WHAM!, George Michael, and Me
For the first time, Andrew Ridgeley—one half of one of the most famous bands in the world—tells the inside story of Wham!, his lifelong friendship with George Michael, and the formation of a band that changed the shape of the music scene in the early eighties.
All the Wrong Moves
In high school chess club, Sasha Chapin fell for the game. His passion was rekindled during an accidental encounter with chess hustlers on the streets of Kathmandu, and soon he forgot how to care about anything else. This memoir traces his obsessive two-year journey around the globe in search of glory.
Year of the Monkey
National Book Award–winner Patti Smith is back with a haunting memoir that blends fact and fiction with poetic mastery. As Smith heads toward a new decade in life, she grapples with grief and disillusionment but offers her reader wisdom, wit, and above all, hope for a better world.
How can a mother and daughter who love (but don’t always like) each other coexist without driving each other crazy? This is the stuff memoirs are made of. Filled with tenderness, irreverence, and unforgettable characters, Motherland is an exploration of what it means to escape from the shackles of the past only to have to face them all over again.
This literary memoir from Gen X rock star, feminist, and cultural icon Liz Phair reads like the confessions of a friend. In it, Phair tells the story of her life and career in a series of haunting stories that uncover the universal experiences of daily pain, guilt, and fear that make up our humanity.
Travel Light, Move Fast
A master of time and memory, Alexandra Fuller moves seamlessly between the days and months following her father’s death, as she and her mother return to his banana farm in Zambia and contend with his overwhelming absence, and her childhood spent running after him in southern and central Africa.
On Being Human
Sometimes life’s greatest lessons come from the most unexpected places. Years of waitressing taught Jennifer Pastiloff to seek out beauty. Hearing loss taught her to listen fiercely, being vulnerable allowed her to find love. This is the story of how a starved person grew into the exuberant woman she was meant to be by battling the demons within and winning.
Like many six year-olds, Mira Jacob’s half-Jewish, half-Indian son has questions about everything. But as tensions from the 2016 election spread from the media into his own family, they became much more complicated. Weaving together art and words, this graphic memoir masterfully speaks to difficult conversations about race, color, sexuality, and love.
I was midway through my 30s when I received the best piece of advice I’ve ever heard: Don’t compare yourself to others, because you’re comparing your insides to everyone else’s outsides. This annoyingly obvious axiom changed the way I lived in this world, giving me confidence and permission to give far less of a damn than I ever had before. The beauty of memoirs is that they allow a glimpse of other people’s messy, complicated insides. Isabel Allende wrote, “a memoir is an invitation into another person’s privacy,” and these magic mirrors allow us to step into the secret interior lives of others. There we can finally see the universal truth of being human: inside, we’re all a mess.
Featured image: @kelly.kirkham via Twenty20