After Visiting Friends by Michael Hainey: Michael Hainey was only six when his father, Bob, an editor with the Chicago Tribune, was found dead. But what never came clear were the exact circumstances of Bob's death. He was found dead on the street after visiting friends. As an adult – today deputy editor of GQ and living in New York – Michael decided it was time to find out. What emerges is not only the buried story of Bob Hainey's life but also a portrait of America in the 1960s, the newspaper profession as it was practiced at that time, and a snapshot of the city of Chicago itself.
Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou: Angelou returns to her own story when, at the age of 13, she is sent from her grandmother’s home to reunite with “Lady” (the name she gives to the lively little woman she can’t quite bring herself to call “Mother”). Their beginning is rocky, but it soon becomes clear that this is a story of redemption. Angelou gradually finds much to admire and eventually to cherish about her mother, making her memoir both a tender read and a lovely tribute.
Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala: The backdrop to this memoir is horrific: Deraniyagala lost her entire family – husband, two young sons, and parents – in the tsunami that hit Sri Lanka in late 2004. In bits and pieces, Deraniyagala eventually allows herself to recall the beauty of her family and in the face of death – to vividly remind us of all that is most to be valued in life.