Check these biographies out! They all have a story to tell! Are you ready to read them?
So Much I Want to Tell You: Letters to My Little Sister
By Anna Akana
In 2007, Anna Akana lost her teen sister, Kristina, to suicide. In the months that followed, she realized that the one thing helping her process her grief and begin to heal was comedy. So she began making YouTube videos as a form of creative expression and as a way to connect with others. Ten years later, Anna has more than a million subscribers who watch her smart, honest vlogs on her YouTube channel. Her most popular videos, including “How to Put On Your Face” and “Why Girls Should Ask Guys Out,” are comical and provocative, but they all share a deeper message: Your worth is determined by you and you alone. You must learn to love yourself.
In So Much I Want to Tell You, Anna opens up about her own struggles with poor self-esteem and reveals both the highs and lows of coming-of-age. She offers fresh, funny, hard-won advice for young women on everything from self-care to money to sex, and she is refreshingly straightforward about the realities of dating, female friendship, and the hustle required to make your dreams come true. This is Anna’s story, but, as she says, it belongs just as much to Kristina and to every other girl who must learn that growing up can be hard to do. Witty and real, Anna breaks things down in a way only a big sister can.
The Currency of Love: A Courageous Journey to Finding the Love Within
By Jill Dodd
In this courageous and inspiring memoir about personal freedom and spiritual empowerment, Jill Dodd “writes earnestly and refreshingly about learning many of life’s more difficult lessons the hard way” (Kirkus Reviews) through her journey from Paris model to Saudi billionaire’s harem wife to multi-million dollar business entrepreneur.
In the 1980s, Jill Dodd determined that her ticket out of an abusive home was to make it as a top model in Paris. Armed with only her desire for freedom and independence, she embarks on an epic journey that takes her to uncharted territory—the Parisian fashion industry with all its beautiful glamour and its ugly underbelly of sex, drugs, and excess. From there, Jill begins an eye-opening adventure that includes trips to Monte Carlo, sexual exploitation, and falling in love with one of the richest men in the world, agreeing to become one of his wives—until she finds the courage to walk away from it all and rebuild her dreams.
The Currency of Love is a raw, honest, and inspiring portrait of a young woman’s struggles and triumphs from fashion model to Saudi billionaire’s pleasure wife to founder and creator of global fashion line, ROXY. This modern memoir with a feminist fairy tale twist reveals how one woman chose to live her life without forfeiting her independence, ambition, creative expression, and free spirit, all while learning one invaluable lesson: nothing is worth the sacrifice of her integrity, inner peace, and spirit.
Chasing Space: An Astronaut’s Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances
By Leland Melvin
In this revelatory and moving memoir, a former NASA astronaut and NFL wide receiver shares his personal journey from the gridiron to the stars, examining the intersecting roles of community, perseverance and grace that align to create the opportunities for success.
Leland Melvin is the only person in human history to catch a pass in the National Football League and in space. Though his path to the heavens was riddled with setbacks and injury, Leland persevered to reach the stars.
While training with NASA, Melvin suffered a severe injury that left him deaf. Leland was relegated to earthbound assignments, but chose to remain and support his astronaut family. His loyalty paid off. Recovering partial hearing, he earned his eligibility for space travel. He served as mission specialist for two flights aboard the shuttle Atlantis, working on the International Space Station.
In this uplifting memoir, the former NASA astronaut and professional athlete offers an examination of the intersecting role of community, determination, and grace that align to shape our opportunities and outcomes. Chasing Space is not the story of one man, but the story of many men, women, scientists, and mentors who helped him defy the odds and live out an uncommon destiny.
As a chemist, athlete, engineer and space traveler, Leland’s life story is a study in the science of achievement. His personal insights illuminate how grit and grace, are the keys to overcoming adversity and rising to success.
A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like
by Ashley Graham
One of the most outspoken voices gracing the cover of magazines today encourages women to be their most confident selves, recognize their personal beauty, and reach for their highest dreams in this wise, warm, and inspiring memoir
Voluptuous beauty Ashley Graham has been modeling professionally since the age of thirteen. Discovered at a shopping mall in Nebraska, her stunning face and sexy curves have graced the covers of top magazines, includingCosmopolitan and British Vogue, and she was the first size 14 model to appear on the front of the wildly popular Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. The face of brands such as H&M Studio, she is also a judge for the latest season ofAmerica’s Next Top Model. And that’s only the beginning for this extraordinary talent.
Ashley is leading a new generation of women breaking ground and demolishing stereotypes, transforming our ideals about body image and what is fashionable and beautiful. A woman who proves that when it comes to beauty, size is just a number, she is the voice for the body positivity movement today and a role model for all women—no matter their individual body type, shape, or weight.
In this collection of insightful, provocative essays illustrated with a dozen photos, Ashley shares her perspective on how ideas around body image are evolving—and how we still have work to do; the fun—and stress—of a career in the fashion world; her life before modeling; and her path to accepting her size without limiting her dreams—defying rigid industry standards and naysayers who told her it couldn’t be done. As she talks about her successes and setbacks, Ashley offers support for every woman coming to terms with who she is, bolster her self-confidence, and motivates her to be her strongest, healthiest, and most beautiful self.
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
by Roxane Gay
From the New York Times best-selling author of Bad Feminist, a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.
“I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.”
New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and bodies, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she casts an insightful and critical eye on her childhood, teens, and twenties—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers into the present and the realities, pains, and joys of her daily life.
With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and authority that have made her one of the most admired voices of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to be overweight in a time when the bigger you are, the less you are seen.Hunger is a deeply personal memoir from one of our finest writers, and tells a story that hasn’t yet been told but needs to be.