2022 Staff Picks: Biographies and Memoirs

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

  • Finding Me

    2022 by Davis, Viola

    We admired Viola Davis as an actress before reading this book. We love her even more after reading her memoir. A heart-wrenching, raw, candid, yet uplifting book about how Viola Davis found her voice and ultimately herself through the pain and the trauma of her childhood. Many of us enjoyed the audiobook, which is narrated by Viola Davis. Suggested by Megan, Michelle, Monica, Rummanah, and Van.

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  • Corrections in Ink: A Memoir

    2022 by Blakinger, Keri

    I was really touched by Blakinger's harsh but real reflection on what happened in her life to take her from Cornell University to prison to making a genuine difference in people's lives as a reporter. I cried. A lot. Suggested by Rachael.

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  • Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk

    2022 by LaPointe, Sasha taqwšeblu

    In this captivating memoir, LaPointe reveals vulnerability and trauma, but also healing and strength. She sprinkles pop culture references throughout along with ancestral history, and it all blends seamlessly. I can’t wait to see what LaPointe creates next. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla, the Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm

    2022 by Charnas, Dan

    A deep dive into the artistry, technique, and all-too-short life of James Dewitt Yancey, also known as Dilla. It’s superbly written and deeply engaging. If you're like me, you'll pull up a Dilla playlist and listen along, nodding your head to those limping, off-kilter beats and marvel as you read. Suggested by Chris.

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  • I'm Glad My Mom Died

    2022 by McCurdy, Jennette

    We love how vulnerable Jennette is in telling her heartbreaking story with humor and candidness. To craft a story well with a title as shocking as this is an incredible feat. Jennette's talent is in her writing. Suggested by Becca, Maridsa, and Monica.

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  • Go Back to Where You Came From

    2022 by Ali, Wajahat

    I really had a hard time putting down this passionate and insightful memoir that isn't afraid to tackle the tough topics of Islamophobia, racism, and xenophobia while also being hopeful and hilarious. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss

    2022 by Bloom, Amy

    This is a powerful, candid memoir about the author assisting her husband to "legally, peacefully and painlessly end his own life” on his own terms. I don't know how one tells this kind of story without being overwhelmed by the pathos of it all, though you sense how important it was for Bloom to get this story right. And she does. Suggested by Chris.

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  • Solito: A Memoir

    2022 by Zamora, Javier

    I was incredibly moved by this harrowing, heart-wrenching, and beautifully written memoir of the author's solo migration from El Salvador to the U.S. at the age of nine. Zamora paints a very compassionate, human, and urgent light on an ongoing humanitarian crisis. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story

    2022 by Liu, Simu

    A heartfelt and inspiring memoir. Liu delves into his family history, their struggles and expectations, as well as his path to become an actor against the odds. It’s a story that sticks with you, and I’m thrilled that he’s firmly part of the MCU as Shang-chi. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama: A Memoir

    2022 by Odenkirk, Bob

    I have been a fan of Bob Odenkirk for years. Anyone who has watched him from Mr. Show to Better Call Saul will enjoy this! I loved learning about his growth as an actor and, as a Chicago native, he's a heartwarming author to read. Suggested by Monica.

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  • Camera Man: Buster Keaton, the Dawn of Cinema, and the Invention of the Twentieth Century

    2022 by Stevens, Dana

    I found this wonderfully engaging, deeply researched biography of the silent film icon Buster Keaton a delight. Born at the dawn of the 20th century and raised in a family of vaudeville actors, Keaton was a creative genius and had physical grace, ambition, and especially resilience, all of which are on display. Suggested by Chris.

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