The books offer a look at real life | Life


In January, St. Joseph’s Public Library shared some of 2021’s favorite fiction books. This month, the library shares some of the top-rated nonfiction books and memoirs of 2021 according to, a popular website and online community for people who love books and reading. Consult the library’s online catalog at to find these or other books that you would like to read.

“The Comfort Book” by Matt Haig: For fiction readers, Matt Haig is also the author of “The Midnight Library”. “The Comfort Book” is a collection of notes, lists, and stories written over several years that originally served to remind Haig’s future self that things aren’t always as bleak as they seem. Incorporating a wide range of sources from around the world, from history, science and her own experiences, Haig offers warmth and comfort to anyone in need of hope and encouragement.

“Crying in H Mart: a Memoir” by Michelle Zauner: Indie Korean American rock star Zauner shares his life story in a book that has been described as exquisite and profound. She was one of the few Asian American children in Eugene, Oregon, and had a difficult adolescence. Zauner also had a difficult relationship with his mother, although they bonded over Korean food. When she was 25, her mother was diagnosed with cancer and everything changed. The memoirs are an exploration of terminal illness, culture and shared experience.

“Empire of Pain: the Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty” by Patrick Radden Keefe: The story of the Sackler family is expertly presented in this book and offers the best in investigative journalism. The Sacklers own Purdue Pharma, which is the company that produced and marketed OxyContin. Beginning in the Depression, the story follows three generations of the Sackler family and their efforts to protect their family’s wealth.

“Taste: My Life Through Food” by Stanley Tucci: Stanley Tucci is an award-winning actor who is also known for his love of food. This book is an intimate and charming memoir of Tucci’s life in and out of the kitchen. Fans of her previous cookbooks shouldn’t despair as these memoirs also include recipes along with the stories behind them.

“The Woman They Couldn’t Silence: A Woman, Her Incredible Fight For Freedom, And The Men Who Tried To Kill Her” by Kate Moore: In 1860, Elizabeth Packard was committed to an insane asylum by her husband of 21 years. The horrific conditions inside the asylum were overseen by Dr. Andrew McFarland. Elizabeth discovered that there were many sane women in her ward whose stories were similar to hers. The women were interned not because they needed medical or psychological treatment, but to keep them on the straight and narrow. Packard fought for her freedom, and her long quest for justice not only challenged the medical science of the day, but also led to a giant leap forward in human rights.


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