In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom
Yeonmi Park - 2015
It is an ugly, shameful story of being sold with her mother into slave marriages by Chinese brokers, and although she at first tried to hide the painful details when blending into South Korean society, she realized how her survival story could inspire others. Moreover, her sister had also escaped earlier and had vanished into China for years, prompting the author to go public with her story in the hope of finding her sister.
Between the World and Me
Ta-Nehisi Coates - 2015
Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives
Caitlin Alifirenka - 2015
Everyone in Caitlin's class wrote to an unknown student somewhere in a distant place. All the other kids picked countries like France or Germany, but when Caitlin saw Zimbabwe written on the board, it sounded like the most exotic place she had ever heard of--so she chose it. Martin was lucky to even receive a pen pal letter. There were only ten letters, and forty kids in his class. But he was the top student, so he got the first one.That letter was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives.In this compelling dual memoir, Caitlin and Martin recount how they became best friends --and better people--through letters. Their story will inspire readers to look beyond their own lives and wonder about the world at large and their place in it.
Hiding in the Light
Rifqa Bary - 2015
But God was calling her to freedom and love. He was calling her to true faith. He was calling her to give up everything. Leaving Islam for Christianity cost her more than she imagined but gave more than she could have dreamed. Hiding in the Light is the story of Rifqa's remarkable spiritual journey from Islam to Christianity. It is also the untold story of how she ran from her father's threats to find refuge with strangers in Florida, only to face a controversial court case that reached national headlines. Most of all, it is the story of a young girl who made life-changing sacrifices to follow Jesus-and who inspires us to do the same. Teens and young adults will be moved by Rifqa's story of standing up to religious persecution, literally giving up everything to follow her faith.
The Lightless Sky: A Twelve-Year-Old Refugee's Harrowing Escape from Afghanistan and His Extraordinary Journey Across Half the World
Gulwali Passarlay - 2015
Otherwise what was it all for?”In 2006, after his father was killed, Gulwali Passarlay was caught between the Taliban who wanted to recruit him, and the Americans who wanted to use him. To protect her son, Gulwali’s mother sent him away. The search for safety would lead the twelve-year-old across eight countries, from the mountains of eastern Afghanistan through Iran and Europe to Britain. Over the course of twelve harrowing months, Gulwali endured imprisonment, hunger, cruelty, brutality, loneliness, and terror—and nearly drowned crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Eventually granted asylum in England, Gulwali was sent to a good school, learned English, won a place at a top university, and was chosen to help carry the Olympic Torch in the 2012 London Games.In The Lightless Sky, Gulwali recalls his remarkable experience and offers a firsthand look at one of the most pressing issues of our time: the modern refugee crisis—the worst displacement of millions of men, women, and children in generations. Few, like Gulwali, make it to a country that offers the chance of freedom and opportunity. A celebration of courage and determination, The Lightless Sky is a poignant account of an exceptional human being who is today an ardent advocate of democracy—and a reminder of our responsibilities to those caught in terrifying and often deadly circumstances beyond their control.
Cathy Glass - 2015
Trapped in his own dark world, he couldn't understand why his parents no longer loved or wanted him, and were sending him away.While Danny’s parents have everything they could wish for in material terms, they are unable to care for their only child. This is where Cathy comes in. On a cold dark evening Danny finds a place in her home where he can be himself; away from his parents’ impatience and frustration. Often in his own little world, six-year-old Danny finds it difficult to communicate, finding solace in his best friend and confidant George – his rabbit.Cathy quickly becomes aware of his obsessively meticulous behaviour in addition to his love of patterns, he sees them everywhere and creates them at any opportunity – in his play and also with his food. She realises that patience is the key to looking after Danny as well as her well-tried strategies for managing children’s behaviour.With his father refusing to cooperate, it becomes increasingly likely that Danny will be living with Cathy permanently until she gets an opportunity to speak her piece.
Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in an African Slum
Kennedy Odede - 2015
With a Foreword by Nicholas Kristof.This is the story of two young people from completely different worlds: Kennedy Odede from Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, and Jessica Posner from Denver, Colorado. Kennedy foraged for food, lived on the street, and taught himself to read with old newspapers. When an American volunteer gave him the work of Mandela, Garvey, and King, teenaged Kennedy decided he was going to change his life and his community. He bought a soccer ball and started a youth empowerment group he called Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO). Then in 2007, Wesleyan undergraduate Jessica Posner spent a semester abroad in Kenya working with SHOFCO. Breaking all convention, she decided to live in Kibera with Kennedy, and they fell in love.Their connection persisted, and Jessica helped Kennedy to escape political violence and fulfill his lifelong dream of an education, at Wesleyan University.The alchemy of their remarkable union has drawn the support of community members and celebrities alike—The Clintons, Mia Farrow, and Nicholas Kristof are among their fans—and their work has changed the lives of many of Kibera’s most vulnerable population: its girls. Jess and Kennedy founded Kibera’s first tuition-free school for girls, a large, bright blue building, which stands as a bastion of hope in what once felt like a hopeless place. But Jessica and Kennedy are just getting started—they have expanded their model to connect essential services like health care, clean water, and economic empowerment programs. They’ve opened an identical project in Mathare, Kenya’s second largest slum, and intend to expand their remarkably successful program for change.Ultimately this is a love story about a fight against poverty and hopelessness, the transformation made possible by a true love, and the power of young people to have a deep impact on the world.
Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland
Amanda Berry - 2015
. . . I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for ten years.” A horrifying story rapidly unfolded. Ariel Castro, a local school bus driver, had separately lured Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight to his home, where he kept them chained. In the decade that followed, the three were raped, psychologically abused, and threatened with death. Berry had a daughter—Jocelyn—by their captor. Drawing upon their recollections and the diary kept by Amanda Berry, Berry and Gina DeJesus describe a tale of unimaginable torment, and Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan interweave the events within Castro’s house with original reporting on efforts to find the missing girls. The full story behind the headlines—including details never previously released on Castro’s life and motivations—Hope is a harrowing yet inspiring chronicle of two women whose courage, ingenuity, and resourcefulness ultimately delivered them back to their lives and families.
Miracle on Voodoo Mountain: A Young Woman's Remarkable Story of Pushing Back the Darkness for the Children of Haiti
Megan Boudreaux - 2015
Megan Boudreaux had visited Haiti on a few humanitarian trips but each trip multiplied the sense that someone needed to address the devastation--especially with the children, many of whom were kept as household slaves on the poverty-stricken and earthquake-devastated Caribbean island.God guided her every step as she moved blindly to a foreign land without knowing the language, the people, or the future. From becoming the adoptive mother of former child slaves, to receiving the divine gift of the Haitian Creole language, to starting, building, and running a school for more than 500 children, "the amazingness of what God did after I made the choice to be obedient is incredible," said Megan.Three years later, six acres on Bellevue Mountain in Gressier is the home of the nonprofit Respire Haiti at the former site of voodoo worship, and in the area that many still come to make animal sacrifices, Megan and her staff of nearly 200 are transforming this community as they educate, feed, and address the needs.
It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War
Lynsey Addario - 2015
What she does, with clarity, beauty, and candor, is to document, often in their most extreme moments, the complex lives of others. It’s her work, but it’s much more than that: it’s her singular calling.Lynsey Addario was just finding her way as a young photographer when September 11 changed the world. One of the few photojournalists with experience in Afghanistan, she gets the call to return and cover the American invasion. She makes a decision she would often find herself making—not to stay home, not to lead a quiet or predictable life, but to set out across the world, face the chaos of crisis, and make a name for herself.Addario finds a way to travel with a purpose. She photographs the Afghan people before and after the Taliban reign, the civilian casualties and misunderstood insurgents of the Iraq War, as well as the burned villages and countless dead in Darfur. She exposes a culture of violence against women in the Congo and tells the riveting story of her headline-making kidnapping by pro-Qaddafi forces in the Libyan civil war.Addario takes bravery for granted but she is not fearless. She uses her fear and it creates empathy; it is that feeling, that empathy, that is essential to her work. We see this clearly on display as she interviews rape victims in the Congo, or photographs a fallen soldier with whom she had been embedded in Iraq, or documents the tragic lives of starving Somali children. Lynsey takes us there and we begin to understand how getting to the hard truth trumps fear.As a woman photojournalist determined to be taken as seriously as her male peers, Addario fights her way into a boys’ club of a profession. Rather than choose between her personal life and her career, Addario learns to strike a necessary balance. In the man who will become her husband, she finds at last a real love to complement her work, not take away from it, and as a new mother, she gains an all the more intensely personal understanding of the fragility of life.Watching uprisings unfold and people fight to the death for their freedom, Addario understands she is documenting not only news but also the fate of society. It’s What I Do is more than just a snapshot of life on the front lines; it is witness to the human cost of war.
Every Day I Fight
Stuart Scott - 2015
Shortly before he passed away, on January 4, 2015, Stuart Scott completed work on this memoir. It was both a labor of love and a love letter to life itself. Not only did Stuart relate his personal story—his childhood in North Carolina, his supportive family, his athletic escapades, his on-the-job training as a fledgling sportscaster, his being hired and eventual triumphs at ESPN—he shared his intimate struggles to keep his story going. Struck by appendiceal cancer in 2007, Stuart battled this rare disease with an unimaginable tenacity and vigor. Countless surgeries, enervating chemotherapies, endless shuttling from home to hospital to office and back—Stuart continued defying fate, pushing himself through exercises and workout routines that kept him strong. He wanted to be there for his teenage daughters, Sydni and Taelor, not simply as their dad, but as an immutable example of determination and courage.Every Day I Fight is a saga of love, an inspiration to us all.
Cathy Glass - 2015
She's never got over it.This is the true story of Joss, 13 who is angry and out of control. At the age of nine, Joss finds her father’s dead body. He has committed suicide. Then more recently her mother remarries and Joss bitterly resents her step-father who abuses her mentally and physically. Cathy takes Joss under her wing but will she ever be able to get through to the warm-hearted girl she sees glimpses off underneath the vehement outbreaks of anger that dominate the house and will Cathy be able to build up Joss’s trust so she can learn the full truth of the terrible situation.
In Real Life: My Journey to a Pixelated World
Joey Graceffa - 2015
Yet, Joey wasn’t always comfortable in his skin, and in this candid memoir, he thoughtfully looks back on his journey from pain to pride, self-doubt to self-acceptance.To his fans, Joey is that best friend who always captures the brighter side of life but also isn’t afraid to get real. In the pages of his first book, he opens up about his years of struggling with family hardships and troubles at school, with cruel bullying and the sting of rejection. He tells of first loves and losses, embarrassing moments and surprising discoveries, loneliness, laughter, and life-changing forks in the road, showing us the incalculable value of finally finding and following your true passion in this world. Funny, warm-hearted, and inspiring, Joey Graceffa’s story is a welcome reminder that it’s not where you begin that matters, but where you end up.
Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock's Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout
Laura Jane Grace - 2015
It began in a bedroom in Naples, Florida, when a misbehaving punk teenager named Tom Gabel, armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar and a headful of anarchist politics, landed on a riff. Gabel formed Against Me! and rocketed the band from its scrappy beginnings-banging on a drum kit made of pickle buckets-to a major-label powerhouse that critics have called this generation's The Clash. Since its inception in 1997, Against Me! has been one of punk's most influential modern bands, but also one of its most divisive. With every notch the four-piece climbed in their career, they gained new fans while infuriating their old ones. They suffered legal woes, a revolving door of drummers, and a horde of angry, militant punks who called them "sellouts" and tried to sabotage their shows at every turn. But underneath the public turmoil, something much greater occupied Gabel-a secret kept for 30 years, only acknowledged in the scrawled-out pages of personal journals and hidden in lyrics. Through a troubled childhood, delinquency, and struggles with drugs, Gabel was on a punishing search for identity. Not until May of 2012 did a Rolling Stone profile finally reveal it: Gabel is a transsexual, and would from then on be living as a woman under the name Laura Jane Grace. Tranny is the intimate story of Against Me!'s enigmatic founder, weaving the narrative of the band's history, as well as Grace's, with dozens of never-before-seen entries from the piles of journals Grace kept. More than a typical music memoir about sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll-although it certainly has plenty of that-Tranny is an inside look at one of the most remarkable stories in the history of rock.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
William Kamkwamba - 2015
William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family's life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William's windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land. Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows how, even in a desperate situation, one boy's brilliant idea can light up the world. Complete with photographs, illustrations, and an epilogue that will bring readers up to date on William's story, this is the perfect edition to read and share with the whole family.
Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song
Sara Bareilles - 2015
In this candid book of essays, Sara pulls back the curtain to expose her songwriting process, revealing all the struggle and joy inherent in creating great work while staying true to yourself.Showcasing her stripped down and confessional writing style, Sara's entertaining and inspirational book tells the inside stories behind her most popular songs and offers insights into finding balance between making art for herself and commercial music for her listeners.
Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life
William Finnegan - 2015
Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates, it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life. Raised in California and Hawaii, Finnegan started surfing as a child. He has chased waves all over the world, wandering for years through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa. A bookish boy, and then an excessively adventurous young man, he went on to become a distinguished writer and war reporter. Barbarian Days takes us deep into unfamiliar worlds, some of them right under our noses—off the coasts of New York and San Francisco. It immerses the reader in the edgy camaraderie of close male friendships annealed in challenging waves.Finnegan shares stories of life in a whites-only gang in a tough school in Honolulu even while his closest friend was a Hawaiian surfer. He shows us a world turned upside down for kids and adults alike by the social upheavals of the 1960s. He details the intricacies of famous waves and his own apprenticeships to them. Youthful folly—he drops LSD while riding huge Honolua Bay, on Maui—is served up with rueful humor. He and a buddy, their knapsacks crammed with reef charts, bushwhack through Polynesia. They discover, while camping on an uninhabited island in Fiji, one of the world’s greatest waves. As Finnegan’s travels take him ever farther afield, he becomes an improbable anthropologist: unpicking the picturesque simplicity of a Samoan fishing village, dissecting the sexual politics of Tongan interactions with Americans and Japanese, navigating the Indonesian black market while nearly succumbing to malaria. Throughout, he surfs, carrying readers with him on rides of harrowing, unprecedented lucidity.Barbarian Days is an old-school adventure story, an intellectual autobiography, a social history, a literary road movie, and an extraordinary exploration of the gradual mastering of an exacting, little understood art. Today, Finnegan’s surfing life is undiminished. Frantically juggling work and family, he chases his enchantment through Long Island ice storms and obscure corners of Madagascar.
A Mother's Story
Rosie Batty - 2015
But her world changed forever when her troubled ex-partner, Greg Anderson, killed Luke in an horrendous attack at the local cricket ground in February that year. Rosie had suffered years of family violence, and had intervention orders in place in an effort to protect herself and her son. She believes the killing was Greg's final act of power and control over her. But Rosie would not be silenced. Since the events of last February, she has become an outspoken crusader against family violence, winning hearts and minds all over Australia with her compassion and her courage. In January 2015, she was named Australian of the Year.
All Who Go Do Not Return
Shulem Deen - 2015
As a member of the Skverers, one of the most insular Hasidic sects in the US, he knows little about the outside world—only that it is to be shunned. His marriage at eighteen is arranged and several children soon follow. Deen's first transgression—turning on the radio—is small, but his curiosity leads him to the library, and later the Internet. Soon he begins a feverish inquiry into the tenets of his religious beliefs, until, several years later, his faith unravels entirely. Now a heretic, he fears being discovered and ostracized from the only world he knows. His relationship with his family at stake, he is forced into a life of deception, and begins a long struggle to hold on to those he loves most: his five children. In All Who Go Do Not Return, Deen bravely traces his harrowing loss of faith, while offering an illuminating look at a highly secretive world.
In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World
Pádraig Ó Tuama - 2015
In this book much-loved poet, storyteller, theologian and speaker Pádraig Ó Tuama applies ideas of shelter and welcome to journeys of life, using poetry, story, biblical reflection and prose to open up gentle ways of living well in a troubled world.The fourth gospel tells of Jesus arriving in the room where the disciples are gathered, full of fear, on Easter Sunday. He does not chide or admonish; instead he says 'Peace be with you', which, in the Aramaic of his day, was simply a greeting. 'Hello,' he said, welcoming people locked in a room of fear to a place of deep encounter; encounter with themselves, with their fear, with each other and with the incarnate one in their midst.Interweaving everyday stories with analysis, gospel reflections with mindfulness and Celtic spirituality with poetry, this book explores the practice of welcoming as a spiritual discipline. In particular, Pádraig tells careful stories of welcoming parts of life that are often unwelcome.
The Fairy Tale Girl
Susan Branch - 2015
The Fairy Tale Girl is an ages-old story of youth, innocence, love (and loss), grief, discovery, friendship, and magic that begins in a geranium-colored house in California and ends up, like any good fairy tale, on the right side of the rabbit hole. As we've heard so many times, it's not the destination, it's the journey. So, journey back to the olden days with Susan, to the 1950s and 60's, to the land of Happily Ever After, where men were men and girls were girls (who just wanted to have fun), and bring a hankie 'cause we think you might need it.Susan began writing The Fairy Tale Girl as one volume, but by the time she put in all the details, and her art and photographs, it was almost 700 pages, too big, so she decided to turn it into two books. The second book will be coming early next year, and will be called Martha's Vineyard, Isle of Dreams. Both The Fairy Tale Girl and Martha's Vineyard, Isle of Dreams (publication date May 2016) are prequels to Susan's last book, A Fine Romance - Falling in Love with the English Countryside (2013).
Where's the Next Shelter?
Gary Sizer - 2015
He teams up with Megan, a sassy college grad whose indomitable spirit eclipses her lack of experience, and Lemmy, a cartoonist from overseas whose off-kilter commentary on the wonders and frustrations of the trail keeps everyone laughing. Sprawling through the woods and towns of the Appalachian mountains, the trail carries the trio through real and fanciful ups and downs ranging from hilarious to perilous. Much more than an orderly account of mountain tops and meals, it is an adventure about friends figuring things out as they go. It's about screw-ups and solutions, awe and inspiration. If you long for the horizon, or to sleep under the stars, then come along for the hike of a lifetime. All you have to do is take the first step.
American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal
Taya Kyle - 2015
Their decade-long marriage had survived years of war that took Chris, a U.S. Navy SEAL, away from Taya and their two children for agonizingly long stretches while he put his life on the line in many major battles of the Iraq War. After struggling to readjust to life out of the military, Chris had found new purpose in redirecting his lifelong dedication to service toward supporting veterans and their families. Their love had deepened, and their family was whole, finally.Then, the unthinkable. On February 2, 2013, Chris and his friend Chad Littlefield were killed while attempting to help a troubled vet. The life Chris and Taya fought so hard to build was shattered. In an instant, Taya became a single parent of two. A widow. A young woman facing the rest of her life without the man she loved.Chris and Taya's remarkable story has captivated millions through Clint Eastwood's blockbuster Academy Award-winning film American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper as Chris and Sienna Miller as Taya, and because of Chris's bestselling memoir, in which Taya contributed passages that formed the book's emotional core. Now, with trusted collaborator Jim DeFelice, Taya writes in never-before-told detail about the hours, days, and months after Chris's shocking death when grief threatened to overwhelm her.And yet throughout, friendship, family, and a deepening faith were lifelines that sustained her and the kids when the sorrow became too much. Two years after her husband's tragic death, Taya has found renewed meaning and connection to Chris by advancing their shared mission of "serving those who serve others," particularly military and first-responder families. She and the children are now embracing a new future, one that honors the past but also looks forward with hope, gratitude, and joy.American Wife is one of the most remarkable memoirs of the year—a universal chronicle of love and heartbreak, service and sacrifice, faith and purpose that will inspire every reader.
I Forgot to Die
Khalil Rafati - 2015
He was working with Hollywood movie stars and legendary rock musicians, but it wasn't long before he found his way into the dark underbelly of the City of Angels. When he hit rock bottom addicted to heroin and cocaine, overtaken by paranoia and psychosis, written off by his friends and family he grabbed a shovel and kept digging. At 33, Khalil was 109 pounds, a convicted felon, high school dropout, and homeless junkie living on the infamous Skid Row in downtown L.A. So how does someone with nothing, who feels like they deserve nothing, and who just wants to end it all turn their life around? I Forgot to Die is an incredible true story of pain, suffering, addiction and redemption and how one man ultimately conquered his demons and wrote himself a new life story.
Nobody's Cuter Than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship
Melanie Shankle - 2015
Yet over the last couple of decades, we've substituted the joy of real friendship with cheap imitations. We settle for "community" on Facebook and Twitter and a series of text messages that allow us to communicate with someone without the commitment. We like each other's beautifully filtered photos on Instagram and delude ourselves into believing we have a community. But real friendship requires effort. It's showing up, laughing loud, and crying hard. It's forgiving and loving and giving the benefit of the doubt. It's making a casserole, doing a carpool pickup, and making sure she knows those cute shoes are 50 percent off. Written in the same comedic style as the New York Times bestsellers Sparkly Green Earrings and The Antelope in the Living Room, Nobody's Cuter than You is a laugh-out-loud look at the special bond that exists between friends and a poignant celebration of all the extraordinary people God had the good sense to bring into our lives at exactly the right moments. From the friendships we develop over a lifetime to the ones that wounded us and the ones that taught us to love better, Melanie Shankle reveals the influence our friends have on who we were, who we are, and who we will become. And on a day when our jeans feel too tight, our chins have decided to embrace hormone-related acne reminiscent of our teen years, and our kids have tested the limits of our sanity, they are the ones who will look at us and say, "Nobody's cuter than you!"
Three More Words
Ashley Rhodes-Courter - 2015
Her memoir, Three Little Words, captivated audiences everywhere and went on to become a New York Times bestseller. Now Ashley reveals the nuances of life after foster care: College and its assorted hijinks, including meeting “the one.” Marriage, which began with a beautiful wedding on a boat that was almost hijacked (literally) by some biological family members. Having kids—from fostering children and the heartbreak of watching them return to destructive environments, to the miraculous joy of blending biological and adopted offspring.Whether she’s overcoming self-image issues, responding to calls for her to run for Senate, or dealing with continuing drama from her biological family, Ashley Rhodes-Courter never fails to impress or inspire with her authentic voice and uplifting message.
Tough As They Come
Travis Mills - 2015
Five have survived quadruple amputee injuries. This is one soldier's story. Thousands of soldiers die year to defend their country. United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills was sure that he would become another statistic when, during his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, he was caught in an IED blast four days before his twenty-fifth birthday. Against the odds, he lived, but at a severe cost—Travis became one of only five soldiers from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to survive a quadruple amputation. Suddenly forced to reconcile with the fact that he no longer had arms or legs, Travis was faced with a future drastically different from the one he had imagined for himself. He would never again be able to lead his squad, stroke his fingers against his wife’s cheek, or pick up his infant daughter. Travis struggled through the painful and anxious days of rehabilitation so that he could regain the strength to live his life to the fullest. With enormous willpower and endurance, the unconditional love of his family, and a generous amount of faith, Travis shocked everyone with his remarkable recovery. Even without limbs, he still swims, dances with his wife, rides mountain bikes, and drives his daughter to school. Travis inspires thousands every day with his remarkable journey. He doesn’t want to be thought of as wounded. “I'm just a man with scars,” he says, “living life to the fullest and best I know how.”
But You Did Not Come Back
Marceline Loridan-Ivens - 2015
It is the profoundly moving and poetic memoir by Marceline Loridan-Ivens, who at the age of fifteen was arrested in occupied France, along with her father. Later, in the camps, he managed to smuggle a note to her, a sign of life that made all the difference to Marceline—but he died in the Holocaust, while Marceline survived. In But You Did Not Come Back, Marceline writes back to her father, the man whose death overshadowed her whole life. Although her grief never diminished in its intensity, Marceline ultimately found her calling, working as both an activist and a documentary filmmaker. But now, as France and Europe in general faces growing anti-Semitism, Marceline feels pessimistic about the future. Her testimony is a memorial, a confrontation, and a deeply affecting personal story of a woman whose life was shattered and never totally rebuilt.
Una - 2015
Other kids are into punk or ska, but Una is learning to play "Mull of Kintyre" by Wings on the guitar, and she thinks it’s a really good song. There's another song, chanted on the terraces by Leeds United fans. It might not have made it on to Top of the Pops, but the boys all sing it on the walk home from school: "One Yorkshire Ripper . . . There’s only one Yorkshire Ripper . . . One Yorkshire Ri-pper . . ." A serial murderer is at large in West Yorkshire and the police—despite spending more than two million man-hours hunting the killer and interviewing the man himself no less than nine times—are struggling to solve the case. As this national news story unfolds around her, Una finds herself on the receiving end of a series of violent acts for which she feels she is to blame. Unbecoming explores gender violence, blame, shame, and social responsibility. Through image and text Una asks what it means to grow up in a culture where male violence goes unpunished and unquestioned. With the benefit of hindsight Una explores her experience, wonders if anything has really changed and challenges a global culture that demands that the victims of violence pay its cost.
A Work in Progress
Connor Franta - 2015
His words will resonate with anyone coming of age in the digital era, but at the core is a timeless message for people of all ages: don't be afraid to be yourself and to go after what you truly want.This full-color collection includes photography and childhood clippings provided by Connor and is a must-have for anyone inspired by his journey.
Miracles from Heaven: A Little Girl, Her Journey to Heaven, and Her Amazing Story of Healing
Christy Wilson Beam - 2015
One sunny day when she was able to go outside and play with her sisters, she fell three stories headfirst inside an old, hollowed-out tree, a fall that may well have caused death or paralysis. Implausibly, she survived without a scratch. While unconscious inside the tree, with rescue workers struggling to get to her, she visited heaven. After being released from the hospital, she defied science and was inexplicably cured of her chronic ailment. MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN will change how we look at the world around us and reinforce our belief in God and the afterlife.
Amy Berkowitz - 2015
Named after the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia, the book-length lyric essay explores sexual violence, gendered illness, chronic pain, and patriarchy through the lenses of lived experience and pop culture (Twin Peaks, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, noise music, etc.). Teaching Guide (or Book Club Guide) here: bit.ly/2aqJV2X
Bringing Cheyenne Home
Rachel Jensby - 2015
Cheyenne was an abused toddler, victimized first by her biological father, and then again by the family court system that knowingly refused to protect her from further abuse. Her family took her into hiding to help her escape a fate of a childhood filled with chronic sexual abuse. Bringing Cheyenne Home details the experiences of this family upon coming out of hiding, from their first day back in court through the tumultuous years afterward, including a peek into Cheyenne's life today.
Tyler Oakley - 2015
Pop culture phenomenon, social rights advocate, and the most prominent LGBTQ+ voice on YouTube, Tyler Oakley brings you his first collection of witty, personal, and hilarious essays written in the voice that’s earned him more than 10 million followers across social media.
Oliver Sacks - 2015
I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.” —Oliver SacksNo writer has succeeded in capturing the medical and human drama of illness as honestly and as eloquently as Oliver Sacks. During the last few months of his life, he wrote a set of essays in which he movingly explored his feelings about completing a life and coming to terms with his own death. “It is the fate of every human being,” Sacks writes, “to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.”Together, these four essays form an ode to the uniqueness of each human being and to gratitude for the gift of life.
My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South
Rick Bragg - 2015
Keenly observed and written with his insightful and deadpan sense of humor, he explores enduring Southern truths about home, place, spirit, table, and the regions' varied geographies, including his native Alabama, Cajun country, and the Gulf Coast. Everything is explored, from regional obsessions from college football and fishing, to mayonnaise and spoonbread, to the simple beauty of a fish on the hook.Collected from over a decade of his writing, with many never-before-published essays written specifically for this edition, My Southern Journey is an entertaining and engaging read, especially for Southerners (or feel Southern at heart) and anyone who appreciates great writing.
Julie Barton - 2015
She was one year out of college and severely depressed. Summoned by Julie's incoherent phone call, her mother raced from Ohio to New York and took her home.Psychiatrists, therapists and family tried to intervene, but nothing reached her until the day she decided to do one hopeful thing: adopt a Golden Retriever puppy she named Bunker.Dog Medicine captures in beautiful, elegiac language the anguish of depression, the slow path to recovery, and the astonishing way animals can heal even the most broken hearts and minds.
Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
Rachel Held Evans - 2015
The hypocrisy, the politics, the gargantuan building budgets, the scandals--church culture seemed so far removed from Jesus. Yet, despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back to Church. And so she set out on a journey to understand Church and to find her place in it.Centered around seven sacraments, Evans' quest takes readers through a liturgical year with stories about baptism, communion, confirmation, confession, marriage, vocation, and death that are funny, heartbreaking, and sharply honest.A memoir about making do and taking risks, about the messiness of community and the power of grace, Searching for Sunday is about overcoming cynicism to find hope and, somewhere in between, Church.
A House of My Own: Stories from My Life
Sandra Cisneros - 2015
But a house of her own, where she could truly take root, has eluded her. With this collection—spanning nearly three decades, and including never-before-published work—Cisneros has come home at last. Ranging from the private (her parents' loving and tempestuous marriage) to the political (a rallying cry for one woman's liberty in Sarajevo) to the literary (a tribute to Marguerite Duras), and written with her trademark sensitivity and honesty, these poignant, unforgettable pieces give us not only her most transformative memories but also a revelation of her artistic and intellectual influences. Here is an exuberant, deeply moving celebration of a life in writing lived to the fullest—an important milestone in a storied career.
Somewhere There Is Still a Sun: A Memoir of the Holocaust
Michael Gruenbaum - 2015
All of that changed forever when the Nazis invaded Prague. The Gruenbaum family was forced to move into the Jewish Ghetto in Prague. Then, after a devastating loss, Michael, his mother and sister were deported to the Terezin concentration camp.At Terezin, Misha roomed with forty other boys who became like brothers to him. Life in Terezin was a bizarre, surreal balance - some days were filled with friendship and soccer matches, while others brought mortal terror as the boys waited to hear the names on each new list of who was being sent 'to the East.'Those trains were going to Auschwitz. When the day came that his family's name appeared on a transport list, their survival called for a miracle - one that tied Michael's fate to a carefully sewn teddy bear, and to his mother's unshakeable determination to keep her children safe.Collaborating with acclaimed author Todd Hasak-Lowy, Michael Gruenbaum shares his inspiring story of hope in an unforgettable memoir that recreates his experiences with stunning immediacy. Michael's story, and the many original documents and photos included alongside it, offer an essential contribution to Holocaust literature.The book is now available in 12 languages: English (Simon and Schuster), German (Rowohlt), French (Didier Jeunesse), Spanish (Edelvives) , Greek (Papadopoulos Publishing), Russian (Samokat), Turkish, Ukrainian, Slovenian, Czech, Burmese (Myanmar) and Sinhala (Sri Lanka); Bulgarian and Khmer (Cambodia) are scheduled later this year. Publishers in China, Israel, The Netherland, Brazil, Italy, Tanzania (Swahili and Kinyarwanda), Romania, Japan and others are also close to signing up. Our goal is still the same - to have the book be added to the curricula of all middle schools around the world.. Simon and Schuster, together with Scholastic, sold 75,000 copies of the book in the USA last year.
Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
Nadia Bolz-Weber - 2015
But God keeps showing up in the least likely of people—a church-loving agnostic, a drag queen, a felonious Bishop and a gun-toting member of the NRA. As she lives and worships alongside these “accidental saints,” Nadia is swept into first-hand encounters with grace—a gift that feels to her less like being wrapped in a warm blanket and more like being hit with a blunt instrument. But by this grace, people are transformed in ways they couldn’t have been on their own. In a time when many have rightly become disillusioned with Christianity, Accidental Saints demonstrates what happens when ordinary people share bread and wine, struggle with scripture together, and tell each other the truth about their real lives. This unforgettable account of their faltering steps toward wholeness will ring true for believer and skeptic alike. Told in Nadia’s trademark confessional style, Accidental Saints is the stunning next work from one of today’s most important religious voices.From the Hardcover edition.
You Deserve a Drink: Boozy Misadventures and Tales of Debauchery
Mamrie Hart - 2015
With over a million subscribers to her cult-hit video series “You Deserve a Drink,” Hart has been entertaining viewers with a combination of tasty libations and raunchy puns since 2011. Hart also co-wrote/co-starred in Dirty Thirty and Camp Takota with Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart.Finally, Hart has compiled her best drinking stories—and worst hangovers—into one hilarious volume. From the spring break where she and her girlfriends avoided tan lines by staying at an all-male gay nudist resort, to the bachelorette party where she accidentally hired a sixty-year-old meth head to teach the group pole dancing (not to mention the time she lit herself on fire during a Flaming Lips concert), Hart accompanies each story with an original cocktail recipe, ensuring that You Deserve a Drink is as educational as it is entertaining.
Anchored: Finding Hope in the Unexpected
Kayla Aimee - 2015
She thought her church upbringing had prepared her for every circumstance but when tragedy struck and threatened to take the life of her newborn daughter, it felt as though once solid ground had turned to glass beneath her feet, destined to shatter everything she held sacred. When swept into a story of suffering, we all find ourselves vulnerable, questioning everything we thought we knew as we wonder, “Where is God in this?” With everything feeling as fragile as her one and a half pound daughter, Kayla finds herself asking that same question as she faces her greatest fear: that she may have finally become a mother just to lose her only child. Both poignant and humorous, Anchored recounts Kayla’s gripping story of learning to navigate her newfound motherhood in the most unexpected of ways, from holidays in the hospital and middle-of-the-night phone calls to the joy of coming home. With vulnerability and plenty of wit, Kayla lays bare her struggle to redefine her faith, her marriage, and herself within the context of a tragedy she never saw coming. For anyone who has felt their faith in God falter, Anchored extends a gentle invitation to join her as she uncovers a hope that holds.
My Fight / Your Fight
Ronda Rousey - 2015
Rousey shares hard-won lessons on how to be the best at what you do, including how to find fulfillment in the sacrifices, how to turn limitations into opportunities, and how to be the best on your worst day.Packed with raw emotion, drama, and wisdom this is an unforgettable book by one of the most remarkable women in the world.
Kooshyar Karimi - 2015
When Leila comes to see Doctor Karimi, both are in danger. Born in a slum to a Muslim father and a Jewish mother, Kooshyar Karimi has transformed himself into a successful doctor, an award-winning writer, and an adoring father. His could be a comfortable life but his conscience won't permit it: he is incapable of turning away the unmarried women who beg him to save their lives by ending the pregnancies that, if discovered, would see them stoned to death. One of those women is 22-year-old Leila. Beautiful, intelligent, passionate, she yearns to go to university but her strictly traditional family forbids it. Returning home from the library one day – among the few trips she's allowed out of the house – she meets a handsome shopkeeper, and her fate is sealed. Kooshyar has rescued countless women, but Leila seeks his help for a different reason, one that will haunt him for years afterwards and inspire an impossible quest from faraway Australia. Spellbinding and heartbreaking. Leila's Secret shows us everyday life for women in a country where it can be a crime to fall in love. But for all its tragedy, this unforgettable book is paradoxically uplifting, told from the heart of Kooshyar's immense sympathy, in the hope that each of us – and the stories we tell – can make a difference.
The Sun Still Shines: How a Brain Tumor Helped Me See the Light
Jodi Orgill Brown - 2015
Unwilling to accept her new fate, Jodi's family searches for a doctor who will join their fight against the odds. But when the surgery that could save her life thrusts her into battle with a devastating spinal fluid leak and facial paralysis, even her own children fear her new appearance and physical failings. Jodi perseveres, even with an injured body and spirit. Interweaving the inspiring, provoking, and sometimes disturbing, Jodi reveals the hells and highs of her journey as she fights for hope and purpose—and life.
Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta
Richard Grant - 2015
Dispatches from Pluto is their journey of discovery into this strange and wonderful American place. Imagine A Year In Provence with alligators and assassins, or Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil with hunting scenes and swamp-to-table dining.On a remote, isolated strip of land, three miles beyond the tiny community of Pluto, Richard and his girlfriend, Mariah, embark on a new life. They learn to hunt, grow their own food, and fend off alligators, snakes, and varmints galore. They befriend an array of unforgettable local characters—blues legend T-Model Ford, cookbook maven Martha Foose, catfish farmers, eccentric millionaires, and the actor Morgan Freeman. Grant brings an adept, empathetic eye to the fascinating people he meets, capturing the rich, extraordinary culture of the Delta, while tracking its utterly bizarre and criminal extremes. Reporting from all angles as only an outsider can, Grant also delves deeply into the Delta’s lingering racial tensions. He finds that de facto segregation continues. Yet even as he observes major structural problems, he encounters many close, loving, and interdependent relationships between black and white families—and good reasons for hope.Dispatches from Pluto is a book as unique as the Delta itself. It’s lively, entertaining, and funny, containing a travel writer’s flair for in-depth reporting alongside insightful reflections on poverty, community, and race. It’s also a love story, as the nomadic Grant learns to settle down. He falls not just for his girlfriend but for the beguiling place they now call home. Mississippi, Grant concludes, is the best-kept secret in America.
Life Is Short (No Pun Intended): Love, Laughter, and Learning to Enjoy Every Moment
Jennifer Arnold - 2015
Though they both have dwarfism, they have knocked down every obstacle they have encountered together with a positive, can-do attitude. The show has featured the lives of Jennifer (a respected neonatologist) and Bill (a successful entrepreneur) from their marriage in 2009, to the launch of their pet shop, to the adoption of their children, to Jen’s overcoming cancer.Now, for the first time Jen and Bill are letting readers into their private lives with behind-the-scenes, never-before-told stories about how they fell in love, what inspires them, and the passions that drive their success. Jen and Bill have a simple purpose in life: make the world a better place through encouragement and education. A must-have for fans of the show or anyone who has ever faced a difficult challenge, Life Is Short (No Pun Intended) gives readers a glance at what inspires these positive people to approach life with such optimism and share their lives with the public every day.
If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For
Jamie Tworkowski - 2015
The piece was so hauntingly beautiful that it quickly went viral, giving birth to a non-profit organization of the same name. Now, To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is an internationally recognized leader in suicide prevention and a source of hope, encouragement, and support for people worldwide.If You Feel Too Much is a celebration of hope, wonder, and what it means to be human. From personal stories of struggling on days most people celebrate to words of strength and encouragement in moments of loss, the essays in this book invite readers to believe that it’s okay to admit to pain and okay to ask for help. If You Feel Too Much is an important book from one of this generation’s most important voices.
Nobody's Girl: A Memoir of Lost Innocence, Modern Day Slavery & Transformation
Barbara Amaya - 2015
She had been sent to three detention centers, lived on the streets of, first, Washington DC and then New York City. Amaya was forced to work as a prostitute and was hooked on heroin. The ten years she spent as a victim in the world of human trafficking is just the beginning of her story.
Lights and Sirens
Kevin Grange - 2015
Blending months of classroom instruction with ER rotations and a grueling field internship with the Los Angeles Fire Department, UCLA’s paramedic program is like a mix of boot camp and med school. It would turn out to be the hardest thing Grange had ever done—but also the most transformational and inspiring.An in-depth look at the trials and tragedies that paramedic students experience daily, Lights and Sirens is ultimately about the best part of humanity—people working together to help save a human life.
Undone: A Story of Making Peace With an Unexpected Life
Michele Cushatt - 2015
It is an honest confession of a diagnosis of cancer and the joys and disappointments of motherhood and marriage, ripe with regret over what is and, yet, still hopeful for what could be.With enough humor to ease the rawness of the story, Undone takes the reader on a roller coaster two-year journey through the unexpectedness of life. A look back makes Michele long for a do-over, the chance to make fewer mistakes and leave less of a mess to clean up. A look forward makes Michele wonder if all her attempts to control life have robbed her of the vibrancy of it. And, in the middle of this internal chaos, she finds her once-pristine house filled with the sights and sounds of three small, uncontainable children who just want to be loved.In the end, Undone turns complication into a beautiful canvas, angst into joy, and the unknown into an adventure, revealing that sometimes life’s most colorful and courageous stories are written right in the middle of the mess.
Keegan Allen - 2015
He has also appeared in numerous independent films and made his New York Stage debut in the acclaimed MCC production of Small Engine Repair.Keegan was given his first camera at age nine, and began a lifelong study and pursuit of photography. life.love.beauty is a selection of photographs taken since his childhood. It's a photo journey through the life of an intensely creative soul whose expression finds various forms: in acting, in poems and stories, lyrics and music, but above all in photography. This book's content resonates in the commonality we all share on our own journeys while unveiling an inside look into a world that very few experience.Organized into three broad groups-life, love, and beauty-the book ranges over the public and private side of Keegan Allen and his world. A child of Hollywood, whose father was also an actor and his mother a painter, Keegan roams freely through that realm, photographing his fellow actors on set, behind the scenes; and recording the amazed, gleeful, sometimes weeping fans that flock to his television and career related events.Allen also has an eye for the anonymous and the unexpected: the woman gazing dreamily from the balcony of a run-down hotel; the rifle-toting dog walker who seems to have emerged from the 19th century; the performers and denizens of Venice Beach and also the streets of New York, some of them chasing the dream of fame, others having long-since abandoned it; the little boy amid in the crowd in an enormous airport; portraits of lovers kissing on subways, in parks, and on the streets. Traveling from California to New York to Paris and back, as well as through the American west, he finds beauty in both urban and rural places: from large-scale landscapes to glimpses of light transforming what it touches.Keegan's poems, stories, captions and musings, song lyrics, and journal pages complement the photographs on this journey. He provides an account of growing up just off the Sunset Strip, coming into his own as an actor/artist, dealing with public recognition while maintaining a very private life, falling in and out of love, and acknowledging the influence of his family, friends, fans, and loved ones.life.love.beauty is an unusually intimate and revealing book: a delight for anyone who values photography, and a gift for the many fans who already follow Keegan's career.Keegan's real passion comes through in both his photographs and candid story telling in this unique photo-journal.
Reasons to Stay Alive
Matt Haig - 2015
Reasons to Stay Alive is Matt’s inspiring account of how, minute by minute and day by day, he overcame the disease with the help of reading, writing, and the love of his parents and his girlfriend (and now-wife), Andrea. And eventually, he learned to appreciate life all the more for it. Everyone’s lives are touched by mental illness: if we do not suffer from it ourselves, then we have a friend or loved one who does. Matt’s frankness about his experiences is both inspiring to those who feel daunted by depression and illuminating to those who are mystified by it. Above all, his humor and encouragement never let us lose sight of hope. Speaking as his present self to his former self in the depths of depression, Matt is adamant that the oldest cliché is the truest—there is light at the end of the tunnel. He teaches us to celebrate the small joys and moments of peace that life brings, and reminds us that there are always reasons to stay alive.
The Shepherd's Life: A People's History of the Lake District
James Rebanks - 2015
James Rebanks' isn't. The first son of a shepherd, who was the first son of a shepherd himself, he and his family have lived and worked in and around the Lake District for generations. Their way of life is ordered by the seasons and the work they demand, and has been for hundreds of years. A Viking would understand the work they do: sending the sheep to the fells in the summer and making the hay; the autumn fairs where the flocks are replenished; the gruelling toil of winter when the sheep must be kept alive, and the light-headedness that comes with spring, as the lambs are born and the sheep get ready to return to the fells.
Jo Malone - 2015
Jo Malone began her international fragrance and scented candle business in 1983 from her kitchen, where she made bath oils as thank-you gifts for her facial clients. She opened her first store in London in 1994, and in 1999 she sold the Jo Malone London brand to Estee Lauder Companies. Recently, she launched a new brand, Jo Loves, igniting the excitement of fashion and beauty converts all over the world. Raised in government-subsidized housing in Kent in the early 1960s, Jo Malone left school as a teenager to care for her mother after she had a stroke. Jo had not been successful in school because of her dyslexia, but she had the ability to see and feel everything in scent. Her at-home beauty business and hand-made products became popular, and word of her talent spread until an international brand was born. After the sale of her company and the birth of her son, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent treatment in New York. Thus began the second chapter of her life, and in this memoir, Jo tells her full amazing and inspiring personal story.
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March
Lynda Blackmon Lowery - 2015
Jailed nine times before her fifteenth birthday, Lowery fought alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. for the rights of African-Americans. In this memoir, she shows today's young readers what it means to fight nonviolently (even when the police are using violence, as in the Bloody Sunday protest) and how it felt to be part of changing American history. Straightforward and inspiring, this beautifully illustrated memoir brings readers into the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, complementing Common Core classroom learning and bringing history alive for young readers.
Under the Same Sky: A Memoir of Survival, Hope, and Faith
Joseph Kim - 2015
Then disaster struck: the first wave of the Great Famine, a long, terrible ordeal that killed millions, including his father, and sent others, like his mother and only sister, on desperate escape routes into China. Alone on the streets, Joseph learned to beg and steal. He had nothing but a street-hardened survival instinct. Finally, in desperation, he too crossed a frozen river to escape to China. There a kindly Christian woman took him in, kept him hidden from the authorities, and gave him hope. Soon, through an underground network of activists, he was spirited to the American consulate, and became one of just a handful of North Koreans to be brought to the U.S. as refugees. Joseph knew no English and had never been a good student. Yet the kindness of his foster family changed his life. He turned a new leaf, became a dedicated student, mastered English, and made it to college, where he is now thriving thanks to his faith and inner strength. Under the Same Sky is an unforgettable story of suffering and redemption.
Midwife: A Calling
Peggy Vincent - 2015
When Peggy Vincent first found herself holding a naked baby in her bare hands as a student nurse in 1962, she never dreamed the path her life would take as a result of that accidental catch. Countless births followed. Hippies, lawyers, teenagers, welfare moms, marijuana growers, smugglers, spiritualists, Orthodox Jews, neurologists, Christian Scientists, Muslims, the rich and the poor...this list scratches only the surface of her diverse clientele. Told with warmth, humor, and sincerity, these tales will resonate with all those who remain as enchanted as Peggy by the unique art of giving birth.
Called for Life: How Loving Our Neighbor Led Us into the Heart of the Ebola Epidemic
Kent Brantly - 2015
We got your test result. And I’m really sorry to tell you that it is positive for Ebola.” Dr. Kent and Amber Brantly moved with their children to war-torn Liberia in the fall of 2013 to provide medical care for people in great need—to help replace hopelessness with hope. When, less than a year later, Kent contracted the deadly Ebola virus, hope became what he and Amber needed too. When Kent received the diagnosis, he was already alone and in quarantine in the Brantly home in Liberia. Amber and the children had left just days earlier on a trip to the United States. Kent’s personal battle against the horrific Ebola began, and as thousands of people worldwide prayed for his life, a miraculous series of events unfolded. Called for Life tells the riveting inside story of Kent and Amber’s call to serve their neighbors, as well as Kent’s fight for life with Ebola and Amber’s’ struggle to support him from half-a-world away. Most significantly, Called for Life reminds us of the risk, the honor, and the joy to be known when God and others are served without reservation.
The Art of Memoir
Mary Karr - 2015
She followed with two other smash bestsellers: Cherry and Lit, which were critical hits as well.For thirty years Karr has also taught the form, winning graduate teaching prizes for her highly selective seminar at Syracuse, where she mentored such future hit authors as Cheryl Strayed, Keith Gessen, and Koren Zailckas. In The Art of Memoir, she synthesizes her expertise as professor and therapy patient, writer and spiritual seeker, recovered alcoholic and “black belt sinner,” providing a unique window into the mechanics and art of the form that is as irreverent, insightful, and entertaining as her own work in the genre.Anchored by excerpts from her favorite memoirs and anecdotes from fellow writers’ experience, The Art of Memoir lays bare Karr’s own process. (Plus all those inside stories about how she dealt with family and friends get told— and the dark spaces in her own skull probed in depth.) As she breaks down the key elements of great literary memoir, she breaks open our concepts of memory and identity, and illuminates the cathartic power of reflecting on the past; anybody with an inner life or complicated history, whether writer or reader, will relate.Joining such classics as Stephen King’s On Writing and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, The Art of Memoir is an elegant and accessible exploration of one of today’s most popular literary forms—a tour de force from an accomplished master pulling back the curtain on her craft.
Forgiven: The Amish School Shooting, a Mother’s Love, and a Story of Remarkable Grace
Terri Roberts - 2015
This is his mother's story. Not only did she lose her precious son through suicide, but she also lost her understanding of him as an honorable man. It was a trauma that none should ever have to face.But the biggest headlines came when her Amish neighbors did the unimaginable, reaching out to the family of the shooter with comfort and forgiveness. Today Terri lives in harmony with the Amish and has built lasting relationships beyond what anyone could have thought possible. From the grace that the Amish showed Terri's family from day one, to the visits and ongoing care Terri has given to the victims and their families, no one could have foreseen the love and friendship that have been forged from the fires of tragedy.
The World's Largest Man
Harrison Scott Key - 2015
At the center of his world was his larger-than-life father—a hunter, a fighter, a football coach, "a man better suited to living in a remote frontier wilderness of the nineteenth century than contemporary America, with all its progressive ideas and paved roads and lack of armed duels. He was a great man, and he taught me many things: how to fight and work and cheat and how to pray to Jesus about it, how to kill things with guns and knives and, if necessary, with hammers."Harrison, with his love of books and excessive interest in hugging, couldn't have been less like Pop, and when it became clear that he was not able to kill anything very well, or otherwise make his father happy, he resolved to become everything his father was not: an actor, a Presbyterian, and a doctor of philosophy. But when it was time to settle down and start a family of his own, Harrison began to view his father in a new light and realized—for better and for worse—how much like his old man he'd become.Sly, heartfelt, and tirelessly hilarious, The World's Largest Man is an unforgettable memoir—the story of a boy's struggle to reconcile himself with an impossibly outsize role model, and a grown man's reckoning with the father it took him a lifetime to understand.
The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America
D. Watkins - 2015
And then seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot by a wannabe cop in Florida; and then eighteen-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; and then Baltimore blew up; and then gunfire shattered a prayer meeting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Suddenly the entire country awakened to a stark fact: African Americans—particularly young black men—are an endangered species.Now the country’s urban war zone is brought powerfully to life by a rising young literary talent, D. Watkins. The author fought his way up on the east side (the “beast side”) of Baltimore, Maryland—or “Bodymore, Murderland,” as his friends call it—surviving murderous business rivals in the drug trade and equally predatory lawmen. Throughout it all, he pursued his education, earning a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, while staying rooted in his community.When black residents of Baltimore finally decided they had had enough—after the brutal killing of twenty-five-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody—Watkins was on the streets when the city erupted. He writes about his bleeding hometown with the razor-sharp insights of someone who bleeds along with it. Here are true dispatches from the other side of America.
Believer: My Forty Years in Politics
David Axelrod - 2015
Whether as a young journalist investigating city corruption, a campaign consultant guiding underdog candidates against entrenched orthodoxy, or as senior adviser to the president during one of the worst crises in American history, Axelrod held fast to his faith in the power of stories to unite diverse communities and ignite transformative political change. Now this legendary strategist, the mastermind behind Barack Obama’s historic election campaigns, shares a wealth of stories from his forty-year journey through the inner workings of American democracy. Believer is the tale of a political life well lived, of a man who never gave up on the deepest promises our country has to offer.Believer reveals the roots of Axelrod’s devotion to politics and his faith in democratic change. As a child of the ’60s in New York City, Axelrod worked his first campaigns during a tumultuous decade that began with soaring optimism and ended in violence and chaos. As a young newspaperman in Chicago during the 1970s and ’80s, Axelrod witnessed another world transformed when he reported on the dissolution of the last of the big city political machines—Richard Daley, Dan Rostenkowski, and Harold Washington—along with the emergence of a dynamic black independent movement that ultimately made Obama’s ascent possible.After cutting his teeth in the rollicking world of Chicago journalism, Axelrod switched careers to become a political strategist. His unorthodox tactics during his first campaign helped him get Paul Simon unexpectedly elected to the Senate, and soon Axelrod’s counsel was sought by the greatest lights of the Democratic Party. Working for path breakers like Hillary Clinton, Deval Patrick, and Rahm Emanuel—and morally conflicted characters like Rod Blagojevich and John Edwards—Axelrod, for better and worse, redefined the techniques by which modern political campaigns are run.The heart of Believer is Axelrod’s twenty-year friendship with Barack Obama, a warm partnership that inspired both men even as it propelled each to great heights. Taking a chance on an unlikely candidate for the U.S. Senate, Axelrod ultimately collaborated closely with Obama on his political campaigns, and served as the invaluable strategist who contributed to the tremendous victories of 2008 and 2012. Switching careers again, Axelrod served as senior adviser to the president during one of the most challenging periods in national history: working at Obama’s side as he battled an economic disaster; navigated America through two wars; and fought to reform health care, the financial sector, and our gridlocked political institutions. In Believer, Axelrod offers a deeper and richer profile of this extraordinary figure—who in just four years vaulted from the Illinois State Senate to the Oval Office—from the perspective of one who was at his side every step of the way.Spanning forty years that include corruption and transformation, turmoil and progress, Believer takes readers behind the closed doors of politics even as it offers a thrilling call to democratic action. Axelrod’s Believer is a powerful and inspiring memoir enlivened by the charm and candor of one of the greatest political strategists in recent American history. DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, author of The Bully Pulpit and Team of Rivals “Beautifully written with warmth, humor, and remarkable self-awareness, Believer is one of the finest political memoirs I have ever read.”
The Illustrated Herdwick Shepherd
James Rebanks - 2015
When I was a child we didn't really go anywhere, except a week in the Isle of Man when I was about ten years old, and I never left Britain until I was twenty. Even now, years later, the best bit of any travelling is coming home. Bringing us into the world of shepherd's baking competitions, sheep shows and moments out on the fell watching the sheep run away home, James Rebanks interweaves thoughts and reflections on the art of shepherding with his photographs of the valley, people and animals that make up the daily life of the fells. A life lived by the three hundred surviving fell farming families, this is a book of photos and words filled with reverence and love.
Home Is Where My People Are: The Roads That Lead Us to Where We Belong
Sophie Hudson - 2015
It's easy to go through life believing that we can satisfy our longing for home with a three-bedroom, two-bath slice of the American dream that we mortgage at 4 percent and pay for over the course of thirty years. But ultimately, in our deepest places, we're really looking to belong and to be known. And what we sometimes miss in our search for the perfect spot to set up camp is that wherever we are on the long and winding road of life, God is at work in the journey, teaching us, shaping us, and refining us--sometimes through the most unlikely people and circumstances. In Home Is Where My People Are, Sophie Hudson takes readers on a delightfully quirky journey through the South, introducing them to an unforgettable cast of characters, places, and experiences. Along the way, she reflects on how God has used each of the stops along the road to impart timeless spiritual wisdom and truth. Nobody embodies the South like Sophie Hudson, and this nostalgic celebration of home is sure to make even those north of the Mason-Dixon line long to settle in on the front porch with a glass of sweet tea and reflect on all of the people in our lives who--related or not--have come to represent home. Because at the end of the day, it's not the address on the front door or even the name on the mailbox that says home, but the people who live and laugh and love there, wherever there might happen to be.
Everything You Ever Wanted: A Memoir
Jillian Lauren - 2015
In her thirties, Jillian's most radical act is learning the steadying power of love when she and her rock star husband adopt an Ethiopian child with special needs. After Jillian loses a close friend to drugs, she herself is saved by her fierce, bold love for her son as she fights to make him—and herself—feel safe and at home in the world.Exploring complex ideas of identity and reinvention, Everything You Ever Wanted is a must-read for everyone, especially every mother, who has ever hoped for a second act in life.“A punk rock Scheherazade” (Margaret Cho) shares the zigzagging path that took her from harem member to PTA member…
Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha - 2015
This passionate and riveting memoir is a mixtape of dreams and nightmares, of immigration court lineups and queer South Asian dance nights; it reveals how a disabled queer woman of color and abuse survivor navigates the dirty river of the past and, as the subtitle suggests, "dreams her way home."Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha's poetry book Love Cake won a Lambda Literary Award.
Rosie Lewis - 2015
Taylor tries desperately not to fit in, to be the tough young teen that she has had to become, making it clear that she cares about nothing and no-one, while Reece is just desperate for someone to love him. Rosie finds herself battling an unknown monster in their past, as social media and the Internet become a means to control and manipulate the siblings while in her care. And then a more sinister turn of events causes Rosie to dig into their past, desperate to discover the truth before her time with them is over and they must be returned to their family.
Tressa - The 12-Year-Old Mum: My True Story
Tressa Middleton - 2015
For all those years while people judged me, I protected those closest to me. Now it's time for the real story to be told. It's time for healing and forgiveness.'Tressa Middleton made UK history when she became Britain's youngest mum in 2006 aged just 12 years and 8 months. Her case provoked shock and outrage - but the truth behind the headlines was far sadder than anyone could ever have imagined.Born into a life of poverty and neglect, Tressa was forced to grow up fast when she taken into care at just four years old. She was returned to her mother's chaotic world but by the age of seven, she was being abused by her own brother and at 11 years old she fell pregnant with his child. For years she kept his dark secret in an attempt to hold her family together until the truth threatened to destroy her completely.In the years since the birth, Tressa has gone through more pain and turmoil than most adults experience in a lifetime - yet today she survives a brave, strong and compassionate young woman. Now, for the first time, Tressa Middleton tells her own harrowing yet poignant story - a story of hope, forgiveness and above all, love.
All the Pretty Things: The Story of a Southern Girl Who Went Through Fire to Find Her Way Home
Edie Wadsworth - 2015
. . . "For a long time, Edie thought she had escaped. It started in an Appalachian trailer park, where a young girl dreamed of becoming a doctor. But every day, Edie woke up to her reality: a poverty-stricken world where getting out seemed impossible. Where, at twelve years old, she taught herself to drive a truck so she could get her drunk daddy home from the bar. Where the grownups ate while the children went hungry. Where, when the family trailer burned down, she couldn't be caught squawlin' over losing her things--she just had to be grateful anyone had remembered to save her at all.And at the center of it all, there was her daddy. She never knew when he would show up; she learned the hard way that she couldn't count on him to protect her. But it didn't matter: All she wanted was to make him proud. Against all odds, Edie "made doctor," achieving everything that had once seemed beyond her reach. But her past caught up with her--and it would take her whole life burning down once again for Edie to be finally able to face the truth about herself, her family, and her relationship with God. Readers of The Glass Castle will treasure this refreshing and raw redemption story, a memoir for anyone who has ever hungered for home, forgiveness, and the safe embrace of a father's love.
Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story
Jewel - 2015
In the tradition of Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell (she has been compared to both), a singer-songwriter of her kind had not emerged in decades. Now, with over 30 million albums sold worldwide, Jewel tells the story of her life and the lessons learned from her experience and her music.Living on a homestead in Alaska, Jewel learned to yodel at age three and joined her parents' act, working in hotels, honky-tonks, and biker bars. Behind a strong-willed and independent family life, with an emphasis on music and artistic talent, was also instability, abuse, and trauma.At age 15 Jewel was accepted into the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, where she began writing her own songs as a means of expression. She was 18, homeless, and living out of her car in San Diego when a radio DJ aired a bootleg version of one of her songs. It was requested in the top-10 countdown, something unheard of for an unsigned artist. By age 21, her debut album went multiplatinum.There is so much more to Jewel's story, one complicated by family and financial woes, by crippling fear and insecurity, by parents who forced a child to grow up far too quickly, and by the extraordinary circumstances in which she became a world-famous singer and songwriter. Here Jewel reflects on how she survived and how writing songs, poetry, and prose have saved her life many times over. She writes beautifully about the natural wonders of Alaska, about pain and childhood trauma, and about discovering her own identity years after the entire world had discovered the beauty of her songs.
The Bitter Taste of Dying: A Memoir
Jason Smith - 2015
While teaching in Europe, he meets a prostitute who secures drugs for him at the dangerous price of helping out the Russian mafia; in China, he gets his Percocet and Xanax fix but terrifies a crowd of children and parents at his job in the process; and in Mexico, Smith thought a Tijuana jail cell would be the perfect place to kick his Fentanyl habit, but soon realizes that the power of addiction is stronger than his desire to escape it. The Bitter Taste of Dying paints a portrait of the modern day drug addict with clarity and refreshing honesty. With a gritty mixture of self-deprecation and light-hearted confessional, Smith’s memoir deftly describes the journey into the harrowing depths of addiction and demonstrates the experience of finally being released from it. "Jason is a great writer who's clearly done the life-destroying research that I can relate to. This is the voice of a new generation of drug addicts." – Jerry Stahl, NY Times bestselling author of Permanent Midnight and Happy Mutant Baby Pills
Substance: Inside New Order
Peter Hook - 2015
Resurrected from the ashes of Joy Division after the suicide of its lead singer, Ian Curtis, New Order would become one most critically acclaimed and important bands of the decade and beyond. With their hits "Bizarre Love Triangle", "Perfect Kiss", and "Blue Monday"—the biggest-selling 12-inch single of all time—Peter Hook and company quickly rose to the top of the alternative music scene. Widely regarded as the godfathers of electronic dance music, their sound would influence Moby, The Chemical Brothers, The Postal Service, The Killers, and other acts that followed in their wake.Hook tells the complete, unvarnished story of New Order’s founding and evolution; the band’s experiences in the New York City club scene and rapid rise to international fame, its impact on house music, techno, and rave; and its eventual rancorous dissolution. Full of Hook’s "gleefully profane" (Entertainment Weekly) humor and vivid, witty storytelling, Substance is the most important and certainly the most controversial part of his story, emanating with drugs, booze, and sex.Complete with timelines, discographies, gigographies and track-by-track analysis, and exclusive photographs and archival images from Hook’s personal collection, it is the definitive, comprehensive history of New Order and a compelling snapshot of the '80s cultural scene in all its neon-hued glory.
The Brave Ones: A Memoir of Hope, Pride and Military Service
Michael J. MacLeod - 2015
MacLeod, already an accomplished professional photographer and journalist, decided to find out the hard way: by enlisting in the armed forces at age forty-one. What he observed and experienced as an embedded reporter and a serving soldier makes for an unflinching and inspiring portrait of endurance, sacrifice, discipline, and courage.From the trials of basic training on the home front to the ranks of the legendary 82nd Airborne Division to taking fire in the hot zones of Iraq and Afghanistan, MacLeod chronicles the soldier’s evolution as only one who’s been in those boots can. Candid, wise, and powerful, his memoir takes readers on an unforgettable journey through war and allows them to witness bravery firsthand.
Find a Way
Diana Nyad - 2015
Diana carried three poignant messages on her way across this stretch of shark-infested waters, and she spoke them to the crowd in her moment of final triumph: 1. Never, ever give up. 2. You’re never too old to chase your dreams. 3. It looks like a solitary sport, but it’s a Team. Millions of people around the world cheered this maverick on, moved by her undeniable tenacity to be the first to make the historic crossing without the aid of a shark cage. At the end of her magnificent journey, after thirty-five years and four crushing failures, the public found hope in Diana’s perseverance. They were inspired by her mantra—find a way—that led her to realize a dream in her sixties that had eluded her as a young champion in peak form.In Find a Way, Diana engages us with a unique, passionate story of this heroic adventure and the extraordinary life experiences that have served to carve her unwavering spirit. Diana was a world champion in her twenties, setting the record for swimming around Manhattan Island, along with other ocean-swim achievements, all of which rendered her a star at the time. Back then, she made the first attempt at the Mount Everest of swims, the Cuba Swim, but after forty-two hours and seventy-nine miles she was blown desperately off course. Her dream unfulfilled, she didn’t swim another stroke for three decades.Why, at sixty-four, was she able to achieve what she could not at thirty? How did her dramatic failures push her to success? What inner resources did Diana draw on during her long days and nights of training, and how did the power of the human spirit trump both the limitations of the body and the forces of nature across this vast, dangerous wilderness? This is the gripping story of an athlete, of a hero, of a bold mind. This is a galvanizing meditation on facing fears, engaging in our lives full throttle, and living each day with no regrets.
Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey
Ozge Samanci - 2015
Her dad expected Ozge, like her sister, to become an engineer. She tried to hear her own voice over his and the religious and militaristic tensions of Turkey and the conflicts between secularism and fundamentalism. Could she be a scuba diver like Jacques Cousteau? A stage actress? Would it be possible to please everyone including herself?In her unpredictable and funny graphic memoir, Ozge recounts her story using inventive collages, weaving together images of the sea, politics, science, and friendship.
Wounds of the Father: A True Story of Child Abuse, Betrayal, and Redemption
Elizabeth Garrison - 2015
Elizabeth invites the reader behind the closed doors of a picture-perfect Christian family to reveal a dark, hidden world of child abuse, domestic violence, and chilling family secrets all performed in the name of God under the tyrannical rule of her father. Like countless teenage girls, Elizabeth turns to drugs and alcohol to escape. With smack-you-in-the-face honesty, Elizabeth chronicles the dark realities and real-life horrors of teenage drug abuse, living on the streets, foster homes, and treatment centers. She paints an unsparing portrait of scratching and clawing her way out of the grips of child abuse, addiction, and betrayal to find the strength within herself to save her own life.
Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine
Damon Tweedy - 2015
Instead, he finds that he has joined a new world where race is front and center. The recipient of a scholarship designed to increase black student enrollment, Tweedy soon meets a professor who bluntly questions whether he belongs in medical school, a moment that crystallizes the challenges he will face throughout his career. Making matters worse, in lecture after lecture the common refrain for numerous diseases resounds, "More common in blacks than in whites."Black Man in a White Coat examines the complex ways in which both black doctors and patients must navigate the difficult and often contradictory terrain of race and medicine. As Tweedy transforms from student to practicing physician, he discovers how often race influences his encounters with patients. Through their stories, he illustrates the complex social, cultural, and economic factors at the root of many health problems in the black community. These issues take on greater meaning when Tweedy is himself diagnosed with a chronic disease far more common among black people. In this powerful, moving, and deeply empathic book, Tweedy explores the challenges confronting black doctors, and the disproportionate health burdens faced by black patients, ultimately seeking a way forward to better treatment and more compassionate care.
The Last Act of Love
Cathy Rentzenbrink - 2015
He was left in a permanent vegetative state. Over the following years, Cathy and her parents took care of Matty - they built an extension onto the village pub where they lived and worked; they talked to him, fed him, bathed him, loved him. But there came a point at which it seemed the best thing they could do for Matty - and for themselves - was let him go. With unflinching honesty and raw emotional power, Cathy describes the unimaginable pain of losing her brother and the decision that changed her family's lives forever. As she delves into the past and reclaims memories that have lain buried for many years, Cathy reconnects with the bright, funny, adoring brother she lost and is finally able to see the end of his life as it really was - a last act of love. Powerful, intimate and intensely moving, this is a personal journey with universal resonance - a story of unconditional love, of grief, survival and the strength of the ties that bind. It's a story that will speak to anyone who has lost someone close to them, to anyone who has fiercely loved a sibling, and to anyone who has ever wondered whether prolonging a loved one's life might be more heartbreaking than saying goodbye.
Coming Clean: A Story of Faith
Seth Haines - 2015
That evening, he asked his sister to smuggle in a bottle of gin, and gave in to addiction.But whether or not you've ever had a drop to drink in your life, we're all looking for ways to stop the pain. Like Seth, we're all seeking balms for the anxiety of what sometimes seems to be an absent, unresponsive God—whether it's through people-pleasing, shopping, the internet, food, career highs, or even good works and elite theology. We attempt to anesthetize our anxiety through addiction—any old addiction. But it often leaves us feeling even more empty than before.In Coming Clean, Seth Haines writes a raw account of his first 90 days of sobriety, illuminating how to face the pain we'd rather avoid, and even more importantly, how an abiding God meets us in that pain. Seth shows us that true wholeness is found in facing our pain and anxieties with the tenacity and tenderness of Jesus, and only through Christ's passion can we truly come clean
Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor
James J. O'Connell - 2015
O'Connell’s collection of stories and essays, written during thirty years of caring for homeless persons in Boston, gently illuminates the humanity and raw courage of those who struggle to survive and find meaning and hope while living on the streets.
The Anti-Cool Girl
Rosie Waterland - 2015
Rosie Waterland has never been cool. Growing up in housing commission, Rosie was cursed with a near perfect, beautiful older sister who dressed like Mariah Carey on a Best & Less budget while Rosie was still struggling with various toilet mishaps. She soon realised that she was the Doug Pitt to her sister's Brad, and that cool was not going to be her currency in this life. But that was only one of the problems Rosie faced. With two addicts for parents, she grew up amidst rehab stays, AA meetings, overdoses, narrow escapes from drug dealers and a merry-go-round of dodgy boyfriends in her mother's life. Rosie watched as her dad passed out/was arrested/vomited, and had to talk her mum out of killing herself. As an adult, trying to come to grips with her less than conventional childhood, Rosie navigated her way through eating disorders, nude acting roles, mental health issues and awkward Tinder dates. Then she had an epiphany: to stop pretending to be who she wasn't and embrace her true self - a girl who loved drinking wine in her underpants on Sunday nights - and become an Anti-Cool Girl. An irrepressible, blackly comic memoir, Rosie Waterland's story is a clarion call for Anti-Cool Girls everywhere. 'If Augusten Burroughs and Lena Dunham abandoned their child in an Australian housing estate, she'd write this heartbreaking, hilarious book. It made me laugh uproariously, then feel terrible for her, then laugh all over again. Sorry, Rosie.' Dominic Knight, The Chaser 'Hilarious, wise, gutsy, clear-eyed, devastating and uplifting. It's a marvel.' Richard Glover
It's a Long Story: My Life
Willie Nelson - 2015
Funny. Leaving no stone unturned." . . . So say the publishers about this book I've written. What I say is that this is the story of my life, told as clear as a Texas sky and in the same rhythm that I lived it. It's a story of restlessness and the purity of the moment and living right. Of my childhood in Abbott, Texas, to the Pacific Northwest, from Nashville to Hawaii and all the way back again. Of selling vacuum cleaners and encyclopedias while hosting radio shows and writing song after song, hoping to strike gold. It's a story of true love, wild times, best friends, and barrooms, with a musical sound track ripping right through it. My life gets lived on the road, at home, and on the road again, tried and true, and I've written it all down from my heart to yours. Signed,Willie Nelson
All Dogs Go to Kevin: Everything Three Dogs Taught Me (That I Didn't Learn in Veterinary School)
Jessica Vogelsang - 2015
You can't always count on people, but you can always count on your dog. No one knows that better than veterinarian Jessica Vogelsang. With the help of three dogs, Jessica is buoyed through adolescence, veterinary school, and the early years of motherhood. Taffy, the fearsome Lhasa; Emmett, the devil-may-care Golden; and Kekoa, the neurotic senior Labrador, are always by her side, educating her in empathy and understanding for all the oddballs and misfits who come through the vet clinic doors. Also beside her is Kevin, a human friend who lives with the joie de vivre most people only dream of having. From the clueless canine who inadvertently reveals a boyfriend's wandering ways to the companion who sees through a new mother's smiling facade, Jessica's stories from the clinic and life show how her love for canines lifts her up and grounds her, too. Above all, this book reminds us, with gentle humor and honesty, why we put up with the pee on the carpet, the chewed-up shoes, and the late-night trips to the vet: because the animals we love so much can, in fact, change our lives.
Straight Pepper Diet
Joseph W. Naus - 2015
Naus, is the author of Straight Pepper Diet, a harrowing and sometimes hilarious memoir about surviving the aftermath of sex and alcohol addiction. “On Tuesday, I was a respected civil trial lawyer making six-figures. On Wednesday, I woke up handcuffed to a hospital bed … and then it got worse.”
Russel Lazega - 2015
Her devoted family only wants the best for their Bubbie. Mostly they want to ensure that their matriarch’s twilight years are spent in comfort, safety, and serenity. But how do you manage an aging, immutably stubborn Holocaust survivor who has risen above the squalor of Poland’s ghettos; fled across the war-torn German wilderness; and survived the winter-ravaged Pyrenees alone on foot with three children? You probably don't.Managing Bubbie is the heartrending, hilarious family memoir by Russel Lazega that recounts the frequently hectic, ever-exhausting trials of one Jewish family in Miami Beach as they try to oversee the care of the elderly, unmanageable Lea Lazega. As they scramble for an acceptable assisted living facility and struggle to get her medication in line, they discover the difficulties of controlling a woman who time and again eluded catastrophe by refusing to be told what to do. A tapestry of an American family in the 1980s, Managing Bubbie also revisits the Holocaust period to mine the love, hope, and humor that emerged from the deepest despair. Anyone who savors a soft heart with a sharp funny bone will laugh, cry, and commiserate with the confounded family who must manage their beloved, impossible Bubbie.
I, Justine: An Analog Memoir
Justine Ezarik - 2015
By sixth grade she had built her first website. A decade later, she became one of the Internet’s first—and most popular—“lifecasters,” inviting people around the world to watch her every move, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. But it was a one-minute video about an itemized AT&T bill that gave Justine her first taste of viral success: Within ten days of release, her “300-page iPhone bill” had garnered more than 3 million views and international media attention. These days, iJustine is a one-woman new media phenomenon: The popular techie, gamer, vlogger, and digital influencer has an army of nearly 3.5 million subscribers across multiple YouTube channels, with total views approaching half a billion. Now, Justine is giving friends and fans a look behind the scenes, sharing never-before-told stories about the hilarious (and sometimes heartbreaking) reality of sharing your life online. With her trademark wit and delightfully weird sense of humor, Justine delivers an inspirational message in support of creativity, entrepreneurship, and the power of staying true to yourself, while reminding readers that the Internet is a very small world—you just never know who you’re going to meet.
The Outsider: My Life in Intrigue
Frederick Forsyth - 2015
Whether writing about the murky world of arms dealers, the shadowy Nazi underground movement, or the intricacies of worldwide drug cartels, every plot has been chillingly plausible because every detail has been minutely researched.But what most people don’t know is that some of his greatest stories of intrigue have been in his own life.He was the RAF’s youngest pilot at the age of nineteen, barely escaped the wrath of an arms dealer in Hamburg, got strafed by a MiG during the Nigerian civil war, landed during a bloody coup in Guinea-Bissau (and was accused of helping fund a 1973 coup in Equatorial Guinea). The Stasi arrested him, the Israelis feted him, the IRA threatened him, and a certain attractive Czech secret police agent—well, her actions were a bit more intimate. And that’s just for starters.It is a memoir like no other—and a book of pure delight.
Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail
Carrot Quinn - 2015
The city makes her feel numb, and she's having trouble connecting with others. In a desperate move she breaks away from everything to walk 2,660 miles from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail. It will be her first long-distance hike.In the desert of Southern California Carrot faces many challenges, both physical and emotional: pain, injury, blisters, aching cold and searing heat, dehydration, exhaustion, loneliness. In the wilderness she happens upon and becomes close with an eclectic group of strangers- people she wouldn't have chanced to meet in the “regular world” but who are brought together, here on the trail, by their one common goal: make it to Canada before the snow flies.
Road Trip Rwanda: A Journey Into the New Heart of Africa
Will Ferguson - 2015
Twenty years after the genocide that left Rwanda in ruins, Giller Prize-winning author Will Ferguson travels deep into the once-mysterious "Land of a Thousand Hills" with his friend and cohort Jean-Claude Munyezamu, a man who escaped Rwanda just months before the killings began. From the legendary source of the Nile to Dian Fossey's famed "gorillas in the mist," from innovative refugee camps along the Congolese border to the world's most escapable prison, from tragic genocide sites to open savannahs and a bridge to freedom, from schoolyard soccer pitches to a cunning plan to get rich on passion fruit, Ferguson and Munyezamu discover a country reborn. Funny, engaging, poignant, and at times heartbreaking, Road Trip Rwanda is the lively tale of two friends, the open road, and the hidden heart of a continent.
Innocent: A murdered son. A grieving mother. The fight to clear her name.
Sarah Rose - 2015
I couldn’t speak to any of my family. It was like I’d been found guilty before I could be proved innocent’Losing a child is any mother’s worst nightmare, but how do you grieve when you’re being blamed for his death? When Sarah Rose discovered her 15-month-old son Kamran had been brutally murdered, she was immediately put under arrest. The days she spent in jail were terrifying and harrowing, but it was when she heard the results of the post-mortem that the truth hit her: her boyfriend, Nicholas, the man she’s loved and trusted, had beaten her little boy to death. Heartbroken, isolated and alone, she knew she’d have to fight to prove her innocence and put Nicholas behind bars.Tragic, moving, yet ultimately uplifting, this is story of a mother’s love and her battle for the truth.
The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician's First Year
Matt McCarthy - 2015
But when a new admission to the critical care unit almost died his first night on call, he found himself scrambling. Visions of mastery quickly gave way to hopes of simply surviving hospital life, where confidence was hard to come by and no amount of med school training could dispel the terror of facing actual patients.This funny, candid memoir of McCarthy’s intern year at a New York hospital provides a scorchingly frank look at how doctors are made, taking readers into patients’ rooms and doctors’ conferences to witness a physician's journey from ineptitude to competence. McCarthy's one stroke of luck paired him with a brilliant second-year adviser he called “Baio” (owing to his resemblance to the Charles in Charge star), who proved to be a remarkable teacher with a wicked sense of humor. McCarthy would learn even more from the people he cared for, including a man named Benny, who was living in the hospital for months at a time awaiting a heart transplant. But no teacher could help McCarthy when an accident put his own health at risk, and showed him all too painfully the thin line between doctor and patient.The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly offers a window on to hospital life that dispenses with sanctimony and self-seriousness while emphasizing the black-comic paradox of becoming a doctor: How do you learn to save lives in a job where there is no practice?
Fastest Things on Wings: Rescuing Hummingbirds in Hollywood
Terry Masear - 2015
When he arrived in rehab caked in road grime, he was so badly injured that he could barely perch. But Terry Masear, one of the busiest hummingbird rehabbers in the country, was determined to save this damaged bird, who seemed oddly familiar. During the four months that Terry worked with Gabriel, she took in 160 hummingbirds, from a miniature nestling rescued by a bulldog and a fledgling trapped inside a skydiving wind tunnel at Universal CityWalk, to Pepper, a female Anna’s injured on a film set. In their time together, Pepper and Gabriel form a special bond and, together, with Terry’s help, learn to fly again. Woven around Gabriel’s and Pepper’s stories are those of other colorful birds in this personal narrative filled with the science and magic surrounding these fascinating creatures.
The Light of the World
Elizabeth Alexander - 2015
Channeling her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid prose, Alexander tells a love story that is, itself, a story of loss. As she reflects on the beauty of her married life, the trauma resulting from her husband's death, and the solace found in caring for her two teenage sons, Alexander universalizes a very personal quest for meaning and acceptance in the wake of loss. The Light of the World is at once an endlessly compelling memoir and a deeply felt meditation on the blessings of love, family, art, and community. It is also a lyrical celebration of a life well-lived and a paean to the priceless gift of human companionship. For those who have loved and lost, or for anyone who cares what matters most, The Light of the World is required reading.
Anna Blake - 2015
My life went to the dogs...and horses...and llamas... and did I mention happy hour with the goats? My urban world came apart, so I took a leap of faith and crash-landed on a dilapidated would-be horse farm on the flat, windy, treeless prairie of Colorado. It was a place where white horses turn pink at sunrise and I didn't have to worry about locking the back entry to the house, because the door was missing. The biggest social event of any week was greeting the trash man on Tuesday. And what should I do about the deceased llama in the laundry room? Any decent midlife crisis has a quality of time travel, in this case swinging back to my childhood farm and my disconnected, secretive family, then forward to the animals who became my family on the prairie. My dogs and horses were soon joined by some line-dancing llamas and a biker-gang of goat kids, defying gravity and every other rule. I rescued an abused donkey who told me he was Ernest, and Windy, an un-wanted chestnut mare who became our beloved herd matriarch. Even Fred, the duck lived by a code. It's the memoir of my bittersweet transition from a mid-life orphan to a modern pioneer woman, building an entirely different kind of family farm. Stable Relation appeals to all animal lovers, midlife survivors, and anyone whose parents had problems of their own. It's told in a strong, bittersweet voice, sharing life and death on a small farm and the healing power of animals: James Herriot meets Janette Walls.
Guantánamo Diary: Restored Edition
Mohamedou Ould Slahi - 2015
Since 2002, Mohamedou Slahi has been imprisoned at the detainee camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In all these years, the United States has never charged him with a crime. Although he was ordered released by a federal judge, the U.S. government fought that decision, and there is no sign that the United States plans to let him go. Three years into his captivity Slahi began a diary, recounting his life before he disappeared into U.S. custody and daily life as a detainee. His diary is not merely a vivid record of a miscarriage of justice, but a deeply personal memoir -- terrifying, darkly humorous, and surprisingly gracious. Published now for the first time, Guantanamo Diary is a document of immense historical importance.
Fourteen: A Daughter's Memoir of Adventure, Sailing, and Survival
Leslie Johansen Nack - 2015
The abuse begins at age nine and doesn't end until she begins to fight back, finally, at age fourteen. Her father, a larger-than-life Norwegian, assumed full custody of Leslie and her two sisters and moved the family from their 63-acre rustic ranch in Northern California to a 45-foot sailboat in Southern California. The family spent two years living aboard their boat preparing for the trip of their father's dreams: a trip around the world. On February 5, 1975, the family set sail for French Polynesia. Intense and inspiring, Fourteen is a coming-of-age adventure story about a young girl who comes into her own power, fights back against abuse, becomes an accomplished sailor, and falls in love with the ocean and the natural world. The outer voyage is a mirror of her inner journey, and her goal is to find the strength to endure in a dangerous world, and within a difficult family.