Fly a Little Higher
Laura Sobiech - 2014
But if he must die, I want it to be for something big. I want someone’s life to be changed forever.”This is what Laura Sobiech prayed when she found out her seventeen-year-old son had only one year to live. With this desperate prayer, she released her son to God’s will.At that point, Zach Sobiech was just another teenager battling cancer. When his mother told him to think about writing good-bye letters to family and friends, he decided instead to write songs. One of them, “Clouds,” captured hearts and changed not one life but millions, making him an international sensation.But Zach’s story is not just about music. It’s a testament to what can happen when you live as if each day might be your last. It’s a story about the human spirit. It’s about how God used a dying boy from a small town in Minnesota to touch the hearts of millions—including top executives in the music industry, major music artists, news anchors, talk show hosts, actors, priests and pastors, and school children across the globe.Zach once said, “I want to be known as the kid who went down fighting, and didn’t really lose.” Fly a Little Higher is about how God used Zach to do something big.
The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story
Hyeonseo Lee - 2014
Her home on the border with China gave her some exposure to the world beyond the confines of the Hermit Kingdom and, as the famine of the 1990s struck, she began to wonder, question and to realise that she had been brainwashed her entire life. Given the repression, poverty and starvation she witnessed surely her country could not be, as she had been told “the best on the planet”?Aged seventeen, she decided to escape North Korea. She could not have imagined that it would be twelve years before she was reunited with her family.She could not return, since rumours of her escape were spreading, and she and her family could incur the punishments of the government authorities – involving imprisonment, torture, and possible public execution. Hyeonseo instead remained in China and rapidly learned Chinese in an effort to adapt and survive. Twelve years and two lifetimes later, she would return to the North Korean border in a daring mission to spirit her mother and brother to South Korea, on one of the most arduous, costly and dangerous journeys imaginable.This is the unique story not only of Hyeonseo’s escape from the darkness into the light, but also of her coming of age, education and the resolve she found to rebuild her life – not once, but twice – first in China, then in South Korea. Strong, brave and eloquent, this memoir is a triumph of her remarkable spirit.
The Yorkshire Shepherdess
Amanda Owen - 2014
She is a farmer's wife and shepherdess, living alongside her husband Clive and seven children at Ravenseat, a 2000 acre sheep hill farm at the head of Swaledale in North Yorkshire. It's a challenging life but one she loves. In The Yorkshire Shepherdess she describes how the rebellious girl from Huddersfield, who always wanted to be a shepherdess, achieved her dreams. Full of amusing anecdotes and unforgettable characters, the book takes us from fitting in with the locals to fitting in motherhood, from the demands of the livestock to the demands of raising a large family in such a rural backwater. Amanda also evokes the peace of winter, when they can be cut off by snow without electricity or running water, the happiness of spring and the lambing season, and the backbreaking tasks of summertime - haymaking and sheepshearing - inspiring us all to look at the countryside and those who work there with new appreciation.
I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World
Malala Yousafzai - 2014
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 nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.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.I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.
Where the Wind Leads: A Refugee Family's Miraculous Story of Loss, Rescue, and Redemption
Vinh Chung - 2014
His family was wealthy, controlling a rice-milling empire worth millions; but within months of the communist takeover, the Chungs lost everything and were reduced to abject poverty.Knowing that their children would have no future under the new government, the Chungs decided to flee the country. In 1979, they joined the legendary "boat people" and sailed into the South China Sea, despite knowing that an estimated two hundred thousand of their countrymen had already perished at the hands of brutal pirates and violent seas.Where the Wind Leads follows Vinh Chung and his family on their desperate journey from pre-war Vietnam, through pirate attacks on a lawless sea, to a miraculous rescue and a new home in the unlikely town of Fort Smith, Arkansas. There Vinh struggled against poverty, discrimination, and a bewildering language barrier--yet still managed to graduate from Harvard Medical School.Where the Wind Leads is Vinh's tribute to the courage and sacrifice of his parents, a testimony to his family's faith, and a reminder to people everywhere that the American dream, while still possible, carries with it a greater responsibility.
The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life's Hard
Kara Tippetts - 2014
and the devestating reality of stage-four cancer. In The Hardest Peace, Kara doesn't offer answers for when living is hard, but she asks us to join her in moving away from fear and control and toward peace and grace. Most of all, she draws us back to the God who is with us, in the mundane and the suffering, and who shapes even our pain into beauty.Winner of the 2015 Christian Book Award® in the Inspiration category.
Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee - A Look Inside North Korea
Jang Jin-sung - 2014
Not moving my head, I direct my eyes to a point halfway up the archway where Kim Jong-il's face will soon appear.As North Korea's State Poet Laureate, Jang Jin-sung led a charmed life. With food provisions (even as the country suffered through its great famine), a travel pass, access to strictly censored information, and audiences with Kim Jong-il himself, his life in Pyongyang seemed safe and secure. But this privileged existence was about to be shattered. When a strictly forbidden magazine he lent to a friend goes missing, Jang Jin-sung must flee for his life.Never before has a member of the elite described the inner workings of this totalitarian state and its propaganda machine. An astonishing expose told through the heart-stopping story of Jang Jin-sung's escape to South Korea, Dear Leader is a rare and unprecedented insight into the world's most secretive and repressive regime.
Dark Days: My Tribulations and Trials
D. Randall Blythe - 2014
To protect himself, singer Randy Blythe pushed the fan away. Unbeknownst to Blythe, the young man hit his head on the floor when he fell and later died from the injury. Blythe was promptly incarcerated on charges carrying a prison term of five to ten years. Thirty-seven days later, he was released on bail to await trial. Although legal experts told him not to return to the Czech Republic to face the charges, Blythe explained that he “could not run away from this problem while the grieving family of a dead young man searched hopelessly for answers that [he] might help provide.”After a five-day trial, he was acquitted on March 5, 2013.In Dark Days, Blythe tells the story of his incarceration and the wild life that led up to it. As he explains, “Most substance abuse books end with the author getting sober. My book starts there.”
Daddy’s Little Princess
Cathy Glass - 2014
But it isn’t long before Cathy begins to have concerns that the relationship between Beth and her father is not as it should be.Little Beth, aged 7, has been brought up by her father Derek after her mother left when she was a toddler. When Derek is suddenly admitted to hospital with psychiatric problems Beth is taken into care and arrives at Cathy’s.Beth and her father clearly love each other very much and Derek spoils his daughter, treating her like a princess, but there is something bothering Cathy, something she can’t quite put her finger on.Meanwhile Cathy’s husband is working away a lot and coming home less at weekends. Then, suddenly, everything changes. Events take a dramatic turn for both Beth and Cathy and her family; as Cathy strives to pick up the pieces all their lives are changed forever.
Something Other than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It
Jennifer Fulwiler - 2014
Why wouldn't she be? She made good money as a programmer at a hot tech start-up, had just married a guy with a stack of Ivy League degrees, and lived in a twenty-first-floor condo where she could sip sauvignon blanc while watching the sun set behind the hills of Austin. Raised in a happy, atheist home, Jennifer had the freedom to think for herself and play by her own rules. Yet a creeping darkness followed her all of her life. Finally, one winter night, it drove her to the edge of her balcony, making her ask once and for all why anything mattered. At that moment everything she knew and believed was shattered. Asking the unflinching questions about life and death, good and evil, led Jennifer to Christianity, the religion she had reviled since she was an awkward, sceptical child growing up in the Bible Belt. Mortified by this turn of events, she hid her quest from everyone except her husband, concealing religious books in opaque bags as if they were porn and locking herself in public bathroom stalls to read the Bible. Just when Jennifer had a profound epiphany that gave her the courage to convert, she was diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition--and the only treatment was directly at odds with the doctrines of her new-found faith. Something Other Than God is a poignant, profound and often funny tale of one woman who set out to find the meaning of life and discovered that true happiness sometimes requires losing it all.
Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
Janet Mock - 2014
Those 2300 words were life-altering for the People.com editor, turning her into an influential and outspoken public figure and a desperately needed voice for an often voiceless community. In these pages, she offers a bold and inspiring perspective on being young, multicultural, economically challenged, and transgender in America. Welcomed into the world as her parents’ firstborn son, Mock decided early on that she would be her own person—no matter what. She struggled as the smart, determined child in a deeply loving yet ill-equipped family that lacked the money, education, and resources necessary to help her thrive. Mock navigated her way through her teen years without parental guidance, but luckily, with the support of a few close friends and mentors, she emerged much stronger, ready to take on—and maybe even change—the world. This powerful memoir follows Mock’s quest for identity, from an early, unwavering conviction about her gender to a turbulent adolescence in Honolulu that saw her transitioning during the tender years of high school, self-medicating with hormones at fifteen, and flying across the world alone for sex reassignment surgery at just eighteen. With unflinching honesty, Mock uses her own experience to impart vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of trans youth and brave girls like herself. Despite the hurdles, Mock received a scholarship to college and moved to New York City, where she earned a master’s degree, enjoyed the success of an enviable career, and told no one about her past. She remained deeply guarded until she fell for a man who called her the woman of his dreams. Love fortified her with the strength to finally tell her story, enabling her to embody the undeniable power of testimony and become a fierce advocate for a marginalized and misunderstood community. A profound statement of affirmation from a courageous woman, Redefining Realness provides a whole new outlook on what it means to be a woman today, and shows as never before how to be authentic, unapologetic, and wholly yourself.
Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery
Henry Marsh - 2014
Operations on the brain carry grave risks. Every day, leading neurosurgeon Henry Marsh must make agonizing decisions, often in the face of great urgency and uncertainty.If you believe that brain surgery is a precise and exquisite craft, practiced by calm and detached doctors, this gripping, brutally honest account will make you think again. With astonishing compassion and candor, Marsh reveals the fierce joy of operating, the profoundly moving triumphs, the harrowing disasters, the haunting regrets, and the moments of black humor that characterize a brain surgeon's life.Do No Harm provides unforgettable insight into the countless human dramas that take place in a busy modern hospital. Above all, it is a lesson in the need for hope when faced with life's most difficult decisions.
Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys
Viv Albertine - 2014
Her memoir tells the story of how, through sheer will, talent, and fearlessness, she forced herself into a male-dominated industry, became part of a movement that changed music, and inspired a generation of female rockers.After forming The Flowers of Romance with Sid Vicious in 1976, Albertine joined The Slits and made musical history in one of the first generations of punk bands. The Slits would go on to serve as an inspiration to future rockers, including Kurt Cobain, Carrie Brownstein, and the Riot Grrrl movement in the 1990s. This is the story of what it was like to be a girl at the height of punk: the sex, the drugs, the guys, the tours, and being part of a brilliant pioneering group of women making musical history. Albertine recounts helping define punk fashion, struggling to find her place among the boys, and her romance with Mick Jones, including her pregnancy and subsequent abortion. She also gives a candid account of what happened post-punk, beyond the break-up of The Slits in 1982, including a career in film, surviving cancer, and making music again, twenty-five years later.A truly remarkable memoir told in Viv’s frank, irreverent, and distinctive voice, Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. is a raw, thrilling story of life on the frontier.
Rare Bird: A Memoir of Loss and Love
Anna Whiston-Donaldson - 2014
His parents and younger sister are left to wrestle with the awful questions: How could God let this happen? And, Can we ever be happy again? They each fall into the abyss of grief in different ways. And in the days and months to come, they each find their faltering way toward peace.In Rare Bird, Anna Whiston-Donaldson unfolds a mother’s story of loss that leads, in time, to enduring hope. “Anna’s storytelling,” says Glennon Doyle Melton, “is raw and real and intense and funny.”With this unforgettable account of a family’s love and longing, Anna will draw you deeper into a divine goodness that keeps us—beyond all earthly circumstances—safe. This is a book about facing impossible circumstances and wanting to turn back the clock. It is about the flicker of hope in realizing that in times of heartbreak, God is closer than your own skin. It is about discovering that you’re braver than you think.
Tears of the Silenced
Misty Griffin - 2014
Misty and her sister were kept as slaves on a mountain ranch and subjected to almost complete isolation, sexual abuse, and extreme physical violence. Their step-father kept a loaded rifle by the door to make sure the young girls were too terrified to try to escape. No rescue would ever come since the few people who knew they existed did not care.When Misty reached her teens, her parents feared she and her sister would escape and took them to an Amish community. Devastated to again find herself in a world of fear, cruelty, and abuse, Misty was sexually assaulted by the bishop. As Misty recalls, "Amish sexual abusers are only shunned by the church for six weeks, a punishment that never seems to work... I knew I had to get help, and one freezing morning in early March, I made a dash for a tiny police station in rural Minnesota. After reporting the bishop, I left the Amish and found myself plummeted into a strange modern world with only a second-grade education and no ID or social security card."
Five Sons and a 100 Muri of Rice: The story of a five year old bride in rural Nepal
Sharyn Steel - 2014
A five year old bride in rural Nepal struggles with poverty, male domination and illiteracy to become a successful landowner, micro lender and great grandmother.Based on the true story of Kharika Devkota, this book provides a rare insight into the inspiring and determining life of a Nepali woman.
Up Ghost River: A Chief's Journey Through the Turbulent Waters of Native History
Edmund Metatawabin - 2014
St. Anne’s, in northern Ontario, is an institution now notorious for the range of punishments that staff and teachers inflicted on students. Even as Metatawabin built the trappings of a successful life—wife, kids, career—he was tormented by horrific memories. Fuelled by alcohol, the trauma from his past caught up with him, and his family and work lives imploded. In seeking healing, Metatawabin travelled to southern Alberta. There he learned from elders, participated in native cultural training workshops that emphasize the holistic approach to personhood at the heart of Cree culture, and finally faced his alcoholism and PTSD. Metatawabin has since worked tirelessly to expose the wrongdoings of St. Anne’s, culminating in a recent court case demanding that the school records be released to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Now Metatawabin’s mission is to help the next generation of residential school survivors. His story is part of the indigenous resurgence that is happening across Canada and worldwide: after years of oppression, he and others are healing themselves by rediscovering their culture and sharing their knowledge. Coming full circle, Metatawabin’s haunting and brave narrative offers profound lessons on the importance of bearing witness, and the ability to become whole once again.
Ivan E. Coyote - 2014
Coyote and Rae Spoon are accomplished, award-winning writers, musicians, and performers; they are also both admitted "gender failures." In their first collaborative book, Ivan and Rae explore and expose their failed attempts at fitting into the gender binary, and how ultimately our expectations and assumptions around traditional gender roles fail us all.Based on their acclaimed 2012 live show that toured across the United States and in Europe, Gender Failure is a poignant collection of autobiographical essays, lyrics, and images documenting Ivan and Rae's personal journeys from gender failure to gender enlightenment. Equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking, it's a book that will touch LGBTQ readers and others, revealing, with candor and insight, that gender comes in more than two sizes.Ivan E. Coyote is the author of six story collections and the award-winning novel Bow Grip, and is co-editor of Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme. Ivan frequently performs at high schools, universities, and festivals across North America.Rae Spoon is a transgender indie musician whose most recent CD is My Prairie Home, which is also the title of a new National Film Board of Canada documentary about them. Rae's first book, First Spring Grass Fire, was a Lambda Literary Award finalist in 2013.
The Reason: How I Discovered a Life Worth Living
Lacey Sturm - 2014
The screaming match she had with her grandmother was the reason she went to church. What she found there was the Reason she is alive today.With raw vulnerability, this hard rock princess tells her own story of physical abuse, drug use, suicide attempts, and more--and her ultimate salvation. She asks the hard questions so many young people are asking--Why am I here? Why am I empty? Why should I go on living?--showing readers that beyond the temporary highs and the soul-crushing lows there is a reason they exist and a purpose for their lives. She not only gives readers a peek down the rocky path that led her to become a vocalist in a popular hardcore band, but she shows them that the same God is guiding their steps today.
Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner
Judy Melinek - 2014
Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her husband T.J. and their toddler Daniel holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation, performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy's two years of training, taking readers behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple, including a firsthand account of the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax bio-terrorism attack, and the disastrous crash of American Airlines flight 587.Lively, action-packed, and loaded with mordant wit, Working Stiff offers a firsthand account of daily life in one of America's most arduous professions, and the unexpected challenges of shuttling between the domains of the living and the dead. The body never lies, and through the murders, accidents, and suicides that land on her table, Dr. Melinek lays bare the truth behind the glamorized depictions of autopsy work on shows like CSI and Law and Order to reveal the secret story of the real morgue.
Trapped: The Terrifying True Story of a Secret World of Abuse
Rosie Lewis - 2014
Experienced foster carer Rosie accepts the youngster as an emergency placement knowing that her autism will represent a challenge – not only for her but also for the rest of the family.But after several shocking incidents of self-harming, Pica and threats to kill, it soon becomes apparent that Phoebe’s autism may be the least of her problems.Locked for nine years in a secret world of severe abuse, as Phoebe opens up about her horrific past, her foster carer begins to suspect that Phoebe may not be suffering from autism at all.
Positive: A Memoir
Paige Rawl - 2014
It never prevented her from entering beauty pageants or playing soccer or making the honor role.On an unremarkable day in middle school, while attempting to console a friend, Paige disclosed her HIV-positive status—and within hours the bullying began. She was called "PAIDS," first in whispers, then out in the open. Her soccer coach joked that she was an asset because opposing team members would be too afraid to touch her. Her guidance counselor told her to stop all the “drama,” and her principal said she couldn’t protect her. One night, desperate for escape, Paige swallowed fifteen sleeping pills—one for each year of her life to date. That could have been the end of her story. Instead, it was only the beginning. The gripping first-person account of Paige’s life will pull in even the most reluctant readers of nonfiction, and her call to action to choose compassion over cruelty will stay with them long after they turn the last page.
North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Unusual Family, and How I Survived Both
Cea Sunrise Person - 2014
. . bug stew? In the vein of The Glass Castle and Wild, Cea Sunrise Person’s compelling memoir of a childhood spent with her dysfunctional counter-culture family in the Canadian wilderness—a searing story of physical, emotional, and psychological survival.In the late 1960s, riding the crest of the counterculture movement, Cea’s family left a comfortable existence in California to live off the land in the Canadian wilderness. But unlike most commune dwellers of the time, the Persons weren’t trying to build a new society—they wanted to escape civilization altogether. Led by Cea’s grandfather Dick, they lived a pot-smoking, free-loving, clothing-optional life under a canvas tipi without running water, electricity, or heat for the bitter winters.Living out her grandparents’ dream with her teenage mother Michelle, young Cea knew little of the world beyond her forest. She spent her summers playing nude in the meadow and her winters snowshoeing behind the grandfather she idolized. Despite fierce storms, food shortages, and the occasional drug-and-sex-infused party for visitors, it seemed to be a mostly happy existence. For Michelle, however, now long separated from Cea’s father, there was one crucial element missing: a man. When Cea was five, Michelle took her on the road with a new boyfriend. As the trio set upon a series of ill-fated adventures, Cea began to question both her highly unusual world and the hedonistic woman at the centre of it—questions that eventually evolved into an all-consuming search for a more normal life. Finally, in her early teens, Cea realized she would have to make a choice as drastic as the one her grandparents once had in order to save herself.While a successful international modeling career offered her a way out of the wilderness, Cea discovered that this new world was in its own way daunting and full of challenges. Containing twenty-four intimate black-and-white family photos, North of Normal is Cea’s funny, shocking, heartbreaking, and triumphant tale of self-discovery and acceptance, adversity, and strength that will leave no reader unmoved.
Getting Life: An Innocent Man's 25-Year Journey from Prison to Peace
Michael Morton - 2014
He lost his wife, his son, and his freedom. This is the story of how Michael Morton finally got justice—and a second chance at life.On August 13, 1986, just one day after his thirty-second birthday, Michael Morton went to work at his usual time. By the end of the day, his wife Christine had been savagely bludgeoned to death in the couple’s bed—and the Williamson County Sherriff’s office in Texas wasted no time in pinning her murder on Michael, despite an absolute lack of physical evidence. Michael was swiftly sentenced to life in prison for a crime he had not committed.He mourned his wife from a prison cell. He lost all contact with their son. Life, as he knew it, was over.It would take twenty-five years—and thousands of hours of effort on the part of Michael’s lawyers, including the team at the New York-based Innocence Project—before DNA evidence was brought to light that would ultimately set Michael free. The evidence had been collected only days after the murder—but was never investigated.Drawing on his recollections, court transcripts, and more than one thousand pages of personal journals he wrote in prison, Michael recounts the hidden police reports about an unidentified van parked near his house that were never pursued; the treasure trove of evidence, including a bandana with the killer’s DNA on it, that was never introduced in court; the call from a neighboring county reporting the attempted use of his wife’s credit card (a message that was received, recorded, and never returned by local police); and ultimately, how he battled his way through the darkness to become a free man once again.Getting Life is an extraordinary story of unfathomable tragedy, grave injustice, and the strength and courage it takes to find forgiveness.
My Gentle Barn: Creating a Sanctuary Where Animals Heal and Children Learn to Hope
Ellie Laks - 2014
Some two hundred animals later (including chickens, horses, pigs, cows, rabbits, emus, and more), The Gentle Barn has become an extraordinary nonprofit that brings together a volunteer staff of community members and at-risk teens to rehabilitate abandoned and/or abused animals. As Ellie teaches the volunteers to care for the animals, they learn a new language of healing that works wonders on the humans as well. My Gentle Barn weaves together the story of how the Barn came to be what it is today with Ellie's own journey. Filled with heartwarming animal stories and inspiring recoveries, The Gentle Barn is a feel-good account that will delight animal lovers and memoir readers alike.
Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way
Jimmy Wayne - 2014
Hungry, homeless, and bouncing in and out of the foster care system, Jimmy spent more nights wandering and sleeping in the streets than he cares to remember. His father left before he was born. And his mama, when she wasn't in a mental hospital or behind bars for various small offenses, was simply too overwhelmed, trying to survive herself.Walk to Beautiful is the powerfully emotive account of Jimmy's childhood and the unconditional love and acceptance Russell and Bea Costner gave to Jimmy. This elderly couple provided a stable home and the chance for him to complete his education. Jimmy says of Bea, "She changed every cell in my body." After his high school graduation, Jimmy went on to earn a degree in Criminal Justice because, as he says, "I knew a lot about it." But in his heart Jimmy wanted to write songs and sing.A music company opened its doors to Jimmy, and he moved to Nashville to pursue his dreams. He had several memorable hits, such as I Love You This Much, Paper Angels, and Do You Believe Me Now?, which remained at #1 for three consecutive weeks on the Billboard Chart.But success was not satisfying. Jimmy remembered where he came from, and he wanted to give back. With his Meet Me Halfway campaign—a 1,700 mile walk from Nashville to Phoenix—Jimmy walked halfway across America, raising awareness for foster children. Along the way he not only found a lot of crazy things, such as coins, keys, a plastic Jesus, and a Lucille Ball ashtray; but he also found himself. And more important, he found a way to forgive the people who had hurt him. Jimmy learned how to walk to beautiful—and so can you.
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory
Caitlin Doughty - 2014
Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased.Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures.Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like?Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin's engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).
Where I Belong
Alan Doyle - 2014
Singer-songwriter and front man of the great Canadian band Great Big Sea, Alan Doyle is also a lyrical storyteller and a creative force. In Where I Belong, Alan paints a vivid, raucous and heartwarming portrait of a curious young lad born into the small coastal fishing community of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, and destined to become a renowned musician who carried the musical tradition of generations before him and brought his signature sound to the world. He tells of a childhood surrounded by larger-than-life characters who made an indelible impression on his music and work; of his first job on the wharf cutting out cod tongues for fishermen; of growing up in a family of five in a two-bedroom house with a beef-bucket as a toilet, yet lacking nothing; of learning at his father's knee how to sing the story of a song and learning from his mother how to simply "be good"; and finally, of how everything he ever learned as a kid prepared him for that pivotal moment when he became part of Great Big Sea and sailed away on what would be the greatest musical adventure of his life. Filled with the lore and traditions of the East Coast and told in a voice that is at once captivating and refreshingly candid, this is a narrative journey about small-town life, curiosity and creative fulfillment, and finally, about leaving everything you know behind only to learn that no matter where you go, home will always be with you.
Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina
Michaela DePrince - 2014
Michaela DePrince was known as girl Number 27 at the orphanage, where she was abandoned at a young age and tormented as a "devil child" for a skin condition that makes her skin appear spotted. But it was at the orphanage that Michaela would find a picture of a beautiful ballerina en pointe that would help change the course of her life. At the age of four, Michaela was adopted by an American family, who encouraged her love of dancing and enrolled her in classes. She went on to study at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at the American Ballet Theatre and is currently a member of the Dutch National Ballet’s junior company. She has appeared in the ballet documentary "First Position," as well as on "Dancing with the Stars, Good Morning America," and "Nightline." In this engaging, moving, and unforgettable memoir, Michaela shares her dramatic journey from an orphan in West Africa to becoming one of ballet's most exciting rising stars.
No Place to Hide: A Brain Surgeon's Long Journey Home from the Iraq War
W. Lee Warren - 2014
W. Lee Warren’s life as a neurosurgeon in a trauma center began to unravel long before he shipped off to serve the Air Force in Iraq in 2004. When he traded a comfortable if demanding practice in San Antonio, Texas, for a ride on a C-130 into the combat zone, he was already reeling from months of personal struggle.At the 332nd Air Force Theater Hospital at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, Warren realized his experience with trauma was just beginning. In his 120 days in a tent hospital, he was trained in a different specialty—surviving over a hundred mortar attacks and trying desperately to repair the damages of a war that raged around every detail of every day. No place was safe, and the constant barrage wore down every possible defense, physical or psychological.One day, clad only in a T-shirt, gym shorts, and running shoes, Warren was caught in the open while round after round of mortars shook the earth and shattered the air with their explosions, stripping him of everything he had been trying so desperately to hold on to.Warren’s story is an example of how a person can go from a place of total loss to one of strength, courage, and victory. It is the beginning of a long journey home.
Stars Between the Sun and Moon: One Woman's Life in North Korea and Escape to Freedom
Lucia Jang - 2014
However, there is nothing common about Jang. She is a woman of great emotional depth, courage, and resilience.Happy to serve her country, Jang worked in a factory as a young woman. There, a man she thought was courting her raped her. Forced to marry him when she found herself pregnant, she continued to be abused by him. She managed to convince her family to let her return home, only to have her in-laws and parents sell her son without her knowledge for 300 won and two bars of soap. They had not wanted another mouth to feed.By now it was the beginning of the famine of the 1990s that resulted in more than one million deaths. Driven by starvation—her family’s as well as her own—Jang illegally crossed the river to better-off China to trade goods. She was caught and imprisoned twice, pregnant the second time. She knew that, to keep the child, she had to leave North Korea. In a dramatic escape, she was smuggled with her newborn to China, fled to Mongolia under gunfire, and finally found refuge in South Korea before eventually settling in Canada.With so few accounts by North Korean women and those from its rural areas, Jang's fascinating memoir helps us understand the lives of those many others who have no way to make their voices known.
A Fighting Chance
Elizabeth Warren - 2014
Early marriage and motherhood seemed to put even that dream out of reach, but fifteen years later she was a distinguished law professor with a deep understanding of why people go bankrupt. Then came the phone call that changed her life: could she come to Washington DC to help advise Congress on rewriting the bankruptcy laws?Thus began an impolite education into the bare-knuckled, often dysfunctional ways of Washington. She fought for better bankruptcy laws for ten years and lost. She tried to hold the federal government accountable during the financial crisis but became a target of the big banks. She came up with the idea for a new agency designed to protect consumers from predatory bankers and was denied the opportunity to run it. Finally, at age 62, she decided to run for elective office and won the most competitive—and watched—Senate race in the country. In this passionate, funny, rabble-rousing book, Warren shows why she has chosen to fight tooth and nail for the middle class—and why she has become a hero to all those who believe that America's government can and must do better for working families.
Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism
Ron Suskind - 2014
It is the saga of Owen Suskind, who happens to be the son of one of America's most noted writers, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Ron Suskind. He's also autistic. The twisting, 20-year journey of this boy and his family will change that way you see autism, old Disney movies, and the power of imagination to heal a shattered, upside-down world.
Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums, Drums, Drums
Travis Barker - 2014
But the dark side of rock stardom took its toll: his marriage, chronicled for an MTV reality show, fell apart. Constant touring concealed a serious drug addiction. A reckoning did not truly come until he was forced to face mortality: His life nearly ended in a horrifying plane crash, and then his close friend, collaborator, and fellow crash survivor DJ AM died of an overdose.In this blunt, driving memoir, Barker ruminates on rock stardom, fatherhood, death, loss, and redemption, sharing stories shaped by decades’ worth of hard-earned insights. His pulsating memoir is as energetic as his acclaimed beats. It brings to a close the first chapters of a well-lived life, inspiring readers to follow the rhythms of their own hearts and find meaning in their lives.
Bye Mam, I Love You
Sonia Oatley - 2014
A mother's search for justice. The shocking true story of the murder of Rebecca Aylward On Saturday, 23 October 2010, Sonia Oatley waved off her 15-year-old daughter, Becca, to meet Joshua Davies, a former boyfriend. Becca’s hope was that the two of them would get back together, but it was not to be. By 3pm, oddly, she stopped answering her mobile. By 7.30 she was officially declared missing. And at 10am the following morning, while Sonia and the family were out searching, came the call that is every parent’s worst nightmare. The police had found the body of a young girl in local woodland: she’d been bludgeoned to death with a rock. Bye Mam, I Love You is the story of Rebecca Aylward’s murder � a slaying that was described by an incredulous media as having been committed for �the price of a breakfast’. But, as soon became clear, this was no crime of passion. Becca’s death had apparently been many months in the planning, by a calculating, cold-blooded killer. From the immediate arrest of 16-year-old Joshua Davies, to the lengthy investigation and harrowing five week trial that convicted him, this book is both an expression of a mother’s love and her pride in a daughter who had so much to live for, as well as an insight into the mind of a brutal murderer.
Mother of God: An Extraordinary Journey into the Uncharted Tributaries of the Western Amazon
Paul Rosolie - 2014
In January 2006, when he was just a restless eighteen-year-old hungry for adventure, Paul Rosolie embarked on a journey to the west Amazon that would transform his life.Venturing alone into some of the most inaccessible reaches of the jungle, he encountered giant snakes, floating forests, isolated tribes untouched by outsiders, prowling jaguars, orphaned baby anteaters, poachers in the black market trade in endangered species, and much more. Yet today, the primordial forests of the Madre de Dios are in danger from developers, oil giants, and gold miners eager to exploit its natural resources.In Mother of God, this explorer and conservationist relives his amazing odyssey exploring the heart of this wildest place on earth. When he began delving deeper in his search for the secret Eden, spending extended periods in isolated solitude, he found things he never imagined could exist. "Alone and miniscule against a titanic landscape I have seen the depths of the Amazon, the guts of the jungle where no men go, Rosolie writes. "But as the legendary explorer Percy Fawcett warned, 'the few remaining unknown places of the world exact a price for their secrets.'"Illustrated with 16 pages of color photos.
This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl
Esther Earl - 2014
Photographs and essays by family and friends will help to tell Esther’s story along with an introduction by award-winning author John Green who dedicated his #1 bestselling novel The Fault in Our Stars to her.
Brown Girl Dreaming
Jacqueline Woodson - 2014
In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.
The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood
Richard Blanco - 2014
In this moving, contemplative memoir, the 2013 inaugural poet traces his poignant, often hilarious, and quintessentially American coming-of-age and the people who influenced him.A prismatic and lyrical narrative rich with the colors, sounds, smells, and textures of Miami, Richard Blanco’s personal narrative is a resonant account of how he discovered his authentic self and ultimately, a deeper understanding of what it means to be American. His is a singular yet universal story that beautifully illuminates the experience of “becoming;” how we are shaped by experiences, memories, and our complex stories: the humor, love, yearning, and tenderness that define a life.
On My Own Two Feet: The Journey from Losing My Legs to Learning the Dance of Life
Amy Purdy - 2014
When the Las Vegas native was just nineteen, she contracted bacterial meningitis and was given less than a two percent chance of survival. In a near-death experience, she saw three figures who told her: “You can come with us, or you can stay. No matter what happens in your life, it’s all going to make sense in the end.” In that moment, Amy chose to live.Her glimpse of the afterlife—coupled with a mysterious premonition she’d had a month before —became the defining experiences that put Amy’s life on a new trajectory after her legs had to be amputated. She wouldn’t just beat meningitis and walk again; she would go on to create a life filled with bold adventures, big dreams, and boundless vitality—and share that spirit with the world. In 2014, Amy—the only competitor, male or female, with two prosthetic legs—claimed a bronze medal for the U.S. Paralympic team in adaptive snowboarding. She then became a contestant on season eighteen of Dancing With the Stars, and viewers were captivated as the girl with bionic legs managed to out-dance her competitors all the way to the finale.Amy’s journey is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the capacity we all have to dream bigger, defy expectations, and rewrite our stories. Amy was given a second chance for a reason—to use her life to inspire others. Her powerful memoir urges us to live life to the fullest, because we are all a lot more capable than we could ever imagine.
The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life
Melanie Shankle - 2014
Marriage is simultaneously the biggest blessing and the greatest challenge two people can ever take on. It is the joy of knowing there is someone to share in your joys and sorrows, and the challenge of living with someone who thinks it's a good idea to hang a giant antelope head on your living room wall. In The Antelope in the Living Room, New York Times best-selling author and blogger Melanie Shankle does for marriage what Sparkly Green Earrings did for motherhood--makes us laugh out loud and smile through tears as she shares the holy and the hilarity of that magical and mysterious union called marriage.
Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow: My Life as a Country Vet
Jan Pol - 2014
Pol shares his amusing, and often poignant, tales from his four decades as a vet in rural Michigan. Dr. Jan Pol is not your typical veterinarian. Born and raised the in Netherlands on a dairy farm, he is the star of Nat Geo Wild’s hit show The Incredible Dr. Pol and has been treating animals in rural Michigan since the 1970s. Dr. Pol’s more than 20,000 patients have ranged from white mice to 2600-pound horses and everything in between. From the time he was twelve years old and helped deliver a litter of piglets on his family’s farm to the incredible moments captured on his hit TV show, Dr. Pol has amassed a wealth of stories of what it’s like caring for this menagerie of animals. He shares his own story of growing up surrounded by animals, training to be a vet in the Netherlands, and moving to Michigan to open his first practice in a pre fab house. He has established himself as an empathetic yet no-nonsense vet who isn’t afraid to make the difficult decisions in order to do what’s best for his patients—and their hard-working owners. A sick pet can bring heartache, but a sick cow or horse could threaten the very livelihood of a farmer whose modest profits are dependent on healthy livestock.Reminiscent of the classic books of James Herriot, Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow is a charming, fascinating, and funny memoir that will delight animal lovers everywhere.
Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl
Jase Robertson - 2014
Not a repeat of the previous Duck Dynasty books, Jase opens up about his personal family life, his childhood days with a drunken father, and how he came to faith.This open book from Jase may surprise some fans who love him for his dry humor and rivalry with younger brother Willie. This hilarious, yet thoughtful book, is structured around lessons of faith in the blind on topics like respect, passion, forgiveness, generosity, humility, kindness, and honesty. Chapters discuss: the highlights of Jase's memory of the early days with his drunken, disruptive father; his high school days and his strong commitment to not be like Phil had been, opting for total abstinence from drinking and sex; the moment he forgave Phil for being such a terrible father in his younger days; his first hunt with Phil, where he saw an excitement in Phil that he'd never seen before; his first date with Missy, which was a "fake date" to make another girl jealous; and of course, a chapter on Uncle Si, with stories not told in previous books. Other chapters include stories of his brothers, frog hunting and fishing, and his most memorable road trips. And finally, Jase shares a chapter on hunting in heaven. Here, Jase shares his love for the land and our responsibility to care for it. More than a behind-the-scenes look at this beloved Duck Dynasty character, readers will be inspired and encouraged to implement Jase's lessons from the blind into their own lives.
Lost and Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life
Sarah Jakes - 2014
But her dreams changed dramatically when she became pregnant at age thirteen, a reality only compounded by the fact that her father, Bishop T.D. Jakes, was one of the most influential megachurch pastors in the nation. As a teen mom and a high-profile preacher's kid, her road was lonely. She was shunned at school, gossiped about at church. And a few years later, when a fairy-tale marriage ended in a spiral of hurt and rejection, she could have let her pain dictate her future.Instead, she found herself surrounded by a God she'd given up on, crashing headlong with him into a destiny she'd never dreamed of. Sarah's captivating story, unflinchingly honest and deeply vulnerable, is a vivid reminder that God can turn even the deepest pain into his perfection.
Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?
Roz Chast - 2014
Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast's memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.When it came to her elderly mother and father, Roz held to the practices of denial, avoidance, and distraction. But when Elizabeth Chast climbed a ladder to locate an old souvenir from the "crazy closet"—with predictable results—the tools that had served Roz well through her parents' seventies, eighties, and into their early nineties could no longer be deployed.While the particulars are Chast-ian in their idiosyncrasies—an anxious father who had relied heavily on his wife for stability as he slipped into dementia and a former assistant principal mother whose overbearing personality had sidelined Roz for decades—the themes are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; managing logistics; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care.An amazing portrait of two lives at their end and an only child coping as best she can, Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant will show the full range of Roz Chast's talent as cartoonist and storyteller.
Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed - A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings
Michelle Knight - 2014
Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world.Barely out of her own tumultuous childhood, Michelle was estranged from her family and fighting for custody of her young son when she disappeared. Local police believed she had run away, so they removed her from the missing persons lists fifteen months after she vanished. Castro tormented her with these facts, reminding her that no one was looking for her, that the outside world had forgotten her. But Michelle would not be broken.In Finding Me, Michelle will reveal the heartbreaking details of her story, including the thoughts and prayers that helped her find courage to endure her unimaginable circumstances and now build a life worth living. By sharing both her past and her efforts to create a future, Michelle becomes a voice for the voiceless and a powerful symbol of hope for the thousands of children and young adults who go missing every year.
Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man
Thomas Page McBee - 2014
Standing at the brink of the life-changing decision to transition from female to male, McBee seeks to understand these fallen icons of manhood as he cobbles together his own identity.Man Alive engages an extraordinary personal story to tell a universal one – how we all struggle to create ourselves, and how this struggle often requires risks. Far from a titillating, transgender tell-all, Man Alive grapples with questions of legacy and forgiveness, love and violence, agency and invisibility. Written with the grace of a poet and the intensity of a thriller, McBee’s story will haunt and inspire.
Flying on Broken Wings
Carrie Bailee - 2014
Once here she was assisted by a number of Australian women, and was ultimately encouraged to apply for refugee status in order to stay in this country. So began her battle to be granted asylum in Australia. Carrie stood before the Refugee Review Tribunal and revealed the dark underbelly of child sexual abuse and organised crime rings in our privileged, first-world neighbourhoods.This is the story of one young woman's heroic journey to survive, escape and soar above her shocking childhood experiences, and her powerful struggle for freedom and a beautiful life in Australia.
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride
Cary Elwes - 2014
Ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets, backstage stories, and answers to lingering questions about off-screen romances that have plagued fans for years!With a foreword by Rob Reiner and a limited edition original poster by acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, As You Wish is a must-have for all fans of this beloved film.
Harry's Last Stand: How the World My Generation Built is Falling Down, and What We Can Do to Save It
Harry Leslie Smith - 2014
I want to tell you what the world looks like through my eyes, so that you can help change it…’In November 2013, 91-year-old Yorkshireman, RAF veteran and ex-carpet salesman Harry Leslie Smith’s Guardian article – ‘This year, I will wear a poppy for the last time’ – was shared almost 60,000 times on Facebook and started a huge debate about the state of society.Now he brings his unique perspective to bear on NHS cutbacks, benefits policy, political corruption, food poverty, the cost of education – and much more. From the deprivation of 1930s Barnsley and the terror of war to the creation of our welfare state, Harry has experienced how a great civilisation can rise from the rubble. But at the end of his life, he fears how easily it is being eroded.Harry’s Last Stand is a lyrical, searing modern invective that shows what the past can teach us, and how the future is ours for the taking.Harry Leslie Smith is a survivor of the Great Depression, a second world war RAF veteran and, at 91, an activist for the poor and for the preservation of social democracy. His Guardian articles have been shared over 60,000 times on Facebook and have attracted huge comment and debate. He has authored numerous books about Britain during the Great Depression, the second world war and postwar austerity. He lives outside Toronto, Canada and in Yorkshire.
It's Not Yet Dark
Simon Fitzmaurice - 2014
He was given four years to live. In 2010, in a state of lung-function collapse, Simon knew with crystal clarity that now was not his time to die. Against all prevailing medical opinion, he chose to ventilate in order to stay alive.Here, the young filmmaker, a husband and father of five small children draws us deeply into his inner world. Told in simply expressed and beautifully stark prose - in the vein of such memoirs as Jean-Dominique Bauby's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - the result is an astonishing journey into a life which, though brutally compromised, is lived more fully and in the moment than most, revealing at its core the power of love its most potent.Written using an eye-gaze computer, It's Not Yet Dark is an unforgettable book about relationships and family, about what connects and separates us as people and, ultimately, about what it means to be alive.
A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka: A Memoir
Lev Golinkin - 2014
In the twilight of the Cold War (the late 1980s), nine-year old Lev Golinkin and his family cross the Soviet border with only ten suitcases, $600, and the vague promise of help awaiting in Vienna. Years later, Lev, now an American adult, sets out to retrace his family's long trek, locate the strangers who fought for his freedom, and in the process, gain a future by understanding his past.Lev Golinkin's memoir is the vivid, darkly comic, and poignant story of a young boy in the confusing and often chilling final decade of the Soviet Union. It's also the story of Lev Golinkin, the American man who finally confronts his buried past by returning to Austria and Eastern Europe to track down the strangers who made his escape possible . . . and say thank you. Written with biting, acerbic wit and emotional honesty in the vein of Gary Shteyngart, Jonathan Safran Foer, and David Bezmozgis, Golinkin's search for personal identity set against the relentless currents of history is more than a memoir—it's a portrait of a lost era. This is a thrilling tale of escape and survival, a deeply personal look at the life of a Jewish child caught in the last gasp of the Soviet Union, and a provocative investigation into the power of hatred and the search for belonging. Lev Golinkin achieves an amazing feat—and it marks the debut of a fiercely intelligent, defiant, and unforgettable new voice.
John A. Pennington - 2014
They decide to buy a thirty foot sailboat and disappear. They must overcome spectacular nautical ignorance and defeat a cunning sabotage attempt by safety-conscious parents armed only with a shoestring budget and an unshakable sense of humor. Once on the high seas, unexpected enemies and incredible allies soon propel little Orca across the Pacific and into the unforgiving Southern Ocean. Before long, the crew realizes they've gone too far downwind: in order to return home, they must sail around the world. Nothing will ever be the same.
The Bosnia List: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Return
Kenan Trebincevic - 2014
Then, in the spring of 1992, war broke out and his friends, neighbors and teammates all turned on him. Pero - Kenan's beloved karate coach - showed up at his door with an AK-47 - screaming: You have one hour to leave or be killed! Kenan's only crime: he was Muslim. This poignant, searing memoir chronicles Kenan's miraculous escape from the brutal ethnic cleansing campaign that swept the former Yugoslavia. After two decades in the United States, Kenan honors his father's wish to visit their homeland, making a list of what he wants to do there. Kenan decides to confront the former next door neighbor who stole from his mother, see the concentration camp where his Dad and brother were imprisoned, and stand on the grave of his first betrayer to make sure he's really dead. Back in the land of his birth, Kenan finds something more powerful--and shocking--than revenge.
The Joey Song: A Mother's Story of Her Son's Addiction
Sandra Swenson - 2014
Now manipulative and hateful, the once sweet and charming Joey is long gone.Written from the place where love and addiction meet, this is the poignant story of a defiant addict and the mother who won't give up on him. She finally realizes that it hurts more to hang on than to let go, and that letting go is not the same thing as giving up.Sandra Swenson beautifully orchestrates a mother's lessons of love and loss, while surviving her son's addiction. Despairing parents of addicts will find comfort in this stark, yet hopeful tale.
Practice Makes Perfect (Edward Vernon's Practice series Book 1)
Edward Vernon - 2014
It is his first job in general practice; his first brave excursion into the dangerous world where patients walk round in their clothes. Dr Vernon soon finds himself bemused, fascinated and exhausted as he copes with the procession of ailing humanity that streams into his surgery and awaits his visits. A confused old lady, timid vet, puzzled diabetic, lonely housewife, hypochondriac, tipster with an ulcer, nun with dandruff and a persistent young lady with abundant charms and nothing wrong with her. Just published as an e book, exclusive to Amazon, this book was a huge hit in England and America when first published in the 1970s. Edward Vernon is a pen name of a well known British doctor/author.Here's what the critics said about the series:Thoroughly delightful - Fresno BeeHilarious - TitbitsA delightfully funny book that keeps the reader laughing and appeals to one's sense of the ridiculous - Sunday Advocate, Baton RougeFor entertainment, a chapter or two before bedtime is just what the doctor ordered - Sacramento BeeDoes for British GPs what Herriot has done for vets - BooklistHilarious, written with skill and zest - Grimsby Evening TelegraphVery funny - Citizen, GloucesterThoroughly enjoyable, genuinely funny - South Wales EchoWise, funny, sad and heartwarming - Chattanooga TimesGood fun - Homes and GardensMost of his adventures are funny, some hilarious; but he has the good sense to leven the comedy lump with some that are sad, some touching. All are written lightly, easily, entertainingly - Oxford TimesThe funniest of the funny doctor books - Richard GordonJolly good reading - Publishers WeeklyViews the human species he treats with much the same affection, compassion and humour as Herriot brings to the animal world - Cleveland Plain DealerSometimes serious, sometimes hilarious - Lancashire Evening PostTruthful, well observed and consistently readable - Daily TelegraphPerceptive and witty - Surrey AdvertiserWill amuse, amaze and entertain - Yorkshire Postetc etc
Please Be with Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman
Galadrielle Allman - 2014
Playing was her father—Duane Allman, who would become one of the most influential and sought-after musicians of his time. Just a few short years into his remarkable career, he was killed in a motorcycle accident at the age of twenty-four. His daughter was two years old. Galadrielle was raised in the shadow of his loss and his fame. Her mother sought solace in a bohemian life. Friends and family found it too painful to talk about Duane. Galadrielle listened intently to his music, read articles about him, steeped herself in the mythic stories, and yet the spotlight rendered him too simple and too perfect to know. She felt a strange kinship to the fans who longed for him, but she needed to know more. It took her many years to accept that his life and his legacy were hers, and when she did, she began to ask for stories—from family, fellow musicians, friends—and they began to flow. Galadrielle Allman’s memoir is at once a rapturous, riveting, and intimate account of one of the greatest guitar prodigies of all time, the story of the birth of a band that redefined the American musical landscape, and a tender inquiry of a daughter searching for her father in the memories of others.Praise for Please Be with Me “Duane Allman was my big brother, my partner, my best friend. I thought I knew everything there was to know about him, but Galadrielle’s deep and insightful book came as a revelation to me, as it will to everyone who reads it.”—Gregg Allman“Poignant and illuminating . . . brings Duane Allman to life in a way that no other biography will ever be able to do.”—BookPage “Galadrielle Allman offers a moving and poetic portrait of her late father.”—Rolling Stone “[Allman’s] descriptions and scenes are vivid, even cinematic. . . . The pleasure of reading Please Be With Me lies as much in its lyrical prose as in its insider anecdotes.”—Newsweek “An elegantly written, heartfelt account.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution “Evokes a wistful, elegiac atmosphere; fans of the ’70s music scene may find it indispensable.” —San Jose Mercury News “A compelling and intimate portrait of Duane.”—The Hollywood Reporter “Illuminating.”—Kirkus Reviews “Frequently touching . . . Readers will come away feeling more connected to the man and his music.”—Publishers Weekly“The most moving music biography I’ve ever read. Better than that, Galadrielle has uncovered the heart and motivations, the desolation and saving graces, of the man, and lays it plain in a born-to-write southern voice. She has looked into absence, and from it she has salvaged two hearts: her father’s and her own.”—Mikal Gilmore, author of Shot in the Heart
Wish You Happy Forever: What China's Orphans Taught Me About Moving Mountains
Jenny Bowen - 2014
Her 3-year-old daughter Maya, whom she and her husband adopted months earlier from an orphanage in China, had transformed from a frightened, sickly little girl to a joyous being thriving in an environment where she knew she was loved. Watching her daughter play, Jenny was overcome with the desire to help the orphaned girls she couldn’t bring home. And that’s when Half the Sky was born.Wish You Happy Forever tells the story of China’s momentous progress in its treatment of orphaned and abandoned children. When Jenny began Half the Sky in 1998, determined to bring a caring adult into the life of every orphaned child, it seemed impossible that China would allow a foreigner to work inside government orphanages, let alone try to bring change. But gradually, after witnessing Half the Sky’s quiet perseverance and miraculous success, the Chinese government now not only trusts, but partners with Half the Sky to make life better for the children in its care.
What the **** is Normal?!
Francesca Martínez - 2014
. . disabled? Francesca was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was two years old, and her parents were gravely told that she would never lead a "normal" life. After a happy childhood filled with tree climbing, mischief, and little regard for her bit of palsy, Francesca arrived at high school with a confidence verging on indestructible, only to be turned into a miserable and insecure wreck. Luckily for her, salvation came from Grange Hill, a stand-up comedy workshop, and a passionate love affair replete with scintillating conversation. After one particularly mind-blowing chat, Francesca realized she had the power to stop judging herself by society’s unhealthy standards and create her own. So she did. This powerful new perspective changed her entire life forever. Whatever body you’re born into, the pressure to be "normal" is everywhere. But have you ever met a normal person? What do they look like? Where do they live? What do they eat for breakfast? And what the **** does normal mean anyway? What the **** is Normal?! is a very funny, very moving celebration and exploration of learning to be happy with who you are. Neither an autobiography nor a self-help book, it’s a powerful and political call-to-arms that rails against the relentless media bombardment of what is culturally perceived as "normal." Francesca equipped herself with the tools to stick two shaky fingers up to society’s unrealistic and damaging expectations, and with this book, she hopes to help more people to do the same. The wobbly revolution starts here.
Collette Elliott - 2014
She slipped through the net and only just survived. Her childhood was a place of filth and terror. Her prostitute mother abused and neglected Collette; leaving her with clients, starving her and beating her to a pulp.But the worst thing was that the people who were supposed to protect Collette turned a blind eye. This is the story of a little girl who waited years for justice. It's the story of a woman determined to protect other children from suffering her fate.Collette Elliott is a 35-year-old mother of four. She was born in Birmingham to Maureen Batchelor, a prostitute, and suffered years of physical and mental abuse. In April 2013, Birmingham City Council awarded her £20,000 in damages for the anguish she suffered and their failure to protect her. Collette is now happily married, a devoted mother to her girls, and is campaigning on behalf of other child abuse victims.
Karly Sheehan: True Crime Story Behind Karly's Law
Karen Spears Zacharias - 2014
But the literary merits of Karly Sheehan: The True Crime Story Behind Karly's Law, by former crime reporter Karen Spears Zacharias, outweigh any prurient interest, and the art with which she carefully reconstructs events leading up to a senseless, painful tragedy is reminiscent of In Cold Blood in its power. In 2005, three-year-old Karly Sheehan was beaten to death in Corvallis, Ore., by her mother's boyfriend, who was subsequently jailed after a high-profile trial. Both Karly's father and her daycare provider had noticed suspicious physical signs and behavior leading up to the little girl's death, but a sloppy inquiry by the state left Karly in harm's way. Zacharias, a foster mother of sorts to Karly's mother, is admittedly biased here, but her reaction to the overwhelming atrocity is the awakening of a pure reportorial instinct to ferret out every detail in order to bring out the truth. In doing so, Zacharias employs a sure sense of pace and description that enables this heartbreaking, never-salacious memoir to read like a thriller. Zacharias intends this true crime memoir as a call to action, a "never again" plea. Indeed, Karly's case has inspired legislation designed to strengthen abuse investigations. But Zacharias has, perhaps unwittingly, created something else. For if the point of art is to touch, to affect, to say something profound about the human condition, than Karly Sheehan is more than a rallying cry; it is a work of art.--Cherie Ann Parker, freelance journalist and book critic(less)
Don't Give Up, Don't Give In: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life
Louis Zamperini - 2014
Survivor.Hero. Legend.Completed just two days before Louis Zamperini's death at age 97, Don't Give Up, Don't Give In shares a lifetime of wisdom, insight, and humor from one of America's most inspiring lives. Zamperini's story has touched millions through Laura Hillenbrand's biography Unbroken, soon to be a major motion picture directed by Angelina Jolie. Now, in his own words, Louis Zamperini reveals, with warmth and great charm, the essential values and lessons that sustained him throughout his remarkable journey.He was a youthful troublemaker from California who turned his life around to become a 1936 Olympian and a world-class miler at the University of Southern California. Putting aside his superstar track career, Louis Zamperini volunteered for the army before Pearl Harbor and was thrust into the violent combat of World War II as a B-24 bombardier. While on a rescue mission, his plane went down in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where he survived, against all odds, drifting two thousand miles in a small raft for forty-seven days. His struggle was only beginning: Zamperini was captured by the Japanese and, for more than two years, he courageously endured torture and psychological abuse in a series of prisoner-of-war camps. He returned home to face more dark hours, but in 1949 Zamperini's life was transformed by a spiritual rebirth that would guide him through the next sixty-five years of his long and happy life.Cowritten with longtime collaborator David Rensin, Louis Zamperini's Don't Give Up, Don't Give In is an extraordinary last testament that captures the wisdom of a life lived to the fullest.A son of Italian immigrants, Louis Zamperini (1917-2014) was a U.S. Olympic runner, World War II bombardier, and POW survivor. After the war, he returned to the United States to found the Victory Boys Camp for at-risk youth and became an inspirational speaker. Zamperini's story was told in his 2003 autobiography Devil at My Heels, as well as in Laura Hillenbrand's 2010 biography Unbroken.David Rensin worked closely with Louis Zamperini for many years and cowrote Devil at My Heels, as well as fifteen other books, including five New York Times bestsellers.
Cathedral of the Wild: An African Journey Home
Boyd Varty - 2014
He went to Londolozi Game Reserve. Founded over eighty years ago by Boyd Varty's great-grandfather, Londolozi started as a hunting safari. But in 1973, Boyd's visionary father, Dave, transformed it into a nature reserve, creating a blueprint for modern-day conservation. This transformation is the backdrop of Boyd's family history and his own personal odyssey.Alongside his feisty, daring sister, Bronwyn, Boyd grows up learning to track lions, raise leopard cubs, and pilot Land Rovers. The two of them tag along with their larger-than-life uncle, John, who repeatedly flung them in danger's way to capture the best footage for his legendary wildlife videos. Boyd survives harrowing rhino charges and a vicious crocodile attack, but his most difficult challenge was a private crisis of purpose. After a period of intense spiritual questing, Boyd reconnects with nature and is able to "rediscover the track."With conviction, hope and humor, Boyd sweeps readers along his journey of discovery and rediscovery, making a passionate claim for the power of the wild to heal and restore the human spirit.
Donna Foley Mabry - 2014
My older sister, Helen, came to my room, took me by the hand, and sat me down on the bed. She opened her mouth to say something, but then her face flushed, and she turned her head to look out the window. After a second, she squeezed my hand and looked back in my eyes. She said, “You’ve always been a good girl, Maude, and done what I told you. Now, you’re going to be a married woman, and he will be the head of the house. When you go home tonight after your party, no matter what he wants to do to you, you have to let him do it. Do you understand?"I didn’t understand, but I nodded my head anyway. It sounded strange to me, the way so many things did. I would do what she told me. I didn’t have a choice, any more than I had a choice in being born.
Jennifer's Way: My Journey with Celiac Disease--What Doctors Don't Tell You and How You Can Learn to Live Again
Jennifer Esposito - 2014
Unfortunately, 83 percent of people who have this terrible disease are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed—suffering through years of pain and misunderstanding. Award-winning actress Jennifer Esposito was one of those 83 percent, receiving an accurate diagnosis only after decades of mysterious illnesses and myriad misdiagnoses.Now Jennifer shares her riveting personal journey—from her earliest memories of her childhood in Brooklyn to her years as a young actress, all the while suffering from unexplained, devastating ailments. Jennifer's struggle to finally receive an accurate diagnosis is one that anyone who has a chronic disease will share. But this is more than a story of suffering. It is the story of one woman's valiant journey to take charge of her health and rebuild her life. Not only will you learn from Jennifer's personal story, the book also guides you through early diagnosis, sharing the steps that helped Jennifer heal. Plus, you'll find recipes she uses at home, along with recipes for some of the delicious treats she offers at her own gluten-free bakery, Jennifer's Way, in New York.For anyone struggling with a chronic illness, Jennifer's Way is proof that you can find an answer to what is wrong with you, that you shouldn't stop until you find it, and that you can learn how to truly live again.
A Cup of Water Under My Bed: A Memoir
Daisy Hernández - 2014
Her mother warns her about envidia and men who seduce you with pastries, while one tía bemoans that her niece is turning out to be “una india” instead of an American. Another auntie instructs that when two people are close, they are bound to become like uña y mugre, fingernails and dirt, and that no, Daisy’s father is not godless. He’s simply praying to a candy dish that can be traced back to Africa. These lessons—rooted in women’s experiences of migration, colonization, y cariño—define in evocative detail what it means to grow up female in an immigrant home. In one story, Daisy sets out to defy the dictates of race and class that preoccupy her mother and tías, but dating women and transmen, and coming to identify as bisexual, leads her to unexpected questions. In another piece, NAFTA shuts local factories in her hometown on the outskirts of New York City, and she begins translating unemployment forms for her parents, moving between English and Spanish, as well as private and collective fears. In prose that is both memoir and commentary, Daisy reflects on reporting for the New York Times as the paper is rocked by the biggest plagiarism scandal in its history and plunged into debates about the role of race in the newsroom. A heartfelt exploration of family, identity, and language, A Cup of Water Under My Bed is ultimately a daughter’s story of finding herself and her community, and of creating a new, queer life.
Austin Mahone: Just How It Happened: My Official Story
Austin Mahone - 2014
Complete with exclusive photos and stories from his childhood as well as lots of behind-the-scenes fun, Austin's first official book will give you the glimpse into his life you can't get by following him on Twitter. Mahomies, this book is for you!
Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden
Karen Maezen Miller - 2014
Through her eyes, rocks convey faith, ponds preach stillness, flowers give love, and leaves express the effortless ease of letting go. The book welcomes readers into the garden for Zen lessons in fearlessness, forgiveness, presence, acceptance, and contentment. Miller gathers inspiration from the ground beneath her feet to remind us that paradise is always here and now.
Finding Bethany: A True Crime Memoir
Glen Klinkhart - 2014
Finding Bethany is the true story of how, as a young boy, Glen Klinkhart was unable to save his sister from a heinous sexual homicide, and how he began his journey as a police officer to find the lost, the missing, and to bring those who would do evil upon others to justice. His career as a homicide detective takes the reader along as he travels from the brink of exhaustion and obsession and into the dark and evil world of sociopathic killers, and those who would do anything to help them. Finding Bethany details what real life homicide investigations are like, from his unique perspective as a victim and as a reluctant hero. The reader will experience the bizarre twists and turns down dark paths which result in macabre dead ends, and unexpected miracles found within the darkest of circumstances. His cases include the stories of people who were willing to give of themselves for someone they often didn’t even know. Finding Bethany is also about two brothers – one a sociopath, the other a good man whose own love for his evil brother had been exploited his entire life.
The Color of Grace
Bethany Haley Williams - 2014
Meet Denis. Denis was abducted at the age of ten after being forced to watch members of the LRA murder his father and grandparents. His younger siblings were left behind, and his mother was instructed to "raise them well... for one day we'll return to take them too." Denis is one of thousands of innocent boys and girls who have had their innocence stolen and are forced to do the unthinkable on a daily basis. But their horrific experiences are just the beginning. The real story is what happens "after." Once the children escape or are rescued, they have to find a way to live again. This is where Bethany Haley comes in. Faced with her own failures and rocky journey toward healing, Bethany founded Exile International--a foundation that uses art and expression therapy to help with the healing process. Once these children learn to face their pasts, they are given hope for a future and a vision for making a difference in their country as peace-makers. Featuring a foreword by Katie Davis, author of the bestseller "Kisses from Katie," this riveting narrative shows us that no matter what hardships we have endured, there is always a way to healing and a positive future.
I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend
Martin Short - 2014
His memoir is a reflection on his diverse collection of experiences, both hilarious and heartbreaking.Short takes us through his career, from his early years with Second City Toronto and "Saturday Night Live" to his movie, stage, and television stardom. He recalls how he developed some of his enduring characters manic man-child Ed Grimley, elderly Tin Pan Alley songmith Irving Cohen, slimy lawyer Nathan Thurm, and the blubbery and bizarrely insensitive Jiminy Glick. Here, too, are his movie and television appearances, from the classic " Three Amigos!" to his Emmy-nominated role in "Damages," as well as his stage productions, including his Tony Award winning performance in "Little Me." Throughout, such friends and luminaries as Steve Martin, Tom Hanks, John Candy, Gilda Radner, Lorne Michaels, Nora Ephron, Frank Sinatra, and others share the spotlight.This deeply private man brings us into the circle of his family life, from raising his children to the legendary parties he and his wife hosted in their Los Angeles home. He recounts the pain of losing a brother and both parents by the time he was twenty and of the devastating death of Nancy, his wife of thirty years, in 2010. Despite the hardships, Short s life has been full of laughter, and he remains perennially upbeat. In this wise and entertaining memoir, he shares his irrepressible joy."
Strength in Strangers: A true story of heartbreak, hope and courage
Lauren Britton - 2014
The local medical centre lacked the equipment to keep him alive and there was no plane to a specialist hospital for several days.This is the inspirational and emotional true story of a normal young couple and their life torn apart by a near fatal heart affecting virus and a wife’s struggle to save her husband’s life.An account of the incredible journey to return him home safely, the terrifying wait in hospitals where few spoke English, seven weeks in Bangkok on life support and intensive care, the selfless acts of strangers, and the frightening realisation that previously fit and healthy Andrew would need an urgent heart transplant.This is a story of love, hope and courage against all odds.A story of friends and family, incredible medical staff, the strength found in strangers and the ultimate gift of a second chance.
Laughing at My Nightmare
Shane Burcaw - 2014
From awkward handshakes to having a girlfriend and everything in between, Shane handles his situation with humor and a "you-only-live-once" perspective on life. While he does talk about everyday issues that are relatable to teens, he also offers an eye-opening perspective on what it is like to have a life threatening disease.
The Ribbons Are for Fearlessness: My Journey from Norway to Portugal beneath the Midnight Sun
Catrina Davies - 2014
. . . It will inspire you.” —Monique Roffey, author of With the Kisses of His MouthFuzzy-haired, neurotic, cello-playing Catrina is devastated when her lover, Jack, leaves her to go surfing on the other side of the world. Trapped in a dead-end job and torn by his departure, Catrina dreams of running away. But how do you run away when you’re flat broke?Luckily, her friend Andrew comes up with a plan: they’ll get an old van, turn it into a camper, and busk their way from Norway to Portugal, via the midnight sun. Andrew is one of her oldest friends and they share many of the same passions and interests, including music.When Andrew is killed in a tragic accident, Catrina decides to go it alone, encountering one disaster after another. She sleeps in her van, gets lost, and struggles to find the confidence to play her cello in front of her growing audience, but meets complete strangers who offer her advice, encouragement, and support along the way. Her experiences on the road gradually teach her the real meaning of love, courage, and above all else, the importance of following her dreams.This is an unforgettable story of a journey like no other—a deeply emotional and inspirational debut by a unique storyteller.
Measure of a Man: From Auschwitz Survivor to Presidents' Tailor
Martin Greenfield - 2014
Taken from his Czechoslovakian home at age fifteen and transported to the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz with his family, Greenfield came face to face with "Angel of Death" Dr. Joseph Mengele and was divided forever from his parents, sisters, and baby brother.In haunting, powerful prose, Greenfield remembers his desperation and fear as a teenager alone in the death camp—and how an SS soldier's shirt dramatically altered the course of his life. He learned how to sew; and when he began wearing the shirt under his prisoner uniform, he learned that clothes possess great power and could even help save his life.Measure of a Man is the story of a man who suffered unimaginable horror and emerged with a dream of success. From sweeping floors at a New York clothing factory to founding America’s premier custom suit company, Greenfield built a fashion empire. Now 86 years old and working with his sons, Greenfield has dressed the famous and powerful of D.C. and Hollywood, including Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, celebrities Paul Newman, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jimmy Fallon, and the stars of Martin Scorsese's films.Written with soul-baring honesty and, at times, a wry sense of humor, Measure of a Man is a memoir unlike any other—one that will inspire hope and renew faith in the resilience of man.
The Terrorist's Son: A Story of Choice
Zak Ebrahim - 2014
While in prison, Nosair helped plan the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. In one of his infamous video messages, Osama bin Laden urged the world to “Remember El-Sayyid Nosair.”For Zak Ebrahim, a childhood amongst terrorism was all he knew. After his father’s incarceration, his family moved often, and as the perpetual new kid in class, he faced constant teasing and exclusion. Yet, though his radicalized father and uncles modeled fanatical beliefs, to Ebrahim something never felt right. To the shy, awkward boy, something about the hateful feelings just felt unnatural.In this book, Ebrahim dispels the myth that terrorism is a foregone conclusion for people trained to hate. Based on his own remarkable journey, he shows that hate is always a choice—but so is tolerance. Though Ebrahim was subjected to a violent, intolerant ideology throughout his childhood, he did not become radicalized. Ebrahim argues that people conditioned to be terrorists are actually well positioned to combat terrorism, because of their ability to bring seemingly incompatible ideologies together in conversation and advocate in the fight for peace. Ebrahim argues that everyone, regardless of their upbringing or circumstances, can learn to tap into their inherent empathy and embrace tolerance over hatred. His original, urgent message is fresh, groundbreaking, and essential to the current discussion about terrorism.
Mummy's Little Angels: A mother's agonising story of losing her sons to a murderous father
Denise Williams - 2014
In her harrowing yet inspiring memoir, she tells her personal story of falling under the spell of her control-freak husband, suffering a decade of domestic violence, finding the strength to leave and then his despicable act of revenge. Denise endured agonising grief and heavy guilt, but she has slowly rebuilt her life without her beautiful boys – learning to live, love and trust again.This is her heartbreaking memoir.
Left For Dead
Ebony Canion - 2014
Ebony Canion has had her share of tumultuous events, yet even she was stunned when a speeding car hit her intentionally, dragging her through the streets with her body folded underneath the vehicle. In a coma for nearly two months, Ebony had no idea her tongue and face had to be sewn back on, or the list of thirty other life-threatening injuries she had sustained. Ultimately,Ebony had been Left for Dead. In this horrifying first-hand account of a survivor, Ms. Canion delivers a riveting story about overcoming tragedy throughout her childhood, and developing the will to live after numerous attacks on her life. Her strength to learn to walk, talk, and eat again will leave you spellbound and inspired. Her scars tell a story that must be heard and will have you never wanting to complain again.
Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival
Sean Strub - 2014
He also harbored a terrifying secret: his attraction to men. As Strub explored the capital’s political and social circles, he discovered a parallel world where powerful men lived double lives shrouded in shame. When the AIDS epidemic hit in the early 1980s, Strub was living in New York and soon found himself attending “more funerals than birthday parties.” Scared and angry, he turned to radical activism to combat discrimination and demand research. Strub takes you through his own diagnosis and inside ACT UP, the organization that transformed a stigmatized cause into one of the defining political movements of our time. From the New York of Studio 54 and Andy Warhol’s Factory to the intersection of politics and burgeoning LGBT and AIDS movements, Strub’s story crackles with history. He recounts his role in shocking AIDS demonstrations at St. Patrick’s Cathedral as well as at the home of US Senator Jesse Helms. With an astonishing cast of characters, including Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Keith Haring, Bill Clinton, and Yoko Ono, this is a vivid portrait of a tumultuous era: “A page-turner…[with] the suspense and horror of Paul Monette’s memoir Borrowed Time and the drama of Larry Kramer’s play The Normal Heart….What a lot of action—and life—there is in this gripping book” (The Washington Post).
The Crazy Game
Clint Malarchuk - 2014
Standing in the crease facing one-hundred-mile-an-hour slapshots, the entire game riding on your glove hand, standing on your head when necessary-all job requirements for those wanting to be the best goalies in the world. Now imagine doing that job while suffering high anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, and having your career nearly literally cut short by a skate across your neck.The Crazy Game takes you deep into the troubled mind of Clint Malarchuk, the former NHL goaltender for the Quebec Nordiques, Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres. Even as a boy, Malarchuk faced such deep anxiety that he missed school and acted out at school and with his friends. His OCD changed the way he trained, and he was almost always the last player off the ice. When his throat was slashed during a collision in the crease, Malarchuk nearly died on the ice. Forever changed, he struggled deeply with depression and a dependence on alcohol, which nearly cost him his life and left a bullet in his head.
Found: A Story of Questions, Grace, and Everyday Prayer
Micha Boyett - 2014
I lost peace. I lost clarity and certitude. My faith was never perfect before my son was born, but somewhere in that first year, somewhere in my distraction and exhaustion, I lost the Spirit-life I had known. I blamed myself.
Essays After Eighty
Donald Hall - 2014
Now, in the “unknown, unanticipated galaxy” of very old age, he is writing searching essays that startle, move, and delight. In the transgressive and horrifyingly funny “No Smoking,” he looks back over his lifetime, and several of his ancestors’ lifetimes, of smoking unfiltered cigarettes, packs of them every day. Hall paints his past: “Decades followed each other — thirty was terrifying, forty I never noticed because I was drunk, fifty was best with a total change of life, sixty extended the bliss of fifty . . .” And, poignantly, often joyfully, he limns his present: “When I turned eighty and rubbed testosterone on my chest, my beard roared like a lion and gained four inches.” Most memorably, Hall writes about his enduring love affair with his ancestral Eagle Pond Farm and with the writing life that sustains him, every day: “Yesterday my first nap was at 9:30 a.m., but when I awoke I wrote again.”
The End of Eve
Ariel Gore - 2014
But life’s happy endings don’t always last. If it’s not one thing, after all, it’s your mother. Her name is Eve. Her epic temper tantrums have already gotten her banned from three cab companies in Portland. And she’s here to announce that she’s dying. “Pitifully, Ariel,” she sighs. “You’re all I have.” Ariel doesn’t want to take care of her crazy dying mother, but she knows she will. It’s the right thing to do, isn’t it? And, anyway, how long could it go on? “Don’t worry,” Eve says. “If I’m ever a burden, I’ll just blow my brains out.” Amidst the chaos of clowns and hospice workers, pie and too much whiskey, Ariel’s own ten-year relationship begins to unravel. Darkly humorous and intimately human, The End of Eve redefines the meaning of family and everything we’ve ever been taught to call “love.”
Easy Street: The Hard Way
Ron Perlman - 2014
A classically trained actor who cut his teeth in the East Village's Off-Broadway scene, Ron Perlman—a Golden Globe winner (Beauty and the Beast) with starring roles in the Hellboymovies, Drive, Pacific Rim, and Sons of Anarchy—has traveled an offbeat path to showbiz success. His story involves rising from New York's tough Washington Heights neighborhood, enduring incredible hardships, and ignoring the naysayers who taunted him for his distinctive looks. It's a tale that demonstrates the power of persistence. With a filmography of nearly 200 credits working alongside countless stars during his forty-year career, Perlman knows the ins-and-outs of filmmaking. In Easy Street (the Hard Way), he shares his inspiring story for the next generation of performers.
You Don't Cry Out Loud: The Lily Isaacs Story
Lily Isaacs - 2014
As a new Christian believer, she became estranged from her Jewish parents because of her faith, yet she never walked alone, always clinging to the hope she found in Christ. Throughout her music and that of her children, who together form the beloved and multi-award winning group The Isaacs, you hear the resonating inspirational legacy of this family's faith journey.An autobiographical look at Lily's life, from being a Jewish folk singer to serving as vocalist and matriarch of The IsaacsThe powerful account of her struggle with a once unknown faith and how she finally "cried her way to God from the church's back pew"The incredible insights behind heartbreaking moments which were her greatest opportunities of faith.
The Baby's Coming
Virginia Howes - 2014
Still broody, but not really wanting to add to her family, she realised that becoming a midwife was her true vocation. It was a long journey to get the education and qualifications she needed, especially with a young family, but she was determined and never doubted her decision. Following her training, she spent two years working within the NHS, but her naturally independent spirit fought against the constraints of the system and fourteen years ago she decided to set up on her own. Virginia works with mothers who want to give birth at home naturally, something which Virginia believes in passionately. 350 births later, Virginia still loves what she does.The Baby's Coming is Virginia's memoir and tells the stories of her training as a midwife as well as some of the most memorable births: the most dramatic, the most touching. Virginia particularly remembers the births of her own grandchildren whose arrivals in the world were some of the most special moments for her as both a midwife and grandmother.
Hikertrash: Life on the Pacific Crest Trail
Erin Miller - 2014
Suddenly finding themselves completely free of responsibilities, jobless, and with a little spare cash in the bank, it didn't take long before their serious search for a new life took some unexpected twists and turns."What do you think we should do when we return to the States?" Erin asked Carl, as they sat outside a tiny cafe sipping coffee. It was a question that had been plaguing her for weeks as they budget travelled across South East Asia in an attempt to avoid winter (and reality)."I've been thinking about it, and I think we should thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail." Was Carl's totally unexpected reply.Spend months on end traipsing through the wilderness, petting bunnies and chasing rainbows, as they hiked 2,660 miles from Mexico to Canada? How could Erin possibly say no? Life Rule #1: Never, ever, turn down an adventure.Friends wagered they wouldn't last a week, but before they knew it, days turned into months as they made their way across America at three miles an hour. As Carl and Erin morphed into Bearclaw and Hummingbird, they found that being hikertrash suited them.Though they will both admit the trail was life altering, there were no great epiphanies, no magic answers to all of life's burning questions, no "ah-ha!" moments when suddenly life made sense. This is not a tale of personal growth.Through blisters and shin splints, jaw-dropping landscapes and craptastically unspectacular forests, searing heat and pouring rain, complete hilarity and utter exhaustion, this is the story of what day-to-day life is really like on one of America's greatest trails.As told through Hummingbird's journal entries, this is the story of life on the trail - the people you meet, the things you see, and how, mile by mile, you eventually become Hikertrash.Includes: 6 Overview Maps to Follow our Journey 19 Black & White Photos of Sights Along the Trail Leave No Trace Tips Our Gear Lists Our Trail RecipesWhat Is Hikertrash?Hikertrash: a long distance hiker, shabby and homeless in appearance, rarely bathed and rank in odor, more at home outdoors than in society, with a deep reverence and respect for all things wild."
June Mottershead - 2014
Unlike other zoos that owe their existence to philanthropists, explorers or big game hunters, Chester Zoo was the brainchild of one working-class man with a dream he had nurtured since he was a boy: to build a zoo without bars.June Mottorshead was four years old when her father, George, moved his family to Upton, two miles out Chester, to begin the process of turning his dream into a reality. With no other children around to play with - her sister Muriel was 10 years older - June's friends became the animals. Her closest companion was an orphaned chimpanzee which her sister hadshe hand reared, and for six years the two were inseparable. June soon became the poster girl for Chester Zoo and photographs of her cuddling lion clubs, head-butting a goat or opening the beak of a pelican soon graced the front pages of British newspapers. She was 13 when war was declared on 1939 and, with the backbone of the staff headed for the front, it fell to June to take over as head keeper. Keeping the zoo running while the war waged was no easy task. Despite rationing the animals had to be fed and all of them - penguins, elephants, leopards, tigers, lions, kangaroos and polar bears - needed to be moved into secure locked quarters inside as soon as the air raid siren sounded.June, now in her eighties, is the guardian of her family's legacy and here in Our Zoo, she tells
Life Is Not an Accident: A Memoir of Reinvention
Jay Williams - 2014
The Chicago Bulls’ top draft pick—and the second pick up of the entire draft—he had the great Michael Jordan’s locker. Then he ran his high-performance motorcycle head-on into a light pole, severely damaging himself and ending his career. In this intense, hard-hitting, and deeply profound memoir, Williams talks about the accident that transformed him. Sometimes, the memories are so fresh, he feels like he’ll never escape the past. Most days, he finds a quiet peace as a commentator on ESPN and as an entrepreneur who can only look back in astonishment at his younger self—a kid who had it all, thought he was invincible, and lost everything . . . only to gain new wisdom. Williams also shares behind the scenes details of life as an All-American. He tells it straight about the scandalous recruiting process and his decision to return to Duke and Coach K—a man who taught him about accountability—to finish his education. He also speaks out about corruption—among coaches, administrators, players, and alumni—and about his time in the NBA, introducing us to a dark underworld culture in the pros: the gambling, drugs, and sex in every city, with players on every team.
As Soon as I Fell
Kay Bruner - 2014
As they worked on a Bible translation project with a local language group, Kay sank into burnout and depression while Andy medicated his stress with a pornography addiction. Bringing life back from the brink required a radical reinvention of life, from a ministry and marriage built on high performance and spiritual heroism, to a nourishing daily walk of grace, freedom, and intimate connection. This is a story about going to extremes for spiritual acceptability and failing dismally, only to find that love and grace transcend failure. For anyone who's ever asked, "When will I be good enough for love?" This book resoundingly answers: "Right now. You are loved, right this minute, in this mess." While few of us will live on a tiny island in the South Pacific, many of us will find hope and healing in this story of a painful fall into the arms of love.
Saving Simon: How a Rescue Donkey Taught Me the Meaning of Compassion
Jon Katz - 2014
In the spring of 2011, Jon Katz received a phone call that would challenge every idea he ever had about mercy and compassion. An animal control officer had found a neglected donkey on a farm in upstate New York, and she hoped that Jon and his wife, Maria, would be willing to adopt him. Jon wasn’t planning to add another animal to his home on Bedlam Farm, certainly not a very sick donkey. But the moment he saw the wrenching sight of Simon, he felt a powerful connection. Simon touched something very deep inside of him. Jon and Maria decided to take him in. Simon’s recovery was far from easy. Weak and malnourished, he needed near constant care, but Jon was determined to help him heal. As Simon’s health improved, Jon would feed him by hand, read to him, take him on walks, even confide in him like an old and trusted friend. Then, miraculously, as if in reciprocation, Simon began to reveal to Jon the true meaning of compassion, the ways in which it can transform our lives and inspire us to take great risks. This radically different perspective on kindness and empathy led Jon to a troubled border collie from Ireland in need of a home, a blind pony who had lived outside in a pasture for fifteen years, and a new farm for him and Maria. In the great tradition of heroes—from Don Quixote to Shrek—who faced the world in the company of their donkeys, Jon came to understand compassion and mercy in a new light, learning to open up “not just to Simon, not just to animals, but to the human experience. To love, to risk, to friendship.” With grace, warmth, and keen emotional insight, Saving Simon plumbs the depths of the bonds we form with our animals, and the rewards of “living a more compassionate, considered, and meaningful life.”Praise for Saving Simon “Heartwarming . . . a touching tale.”—USA Today “Highly recommended . . . an enjoyable and thoughtful work.”—Library Journal (starred review) “[Saving Simon] handles the emotional highs and lows of living with animals with empathy and thoughtfulness, forcing readers to re-examine their own meanings of compassion and mercy.”—Kirkus Reviews “The message of this true story will linger with the reader long after the book has been placed on the shelf.”—Bookreporter “[An] uplifting and insightful memoir . . . Katz’s fans and animal lovers of all kinds will no doubt be delighted by Simon’s heartwarming story.”—Publishers Weekly Praise for Jon Katz “With wisdom and grace, Katz unlocks the canine soul and the complicated wonders that lie within and offers powerful insights to anyone who has ever struggled with, and loved, a troubled animal.”—John Grogan, author of Marley & Me “Katz’s world—of animals and humans and their combined generosity of spirit—is a place you’re glad you’ve been.
Ghost No More
CeeCee James - 2014
But somewhere amid the chaos and despair, CeeCee holds onto something precious, the only thing that drives her on – hope. She will do anything to make her mother happy, hoping against all things for a touch of her mother’s love. But when her Mother abandons her in a car fire will CeeCee accept that there is nothing she can do to make her mom love her? Ghost No More is a memoir of tragedy, love, and strength that proves joy can be found beyond abuse.
Run, Don't Walk: The Curious and Chaotic Life of a Physical Therapist Inside Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Adele Levine - 2014
As body armor and advanced trauma care helped save the lives—if not the limbs—of American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, Walter Reed quickly became the world leader in amputee rehabilitation. But no matter the injury, physical therapy began the moment the soldiers emerged from surgery. Days at Walter Reed were intense, chaotic, consuming, and heartbreaking, but they were also filled with camaraderie and humor. Working in a glassed-in fishbowl gymnasium, Levine, her colleagues, and their combat-injured patients were on display at every moment to tour groups, politicians, and celebrities. Some would shudder openly at the sight—but inside the glass and out of earshot, the PTs and the patients cracked jokes, played pranks, and compared stumps. With dazzling storytelling, Run, Don’t Walk introduces a motley array of oddball characters including: Jim, a retired lieutenant-colonel who stays up late at night baking cake after cake, and the militant dietitian who is always after him; a surgeon who only speaks in farm analogies; a therapy dog gone rogue; —and Levine’s toughest patient, the wild, defiant Cosmo, who comes in with one leg amputated and his other leg shattered. Entertaining, engrossing, and ultimately inspiring, Run, Don’t Walk is a fascinating look into a hidden world.
A Very Fine House: A Mother's Story of Love, Faith, and Crystal Meth
Barbara Cofer Stoefen - 2014
Bright and beautiful, Annie is an unlikely candidate for meth. Living fast and hard on the streets of Bend, Oregon, she commits crimes against herself, the community, and her own family. This is her mother’s story of despairing loss and impossible choices. It is also the revelation of a journey where both love and faith in God are tested—and ultimately redefined.Barbara Cofer Stoefen tells not only the story of what happened, but she also weaves throughout the pages the many gifts that are presented on her journey—the insights, epiphanies, lessons and truths that show her the way to health and restoration. Readers will find hope and inspiration for their own journeys, and glean practical advice for personal application.A Very Fine House is ultimately a celebration—of a beloved daughter, an enduring family, and a loving God too big for the box many wish to put him in. A Norman Rockwell picture of life gives way to something more substantial and real. While hard truths are faced, freedom is ultimately won.
Breathe: A Memoir of Motherhood, Grief, and Family Conflict
Kelly Kittel - 2014
Nine months later, Kittel’s doctor made a terrible mistake during her subsequent pregnancy and she found herself burying yet another baby. Caught up in the maelstrom of a malpractice lawsuit, Kittel and her husband battle not only the medical system, but their own relatives, in the courtroom. As their family tree begins to topple, the Kittels struggle to nourish the roots of their young family and find healing. Achingly raw and beautifully narrated, Breathe is a story of motherhood, death, and family in the face of unspeakable tragedy and, ultimately, how she learns to breathe again.
Need You Now
Plumb - 2014
Equal parts revealing memoir and inspirational literature, each chapter reveals a day in the life of a rock star, inviting you into Plumb's personal journey of embracing her life's passion of music and her very real, all-encompassing love for her family and community. Both laugh-out-loud funny and deeply moving, Need You Now is the story of beautiful and embarrassing moments on stage, the joys and trials of motherhood and unbridled forgiveness. It is the story of soul mates, best friends and a marriage redeemed. And more than anything, Need You Now is the story of love, fresh starts and the relentless message that no matter who you are or what you have done...there is always HOPE.