All libraries remain closed to the public until further notice. Library To Go service is available at selected libraries.


Memoirs of Friendship, Love, and Loss

Updated: March 30, 2021

About Alice
Trillin, Calvin.
Call Number: 810.92 T8286-2

Calvin and Alice Trillin's marriage was a love story for the ages. And in his moving tribute to her, it's easy to see why.

Anthony Bourdain remembered.
Call Number: 641.092 B768An

Anthony Bourdain's fans, personal friends and colleagues share their thoughts about the man with the big personality, who loved food, people and travel. Their remembrances remind us that Bourdain is irreplaceable. The full-page color photographs bring back memories of his adventurous travels and some daredevil food tastings.

The best day the worst day : life with Jane Kenyon
Hall, Donald, 1928-
Call Number: 811 K374Ha
Acclaimed poet Donald Hall writes about his 23-year marriage to the writer Jane Kenyon.

Sedaris, David,
Call Number: 817 S447-8

Focusing mostly on the aftermath of his sister’s suicide, the inimitable David Sedaris has assembled, the way only he can, a collection of essays that is simultaneously tragic and hilarious. You’ll laugh; you’ll cry; you’ll need a drink. This is possibly his best collection yet.

Elegy for Iris
Bayley, John, 1925-
Call Number: 823 M974Bay

The 2001 film Iris was based on John Bayley's memoir of his marriage to Iris Murdoch, novelist and philosopher, and of her battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Good stuff : a reminiscence of my father, Cary Grant
Grant, Jennifer, 1966-
Call Number: 812.092 G761Gr
Jennifer Grant is the only child of Cary Grant, that shining male icon of class, plus being elegant, funny and just drop-dead gorgeous. From the get-go she clearly states that there will be no discussion of any former biographies. Instead this is a memoir of her beloved father rendered by his cherished daughter who found a treasure trove of reference materials in her father's home vault, ". . . an actual bank-quality room-size vault. . ." with boxes filled with notes, photographs, recordings, drawings--almost a daily documentaion of their lives, enough to make any intelligence agent green with envy.

H is for Hawk
Macdonald, Helen, 1970-
Call Number: 598.91 M135-1

 A woman seeks refuge from her grief at the death of her father in her lifelong love of birds of prey and shares that fascination with her audience in this book.

Heaven's coast : a memoir
Doty, Mark.
Call Number: 811 D7255Do
In 1989, the poet Mark Doty and his partner of many years, Wally Roberts, were tested for HIV - Doty's result was negative, but Wally's was positive. Doty, an award-winning poet, provides a moving account of their love and their life together.

I'm proud of you : my friendship with Fred Rogers
Madigan, Tim, 1957-
Call Number: 177.6 M182
A two-hankie tale about a newspaper writer whose chance meeting with children's television icon Fred Rogers blossoms into a powerful, life-changing friendship.

Just kids
Smith, Patti.
Call Number: 789.14 S656-1
In 1969, a budding songwriter named Patti Smith and a young photographer named Robert Mapplethorpe met at the Hotel Chelsea, and the rest is history.

Let's take the long way home : a memoir of friendship
Caldwell, Gail, 1951-
Call Number: 071.092 C147-1
Gail Caldwell's graceful, affecting memoir about her friendship with the writer Caroline Knapp (Drinking: A Love Story) is a testament to the power of friendship.

Losing Mum and Pup : a memoir
Buckley, Christopher, 1952-
Call Number: 810.92 B9235

If there is anyone who could bring humor, albeit gallows-humor, to losing both parents within twelve months, it is Christopher Buckley. His father, William F. Buckley, was and is still very well known; his mother Pat was also well known, but to a different group of people. Both parents were monumentally unique personalities in divergent ways, and their recalcitrance to do what they wanted may have both shortened and lengthened their lives, i.e., his mother's smoking and his father's addiction to writing, all of which their son documents in a very revealing and loving way.

Love is a mix tape : life and loss, one song at a time
Sheffield, Rob.
Call Number: 781.99 S542
When Rolling Stone editor Rob Sheffield met Renee, a "hell-raising Appalachian punk-rock girl," the two had nothing in common except their love of music. Sheffield uses the mix tapes they made for each other to tell the story of their their marriage and Renee's tragic death.

Midnight chicken : (& other recipes worth living for)
Risbridger, Ella,
Call Number: 641.59 R595

With the support of her family of friends, Risbridger wrote this autobiographical memoir and cookbook which saved her from despair over the loss of her beloved Tall Man, and gave her the resilience to move on with her life.

One hundred names for love : a stroke, a marriage, and the language of healing
Ackerman, Diane, 1948-
Call Number: 616.81 A182
Diane Ackerman and her husband, Paul West, are both writers which means that the ability to express thoughts and feelings through lanugage are important. When he suffers a debilitating stroke that leaves him almost speechless, and prescribed therapy does not work, Ackerman devises her own healing methods. This is a story of love, devotion, determination,and a new methodology for dealing with stroke induced aphasia.

Prague winter : a personal story of remembrance and war, 1937-1948
Albright, Madeleine Korbel.
Call Number: 943.7 A342

An engrossing and enlightening multi-layered history of Czechoslovakia, the Albright family, and World War II, through the eyes of the Czech girl who grew up to be the first female Secretary of State. A must-read for World War II history buffs or anyone wanting to gain a clear understanding of the events and decisions that led to the war.

The soloist : a lost dream, an unlikely friendship, and the redemptive power of music
Lopez, Steve.
Call Number: 789.14 A977Lo

This book, which became a movie, began as a series of newspaper articles about a Juilliard-trained, mentally ill homeless man in downtown Los Angeles. It touches on many issues prevalent in modern society from mental illness to homelessness to the power of music, and friendship to the (potential) fate of newspapers in our Internet world.

Things to say to a dead man : poems at the end of a marriage and after
Yolen, Jane.
Call Number: 811 Y545-1
Jane Yolen, prolific writer of books for children, young adults and adults, grieves for the loss of her husband of forty-four years through a series of poems.

Truth & beauty : a friendship
Patchett, Ann.
Call Number: 813 P294P
Ann Patchett was quiet and reserved, while her dear friend Lucy Grealy was explosive, charismatic, and rebellious. Patchett's memoir is both a story of their friendship and of the writer's life.

When Breath Becomes Air
Kalanithi, Paul
Call Number: 616.99424 K14

Even doctors become seriously ill, and of all people should know the warning signs of a deadly disease. Dr. Paul Kalanithi, a supremely talented and brilliant young neurosurgeon, proved to be more like the rest of us in ignoring what was, tantamount to flashing red lights, symptoms about his own cancer.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Strayed, Cheryl, 1968-
Call Number: 813 S913S

Shattered at age 26 by her mother's death and the end of her marriage, Strayed did something way out of the realm of her experience--she took a solo 1,100-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail.

You will not have my hate
Leiris, Antoine,
Call Number: 322.42094436 L531

A year after his wife Hélene was killed in the Bataclan Theatre terrorist attacks in Paris, Antoine Leiris wrote this small, powerful book. She was the love of his life, the mother of their son, and their lives will never be the same. Leiris' decision not to hate those whose actions were ignited by hate, may appear to be saintly--it is not. This is a meditation on the consequences of hate, and how one man has chosen to deal with the aftermath on a daily, and probably eternal way.