It’s Thursday, which means that we are almost through the week (thank goodness), but it also means that it is time for another list of nonfiction new-releases to add to your TBR. This week, we are going to focus on biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. The greatest thing about books that focus on the human experience is that we are able to learn from them, so why not take a little bit of time to learn about a company that has recently come under the magnifying glass? Why not read about about certain key figures in history, or about dealing with certain hardships in life? This list includes some fascinating people to learn from, be it from a historical standpoint or that of modern times.
1. Billion Dollar Loser: The Epic Rise and Spectacular Fall of Adam Neumann and WeWork by Reeves Wiedeman
For the first item on our list, we’re going to take a look at a story that I’ve found fascinating as somebody who has studied the company WeWork in the past. WeWork is a commercial real estate company that provides shared office spaces with increased flexibility, therefore being a platform through which startups or smaller organizations are able to have an office within their budget. Reeves Wiedeman writes how WeWork attracted billions of dollars from world-famous investors over the years, yet it was losing money every year and the projection of its market was completely off. While WeWork was portrayed as a company on top, it fell hard when reality finally closed in on it. In the end, WeWork’s IPO was a complete failure and Adam Neumann, the man behind WeWork, was dramatically removed from the organization.
2. The Dead are Rising: The Life of Malcom X by Les Payne and Tamara Payne
For the next item on our list, we turn to another man who was incredibly passionate, intense, and whose exit (and in this case, death) is one for the history books. Of course, we know that Malcom X is in history books. However, this epic biography will be a much more interesting read than a textbook. Written by Les Payne, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, The Dead are Rising has been in the works for thirty years as Les Payne sought out to interview every single person possible who had known Malcom X. Unfortunately, Les Payne passed before he could finish this laborious project, but it was completed by his daughter, Tamara Payne. The result is a captivating portrait of Malcom X’s life, from childhood to assassination, providing a completely new look at the life of one of the most fascinating political figures of the twentieth century.
3. Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise by Scott Eyman
Given the fact that the first two items on this list are a bit on the heavier side, in regard to the subjects and the general atmosphere which surrounds the discussion of them, let us now turn to a more light-hearted one. Written by Scott Eyman, film historian and acclaimed New York Times bestselling biographer, Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise walks readers through the life of one of Hollywood’s most beloved and legendary actors, coming straight from the Golden Age of Hollywood itself. Many would be influenced by his work, including Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest or Stanley Donen’s Charade, which also starred Audrey Hepburn. However, not many would know that Grant was born, with the name Archibald Leach, to a tumultuous family in Bristol, England. Grant came to the States as an acrobat, with dreams to change his own narrative. He also sought to not follow the same path as his father, who was an alcoholic, or his mother, who was committed to an asylum and believed Grant to be dead until he was thirty-one.
4. I’ll Be Seeing You: A Memoir by Elizabeth Berg
Elizabeth Berg, the New York Times bestselling author known for novels such as True to Form, Never Change, and Open House, turns instead to writing a memoir in I’ll Be Seeing You. She tells the story of her father, an Army veteran who also knew how to channel his softer side when it came to the love he shared with his wife, Berg’s mother. Berg runs through touching memories of her happy childhood and the beautiful relationship between her parents. However, all of their lives would be changed forever upon her father’s diagnosis of having Alzheimer’s disease. Berg’s memoir therefore shifts as her family had to move out of their home and into a facility. I’ll Be Seeing You is an incredibly moving memoir as Berg reflects upon her experience of taking care of her parents in their final years and the love that was shared not only between her parents, but throughout their family.
5. The Boy Between: A Mother and Son’s Journey From a World Gone Grey by Josiah Hatley and Amanda Prowse
For the final item on this week’s nonfiction list, we will turn to one other memoir which details a family’s hardship and their experience in coming together to deal with it, driven by love. Novelist, Amanda Prowse, and her son, Josiah Hatley, co-wrote this dual autobiography to share their experience with depression; as Hatley had gotten to the point of planning his own death when his mental health took a sharp turn for the worse while he was away at university at the age of nineteen. Hatley and Prowse urge everyone dealing with depression, be it themselves or someone they love, that they are not alone. In Hatley’s case, he had his family supporting him, while they also struggled themselves due to the fear they all experienced. Their biggest fear would be of him succeeding in taking his life. With that being said, please know that if you are currently going through this, there is somebody available to talk to twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week, by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
FEATURE IMAGES VIA AMAZON