Memoirs by and biographies about women dominate this season’s list. Also, a bestselling author returns with an inspirational story, and a renowned travel writer takes readers to Mexico.
Beautiful on the Outside: A Memoir
Adam Rippon. Grand Central, Oct. 15, $28, ISBN 978-1-5387-3240-3
Former Olympic figure skater Rippon recalls his bumpy road to success, from his Pennsylvania homeschooling through his celebrated skating career.
Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge
Sheila Weller. FSG/Crichton, Nov. 12, $28, ISBN 978-0-374-28223-3
Following up her bestselling Girls Like Us—about Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon—Weller turns to another influential woman: Carrie Fisher.
Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family
Mitch Albom. Harper, Nov. 5, $23.99, ISBN 978-0-06-295239-4
Bestseller Albom writes of another person who changed his life—this one a Haitian orphan named Chika, who was born just days before that country’s 2010 earthquake.
Debbie Harry. Dey Street, Nov. 12, $28, ISBN 978-0-06-074958-3
In her first memoir, New Wave rocker Harry takes readers into New York City’s 1970s gritty punk scene, populated by bands like the Ramones and Talking Heads. Harry also recounts her encounter with serial killer Ted Bundy.
Sara and Tegan Quin. MCD, Sept. 24, $27, ISBN 978-0-374-16994-7
LGBTQ musicians and identical twins Tegan and Sara share their coming-of-age story about growing up in Calgary, Canada, during the 1990s and struggling with their sexual identities. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
Janis: Her Life and Music
Holly George-Warren. Simon & Schuster, Oct. 22, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-4767-9310-8
“In this excellent biography, George-Warren paints a complex portrait of singer Janis Joplin,” according to PW’s review.
Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA
Amaryllis Fox. Knopf, Oct. 15, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-525-65497-1
Fox relates her 10 years in an elite unit of the CIA, tracking terrorists around the world. Her career choice was inspired by the 2002 beheading death of her writing mentor, journalist Daniel Pearl. 200,000-copy announced first printing.
On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican Journey
Paul Theroux. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Oct. 8, $30, ISBN 978-0-544-86647-8
“Travel writer Theroux finds a Mexico that’s vibrant but shadowed by violence, corruption, and America in this dark-edged but ultimately hopeful travelogue,” says PW’s review.
Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People
Ben Crump. Amistad, Oct. 15, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-237509-4
The civil rights attorney and president of the National Bar Association looks back on some of his landmark cases, including those relating to the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.
She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement
Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. Penguin Press, Oct. 1, $28, ISBN 978-0-525-56034-0
Pulitzer Prize–winning reporters Kantor and Twohey take readers behind the scenes of their investigation into Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct, which helped spark the #MeToo movement.
Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Diaz (Oct. 29, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-61620-913-1). Díaz debuts with a memoir about growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach with a schizophrenic mother and in an environment of violence and sexual assault. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Where Do I Begin? Stories from a Life Lived Out Loud by Elvis Duran (Oct. 1, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-982106-33-1). The popular host of the Z100 top-40 morning show shares some life lessons.
The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini by Joe Posnanski (Oct. 22, $28, ISBN 978-1-5011-3723-5). Journalist Posnanski immerses readers in the world of the early 20th-century magician and illusionist.
The Cartiers: The Untold Story of the Family Behind the Jewelry Empire by Francesca Cartier Brickell (Oct. 29, $30, ISBN 978-0-525-62161-4). The great-granddaughter of the youngest of the Cartier brothers delves into the
history of her family, which started the luxury Parisian jeweler.
Passionate Spirit: The Life of Alma Mahler by Cate Haste (Sept. 10, $32, ISBN 978-0-465-09671-8). “In this sympathetic, engrossing biography of Viennese socialite and composer Alma Mahler, Haste traces Mahler’s struggle to find equilibrium among her men (all creative geniuses), her erotic desires, and her own musical ambition,” says PW’s starred review.
The Broken Road: George Wallace and a Daughter’s Journey to Reconciliation by Peggy Wallace Kennedy (Dec. 3, $28, ISBN 978-1-63557-365-7) reckons with the legacy of Kennedy’s father, the former Alabama governor and segregationist George Wallace. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
In the Country of Women: A Memoir by Susan Straight (Aug. 6, $26, ISBN 978-1-948226-22-6). “Novelist Straight focuses on the lives of the women in her family in this moving memoir,” per PW’s review.
Shut It Down: Stories from a Fierce, Loving Resistance by Lisa Fithian (Sept. 3, trade paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-60358-884-3). An advocate for civil disobedience shares instruction and stories from resistance movements.
A Long Time Ago in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away: My Fifty Years Editing Hollywood Hits—Star Wars, Carrie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Mission: Impossible, and More by Paul Hirsch (Nov. 5, $30, ISBN 978-1-64160-255-6) takes an intimate look at the films that Hirsch edited, including The Empire Strikes Back and others.
One Hundred Autobiographies: A Memoir by David Lehman (Oct. 15, $22.95, ISBN 978-1-5017-4645-1). Poet and academic Lehman reflects on his diagnosis and treatment for cancer through the lives of such literary and cultural figures as Graham Greene and Frank Sinatra.
One Blade of Grass: Finding the Old Road of the Heart, a Zen Memoir by Henry Shukman (Oct. 15, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-64009-262-4). Zen teacher Shukman writes on how meditation led to his spiritual awakening and alleviated depression and anxiety.
The Smallest Lights in the Universe: A Memoir by Sara Seager (Jan. 21, $27, ISBN 978-0-525-57625-9). The MIT astrophysicist interweaves the story of her search for an Earth-like exoplanet with managing her life after the death of her husband from cancer.
A Republic, If You Can Keep It by Neil Gorsuch (Sept. 10, $30, ISBN 978-0-525-57678-5). The Supreme Court justice collects writings, speeches, and reflections on his cases and his commitment to the law.
On Time: A Princely Life in Funk by Morris Day (Nov. 5, $27, ISBN 978-0-306-92221-3). The leader of the band the Time tells of his long-time friendship and work relationship with Prince and his own struggle to overcome cocaine addiction.
The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir by Samantha Power (Sept. 10, $29.99, ISBN 978-0-06-282069-3). A Pulitzer Prize winner and human rights activist, Power writes of geopolitics and of her experience as U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
Notes from the Velvet Underground: The Life of Lou Reed by Howard Sounes (Sept. 10, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-63576-638-7) portrays musician Lou Reed’s tumultuous life, focusing on his creative process, mental health issues, bisexuality, and drug and alcohol addictions.
Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, and Me: A Memoir by Deirdre Bair (Nov. 12, $28.95, ISBN 978-0-385-54245-6). The National Book Award–winning biographer explores her decade and a half in Paris and her friendship with writers Samuel Beckett and Simone de Beauvoir, beginning in 1971.
Wham!, George Michael, and Me: A Memoir by Andrew Ridgeley (Oct. 8, $28, ISBN 978-1-5247-4531-8). Half of the 1980s pop duo Wham! describes the formation of the band and writes of his friendship with bandmate George Michael.
Sontag: Her Life and Work by Benjamin Moser (Sept. 17, $45, ISBN 978-0-06-289639-1). According to PW’s review, Moser “leaves readers with a sweeping, perhaps definitive portrait” of Susan Sontag.
There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Kid: How I Went from Stereotype to Prototype by Thaddeus Bullard (Aug. 6, $27.95, ISBN 978-1-77041-492-1). The popular WWE wrestler explains how he grew into a kind person despite having been labeled a “bad kid” throughout his youth.
Disturbance by Philippe Lançon, trans. by Steven Rendall (Nov. 12, $28, ISBN 978-1-60945-556-9). Journalist Lançon, a contributor to Charlie Hebdo, relates being wounded in the attack on the magazine and of reassessing his life afterward through the writings of Proust, Thomas Mann, and Kafka.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The Undying: Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Time, Dreams, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer, and Care by Anne Boyer (Sept. 17, $26, ISBN 978-0-374-27934-9). “Poet Boyer offers a beautiful memoir about her battle with breast cancer,” says PW’s starred review, and her “gorgeous language elevates this artful, piercing narrative well above the average medical memoir.”
More Myself: A Journey by Alicia Keys (Nov. 5, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-250-15329-6). Musician Keys writes about her complicated relationship with her father, the public nature of her romantic relationships, and of the unrealistic expectations of female perfection.
Nash: The Official Biography by Nash Grier (Nov. 5, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-5011-3721-1). The 21-year-old who gained notoriety for his videos on Vine chronicles going from an average childhood to becoming a viral social media presence. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom (Aug. 13, $26, ISBN 978-0-8021-2508-8). “Broom presents a great, multigenerational family story,” according to PW’s review, that revolves around her dilapidated childhood home in New Orleans.
Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews (Oct. 15, $30, ISBN 978-0-316-34925-3). Following up her bestselling memoir Home, Andrews narrates her early career in Hollywood, and highlights her roles in Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and Victor/Victoria.
Prince Albert: The Man Who Saved the Monarchy by A.N. Wilson (Aug. 6, $35, ISBN 978-0-06-274955-0). Wilson, a historian, offers a portrait of Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, who ruled the British Empire for six decades.
Houghton MIfflin Harcourt
Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur (Oct. 15, $27, ISBN 978-1-328-51903-0). “This page-turning memoir about an especially fraught mother-daughter relationship from novelist Brodeur reads like heady beach fiction,” says PW’s review.
Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith (Sept. 24, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-525-65768-2). The National Book Award–winning author and musician interweaves dreams and the realities of a single transformative year, beginning with a New Year’s performance at the Fillmore in San Francisco. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
Prognosis: A Memoir of My Brain by Sarah Vallance (Aug. 1, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-5420-4302-1). In this debut memoir, Vallance tells of creating a new life after suffering a brain injury in a horse accident.
Precarious Lease: Living on the Edge in a Paris Squat by Jacqueline Feldman (Jan. 14, trade paper, $18, ISBN 978-1-61219-810-1). Essayist Feldman describes a squatters’ building called Le Bloc on Paris’s periphery, which housed French artists and immigrants from Europe, Africa, and the Americas.
Tell Me a Story: My Life with Pat Conroy by Cassandra King Conroy (Oct. 29, $19.99, ISBN 978-0-06-290562-8). Pat Conroy’s widow recalls her relationship with the writer and their 18 years of marriage, until his death at age 70.
JGV: A Life in 12 Recipes by Jean-Georges Vongerichten (Oct. 8, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-393-60848-9). “A world-famous chef offers a remarkably down-to-earth take on his ascent to the upper echelons of the culinary world in this delightful memoir,” according to PW’s review.
What It Is: Race, Family, and One Thinking Black Man’s Blues by Clifford Thompson (Nov. 12, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-59051-905-9). African-American writer Thompson turns to the writers he admires as he explores living in 21st-century America.
I’ve Seen the Future and I’m Not Going: The Art Scene and Downtown New York in the 1980s by Peter McGough (Sept. 17, $28.95, ISBN 978-1-5247-4704-6). McGough recounts his involvement in the 1980s and ’90s East Village art scene, during the peak of the AIDS epidemic, when he worked alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Julian Schnabel, and others.
For Small Creatures Such as We: Rituals for Finding Meaning in Our Unlikely World by Sasha Sagan (Oct. 22, $26, ISBN 978-0-7352-1877-2). The daughter of astronomer Carl Sagan and the writer Ann Druyan ponders the question, “What is the meaning of life?” 75,000-copy announced first printing.
Edison by Edmund Morris (Oct. 22, $38, ISBN 978-0-8129-9311-0). After seven years sifting through five million pages of archives, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Morris narrates the life of inventor Thomas Alva Edison.
Horror Stories: A Memoir by Liz Phair (Nov. 5, $28, ISBN 978-0-525-51198-4). The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter looks back on her life, from her upbringing in the Chicago suburbs through the 1990s with the release of her album Exile in Guyville.
Rowman & Littlefield
Brick by Brick: Building Hope and Opportunity for Women Survivors Everywhere by Karen Sherman (Jan. 8, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-5381-3031-5) relates Sherman’s life of abuse through the stories of those she taught—women who survived the Rwandan genocide.
Alice Adams: Portrait of a Writer by Carol Sklenicka (Dec. 3, $35, ISBN 978-1-4516-2131-0). The Raymond Carver biographer turns her attention to Alice Adams (1926–1999), who chronicled the sexual revolution of women through her midcentury novels and short stories.
Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman by Abby Chava Stein (Nov. 12, $28, ISBN 978-1-58005-916-9) tells of Stein’s coming-out as transgender in her Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn.
Diamonds and Scoundrels: My Life in the Jewelry Business by Adrienne Rubin (Sept. 17, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-63152-513-1) recounts competition in the jewelry business of 1970s Los Angeles in a world dominated by men.
The RBG Way: Secrets of Success of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Rebecca Gibian (Nov. 5, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-5107-4958-0) shares the wisdom of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, based on comments she has made in rulings and throughout her life.
Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America by Nefertiti Austin (Sept. 24, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-7901-1). A single African-American woman, Austin adopted a boy out of the foster-care system; she examines the history of adoption in the African-American community and confronts the reality of raising children of color. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee by Danny Fingeroth (Oct. 1, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-250-13390-8) is a comprehensive biography of Stan Lee, originator of Spider-Man and former president and publisher of Marvel Comics by Fingeroth, Lee’s colleague of four decades.
Toil & Trouble: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs (Oct. 1, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-01995-0). According to PW’s review, “In his whimsical but thin latest, Burroughs reveals another odd facet of the famously dysfunctional family life he recalled in his bestselling Running with Scissors: witchcraft.”
Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl by Jeannie Vanasco (Oct. 1, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-947793-45-3). Vanasco recounts being raped during her sophomore year in college and how, years later, she confronted the man who attacked her, in a memoir that PW’s review called “powerful.”
Univ. of Nebraska
Midwestern Strange: Hunting Monsters, Martians, and the Weird in Flyover Country by B.J. Hollars (Sept. 1, trade paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-4962-1560-4) investigates the folkloric peculiarities of flyover country, including bipedal wolf sightings and pancake-flipping space aliens.
Irving Berlin: New York Genius by James Kaplan (Nov. 26, $26, ISBN 978-0-300-18048-0) celebrates songwriter Irving Berlin (1888–1989) from his early life as a Jewish immigrant through his success with such songs as “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “God Bless America,” and “White Christmas.”