Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

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Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Distributor
Published: March 2018
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Biography, Feminism, Coming of Age, Art, Science, History


BLURB:

Throughout history and across the globe, one characteristic connects the daring women of Brazen: their indomitable spirit. Against overwhelming adversity, these remarkable women raised their voices and changed history. With her one-of-a-kind wit and dazzling drawings, celebrated graphic novelist Pénélope Bagieu profiles the lives of these feisty female role models, some world-famous, some little known. From Nellie Bly to Mae Jemison or Josephine Baker to Naziq al-Abid, the stories in this comic biography are sure to inspire the next generation of rebel ladies. Continue reading

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This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare – Gabourey Sidibe

33550374This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabourey Sidibe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Published: 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Nonfiction, Memoir, Humor, Coming of Age, Body Image, Mental Health, Celebrity


BLURB:

Sidibe’s memoir hits hard with self-knowing dispatches on friendship, depression, celebrity, haters, fashion, race, and weight (“If I could just get the world to see me the way I see myself,” she writes, “would my body still be a thing you walked away thinking about?”). Irreverent, hilarious, and untraditional, This Is Just My Face takes its place and fills a void on the shelf of writers from Mindy Kaling to David Sedaris to Lena Dunham. Continue reading

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row

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The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: March 27th, 2018
Publisher: St-Martin’s Press
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Nonfiction, Memoir, True Crime


BLURB:

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free. But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015. Continue reading

Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success – Steve Harvey

20262403Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success by Steve Harvey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Published: 2014
Publisher: Amistad
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Nonfiction, Self Help, Business, Inspirational


BLURB:

When Steve Harvey was thirtysomething, he was living in his car. It was a sacrifice he was willing to make to give it his best shot at becoming a comedian. After several months of this lifestyle-washing in public bathrooms, eating fast food-he had considered giving up. Before calling his mother to ask if he could stay with her, he checked his voicemail. The Apollo Theatre wanted him to perform! Great opportunity, but Steve did not have enough money for gas to get from Tennessee to New York. He prayed about it, as he was too proud to ask for money. The following day he had a message from a club in Florida. The audience loved him so much they asked Steve back for a second night. The gig provided him enough money to fly to New York. Although he had no place to stay, walking around all night with a bag that held everything that he owned, it did not get him down. Continue reading

How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life – Lilly Singh

31202835How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: March 28th, 2017
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Nonfiction, Self-Help, Life Experiences, Motivational & Inspiring, Celebrity Life


BLURB:

From actress, comedian, and YouTube sensation Lilly Singh (aka ||Superwoman||) comes the definitive guide to being a bawse—a person who exudes confidence, reaches goals, gets hurt efficiently, and smiles genuinely because they’ve fought through it all and made it out the other side. Told in her hilarious, bold voice that’s inspired over nine million fans, and using stories from her own life to illustrate her message, Lilly proves that there are no shortcuts to success. Continue reading

In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It – Lauren Graham

36341878In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It by Lauren Graham

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: April 3rd, 2018
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Nonfiction, Motivational Speech, Life & Goals, Education & Careers, Experiences


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Advice for graduates and reflections on staying true to yourself from the beloved Gilmore Girls actress and New York Times bestselling author of the memoir Talking as Fast as I Can and the novel Someday, Someday, Maybe. Continue reading

We’re Going to Need More Wine – Gabrielle Union

34884359We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Published: October 2017
Publisher: Day Street Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Memoir, Essays, Race, Growing Up, Abuse, Celebrity Life, Beauty Standards,  Relationships


BLURB:

In this moving collection of thought provoking essays infused with her unique wisdom and deep humor, Union uses that same fearlessness to tell astonishingly personal and true stories about power, color, gender, feminism, and fame. Union tackles a range of experiences, including bullying, beauty standards, and competition between women in Hollywood, growing up in white California suburbia and then spending summers with her black relatives in Nebraska, coping with crushes, puberty, and the divorce of her parents. Genuine and perceptive, Union bravely lays herself bare, uncovering a complex and courageous life of self-doubt and self-discovery with incredible poise and brutal honesty. Throughout, she compels us to be ethical and empathetic, and reminds us of the importance of confidence, self-awareness, and the power of sharing truth, laughter, and support. Continue reading