Kickass memoirs by women that'll make you forget your own life

Every women goes through life a little differently. These memoirs will give you a glimpse into the life led by hundreds of women who you don't know (yet).
Dimestore: A Writer's Life
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Dimestore: A Writer's Life

by Lee Smith

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A Fine Romance
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A Fine Romance

by Susan Branch

About the book:  Travel writing at its best by Susan Branch, New York Times best selling author, in a A Fine Romance, Falling in Love with the English Countryside. This charming book is part love story, part travel guide ~ a hand-written and watercolored diary/journal of Branch's six-day transatlantic crossing on board the Queen Mary 2 and two-month ramble through the backroads of rural England.     There are over three hundred photos, countless watercolor illustrations, wonderful quotes, recipes, a book list, a movie list, hand-drawn maps and so much more.  Travel with Susan as she makes her way through wildflower hedgerows to visit the homes and gardens of her literary and artistic heroes including Beatrix Potter and Jane Austen. It's a travel guide that will help you plan a trip of your own, lovely for the armchair traveler because Susan really does take you there, and perfect for all Downton Abbey anglophiles.  When you are finished, go to Susan's website where there is an interactive Appendix to the book .... you can experience driving across the Dales with Susan's own videos and find links to everything she writes about, the cottages and gardens you will want to see yourself.     A Fine Romance is book three of a Susan Branch trilogy. Book One is The Fairy Tale Girl, followed by Martha's Vineyard, Isle of Dreams, and then A Fine Romance, Falling in Love with the English Countryside. All three are hand-lettered, watercolored, filled with photos, recipes and quotes and, as Susan says, "as much magic as I could possibly stuff between two covers." Bon Voyage! 

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You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir
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You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir

by Felicia Day

About the book:  The instant New York Times bestseller from “queen of the geeks” Felicia Day, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is a “relentlessly funny and surprisingly inspirational” (Forbes.com) memoir about her unusual upbringing, her rise to internet stardom, and embracing her weirdness to find her place in the world.When Felicia Day was a girl, all she wanted was to connect with other kids (desperately). Growing up in the Deep South, where she was “home-schooled for hippie reasons,” she looked online to find her tribe. The Internet was in its infancy and she became an early adopter at every stage of its growth—finding joy and unlikely friendships in the emerging digital world. Her relative isolation meant that she could pursue passions like gaming, calculus, and 1930’s detective novels without shame. Because she had no idea how “uncool” she really was. But if it hadn’t been for her strange background—the awkwardness continued when she started college at sixteen, with Mom driving her to campus every day—she might never have had the naïve confidence to forge her own path. Like when she graduated as valedictorian with a math degree and then headed to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting despite having zero contacts. Or when she tired of being typecast as the crazy cat-lady secretary and decided to create her own web series before people in show business understood that online video could be more than just cats chasing laser pointers. Felicia’s rags-to-riches rise to Internet fame launched her career as one of the most influen­tial creators in new media. Ever candid, she opens up about the rough patches along the way, recounting battles with writer’s block, a full-blown gaming addiction, severe anxiety, and depression—and how she reinvented herself when overachieving became overwhelming. Showcasing Felicia’s “engaging and often hilarious voice” (USA TODAY), You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is proof that everyone should celebrate what makes them different and be brave enough to share it with the world, because anything is possible now—even for a digital misfit.

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Please Be with Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman
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Please Be with Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman

by Galadrielle Allman

About the book:  A deeply personal, revealing, and lyrical portrait of Duane Allman, founder of the legendary Allman Brothers Band, written by his daughter  In 1969, Duane Allman had a vision for a band with two drummers, two guitarists, and a bass player, anchored by his brother’s soulful lead vocals—and the Allman Brothers Band was born. Their fiery, mesmerizing performances tore down barriers and changed the landscape of American music forever, and the tragedies that beset the Brothers turned them into legends. In this remarkable, intimate book, Duane’s daughter, Galadrielle, tells the story of how the band came together, their influences and passions, their rivalries and incomparable musical vision. She introduces us to the artists, women, engineers, and roadies who were a part of the family. From Daytona Beach to the Fillmore East, this is both Duane’s story and the band’s, told with clarity, passion, yearning, and soul.Praise for Please Be with Me  “Duane Allman was my big brother, my partner, my best friend. I thought I knew everything there was to know about him, but Galadrielle’s deep and insightful book came as a revelation to me, as it will to everyone who reads it.”—Gregg Allman“Poignant and illuminating . . . brings Duane Allman to life in a way that no other biography will ever be able to do.”—BookPage “Galadrielle Allman offers a moving and poetic portrait of her late father.”—Rolling Stone  “[Allman’s] descriptions and scenes are vivid, even cinematic. . . . The pleasure of reading Please Be With Me lies as much in its lyrical prose as in its insider anecdotes.”—Newsweek  “An elegantly written, heartfelt account.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution   “Evokes a wistful, elegiac atmosphere; fans of the ’70s music scene may find it indispensable.”—San Jose Mercury News “A compelling and intimate portrait of Duane.”—The Hollywood Reporter   “Illuminating.”—Kirkus Reviews   “Frequently touching . . . Readers will come away feeling more connected to the man and his music.”—Publishers Weekly“The most moving music biography I’ve ever read. Better than that, Galadrielle has uncovered the heart and motivations, the desolation and saving graces, of the man, and lays it plain in a born-to-write southern voice. She has looked into absence, and from it she has salvaged two hearts: her father’s and her own.”—Mikal Gilmore, author of Shot in the Heart

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Defiant: The POWs Who Endured Vietnam's Most Infamous Prison, The Women Who Fought for Them, and The One Who Never...
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Defiant: The POWs Who Endured Vietnam's Most Infamous Prison, The Women Who Fought for Them, and The One Who Never...

by Alvin Townley

About the book:  Winner of the Georgia Author of the Year Award in HistoryDuring the Vietnam War, hundreds of American prisoners-of-war faced years of brutal conditions and horrific torture at the hands of North Vietnamese guards and interrogators who ruthlessly plied them for military intelligence and propaganda. Determined to maintain their Code of Conduct, the POWs developed a powerful underground resistance. To quash it, their captors singled out its eleven leaders, Vietnam's own "dirty dozen," and banished them to an isolated jail that would become known as Alcatraz. None would leave its solitary cells and interrogation rooms unscathed; one would never return.As these eleven men suffered in Hanoi, their wives at home launched an extraordinary campaign that would ultimately spark the nationwide POW/MIA movement. The members of these military families banded together and showed the courage not only to endure years of doubt about the fate of their husbands and fathers, but to bravely fight for their safe return. When the survivors of Alcatraz finally came home, one veteran would go on to receive the Medal of Honor, another would become a U.S. Senator, and a third still serves in the U.S. Congress.A powerful story of survival and triumph, Alvin Townley's Defiant will inspire anyone wondering how courage, faith, and brotherhood can endure even in the darkest of situations.

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The Southern Education of a Jersey Girl: Adventures in Life and Love in the Heart of Dixie
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The Southern Education of a Jersey Girl: Adventures in Life and Love in the Heart of Dixie

by Jaime Primak Sullivan

About the book:  Jaime Primak Sullivan, outspoken star of Bravo TV’s Jersey Belle, offers no-nonsense Southern-spun advice for navigating life and love with her signature charismatic Jersey charm in this winning fish-out-of-water tale.Jamie Primak Sullivan, a Jersey-bred, tough-as-nails PR maven—and unlikely transplant in an upscale suburb of Birmingham, Alabama—has spent her entire life crossing the line: whether she’s pushing the boundaries of what proper Southern ladies consider to be “polite behavior” or literally traversing the Mason-Dixon line in the name of love. She isn’t afraid to say what everyone is thinking when it comes to love, sex, friendship, and many other topics that are all-too-often sugar-coated in polite Southern company. But when a meet-cute scenario right out of a Nora Ephron movie upends her life, Jaime finds herself a reluctant “knish out of water,” smack-dab in the Deep South starting a life with her new husband, the perfect Southern gentleman. In The Southern Education of a Jersey Girl, Jaime shares hard-learned lessons on Southern etiquette, deep-fried foods, college football, and matters of the heart while living in the heart of Dixie, with her quintessential ball-busting, bullsh*t free, and side-splitting Jersey twist.

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Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between)
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Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between)

by Lauren Graham

About the book:  NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again. In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”). In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her. Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”). Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

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Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family
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Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family

by Amy Ellis Nutt

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Scrappy Little Nobody
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Scrappy Little Nobody

by Anna Kendrick

About the book:  THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER An “honest, effortlessly funny, and alternatively relatable” (Harper’s Bazaar) collection of autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air, Pitch Perfect, and Trolls, “Scrappy Little Nobody lets readers feel like they have spent an afternoon chatting with their closest friend” (Booklist).Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.” At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations. With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.” Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).

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Grace, Gold, and Glory My Leap of Faith
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Grace, Gold, and Glory My Leap of Faith

by Gabrielle Douglas,Michelle Burford

About the book:  In the 2012 London Olympics, US gymnast Gabrielle Douglas stole hearts and flew high as the All-Around Gold Medal winner, as well as acting as a critical member of the US gold-medal-winning women gymnastics team. In this personal autobiography, Gabrielle tells her story of faith, perseverance, and determination, demonstrating you can reach your dreams if you let yourself soar.

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Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story
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Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story

by Daphne Sheldrick

About the book:  "Astonishing...You may be tempted after the last page to sell all your possessions and join [Sheldrick's] cause."―The Boston GlobeThe first person to successfully raise newborn elephants, Dame Daphne Sheldrick has saved countless African animals from certain death. In this indelible and deeply heartfelt memoir, Daphne tells of her remarkable career as a conservationist and introduces us to a whole host of orphans―including Bushy, a liquid-eyed antelope, and the majestic elephant Eleanor. Yet she also shares the incredible human story of her relationship with David Sheldrick, the famous Tsavo National Park warden whose death inspired the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the orphans' nursery, where Daphne works to this day. From her tireless campaign to preserve Kenya's wildlife to the astonishing creatures she befriended along the way, Love, Life, and Elephants is alive with compassion and humor, providing rare insight into the life of one of the world's most fascinating women.

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The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir
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The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir

by Ruth Wariner

About the book:  A riveting, deeply affecting true story of one girl’s coming-of-age in a polygamist family.RUTH WARINER was the thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children. Growing up on a farm in rural Mexico, where authorities turn a blind eye to the practices of her community, Ruth lives in a ramshackle house without indoor plumbing or electricity. At church, preachers teach that God will punish the wicked by destroying the world and that women can only ascend to Heaven by entering into polygamous marriages and giving birth to as many children as possible. After Ruth’s father―the man who had been the founding prophet of the colony―is brutally murdered by his brother in a bid for church power, her mother remarries, becoming the second wife of another faithful congregant. In need of government assistance and supplemental income, Ruth and her siblings are carted back and forth between Mexico and the United States, where Ruth’s mother collects welfare and her stepfather works a variety of odd jobs. Ruth comes to love the time she spends in the States, realizing that perhaps the community into which she was born is not the right one for her. As she begins to doubt her family’s beliefs and question her mother’s choices, she struggles to balance her fierce love for her siblings with her determination to forge a better life for herself. Recounted from the innocent and hopeful perspective of a child, The Sound of Gravel is the remarkable memoir of one girl’s fight for peace and love. This is an intimate, gripping tale of triumph, courage, and resilience.

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Mom & Me & Mom
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Mom & Me & Mom

by Maya Angelou

About the book:  NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Book club pick for Emma Watson’s Our Shared Shelf • A moving memoir about the legendary author’s relationship with her motherThe story of Maya Angelou’s extraordinary life has been chronicled in her multiple bestselling autobiographies. But now, at last, the legendary author shares the deepest personal story of her life: her relationship with her mother.   For the first time, Angelou reveals the triumphs and struggles of being the daughter of Vivian Baxter, an indomitable spirit whose petite size belied her larger-than-life presence—a presence absent during much of Angelou’s early life. When her marriage began to crumble, Vivian famously sent three-year-old Maya and her older brother away from their California home to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. The subsequent feelings of abandonment stayed with Angelou for years, but their reunion, a decade later, began a story that has never before been told. In Mom & Me & Mom, Angelou dramatizes her years reconciling with the mother she preferred to simply call “Lady,” revealing the profound moments that shifted the balance of love and respect between them.   Delving into one of her life’s most rich, rewarding, and fraught relationships, Mom & Me & Mom explores the healing and love that evolved between the two women over the course of their lives, the love that fostered Maya Angelou’s rise from immeasurable depths to reach impossible heights.Praise for Mom & Me & Mom  “Mom & Me & Mom is delivered with Angelou’s trademark good humor and fierce optimism. If any resentments linger between these lines, if lives are partially revealed without all the bitter details exposed, well, that is part of Angelou’s forgiving design. As an account of reconciliation, this little book is just revealing enough, and pretty irresistible.”—The Washington Post   “Moving . . . a remarkable portrait of two courageous souls.”—People“[The] latest, and most potent, of her serial autobiographies . . . [a] tough-minded, tenderhearted addition to Angelou’s spectacular canon.”—Elle   “Mesmerizing . . . Angelou has a way with words that can still dazzle us, and with her mother as a subject, Angelou has a near-perfect muse and mystery woman.”—Essence   “True to her style, [Angelou’s] writing cuts to the chase with compression and simplicity, and there in the background is a calypso smoothness, flurries and showers of musicality between the moments of wickedness. . . . A tightly strung, finely tuned memoir about life with her mother.”—Kirkus Reviews   “In this loving recollection of a complicated relationship, Angelou for the first time details the mother-daughter journey to reconciliation and unwavering connection and support. . . . Angelou vividly portrays a spirited woman. . . . [A] remarkable and deeply revealing chronicle of love and healing.”—Booklist   “Written with her customary eloquence . . . follows in the episodic style of Angelou’s earlier volumes of autobiography, pulling the reader along effortlessly. The lessons and the love presented here will speak to those trying to make their way in the world.”—Publishers Weekly“In straightforward style, Mom & Me & Mom dives deeply into Angelou’s complicated relationship with her mother. . . . At 84, Angelou shows few signs of slowing down.”—BookPage

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A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy
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A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy

by Sue Klebold

About the book:  Now available in trade paperback, the acclaimed national bestseller by Sue Klebold about living in the aftermath of Columbine.With a new preface from the author.On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives. For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently? These are questions that Klebold has grappled with every day since the Columbine tragedy. In A Mother’s Reckoning, she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and on countless interviews with mental health experts. Filled with hard-won wisdom and compassion, A Mother’s Reckoning is a powerful and haunting book that sheds light on one of the most pressing issues of our time. And with fresh wounds from the recent Newtown and Charleston shootings, never has the need for understanding been more urgent. All author profits from the book will be donated to research and to charitable organizations focusing on mental health issues.— Washington Post, Best Memoirs of 2016

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It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War
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It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War

by Lynsey Addario

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Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina
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Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina

by Misty Copeland

About the book:  Determination meets dance in this memoir by the history-making ballerina.In this instant New York Times bestseller, Misty Copeland makes history, telling the story of her journey to become the first African-American principal ballerina at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. But when she first placed her hands on the barre at an after-school community center, no one expected the undersized, underprivileged, and anxious thirteen-year-old to become one of America’s most groundbreaking dancers . A true prodigy, she was attempting in months roles that take most dancers years to master. But when Misty became caught between the control and comfort she found in the world of ballet and the harsh realities of her own life, she had to choose to embrace both her identity and her dreams, and find the courage to be one of a kind. With an insider’s passion, Misty opens a window into the life of an artist who lives life center stage, from behind the scenes at her first classes to her triumphant roles in some of the world’s most iconic ballets. A sensational memoir as “sensitive” and “clear-eyed” (The Washington Post) as her dancing, Life in Motion is a story of passion, identity and grace for anyone who has dared to dream of a different life.

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The Light of the World: A Memoir
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The Light of the World: A Memoir

by Elizabeth Alexander

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Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll
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Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll

by Ann Wilson,Nancy Wilson,Charles R. Cross

About the book:  The story of Heart is a story of heart and soul and rock ’n’ roll. Since finding their love of music and performing as teenagers in Seattle, Washington, Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson, have been part of the American rock music landscape. From 70s classics like “Magic Man” and “Barracuda” to chart- topping 80s ballads like “Alone,” and all the way up to 2012, when they will release their latest studio album, Fanatic, Heart has been thrilling their fans and producing hit after hit. In Kicking and Dreaming, the Wilsons recount their story as two sisters who have a shared over three decades on the stage, as songwriters, as musicians, and as the leaders of one of our most beloved rock bands. An intimate, honest, and a uniquely female take on the rock and roll life, readers of bestselling music memoirs like Life by Keith Richards and Steven Tyler’s Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? will love this quintessential music story finally told from a female perspective.

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It Was Me All Along: A Memoir
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It Was Me All Along: A Memoir

by Andie Mitchell

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Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
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Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

by Irin Carmon,Shana Knizhnik

About the book:  NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER“The authors make this unassuming, most studious woman come pulsing to life. . . . Notorious RBG may be a playful project, but it asks to be read seriously. . . . That I responded so personally to it is a testimony to [its] storytelling and panache.”— Jennifer Senior, New York TimesSupreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg never asked for fame—she has only tried to make the world a little better and a little freer.But nearly a half-century into her career, something funny happened to the octogenarian: she won the internet. Across America, people who weren’t even born when Ginsburg first made her name as a feminist pioneer are tattooing themselves with her face, setting her famously searing dissents to music, and making viral videos in tribute.Notorious RBG, inspired by the Tumblr that amused the Justice herself and brought to you by its founder and an award-winning feminist journalist, is more than just a love letter. It draws on intimate access to Ginsburg's family members, close friends, colleagues, and clerks, as well an interview with the Justice herself. An original hybrid of reported narrative, annotated dissents, rare archival photos and documents, and illustrations, the book tells a never-before-told story of an unusual and transformative woman who transcends generational divides. As the country struggles with the unfinished business of gender equality and civil rights, Ginsburg stands as a testament to how far we can come with a little chutzpah.

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