Favorite Fridays highlight media the HCDL staff recommend. Find your next favorite book, audiobook, movie, TV show, magazine, etc., here every Friday this summer— and share your own favorites in the weekly posts’ comments!
This week we’re sharing some of our librarians’ favorite creative nonfiction–poetry, memoirs, and more! If you’ve read these titles, share your thoughts in the comments along with your own favorite creative nonfiction books.
*Hoopla is available to Howell library district residents only.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Call# 305.8 Coa
Between the World and Me is a letter written by Ta-Nehisi Coates to his 15-year-old son about living, and growing up, Black in America. Coates packs A LOT into this little book. It’s heavy, but not more than you would expect from any memoir with a focus on racism. I got so much out of this book that I immediately put myself on the hold list (don’t worry, it’s not long) for the audiobook version to “read” it again in another format.
Citizen : an American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
Call# 811.54 Ran
Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine’s fifth book of poetry, is a poignant look at acts of everyday racism in a world where more explicit discrimination has been outlawed. Rankine’s work is enlightening for those who don’t experience such blatant discrimination the way people of color are often unable to avoid. Her prose juxtaposes personal experiences with the historical self, putting day-to-day encounters with discrimination into the context of the fraught history of racism in our country. I highly recommend giving this a try, even if poetry isn’t typically your preferred genre.
On Writing : a Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Call# Large Print 813.54 Kin
Part memoir, part writing guide, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is a down-to-earth, frank, and thankfully non-snobbish discussion of the craft, the tools every writer uses and needs, and advice on how to keep going. It was fascinating to get a glimpse at such a prolific author’s writing habits and style and learn how he started. King has a great sense of humor, too, and isn’t afraid to throw out curse words. I’m not a huge Stephen King fan; I haven’t read all or even many of his books. But this one, this one I loved. He just lays out what he does in his writing, how he thinks it could work for others, and tells us the most important things to do to be a writer: write a lot and read a lot. Makes sense, no? Essential reading for aspiring and current writers. An enjoyable read for everyone else, too.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Call# Graphic Novels 955.054 Sat
In this graphic novel memoir, Satrapi tells of her life growing up in Iran. From age 6 to 14, she saw the fall of the Shah, the Islamic Revolution’s triumph, and the devastation of war with Iraq. I wasn’t familiar with Iranian history, so this intimate coming-of-age story during a time of great upheaval was eye-opening. The black-and-white illustrations complement the stark reality of living through troubling times while also experiencing the beauty and tragedy of daily life. Satrapi’s memoir continues in Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return and has a movie adaptation.
The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace
Call# 811.6 Lov
Amanda Lovelace’s poetry focuses on self-love and self-respect, a recurring theme of which is that a damsel can be her own hero. The Princess Saves Herself in This One is divided into four sections: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you. The first three sections focus on the author’s experience growing up a woman and her struggles with mental health and accepting all of herself, while the last section serves as a broader address to the reader and humankind. While some of her poems are a bit simplistic, I liked how she tied stereotypical themes of fairy tales into the narrative, with the focus of being allowed to break away from those expected roles. If you like this book, check out the other books in her Women are Some Kind of Magic series like The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One and The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One.
Shrill : Notes From a Loud Woman by Lindy West
Call# 921 West
I absolutely love Lindy West’s sense of humor! Her memoir was a very enjoyable & easy read. Hilarious despite her tackling some heavier topics, including abortion and fat shaming. Shrill has now also been made into a TV show, loosely based on the memoir, and is available to stream on Hulu if you subscribe to that service. West’s latest book, a work of nonfiction titled The Witches Are Coming (HCDL Catalog | Overdrive/Libby), is another great read (or listen!) if you’re a fan of her writing. I literally laughed out loud.