Sybil’s List Fall 2022 at The Westport Library – Part 2 Nonfiction

12 Nonfiction Recommendations

Westporter Sybil Steinberg, former book review section editor for Publishers Weekly, has presented her recommended reading list of 34 titles. The fiction books are listed in a separate post; here we have 12 notable nonfiction recommendations. Sybil enjoys memoirs and there are a lot to choose from. From the life of Paul Newman to murders and scandals, something from this list of a dozen titles will surely peek your interest.

An Extraordinary Life

The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man by Paul Newman

The life of the Hollywood star in Westport resident, and his own words, recorded several years before his death, recently discovered by his family.


Shy by Mary Rodgers

The daughters of Richard Rogers is anything but shy, as she tells all in a zesty memoir that reflects on her life and spares the feelings of no one in her musical theater orbit.

Left on Tenth

Left on Tenth by Delia Ephron

A heartwarming memoir in which Efron recounts her brush with death from the same disease that her sister Nora succumbed to, and a new romantic relationship that arose at a crucial time. 

Jersey Breaks

Jersey Breaks by Robert Pinsky

Former poet laureate Pinsky describes the inspiration for his career after growing up in a dysfunctional family which his grandfather was a bootlegger.

Deer Creek Drive

Deer Creek Drive by Beverly Lowry

The Mississippi Delta in the 1940s is the setting of a dramatic narrative and memoir that explores the racial politics that allowed a woman to go free after murdering her mother. 

The Familia Grande

The Familia Grande by Camille Kouchner

This best-selling memoir by a member of a highly respected French family revealed a scandal that obsessed the country. 

The Summer Friend

The Summer Friend by Charles McGrath

The former editor of the New York Times book review and deputy editor of The New Yorker reflects on idyllic years when he formed a friendship with a man from a different social class. 

Who Killed Jane Stanford?

Who Killed Jane Stanford? by Richard White

A speculation about the cover-up of the never solve the murder of the eccentric, domineering, founder of Stanford University. 

The Sewing Girl's Tale

The Sewing Girl’s Tale by John Wood Sweet

The first published rape trial in colonial America occurred after a young seamstress was attacked in 1763 by a wastrel from a wealthy family. 

O Say Can You Hear?

O Say Can You Hear by Mark Clague

A fascinating look at the history of our national anthem as it has been interpreted in sports, politics, war, immigration, and social justice movements. 

My Old Kentucky Home

My Old Kentucky Home by Emily Bingham

How Stephen Foster’s song about the sorrows of slavery became a segregationist anthem, a popular song and a nostalgic ballad. 

American Harvest

American Harvest by Marie Mutsuki Mockett

This eye-opening account of a summer spent with evangelical wheat harvesters provides an empathetic glimpse into the lives of ultra-religious people who vote right-wing.

Book Nation by Jen

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