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Staff Picks - Memoirs & Biographies
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Staff Picks - Memoirs & Biographies

Staff picks for biographies and memoirs from The Purple Couch!

Barracoon

The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"

By: Zora Neale Hurston
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 3 hours 49 minutes

“Barracoon would be a significant document were it only about Cudjo (Kossola) Lewis, the last survivor of the last recorded slave ship to the US. His memories, recounted orally, preserve a trans-atlantic history that has long-been suppressed. But Barracoon is also a story about Zora Neale Hurston, the Harlem Renaissance, and the reclamation of... Read more

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Learning to See

A Novel of Dorothea Lange, the Woman Who Revealed the Real America

By: Elise Hooper
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 10 hours 27 minutes

“Written with grace, empathy, and bright imagination, Learning to See gives us the vivid interior life of a remarkably resilient woman. Dorothea Lange’s story is about passion and art, love and family, but also about the sacrifices women make—and have always made—to illuminate the truth of the world.” Danya Kukafka, national bestselling author... Read more

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The Storyteller

Tales of Life and Music

By: Dave Grohl
Narrated by: Dave Grohl
Length: 10 hours 35 minutes

Read by Dave Grohl. Features excerpts from five never before heard demos performed by Dave Grohl and an original story exclusive to The Storyteller audiobook.So, I've written a book.Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities ("It's a piece of cake! Just do four hours of interviews, find someone else... Read more

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Educated

A Memoir

By: Tara Westover
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 12 hours 9 minutes

“How a young woman, raised without modern medicine, any schooling, or even a birth certificate, in a remote Mormon, survivalist household in Idaho, made it to college and ended up receiving a PhD from Cambridge is the incredible story of this memoir. Outstanding! This true story is a beautifully written and narrated, soulful, hilarious,... Read more

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Amos Fortune, Free Man

By: Elizabeth Yates
Narrated by: Roslyn Ruff
Length: 3 hours 45 minutes

A Newbery Medal Winner

When Amos Fortune was only fifteen years old, he was captured by slave traders and brought to Massachusetts, where he was sold at auction. Although his freedom had been taken, Amos never lost his dinity and courage. For 45 years, Amos worked as a slave and dreamed of freedom. And, at age 60, he finally began to see those... Read more

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Just Mercy (Movie Tie-In Edition)

A Story of Justice and Redemption

By: Bryan Stevenson
Narrated by: Bryan Stevenson
Length: 11 hours 10 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING MICHAEL B. JORDAN AND JAMIE FOXX • A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.

“[Bryan Stevenson’s] dedication to fighting for justice...
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Broken Horses

A Memoir

By: Brandi Carlile
Narrated by: Brandi Carlile
Length: 10 hours 2 minutes

“First of all, I would recommend this book based on the number and quality of songs she sings throughout - Brandi Carlile has an amazing voice and it really stood out. Additionally, she is a wonderful storyteller and has some crazy adventures that she shares from her life. There is a lot of namedropping, but I feel that if I had the opportunity... Read more

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Spare

By: Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
Narrated by: Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
Length: 15 hours 37 minutes

“I deeply relished every drop of the tea spilt in this memoir. I would recommend it on that alone. However, I was most impressed with Prince Harry’s clear passion for the things and the people he cares about. In his narration of the audiobook you can feel how much he loves his family, how proud he is of his time in the military, and how much he... Read more

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Bird by Bird

Some Instructions on Writing and Life

By: Anne Lamott
Narrated by: Anne Lamott
Length: 6 hours 36 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An essential volume for generations of writers young and old. The twenty-fifth anniversary edition of this modern classic will continue to spark creative minds for years to come. Anne Lamott is "a warm, generous, and hilarious guide through the writer’s world and its treacherous swamps" (Los Angeles Times). 

“Superb... Read more

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On Writing

A Memoir Of The Craft

By: Stephen King
Narrated by: Stephen King, Joe Hill & Owen King
Length: 9 hours 6 minutes

Twentieth Anniversary Edition with Contributions from Joe Hill and Owen King

ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE’S TOP 100 NONFICTION BOOKS OF ALL TIME

Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him... Read more

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The Elephant Whisperer

My Life With the Herd in the African Wild

By: Lawrence Anthony & Graham Spence
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 10 hours 54 minutes

When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them.
 
In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years... Read more

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Red Notice

A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice

By: Bill Browder
Narrated by: Adam Grupper
Length: 14 hours 7 minutes

November 2009. An emaciated young lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, is led to a freezing isolation cell in a Moscow prison, handcuffed to a bed rail, and beaten to death by eight police officers. His crime? To testify against the Russian Interior Ministry officials who were involved in a conspiracy to steal $230 million of taxes paid to the state by one... Read more

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The Year of Magical Thinking

By: Joan Didion
Narrated by: Barbara Caruso
Length: 5 hours 10 minutes

Didion's journalistic skills are displayed as never before in this story of a year in her life that began with her daughter in a medically induced coma and her husband unexpectedly dead due to a heart attack.

This powerful and moving work is Didion's "attempt to make sense of the weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had... Read more

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Bossypants

By: Tina Fey
Narrated by: Tina Fey
Length: 5 hours 31 minutes

Spirited and whip-smart, these laugh-out-loud autobiographical essays are "a masterpiece" from the Emmy Award-winning actress and comedy writer known for 30 Rock, Mean Girls, and SNL" (Sunday Telegraph).

Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she...
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A Natural Woman

A Memoir

By: Carole King
Narrated by: Carole King
Length: 14 hours 11 minutes

Read the New York Times Bestselling memoir that is "revealing, humble, and cool-aunt chatty" about the incredible life that inspired the hit Broadway musical Beautiful (Rolling Stone). Carole King takes us from her early beginnings in Brooklyn, to her remarkable success as one of the world's most acclaimed songwriting and performing talents of... Read more

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The Princess Spy

The True Story of World War II Spy Aline Griffith, Countess of Romanones

By: Larry Loftis
Narrated by: Kate Reading
Length: 9 hours 46 minutes

“A fascinating (true) look at the indoctrination of a young woman into the international spy trade as WW2 is winding down in Europe. The settings are just what you'd expect- fancy hotels and private dining rooms- as well as tales of how the spies themselves worked their own agendas. A great audiobook, too. Read more

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I'm Glad My Mom Died

By: Jennette McCurdy
Narrated by: Jennette McCurdy
Length: 6 hours 25 minutes

“A Nickelodeon child star, Jennette McCurdy was raised by a mother desperate to live out her show-business dreams through her daughter. That pressure to succeed--and to please her mother--sent McCurdy into a downward spiral of eating disorders, drug addiction, and destructive relationships from which she is only beginning to recover....Most of... Read more

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