Best of
Memoir

2016

Walk Through Walls: A Memoir


Marina Abramović - 2016
    This celebration of nearly fifty years of groundbreaking performance art demonstrated once again that Marina Abramović is truly a force of nature.The child of Communist war-hero parents under Tito’s regime in postwar Yugoslavia, she was raised with a relentless work ethic. Even as she was beginning to build an international artistic career, Marina lived at home under her mother’s abusive control, strictly obeying a 10 p.m. curfew. But nothing could quell her insatiable curiosity, her desire to connect with people, or her distinctly Balkan sense of humor—all of which informs her art and her life. The beating heart of Walk Through Walls is an operatic love story—a twelve-year collaboration with fellow performance artist Ulay, much of which was spent penniless in a van traveling across Europe—a relationship that began to unravel and came to a dramatic end atop the Great Wall of China.Marina’s story, by turns moving, epic, and dryly funny, informs an incomparable artistic career that involves pushing her body past the limits of fear, pain, exhaustion, and danger in an uncompromising quest for emotional and spiritual transformation. A remarkable work of performance in its own right, Walk Through Walls is a vivid and powerful rendering of the unparalleled life of an extraordinary artist.

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood


Trevor Noah - 2016
    Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle. Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe


Mike Massimino - 2016
    Growing up in a working-class Long Island family, Massimino catapulted himself to Columbia and then MIT, only to flunk his qualifying exams and be rejected twice by NASA before making it to the final round of astronaut selection—where he was told his poor eyesight meant he’d never make the cut. But even that couldn’t stop him from finally earning his wings, making the jump to training in T-38 Air Force jets and preparing his body—and soul—for the journey to the cosmos.Taking us through the surreal wonder and beauty of his first spacewalk, the tragedy of losing friends in the Columbia shuttle accident, and the development of his enduring love for the Hubble telescope—which he’d be tasked with saving on his final mission— Massimino has written an ode to never giving up and the power of teamwork to make anything possible. Spaceman invites us into a rare, wonderful world where the nerdiest science meets the most thrilling adventure, and pulls back a curtain on just what having “the right stuff” really means.

Girl Unbroken


Regina Calcaterra - 2016
    Yet through it all they had each other. Rosie, the youngest, is fawned over and shielded by her older sister, Regina. Their mother, Cookie, blows in and out of their lives “like a hurricane, blind and uncaring to everything in her path.”But when Regina discloses the truth about her abusive mother to her social worker, she is separated from her younger siblings Norman and Rosie. And as Rosie discovers after Cookie kidnaps her from foster care, the one thing worse than being abandoned by her mother is living in Cookie’s presence. Beaten physically, abused emotionally, and forced to labor at the farm where Cookie settles in Idaho, Rosie refuses to give in. Like her sister Regina, Rosie has an unfathomable strength in the face of unimaginable hardship—enough to propel her out of Idaho and out of a nightmare.Filled with maturity and grace, Rosie’s memoir continues the compelling story begun in Etched in Sand—a shocking yet profoundly moving testament to sisterhood and indomitable courage.

When Breath Becomes Air


Paul Kalanithi - 2016
    One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi's transformation from a naïve medical student "possessed," as he wrote, "by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life" into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality. What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir. Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. "I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything," he wrote. "Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: 'I can't go on. I'll go on.'" When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.

Tiny Prisoners


Maggie Hartley - 2016
    Aged just two and three years old, this brother and sister have hardly set foot outside their own home. They have been prisoners, locked in a terrifying world of abuse, violence and neglect. Maggie soon realises that Evie and Elliot are lacking the basic life skills we all take for granted. The outside world terrifies them; the sound of the doorbell sends them into a panic that takes hours to abate. Gradually unlocking the truth of their heart-breaking upbringing, Maggie tells their shocking true story.From emotionally scarred and damaged little children, we see how - with warmth and dedication - Maggie transforms their lives. As this moving story unfolds, we share Maggie's joy when these children finally smile again, when they realise they do have a future after all.

Mere Motherhood: Morning times, nursery rhymes, and my journey toward sanctification


Cindy Rollins - 2016
    Thirty years and nine children later, Cindy has become a popular blogger, podcaster, and award winning teacher. This is her story. It's a story of big families and cross-country moves, and small-town living. It's about great books and morning times and nursery rhymes. It's the story of a dedicated mother's journey toward the Truth and the family she brought along with her.

Hope Heals: A True Story of Overwhelming Loss and an Overcoming Love


Katherine Wolf - 2016
    As they pursued their dreams, they planted their lives in the city and in their church community. Their son, James, came along unexpectedly in the fall of 2007, and just 6 months later, everything changed in a moment for this young family.On April 21, 2008, as James slept in the other room, Katherine collapsed, suffering a massive brain stem stroke without warning. Miraculously, Jay came home in time and called for help. Katherine was immediately rushed into micro-brain surgery, though her chance of survival was slim. As the sun rose the next morning, the surgeon proclaimed that Katherine had survived the removal of part of her brain, though her future recovery was completely uncertain. Yet in that moment, there was a spark of hope. Through 40 days on life support in the ICU and nearly 2 years in full-time brain rehab, that spark of hope was fanned into flame.Defying every prognosis, with grit and grace, Katherine and Jay, side by side, struggled to regain a life for Katherine as she re-learned to talk and eat and walk. Returning home with a severely disabled body but a completely renewed purpose, they committed to celebrate this gift of a second chance by embracing life fully, even though that life looked very different than they could have ever imagined. In the midst of continuing hardships and struggles, both in body and mind, Katherine and Jay found what we all long to find...hope, hope that heals the most broken place, our souls.An excruciating yet beautiful road to recovery has led the Wolf family to their new normal, in which almost every moment of life is marked with the scars of that fateful April day in 2008. Now, eight years later, Katherine and Jay are stewarding their story of suffering, restoration, and Christ-centered hope in this broken world through their ministry Hope Heals.

Forty Autumns: A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall


Nina Willner - 2016
    At twenty, Hanna escaped from East to West Germany. But the price of freedom—leaving behind her parents, eight siblings, and family home—was heartbreaking. Uprooted, Hanna eventually moved to America, where she settled down with her husband and had children of her own.Growing up near Washington, D.C., Hanna’s daughter, Nina Willner became the first female Army Intelligence Officer to lead sensitive intelligence operations in East Berlin at the height of the Cold War. Though only a few miles separated American Nina and her German relatives—grandmother Oma, Aunt Heidi, and cousin, Cordula, a member of the East German Olympic training team—a bitter political war kept them apart.In Forty Autumns, Nina recounts her family’s story—five ordinary lives buffeted by circumstances beyond their control. She takes us deep into the tumultuous and terrifying world of East Germany under Communist rule, revealing both the cruel reality her relatives endured and her own experiences as an intelligence officer, running secret operations behind the Berlin Wall that put her life at risk.A personal look at a tenuous era that divided a city and a nation, and continues to haunt us, Forty Autumns is an intimate and beautifully written story of courage, resilience, and love—of five women whose spirits could not be broken, and who fought to preserve what matters most: family.Forty Autumns is illustrated with dozens of black-and-white and color photographs.

The Girl Who Escaped ISIS: This Is My Story


Farida Khalaf - 2016
    In the early summer of 2014, Farida Khalaf was a typical Yazidi teenager living with her parents and three brothers in her village in the mountains of Northern Iraq. In one horrific day, she lost everything: ISIS invaded her village, destroyed her family, and sold her into sexual slavery. The Girl Who Escaped ISIS is her incredible account of captivity and describes how she defied the odds and escaped a life of torture, in order to share her story with the world. Devastating and inspiring, this is an astonishing, intimate account of courage and hope in the face of appalling violence"--

The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ


Andrew Klavan - 2016
    Best known for his hard-boiled, white-knuckle thrillers and for the movies made from them—among them True Crime (directed by Clint Eastwood) and Don’t Say a Word (starring Michael Douglas)—Klavan was born in a suburban Jewish enclave outside New York City. He left the faith of his childhood behind to live most of his life as an agnostic in the secular, sophisticated atmosphere of New York, London, and Los Angeles. But his lifelong quest for truth—in his life and in his work—was leading him to a place he never expected.In The Great Good Thing, Klavan tells how his troubled childhood caused him to live inside the stories in his head and grow up to become an alienated young writer whose disconnection and rage devolved into depression and suicidal breakdown. But he also stumbled into a genuine romance, a passionate and committed marriage whose uncommon and enduring devotion convinced him of the reality of love.In those years, Klavan fought to ignore the insistent call of God, a call glimpsed in a childhood Christmas at the home of a beloved babysitter, in a transcendent moment at his daughter’s birth, and in a snippet of a baseball game broadcast that moved him from the brink of suicide. But more than anything, the call of God existed in stories—the stories Klavan loved to read and the stories he loved to write.The Great Good Thing is the dramatic, soul-searching story of a man born into an age of disbelief who had to abandon everything he thought he knew in order to find his way to the truth.

Martha's Vineyard, Isle of Dreams (#2)


Susan Branch - 2016
     It was meant to be temporary, a three-month time-out from the daily grind of being broken up and miserable, but within days of her arrival, alone and not quite in her right mind, Susan "accidentally" bought a tiny one-bedroom cottage in the woods. And that is how she discovered she was moving 3,000 miles away from everyone and everything she had known and loved. Funny, observant, touching, and addictive (you are not going to want this book to end), based on the diaries she has kept all her life, Susan Branch relates her inspirational tale of starting over, of lost love and self discovery, her search for roots, purpose, and destiny with laugh-out-loud honesty. A road map for overcoming loss, following your heart, and making dreams come true, charmingly hand-lettered and watercolored in Susan's inimitable style, there are diary excerpts, recipes, and hundreds of photographs. Printed in the USA, in full color with a ribbon bookmark, Martha's Vineyard, Isle of Dreams is book number two of a continuing story . . . Book one was The Fairy Tale Girl which came out October 2015, and book 3, which was written first, was A Fine Romance, Falling in Love with the English Countryside published in August 2013.

Tomboy Survival Guide


Ivan E. Coyote - 2016
    Tomboy Survival Guide is a funny and moving memoir told in stories, in which Ivan recounts the pleasures and difficulties of growing up a tomboy in Canada’s Yukon, and how they learned to embrace their tomboy past while carving out a space for those of us who don’t fit neatly into boxes or identities or labels.Ivan writes movingly about many firsts: the first time they were mistaken for a boy; the first time they purposely discarded their bikini top so they could join the boys at the local swimming pool; and the first time they were chastised for using the women’s washroom. Ivan also explores their years as a young butch, dealing with new infatuations and old baggage, and life as a gender-box-defying adult, in which they offer advice to young people while seeking guidance from others. (And for tomboys in training, there are even directions on building your very own unicorn trap.)Tomboy Survival Guide warmly recounts Ivan’s adventures and mishaps as a diffident yet free-spirited tomboy, and maps their journey through treacherous gender landscapes and a maze of labels that don’t quite stick, to a place of self-acceptance and an authentic and personal strength. These heartfelt, funny, and moving stories are about the culture of difference—a “guide” to being true to one’s self.

The Hate Race


Maxine Beneba Clarke - 2016
    On the surface of my skin, a miracle was quietly brewing . . .'Suburban Australia. Sweltering heat. Three bedroom blonde-brick. Family of five. Beat-up Ford Falcon. Vegemite on toast. Maxine Beneba Clarke's life is just like all the other Aussie kids on her street.Except for this one, glaring, inescapably obvious thing.

You Will Not Have My Hate


Antoine Leiris - 2016
    Three days later, Leiris wrote an open letter addressed directly to his wife's killers, which he posted on Facebook. He refused to be cowed or to let his seventeen-month-old son's life be defined by Helene's murder. He refused to let the killers have their way: "For as long as he lives, this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom." Instantly, that short Facebook post caught fire, and was reported on by newspapers and television stations all over the world. In his determination to honor the memory of his wife, he became an international hero to everyone searching desperately for a way to deal with the horror of the Paris attacks and the grim shadow cast today by the threat of terrorism. Now Leiris tells the full story of his grief and struggle. You Will Not Have My Hate is a remarkable, heartbreaking, and, indeed, beautiful memoir of how he and his baby son, Melvil, endured in the days and weeks after Helene's murder. With absolute emotional courage and openness, he somehow finds a way to answer that impossible question: how can I go on? He visits Helene's body at the morgue, has to tell Melvil that Mommy will not be coming home, and buries the woman he had planned to spend the rest of his life with. Leiris's grief is terrible, but his love for his family is indomitable. This is the rare and unforgettable testimony of a survivor, and a universal message of hope and resilience. Leiris confronts an incomprehensible pain with a humbling generosity and grandeur of spirit. He is a guiding star for us all in these perilous times. His message--hate will be vanquished by love--is eternal"--

A Year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess


Amanda Owen - 2016
    In A Year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess she describes the age-old cycles of a farming year and the constant challenges the family faces, from being cut off in winter to tending their flock on some of Yorkshire's highest, bleakest moors - land so inaccessible that in places it can only be reached on foot. Writing with her trademark warmth and humour, Amanda takes us into her life as nine-year-old Miles gets his first flock, Reuben takes up the flugelhorn and she gives birth to a new baby girl. She is touched by the epic two-day journey of a mother sheep determined to find her lamb and gives a new home to an ageing and neglected horse. Meanwhile Clive is almost arrested on a midnight stakeout to catch a sheep-worrying dog and becomes the object of affection for a randy young bull. Funny, poignant and charming, A Year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess is a must for anyone interested in the countryside and those who farm it.

Saving My Assassin


Virginia Prodan - 2016
    Buried in an unmarked grave in Romania. Obviously, I am not. God had other plans."At just under five feet tall, Virginia Prodan was no match for the towering 6' 10" gun-wielding assassin the Romanian government sent to her office to take her life. It was not the first time her life had been threatened--nor would it be the last.As a young attorney under Nicolae Ceausescu's brutal communist regime, Virginia had spent her entire life searching for the truth. When she finally found it in the pages of the most forbidden book in all of Romania, Virginia accepted the divine call to defend fellow followers of Christ against unjust persecution in an otherwise ungodly land.For this act of treason, she was kidnapped, beaten, tortured, placed under house arrest, and came within seconds of being executed under the orders of Ceausescu himself. How Virginia not only managed to elude her enemies time and again, but how she also helped expose the appalling secret that would ultimately lead to the demise of Ceausescu's evil empire is one of the most extraordinary stories ever told.A must-read for all generations, Saving My Assassin is the unforgettable account of one woman's search for truth, her defiance in the face of evil, and a surprise encounter that proves without a shadow of a doubt that nothing is impossible with God.

Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man's Education


Mychal Denzel Smith - 2016
    Young men of this age have watched as Barack Obama was elected president but have also witnessed the deaths of Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, and so many other young black men killed by police or vigilante violence. Chronicling his personal and political education during these tumultuous years, Smith narrates his own coming-of-age story and his struggles to come into his own at a time when too many black men do not survive into adulthood.From Barack Obama’s landmark speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 to the recent and widely reported cases of violence against women, from powerful moments of black self-determination like LeBron James’ “decision” to the mobilization of thousands of young black men in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death, Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching documents of how these public milestones have challenged cultural notions of black manhood. Part memoir, part political tract, this book is an unprecedented and intimate glimpse into what it means to be young, black, and male in America today—and what it means to be treated as a human in a society dependent on your subjugation.

A Family For Christmas


Maggie Hartley - 2016
    A split-second decision to leave toddler Edward alone for a few short minutes results in a tragic accident, and Edward is left fighting for his life. He survives, but is tragically left severely brain damaged.Wracked with guilt, destroyed by blame and struggling to accept that their perfect toddler has gone, Sean and Sheila go to pieces. Maggie steps in to foster Edward while his parents battle with the unspoken fear that he may have to be adopted permanently if they cannot cope with their son's needs. Will Maggie be able to help this family grieve for the son they've lost and learn to love the little boy he is now? And will Edward have a family to go home to at Christmas?

The Sound of Gravel


Ruth Wariner - 2016
    Growing up on a farm in rural Mexico, where authorities turned a blind eye to the practices of her community, Ruth lives in a ramshackle house without indoor plumbing or electricity. At church, preachers teach that God will punish the wicked by destroying the world and that women can only ascend to Heaven by entering into polygamous marriages and giving birth to as many children as possible. After Ruth's father—the man who had been the founding prophet of the colony—is brutally murdered by his brother in a bid for church power, her mother remarries, becoming the second wife of another faithful congregant.In need of government assistance and supplemental income, Ruth and her siblings are carted back and forth between Mexico and the United States, where her mother collects welfare and her stepfather works a variety of odd jobs. Ruth comes to love the time she spends in the States, realizing that perhaps the community into which she was born is not the right one for her. As Ruth begins to doubt her family’s beliefs and question her mother’s choices, she struggles to balance her fierce love for her siblings with her determination to forge a better life for herself.Recounted from the innocent and hopeful perspective of a child, The Sound of Gravel is the remarkable true story of a girl fighting for peace and love. This is an intimate, gripping tale of triumph, courage, and resilience.

Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea


Sungju Lee - 2016
    To survive, Sungju creates a gang and lives by thieving, fighting, begging, and stealing rides on cargo trains. Sungju richly re-creates his scabrous story, depicting what it was like for a boy alone to create a new family with his gang, his “brothers”; to be hungry and to fear arrest, imprisonment, and even execution. This riveting memoir allows young readers to learn about other cultures where freedoms they take for granted do not exist.

The Ghost Girl


Maggie Hartley - 2016
    Pale, frail and withdrawn, it was clear to Maggie that Kayleigh had seen and experienced things that no ten-year-old should have to, that she's been conditioned to 'see no evil, speak no evil'. Kayleigh is in desperate need of help, but can Maggie get through to her and unlock the harrowing secret she carries? Through love, reassurance and patience, Maggie starts to unravel Kayleigh's painful past - a past defined by cruelty and abuse by the very people who should have protected her. Raised by a cruel aunt after her parents abandoned her, Kayleigh was abused, left to starve and wear rags, while her aunt's children lived a life of luxury. It's up to Maggie to help Kayleigh find her voice; to be a ghost no more, and bring those who've harmed her to justice.

Penguin Bloom: The Odd Little Bird Who Saved a Family


Cameron Bloom - 2016
    People the world over have fallen in love with the stunning and deeply personal images of this rescued bird and her human family. But there is far more to Penguin's story than meets the eye. It begins with a shocking accident, in which Cameron's wife, Sam, suffers a near fatal fall that leaves her paralysed and deeply depressed.Into their lives comes Penguin, an injured magpie chick abandoned after she fell from her nest. Penguin's rescue and the incredible joy and strength she gives Sam and all those who helped her survive demonstrates that, however bleak things seem, compassion, friendship and support can come from unexpected quarters, ensuring there are always better days ahead. This plucky little magpie reminds us all that, no matter how lost, fragile or damaged we feel, accepting the love of others and loving them in return will help to make us whole.

It's Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool Too)


Nora McInerny Purmort - 2016
    Then she met Aaron, a charismatic art director and her kindred spirit. They made mix tapes (and pancakes) into the wee hours of the morning. They finished each other’s sentences. They just knew. When Aaron was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer, they refused to let it limit their love. They got engaged on Aaron’s hospital bed and married after his first surgery. They had a baby when he was on chemo. They shared an amazing summer filled with happiness and laughter. A few months later, Aaron died in Nora’s arms in another hospital bed. His wildly creative obituary, which they wrote together, touched the world.Now, Nora shares hysterical, moving, and painfully honest stories about her journey with Aaron. It’s Okay to Laugh explores universal themes of love, marriage, work, (single) motherhood, and depression through her refreshingly frank viewpoint. A love letter to life, in all of its messy glory, and what it’s like to still be kickin', It’s Okay to Laugh is like a long chat with a close friend over a cup of coffee (or chardonnay).

A Lowcountry Heart: Reflections on a Writing Life


Pat Conroy - 2016
    Finally, the collection turns to remembrances of "The Great Conroy," as he is lovingly titled by friends, and concludes with a eulogy. The inarguable power of Conroy's work resonates throughout A Lowcountry Heart, and his influence promises to endure.This moving tribute is sure to be a cherished keepsake for any true Conroy fan and remain a lasting monument to one of the best-loved masters of contemporary American letters.

The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father


Kao Kalia Yang - 2016
    Bee lost his father as a young boy and keenly felt his orphanhood. He would wander from one neighbor to the next, collecting the things they said to each other, whispering the words to himself at night until, one day, a song was born. Bee sings the life of his people through the war-torn jungle and a Thai refugee camp. But the songs fall away in the cold, bitter world of a Minneapolis housing project and on the factory floor until, with the death of Bee's mother, the songs leave him for good. But before they do, Bee, with his poetry, has polished a life of poverty for his children, burnished their grim reality so that they might shine.Written with the exquisite beauty for which Kao Kalia Yang is renowned, The Song Poet is a love story -- of a daughter for her father, a father for his children, a people for their land, their traditions, and all that they have lost.

Pieces of Me: Rescuing My Kidnapped Daughters


Lizbeth Meredith - 2016
    Twenty-nine and just on the verge of makingher dreams of financial independence for her and her daughters cometrue, Lizbeth now faced a $100,000 problem on a $10 an hour budget. Forthe next two years fueled by memories of her own childhood kidnappingLizbeth traded in her small life for a life more public, traveling tothe White House and Greece, and becoming a local media sensation inorder to garner interest in her efforts. The generous community ofAnchorage becomes Lizbeth's makeshift family one that is replicated by a growing number of Greeks and expats overseas who help Lizbeth navigatethe turbulent path leading back to her daughters.

Bare Bones: I'm Not Lonely If You're Reading This Book


Bobby Bones - 2016
    Abandoned by his father at the age of five, Bobby saw the radio as his way out—a dream that came true in college when he went on air at the Henderson State University campus station broadcasting as Bobby Bones, while simultaneously starting The Bobby Bones Show at 105.9 KLAZ. Bobby’s passions were pop, country music, and comedy, and he blended the three to become a tastemaker in the country music industry, heard by millions daily. Bobby broke the format of standard country radio, mixing country and pop with entertainment news and information, and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the business, including Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum, and Jason Aldean.Yet despite the glamour, fame, and money, Bobby has never forgotten his roots, the mom and grandmother who raised him, the work ethic he embraced which saved him and encouraged him to explore the world, and the good values that shaped him. In this funny, poignant memoir told in Bobby’s distinctive patter, he takes fans on a tour of his road to radio. Bobby doesn’t shy away from the curves he continues to navigate—including his obsessive-compulsive disorder—on his journey to find the happiness of a healthy family.Funny and tender, raw and honest, Bare Bones is pure Bobby Bones—surprising, entertaining, inspiring, and authentic.

Carry On: Two Young Men, a Journalist Who Wouldn't Walk Away, and the Creation of an Unlikely Family


Lisa Fenn - 2016
    Both young men were disadvantaged students with significant physical disabilities. Dartanyon Crockett, the team’s best wrestler, was legally blind as a result of Leber’s disease; Leroy Sutton lost both his legs at eleven, when he was run over by a train. Brought together by wrestling, they had developed a brother-like bond as they worked to overcome their disabilities. In their time developing the segment together, Fenn formed a profound connection with Dartanyon and Leroy. After earning their trust and their love, she realized she couldn’t just walk away when filming ended. These boys had had to overcome the odds too many times. Instead, Fenn dedicated herself to ensuring their success long after the reporting wqs finished and the story aired—and an unlikely family of three was formed. The years ahead would be fraught with complex challenges, but Fenn stayed with the boys every step of the way—teaching them essential life skills, helping them heal old wounds and traumatic pasts, and providing the first steady and consistent support system they’d ever had.This powerful memoir is one of love, hope, faith, and strength—a story about an unusual family and the courage to carry on, even in the most extraordinary circumstances.

Beautiful Hero: How We Survived the Khmer Rouge


Jennifer H. Lau - 2016
     Surrounded by unimaginable adverse forces, one strong woman would ultimately lead her entire family to survive. Beautiful Hero is an autobiographical narrative told from a daughter’s perspective. The story centers around Meiyeng, the eponymous Beautiful Hero, and her innate ability to sustain everyone in her family. She shepherded her entire family through starvation, diseases, slavery and massacres in war-torn Cambodia to forge a new life in America. Over two million people—a third of the country’s population—fell victim to a devastating genocide in Cambodia. The rise of the Khmer Rouge posed not merely a single challenge to survival, but rather a series of nightmarish obstacles that required constant circumvention, outmaneuvering, and exceptional fortitude from those few who would survive the regime intact. The story eerily unravels the layers of atrocity and evil unleashed upon the people, providing a clear view of this horrific and violent time of the Cambodian revolution.br>

But You Did Not Come Back


Marceline Loridan-Ivens - 2016
    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.

The Magnolia Story


Chip Gaines - 2016
    As this question fills the airwaves with anticipation, their legions of fans continue to multiply and ask a different series of questions, like—Who are these people?What’s the secret to their success? And is Chip actually that funny in real life? By renovating homes in Waco, Texas, and changing lives in such a winsome and engaging way, Chip and Joanna have become more than just the stars of Fixer Upper, they have become America’s new best friends.The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today.They both attended Baylor University in Waco. However, their paths did not cross until Chip checked his car into the local Firestone tire shop where Joanna worked behind the counter. Even back then Chip was a serial entrepreneur who, among other things, ran a lawn care company, sold fireworks, and flipped houses. Soon they were married and living in their first fixer upper. Four children and countless renovations later, Joanna garners the attention of a television producer who notices her work on a blog one day.In The Magnolia Story fans will finally get to join the Gaines behind the scenes and discover:-The time Chip ran to the grocery store and forgot to take their new, sleeping baby-Joanna’s agonizing decision to close her dream business to focus on raising their children-When Chip buys a houseboat, sight-unseen, and it turns out to be a leaky wreck-Joanna’s breakthrough moment of discovering the secret to creating a beautiful home-Harrowing stories of the financial ups and downs as an entrepreneurial couple-Memories and photos from Chip and Jo’s wedding-The significance of the word magnolia and why it permeates everything they do-The way the couple pays the popularity of Fixer Upper forward, sharing the success with others, and bolstering the city of Waco along the wayAnd yet there is still one lingering question for fans of the show: Is Chip really that funny? “Oh yeah,” says Joanna. “He was, and still is, my first fixer upper.”

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman


Lindy West - 2016
    From a painfully shy childhood in which she tried, unsuccessfully, to hide her big body and even bigger opinions; to her public war with stand-up comedians over rape jokes; to her struggle to convince herself, and then the world, that fat people have value; to her accidental activism and never-ending battle royale with Internet trolls, Lindy narrates her life with a blend of humor and pathos that manages to make a trip to the abortion clinic funny and wring tears out of a story about diarrhea.With inimitable good humor, vulnerability, and boundless charm, Lindy boldly shares how to survive in a world where not all stories are created equal and not all bodies are treated with equal respect, and how to weather hatred, loneliness, harassment, and loss--and walk away laughing. Shrill provocatively dissects what it means to become self-aware the hard way, to go from wanting to be silent and invisible to earning a living defending the silenced in all caps.

Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal


Amy Krouse Rosenthal - 2016
     In the ten years since the publication of her beloved, groundbreaking Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, #1 New York Times bestselling author Amy Krouse Rosenthal has been quietly tinkering away. Using her distinct blend of nonlinear narrative, wistful reflections, and insightful wit, she has created a modest but mighty new work.Why the title T​extbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal?​ • Because the book is organized into chapters with classic subject headings such as Social Studies, Music, Language Arts, Math, etc. • Because textbook ​is an expression meaning “quintessential,” as in, Oh, that wordplay and unconventional format is so typical of her, so textbook Amy. • Because for the first time ever, readers can further engage with a book via text messaging. • Because if an author’s previous book has E​ncyclopedia i​n the title, following it up with a ​Textbook would be rather nice.Not exactly a memoir, not just a collection of observations, Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal is an exploration into the many ways we are connected on this planet and speaks to the awe, bewilderment, and poignancy of being alive.

Digging Up Mother: A Love Story


Doug Stanhope - 2016
    Following a very singular career arc, Stanhope turned his back on Hollywood and toured relentlessly for years, performing up to 200 shows a year. He's a giant cult comedian with a fiercely loyal audience. His material is abrasive and often offensive, but it also relies on a bullshit-free, hardcore, outraged, truth-telling perspective in the tradition of the late Bill Hicks. Stanhope's memoir is sure to rub many the wrong way, but not without causing fits of uncontrollable laughter in the process.

My Voice


Angie Martinez - 2016
    In her twenty years behind the mic at New York City's two biggest hip-hop stations--Hot 97 and Power 105.1--Angie Martinez has become an entertainment legend. From one-time presidential hopeful Barack Obama to Jay-Z and Beyonce to post-prison Tupac, her intimate and candid interviews with the leading names in the music business, hip-hop culture, and beyond have grabbed headlines and changed the conversation. In the same no-holds-barred style of her radio show, Angie shares stories from behind-the-scenes of her most controversial interviews and reflects on her climb to the top of the radio business. And for the first time, Angie opens up about her personal life, exploring how her experiences have shaped her into the strong and outspoken woman that she is today. The Power of a Voice brings together New York City's one-of-a-kind urban radio culture, the changing faces of hip-hop music, and Angie Martinez's rise to become the Voice of New York"--

A Life in Parts


Bryan Cranston - 2016
    Acting was clearly the boy’s destiny, until one day his father disappeared. Destiny suddenly took a backseat to survival. Now, in his riveting memoir, Cranston maps his zigzag journey from abandoned son to beloved star by recalling the many odd parts he’s played in real life—paperboy, farmhand, security guard, dating consultant, murder suspect, dock loader, lover, husband, father. Cranston also chronicles his evolution on camera, from soap opera player trying to master the rules of show business to legendary character actor turning in classic performances as Seinfeld dentist Tim Whatley, “a sadist with newer magazines,” and Malcolm in the Middle dad Hal Wilkerson, a lovable bumbler in tighty-whities. He also gives an inspiring account of how he prepared, physically and mentally, for the challenging role of President Lyndon Johnson, a tour de force that won him a Tony to go along with his four Emmys. Of course, Cranston dives deep into the grittiest details of his greatest role, explaining how he searched inward for the personal darkness that would help him create one of the most memorable performances ever captured on screen: Walter White, chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin. Discussing his life as few men do, describing his art as few actors can, Cranston has much to say about creativity, devotion, and craft, as well as innate talent and its challenges and benefits and proper maintenance. But ultimately A Life in Parts is a story about the joy, the necessity, and the transformative power of simple hard work.

Because We Are Bad: OCD and a Girl Lost in Thought


Lily Bailey - 2016
    She had killed someone with a thought, spread untold disease, and ogled the bodies of other children. Only by performing an exhausting series of secret routines could she make up for what she’d done. But no matter how intricate or repetitive, no act of penance was ever enough.Beautifully written and astonishingly intimate, Because We Are Bad recounts a childhood consumed by obsessive compulsive disorder. As a child, Bailey created a second personality inside herself—"I" became "we"—to help manifest compulsions that drove every minute of every day of her young life. Now she writes about the forces beneath her skin, and how they ordered, organized, and urged her forward. Lily charts her journey, from checking on her younger sister dozens of times a night, to "normalizing" herself at school among new friends as she grew older, and finally to her young adult years, learning—indeed, breaking through—to make a way for herself in a big, wide world that refuses to stay in check.Charming and raw, harrowing and redemptive, Because We Are Bad is an illuminating and uplifting look into the mind and soul of an extraordinary young woman, and a startling portrait of OCD that allows us to see and understand this condition as never before.

One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly: The Art of Seeking God


Ashley Mae Hoiland - 2016
    Ashley Mae Hoiland bids us follow her down “the hallowed and well-trodden path between the heart and mind,” where glimpses of godliness are discovered in rainstorms, bus rides, temples, and mountains. As a Latter-day Saint, Hoiland explores the complexities of faith in everyday life where laughter and creativity matter as much as faith, hope, and charity.

Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted


Shannan Martin - 2016
    You will discover that at the same time her words make you squirm, you will wish you lived next door to her. You will want her wisdom and you will want her pickles.” —Jen Hatmaker (from the foreword)Shannan Martin had the perfect life: a cute farmhouse on six rambling acres, a loving husband, three adorable kids, money, friends, a close-knit church—a safe, happy existence.But when the bottom dropped out through a series of shocking changes and ordinary inconveniences, the Martins followed God’s call to something radically different: a small house on the other side of the urban tracks, a shoestring income, a challenged public school, and the harshness of a county jail (where her husband is now chaplain). And yet the family’s plunge from “safety” was the best thing that could have happened to them.  Falling Free charts their pilgrimage from the self-focused wisdom of the world to the topsy-turvy life of God’s more being found in less. Martin’s practical, sweetly subversive book invites us to rethink assumptions about faith and the good life, push past insecurity and fear, and look beyond comfortable, middle-class Christianity toward a deeper, richer, and ultimately more fulfilling life.

Water To Wine: Some of My Story


Brian Zahnd - 2016
    “I was halfway to ninety—midway through life—and I had reached a full-blown crisis. Call it garden variety mid-life crisis if you want, but it was something more. You might say it was a theological crisis, though that makes it sound too cerebral. The unease I felt came from a deeper place than a mental file labeled “theology.” I was wrestling with the uneasy feeling that the faith I had built my life around was somehow deficient. Not wrong, but lacking. It seemed watery, weak. In my most honest moments I couldn’t help but notice that the faith I knew seemed to lack the kind of robust authenticity that made Jesus so fascinating. And I had always been utterly fascinated by Jesus. What I knew was that the Jesus I believed in warranted a better Christianity than what I was familiar with. I was in Cana and the wine had run out. I needed Jesus to perform a miracle.” –Water To Wine

Iris Grace


Arabella Carter-Johnson - 2016
    They sit beside each other as Iris paints, and new doorways to communication have been opened, doors we had previously feared might be locked forever.Iris Grace is six years old and severely autistic. For the first few years of her life, she barely communicated at all - she hardly ever looked up when her parents walked into a room, she rarely smiled or spoke. Her mother Arabella despaired - Iris seemed to be trapped in her own world, unreachable.Then one day the family decided to get a cat, Thula, with whom Iris had an immediate affinity. She appeared to open up and communicate with Thula in a way that she hadn't done before. The little girl who seemed to be lost in her own world slowly blossomed. Iris is an extraordinarily gifted artist who sees the world in a profoundly vivid and visceral way, and with Thula by her side, she will sit and paint for hours.This book isn't the story of a genius or child prodigy (although Iris is almost certainly both of those things), this is the story of how a remarkable bond between a cat and a child saved a family.Beautifully written, readers will be spellbound by the story of Iris Grace and her devoted pet cat Thula.

A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles: A True Story of Love, Science, and Cancer


MaryElizabeth Williams - 2016
    She takes a once-in-a-lifetime chance and joins a clinical trial for immunotherapy, a revolutionary drug regimen that trains the body to vanquish malignant cells. Astonishingly, her cancer disappears entirely in just a few weeks. But at the same time, her best friend embarks on a cancer journey of her own--with very different results. Williams's experiences as a patient and a medical test subject reveal with stark honesty what it takes to weather disease, the extraordinary new developments that are rewriting the rules of science--and the healing power of human connection.

Born to Run


Bruce Springsteen - 2016
    In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.” —Bruce Springsteen, from the pages of Born to RunIn 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That’s how this extraordinary autobiography began. Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs. He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as “The Big Bang”: seeing Elvis Presley’s debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song “Born to Run” reveals more than we previously realized. Born to Run will be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star’s memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll. Rarely has a performer told his own story with such force and sweep. Like many of his songs (“Thunder Road,” “Badlands,” “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” “The River,” “Born in the U.S.A.,” “The Rising,” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” to name just a few), Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography is written with the lyricism of a singular songwriter and the wisdom of a man who has thought deeply about his experiences.

My Lost Brothers: The Untold Story by the Yarnell Hill Fire's Lone Survivor


Brendan McDonough - 2016
    A "unique and bracing" (Booklist) first-person account by the sole survivor of Arizona's disastrous 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire, which took the lives of 19 "hotshots" -- firefighters trained specifically to battle wildfires. Brendan McDonough was on the verge of becoming a hopeless, inveterate heroin addict when he, for the sake of his young daughter, decided to turn his life around. He enlisted in the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a team of elite firefighters based in Prescott, Arizona. Their leader, Eric Marsh, was in a desperate crunch after four hotshots left the unit, and perhaps seeing a glimmer of promise in the skinny would-be recruit, he took a chance on the unlikely McDonough, and the chance paid off. Despite the crew's skepticism, and thanks in large part to Marsh's firm but loving encouragement, McDonough unlocked a latent drive and dedication, going on to successfully battle a number of blazes and eventually win the confidence of the men he came to call his brothers. Then, on June 30, 2013, while McDonough -- "Donut" as he'd been dubbed by his team--served as lookout, they confronted a freak, 3,000-degree inferno in nearby Yarnell, Arizona. The relentless firestorm ultimately trapped his hotshot brothers, tragically killing all 19 of them within minutes. Nationwide, it was the greatest loss of firefighter lives since the 9/11 attacks. Granite Mountain is a gripping memoir that traces McDonough's story of finding his way out of the dead end of drugs, finding his purpose among the Granite Mountain Hotshots, and the minute-by-minute account of the fateful day he lost the very men who had saved him. A harrowing and redemptive tale of resilience in the face of tragedy, Granite Mountain is also a powerful reminder of the heroism of the people who put themselves in harm's way to protect us every day.

Tears of Salt: A Doctor's Story of the Refugee Crisis


Pietro Bartolo - 2016
    Dr. Pietro Bartolo, who runs the lone medical clinic on the island, has been caring for many of them—both the living and the dead—for a quarter century.Tears of Salt is Dr. Bartolo’s moving account of his life and work set against one of the signal crises of our time. With quiet dignity and an unshakable moral center, he tells unforgettable tales of pain and hope, stories of those who didn’t make it and those who did. Tears of Salt is a lasting work of literature and an intimate portrait of a remarkable man whose inspiring message rings clear: "We can’t and we won’t be governed by our fears."

Around the Way Girl


Taraji P. Henson - 2016
    Henson, comes an inspiring and funny book about family, friends, the hustle required to make it from DC to Hollywood, and the joy of living in your own truth.With a sensibility that recalls her beloved screen characters, including NASA physicist mathematician Katherine G. Johnson, Yvette, Queenie, Shug, and the iconic Cookie from Empire, yet is all Taraji, the screen actress writes of her family, the one she was born into and the one she created. She shares stories of her father, a Vietnam vet who was bowed but never broken by life's challenges, and of her mother who survived violence both in the home and on DC's volatile streets. Here too she opens up about her experiences as a single mother, a journey some saw as a burden but which she saw as a gift.Around the Way Girl is also a classic actor’s memoir in which Taraji reflects on the world-class instruction she received at Howard University and the pitfalls that come with being a black actress. With laugh-out-loud humor and candor, she shares the challenges and disappointments of the actor’s journey and shows us that behind the red carpet moments, she is ever authentic. She is at heart just a girl in pursuit of her dreams.

The Cast-Off Kids


Trisha Merry - 2016
    Their mother walked out on them. (They don't remember her.) Their grandmother tried, but couldn't manage them. And now their young father has given up on them too. These cast-off kids desperately need somewhere to live and a family to love them. They've come to the right place. Trisha and Mike welcome them into their home and their hearts. There are now ten children under five in this household, where every day is filled with cuddles, fun . . . and more than a few challenges. After ten eventful years of love and laughter, they are reclaimed by their jealous mother, a stranger, who sets fire to their memories and sends them to a succession of care homes. Finally the younger one sets out on a quest to find the only two people who have ever loved him.

And It Was Beautiful: Celebrating Life in the Midst of the Long Good-Bye


Kara Tippetts - 2016
    I saw beauty. I embraced it.”—Kara Tippetts How do you live out extravagant love in the everyday moments? How do you celebrate grace when your life turns out differently than the one you dreamed? Kara Tippetts discovered how to find joy in the small moments of life. She learned how to hold tight to hope even while battling intense physical and emotional pain. And she lived out the truth that God can redeem any story. In her final book, Kara offers gentle reflections on living and dying well. She invites us to cultivate soft hearts even when we face great disappointment. Her ideas for living are hard-won, wrestled with in the crucible of family, illness, and faith. And her constant reminder is that whether we are in the midst of dark days or mundane moments Jesus is always there, life is surprisingly beautiful, and God is forever good.

Waiting for First Light: My Ongoing Battle with PTSD


Roméo Dallaire - 2016
     Rom�o Dallaire, traumatized by witnessing genocide on an imponderable scale in Rwanda, reflects in these pages on the nature of PTSD and the impact of that deep wound on his life since 1994, and on how he motivates himself and others to humanitarian work despite his constant struggle. Though he had been a leader in peace and in war at all levels up to deputy commander of the Canadian Army, his PTSD led to his medical dismissal from the Canadian Forces in April 2000, a blow that almost killed him. But he crawled out of the hole he fell into after he had to take off the uniform, and he has been inspiring people to give their all to multiple missions ever since, from ending genocide to eradicating the use of child soldiers to revolutionizing officer training so that our soldiers can better deal with the muddy reality of modern conflict zones and to revolutionizing our thinking about the changing nature of conflict itself. His new book is as compelling and original an account of suffering and endurance as Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking and William Styron's Darkness Visible.

Until We Are Free: My Fight for Human Rights in Iran


Shirin Ebadi - 2016
    Now Ebadi tells her story of courage and defiance in the face of a government out to destroy her, her family, and her mission: to bring justice to the people and the country she loves. For years the Islamic Republic tried to intimidate Ebadi, but after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rose to power in 2005, the censorship and persecution intensified. The government wiretapped Ebadi’s phones, bugged her law firm, sent spies to follow her, harassed her colleagues, detained her daughter, and arrested her sister on trumped-up charges. It shut down her lectures, fired up mobs to attack her home, seized her offices, and nailed a death threat to her front door. Despite finding herself living under circumstances reminiscent of a spy novel, nothing could keep Ebadi from speaking out and standing up for human dignity. But it was not until she received a phone call from her distraught husband—and he made a shocking confession that would all but destroy her family—that she realized what the intelligence apparatus was capable of to silence its critics. The Iranian government would end up taking everything from Shirin Ebadi—her marriage, friends, and colleagues, her home, her legal career, even her Nobel Prize—but the one thing it could never steal was her spirit to fight for justice and a better future. This is the story of a woman who would never give up, no matter the risks.

The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between


Hisham Matar - 2016
    In 2012, after the overthrow of Qaddafi, the acclaimed novelist Hisham Matar journeys to his native Libya after an absence of thirty years.      When he was twelve, Matar and his family went into political exile. Eight years later Matar's father, a former diplomat and military man turned brave political dissident, was kidnapped from the streets of Cairo by the Libyan government and is believed to have been held in the regime's most notorious prison.  Now, the prisons are empty and little hope remains that Jaballa Matar will be found alive. Yet, as the author writes, hope is "persistent and cunning".     This book is a profoundly moving family memoir, a brilliant and affecting portrait of a country and a people on the cusp of immense change, and a disturbing and timeless depiction of the monstrous nature of absolute power.

The Hundred Story Home: A Memoir of Finding Faith in Ourselves and Something Bigger


Kathy Izard - 2016
    Inspired by Denver’s challenge to do more than serve in this soup kitchen, Kathy quit her job to take on what seemed like an unimaginable task in her second half of life—to build housing for Charlotte’s homeless. Woven together in this motivational story of a call to social action is Kathy’s personal journey to define the meaning of home and her own struggle with faith, family, and fulfillment. Reading this book will not only make you believe you can change the world, it will also end up changing you. "Kathy Izard tells two compelling stories in one: About her journey toward fulfilling her life's purpose and about Charlotte's journey to finally treating its chronically homeless with compassion and dignity. Each has twists and turns, each has a happy ending.” —Taylor Batten, Editorial Page Editor, The Charlotte Observer

The Only Pirate at the Party


Lindsey Stirling - 2016
    In fact, it’s her confidence and individuality that have propelled her into the spotlight. But the road hasn’t been easy. After being rejected by talent scouts, music reps, and eventually national television, Lindsey forged her own path, step by step. Here, for the first time, she shares every triumph and trial she has faced until now. Beginning in a humble yet charmed childhood, this book follows Lindsey through a humorous adolescence, to her life as a struggling musician, through her personal struggles with anorexia, and finally all the way to her success as a world-class entertainer. Lindsey’s magnetizing story is at once remarkable and universal—a testimony that there is no singular recipe for success. And a witness that, despite what people may say, sometimes it’s okay to be The Only Pirate at the Party.

Mad Girl


Bryony Gordon - 2016
    It's caused alopecia, bulimia, and drug dependency. And Bryony is sick of it. Keeping silent about her illness has given it a cachet it simply does not deserve, so here she shares her story with trademark wit and dazzling honesty.A hugely successful columnist for the Telegraph, a bestselling author, and a happily married mother of an adorable daughter, Bryony has managed to laugh and live well while simultaneously grappling with her illness. Now it's time for her to speak out. Writing with her characteristic warmth and dark humour, Bryony explores her relationship with her OCD and depression as only she can.Mad Girl is a shocking, funny, unpredictable, heart-wrenching, raw and jaw-droppingly truthful celebration of life with mental illness.

Esther the Wonder Pig


Steve Jenkins - 2016
     When an old friend contacted Steve Jenkins out of the blue and begged him to take in a ‘micro’ piglet, he couldn’t say no. Though he knew his partner wouldn’t be thrilled about him taking in yet another stray, the idea of having a cute little pig to care for was simply irresistible. Little did he know, that decision would turn his and Derek’s lives upside down. It turned out that as adorable as she was, there was nothing ‘micro’ about Esther, and as she grew and grew, Steve and Derek realised that they had actually signed on to raise a full-sized commercial pig. Within three years, dainty little Esther grew to a whopping 600 pounds (270 kilograms). After a rollercoaster ride of growing pains and a lot of pig-sized dramas, it became clear that Esther needed more space, so Steve and Derek made another life-changing decision: they bought a farm and opened the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, where they could care for Esther and offer refuge to other animals in need. Inspired by their adventures with their not so little pig, Steve and Derek have become two of the world’s best known and most successful animal rights activists, alongside the magnificent Esther, who has hundreds of thousands of fans around the world. Best of all, Esther the Wonder Pig shows how families really do come in all shapes and sizes.

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided


Diane Guerrero - 2016
    Born in the U.S., Guerrero was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in and helped her build a life and a successful acting career for herself, without the support system of her family.In the Country We Love is a moving, heartbreaking story of one woman's extraordinary resilience in the face of the nightmarish struggles of undocumented residents in this country. There are over 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US, many of whom have citizen children, whose lives here are just as precarious, and whose stories haven't been told. Written with Michelle Burford, this memoir is a tale of personal triumph that also casts a much-needed light on the fears that haunt the daily existence of families likes the author's and on a system that fails them over and over.

Girl Walks Out of a Bar: A Memoir


Lisa F. Smith - 2016
    What was once a way she escaped her insecurity and negativity as a teenager became a means of coping with the anxiety and stress of an impossible workload.Girl Walks Out of a Bar explores Smith’s formative years, her decade of alcohol and drug abuse, divorce, and her road to recovery. In this darkly comic and wrenchingly honest story, Smith describes how her circumstances conspire with her predisposition to depression and self-medication in an environment ripe for addiction to flourish. When her close-knit group of high-achieving friends celebrate the end of their grueling workdays with alcohol-fueled nights at the city’s clubs and summer weekends partying at the beach the feel-good times can spiral wildly out of control.Girl Walks Out of a Bar is a candid portrait of alcoholism through the lens of gritty New York realism. Beneath the façade of success lies the reality of addiction.

The Distance Between Us: Young Readers Edition


Reyna Grande - 2016
    But when things don’t go quite as planned, Reyna finds herself preparing for her own journey to “El Otro Lado” to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years: her long-absent father. Both funny and heartbreaking, The Distance Between Us beautifully captures the struggle that Reyna and her siblings endured while trying to assimilate to a different culture, language, and family life in El Otro Lado (The Other Side).

A Different Kind of Daughter: The Girl Who Hid from the Taliban in Plain Sight


Maria Toorpakai - 2016
    But she did, passing as a boy in order to play the sports she loved, thus becoming a lightning rod of freedom in her country's fierce battle over women's rights. A DIFFERENT KIND OF DAUGHTER tell of Maria's harrowing journey to play the sport she knew was her destiny, first living as a boy and roaming the violent back alleys of the frontier city of Peshawar, rising to become the number one female squash player in Pakistan. For Maria, squash was more than liberation-it was salvation. But it was also a death sentence, thrusting her into the national spotlight and the crosshairs of the Taliban, who wanted Maria and her family dead. Maria knew her only chance of survival was to flee the country.Enter Jonathon Power, the first North American to earn the title of top squash player in the world, and the only person to heed Maria's plea for help. Recognizing her determination and talent, Jonathon invited Maria to train and compete internationally in Canada. After years of living on the run from the Taliban, Maria packed up and left the only place she had ever known to move halfway across the globe and pursue her dream. Now Maria is well on the way to becoming a world champion as she continues to be a voice for oppressed women everywhere.

The Silent Cry


Cathy Glass - 2016
    What should be a happy, magical moment quickly sours, however, when Laura suddenly feels queasy and runs off back home. None of the other schoolyard mothers seem to notice this troubled, struggling woman – apart from Cathy. But when Cathy tries to help, she finds herself hitting wall after wall. Laura needs medical help but refuses to see a doctor. Her own cold mother refuses to help. It is left to Cathy to try and bring light to this dark and dangerous place.

The Mystery: Finding True Love in a World of Broken Lovers


Lacey Sturm - 2016
    It's for You--and It's Worth PursuingRock princess Lacey Sturm wants to share her journey from heartbreak to wholeness with young women. In The Mystery, Sturm helps readers understand that any loving relationship begins with knowing your own identity in Christ. And yet, so many people have learned to define love through their own dysfunctional family, unhealthy relationships, the romances and wrecked relationships of mainstream pop culture, or, sadly, through pornography. Is it any wonder so many people end up brokenhearted, divorced, abused, abusive, or even suicidal? Through personal stories, Sturm shows readers why true love is difficult and often painful but still worth fighting for. She helps women recognize destructive patterns in their relationships, discover a vision for a true and heart-flourishing love, and heal from past wounds. For anyone seeking healthy, loving relationships in our broken world, The Mystery lights the way to the love we were meant for.

Glad Farm


Catherine Marenghi - 2016
    A decade after leaving home at the age of seventeen, she is a successful journalist with the means to buy her family their first decent house. But the past will not be put to rest so easily. Catherine unravels a web of long-buried family secrets, and a terrible betrayal that had robbed her family of the home that was rightfully theirs. And she learns the story her parents never shared: the gladiolus farm that was once their dream. At once lyrical and raw, unflinching in its detail, Glad Farm is an iconic American story of renewal and reinvention, and the mythic power of a house to define our destiny.

Taken


Rosie Lewis - 2016
    Rosie is supposed to help Megan find her new permanent home, but it turns out that Megan has already found her ‘forever mummy’ in Rosie.Rosie grows incredibly attached to Megan and applies to adopt her, but the system refuses her in favour of a young couple and Rosie is devastated. Against all her instincts, Rosie does her job and prepares Megan for her new ‘forever family’, but everything about Megan leaving feels wrong.When Rosie learns a few months later that Megan’s adoption has broken down, she is saddened but also filled with hope – will this little girl be allowed to return to her true ‘forever home’?

Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons


Christie Purifoy - 2016
    The sprawling Victorian farmhouse sitting atop a Pennsylvania hill held within its walls the possibility of a place where her family could grow, where friends could gather, and where Christie could finally grasp and hold the thing we all long for--home. In lyrical, contemplative prose, Christie slowly unveils the small trials and triumphs of that first year at Maplehurst--from summer's intense heat and autumn's glorious canopy through winter's still whispers and spring's gentle mercies. Through stories of planting and preserving, of opening the gates wide to neighbors, and of learning to speak the language of a place, Christie invites readers into the joy of small beginnings and the knowledge that the kingdom of God is with us here and now. Anyone who has felt the longing for home, who yearns to reconnect with the beauty of nature, and who values the special blessing of deep relationships with family and friends will love finding themselves in this story of earthly beauty and soaring hope.

The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature


J. Drew Lanham - 2016
    All of these hues are me; I am, in the deepest sense, colored.” From these fertile soils of love, land, identity, family, and race emerges The Home Place, a big-hearted, unforgettable memoir by ornithologist and professor of ecology J. Drew Lanham.Dating back to slavery, Edgefield County, South Carolina—a place “easy to pass by on the way somewhere else”—has been home to generations of Lanhams. In The Home Place, readers meet these extraordinary people, including Drew himself, who over the course of the 1970s falls in love with the natural world around him. As his passion takes flight, however, he begins to ask what it means to be “the rare bird, the oddity.”By turns angry, funny, elegiac, and heartbreaking, The Home Place is a remarkable meditation on nature and belonging, at once a deeply moving memoir and riveting exploration of the contradictions of black identity in the rural South—and in America today.

The Reluctant Farmer of Whimsey Hill


Bradford M. Smith - 2016
    That is what troubles animal-phobic, robotics engineer Smith who just got married. He learns that his bride’s dream is to have a farm where there are lots of animals and she can rescue ex-race horses to retrain and find them new homes. But according to a Meyers-Briggs Personality Test that they took for fun, their marriage is doomed. There is only one problem: the newlyweds took the test after the wedding. Whether Smith is chasing a cow named Pork Chop through the woods with a rope, getting locked in a tack room by the family pony, being snubbed by his wife’s dog, or unsuccessfully trying to modernize their barn using the latest technology, the odds are stacked against him. It seems like everything with four legs is out to get him. Will the animals win, forcing Smith to admit defeat, or will he fight to keep his family and the farm together? Enjoy the true, warm, and frequently hilarious stories of Smith’s journey along the bumpy road from his urban robotics lab to a new life on a rural Virginia farm.

Testimony: A Memoir


Robbie Robertson - 2016
    But few could have expected that a young Canadian would pen some of the most distinctively American songs, music that seems soaked in the mythology of the Old South. With songs like The Weight, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, and Up on Cripple Creek, Robertson and his partners in The Band fashioned a new popular music lexicon that has endured for decades, influencing countless musicians.In this captivating memoir of The Band's storied career, Robertson weaves together his half-Jewish, half-Mohawk upbringing on the Brantford Six Nations Reserve and in Toronto; his odyssey south at sixteen and rollicking early years on the road with rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins; the slow formation of The Band, their trial-by-fire with Bob Dylan on his 1966 world tour, and the forging of their unique sound. He recounts being catapulted to fame with the success of their groundbreaking debut, and takes us through the astonishing run of albums that culminated in one of history's most famous farewell concerts: the movie The Last Waltz, directed by Martin Scorcese. This is the story of a time and place--the moment when rock 'n' roll became life, when electric blues legends like Muddy Waters and Otis Rush criss-crossed the circuit of clubs and roadhouses from Texas to Toronto. It's the story of exciting change as the world tumbled into the '60s, and figures like Dylan and The Band redefined music and culture, with a little help from sex and drugs. And it's the moving story of the profound friendship between five young men who together created a new kind of popular music.

My Life In His Paws: The Incredible Story of Ted and How He Saved Me


Wendy Hilling - 2016
    Wendy Hilling has a rare skin condition which means her skin is very delicate. Every moment is difficult and causes pain. It affects the body inside and out: her throat is very narrow and she can stop breathing at any time. But eight years ago Wendy's life changed forever. She met Ted, the Golden Retriever, and he became her full-time carer. He has saved her life more times than she can remember, always watching and listening, and Wendy is now entirely reliant on him. This is the story of Wendy and her incredible bravery living with a disability and battling against the odds. It's also the story of Ted, the extraordinary assistance dog, and the unique relationship between a human and animal and the extraordinary things animals are capable of.

Undaunted: The Tiger of Auschwitz


Garmaine Pitchon - 2016
    That is where Garmaine Pitchon was when Hitler ascended to power and unleashed a diabolical scheme to annihilate the Jewish race. Follow along as Eli Gonzalez tells Garmaine story in a vibrant, chilling, and compelling narrative. Always a rambunctious, curious girl, Garmaine found a way to not wear the yellow Star of David and got to experience more than most before Garmaine experienced loss at an epic proportion. Her entire family was murdered, beginning with her grandmother, killed in her own grocery store by a Nazi officer who forced her to make him a sandwich as she walked over her just-murdered beloved grandmother’s warm, flowing blood. Experience the horror of the 9-Day train ride to Auschwitz and become a first hand witness to when it was only Nazi’s and Jews and the veil was pulled off and absolute evil abounded. Yet, there is something about Garmaine’s story, something divine that happened. What was meant to destroy her strengthened her. What was meant to stop her lineage became a force to help desperate mothers years after. When there is a divine purpose for your life and that of your family, no one and nothing can stop it.

Rosalie Lightning: A Graphic Memoir


Tom Hart - 2016
    His heart-breaking and emotional illustrations strike readers to the core, and take them along his family's journey through loss. Hart uses the graphic form to articulate his and his wife's on-going search for meaning in the aftermath of Rosalie's death, exploring themes of grief, hopelessness, rebirth, and eventually finding hope again. Hart creatively portrays the solace he discovers in nature, philosophy, great works of literature, and art across all media in this expressively honest and loving tribute to his baby girl. Rosalie Lighting is a graphic masterpiece chronicling a father's undying love.

Sixty Meters to Anywhere


Brendan Leonard - 2016
    He knew what not to do--not drink alcohol and not get arrested again. But no one had told him what it was that he could do. He quickly realized that he had to reinvent himself, to find something other than alcohol and its social constructions to build his life around. A few years later, Brendan was sober and had completed a graduate degree in journalism, but he still felt he was treading water, searching for direction. Then his brother gave him a climbing rope. And along that sixty-meter lifeline, Brendan gradually found redemption in the crags of the American West. He became a climber, someone who learned to push past fear, to tough it out during long, grueling days in the mountains; someone who supported his partners, keeping them safe in dangerous situations and volatile environments; someone with confidence, purpose, and space to breathe. Sixty Meters to Anywhere is the painfully honest story of a life changed by climbing, and the sometimes nervous, sometimes nerve-wracking, and often awkward first years of recovery. In the mountains, Leonard ultimately finds a second chance.

Love Warrior


Glennon Doyle Melton - 2016
    This chronicle of a beautiful, brutal journey speaks to anyone who yearns for deeper, truer relationships and a more abundant, authentic life.

Hank Brodt Holocaust Memoirs: A Candle and a Promise


Deborah Donnelly - 2016
    It offers a detailed historical account of being a Jewish teenager under the Nazi regime, shedding light on sickening truths in an honest, matter-of-fact way.Hank Brodt lived through one of the darkest periods of human history and survived the devastation of World War II. Born in 1925 into a poor family in Boryslaw (Poland), he was placed in a Jewish orphanage. Losing his family when the Germans invaded Poland, he waged a daily battle to survive. Moving from forced labor camps to concentration camps, one of which features in Schindler’s List, his world behind the barbed wire consisted of quiet resistance, invisible tears and silent cries for years on end.This story of survival includes rare photographs from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum that powerfully illustrate these intimate and shocking memoirs. One recently discovered picture shows Hank Brodt in prison uniform removing the dead on carts at the liberated Ebensee concentration camp on May 7, 1945. It is hard to believe that someone who endured such horrific events could go on to live a life of gratitude. Through his unwavering compassion towards others, Hank Brodt managed to keep his humanity and find a way to move forward. After the Second World War, Hank Brodt testified at the trial of Nazi war criminal Amon Goeth in Dachau, Germany. He has joined the March of the Living since 2006, walking from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Yom Hashoah to pay tribute to the millions that died. Lighting the candle, he made a promise to himself to always answer the call to talk.“As the train rattled down the tracks, the noise it made seemed to say, death - death - death. But in my mind and heart it sang, life - life - life.” ˃˃˃ Hank Brodt’s Holocaust memoirs are a necessary reminder of one of the ugliest times in the history of human civilization. Scroll up and grab a copy today "Deborah Donnely narrates her father’s memoirs. It is one of the very few books about the Holocaust experience narrated by descendents of Holocaust survivors. This is remarkable and commendable, because regrettably nowadays not many children and grandchildren have a keen interest in the life stories of their parents and grand parents. Hank Brodt’s Holocaust Memoirs offers a poignant account of what it was like for a young man to experience so many travails under the Russian and German occupation of Poland in WWII." Alter Wiener, Holocaust survivor, author of 'From a Name to a Number'

Redemption: From Iron Bars to Ironman


John McAvoy - 2016
    Born into a notorious London crime family, his uncle Micky was one of the key players in the legendary Brink's-Mat gold bullion caper. John bought his first gun at 16 and carved out a lucrative career in armed robbery. At one point he was one of Britain's most-wanted men. It took two spells in prison and the death of a friend on a botched heist to change his path. During his second stint in jail he discovered a miraculous natural talent while serving life in the Belmarsh high security unit - where fellow inmates included Abu Hamza, the hook-handed extremist cleric, and the 7/7 bombers. John broke three world rowing records while still an inmate and since his release has become one of the UK's leading Ironman competitors. He aims to turn pro in 2016 after competing in the European championships in Frankfurt. Redemption is the ultimate story of sporting salvation.

Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith


D.L. Mayfield - 2016
    L. Mayfield left her conservative Christian home to become a missionary to Somali Bantu refugees in Portland, Oregon. But after a decade proselytizing, she realized that she had not converted one single Muslim. “I am pretty much the worst missionary ever,” she despaired.Yet in her time working with these displaced people, Mayfield’s eyes were opened to something much bigger. “I started to read the Scriptures with new eyes, informed by the people who the Bible was written by and to—the people at the margins of society. And it was so much better than I could have believed. The blessings of Jesus were to be found in the most unexpected places. The kingdom is real, alive, and changing everything—liberating, setting free, healing, and preaching news that is actually truly good, in the here and now.”Assimilate or Go Home is the story of her awakening. Mayfield shows us how God’s love is transforming lives, and makes clear that instead of saving the world, we can join God’s party by loving all of our neighbors—especially those on society’s edge. With vulnerability and a touch of humor, Mayfield reflects upon how her faith was challenged, and urges all of us to reconsider our concepts of justice, love, and being a citizen of this world—and the kingdom of God.

Colors of Goodbye: A Memoir of Holding On, Letting Go, and Reclaiming Joy in the Wake of Loss


September Vaudrey - 2016
    But on that day, with one phone call from the ER, her whole world--everything she knew and believed--was shaken to the core. Katie, her 19-year-old artist daughter, had been in a car accident and would not survive. How does a family live in the wake of devastating tragedy? When darkness colors every moment, is it possible to find light? Can God still be good, even after goodbye?With the depth of C. S. Lewis's "A Grief Observed" and the poignancy of Joan Didion's "The Year of Magical Thinking," "Colors of Goodbye" offers a moving glimpse into a mother's heart. Combining literary narrative and raw reflection, September Vaudrey walks through one of life's worst losses--the death of a child--and slowly becomes open to watching for the unexpected ways God carries her through it. It's a story of love and tragedy in tandem; a deeply personal memoir from a life forever changed by one empty place. And at its core, "Colors of Goodbye" calls to the deepest part of our spirits to know that "death is not the end . . ." and that life can be beautiful still.

The Underachieving Ovary


J.T. Lawrence - 2016
    It’s funny, and (sometimes alarmingly) frank. It contains an impressive array of synonyms for ‘vagina’ and it’s certainly NSFW.It’s about having a devil womb and a hot knife lodged in my shoulder. It’s about becoming blackly bitter and twisted in my infertility, and then slowly finding a way to untwist myself.It’s part memoir, part dark comedy, wrapped up loosely as a journal full of TMI and quirk.Let me put it this way: If Helen Fielding and Marian Keyes were to go through IVF, and use Caitlin Moran as a surrogate, this book would be their baby.

Between Two Worlds: Lessons From the Other Side


Tyler Henry - 2016
    After experiencing a sudden, accurate premonition of his grandmother’s death—what Tyler would later describe as his first experience of “knowingness”—life would never be the same. Now in his twenties, Tyler is a renowned, practicing medium, star of the smash hit E! reality show, Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry, and go-to clairvoyant of celebrities, VIP’s, and those simply looking for closure and healing. He has worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest names including Khloe Kardashian, Amber Rose, Margaret Cho, Jaime Pressly, and Monica Potter. Despite struggling to accept his rare talent, Tyler grew to embrace it, and finally found the courage to share it with—and ultimately change—the world. For the first time, Tyler pulls back the curtain on living life as a medium in his first memoir, in which he fearlessly opens up about discovering his gift as an adolescent, what it’s truly like to communicate with those who have passed, the power of symbolism in his readings, and the lessons we can learn from our departed loved ones. With unparalleled honesty, Tyler discusses how his complex and fascinating gift has changed his perception of the afterlife, and more importantly, how readings can impact our relationships with our closest friends and family once they’re gone.

Runaway Girl: A beautiful girl. Trafficked for sex. Is there nowhere to hide?


Casey Watson - 2016
    It will be a few weeks before Casey starts getting the shocking answers to her questions….Brought to Casey as a short-term emergency placement, fourteen-year-old Adrianna arrives with nothing but her gratitude. Having ‘turned herself in’ to a social services office some hundred miles away, she has no possessions, no English and, apparently, no history – not that she’s willing to share, anyway. She is a beautiful young Polish girl, with the bearing of a ballerina, but is terrified, malnourished and unwell. And, having slept rough for some time (the little they do know about her) she spends much of her first days with Watsons asleep in bed.Growing concerned about Adrianna’s wellbeing, and her persistent high temperature, Casey decides to call in the GP. But, to her surprise, Adrianna becomes almost hysterical about being examined and, given her refusal to talk – even via the interpreter they’ve brought in for her – Casey’s fostering antennae begin twitching. Where has she come from? And why is she so terrified to be touched? What has happened to make her so ill and scared?It will be a few weeks before Casey starts getting answers to these questions. Shocking answers; ones that throw up a whole host of new questions and the beginnings of a journey to find justice for Adrianna, and, more importantly, a future, and a home…

Raising Ryland: Our Story of Parenting a Transgender Child with No Strings Attached


Hillary Whittington - 2016
    Beautiful and moving, the video documenting Hillary’s and Jeff’s love for their child instantly went viral and has been seen by more than seven million viewers since its posting in May 2014.Now for the first time, they tell their story in full, offering an emotional and moving account of their journey alongside their exceptional child. After they discovered their daughter Ryland was deaf at age one and needed cochlear implants, the Whittingtons spent nearly four years successfully teaching Ryland to speak. But once Ryland gained the power of speech, it was time for them to listen as Ryland insisted, “I am a boy!” And listen they did. After learning that forty-one percent of people who identify as transgender attempt to take their own lives, Hillary and her husband Jeff made it their mission to support their child—no matter what.From the earliest stages of deciphering Ryland through clothing choices to examining the difficult conversations that have marked every stage of Ryland’s transition, Hillary Whittington shares her experiences as a mother through it all, demonstrating both the resistance and support that their family has encountered as they try to erase the stigma surrounding the word “transgender.” In telling her family’s story, she hopes she can assist the world in accepting that even children as young as five, can have profound and impactful things to say and share. What emerges is a powerful story of unconditional love, accepting others for who they are, and doing what’s right, regardless of whether those around you understand it.

Adventure North


Sean Bloomfield - 2016
    Their destination: the permafrost shores of Hudson Bay. Inspired by a passion for the simple life, where gadgets and schedules are replaced by nature and its harsh beauty, the duo found something that many believe is lost: a true adventure. Follow the pair up the flooding Minnesota River and through the prairie plains of North Dakota, across man-sized waves on Lake Winnipeg, and down the foaming rapids of the Canadian north. The triumphs and trials of the unforgiving wild challenged their friendship, dreams, and lives in a way that even they could have never predicted. For those who have dreamt of wilderness escape, or those who prefer to simply read about it, Adventure North will spur the imaginative spirit and remind you that adventure is always just around the next bend.

I Will Find You: A Reporter Investigates the Life of the Man Who Raped Her


Joanna Connors - 2016
    Once her assailant was caught and sentenced, Joanna never spoke of the trauma again, until 21 years later when her daughter was about to go to college. She resolved then to tell her children about her own rape so they could learn and protect themselves, and she began to realize that the man who assaulted her was one of the formative people in her life.Setting out to uncover the story of her attacker, Connors embarked on a journey to find out who he was, where he came from, who his friends were and what his life was like. What she discovered stretches beyond one violent man’s story and back into her own, interweaving a narrative about strength and survival with one about rape culture and violence in America.

My Own Words


Ruth Bader Ginsburg - 2016
    Throughout her life Justice Ginsburg has been (and continues to be) a prolific writer and public speaker. This book’s sampling is selected by Justice Ginsburg and her authorized biographers Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams. Justice Ginsburg has written an introduction to the book, and Hartnett and Williams introduce each chapter, giving biographical context and quotes gleaned from hundreds of interviews they have conducted. This is a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of America’s most influential women.

Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America's National Parks


Mark Woods - 2016
    Mark’s most vivid childhood memories are set against a backdrop of mountains, woods, and fireflies in places like Redwood, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon national parks.On the eve of turning fifty and a little burned-out, Mark decided to reconnect with the great outdoors. He'd spend a year visiting the national parks. He planned to take his mother to a park she'd not yet visited and to re-create his childhood trips with his wife and their iPad-generation daughter.But then the unthinkable happened: his mother was diagnosed with cancer, given just months to live. Mark had initially intended to write a book about the future of the national parks, but Lassoing the Sun grew into something more: a book about family, the parks, the legacies we inherit and the ones we leave behind.

Nowhere Near First: Ultramarathon Adventures From The Back Of The Pack


Cory Reese - 2016
    In “Nowhere Near First,” Cory shares his deeply personal story about experiencing his father’s suicide at a young age, and how this led to a career in endurance running and a desire to live life to the fullest. “Nowhere Near First” is a humorous, captivating, and uplifting account of Cory’s memorable ultramarathon experiences. Not only does Cory’s entertaining and powerful writing allow readers a unique perspective into the challenges and rewards of running, but it also inspires each of us to turn tragedy into triumph. “Cory Reese writes with humor, humbleness and honesty. His story is both uplifting and real, and his tales of persistence and perseverance are sure to inspire, whether you’re at the front of the pack or nowhere near first. Regardless of the title, this book’s a winner!”
 ~ Dean Karnazes, author of Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner “Cory Reese’s book, Nowhere Near First, is an immensely entertaining and profoundly educational story about overcoming challenges to forge a meaningful life. Reese’s story is must-read for people looking to find meaning and purpose in modern-day society.” ~ Karl Hoagland, Publisher, UltraRunning Magazine “Cory has penned a very personal account of overcoming hardship in his personal and athletic life. Nowhere Near First tells his story of perseverance and survival in a vivid, down and dirty way that peaks with his extraordinarily positive way of looking at life.” ~ Marshall Ulrich, author of Running On Empty: An Ultramarathoner’s Story of Love, Loss, and a Record-Setting Run Across America

Big Girls Do It Running


Jasinda Wilder - 2016
    No gimmicks, no counting, no measuring, just practical advice on how to eat better, get moving, and live well, delivered with refreshing honesty and humor. Do you want to start a journey to health and strength, but are afraid of failing yet another diet or exercise program? Have you ever struggled with your weight? Do you have problems losing weight and keeping it off? Do you have allergies, ADHD, PCOS, diabetes, constipation, skin problems, or insomnia? Are you worried about your kids developing unhealthy eating habits and making poor lifestyle choices, but don’t know how to help them make changes? Do you want to eat healthier and be stronger, but just don’t know where to start? Using her own unique life experiences, Jasinda has developed an 8-week jump-start plan, The Wilder Way, that will get you eating, moving, living well, and feeling great. BIG GIRLS DO IT RUNNING contains everything you need to succeed in achieving your goals and become a fit and fabulous health warrior: tear-out shopping lists, easy menu plans, delicious recipes, and simple, effective workouts. If you find yourself struggling and failing to manage your weight, then read this book—it will change your life! Go ahead, put on your big girl panties and let's kick some ass!

Cheer Up, Love: Adventures in Depression with the Crab of Hate


Susan Calman - 2016
    Her solo stand up show, Susan Calman is Convicted, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and dealt with subjects like the death penalty, appearance and depression. The reaction to the show she wrote about mental health was so positive that she wanted to expand on the show and write a more detailed account of surviving when you're the world's most negative person. The Crab of Hate is the personification of Calman's depression and her version of the notorious Black Dog. A constant companion in her life, the Crab has provided her with the best, and very worst of times. This is a very personal memoir of how, after many years and with a lot of help and talking, she has embraced her dark side and realised that she can be the most joyous sad person you'll ever meet.

Try Hard: Tales from the Life of a Needy Overachiever


Em Rusciano - 2016
     From her exploits at Miss Sheila's Fancy-pants School of Dance and her efforts to secure a solo at the end-of-year performance, to embracing the spotlight as an Australian Idol contestant and her deep and abiding love for John Farnham, Em Rusciano is a self-confessed hobbit with a taste for glitter. And behind the stage makeup Em is an overachiever of epic proportions – an elite athlete, the hardest working mum you’ll ever meet, and the best friend The Gays could ever have. She also has a heart bigger than Phar Lap’s, tells the best dirty jokes, and loves those closest to her ferociously. When the chips are down, you definitely want her on your side. This all-singing, all-dancing, all-emoting, leopard-print clad warrior is fierce, fabulous and pants-wettingly funny. Try Hard is her story. Because she is. And she does.

Everest: It's Not About the Summit


Ellis Stewart - 2016
    Throughout it all Ellis Stewart shows a sense of humility and compassion sharing a heartfelt and emotional twenty year journey. From the streets of northern England through to the valleys and high mountains of Nepal, Stewart shared his story with thousands of followers on social media, winning over the hearts and minds of many. A ground swell of support sent Stewart to achieve his dream, not once but twice. Nobody could have anticipated the events that would follow. Events that would define Stewart in ways he couldn't possibly have imagined. Stewart is not your stereotypical mountaineer. Through the steps he took and his entrepreneurial spirit he was able to fund almost entirely the costs for two Everest expeditions without corporate assistance. In the summer of 2015 Stewart began to write his story of being caught up in these two tragic seasons on Everest. In this very book, he writes very candidly about not only his experiences on the mountain but also what drove and propelled him towards Everest in the first place. Not able to entice a publisher to take the project on, Stewart wouldn’t take no for an answer and decided to self-publish the book. After launching a massively successful crowdfunding campaign Stewart was able to pay the editing and printing costs to release this book as a paperback, which he did to rave reviews in late 2016. Due to popular demand Stewart launched another campaign to bring the book out in the hardcover format. Again this was a success. Everest: It’s not about the Summit, invites you into an intoxicating world, one where the margin between success and failure is brutally slim. This is a moving book with tragedy and commitment to a cause as a very central theme. It is a real story about real people. Whether it’s your usual genre of book or not doesn't matter as it's basically a cracking story. You don’t need to be a climber to enjoy this book at all. It has universal appeal and is a true inspirational cliff hanger for all. This book should be on the bookshelf of all active and armchair mountaineers alike. Amazon Review Epic. One of the best. This book is epic. It is up there and stands side to side with other mountaineering adventures like Into Thin Air, The Climb and Touching the Void. What this book does best though is convey the dreams and raw emotions of a man whose aspiration has always been to climb Everest. But it is also about adaptation to what life throws at you. If you are feeling down or dejected in anyway and want to be lifted. Read this book. Amazon Review I have just finished reading this book and I was blown away by Ellis’s story. I have read numerous other books about Everest expeditions and, like many other people, Jon Krakauer's account of the tragic1996 season started me on a trajectory to learn more about the trials and tribulations this mountain presents, from both a professional mountaineering perspective and as a commercial enterprise - albeit from the comfort of my sofa! The question one really has to ask when reviewing a book on a well documented subject is: “Why read this one?”. My answer is this: Many accounts of Everest expeditions tend towards ‘the macho’, ‘the personal achievement’ and ‘the surmounting of odds’ in terms of central narrative and descriptive style, whereas this is a deeply

Light and Shadow: Memoirs of a Spy's Son


Mark Colvin - 2016
    He is the voice of ABC Radio’s leading current affairs program PM; he was a founding broadcaster for the groundbreaking youth station Double J; he initiated The World Today program; and he’s one of the most popular and influential journalists in the twittersphere. Mark has been covering local and global events for more than four decades. He has reported on wars, royal weddings and everything in between. In the midst of all this he discovered that his father was an MI6 spy. Light and Shadow is the incredible story of a father waging a secret war against communism during the Cold War, while his son comes of age as a journalist during the tumultuous Whitlam and Fraser years and embarks on the risky career of a foreign correspondent. Mark was witness to some of the most world-changing events, including the Iranian hostage crisis, the buildup to the first Gulf War in Iraq and the direct aftermath of the shocking genocide in Rwanda. But when he contracted a life-threatening illness while working in the field, his life changed forever. Mark Colvin’s engrossing memoir takes you inside the coverage of major news events and gently navigates the complexity of his father’s double life.

Temperance Creek: A Memoir


Pamela Royes - 2016
    This was an act of nature, bigger than ourselves. In the austere beauty and natural reality of Hell’s Canyon of Eastern Oregon, one hundred miles from pavement, Pam, unable to identify with her parent’s world and looking for deeper pathways has a chance encounter with returning Vietnam warrior Skip Royes. Skip, looking for a bridge from survival back to connection, introduces Pam to the vanishing culture of the wandering shepherd and together they embark on a four-year sojourn into the wilderness. From the back of a horse, Pam leads her packstring of readers from overlook to water crossing, down trails two thousand years old, and from the vantages she chooses for us, we feel the edges of our own experiences. It is a memoir of falling in love with a place and a man and the price extracted for that love.Written with deep lyricism, Temperance Creek is a work of haunting beauty, fresh and irreverent and rooted in the grit and pleasure of daily life. This is Pam’s story, but the courage and truth in the telling is part of our human experience. Seen through a slower more primary mirror, one not so crowded with objectivity, Pam’s memoir, is a kind of home-coming, a family reunion for shooting stars.

Lucky Charming


Kate Chastain - 2016
    Well, until reality gave her a wake-up call in the form of a diploma, that is. At a crossroads after graduation, a serendipitous coincidence convinced Kate to abandon life as she knew it and jump feet first into the world of working on mega yachts. At first, she stumbled her way through life as a stewardess, just trying to adjust to her new surroundings and clumsily ‘learning the ropes’ via trial and error. Like shit-tons of error. But now, nearly ten years and a hit reality show later, Kate is finally ready to share the good, the bad, and the downright shocking details about her life at sea with the world’s most rich and famous. It was 2008 and we were anchored off of St.Tropez. I had only been a yachtie for two seasons at the time when I turned to the Captain’s wife, and said, “You know, I could write a book about all of insane things we see working on these boats…..the sex, the money, the celebrities….” My older, more experienced coworker rolled her eyes and laughed then was quick to dismiss my silly idea, “Kate, of course we could all write a book about what we see on yachts. We’ve all said it for years…..but, if you actually did that, you would never get hired on another yacht again. ” She went back to polishing the crystal wine glass in her hand and I was confused for a second. “but Stacie, if so many people knew about the book that I couldn’t get a yacht job, would I still really need one?”

Die Young with Me: A Memoir


Rob Rufus - 2016
    In fact, it blares constantly from the basement of Rob and Nat Rufus—identical twin brothers with spiked hair, black leather jackets, and the most kick-ass record collection in Appalachia. To them, school (and pretty much everything else) sucks. But what can you expect when you’re the only punks in town?When the brothers start their own band, their lives begin to change: they meet friends, they attract girls, and they finally get invited to join a national tour and get out of their rat box little town.But their plans are cut short when Rob is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that has already progressed to Stage Four. Not only are his dreams of punk rock stardom completely shredded, there is a very real threat that this is one battle that can’t be won.While Rob suffers through nightmarish treatments and debilitating surgery, Nat continues on their band’s road to success alone. But as Rob’s life diverges from his brother’s, he learns to find strength within himself and through his music.

The Girl Who Just Wanted To Be Loved: A damaged little girl and a foster carer who wouldn't give up


Angela Hart - 2016
    She takes foster carer Angela on a rocky and very demanding emotional ride as she fights daily battles against her deep-rooted psychological problems. Can the love and specialist care Angela and husband Jonathan provide help Keeley triumph against the odds?

Saving Alex: When I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and That's When My Nightmare Began


Alex Cooper - 2016
    At church and at home, Alex was taught that God had a plan for everyone. But something was gnawing at her that made her feel different. These feelings exploded when she met Yvette, a girl who made Alex feel alive in a new way, and with whom Alex would quickly fall in love.Alex knew she was holding a secret that could shatter her family, her church community, and her life. Yet when this secret couldn’t be hidden any longer, she told her parents that she was gay, and the nightmare began. She was driven from her home in Southern California to Utah, where, against her will, her parents handed her over to fellow Mormons who promised to save Alex from her homosexuality.For eight harrowing months, Alex was held captive in an unlicensed “residential treatment program” modeled on the many “therapeutic” boot camps scattered across Utah. Alex was physically and verbally abused, and many days she was forced to stand facing a wall wearing a heavy backpack full of rocks. Her captors used faith to punish and terrorize her. With the help of a dedicated legal team in Salt Lake City, Alex eventually escaped and made legal history in Utah by winning the right to live under the law’s protection as an openly gay teenager.Alex is not alone; the headlines continue to splash stories about gay conversion therapy and rehabilitation centers that promise to “save” teenagers from their sexuality. Saving Alex is a courageous memoir that tells Alex’s story in the hopes that it will bring awareness and justice to this important issue. A bold, inspiring story of one girl’s fight for freedom, acceptance, and truth.

In-Between Days: A Memoir About Living with Cancer


Teva Harrison - 2016
    In this brilliant and inspiring graphic memoir, she documents through comic illustration and short personal essays what it means to live with the disease. She confronts with heartbreaking honesty the crises of identity that cancer brings: a lifelong vegetarian, Teva agrees to use experimental drugs that have been tested on animals. She struggles to reconcile her long-term goals with an uncertain future, balancing the innate sadness of cancer with everyday acts of hope and wonder. She also examines those quiet moments of helplessness and loving with her husband, her family, and her friends, while they all adjust to the new normal.Ultimately, In-Between Days is redemptive and uplifting, reminding each one of us of how beautiful life is, and what a gift.

I Had to Survive: How a Plane Crash in the Andes Inspired My Calling to Save Lives


Roberto Canessa - 2016
    I Had to Survive offers a gripping and heartrending recollection of the harrowing brink-of-death experience that propelled survivor Roberto Canessa to become one of the world’s leading pediatric cardiologists.As he tended to his wounded teammates amidst the devastating carnage of the wreck, rugby player Roberto Canessa, a second-year medical student at the time, realized that no one on earth was luckier: he was alive—and for that, he should be eternally grateful. As the starving group struggled beyond the limits of what seemed possible, Canessa played a key role in safeguarding his fellow survivors, eventually trekking with a companion across the hostile mountain range for help.This fine line between life and death became the catalyst for the rest of his life.This uplifting tale of hope and determination, solidarity and ingenuity gives vivid insight into a world-famous story. Canessa also draws a unique and fascinating parallel between his work as a doctor performing arduous heart surgeries on infants and unborn babies and the difficult life-changing decisions he was forced to make in the Andes. With grace and humanity, Canessa prompts us to ask ourselves: what do you do when all the odds are stacked against you?

Crowded in the Middle of Nowhere: Tales of Humor and Healing from Rural America


Bo Brock - 2016
    Dr. Brock gives you an intimate look into his small-town and big-hearted perspective on life, animals, and their owners. His unique perspective and tales of doctoring beloved pets, cantankerous livestock, and occasionally their owners will make you smile, laugh, cry, and evoke every other emotion under the sun.Introduction. Otis, or Why I became a veterinarian --Family --West Texas integrity --Mentors, colleagues, and peers --Veterinary (mis)adventures --Adventures in the field --Cowboys, old men, and oddballs --Cowgirls and old women --Look for the moments --Unconditional love --Leonard --About the author

Sex with Shakespeare: Here's Much to Do with Pain, but More with Love


Jillian Keenan - 2016
    In Sex with Shakespeare, she tells the story of how the Bard’s plays helped her embrace her unusual sexual identity and find a love story of her own.Four hundred years after Shakespeare’s death, Keenan’s smart and passionate memoir brings new life to his work. With fourteen of his plays as a springboard, she explores the many facets of love and sexuality—from desire and communication to fetish and fantasy. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Keenan unmasks Helena as a sexual masochist—like Jillian herself. In Macbeth, she examines criminalized sexual identities and the dark side of “privacy.” The Taming of the Shrew goes inside the secret world of bondage, domination, and sadomasochism, while King Lear exposes the ill-fated king as a possible sexual predator. Moving through the canon, Keenan makes it abundantly clear that literature is a conversation. In Sex with Shakespeare, words are love.As Keenan wanders the world in search of connection, from desert dictatorships to urban islands to disputed territories, Shakespeare goes with her —and provokes complex, surprising, and wildly important conversations about sexuality, consent, and the secrets that simmer beneath our surfaces.