Biographies and memoirs are quite popular at York County Public Library. Whether they are picked up because the reader wants the chance to learn from someone else's mistakes without having to make them or because the subject is of special interest to the reader, they offer everyone a chance to meet real people grappling with real situations.
I prefer memoirs because unlike biographies, which attempt to cover the entire breadth of an individual's life, memoirs just focus on a few important episodes. They offer life lessons in easy-to-read nuggets that are perfect for summer reading. Which is what made me pick up Nina MacLaughlin's Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter.