Best of
Memoir

2012

To Selena, With Love


Chris Pérez - 2012
    Her tragic murder, at the young age of twenty-three, stripped the world of her talent and boundless potential, her tightly knit family of their beloved angel, and her husband, Chris Perez, of the greatest love he had ever known.For over a decade, Chris held on to the only personal thing he had left from his late wife: the touching and sometimes painful memories of their very private bond. Now, for the first time, Chris opens up about their unbreakable friendship, forbidden relationship, and blossoming marriage, which were cut short by Selena’s unforgivable death.Chris’s powerful story gives a rare glimpse into Selena’s sincerity and vulnerability when falling in love, strength and conviction when fighting for that love, and absolute resilience when finding peace and normalcy with her family’s acceptance of the only man she called her husband. While showcasing a side of Selena that has never been disclosed before and clarifying certain misconceptions about her life and death, To Selena, with Love is an everlasting love story that immortalizes the heart and soul of an extraordinary, unforgettable, and irreplaceable icon.

Another Forgotten Child


Cathy Glass - 2012
    Her five older siblings were taken into care many years ago. So no one can understand why she was left at home to suffer for so long. It seems Aimee was forgotten.The social services are looking for a very experienced foster carer to look after Aimee and, when she reads the referral, Cathy understands why. Despite her reservations, Cathy agrees to Aimee on – there is something about her that reminds Cathy of Jodie (the subject of ‘Damaged’ and the most disturbed child Cathy has cared for), and reading the report instantly tugs at her heart strings.When she arrives, Aimee is angry. And she has every right to be. She has spent the first eight years of her life living with her drug-dependent mother in a flat that the social worker described as ‘not fit for human habitation’. Aimee is so grateful as she snuggles into her bed at Cathy’s house on the first night that it brings Cathy to tears.Aimee’s aggressive mother is constantly causing trouble at contact, and makes sweeping allegations against Cathy and her family in front of her daughter as well. It is a trying time for Cathy, and it makes it difficult for Aimee to settle. But as Aimee begins to trust Cathy, she starts to open up. And the more Cathy learns about Aimee’s life before she came into care, the more horrified she becomes.It’s clear that Aimee should have been rescued much sooner and as her journey seems to be coming to a happy end, Cathy can’t help but reflect on all the other ‘forgotten children’ that are still suffering…

Running for My Life: One Lost Boy's Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games


Lopez Lomong - 2012
    It is about outrunning the devil and achieving the impossible faith, diligence, and the desire to give back. It is the American dream come true and a stark reminder that saving one can help to save thousands more.Lopez Lomong chronicles his inspiring ascent from a barefoot lost boy of the Sudanese Civil War to a Nike sponsored athlete on the US Olympic Team. Though most of us fall somewhere between the catastrophic lows and dizzying highs of Lomong's incredible life, every reader will find in his story the human spark to pursue dreams that might seem unthinkable, even from circumstances that might appear hopeless."Lopez Lomong's story is one of true inspiration. His life is a story of courage, hard work, never giving up, and having hope where there is hopelessness all around. Lopez is a true role model." ?MICHAEL JOHNSON, Olympic Gold Medalist"This true story of a Sudanese child refugee who became an Olympic star is powerful proof that God gives hope to the hopeless and shines a light in the darkest places. Don't be surprised if after reading this incredible tale, you find yourself mysteriously drawn to run alongside him." ?RICHARD STEARNS, president, World Vision US and author of THe Hole in Our Gospel

Tell No One


Sarah Cooper - 2012
    If you passed me in the street, you wouldn’t notice either. You might see the small scar on my neck that was inflicted by a knife being pressed to my throat. You might notice a lump on my left wrist where the bones didn’t heal properly after it was fractured. You might notice small scars on my arms where I was used as a live ashtray. But you won’t see the scars that are deep inside me – the ones which take a lifetime to heal. They’re ingrained in me, trapped under the surface like fish under a frozen lake, waiting for the moment when the surface cracks and they can come to life again. These mental scars are the demons that haunted me when I was at my lowest point. They came out to torment me, rearing their ugly head in the darkness. Then they would retreat again for a time, making me think I’d got over what happened to me, only to show up when I least expected it. But with every year that passed, I learnt how to handle the demons more. Every sick and twisted thing that happened in my childhood has made me into the woman I am today. I’m a survivor. My name is Sarah and this is my story…

The Distance Between Us


Reyna Grande - 2012
    “That way,” Mami told the midwife, “no matter where life takes her, she won’t ever forget where she came from.” Then Mago touched my belly button . . . She said that my umbilical cord was like a ribbon that connected me to Mami. She said, “It doesn’t matter that there’s a distance btween us now. That cord is there forever.” When Reyna Grande’s father leaves his wife and three children behind in a village in Mexico to make the dangerous trek across the border to the United States, he promises he will soon return from “El Otro Lado” (The Other Side) with enough money to build them a dream house where they can all live together. His promises become harder to believe as months turn into years. When he summons his wife to join him, Reyna and her siblings are deposited in the already overburdened household of their stern, unsmiling grandmother. The three siblings are forced to look out for themselves; in childish games they find a way to forget the pain of abandonment and learn to solve very adult problems. When their mother at last returns, the reunion sets the stage for a dramatic new chapter in Reyna’s young life: her own journey to “El Otro Lado” to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years, her long-absent father. In this extraordinary memoir, award-winning writer Reyna Grande vividly brings to life her tumultuous early years, capturing all the confusion and contradictions of childhood, especially one spent torn between two parents and two countries. Elated when she feels the glow of her father’s love and approval, Reyna knows that at any moment he might turn angry or violent. Only in books and music and her rich imaginary life does she find solace, a momentary refuge from a world in which every place feels like “El Otro Lado.” The Distance Between Us captures one girl’s passage from childhood to adolescence and beyond. A funny, heartbreaking, lyrical story, it reminds us that the joys and sorrows of childhood are always with us, invisible to the eye but imprinted on the heart, forever calling out to us of those places we first called home.

My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir


Colleen Carroll Campbell - 2012
    Launched amid post-partying regrets in a Milwaukee dorm room, that search takes her from the baths of Lourdes and the ruins of Auschwitz to the Oval Office and the papal palace. Along the way, she wrestles with the quintessential dilemmas of her generation: confusion over the sexual chaos of the hookup culture, tension between her dueling desires for professional success and committed love, ambivalence about marriage and motherhood, and anguish at her father's descent into dementia and her own infertility.Dissatisfied with pat answers from both secular feminists and their critics, she finds grace and inspiration from an unexpected source, spiritual friendship with six female saints: Teresa of Ávila, Thérèse of Lisieux, Faustina of Poland, Edith Stein of Germany, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Mary of Nazareth. Their lives and writings speak to her deepest longings, guide her through her most wrenching decisions, and lead her to rethink nearly everything she thought she knew about what it means to be a liberated woman.

Nowhere But Up: The Story of Justin Bieber's Mom


Pattie Mallette - 2012
    Many people have heard of her son's rags to riches triumph. A few know she was a teen mom who had to overcome a drug and alcohol addiction. Even fewer know the rest of her story. Now, for the first time in detail, Pattie shares with the world the story of a girl who felt abandoned and unloved. Of a teenager who made poor choices. Of a young woman who attempted suicide and could hardly bear to believe that God would ever care for her. One who messed up, got pregnant, and got a second chance. Every reader will find themselves somewhere in Pattie's painful journey of redemption. They will be encouraged by her example that what was once broken can become whole. Pattie's story will inspire readers to believe that even in the darkest of places, there's always hope. For those who feel unlovable, there's always love. And for those who believe they're a lost cause, there's always room for another chance.

A Baby's Cry


Cathy Glass - 2012
    From the author of Damaged comes a harrowing and moving memoir about tiny Harrison, left in Cathy's care, and the potentially fatal family secret of his beginnings. When Cathy is first asked to foster one-day old Harrison her only concern is if she will remember how to look after a baby. But upon collecting Harrison from the hospital, Cathy realizes she has more to worry than she thought when she discovers that his background is shrouded in secrecy. She isn't told why Harrison is in foster care and his social worker says only a few are aware of his very existence, and if his whereabouts became known his life, and that of his parents, could be in danger. Cathy tries to put her worries aside as she looks after Harrison, a beautiful baby, who is alert and engaging. Cathy and her children quickly bond with Harrison although they know that, inevitably, he will eventually be adopted. But when a woman Cathy doesn't know starts appearing in the street outside her house acting suspiciously, Cathy fears for her own family's safety and demands some answers from Harrison's social worker. The social worker tells Cathy a little but what she says is very disturbing. How is this woman connected to Harrison and can she answer the questions that will affect Harrison's whole life?

A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home


Steve Pemberton - 2012
    No one in the system can help him. No one can tell him if he has a family. No one can tell him why, with obvious African-American features, he has the last name of Klakowicz.Along the way, a single faint light comes only from a neighbor’s small acts of kindness and caring—and a box of books. From one of those books he learns that he has to fight in any way he can—for victory is in the battle. His victory is to excel in school.Against all odds, the author succeeded. He attended college, graduated, became a successful corporate executive, and married a wonderful woman with whom he established a loving family of his own. Through it, he dug voraciously through records and files and found his history, his birth family—and the ultimate disappointment as some family members embrace him, but others reject him.Readers won’t be the same after reading this powerful story. They will share in the hurts and despair but also in the triumph against daunting obstacles. They will share this story with their family, with their friends, with their neighbors.

Call Me Tuesday


Leigh Byrne - 2012
    Almost overnight, the loving environment she's come to know becomes an endless nightmare of twisted punishments, as she's forced to confront the dark cruelty lurking inside the mother she idolizes. Based on a true story, Call Me Tuesday recounts, with raw emotion, a young girl's physical and mental torment at the mercy of the monster in her mother's clothes--a monster she doesn't know how to stop loving.

Too Hurt to Stay: The True Story of a Troubled Boy’s Desperate Search for a Loving Home


Casey Watson - 2012
    It’s a desperate act, a cry for help, but his parent’s reaction – good riddance – speaks volumes. Immediately Casey’s hackles are up for this poor child: it seems he either comes to live with the Watsons, or he’ll be sent to a children’s home.Spencer is the middle child of four siblings. His parents claim all their other kids are ‘normal’ and that Spencer was born ‘vicious and evil’. Casey and her family are disgusted – kids aren’t born evil, they get damaged. Although when vigilante neighbours start to take action and their landlord threatens eviction, Casey is stretched to the limits, trying desperately to hold on to this boy who causes so much pain and destruction.Casey is determined to try and understand what Spencer is going through and help him find the loving home he is so desperately searching for. But it’s only when Spencer’s mother gets in touch with social services for the first time that gradually everything starts to make sense.

Little Prisoners: A Tragic Story of Siblings Trapped in a World of Abuse and Suffering


Casey Watson - 2012
    Two frightened little waifs stand before them, hair running wild with head lice, filthy nails and skin covered in scabs. Ashton, aged nine, and Olivia, aged six, are the eldest of five siblings, taken away from their family because they were considered at risk.Originally a temporary, emergency placement, the weeks turn into months. And gradually the children start to feel like they truly belong to a family and to reveal the horror of what happened to them.

The Book of Emma Reyes


Emma Reyes - 2012
    Comprised of letters written over the course of thirty years, and translated and introduced by acclaimed Peruvian-American writer Daniel Alarcon, it describes in vivid, painterly detail the remarkable courage and limitless imagination of a young girl growing up with nothing. Emma was an illegitimate child, raised in a windowless room in Bogota with no water or toilet and only ingenuity to keep her and her sister alive. Abandoned by their mother, she and her sister moved to a convent housing 150 orphan girls, where they washed pots, ironed and mended laundry, scrubbed floors, cleaned bathrooms, and sewed garments and decorative cloths for church. Illiterate and knowing nothing of the outside world, Emma escaped at age nineteen, eventually coming to have a career as an artist and to befriend the likes of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera as well as European artists and intellectuals. Far from self-pitying, the portrait that emerges from this clear-eyed account inspires awe at the stunning early life of a gifted writer whose talent remained hidden for far too long.

When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice


Terry Tempest Williams - 2012
    It was a shock to Williams to discover that her mother had kept journals. But not as much of a shock as what she found when the time came to read them.  “They were exactly where she said they would be: three shelves of beautiful cloth-bound books . . . I opened the first journal. It was empty. I opened the second journal. It was empty. I opened the third. It too was empty . . . Shelf after shelf after shelf, all of my mother’s journals were blank.” What did Williams’s mother mean by that? In fifty-four chapters that unfold like a series of yoga poses, each with its own logic and beauty, Williams creates a lyrical and caring meditation of the mystery of her mother's journals. When Women Were Birds is a kaleidoscope that keeps turning around the question “What does it mean to have a voice?”

I Am a SEAL Team Six Warrior: Memoirs of an American Soldier


Howard E. Wasdin - 2012
    When the SEALs send their elite, they send SEAL Team Six—a secret unit made up of the finest soldiers in the country, if not the world. I Am a SEAL Team Six Warrior is the dramatic tale of how Howard Wasdin overcame a tough childhood to live his dream and enter the exciting and dangerous world of U.S. Navy SEALS and Special Forces snipers. His training began with his selection for Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S)—the toughest and longest military training in the world. After graduating, Wasdin saw combat in Operation Desert Storm as a member of SEAL Team Two. But he was driven to be the best of the best—he wanted to join the legendary SEAL Team Six, and at long last he reached his goal and became one of the best snipers on the planet. Soon he was fighting for his life in The Battle of Mogadishu. This is Howard Wasdin's story of overcoming abuse and beating the odds to become an elite American warrior.

Crazy Brave


Joy Harjo - 2012
    Born in Oklahoma, the end place of the Trail of Tears, Harjo grew up learning to dodge an abusive stepfather by finding shelter in her imagination, a deep spiritual life, and connection with the natural world. She attended an Indian arts boarding school, where she nourished an appreciation for painting, music, and poetry; gave birth while still a teenager; and struggled on her own as a single mother, eventually finding her poetic voice. Narrating the complexities of betrayal and love, Crazy Brave is a memoir about family and the breaking apart necessary in finding a voice. Harjo’s tale of a hardscrabble youth, young adulthood, and transformation into an award-winning poet and musician is haunting, unique, and visionary.

我们仨


杨绛 - 2012
    The moving story of the family of three proves: Family is life’s best shelter.

I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban


Malala Yousafzai - 2012
    When I almost died it was just after midday.When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate.I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

The Year They Tried to Kill Me : Surviving a Surgical Internship Even If the Patients Don't


Salvatore Iaquinta - 2012
    But I was just a naive Wisconsin boy, fresh out of medical school and new to Oakland, California. I chose Highland Hospital for my surgical internship: an entire year filled with sick patients, brutal work hours, more brutal staff surgeons, and flawed attempts to maintain a long-distance relationship. Yet, somehow, it’s a work of nonfictional comedy.I take on many roles throughout the story. I’m a kid who still plays Tetris, a guy who can’t commit to his girlfriend, an untrained doctor who finds himself cutting open people’s skulls, and a fish out of water who is called to the ER to drain the blood from a cocaine-engorged penis.But this adventure isn’t just crazy hospital anecdotes or what it takes to become a surgeon. It's a coming of age tale about learning what it means to be a caregiver. Sure, I worked 40 hours without sleep, but that is only one of the ways They tried to kill me. Their real evil was crushing the enthusiasm and compassion of their trainees. I struggled to remain a “normal” human while joining a fraternity of holier-than-thou surgeons, and nothing grounded me more than trying to cope with the illnesses within my own family.If this book proves anything, it's that "Laughter is the best medicine, but surgery is a close second."Enjoy.A dollar of every Kindle book sold will benefit the charity Operation Access.

Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing


Anita Moorjani - 2012
    As her organs failed, she entered into an extraordinary near-death experience where she realized her inherent worth . . . and the actual cause of her disease. Upon regaining consciousness, Anita found that her condition had improved so rapidly that she was able to be released from the hospital within weeks . . . without a trace of cancer in her body!     Within these pages, Anita recounts stories of her childhood in Hong Kong, her challenge to establish her career and find true love, as well as how she eventually ended up in that hospital bed where she defied all medical knowledge.     As part of a traditional Hindu family residing in a largely Chinese and British society, she had been pushed and pulled by cultural and religious customs since she had been a little girl. After years of struggling to forge her own path while trying to meet everyone else’s expectations, she had the realization, as a result of her epiphany on the other side, that she had the power to heal herself . . . and that there are miracles in the Universe that she had never even imagined.      In Dying to Be Me, Anita freely shares all she has learned about illness, healing, fear, “being love,” and the true magnificence of each and every human being!This is a book that definitely makes the case that we are spiritual beings having a human experience . . . and that we are all One!

The Big Book of One Direction


Triumph Books - 2012
    Biographies of and trivia about Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, and Niall Horan are complemented by ample photographs of the band members and their interactions with fans. Games, including puzzles and quizzes, add fun to the facts and make this guide a must-have for Directioners. The former contestants of The X Factor debuted their album Up All Night at the top of the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, and this book of One Direction devotion demonstrates why their superstardom shows no signs of slowing.

The Infinite Wait and Other Stories


Julia Wertz - 2012
    1 and 2 (Atomic Books, 2007 and 2009) and Drinking at the Movies (Random House, 2010). In contrast to her last book, which was a full-length graphic memoir, The Infinite Wait is not a sustained narrative, but rather a collection of three short stories or graphic novellas. The stories in this collection contain Wertz’s signature acerbic wit, ribald humour and keen eye for the everyday, but they also find the cartoonist delving into the personal. “Industry” catalogues 25 years of alternately terrible and terrific jobs, from selling golf balls, feeding and failing to feed animals, waitressing, and finally to cartooning and the publication of her first book. “A Strange and Curious Place” is a love letter to Wertz’s hometown library; its mysteries and revelations, and its ability foster growth, rebellion and even artistic affirmation. The most sustained narrative in the collection, the eponymous “The Infinite Wait,” chronicles Wertz’s move from her small hometown to San Francisco, her diagnosis with an incurable, auto-immune disease and her subsequent discovery of comics and comic making.The collection’s title, The Infinite Wait and Other Stories, intentionally and ironically recalls the vacuous and pretentious book titles of the literary elite, but these stories are the polar opposite of pretension. They are comics born out of illness, but not defined by it, and they are filled with the sometimes messy, heartbreaking and hilarious moments that make up a life.

Sketches of a Black Cat - Full Color Collector's Edition: Story of a night flying WWII pilot and artist


Ron Miner - 2012
     Howard Miner never expected to contract the first documented case of the mumps in Guadalcanal history.    As a Navy Black Cat, he took his share of chances during the ten-hour, night long flights in darkened PBYs painted entirely black, searching the seas for enemy ships and downed fliers ~ the original stealth aircrafts.  But wartime was unpredictable, and whether landing on an exotic tropical isle where the women he saw from the air turned out to be topless, or dropping wing tanks containing a strange new substance called “Napalm,” this was clearly a very different world than he had known as a college student in Indiana. His is a tale of seven buddies, all pilots who flew at night, slept and got into mischief by day, then repeated. Their PBY Catalina odyssey stretched from the Solomon Islands to the northern tip of the Philippines and included a full range of missions, from search, attack, and bombing runs, to daring sea rescues. Howard’s journey through training and tours of duty is skillfully captured in his art and narratives, framing a wartime drama with a personal coming of age story. The descriptive verse from the artist’s viewpoint gives us a creatively told and intriguing portrayal of WWII’s Pacific Theater. * * * * Miner combines his father's writings and interviews with WWII veterans to craft a loving tribute to the young men who fought in WWII...He does his father and other WWII veterans proud. ~Publisher's Weekly/Booklife * * * * "Sketches of a Black Cat" is a unique and fascinating memoir of a World War II combat aviator ~ with original and previously unpublished sketches and photographs. This artfully crafted book is a must read for anyone in search of a new and completely different view into the world of war in the Pacific and on the home front during America's greatest conflict." ~ Larkin Spivey, military historian and author. * * * * “From boxes of notes and drawings comes a book illuminating a WWII pilot’s experiences as part of the Black Cat Squadron…accounts of support missions, rescues of airmen and interactions with indigenous island peoples told in vivid but unembellished detail…a handsome volume that reads breezily and is punctuated with photos and drawings from Howard’s war years. ~ Mike Francis the Oregonian * * * * "Wonderful and beautifully real stories such as this are dying every day as we lose our WWII veterans. Kudos to Ron Miner for preserving and sharing with the rest of us the gold of his father's journals, photos, and drawings to bring us such a compelling look at life during the war. This is not only a valuable and insightful historical document but a dramatic and warm personal story." ~ Don Keith, WWII author * * * * “... Howard Miner’s memoirs are a wonderful view into the world of a patrol squadron at war. Miner sees the war through the eyes of an artist, revealing details of day-to-day life that are often overlooked in war time narratives. A wholly enjoyable story!” ~ Stewart Bailey, Curator, Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum * * * * " “As a former flight engineer aboard a PBY in WWII… I can truly say I felt as though I was on Howard’s Catalina…so many similarities to my own experiences.

A Life Without Limits: A World Champion's Journey


Chrissie Wellington - 2012
    As a newcomer to the sport and a complete unknown to the press, Chrissie's win shook up the sport. A LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS is the story of her rise to the top, a journey that has taken her around the world, from a childhood in England, to the mountains of Nepal, to the oceans of New Zealand, and the trails of Argentina, and first across the finish line.Wellington's first-hand, inspiring story includes all the incredible challenges she has faced--from anorexia to near--drowning to training with a controversial coach. But to Wellington, the drama of the sports also presents an opportunity to use sports to improve people's lives.A LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS reveals the heart behind Wellington's success, along with the diet, training and motivational techniques that keep her going through one of the world's most grueling events.

A Kiss Before You Go: An Illustrated Memoir of Love and Loss


Danny Gregory - 2012
    This intimate volume reproduces these journal pages in a stirring visual memoir of Gregory's journey towards recovery. Uniquely sincere, and by turns tender, raw, and hopeful, Gregory's idiosyncratic text and illustrations capture the darkest and lightest moments of his "year of magical drawing." Gregory's process reminds us that creative expression offers its own therapy, and that living each day to its fullest may be as simple as putting pen to paper. Anyone who has experienced loss will take solace in this refreshingly candid look at grieving, while art lovers will marvel at the artist's beautiful celebration of the power of creation.

Crying for Help: The Shocking True Story of a Damaged Girl with a Dark Past


Casey Watson - 2012
    Sophia’s actions are disturbing and provocative and, before long, Casey and her family find themselves in a dark and dangerous situation.Two years ago Sophia’s mother had a terrible accident. Sophia has been in care ever since.Right away, Casey feels something isn’t right. Sophia’s a well-developed girl, who looks more like 18 than 12. She only seems to have eyes and ears for men, and treats all women with contempt and disgust. And she has everyone around her jumping through hoops.Over time, as more details begin to emerge about Sophia’s past, it becomes clear that her behaviour is a front for an early life filled with pain and suffering. But although Casey feels she is gradually breaking through to Sophia and getting her to open up about things she has never spoken about before, her violence is threatening the safety of the whole family, forcing Casey to question whether she can really handle this lost and damaged girl.Both shocking and inspiring, this true story will shed new light on the extreme and sometimes dangerous nature of foster care.

Heaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy


Stephanie Nielson - 2012
    She quickly attracted a loyal following that was captivated by the upbeat mother happily raising her young children, madly in love with her husband, Christian (Mr. Nielson to her readers), and filled with gratitude for her blessed life.However, everything changed in an instant on a sunny day in August 2008, when Stephanie and Christian were in a horrific plane crash. Christian was burned over 40 percent of his body, and Stephanie was on the brink of death, with burns over 80 percent of her body. She would remain in a coma for four months.In the aftermath of this harrowing tragedy, Stephanie maintained a stunning sense of humor, optimism, and resilience. She has since shared this strength of spirit with others through her blog, in magazine features, and on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Now, in this moving memoir, Stephanie tells the full, extraordinary story of her unlikely recovery and the incredible love behind it—from a riveting account of the crash to all that followed in its wake. With vivid detail, Stephanie recounts her emotional and physical journey, from her first painful days after awakening from the coma to the first time she saw her face in the mirror, the first kiss she shared with Christian after the accident, and the first time she talked to her children after their long separation. She also reflects back on life before the accident, to her happy childhood as one of nine siblings, her close-knit community and strong Mormon faith, and her fairy-tale love story, all of which became her foundation of strength as she rebuilt her life.What emerges from the wreckage of a tragic accident is a unique perspective on joy, beauty, and overcoming adversity that is as gripping as it is inspirational. Heaven Is Here is a poignant reminder of how faith and family, love and community can bolster us, sustain us, and quite literally, in some cases, save us.

Classified Woman


Sibel Edmonds - 2012
    history—takes us on a surreal journey that begins with the secretive FBI and down the dark halls of a feckless Congress to a stonewalling judiciary and finally, to the national security whistleblowers movement she spearheaded. Having lived under Middle East dictatorships, Edmonds knows firsthand what can happen when government is allowed to operate in secret. Hers is a sobering perspective that combines painful experience with a rallying cry for the public’s right to know and to hold the lawbreakers accountable. With U.S. citizens increasingly stripped of their rights in a calibrated media blackout, Edmonds’ story is a wake-up call for all Americans who, willingly or unwillingly, traded liberty for illusive security in the wake of 9/11.

Mortality


Christopher Hitchens - 2012
    As he would later write in the first of a series of award-winning columns for "Vanity Fair," he suddenly found himself being deported "from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady." Over the next eighteen months, until his death in Houston on December 15, 2011, he wrote constantly and brilliantly on politics and culture, astonishing readers with his capacity for superior work even in extremis.Throughout the course of his ordeal battling esophageal cancer, Hitchens adamantly and bravely refused the solace of religion, preferring to confront death with both eyes open. In this account of his affliction, he describes the torments of illness, discusses its taboos, and explores how disease transforms experience and changes our relationship to the world around us. By turns personal and philosophical, Hitchens embraces the full panoply of human emotions as cancer invades his body and compels him to grapple with the enigma of mortality.

The Rules of Inheritance


Claire Bidwell Smith - 2012
    "I've already come to the conclusion that I will probably be parentless by the time I am thirty," Claire writes in her powerful debut.As her mother begins to succumb during Claire's first year of college, Claire hurtles towards loss. She throws herself into the arms of anything she thinks might hold her up: boys, alcohol, traveling, and the anonymity of cities like New York and Los Angeles. Her every choice carries the weight of a young woman's world, and it feels like a solitary place. Words -- books, diaries, letters, family stories -- become Claire's true companions, and provide a glimpse of the future, however foreign.In New York, she studies writing and learns the ways of the world, falling in and out of love with a troubled young man, all the while grappling not only with her own lonelieness and regret but that of her aging father. She joins him in Los Angeles as a novice journalist, and records one last thrilling entry in their nuclear family history in the fields of Eastern Europe in search of his World War II past. When it is time to say good-bye, once more the fragility of life astonishes.Defying a conventional framework, this memoir is told in nonlinear fashion, using the five stages of grief as a window into Claire's experience, at once heartbreaking and uplifting. "Why would anyone want to walk into pain?" Claire asks. "But when I did, I found that it didn't hurt as much as I thought it would."Each step brings her closer to finding the meaning of the rules of inheritance, and how they will shape her future -- as a woman, as a wife, as a mother. As in the very best personal writing, Claire's superbly resonant words render the personal universal.

God's Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine


Victoria Sweet - 2012
    Ballet dancers and rock musicians, professors and thieves-"anyone who had fallen, or, often, leapt, onto hard times" and needed extended medical care-ended up here. So did Victoria Sweet, who came for two months and stayed for twenty years. Laguna Honda, lower tech but human paced, gave Sweet the opportunity to practice a kind of attentive medicine that has almost vanished. Gradually, the place transformed the way she understood her work. Alongside the modern view of the body as a machine to be fixed, her extraordinary patients evoked an older idea, of the body as a garden to be tended. God's Hotel tells their story and the story of the hospital itself, which, as efficiency experts, politicians, and architects descended, determined to turn it into a modern "health care facility," revealed its own surprising truths about the essence, cost, and value of caring for body and soul.

The Story of Rose: A Man and his Dog


Jon Katz - 2012
    From the acclaimed author of A Good Dog, Dog Days, and Going Home comes this eBook original—a poignant memoir that celebrates Jon Katz’s beloved border collie, Rose, and their transformative years together on Bedlam Farm.

My Animals and Other Family


Clare Balding - 2012
    By the time I was ten I had discovered the pain of unbearable loss. I had felt joy and jealousy. Most important of all, I knew how to love and how to let myself be loved. All these things I learnt through animals. Horses and dogs were my family and my friends. This is their story as much as it is mine'Clare Balding grew up in a rather unusual household. Her father a champion trainer, she shared her life with more than 100 thoroughbred racehorses, mares, foals and ponies, as well as an ever-present pack of boxers and lurchers. As a toddler she would happily ride the legendary Mill Reef and take breakfast with the Queen.She and her younger brother came very low down the pecking order. Left to their own devices, they had to learn life's toughest lessons through the animals, and through their adventures in the stables and the idyllic Hampshire Downs. From the protective Candy to the pot-bellied Valkyrie and the frisky Hattie, each horse and each dog had their own character and their own special part to play.The running family joke was that "women ain't people". Clare had to prove them wrong, to make her voice heard - but first she had to make sure she had something to say.My Animals and Other Family is a funny, brave, tender story of self- discovery.

Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir


Deborah A. Miranda - 2012
    Personal and strong, these stories present an evocative new view of the shaping of California and the lives of Indians during the Mission period in California. The result is a work of literary art that is wise, angry and playful all at once.

Ido in Autismland: Climbing Out of Autism's Silent Prison


Ido Kedar - 2012
    In his pithy essays, author Ido Kedar, a brilliant sixteen year old with autism, challenges what he believes are misconceptions in many theories that dominate autism treatment today while he simultaneously chronicles his personal growth in his struggles to overcome his limitations.Ido spent the first half of his life locked internally, in silence, trapped in a remedial educational system that presumed he lacked the most basic comprehension, and unable to show the world that he understood everything. But at the age of seven, Ido was finally able to show that he had an intact mind and could understand. This led to the quest to find a system of communication that he could use despite his impaired motor control. Through the use of a letter board, and now an iPad, Ido has triumphed communicatively, enabling him to flourish in a regular high school in all general education classes.But Ido has a larger goal. He does not want to be seen as an isolated autistic exception with miraculously advanced cognitive and communication abilities. He wants people to see that thousands of other severely autistic individuals have the same capacity, but remain trapped and locked-in, as he was, unable to show their true capacities. These individuals desperately need new theories and new methods to help them break free too. Of importance to neuro-researchers, educators, psychologists, doctors, parents, friends, family and people with autism, Ido in Autismland will change our collective understanding of severe autism.PRAISE FOR Ido in Autismland "There are doubtless many Idos in this world, unable to speak, yet possessing good intellectual ability and, most certainly, a rich emotional life. And yet, precisely because they cannot communicate, nonverbal individuals with autism are nearly always consigned to the junk heap of mental deficiency, branded as incapable of understanding language or even having feelings... We need to help change things for this terribly neglected group... Reading Ido's book is a good beginning." - Portia Iversen, Co-founder, Cure Autism Now and the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange Gene Bank. Author of Strange Son"Ido is a brilliant communicator. His words bring us inside the world of autism. His gift of writing enlightens, inspires, educates. Every person who loves or works with someone with autism - educator, therapist, karent, grandparent, neighbor - should read Ido in Autismland." - Elaine Hall, Author of Now I See the Moon, co-author of Seven Keys to Unlock Autism. Featured in Autism: The Musical"Ido's book touches any heart, not only because it is well written, but because it reveals a mind that has learned how to speak to the world through spelling every word on a letter board and keyboard. His book is indeed a great gift to the world. Thank you, Ido." - Soma Mukhopadhyay, Executive Director of Education, HALO, Author of Understanding Autism through Rapid Prompting Method

The Favored Daughter: One Woman's Fight to Lead Afghanistan into the Future


Fawzia Koofi - 2012
    But she survived, and perseverance in the face of extreme hardship has defined her life ever since. Despite the abuse of her family, the exploitative Russian and Taliban regimes, the murders of her father, brother, and husband, and numerous attempts on her life, she rose to become the first Afghani woman Parliament speaker. Here, she shares her amazing story, punctuated by a series of poignant letters she wrote to her two daughters before each political trip—letters describing the future and freedoms she dreamed of for them and for all the women of Afghanistan.Her story movingly captures the political and cultural moment in Afghanistan, a country caught between the hope of progress and the bitter truth of history.

The Weight of Mercy: A Novice Pastor on the City Streets


Deb Richardson-Moore - 2012
    Whether responding to the church alarm mysteriously and repeatedly going off in the middle of the night, firing a kitchen assistant with a habit of buying drugs from parishioners, or interacting with the Chicken-Eatin' Preacher from West Greenville, pastor Deb Richardson-Moore quickly admits that there is a great deal they do not teach you in seminary.In this frank and engaging account of answering a call later in life, Richardson-Moore brings the reader into the world of her work at the Triune Mercy Center in Greenville, South Carolina. The result is an honest look at the complications and difficulties surrounding her first years of ministry to homeless men and women suffering from mental illness, crack addictions, and alcoholism. At the same time, it is a humorous and deeply touching account of God's grace manifested in the most remarkable of ways, whether in the inadvertent befriending of a mugger or in the unexpected witnessing of an addict tenderly washing another's wounded foot.In The Weight of Mercy, Richardson-Moore weaves a story that is difficult to forget, due both to its engaging characters and also its radical vision of what the Christian church could look like if it truly lived out Christ's command to welcome the stranger.

Triathlon for the Every Woman: You Can Be a Triathlete. Yes. You.


Meredith Atwood - 2012
    Now a USAT Level 1 and IRONMAN tri coach, Meredith is back with even more wisdom. In this fully revised edition, Atwood not only shares how she went from the couch to a half Ironman triathlon in just over a year, but also shares the latest expertise from coaches, nutritionists, and athletes on each component of the triathlon: swimming, biking, and running. With compact training plans, the most current nutrition advice, updated resources, and the latest information on long-distance racing, this new edition has all you need to make your triathlon goals a reality.

This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart


Susannah Conway - 2012
    It’s a guidebook of sorts, a collection of thoughts and theories, with creative exercises for you to try, and dreamy light-filled Polaroids dotted throughout the text. It’s a cosy blanket for your heart.

Band-Aid for a Broken Leg


Damien Brown - 2012
    But the town he's sent to is an isolated outpost of mud huts, surrounded by landmines; the hospital, for which he's to be the only doctor, is filled with malnourished children and conditions he's never seen; and the health workers—Angolan war veterans twice his age who speak no English—walk out on him following an altercation on his first shift. In the months that follow, Damien confronts these challenges all the while dealing with the social absurdities of living with only three other volunteers for company. The medical calamities pile up—including a leopard attack, a landmine explosion, and having to perform surgery using tools cleaned on the fire—but it's through Damien's evolving friendships with the local people that his passion for the work grows. This heartbreaking and honest account of life on the medical front line in Angola, Mozambique, and South Sudan is a moving testimony of the work done by medical humanitarian groups and the extraordinary and sometimes eccentric people who work for them.

The Boy at the Gate: A Memoir


Danny Ellis - 2012
    An acclaimed singer/songwriter, he is proud of the way  he handled his difficult past: poverty in the 1950s Dublin slums and the brutality of the Artane Industrial School. He felt as though he had safely disposed of it all, until one night, while writing the powerful song that would launch his highly-praised album, 800 Voices ("A searing testament." —Irish Times), Danny's past crept back to haunt him. Confronted by forgotten memories of betrayal and abandonment, he was stunned to discover that his eight-year-old self was still trapped in a world he thought he had left behind.Although unnerved by his experience, Danny begins an arduous journey that leads him back to the streets of Dublin, the tenement slums, and, ultimately, the malice and mischief of the Artane playground. What he discovers with each twist and turn of his odyssey will forever change his life. Elegantly written, this is a brutally honest, often harrowing, depiction of a young boy's struggle to survive orphanage life, and stands as an inspiring testament to the healing power of music and love.

You Are Made for More!: How to Become All You Were Created to Be


Lisa Osteen Comes - 2012
    With every story, in every chapter, she delivers biblical truths and practical help for overcoming hardship and loss.Her down-to-earth style, humor, spiritual wisdom, and optimism engage readers, who will remember and repeat Lisa's memorable principles for daily living:· You can't grasp the future, if you're hanging onto the past.· You weren't made for the pit, but for the palace.· It's not over till God says it's over.· God's at work in you, making a masterpiece.· Let your scars become stars.In a time when more readers face financial peril, uncertain work lives, and feelings of fragility in a fast-paced and overwhelming world, Lisa's message shows how to not only get through the day but, how to catch new vision for a bold and bright life.

Street Child, A Memoir


Justin Reed Early - 2012
    Remanded into state custody at ten years old, he embarks on a journey through the foster care system only finding safety from unlikely skid-row heroes on downtown streets of Seattle and San Francisco - where children are victims and victims are considered criminals. While dodging serial killers and predators, including a juvenile court judge who oversees his custody, these children develop familial bonds while protecting each other in an increasingly dangerous - yet invisible world. By telling these authentic stories with often times devastating outcomes, he articulates the stark reality of life on the streets for countless young people. Many of the children in Street Child were featured in the movie STREETWISE which was nominated for an Academy Award. Street Child is a powerful and intimate depiction into these homeless children’s actual lives during their most desperate times of survival. Their sweet camaraderie, funny antics, and intimate relationships will move your heart and soul into a new understanding and personalization of their noble plight. Author Justin Reed Early cultivates hope while bringing new life to his childhood friends. The children portrayed are real and these stories are authentic. Street Child is a journey no child should ever have to endure.

Bundles of Joy


Linda Fairley - 2012
    'No matter how many babies I deliver, each and every one is a miracle, connecting me to the world like nothing else, reminding me that we are all equal in the beginning, and in the end. It's a great leveller, childbirth.' It's January 1972 and times have changed since Linda first stepped onto a maternity ward four years earlier. Gone are the starched skirts and steaming milk kitchens of the 1960s; these are the exhilarating days of disposable equipment and new technology. The Pill will soon be free to all women, and more and more fathers are daring to brave the delivery room. At the newly-opened Ashton maternity unit the midwives' spirits are high, and, in spite of the dark cloud of laundry strikes on the horizon, there's the scent of a new era on the cold winter wind. But one thing has stayed the same - the babies keep coming. Year after year, Linda faithfully helps the women of Greater Manchester through their most vulnerable and emotional hours, whether it is by giving calm instructions over the phone to a panicking husband, delivering a baby unexpectedly in a hospital lift, or by dashing headlong to the rescue of a snowed-in mum-to-be. As 25-year-old Linda becomes a mother herself she understands, more than ever, what a precious gift it is to bring children into the world, and she holds each new baby just that little bit tighter. As the years roll by Linda finds herself delivering the babies of mothers and fathers she helped to bring into the world decades earlier - making her something of a local celebrity. Through the highs and lows, through the modernisations that transform the hospital and the world outside, Linda's passion for midwifery burns as bright as ever. With 42 years of experience Linda is one of Britain's longest-serving midwives, and reaching the retirement age in 2008 didn't stop her doing the job she loves. Although she has seen generations of women give birth and delivered more than 2,000 babies, she treats every new arrival like the new miracle it is.

Mummy is a Killer


Nikkia Roberson - 2012
    But how else do you cope when your mentally ill mother has killed your little brother and sister by scalding them with boiling water?This is a harrowing true story of how one little girl endured the most tragic of childhoods. But it's also the ultimate tale of forgiveness.Follow Nikkia on her heartbreaking journey, as she attempts to find answers and rekindle a relationship with her mother behind the gates of a secure psychiatric hospital.Deeply moving, Mummy is a Killer proves that love really is the strongest emotion of all.

Four Feet Tall and Rising: A Memoir


Shorty Rossi - 2012
    A third generation dwarf, ex-gang member, and ex-con, Shorty knows what it’s like to be misunderstood and in this candid memoir, he shares his personal story for the first time. No one expected Shorty to live let alone succeed, and yet he has, overcoming every challenge, from an abusive home to the violent streets and gangs of South Central LA, to the notorious cell blocks of Folsom Prison where he was imprisoned for attempted murder. After 10 years, 10 months, and 10 days behind bars, Shorty gained his freedom and the chance to put his entrepreneurial and negotiation skills to the test. He cut the ribbon on his own business, Shortywood, with three goals: to turn his life around, act as a talent agent for little people and establish and fund charities that advocate for, rescue and place abandoned or abused pit bulls into safe homes. In the process, he became a reality-TV star. Now, with Hercules, his rescued pit bull and newly trained service dog by his side, Shorty continues to save pits from the basements and backyards of breeders and abusers while taking on new and even bigger challenges. And nothing is gonna stand in his way.

Dear Father, Dear Son: Two Lives... Eight Hours


Larry Elder - 2012
    a wonderful read ... a page-turner ... a handbook for life." Those words of advance praise from another celebrated author scarcely convey just how powerfully mesmerizing is the latest book by New York Times best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host Larry Elder.Dear Father, Dear Son is a personal memoir of Elder's troubled — one might even say tortured — relationship with his father, and the astonishing outcome that develops when Elder, at long last, confronts him.Says Elder: "A man's relationship with his father — every boy, every man lucky enough to have a father in his life has to figure that out. My own father? I thought I knew him — even though he seldom talked about himself. And what I knew I hated — really, really hated. Cold, ill-tempered, thin-skinned, my father always seemed on the brink of erupting. Scared to death of him, I kept telling myself to find the courage to 'stand up to him.' When I was fifteen, I did." After that, said Elder, "We did not speak to each other for ten years.""And then we did — for eight hours." The result can't be described. It has to be experienced.As reflected in the book's subtitle — "Two Lives ... Eight Hours" — one extraordinary, all- day conversation between Elder and his long- estranged father utterly transformed their relationship. It is no exaggeration to say the book will likewise transform readers.Indeed, calling it "stunning," Burt Boyar, co-author of the bestselling autobiography on Sammy Davis, Jr., says of Dear Father, Dear Son: "Above all it is a wonderful read. I am tempted to call it a page-turner but in my case I hated to turn every page because that meant I was getting closer to the end and I did not want it to end. ... The book is filled with emotion. It is, of course, a handbook for life. I guess it is that above all things. Any kid who reads it and follows the advice of how to live his life just has to come out well."Dear Father, Dear Son is the story of one man discovering a son he never really knew. And of the son finding a man, a friend, a father who had really been there all along.

Letters From Berlin: A Story of War, Survival, and the Redeeming Power of Love and Friendship


Kerstin Lieff - 2012
    Like countless citizens under Hitler’s regime, Margarete struggled to understand what was happening to her country. Later, as a nurse for the German Red Cross, she treated countless young soldiers—recruited in the eleventh hour to fight a losing battle—they would die before her eyes as Allied bombs racked her beloved city. Yet, her deep humanity, intelligence, and passion for life—which sparkles in every sentence of her memoir—carried Margarete through to war’s end. But just when she thought the worst was over, and she and her mother were on a train headed to Sweden, they were suddenly rerouted deep into Russia…This powerful account draws back the curtain on a piece of history that has been largely overlooked—the nightmare that millions of German civilians suffered, simply because they were German. That Margarete survived to tell her tale so vividly and courageously is a gift to us all.

Cruel Harvest


Fran Elizabeth Grubb - 2012
    . . or watches him punch and kick her mother to within an inch of her life. How could this be? Her older sisters teach her how to survive, even when he comes for her in the night.A girl learns to become invisible, to look the other way, to say nothing when a curious stranger asks if she's okay. To lie. To expect nothing, not even from relatives.To cry without tears.To pray silently.When she is fourteen, and weary, a girl begins to wish she were dead. Cruel Harvest is the compelling story of how she lived instead.

The Cook's Tale


Nancy Jackman - 2012
    If you worked as a cook or as any kind of domestic servant when I was young you knew what "us and them" really meant.In some houses in the English countryside, the cook had a lot more to do than just the cooking—and Nancy Jackman experienced it all. She was expected to kill the chickens, oversee the pig-sticker, deal with the tradesmen, and shout at the kitchen maids. Born in 1907 in a remote Norfolk village, she left school at the age of 14 to work as a cook for a local farmer. He forced her to stand in the rain when she made a mistake, physically abused her, and eventually tried to rape her—and that was only her first such experience in the world below the stairs. In this at times heartbreaking, at times hilarious, tell-all about the life of a cook and a kitchen maid, Nancy goes into detail about what it was like working for people who had no idea how to care for themselves—and how deeply things in the world of upstairs/downstairs changed in the 1950s, following the end of the Second World War.

Prisoner of War: Judy


Isabel George - 2012
    Judy saved Frank’s life many times over and raised the morale of all the men in the camp.Extracted from the bestselling title The Dog That Saved My Life, this short story tells the tale of a dog like no other, a dog who was awarded an animals’ Victoria Cross for her bravery and devotion.

Hell in the Pacific: A Marine Rifleman's Journey From Guadalcanal to Peleliu


Jim McEnery - 2012
    Sledge’s With the Old Breed, this is a Marine rifleman’s extraordinarily vivid, brutally candid memoir of what it was like on the front lines of World War II in the Pacific.In what may be the last memoir to be published by a living veteran of the pivotal invasion of Guadalcanal, which occurred almost seventy years ago, Marine Jim McEnery has teamed up with author Bill Sloan to create an unforgettable chronicle of heroism and horror.  McENERY’S RIFLE COMPANY—the legendary K/3/5 of the First Marine Division, made famous by the HBO miniseries The Pacific—fought in some of the most ferocious battles of the war. In searing detail, the author takes us back to Guadalcanal, where American forces first turned the tide against the Japanese; Cape Gloucester, where 1,300 Marines were killed or wounded; and bloody Peleliu, where McEnery assumed command of the company and helped hasten the final defeat of the Japanese garrison after weeks of torturous cave-to-cave fighting. McEnery’s story is a no-holds-barred, grunt’s-eye view of the sacrifices, suffering, and raw courage of the men in the foxholes, locked in mortal combat with an implacable enemy sworn to fight to the death. From bayonet charges and hand-to-hand combat to midnight banzai attacks and the loss of close buddies, the rifle squad leader spares no details, chronicling his odyssey from boot camp through twenty-eight months of hellish combat until his eventual return home. He has given us an unforgettable portrait of men at war.

Winning Balance: What I've Learned So Far about Love, Faith, and Living Your Dreams


Shawn Johnson - 2012
    Already a popular role model to all ages, in 2009 she captured the national spotlight again when she won the widely popular Dancing with the Stars. Yet Shawn is no stranger to hard work and adversity. Her loss of the major gymnastics prize everyone expected her to win in Beijing, the all-around Olympic gold medal, was the loss of a dream she'd worked for since childhood. And later, she suffered a potentially career-ending injury in a skiing accident that forced her life to a halt and made her rethink what was really important. She wasn't sure who she was anymore. She wasn't sure what her goals were. And she wasn't sure she was satisfied with where she was with her faith and God. Could she find the right kind of success in life--the kind that doesn't involve medals or trophies, but peace, love, and lasting joy? This is the amazing true journey of how the young woman who won an Olympic gold medal on the balance beam became even more balanced.

Until I Say Goodbye: A Book about Living


Susan Spencer-Wendel - 2012
    She was forty-four years old, with a devoted husband and three young children, and she had only one year of health remaining.Susan decided to live that year with joy.She quit her job as a journalist and spent time with her family. She built an outdoor meeting space for friends in her backyard. And she took seven trips with the seven most important people in her life. As her health declined, Susan journeyed to the Yukon, Hungary, the Bahamas, and Cyprus. She took her sons to swim with dolphins, and her teenage daughter, Marina, to Kleinfeld's bridal shop in New York City to see her for the first and last time in a wedding dress.She also wrote this book. No longer able to walk or even to lift her arms, she tapped it out letter by letter on her iPhone using only her right thumb, the last finger still working.However, Until I Say Good-Bye is not angry or bitter. It is sad in parts--how could it not be?--but it is filled with Susan's optimism, joie de vivre, and sense of humor. It is a book about life, not death. One that, like Susan, will make everyone smile.From the Burger King parking lot where she cried after her diagnosis to a snowy hot spring near the Arctic Circle, from a hilarious family Christmas disaster to the decrepit monastery in eastern Cyprus where she rediscovered her heritage, Until I Say Good-Bye is not only Susan Spencer-Wendel's unforgettable gift to her loved ones--a heartfelt record of their final experiences together--but an offering to all of us: a reminder that "every day is better when it is lived with joy."

Letters


Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - 2012
    Written over a sixty-year period, these letters, the vast majority of them never before published, are funny, moving, and full of the same uncanny wisdom that has endeared his work to readers worldwide. Included in this comprehensive volume: the letter a twenty-two-year-old Vonnegut wrote home immediately upon being freed from a German POW camp, recounting the ghastly firebombing of Dresden that would be the subject of his masterpiece "Slaughterhouse-Five;" wry dispatches from Vonnegut's years as a struggling writer slowly finding an audience and then dealing with sudden international fame in middle age; righteously angry letters of protest to local school boards that tried to ban his work; intimate remembrances penned to high school classmates, fellow veterans, friends, and family; and letters of commiseration and encouragement to such contemporaries as Gail Godwin, Gunter Grass, and Bernard Malamud. Vonnegut's unmediated observations on science, art, and commerce prove to be just as inventive as any found in his novels--from a crackpot scheme for manufacturing "atomic" bow ties to a tongue-in-cheek proposal that publishers be allowed to trade authors like baseball players. ("Knopf, for example, might give John Updike's contract to Simon and Schuster, and receive Joan Didion's contract in return.") Taken together, these letters add considerable depth to our understanding of this one-of-a-kind literary icon, in both his public and private lives. Each letter brims with the mordant humor and openhearted humanism upon which he built his legend. And virtually every page contains a quotable nugget that will make its way into the permanent Vonnegut lexicon. - On a job he had as a young man: "Hell is running an elevator throughout eternity in a building with only six floors."- To a relative who calls him a "great literary figure" "I am an American fad--of a slightly higher order than the hula hoop."- To his daughter Nanny: "Most letters from a parent contain a parent's own lost dreams disguised as good advice."- To Norman Mailer: "I am cuter than you are." Sometimes biting and ironical, sometimes achingly sweet, and always alive with the unique point of view that made him the true cultural heir to Mark Twain, these letters comprise the autobiography Kurt Vonnegut never wrote.

I Knew Their Hearts: The Amazing True Story of Jeff Olsen's Journey Beyond the Veil to Learn the Silent Language of the Heart


Jeff Olsen - 2012
    This personal and poignant journey into the life after death shares the true story of Jeff’s out-of-body experiences and his newly remembered ability to communicate at a deeper level with people on both sides of the veil. It’s a moving read you won’t want to miss!

Different, Not Less: Ultimate Success Stories from People with Autism and Asperger's


Temple Grandin - 2012
    Temple Grandin inspire you to your true potential.  You will soon see why it means so much to her.

Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom's Battle


Tina Marie Swithin - 2012
    

Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention


Jamal Joseph - 2012
    Today he’s chair of their School of the Arts film division. Jamal Joseph’s personal odyssey—from the streets of Harlem to Riker’s Island and Leavenworth to the halls of Columbia—is as gripping as it is inspiring.Eddie Joseph was a high school honor student, slated to graduate early and begin college. But this was the late 1960s in Bronx’s black ghetto, and fifteen-year-old Eddie was introduced to the tenets of the Black Panther Party, which was just gaining a national foothold. By sixteen, his devotion to the cause landed him in prison on the infamous Rikers Island—charged with conspiracy as one of the Panther 21 in one of the most emblematic criminal cases of the sixties. When exonerated, Eddie—now called Jamal—became the youngest spokesperson and leader of the Panthers’ New York chapter.He joined the “revolutionary underground,” later landing back in prison. Sentenced to more than twelve years in Leavenworth, he earned three degrees there and found a new calling. He is now chair of Columbia University’s School of the Arts film division—the very school he exhorted students to burn down during one of his most famous speeches as a Panther.In raw, powerful prose, Jamal Joseph helps us understand what it meant to be a soldier inside the militant Black Panther movement. He recounts a harrowing, sometimes deadly imprisonment as he charts his path to manhood in a book filled with equal parts rage, despair, and hope.

Island of Bones: Essays


Joy Castro - 2012
    You won’t find it in books. And you certainly won’t find it in the neighborhood. This is just the beginning of Joy Castro’s unmoored life of searching and striving that she’s turned to account with literary alchemy in Island of Bones. In personal essays that plumb the depths of not-belonging, Castro takes the all-too-raw materials of her adolescence and young adulthood and views them through the prism of time. The result is an exquisitely rendered, richly detailed perspective on a uniquely troubled young life that reflects on the larger questions each of us faces in a world where diversity and singularity are forever at odds. In the experiences of her past—hunger and abuse, flight as a fourteen-year-old runaway, single motherhood, the revelations of her “true” ethnic identity, the suicide of her father—Castro finds the “jagged, smashed place of edges and fragments” that she pieces together to create an island all her own. Hers is a complicated but very real depiction of what it is to “jump class,” to not belong but to find one’s voice in the interstices of identity.

Solacers


Arion Golmakani - 2012
    The first child of a heartless father and a discarded mother is left to fend for himself on the streets of Mashhad, seeking food and shelter wherever he can. His lonely early years are an unbelievable tale of cruelty and betrayal on the part of nearly everyone who might be expected to help, save for one aunt who does her best to keep him from starving.But living a harsh and solitary existence has one advantage for this little boy: other than forcing him to be self-reliant, no one attempts to indoctrinate him on rural Iranian society's archaic cultural values and religious beliefs. And so he never accepts his wretched state as fate, choosing instead to dream big dreams about getting an education, having his own family, and starting a new life – possibly in the faraway land called America. He makes a plan and by the age of 17 he boards a plane to the land of possibilities, where his dreams eventually also take flight.

The Kerygma: In the Shantytown with the Poor: An Experience of the New Evangelization: The Missio Ad Gentes


Kiko Argüello - 2012
    Struggling with the contrast between his desire for justice and the lack of justice in the world, he adopted existentialism and its explanation of life: everything is absurd. But if everything is absurd, why paint? For that matter, why even live? Such questions led Arguello to the brink of despair. He called out to God and personally experienced the reality of divine love as revealed in Jesus Christ. Dedicating his life to Christ, Arg?ello began living among the very poor. While in a slum on the outskirts of Madrid, Arguello met the lay missionary Carmen Hernandez, and together they began proclaiming the good news of salvation to the poorest of the poor. Their method of transmitting faith in Christ and building Christian community has become a model of evangelization. Now known as the Neocatchumenal Way, it has spread to cities throughout the world and received the approval of the Holy See.

The Road Back to Me: Healing and Recovering From Co-dependency, Addiction, Enabling, and Low Self Esteem.


Lisa A. Romano - 2012
    As she peers over her soul's shoulder, she recalls the chaos of her once-fragile childhood mind. She shudders as she is reminded of the sting of her lonely childhood, her feelings of abandonment, and her painful memories of being bullied. Her childhood self was once so lost that she even contemplated suicide. As the years progress, her mind is riddled with obsession, compulsion, and a crippling sense of low self-esteem. A turning point arrives many years later, after marriage and the birth of three children. This story is about healing the faulty programming of childhood. It is about recovery from relationship addiction, food addiction, anxiety, and constant fear. It is a human story that will resonate with readers from all walks of life, and which offers hope to anyone who has felt imprisoned by the past.

Not Young, Still Restless


Jeanne Cooper - 2012
    With her signature fearlessness, honesty, and humor, Jeanne chronicles her long tenure in Hollywood and describes her life before, during, and away from the CBS soundstage."Not Young, Still Restless" follows Jeanne as she makes her way from small-town Taft, California, to the heart of the Los Angeles movie industry, where the list of her feature-film costars reads like a "Who's Who" of Hollywood's Golden Age--Maureen O'Hara, Raymond Burr, David Janssen, Robert Taylor, Tony Curtis, Shelley Winters, Glenn Ford, and Lee J. Cobb, to name just a few. Jeanne writes vividly of her first foray into the new phenomenon of television and how she found her home at "The Young and the Restless."Jeanne's story charts the ups and downs of a long and rich life, including the breakup of a marriage that produced the three great loves of her life--her daughter, Caren, and her sons Collin and the actor Corbin Bernsen--before it ended, leaving her a single working mother. She also speaks honestly and openly about her battles to overcome alcoholism, defeat breast cancer, and age gracefully in Hollywood, a process that made her the first reality-television star when her character's (and her own) face-lift was filmed live on "The Young and the Restless."In "Not Young, Still Restless," the Emmy Award-winning actress inspires readers with her ability not only to survive but thrive as an octogenarian in today's Hollywood.

Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll


Ann Wilson - 2012
    Since finding their love of music and performing as teenagers in Seattle, Washington, Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson, have been part of the American rock music landscape. From 70s classics like “Magic Man” and “Barracuda” to chart- topping 80s ballads like “Alone,” and all the way up to 2012, when they will release their latest studio album, Fanatic, Heart has been thrilling their fans and producing hit after hit. In Kicking and Dreaming, the Wilsons recount their story as two sisters who have a shared over three decades on the stage, as songwriters, as musicians, and as the leaders of one of our most beloved rock bands. An intimate, honest, and a uniquely female take on the rock and roll life, readers of bestselling music memoirs like Life by Keith Richards and Steven Tyler’s Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? will love this quintessential music story finally told from a female perspective.

Tell My Sons: A Father's Last Letters


Mark M. Weber - 2012
    Army, Lt. Col. Mark M. Weber was tapped to serve in a high-profile job within the Afghan Parliament as a military advisor. Weeks later, a routine physical revealed stage IV intestinal cancer in the thirty-eight-year-old father of three. Over the next two years, he would fight a desperate battle he wasn’t trained for, with his wife and boys as his reluctant but willing fighting force.When Weber realized that he was not going to survive this final tour of combat, he began to write a letter to his boys, so that as they grew up without him, they would know what his life-and-death story had taught him—about courage and fear, challenge and comfort, words and actions, pride and humility, seriousness and humor, and viewing life as a never-ending search for new ideas and inspiration.This book is that letter. And it’s not just for his sons. It’s for everyone who can use the best advice a dying hero has to offer. Weber’s stories illustrate that in the end, you become what you are through the causes to which you attach yourself—and that you’ve made your own along the way. Through his example, he teaches how to live an ordinary life in an extraordinary way.

The Mountain and the Fathers: Growing Up on The Big Dry


Joe Wilkins - 2012
    Joe Wilkins was born into this world, raised by a young mother and elderly grandfather following the untimely death of his father. That early loss stretches out across the Big Dry, and Wilkins uses his own story and those of the young boys and men growing up around him to examine the violence, confusion, and rural poverty found in this distinctly American landscape. Ultimately, these lives put forth a new examination of myth and manhood in the American west and cast a journalistic eye on how young men seek to transcend their surroundings in the search for a better life. Rather than dwell on grief or ruin, Wilkins’ memoir posits that it is our stories that sustain us, and The Mountain and The Fathers, much like the work of Norman MacClean or Jim Harrison, heralds the arrival of an instant literary classic.

Endings and Beginnings


Redi Tlhabi - 2012
    In this astonishing debut, Endings and Beginnings, she makes the painful journey back to her death-marred childhood, a journey in which she eventually finds peace and allows her demons to rest. Redi grew up in the '80s in Orlando, Soweto, with thoughts and emotions so intense they nearly swallowed up her childhood. It was a time when Soweto was under siege from two forces - apartheid and endemic, normalized crime. It was not strange or unusual to refer to so-and-so as 'the rapist' or so-and-so as 'the killer'. It was also at this time that her father - her hero - was violently murdered, his body discovered on the street, with one eye removed. The perpetrators were never found, and the neighbourhood continued to talk about how he had to be buried without his eye. And then Redi meets Mabegzo: handsome, charming and smooth; Mabegzo, rumoured gangster, murderer and rapist, a veritable 'jack-roller' of the neighbourhood. Against her family's wishes she develops a strong and sometimes uncomfortable attraction to him. Redi herself doesn't understand why she is drawn to Mabegzo and why, at eleven, she feels the way that she does for this man known to many as a menace. Then he too is found lying dead in a pool of blood, two years after the death of her father. Redi has to remind herself to stay sane. Endings and Beginnings is Redi's quest to find out the truth about the circumstances surrounding her father's death. As an adult she visits his grave and decides to find the people that killed her father and ask them why. She also goes on a quest to finally humanise Mabegzo who was hated and abhorred by so many when he was alive. She visits and speaks to his family, friends and neighbours and pieces together the life of this man who came fleetingly through her life but whose presence she would feel for a long time to come

Brutal: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Little Girl Stolen


Nabila Sharma - 2012
    I should have been able to trust him. But he made me do unspeakable things!It is a tale of innocence lost and a life shattered, but above all it is a tale of survival, of a young girl who found love and hope in the darkest of places.

Out of the Blue


Jan Wong - 2012
    A story she wrote on a school shooting sparked a violent backlash, including death threats. Her newspaper failed to stand by her, and for the first time in her life she spiraled into clinical depression. She found herself unable to write, but the paper's management thought she was feigning illness, and fired her. Her insurer rejected her claim of depression, and her publisher refused to publish this book.Out of the Blue is a memoir unlike any other. It is the surreal, wrenching, sometimes hilarious, and ultimately triumphant story of one woman's struggle to come to terms with depression.

Neighbors and Wise Men: Sacred Encounters in a Portland Pub and Other Unexpected Places


Tony Kriz - 2012
    But the circumstances He uses to reveal Himself may be more ordinary than we think.Neighbors and Wise Men introduces captivating dialogues and unexpected moments with God that go beyond the confines of a conventional religious system and offer the chance for powerful life transformation.Get to know Tony Kriz (known by many as "Tony the Beat Poet" in Donald Miller's best-selling book Blue Like Jazz ) through his real-life conversations and experiences that prove that God can and will use anyone and anything — from Muslim lands to antireligious academics to post-Christian cultures — to make Himself known.Through his own prodigal-son backstory and return to faith, Tony presents biblical truth in a conversational, but bold light that offers readers the courage to open their eyes to the unlikely encounters that are all around us every day; chance run-ins that turn out to be anything but chance.Have we limited God's ability to speak in our world today? Have we relegated God's creative voice to the select persons who share our particular religious system? Kriz himself felt like he was falling out of faith until non-Christians encouraged him to "fall toward Christ."

Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats


Kristen Iversen - 2012
    Her father's hidden liquor bottles, the strange cancers in children in the neighborhood, the truth about what was made at Rocky Flats (cleaning supplies, her mother guessed)—best not to inquire too deeply into any of it.But as Iversen grew older, she began to ask questions. She learned about the infamous 1969 Mother's Day fire, in which a few scraps of plutonium spontaneously ignited and—despite the desperate efforts of firefighters—came perilously close to a "criticality," the deadly blue flash that signals a nuclear chain reaction. Intense heat and radiation almost melted the roof, which nearly resulted in an explosion that would have had devastating consequences for the entire Denver metro area. Yet the only mention of the fire was on page 28 of the Rocky Mountain News, underneath a photo of the Pet of the Week. In her early thirties, Iversen even worked at Rocky Flats for a time, typing up memos in which accidents were always called "incidents."And as this memoir unfolds, it reveals itself as a brilliant work of investigative journalism—a detailed and shocking account of the government's sustained attempt to conceal the effects of the toxic and radioactive waste released by Rocky Flats, and of local residents' vain attempts to seek justice in court. Here, too, are vivid portraits of former Rocky Flats workers—from the healthy, who regard their work at the plant with pride and patriotism, to the ill or dying, who battle for compensation for cancers they got on the job.Based on extensive interviews, FBI and EPA documents, and class-action testimony, this taut, beautifully written book promises to have a very long half-life.

Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works


Atina Diffley - 2012
    She’s a farmer. It’s “as big as a B-size potato.” As her bombarded land turns white, she and her husband Martin huddle under a blanket and reminisce: the one-hundred-mile-per-hour winds; the eleven-inch rainfall (“that broccoli turned out gorgeous”); the hail disaster of 1977. The romance of farming washed away a long time ago, but the love? Never. In telling her story of working the land, coaxing good food from the fertile soil, Atina Diffley reminds us of an ultimate truth: we live in relationships—with the earth, plants and animals, families and communities.A memoir of making these essential relationships work in the face of challenges as natural as weather and as unnatural as corporate politics, her book is a firsthand history of getting in at the “ground level” of organic farming. One of the first certified organic produce farms in the Midwest, the Diffleys’ Gardens of Eagan helped to usher in a new kind of green revolution in the heart of America’s farmland, supplying their roadside stand and a growing number of local food co-ops. This is a story of a world transformed—and reclaimed—one square acre at a time.And yet, after surviving punishing storms and the devastating loss of fifth-generation Diffley family land to suburban development, the Diffleys faced the ultimate challenge: the threat of eminent domain for a crude oil pipeline proposed by one of the largest privately owned companies in the world, notorious polluters Koch Industries. As Atina Diffley tells her David-versus-Goliath tale, she gives readers everything from expert instruction in organic farming to an entrepreneur’s manual on how to grow a business to a legal thriller about battling corporate arrogance to a love story about a single mother falling for a good, big-hearted man.

No One's Daughter


Jasmine Bath - 2012
    I did not write this book for sympathy or notoriety; I wrote it in an attempt to shed light on the ghosts that have haunted me for a lifetime, hoping that by putting them down on paper that I could look at them more objectively from a mature point of view and eventually free myself from them.

Two Rings: A Story of Love and War


Millie Werber - 2012
    Born in central Poland in the town of Radom, she found herself trapped in the ghetto at the age of fourteen, a slave laborer in an armaments factory in the summer of 1942, transported to Auschwitz in the summer of 1944, before being marched to a second armaments factory. She faced death many times; indeed she was certain that she would not survive. But she did. Many years later, when she began to share her past with Eve Keller, the two women rediscovered the world of the teenage girl Millie had been during the war. Most important, Millie revealed her most precious private memory: of a man to whom she was married for a few brief months. He was -- if not the love of her life -- her first great unconditional passion. He died, leaving Millie with a single photograph taken on their wedding day, and two rings of gold that affirm the presence of a great passion in the bleakest imaginable time.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail


Cheryl Strayed - 2012
    In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it alone.Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

Out of the Darkness


Tina Nash - 2012
    After suffering months of beatings and domestic abuse at the hands of boyfriend Shane Jenkin, she was subjected to a barbaric and prolonged attack during which Jenkin beat her unconscious and gouged out both her eyes. When he was jailed in May 2012, people struggled to comprehend the scale of the violence endured by this attractive mother of two at her home in Cornwall.In Out of the Darkness, Tina tells her full story - of what life with a violent partner is really like and how she survived 12 hours of sustained and unimaginable violence in her own home. Learning to adjust to life without her sight, Tina speaks bravely about how her children have given her the courage to keep going, and how - step by careful step - she is learning to live again. With statistics on domestic violence rising, Tina's incredible memoir of survival makes for essential reading.

We Hope You Like This Song: An Overly Honest Story about Friendship, Death, and Mix Tapes


Bree Housley - 2012
    Their friendship survived everything from the awkward years of junior high to the transformative upheavals of early adulthood—until, at the young age of 25, Shelly lost her life to complications caused by Preeclampsia.We Hope You Like This Song is a tribute to the ineffable, incomparable bond that we call friendship, and a celebration of living life to the fullest. Housley recounts how she and her sister found a way to keep Shelly’s memory alive—by spending a year doing crazy things that Shelly would have done, like giving Valentines to strangers, singing at a karaoke bar, and letting her boyfriend pick out her outfits for a week. In the process, she paints a vivid, often hilarious, portrait of her fun-loving, social butterfly best friend and the many adventures they had growing up together in '80s and ’90s small-town America. Sweet, poignant, and yet somehow laugh-out-loud funny, We Hope You Like This Song is a touching story of love, loss, and the honoring of a friendship after it’s gone.

No Greater Love


Levi Benkert - 2012
    But upon meeting the children, Levi knew there was no turning back. Six weeks later, Levi, his wife, Jessie, and their three young children sold their home and all their belongings and relocated to Ethiopia indefinitely. No Greater Love documents Levi's journey--from the challenges he faced establishing and running the orphanage to finding adoptive homes for the children.

Comet's Tale: How the Dog I Rescued Saved My Life


Steven D. Wolf - 2012
    A former hard-driving attorney, Steven Wolf has reluctantly left his job and family and moved to Arizona for its warm winter climate. There he is drawn to a local group that rescues abused racing greyhounds. Although he can barely take care of himself because of a spinal condition, Wolf adopts Comet, an elegant cinnamon-striped racer. Or does Comet adopt Wolf? In Comet’s Tale we follow their funny and moving journey as Wolf teaches Comet to be a service dog. With her boundless enthusiasm and regal manners, Comet attracts new friends to Wolf’s isolated world. And finally, she plays a crucial role in restoring his health, saving his marriage, and broadening his definition of success.

Hurting Too Much: Shocking Stories from the Frontline of Child Protection


Harry Keeble - 2012
    In Broken Angels, a more experienced Harry relates a series of extraordinary cases he encountered with Ella, a young and newly qualified social worker.Together, Harry and Ella faced the violence of forced marriage, the horror of maternal incest and the cruelty of child slavery. Their investigations took them into a mosque, a drug den and a recording studio. Just as the unrelenting caseload threatened to push the inexperienced Ella over the edge, Harry uncovered one of the most shocking cases of child abuse he'd ever encountered, forcing the duo to tread new ground in the search for justice.Broken Angels reveals why working in Child Protection has never been so tough. It also shows why, despite the fact that so many courageous people are ready and willing to meet impossible challenges, we are still unable to reach all of the broken angels that so desperately need our help.

The Most Decorated Dog in History: Sergeant Stubby


Isabel George - 2012
    His specially embroidered jacket, laden with medals, made him the most decorated dog in history.Extracted from the bestselling title Beyond The Call Of Duty, the story of the unofficial mascot for the 26th ‘Yankee’ Division and his rescuer Private Robert J Conroy takes us on a journey through the build up to WWI and beyond."

I Am Intelligent: From Heartbreak to Healing--A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Autism


Peyton Goddard - 2012
    Robbed of speech and bodily control, and despite her loving parents' best efforts to help her, Peyton Goddard suffered neglect and ongoing abuse by many who dismissed her as autistic and severely mentally retarded. Peyton's violent outbursts and bizarre, self-destructive behavior left her parents terrified at the prospect of having to institutionalize their daughter. No one could have imagined that she possessed a brilliant mind in her uncooperative body until her first opportunity to communicate electronically at age 22 when she typed "I AM INTLGENT," a breakthrough reminiscent of "The Miracle Worker." After two decades, mother and daughter are finally able to communicate, and Peyton goes on to graduate valedictorian from college. Her story challenges assumptions that any child, regardless of competence, can be less of a human being. Today Peyton is following through on her vow to be an advocate on behalf of other devalued people. Her inspirational life helps readers transcend stereotypes and join her in the radical notion that, as she says, "All people are vastly valuable. Treasure all because great is each."

Telegram: A Collection of 27 Issues


Maranda Elizabeth - 2012
    They also write about their relationship with their twin sister, and learning how to take care of their mental health within and without conventional institutions, identifying as genderqueer, getting sober, living a creative and meaningful life, and finding reasons to keep on going.At the heart and in its guts, 'Telegram' is about seeking magic in the smallest things, staying crazy in a world that wants us to fake sanity or die, and learning how to take good care of ourselves and each other.

Wide Awake and Dreaming: A Memoir


Julie Flygare - 2012
    She faced terrifying hallucinations, paralysis and excruciating sleepiness aspects of dream sleep taking place while wide awake.Yet, narcolepsy was a wake-up call for Julie. Her illness propelled her onto a journey she never imagined from lying paralyzed on her apartment floor to dancing euphorically at a nightclub; from the classrooms of Harvard Medical School to the start line of the Boston Marathon.Wide Awake and Dreaming is a revealing first-hand account of dreams gone wrong with narcolepsy. It s the brave story of one woman trampling over barriers and finding light in the darkest of circumstances.

The Shift: The True Story Of How One Businesswoman Left Everything Behind And Changed The Lives Of Thousands


MaryAnne Connor - 2012
    You can only resist God's call for so long. Ask Moses, ask Paul… ask MaryAnne Connor. As the owner of a successful real estate marketing firm, MaryAnne Connor, appeared to have it all. A happy marriage, the respect of her peers and a thriving career. But denial was her stronghold, and her enemy. She suffered from chronic pain, a dependency on pain medication and her marriage was failing. And then there were God's whispers. They were getting louder. He wanted her to shift to a life of helping others. But how could He use her when she was so broken? After years of resistance, she surrendered to His call, left everything behind and stepped onto the darkest streets of her city. There she found a kinship with other broken-hearted souls and the burning desire to help the poor and hungry. And so the genesis of NightShift Street Ministries began, along with an incredible series of miracles to conquer every obstacle put in her path. Purchase The Shift today, walk in MaryAnne’s footsteps and take a remarkable journey to a place of love, hope & purpose.

The Blue Door


Lise Kristensen - 2012
    Then one day, her friends and neighbours start to disappear, and she begins to realise that they are not safe after all.Through ten-year-old eyes, Lise tells of her family’s two-year imprisonment in POW camps and the brutal treatment received at the hands of their Japanese captors. For respite from the rat-infested floor of their shelter they adopt a blue door, which sits on concrete posts in the ground. They live on it during the day as young Lise plots ways to protect her family from disease, starvation and the desperate behaviour of fellow prisoners. This is a little girl’s heartbreaking tale of survival.'A devastating portrayal of a child's loss of innocence to humiliating cruelty' Observer

Unbreak My Heart


Toni Braxton - 2012
    In her heartfelt memoir, the six-time Grammy Award-winning singer and star of WE tv's hit reality series Braxton Family Values is unapologetically honest in revealing the intimate details of her journey.Toni and the entire Braxton clan have become America's favorite musical family, but what fans may not know is the intense guilt Toni once felt when she accepted a recording deal that excluded her sisters. That decision would haunt Toni for years to come, tainting the enormous fame she experienced as a popular female vocalist at the top of the charts. Despite her early accomplishments, Toni's world crumbled when she was forced to file for bankruptcy twice and was left all alone to pick up the pieces.Always the consummate professional, Toni rebuilt her life but then found herself in the midst of more heartache. The mother of an autistic child, Toni had long feared that her son's condition might be karmic retribution for some of the life choices that left her filled with remorse. Later, when heart ailments began plaguing her at the age of forty-one and she was diagnosed with lupus, Toni knew she had to move beyond the self-recrimination and take charge of her own healing—physically and spiritually.Unbreak My Heart is more than the story of Toni's difficult past and glittering success: it is a story of hope, of healing, and, ultimately, of redemption.

Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer: And Her Parable of the Tomato Plant


Marsha Roberts - 2012
    Roberts grapples with the question: how do you keep the twinkle in your eye and the sass in your walk as you get older? The unique way she finds the answer has been described as "Funny, touching and inspirational" ~ "Heart tugging and heart warming" ~ "Delightful!"Roberts takes the reader on a captivating journey where real life collides with real miracles. With stories ranging from candidly intimate to wonderfully adventurous, each chapter or parable uncovers a piece of the puzzle. And as it comes together, the picture that emerges reflects Roberts' life-affirming belief in God, the essential ingredient in her secret formula for happiness.A charming and uplifting read, Marsha's style of writing makes you feel as if you're with a trusted friend, sharing life lessons over a cup of coffee.

Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets


Carissa Phelps - 2012
    By the time she was twelve, she had run away from home, dropped out of school, and fled blindly into the arms of a brutal pimp. Even when she escaped him, she could not outrun the crushing inner pain of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. With little to hope for, she expected to end up in prison, or worse. But then her life was transformed through the unexpected kindness of a teacher and a counselor. Through small miracles, Carissa accomplished the unimaginable, graduating from UCLA with both a law degree and an MBA. She left the streets behind, yet found herself back, this time working to help homeless and at-risk youth discover their own paths to a better life.

Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son


Martin Sheen - 2012
    In alternating chapters—and in voices that are as eloquent as they are different—they tell stories spanning more than fifty years of family history, and reflect on their journeys into two different kinds of faith. At twenty-one, still a struggling actor living hand to mouth, Martin and his wife, Janet, welcomed their firstborn, Emilio, an experience of profound joy for the young couple, who soon had three more children: Ramon, Charlie, and Renée. As Martin’s career moved from stage to screen, the family moved from New York City to Malibu, while traveling together to film locations around the world, from Mexico for Catch-22 to Colorado for Badlands to the Philippines for the legendary Apocalypse Now shoot. As the firstborn, Emilio had a special relationship with Martin: They often mirrored each other’s passions and sometimes clashed in their differences. After Martin and Emilio traveled together to India for the movie Gandhi, each felt the beginnings of a spiritual awakening that soon led Martin back to his Catholic roots, and eventually led both men to Spain, from where Martin’s father had emigrated to the United States. Along the famed Camino de Santiago pilgrimage path, Emilio directed Martin in their acclaimed film, The Way, bringing three generations of Estevez men together in the region of Spain where Martin’s father was born, and near where Emilio’s own son had moved to marry and live. With vivid, behind-the-scenes anecdotes of this multitalented father’s and son’s work with other notable actors and directors, Along the Way is a striking, stirring, funny story—a family saga that readers will recognize as universal in its rebellions and regrets, aspirations and triumphs. Strikingly candid, searchingly honest, this heartfelt portrait reveals two strong-minded, admirable men of many important roles, perhaps the greatest of which are as fathers and sons.

Silent No More: Victim 1's Fight for Justice Against Jerry Sandusky


Aaron Fisher - 2012
    Offering support at a critical time in Aaron’s life, Sandusky gave him gifts and attention, winning the boy’s trust even as he isolated him from his family and peers. Before long, Sandusky’s attention escalated into sexual assault. When Aaron summoned the courage to speak up, he found himself ostracized and harassed by the very people who were supposed to protect him. The investigation set off by his coming forward would drag on for three years—and would launch the biggest scandal in the history of sports.In Silent No More, Aaron Fisher recounts his harrowing quest to bring Sandusky’s crimes to light—from the intense feelings of guilt that kept him from speaking up earlier and the fear he felt at accusing a man who was a pillar of the community and a hero to the largest alumni network in the world, to the infuriating delays in the arrest and conviction of his abuser. He catalogs the devastating personal toll the case took on him: the shattered relationships, panic attacks, and betrayal of trust that continued to haunt him even after the charges went public in the fall of 2011. But he also speaks of his mother’s desperate efforts to get him out of harm’s way, the invaluable help of psychologist Michael Gillum, and the vindication he felt at inspiring numerous other victims to step forward . . . and at knowing that, thanks to him, there would be no future victims of Jerry Sandusky.In the end, Aaron Fisher won his fight to expose the truth, achieving some measure of closure. Told in the honest and unforgettable voices of Aaron; his mother, Dawn; and his psychologist, Mike, this inspiring book completes Aaron’s transformation from a nameless casualty into a resounding voice for change.

Unstoppable: From Underdog to Undefeated: How I Became a Champion


Anthony Robles - 2012
    He was also born without his right leg. Doctors could not explain to his mother, Judy, what led to the birth defect, but at the age of five, the one-legged toddler scaled a fifty-foot pole unassisted. From that moment on, Judy knew without a doubt that her son would be unstoppable.When Anthony first began wrestling in high school, he was the smallest kid on the team and finished the year in last place. Yet Anthony’s family and coaches supported his decision to continue, and he completed his junior and senior years with a 96–0 record to become a two-time Arizona State champion.In college, Anthony had to prove all over again that he could excel. Despite hardships on and off the mat—including the temptation to quit school and get a job to help his family when they lost their home to foreclosure—Anthony focused his determination and became a champion once again.Since winning the national championship in March 2011, Anthony has become a nationally recognized role model to kids and adults alike. But Unstoppable is not just an exciting sports memoir or an inspirational tale of living with a disability. It is also the story of one man whose spirit and unyielding resolve remind us all that we have the power to conquer adversity—in whatever form.

Paddling North


Audrey Sutherland - 2012
    Paddling North is a compilation of Sutherland’s first two (of over 20) such annual trips and her day-by-day travels through the Inside Passage from Ketchikan to Skagway. With illustrations and the author’s recipes.

Perfect Chaos: A Daughter's Journey to Survive Bipolar, a Mother's Struggle to Save Her


Linea Johnson - 2012
    Then the younger daughter Linea started experiencing crippling bouts of suicidal depression. Multiple trips to the psych ward resulted in a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, and it took many trial runs of drugs and ultimately electroshock therapy to bring Linea back. But her family never gave up on her. And Linea never stopped trying to find her way back to them.Perfect Chaos is the story of a mother's and daughter’s journey through mental illness towards hope. From initial worrying symptoms to long sleepless nights to cross country flights and the slow understanding and rebuilding of trust, Perfect Chaos tells Linea's and Cinda’s harrowing and inspiring story, of an illness that they conquer together every day.  It is the story of a daughter’s courage, a mother’s faith, and the love that carried them through the darkest times.

Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt


Richard Holloway - 2012
    By twenty-five he had been ordained and was working in the slums of Glasgow. Throughout the following forty years, Richard touched the lives of many people in the Church and in the wider community. But behind his confident public face lay a restless, unquiet heart and a constantly searching mind. Why is the Church, which claims to be the instrument of God's love, so prone to cruelty and condemnation? And how can a man live with the tension between public faith and private doubt? In his long-awaited memoir, Richard seeks to answer these questions and to explain how, after many crises of faith, he finally and painfully left the Church. It is a wise, poetic and fiercely honest book.

Memories of Evil


Peter Kubicek - 2012
    I was born in 1930 in a town called Trencin, in what was then Czechoslovakia -- a country that no longer exists; it is now called Slovakia. I was the only child of a well-to-do Jewish couple. My father was the owner of a store, a kind of department store, in a prime location on the town's principal square. We lived in a large comfortable apartment above the store. My mother loved working in the store, while the family's needs were attended to by a maid, a cook, and a governess for me. I grew up bi-lingual -- fluent in Slovak and in German. I soon added Czech as an additional language and started studying English from the age of eight.This idyllic existence was shattered in 1939 when Hitler's Germany annexed the Czech part of the country, with Slovakia becoming a quasi-independent country governed by an indigenous fascist party, firmly allied to Nazi Germany. A resolute feature of this Slovak government was its anti-Semitism. A series of anti-Jewish laws was promulgated, stripping us ultimately of our property and of all civil rights.In 1942 the government started deporting its population to German concentration camps vaguely identified as "in the East." Between March and November of that year, of a Jewish population of close to 90,000 people, some 60,000 were deported -- the vast majority to their annihilation in camps such as Auschwitz. You can read in my book how my family escaped deportation in 1942; and how we were finally caught in the next and deported in October, 1944. I describe this desperate period in my book: how I was separated from my family; how I survived a succession of concentration camps, culminating in a 12-day Hunger March before my final liberation.I immigrated to this country in November, 1946. I mark this event in my life as my rebirth and my new life. After a fruitful and satisfying 68 years in the U.S., the travail of my childhood years -- of what I call my previous life -- ought to be long forgotten. And yet, survivors of the Holocaust cannot forget, cannot forgive. Vestiges of our trauma will remain with us to our last breath. If you want to come a little closer to understanding the Holocaust, read my modest book. It is far from the whole truth which is beyond human understanding. But is is nothing but the truth, based on fragments indelibly etched in my memory, supplemented by historical research.

Naked Determination: 41 Stories About Overcoming Fear


Gisela Hausmann - 2012
    Topics: basic skills, essential skills, personal development, Affairs_Sex_and_Love, professional life, money, rejection, your and our future, unexpected stories, and “So, where do we go from here?”Readers will be able to apply the tricks Gisela reveals immediately. The ebook edition won BRONZE at the eLit Awards 2012 (category inspirational/motivational)5***** at Readers Favorite

My People Are Rising: Memoir of a Black Panther Party Captain


Aaron Dixon - 2012
    In My People Are Rising, he traces the course of his own radicalization, and that of a generation. Through his eyes, we witness the courage and commitment of the young men and women who rose up in rebellion, risking their lives in the name of freedom. My People are Rising is an unforgettable tale of their triumphs and tragedies, and the enduring legacy of Black Power.

The Dog Lived (and So Will I)


Teresa Rhyne - 2012
    I loved it!"-Sy Montgomery, author of The Good Good PigThe tale of a dog who wouldn't let go and the woman who followed his lead.Teresa Rhyne vowed to get things right this time around: new boyfriend, new house, new dog, maybe even new job. But shortly after she adopted Seamus, a totally incorrigible beagle, vets told Teresa that he had a malignant tumor and less than a year to live. The diagnosis devastated her, but she decided to fight it, learning everything she could about the best treatment for Seamus. Teresa couldn't possibly have known then that she was preparing herself for life's next hurdle - a cancer diagnosis of her own.She forged ahead with survival, battling a deadly disease, fighting for doctors she needed, and baring her heart for a seemingly starcrossed relationship. The Dog Lived (and so Will I) is an uplifting and heartwarming story about how dogs steal our hearts, show us how to live, and teach us how to love.A heartwarming, hilarious book about dogs, relationships and surviving life's challenges with humor and grace is perfect for fans of Marley and Me, The Middle Place and A Dog's Purpose will love this touching memoir.Other books by Teresa Rhyne: Dogs Were Rescued (And So Was I)What readers are saying about The Dog Lived (And So Will I):"infused with emotional moments and even more so with humor. The book is a wonderful mixture of it all.""As much as this book is about thriving, not just surviving, during cancer, it is also a love story written to the beagle.""A wonderfully poignant memoir straight from the heart""like "Marley and Me," but much better.""INCREDIBLE - heartwarming, sad, funny, stressful and comforting all at once.""A true gem for any dog lover and anyone who either has had cancer or knows/has known someone with cancer - which let's face it - is everyone.""THIS MEMOIR IS WHAT ALL OTHER MEMOIRS SHOULD ASPIRE TO."What reviewers are saying about The Dog Lived (And So Will I):"This poignant and fastmoving memoir...is proof that even a hardcharging lawyer is no match for a bighearted beagle." -Martin Kihn, author ofBad Dog (A Love Story)..".encouraging tale of finding love and love in unexpected places..."-Publishers Weekly"A book that dares to be honest and sad and hilarious all at once."-Susan Conley, author of The Foremost Good Fortune"