by Marjane Satrapi
About the book: A New York Times Notable BookA Time Magazine “Best Comix of the Year”A San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times Best-sellerWise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white...
by Cheryl Strayed
About the book: Oprah's Book Club 2.0 selection.A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again. At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone. Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
by Mindy Kaling
About the book: Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?” Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly! In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.From the Hardcover edition.
by Noelle Hancock
About the book: “I honestly loved this book.”—Jim Norton, New York Times bestselling author of I Hate Your Guts“Eleanor taught Noelle that, first and foremost, Courage Takes Practice. Her yearlong quest to face her terrors, great and small, is moving, enriching, and hilarious—we readers are lucky to be along for the ride.”—Julie Powell, bestselling author of Julie & JuliaIn the tradition of My Year of Living Biblically and Eat Pray Love comes My Year with Eleanor, Noelle Hancock’s hilarious tale of her decision to heed the advice of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and do one thing a day that scares her in the year before her 30th birthday. Fans of Sloane Crosley and Chelsea Handler will absolutely adore Hancock’s charming and outrageous chronicle of her courageous endeavor and delight in her poignant and inspiring personal growth.
by Sheryl Sandberg
About the book: Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential. Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TEDTalk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.In Lean In, Sandberg digs deeper into these issues, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. She recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of “having it all.” She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home. Written with both humor and wisdom, Sandberg’s book is an inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth. Lean In is destined to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can.
by Gloria Steinem
About the book: Gloria Steinem had an itinerant childhood. Every fall, her father would pack the family into the car and they would drive across the country, in search of their next adventure. The seeds were planted: Steinem would spend much of her life on the road, as a journalist, organizer, activist, and speaker. In vivid stories that span an entire career, Steinem writes about her time on the campaign trail, from Bobby Kennedy to Hillary Clinton; her early exposure to social activism in India; organizing ground-up movements in America; the taxi drivers who were "vectors of modern myths" and the airline stewardesses who embraced feminism; and the infinite contrasts, the "surrealism in everyday life" that Steinem encountered as she travelled back and forth across the country. With the unique perspective of one of the greatest feminist icons of the 20th and 21st centuries, here is an inspiring, profound, enlightening memoir of one woman's life-long journey.
by Virginia Woolf
About the book: Why is it that men, and not women, have always had power, wealth, and fame? Woolf cites the two keys to freedom: fixed income and one’s own room. Foreword by Mary Gordon.
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
About the book: A personal and powerful essay from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the bestselling author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun, based on her 2013 TEDx Talk of the same name.
by Martha Gellhorn
About the book: "Martha Gellhorn was so fearless in a male way, and yet utterly capable of making men melt," writes New Yorker literary editor Bill Buford. As a journalist, Gellhorn covered every military conflict from the Spanish Civil War to Vietnam and Nicaragua. She also bewitched Eleanor Roosevelt's secret love and enraptured Ernest Hemingway with her courage as they dodged shell fire together. Hemingway is, of course, the unnamed "other" in the title of this tart memoir, first published in 1979, in which Gellhorn describes her globe-spanning adventures, both accompanied and alone. With razor-sharp humor and exceptional insight into place and character, she tells of a tense week spent among dissidents in Moscow; long days whiled away in a disused water tank with hippies clustered at Eilat on the Red Sea; and her journeys by sampan and horse to the interior of China during the Sino-Japanese War. Now including a foreward by Bill Buford and photographs of Gellhorn with Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, Madame Chiang Kai-shek, Gary Cooper, and others, this new edition rediscovers the voice of an extraordinary woman and brings back into print an irresistibly entertaining classic.
by Leslie Jamison
About the book: From personal loss to phantom diseases, The Empathy Exams is a bold and brilliant collection, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize A Publishers Weekly Top Ten Essay Collection of Spring 2014 Beginning with her experience as a medical actor who was paid to act out symptoms for medical students to diagnose, Leslie Jamison's visceral and revealing essays ask essential questions about our basic understanding of others: How should we care about each other? How can we feel another's pain, especially when pain can be assumed, distorted, or performed? Is empathy a tool by which to test or even grade each other? By confronting pain—real and imagined, her own and others'—Jamison uncovers a personal and cultural urgency to feel. She draws from her own experiences of illness and bodily injury to engage in an exploration that extends far beyond her life, spanning wide-ranging territory—from poverty tourism to phantom diseases, street violence to reality television, illness to incarceration—in its search for a kind of sight shaped by humility and grace.
by Anne Lamott
About the book: "A warm, generous and hilarious guide through the writer's world and its treacherous swamps." --Los Angeles Times Advice on writing and on life from an acclaimed bestselling author: "Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'"
by Lena Dunham
About the book: From the acclaimed creator, producer, and star of HBO’s Girls comes a hilarious, wise, and fiercely candid collection of personal essays that establishes Lena Dunham as one of the most original young talents writing today. In Not That Kind of Girl, Dunham illuminates the experiences that are part of making one’s way in the world: falling in love, feeling alone, being ten pounds overweight despite eating only health food, having to prove yourself in a room full of men twice your age, finding true love, and, most of all, having the guts to believe that your story is one that deserves to be told. “Take My Virginity (No, Really, Take It)” is the account of Dunham’s first time, and how her expectations of sex didn’t quite live up to the actual event (“No floodgate had been opened, no vault of true womanhood unlocked”); “Girls & Jerks” explores her former attraction to less-than-nice guys—guys who had perfected the “dynamic of disrespect” she found so intriguing; “Is This Even Real?” is a meditation on her lifelong obsession with death and dying—what she called her “genetically predestined morbidity.” And in “I Didn’t Fuck Them, but They Yelled at Me,” she imagines the tell-all she will write when she is eighty and past caring, able to reflect honestly on the sexism and condescension she has encountered in Hollywood, where women are “treated like the paper thingies that protect glasses in hotel bathrooms—necessary but infinitely disposable.” Exuberant, moving, and keenly observed, Not That Kind of Girl is a series of dispatches from the frontlines of the struggle that is growing up. “I’m already predicting my future shame at thinking I had anything to offer you,” Dunham writes. “But if I can take what I’ve learned and make one menial job easier for you, or prevent you from having the kind of sex where you feel you must keep your sneakers on in case you want to run away during the act, then every misstep of mine will have been worthwhile.”
by Joan Didion
About the book: From one of America's iconic writers, a portrait of a marriage and a life – in good times and bad – that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child. A stunning book of electric honesty and passion.
by Cheryl Strayed
About the book: Collects top-selected postings on life and relationships from The Rumpus' popular "Dear Sugar" online column, sharing recommendations on everything from infidelity and grief to marital boredom and financial hardships. Original. 40,000 first printing.
by Eula Biss
About the book: Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism Winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize A frank and fascinating exploration of race and racial identity Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays begins with a series of lynchings and ends with a series of apologies. Eula Biss explores race in America and her response to the topic is informed by the experiences chronicled in these essays -- teaching in a Harlem school on the morning of 9/11, reporting for an African American newspaper in San Diego, watching the aftermath of Katrina from a college town in Iowa, and settling in Chicago's most diverse neighborhood. As Biss moves across the country from New York to California to the Midwest, her essays move across time from biblical Babylon to the freedman's schools of Reconstruction to a Jim Crow mining town to post-war white flight. She brings an eclectic education to the page, drawing variously on the Eagles, Laura Ingalls Wilder, James Baldwin, Alexander Graham Bell, Joan Didion, religious pamphlets, and reality television shows. These spare, sometimes lyric essays explore the legacy of race in America, artfully revealing in intimate detail how families, schools, and neighborhoods participate in preserving racial privilege. Faced with a disturbing past and an unsettling present, Biss still remains hopeful about the possibilities of American diversity, "not the sun-shininess of it, or the quota-making politics of it, but the real complexity of it."
by Julie Klausner
About the book: Read Julie Klausner's posts on the Penguin Blog In the tradition of Cynthia Heimel and Chelsea Handler, and with the boisterous iconoclasm of Amy Sedaris, Julie Klausner's candid and funny debut I Don't Care About Your Band sheds light on the humiliations we endure to find love--and the lessons that can be culled from the wreckage. I Don't Care About Your Band posits that lately the worst guys to date are the ones who seem sensitive. It's the jerks in nice guy clothing, not the players in Ed Hardy, who break the hearts of modern girls who grew up in the shadow of feminism, thinking they could have everything, but end up compromising constantly. The cowards, the kidults, the critics, and the contenders: these are the stars of Klausner's memoir about how hard it is to find a man--good or otherwise--when you're a cynical grown-up exiled in the dregs of Guyville. Off the popularity of her New York Times "Modern Love" piece about getting the brush-off from an indie rock musician, I Don't care About Your Band is marbled with the wry strains of Julie Klausner's precocious curmudgeonry and brimming with truths that anyone who's ever been on a date will relate to. Klausner is an expert at landing herself waist-deep in crazy, time and time again, in part because her experience as a comedy writer (Best Week Ever, TV Funhouse on SNL) and sketch comedian from NYC's Upright Citizens Brigade fuels her philosophy of how any scene should unfold, which is, "What? That sounds crazy? Okay, I'll do it." I Don't Care About Your Band charts a distinctly human journey of a strong-willed but vulnerable protagonist who loves men like it's her job, but who's done with guys who know more about love songs than love. Klausner's is a new outlook on dating in a time of pop culture obsession, and she spent her 20's doing personal field research to back up her philosophies. This is the girl's version of High Fidelity. By turns explicit, funny and moving, Klausner's debut shows the evolution of a young woman who endured myriad encounters with the wrong guys, to emerge with real- world wisdom on matters of the heart. I Don't Care About Your Band is Julie Klausner's manifesto, and every one of us can relate.
by Jessica Pan,Rachel Kapelke-Dale
About the book: Two best friends document their post-college lives in a hilarious, relatable, and powerfully honest epistolary memoir. Fast friends since they met at Brown University during their freshman year, Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale vowed to keep in touch after their senior year through in-depth—and brutally honest—weekly e-mails. After graduation, Jess packs up everything she owns and moves to Beijing on a whim, while Rachel heads to New York to work for an art gallery and to figure out her love life. Each spends the next few years tumbling through adulthood and reinventing themselves in various countries, including France, China, and Australia. Through their messages from around the world, they swap tales of teaching classes of military men, running a magazine, and flirting in foreign languages, along with the hard stuff: from harrowing accidents to breakups and breakdowns. Reminiscent of Sloan Crosley’s essays and Lena Dunham’s Girls, Graduates in Wonderland is an intimate, no-holds-barred portrait of two young women as they embark upon adulthood.
by Alida Nugent
About the book: Alida Nugent graduated college with a degree in one hand and a drink in the other, eager to trade in parties and all-nighters for “the real world.” But post-grad wasn’t the glam life she imagined. Soon buried under a pile of bills, laundry, and three-dollar bottles of wine, it quickly became clear that she had no idea what she was doing. But hey, what twentysomething does? In Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse, Nugent shares what it takes to make the awkward leap from undergrad to “mature and responsible adult that definitely never eats peanut butter straight from the jar and considers it a meal.” From trying to find an apartment on the black hole otherwise known as Craigslist to the creative maneuvering needed to pay off student loans and still enjoy happy hour, Nugent documents the formative moments of being a twentysomething with a little bit of snark and a lot of heart. Perfect for fans of HBO's Girls and Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half, and based on her popular Tumblr blog The Frenemy, Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse is a love note to boozin’, bitchin’ ladies everywhere.
by Melissa Bank
About the book: After following the advice from a manual called "How to Meet and Marry Mr Right", Jane learns that in love there is neither pattern nor promise. This is a funny collection of connected stories and a portrait of Jane, a woman manoeuvring her way through love, sex and relationships.