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Staff Picks - Awesome Autobiographies

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An Autobiography:  The Story of My Experiments With Truth (954.035  G195)
by Mohandas K.  Gandhi 

Autobiography of an Execution (345.76407 D744)
by David R. Dow       
A lawyer and head of the Texas Defender Service argues against capital punishment as he explores the cases of criminals condemned to death. 

Autobiography of Mark Twain (818.409 T969)                  
Presents Mark Twain's authentic and unsuppressed voice, brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions, and speaking clearly from the grave as he intended. 

Becoming Dr. Q (617.092 Q76)                                 
by Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa 
Tells his life story, from impoverished childhood in a tiny Mexican village to illegal immigrant, American citizen, and internationally renowned neurosurgeon. 

The Cost of Hope (362.19699 F663)
by Amanda Bennett     
Pulitzer Prize winner’s beautifully written memoir--a love story of two unusual people, their complex marriage, and finally, Bennett's quest to save her husband's life. 

I Shock Myself (738.092 W873) 
by Beatrice Wood
Recounts her determination to become an artist and potter, describes her experiences in Paris, and shares her impressions of artists and writers of the period. 

Life Itself (791.43092 E165)
by Roger Ebert
The film critic describes his life, career, alcoholism recovery and thyroid cancer treatment.

Mrs. Kennedy and Me (973.92209)
by Clint Hill
A former Secret Service agent recounts his shared experiences with the former First Lady before and after her husband's death.  

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake (813.54 Q72) 
by Anna Quindlen         
Quindlen writes about her life and the lives of women today. 

Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the ‘60’s and Beyond (659.1092 M111)
by Jane Maas       
An award-winning creative director recalls what it was like to be in advertising in NYC in the 1960s and 1970s, sharing insight into office culture, sexuality and challenges faced by working women.  

Memories Before and After The Sound of Music (943.60522 T774)
by Agathe von Trapp     
The oldest Von Trapp child shares her memories & the stories behind “The Sound of Music” from her close-knit siblings, to the loss of their mother and the arrival of their new governess. 

My Beloved World (347.73263 S718)
by Sonia Sotomayor
The first Hispanic on the U.S. Supreme Court tells the story of her life before becoming a judge.         

Society’s Child (782.42164  I11)  
by Janis Ian 
The Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter chronicles her more than four decades in the       music industry.      

Take the Cannoli: Stories From the New World (081)
by Sarah Vowell       
A collection of autobiographical stories describes the American experience of the author's life, from her childhood among devout Christians to her present incarnation as a radio host.

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading (028.8 S227)
by Nina Sankovitch
Torn apart by grief after losing her sister, the author turned to literature for comfort, devoting herself to reading one book a day for a year. 

Trauma: My Life as an Emergency Surgeon (617.092 C689)
By James Cole     
A harrowing account of a doctor’s life spent in the ER and on the battlegrounds, fighting to save lives.  

Up From the Projects (330.092 W728)
by Walter E. Williams 
From his lower-middle-class beginnings in West Philadelphia to his department chairmanship at George Mason University, the life of Walter E. Williams is an "only in America" story of achievement.     

Wine to Water: A Bartender’s Quest to Bring Clean Water to the World (363.61091 H497) 
by Doc Hendley
The founder of the non-profit org. dedicated to bringing clean water to people in need throughout the world traces how a local fundraising effort led to an unlikely visit to Darfur.    

Yes, Chef (641.5092 S193)  
by Marcus Samuelsson                       
An adopted Ethiopian boy who loves to cook walks to his Swedish grandmother's house and helps prepare a roast chicken for dinner. He will become a world-renowned chef.  

Oink: My Life With Mini-Pigs (636.40887)  
by Matt Whyman               
Recounts the author's misadventures with a pair of miniature pigs, describing how mini-pigs Butch and Roxi became members of a family that also included four children.

Every Step You Take (792.8028 S718) 
by Jock Soto
Interweaving the diverse strands of his life, the author, regarded as the greatest ballet dancer since Baryshnikov, recalls his many professional relationships.      

On Good Land: The Autobiography of an Urban Farm (635.092 A152) 
by Michael Ableman         
A chronicle of life on the one-hundred-year-old Fairview Gardens, a thriving farm in the heart of Goleta where one man struggles to save the farm from development.        

Born to Run (782.421 SPRINGSTEEN)
by Bruce Springsteen
Traces the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's life from his childhood in a Catholic New Jersey family and the musical experiences that prompted his career to the rise of the E Street Band and the stories behind some of his most famous songs.   

Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of  Hotels, Hustles and So-Called Hospitality (647.94092 T662)                           
by Jacob Tomsky         
A veteran of the hospitality business describes the industry, coming clean on the housekeeping department, the unwritten code of bellhops and what really goes on in a valet parking garage.

No Easy Day: The Autobiography of a Navy SEAL (958.1047 O974)
by Mark Owen [pseudonym]
The first-person account of the planning and execution of the Bin Laden raid from a Navy Seal who confronted the terrorist mastermind and witnessed his final moment. 

Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters (599.935)                            
by Matt Ridley   
With a chapter devoted to each chromosome, this "biography" of the human genome explores the genetic basis for sexual behavior, personality, intelligence, and other human traits.

An American Childhood (818.5409 D578) 
by Annie Dillard
Presents a memoir of growing up in Pittsburgh in the 1950s.               

Last Words (792.7028 C282)
by George Carlin                                     
Nearly completed before he died, this chronicles his storied career, during which he pushed the boundaries of comedy and language and influenced several generations of performers.    

True Compass (973.92092 K354)
by Edward M. Kennedy                   
Senator Kennedy tells his extraordinary personal story--of his legendary family, politics, & fifty years at the center of national events.                            

A Chinese Life (951.05092 L693)
by Li Kunwu                                     
In graphic-novel form, this traces a personal  journey from the creation of the People's Republic of China in 1949 to the present day that is at once epic and intimate, comic and tragic.                    

Nothing to Be Frightened Of (823.914 B261)
by Julian Barnes             
A memoir about the author's family offers a meditation on the inevitability of human mortality and the fear of death, a celebration of art, and an argument for, against, about, and with God.

Life (782.42166 R516)                         
by Keith Richards   
Recounts his life, from a youth obsessed with Chuck Berry to the formation of the Stones, their                        subsequent  stardom, and discusses his problems with drugs, the death of Brian Jones, and his                 relationship with Mick Jagger.

Inferno: A Doctor’s Ebola Story (362.196 HATCH)                                                                       
by Stephen Hatch         
An American doctor provides a first-hand account of the Ebola epidemic—during which he served at a small Liberian hospital where he saw the disease tear apart families and kill both his colleagues and patients alike. 

The Men in My Life: A Memoir of Love & Art in 1950’s Manhattan (070.92)               
by Patricia Bosworth             
An American journalist discusses what it was like to come of age during the repressive 1950's and how her family’s move to New York landed her inside the Actor’s Studio with Marilyn Monroe & Paul Newman.                  

This Close to Happy (616.852)    
by Daphne Merkin     
A former "New Yorker" staff writer traces her lifelong battle with depression, marked by her wealthy but inconsistent family and her numerous pursuits in therapy and hospitalization.                  

Approval Junkie (791.43 SALIE)   
by Faith Salie                                                 
A collection of essays from the comedian and NPR journalist describes her ongoing quest to gain approval from everyone in her life, detailing her strategy to win the school beauty pageant and deciding on the perfect outfit to wear to her divorce.