Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM | Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM | Sun: 1PM to 5PM
4613 N Oketo Ave, Harwood Heights, IL 60706 | 708-867-7828
Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM
Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM
Sun: 1PM to 5PM
4613 N Oketo Ave
Harwood Heights, IL 60706
708-867-7828

4613 N Oketo Ave, Harwood Heights, IL 60706 708-867-7828

Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM | Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM | Sun: 1PM to 5PM

May Reading Task: Memoirs

It’s Memoir May! This month’s task for our 2024 Reading Challenge is to read a biography or memoir. Below you’ll find a few recommendations to meet the task, but for even more suggestions, give us a call at 708-867-7828. Your librarians are here to help.

Bits and Pieces: My Mother, My Brother, and Me by Whoopi Goldberg

If it weren’t for Emma Johnson, Caryn Johnson would have never become Whoopi Goldberg. Emma gave her children the loving care and wisdom they needed to succeed in life, always encouraging them to be true to themselves. When Whoopi lost her mother in 2010—and then her older brother, Clyde, five years later—she felt deeply alone; the only people who truly knew her were gone.

Emma raised her children not just to survive, but to thrive. In this intimate and heartfelt memoir, Whoopi shares many of the deeply personal stories of their lives together for the first time. Growing up in the projects in New York City, there were trips to Coney Island, the Ice Capades, and museums, and every Christmas was a magical experience. To this day, she doesn’t know how her mother was able to give them such an enriching childhood, despite the struggles they faced—and it wasn’t until she was well into adulthood that Whoopi learned just how traumatic some of those struggles were.

Fans of personal memoirs such as Finding Me by Viola Davis and In Pieces by Sally Field will be touched by Bits and Pieces: a moving tribute from a daughter to her mother, and beautiful portrait of three people who loved each other deeply.

Sociopath: A Memoir by Patric Gagne Ph.D.

Patric Gagne realized she made others uncomfortable before she started kindergarten. Something about her caused people to react in a way she didn’t understand. She suspected it was because she didn’t feel things the way other kids did. Emotions like fear, guilt, and empathy eluded her. For the most part, she felt nothing. And she didn’t like the way that “nothing” felt.

She did her best to pretend she was like everyone else, but the constant pressure to conform to a society she knew rejected anyone like her was unbearable. So Patric stole. She lied. She was occasionally violent. She became an expert lock-picker and home-invader. All with the goal of replacing the nothingness with…something.

In college, Patric finally confirmed what she’d long suspected. She was a sociopath. But even though it was the very first personality disorder identified—well over 200 years ago—sociopathy had been neglected by mental health professionals for decades. She was told there was no treatment, no hope for a normal life. She found herself haunted by sociopaths in pop culture, madmen and evil villains who are considered monsters. Her future looked grim.

But when Patric reconnects with an old flame, she gets a glimpse of a future beyond her diagnosis. If she’s capable of love, it must mean that she isn’t a monster. With the help of her sweetheart (and some curious characters she meets along the way) she embarks on a mission to prove that the millions of Americans who share her diagnosis aren’t all monsters either.

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.

In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants.

Categories: Adults and Blog.

May Reading Task: Memoirs

It’s Memoir May! This month’s task for our 2024 Reading Challenge is to read a biography or memoir. Below you’ll find a few recommendations to meet the task, but for even more suggestions, give us a call at 708-867-7828. Your librarians are here to help.

Bits and Pieces: My Mother, My Brother, and Me by Whoopi Goldberg

If it weren’t for Emma Johnson, Caryn Johnson would have never become Whoopi Goldberg. Emma gave her children the loving care and wisdom they needed to succeed in life, always encouraging them to be true to themselves. When Whoopi lost her mother in 2010—and then her older brother, Clyde, five years later—she felt deeply alone; the only people who truly knew her were gone.

Emma raised her children not just to survive, but to thrive. In this intimate and heartfelt memoir, Whoopi shares many of the deeply personal stories of their lives together for the first time. Growing up in the projects in New York City, there were trips to Coney Island, the Ice Capades, and museums, and every Christmas was a magical experience. To this day, she doesn’t know how her mother was able to give them such an enriching childhood, despite the struggles they faced—and it wasn’t until she was well into adulthood that Whoopi learned just how traumatic some of those struggles were.

Fans of personal memoirs such as Finding Me by Viola Davis and In Pieces by Sally Field will be touched by Bits and Pieces: a moving tribute from a daughter to her mother, and beautiful portrait of three people who loved each other deeply.

Sociopath: A Memoir by Patric Gagne Ph.D.

Patric Gagne realized she made others uncomfortable before she started kindergarten. Something about her caused people to react in a way she didn’t understand. She suspected it was because she didn’t feel things the way other kids did. Emotions like fear, guilt, and empathy eluded her. For the most part, she felt nothing. And she didn’t like the way that “nothing” felt.

She did her best to pretend she was like everyone else, but the constant pressure to conform to a society she knew rejected anyone like her was unbearable. So Patric stole. She lied. She was occasionally violent. She became an expert lock-picker and home-invader. All with the goal of replacing the nothingness with…something.

In college, Patric finally confirmed what she’d long suspected. She was a sociopath. But even though it was the very first personality disorder identified—well over 200 years ago—sociopathy had been neglected by mental health professionals for decades. She was told there was no treatment, no hope for a normal life. She found herself haunted by sociopaths in pop culture, madmen and evil villains who are considered monsters. Her future looked grim.

But when Patric reconnects with an old flame, she gets a glimpse of a future beyond her diagnosis. If she’s capable of love, it must mean that she isn’t a monster. With the help of her sweetheart (and some curious characters she meets along the way) she embarks on a mission to prove that the millions of Americans who share her diagnosis aren’t all monsters either.

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.

In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants.

Categories: Adults and Blog.