All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung

Staff Pick

Bittersweet, empathic, and honest, Nicole Chung’s memoir, All You Can Ever Know (Catapult, $26), recounts her experiences as a Korean adoptee of white parents, follows her search for her birth parents, and charts her changing views of parenthood as she becomes a mother herself.  Chung’s narrative unfolds her memories of facing racism growing up in a rural Oregon town, hushed attempts to excavate family secrets, and then the trials of new motherhood. She weaves in the perspective of her birth sister who grew up under vastly different circumstances, a narrative that ends in a complicated but heartfelt reunion between the two women. Chung’s lived experiences and poignant observations paint an intricate portrait of both Asian-American and transracial adoptee identity that challenges the prepackaged myths and assumptions held by society about both groups. All You Can Ever Know is moving and engaging from start to finish. The story is a relevant read for today, but also ends on a note of unabashed hope for tomorrow.

All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir By Nicole Chung Cover Image
ISBN: 9781936787975
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Catapult - October 2nd, 2018

There Will Be No Miracles Here by Casey Gerald

Staff Pick

Raised on the wrong side of Dallas’s Trinity River, Casey Gerald achieved success with the odds stacked against him. His father abused drugs, his mother was often gone and then gone forever, yet Gerald still went on to play varsity football at Yale, earn an MBA from Harvard, and see for himself what the American dream truly is. However, what makes There Will Be No Miracles Here (Riverhead, $27) distinct is that Gerald rejects his own rags-to-riches story. He does not linger in his own achievements, and his humble and forthright storytelling breathes life into the flawed and saintly people of his past. Written with clarity, wit, and a tangible purpose, yes, this book does tell the story of the American dream. But what makes it both unique and worthwhile is that it tells that classic tale with an honesty that will make you rethink what it means to get to the top in America.

There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir By Casey Gerald Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735214200
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Riverhead Books - October 2nd, 2018

Educated by Tara Westover

Staff Pick

Tara Westover grew up in Bucks Peak, the daughter of a Mormon Survivalist father who frequently ranted about the imposition of “west coast socialism on the good people of Idaho.” She never went to school or to the doctor and didn’t have a birth certificate until she was eleven. Instead she read the Bible and the Book of Mormon, worked in her father’s scrap metal yard, and prepared for the End of the World or Y2K—whichever one came first. Westover thought she knew how her life would play out.  She would marry at eighteen, learn about herbs and midwifery from her mother, and live in a house built by her husband on her father’s land.  In the meantime, her brother would abuse her and call her a whore and even dance class would be considered one of Satan’s deceptions because it “claimed to teach dance but actually taught promiscuity. Against all odds, Westover turned her back on this world. With no knowledge of the Holocaust, thinking that Europe was a country, and only having vaguely heard the word “Shakespeare,” she attended Brigham Young University.  Her thirst to learn “how the gatekeepers of history had come to terms with their own ignorance and partiality” led her to study at Cambridge University and earn a PhD from Harvard—drawn to such “unwomanly” subjects as law, politics and Jewish History. Educated is a raw and fiercely brave memoir that goes further than Hillbilly Elegy in giving voice to hidden aspects of the American experience.

Educated: A Memoir By Tara Westover Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399590504
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - February 20th, 2018