes a bride into a pool at her bridal party and she is paralyzed. She won’t name which friend. This is what happened next.
Queen of Bebop: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan by Elaine M. Hayes, Call Number: 782.421 V369h
Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat by Patricia Williams with Jeannine Amber, Call Number: 792.7 W726r
Ranger Games: a Story of Soldiers, Family, and an Inexplicable Crime by Ben Blum, Call Number: 364.15 B658r
Relentless: A Memoir by Julian Edelman with Tom E. Curran, Call Number: 796.332 E217r
NOTE: A football player tells his story.
Running From the Mirror: A Memoir by Howard Shulman, Call Number: 362.1 S562r
NOTE: Just 3 days after he was born Howard Shulman contracted an infection that destroyed his face. His parents abandoned him at the hospital and this is his story has he made himself a success.
So Much Things to Say: The Oral History of Bob Marley by Roger Steffens, Call Number: 782.421 M347s
Tears of Salt: A Doctor’s Story by Pietro Bartolo and Lidia Tilotta, Call Number: 610.92 B292t
NOTE: The story of the only doctor on an Italian island that bears the brunt of refugees seeking sanctuary from Africa and the Middle East.
Texas Adoption Activist Edna Gladney by Sherrie S. McLeRoy, Call Number: 361.2G542m
NOTE: The inspiration for the Greer Garson movie Blossoms in the Dust, Gladney lead the fight to stop the abandonment of illegitimate children.
To My Children’s Children by Sindiwe Magona, Call Number: 968.068 M211t
Vivian Maier: A Photographer’s Life and Afterlife by Pamela Bannos, Call Number: 770.92 M217b
The Voices of Robby Wilde by Elizabeth Kytle, Call Number: 616.89 K999v
NOTE: The story of a paranoid schizophrenic.
Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer, Call Number: 796.33 K893w
NOTE: A professional football player volunteers for military service after 9-11, he serves heroically until he is killed by friendly fire.
Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir by Amy Tan, Call Number: PB TAN
NOTE: The author of The Joy Luck Club tells her story.
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie, Call Number: PB Alexie
Sarah Uthoff is a reference library at Kirkwood Community College. LIKE the Kirkwood Community College Library on Facebook and find links to Sarah all over the web at her About Me Profile.