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Life Stories Worth Exploring

Four Inspiring Biographies

*Taste: My Life Through Food

Stanley Tucci

Many who didn’t already know Tucci as an actor fell in love with him during Covid, when he posted a video on Instagram making a Negroni cocktail at home. In this memoir, the author of The Tucci Cookbook and The Tucci Table and self-professed "food obsessive" writes about his life growing up in an Italian American family in Westchester County who spent every night together around the kitchen table. Fusing his love of family, friends, and food, Tucci writes of his mother: “I can honestly say that on the four-burner electric stove she used throughout my childhood and on the gas hob that replaced it, she never cooked a bad meal. Not once.” The Washington Post raves: “Reading this book will make you more attentive to the glorious--or modest--food on your table and to the people with whom you are privileged to share it.” Some of his favorite recipes are sprinkled throughout.

*The Best of Me

David Sedaris

American humorist and frequent New Yorker contributor David Sedaris’s talent for biographical and witty writing is on display in his latest collection of essays. Taken from previously published pieces, this retrospective spanning nearly 30 years includes his funniest and most thoughtful work, like recalling long-ago family vacations with his family of six siblings, including his actress/comedian sister and frequent collaborator Amy. From Kirkus Reviews, high praise for this storyteller: “It’s a lovely mélange by a modern Mark Twain who is always willing to set himself up as a shlemiel in the interest of a good yarn.” A great book to dip in and out of for insightful and incisive humor. For audiobook fans, this is a great listen.

*Alexander Hamilton

Ron Chernow

This acclaimed biography was what Lin-Manuel Miranda brought with him on vacation to Mexico in 2008, inspiring his Broadway musical of the same name, which went on to win 11 Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. At 700 plus captivating pages, The New York Times says of Hamilton’s author: “Nobody has captured Hamilton himself as fully and beautifully as Chernow.” Meticulously researched and covering his entire life from his early years in the Caribbean to his famous death at 49 in a duel with Aaron Burr, Chernow delves deeply into his contributions to the Federalist Papers and his interactions with George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe. The Wall Street Journal calls it “impressively thorough and superbly written.”

*Broken Horses: A Memoir

Brandi Carlile

Five-time Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter Brandi Carlile has a lot to say in her captivating new memoir: From her early years in the Pacific Northwest dealing with poverty, family struggles with alcoholism, and a bout with meningitis at age five which almost took her life, she holds nothing back. Supported by her family and her small hometown as an adolescent, when a local pastor shunned her for being gay, Carlile started on a journey to a life of music, eventually collaborating with such musical giants as Elton John, Dolly Parton, and Joni Mitchell. She offers a unique behind-the-scenes look at the music business, touring for 15 years and producing six studio albums while raising two children with her wife, Catherine Shepherd. Kirkus Reviews calls this book “an intimate life-affirming look at a musician whose artistic journey is far from over.”