10 Memoirs Every 20-Something Woman Should Read

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Mo Riza via Flickr
Not sure where your life is headed? Unsure which decisions are the right ones to make? Wondering if things could possibly get any more chaotic than they are now? Welcome to the roller coaster ride of reality checks that is your 20s.

While we can't give you directions on how to get through the "defining decade," we can recommend some autobiographical accounts of women who have been there, done that, and lived to write about it. Make room on your reading list, because here are 10 memoirs every 20-something woman should read.


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Arizona State Library Now Offers Digital Versions of 500-Plus Books About Arizona

Categories: Books, News

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Reading Arizona offers digital copies of hundreds of books about Arizona.

Believe it or not, things got pretty wild at the Arizona Library Association conference, held November 13 and 14.

During the event, the Arizona State Library launched Reading Arizona, a new ebook platform which allows members to "check out" digital copies of hundreds of state-centric published works.

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Frank Warren on The World of PostSecret, Confessions on a Rubik's Cube, and the Currency of Intimacy

Categories: Books, Interviews

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Courtesy of K.C. Morisseau Jr.
Frank Warren founder and curator of PostSecret is known as "the most trusted man in America."
"I am in love with my boyfriend's cousin." "My bulimia has made me better at giving blowjobs." "I always order chicken fingers when I go out with my friends... Because I still can't cut my own meat."

About a million strangers have told Frank Warren their secrets like these. And he's shared them with the world.

Ten years ago, Warren set out to give strangers the chance to confess their most-protected secrets anonymously for a community art project. On Monday, December 1, the Tuscon-born Warren will return to the Grand Canyon State for a live event and signing of his latest book, The World of PostSecret at Changing Hands Tempe.


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Cary Elwes on Acting, As You Wish, and Andre the Giant's Awesome Hugs

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Miranda Penn Turn
Cary Elwes brings As You Wish to the Valley.
UPDATE: Cary Elwes' December 2 book signing has been postponed. Changing Hands has not announced a new date as of this writing, but tickets purchased for the December 2 event will be honored on the new date.

I was elated when I found out that actor Cary Elwes had written a book about The Princess Bride. "Great," I thought, "Now he's not just my first love, not just the star of my favorite movie of all time, now he's gotta go and be a goddamn writer, too."

You can imagine that I just about peed my pants when I was asked to interview Elwes about his upcoming Changing Hands Bookstore signing of his book, As You Wish.


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5 Gifts for the Book Lover

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Evie Carpenter
The Bookshop is perfect for book lovers hunting for awesome used books.
People who love books are kind of a different breed. We're not talking about the person who occasionally browses the New York Times best-sellers list. We're talking about those midnight release frequenters, those readers who have a literary reference for everything, those coworkers who need an extra few cups of coffee because they were up all night finishing the latest page-turner, and those hardcore shippers who take it personally if you don't respect their chosen One True Pairing.

Buying the book lover in your life another hardcover this holiday season just seems a little too easy, doesn't it? Branch out. We've got five suggestions for gifts to surprise your bibliophile with something perfectly bookish without actually having a cover and hundreds of plot-lined pages.


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Carrie Bloomston on Writing Little Spark, the Book Her Publishers Didn't Want, and Choosing Creativity Over Fear

Categories: Books, Interviews

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Jill McNamara
Carrie Bloomston will be at Changing Hands Phoenix on Tuesday, December 2, for her debut book The Little Spark.
It was about a year ago that Carrie Bloomston, fabric designer and owner of SUCH Designs in Phoenix, was sitting in the tree fort she and her family had built in their backyard and writing while batting away the last lingering mosquitoes of summer.

Bloomston was finishing what would become The Little Spark: 30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity, which she will read at Changing Hands on Tuesday, December 2.


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Bob Boze Bell Brings "201 Zany Zonies" and The 66 Kid to Tempe and Phoenix

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Bob Boze Bell
"Terry Goddard vs. Margaret Hance"
Bob Boze Bell wears many hats, most of them cowboy.

The longtime Arizona resident has worked as an artist and author, contributing work for big screen productions as well as publications including National Lampoon, Playboy, Arizona Highways, and New Times. This is in addition to serving as a publisher and co-owner of True West Magazine.

Despite being called everything from author to historian, Bell considers himself only one thing. "I'm just a cartoonist with a passion for the Wild West."

Even before moving to Kingman, Arizona, from Swea City, Iowa, in 1956, Bell, like many children of the Atomic Age, was obsessed with all things western.

"Ever since my grandma said Wyatt Earp was the biggest jerk whoever walked the Wild West and Wyatt Earp was my favorite TV show. . . That really kind of launched me on a journey to find out the truth about the Wild West that's portrayed in television and movies."


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ASU's Project Hieroglyph to Bring Sci-Fi Writers to Phoenix's Crescent Ballroom on October 22

Categories: Books

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Harper Collins Publishing, via ASU Center for Science and the Imagination
Hieroglyph is a collection of stories designed to create a more positive vision of the future.

ASU's Center for Science and the Imagination is making us question everything we thought we knew about Arizona's favorite party school. The Center, which considers itself a "network hub for audacious moonshot ideas and a cultural engine for thoughtful optimism," seeks to unite writers, philosophers, scientists, and engineers to create a less dystopic vision of the relationship between scientific progress and humanity. This effort toward collaboration, human decency, and general positivity is a huge step forward for the University, whose ever-so-intelligent student body once brought us the "MLK Black Party."

Part of this effort involves the recent publication of a book called Hieroglyph: Stories & Visions for a Better Future. The anthology is a collection of stories by some pretty big thinkers -- including Neal Stephenson, Elizabeth Bear, and Madeline Ashby.

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Chuck Palahniuk on Beautiful You, Arousal Addiction, and Chick Lit

Categories: Books, Interviews

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Courtesy of Chuck Palahniuk
Palahniuk will be at Dobson High School in Mesa on October 23.

When he graduated from the University of Oregon with a journalism degree in 1986, Chuck Palahniuk probably didn't think he would go on to be a bestselling author and one of the most popular novelists for a generation that isn't exactly known for its love of books.

And when Palahniuk, now 52, began taking fiction-writing classes while working for truck manufacturer Freightliner, he might not have thought it would lead to him writing over 15 (and counting) internationally renowned books translated into several languages.

But it did. Though the author hasn't let it affect him too much.


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Beth Cato on The Clockwork Dagger, Her Debut Steampunk/Fantasy Novel

Categories: Books, Interviews

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Evie Carpenter
Author Beth Cato shows off a little bit of the fashion of the steampunk world she created within The Clockwork Dagger.

You wouldn't expect to find a magical healer, spies, assassins, and a quirky young gremlin in Buckeye, Arizona. But that's exactly where debut novelist Beth Cato created the fantastical steampunk world of her book, The Clockwork Dagger.

In Cato's take on Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, Octavia Leander, a powerful "medician" who uses her magical powers to heal others in her war-torn world, thought the airship she was traveling on was just transporting her to her first mission. When she discovers the airship is full of those plotting a deadly conspiracy, a cabin-mate with too many secrets, and a handsome steward who may be one of the Queen's spies or assassins known as the Clockwork Daggers, Octavia must fight to save herself, the ones she cares about, and possibly her entire world.


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