Below I’m highlighting some nonfiction books coming out in May. All of the mentioned titles are available to put on hold in our catalog and will also be made available via the library’s Overdrive website on the day of publication in eBook and downloadable audiobook format (as available). For a more extensive list of new nonfiction books coming out this month, check our online catalog.
“Out of the Corner: A Memoir” by Jennifer Grey (May 3)
In this beautiful, close-to-the bone account, Jennifer Grey takes readers on a vivid tour of the experiences that have shaped her, from her childhood as the daughter of Broadway and film legend Joel Grey, to the surprise hit with Patrick Swayze that made her America’s sweetheart, to her inspiring season 11 win on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” Throughout this intimate narrative, Grey richly evokes places and times that were defining for a generation — from her preteen days in 1970s Malibu and wild child nights in New York’s club scene, to her roles in quintessential movies of the 1980s, including “The Cotton Club,” “Red Dawn,” and her breakout performance in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” With self-deprecating humor and frankness, she looks back on her unbridled, romantic adventures in Hollywood. And with enormous bravery, she shares the devastating fallout from a plastic surgery procedure that caused the sudden and stunning loss of her professional identity and career. Grey inspires with her hard-won battle back, reclaiming her sense of self from a culture and business that can impose a narrow and unforgiving definition of female worth. She finds, at last, her own true north and starts a family of her own, just in the nick of time.
“Back to the Prairie: A Home Remade, A Life Rediscovered” by Melissa Gilbert (May 10)
Known for her childhood role as Laura Ingalls Wilder on the classic NBC show “Little House on the Prairie,” Melissa Gilbert has spent nearly her entire life in Hollywood. From “Dancing with the Stars” to a turn in politics, she was always on the lookout for her next project. She just had no idea that her latest one would be completely life changing. When her husband introduces her to the wilds of rural Michigan, Melissa begins to fall back in love with nature. And when work takes them to New York, they find a rustic cottage in the Catskill Mountains to call home. But “rustic” is a generous description for the state of the house, requiring a lot of blood, sweat and tears for the newlyweds to make habitable. When the pandemic descends on the world, it further nudges Melissa out of the spotlight and into the woods. She trades Botox treatments for DIY projects, power lunching for gardening and raising chickens, and soon her life is rediscovered anew in her own little house in the Catskills.
“Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up” by Selma Blair (May 10)
Selma Blair has played many archetypal roles: Gullible ingenue in “Cruel Intentions.” Preppy ice queen in “Legally Blonde.” Fire-starter in “Hellboy.” Muse to Karl Lagerfeld. Face of Chanel. Cover model. Advocate for the multiple sclerosis community. But before all of that, Selma was known best for being one thing: a mean baby. In a memoir that is as wildly funny as it is emotionally shattering, Selma Blair tells the captivating story of growing up and finding her truth. The first story Selma Blair Beitner ever heard about herself is that she was a mean, mean baby. With her mouth pulled in a perpetual snarl and a head so furry it had to be rubbed to make way for her forehead, Selma spent years living up to her terrible reputation: biting her sisters, lying spontaneously, getting drunk from Passover wine at the age of seven, and behaving dramatically so that she would be the center of attention. Although Selma went on to become a celebrated Hollywood actress and model, she could never quite shake the periods of darkness that overtook her, the certainty that there was a great mystery at the heart of her life. She often felt like her arms might be on fire, a sensation not unlike electric shocks, and she secretly drank to escape. Over the course of this beautiful and, at times, shocking memoir, Selma lays bare her addiction to alcohol, her devotion to her brilliant and complicated mother, and the moments she flirted with death. There is brutal violence, passionate love, true friendship, the gift of motherhood, and, finally, the simultaneous devastation and surprising salvation of a multiple sclerosis diagnosis. In a voice that is powerfully original, fiercely intelligent and full of hard-won wisdom, Selma Blair’s “Mean Baby” is a deeply human memoir and a true literary achievement.
More Notable Releases for May
- “Killing the Killers: The Secret War Against Terrorists” by Bill O’Reilly (May 3)
- “The Hawk’s Way: Encounters with Fierce Beauty” by Sy Montgomery (May 3)
- “We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story” by Simu Liu (May 3)
- “Happy-Go-Lucky” by David Sedaris (May 31)