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BKLYN BookMatch - Memoirs and fiction featuring strong women who move on through strength and humor

This list was created by a librarian with the Brooklyn Public Library for a reader. Would you like your own personalized list of reading suggestions? Visit Bklyn BookMatch here: www.bklynlibrary.org/bookmatch

28 items

The crying of lot 49

Thomas Pynchon. |

The highly original satire about Oedipa Maas, a woman who finds herself enmeshed in a worldwide conspiracy, meets some extremely interesting characters, and attains a not inconsiderable amount of self knowledge.

Out of the frying pan

Gillian Clark. |

An empowering memoir that describes how the author's goal to attend culinary school and live on a farm was shattered by divorce, relating how she pursued her career goals from the bottom up while raising her daughters, in a personal account peppered with recipes.

I'm no saint

Elizabeth Hayt. |

Recounts how the author, overwhelmed by responsibilities in her marriage and her role as a mother, was set adrift by her unexpected divorce, an event that triggered steamy relationships with a series of high-powered men and brought her into a new sense of her identity.

A year and six seconds

Isabel Gillies. |

The author looks at her life after her husband left her for another woman as she copes with raising two toddlers, tries to understand what caused the disintigration of her marriage, finds self-acceptance, and falls in love.

The get

Elise Edelson Katch. |

A story of a journey through love, divorce, spirituality, empowerment, and self-discovery focuses on the experiences of a modern woman who participates in the ancient Orthodox Jewish ritual of a get to end her thirty-year marriage.

The rules do not apply

Ariel Levy. |

A gorgeous memoir about a woman overcoming dramatic loss and finding reinvention--for readers of Cheryl Strayed and Joan Didion.

I said yes to everything

Lee Grant. |

A memoir by Academy Award winning actress Lee Grant, detailing her starring roles in Valley of the Dolls and Shampoo , her twelve years on the Hollywood blacklist, and a singularly unpredictable life.

Yes please

Amy Poehler. |

The actress best known for her work on "Parks and Recreation" and "Saturday Night Live" reveals personal stories and offers her humorous take on such topics as love, friendship, parenthood, and her relationship with Tina Fey, and divorce.

Split

Suzanne Finnamore. |

At once funny, sad, and unflinchingly fierce, this memoir will resonate with anyone who has endured the end of a relationship - and come out on the other side changed.

Season to taste

Natalie Young. |

Meet Lizzie Prain. She is an ordinary housewife and lives with her lovely dog and her husband, who is a bit of a difficult fellow, in a quiet cottage in British country side. She's a wonderful cook. She enjoys her garden. And, occasionally, she makes cakes for the village parties. No one has seen Lizzie's husband, Jacob, for a few days. That's because last Monday and Lizzie snapped and cracked him on the head with her garden shovel. No one quite misses Jacob though, and Lizzie surely didn't kill him on purpose. And now that she has the chance to live beyond his shadow, she won't neglect her good fortune...

Nectar

Lily Prior. |

Worshipped by men and despised by women for her unusual personal scent that makes her sexually irresistible and powerful, albino chambermaid Ramona is driven away after having an affair and, having lost her scent after giving birth, seeks revenge at the estate where she formerly worked.

Dogrun

by Arthur Nersesian. |

Mary Bellanova's directionless life takes on new meaning after her boyfriend, Primo, suddenly drops dead, and Mary is forced to navigate the complexities and challenges of modern urban life as she searches for the best place to scatter Primo's ashes, copes with his crazy mother and ex-girlfriends, and takes in his disturbed dog.

Adios muchachos

Daniel Chavarrâia ; translation by Carlos Lopez. |

In Havana, Cuba, a beautiful young woman rides a bicycle through the city streets to lure men into her "services". Desperate to escape her dead-end life in a city plagued with scarcity, the luscious bicyclist designs a get-rich-quick scheme with a gorgeous john from Canada. A web of deception is woven and then disastrously unraveled.

45 pounds (more or less)

K.A. Barson. |

When Ann decides that she is going to lose 45 pounds in time for her aunt's wedding, she discovers that what she looks like is not all that matters.

Revenge of the girl with the great personality

Elizabeth Eulberg. |

(YA Fiction) Sick of living in the shadow of her seven-year-old pageant queen sister who is praised for her looks, Lexi resolves to get a makeover when she determines her personality just isn't enough to garner the attentions of boys.

In bed with

edited by Jessica Adams ... [et al.]. |

A unique and sexy collection of bedtime stories by bestselling, award- winning, and well-known novelists delivering the goods under their X- rated pseudonyms. So who's who? We're not telling. After all, a woman should have at least one good secret. Feturing Adele Parks, Ali Smith, Bella Pollen, Chris Manby, Daisy Waugh, Emma Darwin, Esther Freud, Fay Weldon, Jane Moore, Joan Smith, Joanne Harris, Justine Picardi, Louise Doughty, Rachel Johnson, Santa Montefiore, Stella Duffy, Imogen Edwards-Jones, Jessica Adams, Kathy Lette, and Maggie Alderson.

The way it is

Patrick Sanchez. |

Livin' large has never gotten Ruby Waters what she wants in life. Overweight and addicted to every fad diet on the planet, Ruby's sure that the only thing that stands between her and the good life are those extra pounds she can't seem to shed. But when a girl's stuck caring for an annoying ex-husband, an impossibly critical mother, and the world's most psychotic, incontinent Chihuahua, her best friend is a dozen doughnuts and a can of whipped topping. She'll starve herself tomorrow, and soon, she just might have the courage to go after what she really wants.

Losing it

Emma Rathbone. |

A candid yet funny take on just what desire and love mean.

Love in the age of mechanical reproduction

Judd Trichter. |

Bad luck for Eliot Lazar, he fell in love with an android, a beautiful C-900 named Iris Matsuo. That's the kind of thing that can get you killed in late 21th century Los Angeles or anywhere else for that matter - anywhere except the man-made island of Atlantis, far out in the Pacific, which is where Eliot and Iris are headed once they get their hands on a boat. But then one night Eliot knocks on Iris's door only to find she was kidnapped, chopped up, sold for parts. Unable to move on and unwilling to settle for a woman with a heartbeat, Eliot vows to find the parts to put Iris back together again--and to find the sonofabitch who did this to her and get his revenge. With a determined LAPD detective on his trail and time running out in a city where machines and men battle for control, Eliot Lazar embarks on a bloody journey that will take him to edge of a moral precipice from which he can never return, from which mankind can never return. In the vein of Blade Runner, Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction is a scifi love story that asks the question, how far will you go to save someone you love?

The making of a writer.

Gail Godwin ; edited by Rob Neufeld. |

Presents the second volume of journal writings by the three-time National Book Award finalist, discussing how, after establishing her purpose as an author, she published her first stories and novels, with observations about the literary world of the period.

Brick lane

Monica Ali. |

Carrying into her adult years a sense of fatalism instilled during her hardscrabble birth, Nazneen finds herself married off to a man twice her age and moved to London, where she begins to wonder if she has a say in her own destiny.

The heart of a woman

Maya Angelou. |

In The Heart of a Woman, Maya Angelou leaves California with her son, Guy, to move to New York. There she enters the society and world of black artists and writers, reads her work at the Harlem Writers Guild, and begins to take part in the struggle of black Americans for their rightful place in the world. In the meantime, her personal life takes an unexpected turn. She leaves the bail bondsman she was intending to marry after falling in love with a South African freedom fighter, travels with him to London and Cairo, where she discovers new opportunities.

Burnt toast and other philosophies of live

Teri Hatcher with Hilary Liftin ; [illustrations by Colleen Ross]. |

The popular actress shares her entertaining, candid, and deeply personal philosophy on life and the lessons she has learned along the way, chronicling her hard-won wisdom as a single mother, the insight she has gained during the ups and downs she has experienced, and her frequently tough road to happiness and success.

The slippery year

Melanie Gideon. |

A celebration of the indignities and consolations of modern domestic life describes the author's haphazard experiences after coming into a realization of her own mortality upon reaching her mid-forties, an awakening that prompted her efforts to find meaning in everyday activities.

Standing up

Marion Grodin. |

Marion Grodin, daughter of funnyman Charles Grodin, knows firsthand that laughter is truly the best medicine, having not only survived breast cancer and divorce, but also, various addictions-including an inappropriate relationship with Haagen Dazs. Her hilarious riffs include; the story of growing large breasts that appeared seemingly overnight (Unfortunately this happened during the summer that she spent on the set of King Kong with her father and Jeff Bridges on whom she developed a huge crush); Her post divorce life, its slight weight gain and how she relied on her wise support group, her cats "BabyFighter" Edmond and "fashionably sporty, forensic expert" Snuggles.

Getting married and other mistakes

Barbara Slate. |

After having been a good girl and following her mother’s advice to snag a husband before she became a twenty-something spinster, Barbara Slate realized that her Mr. Right was actually Mr. Wrong and that she was living her life according to everyone’s rules but her own. After twelve years of an unblissful marriage, she made her escape. Now this accomplished comic artist lets it all out in a savagely funny and emotionally honest fictional narrative. Jo, her stand-in protagonist, is a successful wedding photographer (of all things) who has been dumped by her husband and desperately needs to get on with her life. She follows her friends’ advice to get laid, see a shrink, go out more, and live a little. Nothing works. Eventually she realizes that she must stop listening to what everybody else tells her and follow her own voice instead.

Getting what you want

Kathy Love. |

In this delightful, heartwarming novel, Kathy Love introduces the Stepp sisters, three women whose lives are about to take a turn for the wild, the unpredictable, and the absolutely enchanting. . . Meet Abby.

Dangerous curves ahead

Sugar Jamison. |

Ellis is dumping her critical boyfriend, opening a plus-size clothing store, and starting a blog-all to spread the word that fashion shouldn't require a size-two body. But is indulging fantasies about her sister's long-ago ex, Mike, biting off more than she can chew? Mike must be losing his detective's touch. He doesn't recognize Ellis when he bumps into her, and he certainly doesn't remember her being so irresistible. Could she be his Perfect Fit? Mike will make it his sworn duty to find out.