Book picks similar to
Still Life in Harlem by Eddy L. Harris


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Rodeo In Joliet


Glenn Rockowitz - 2009
    The story takes us from Glenn's unexpected diagnosis of 'three months at best' just days before the birth of his only child, to his miraculous remission and the ironic death of his father. It is a journey that is by turns heartbreaking, painfully funny, misanthropic, loving and ultimately heroic. Rodeo In Joliet tramples the Hallmark cliches and platitudes of traditional cancer survival stories and presents in their place an experience that leaves the reader in awe and grateful for his or her every breath.

Caste Away: Growing Up in India's "Most Backward" Caste


Hill Krishnan - 2015
    Its pages are ripe with shame, honor, and survival-based decisions, such as a father killing his own daughter to preserve the family's reputation, a grandfather thieving a goat to feed his family and burying its bones in the night, and women employing natural poisons to kill their female infants in order to avoid the devastating costs of dowry.Perhaps it is also a story of how to survive as a "Most Backward" boy in a society that values light skin more than education, designated by British colonizers as "habitually criminal," where ancient caste rivalries persist even into an era of rapidly unfolding modernity. Is it possible, one wonders, for a boy to leave his caste identity behind and adopt new ways of seeing himself, shattering hundreds of years of prejudice?"Growing Up in India's 'Most Backward' Caste" illustrates the potential for faith, effort, and vision to overcome even the cruelest of abuses and biases. Its author, Dr. Hill Krishnan, later took on multiple identities disallowed by his roots: engineer, movie actor and performer, political scientist, professor, candidate for public office in the United States, motivational speaker, and now, as an author telling his story. In "Growing Up in India's 'Most Backward' Caste," one observes the earliest, most pivotal moments in which he first defies oppression."Growing Up in India's 'Most Backward' Caste" is truly eye-opening—a brave, intimate portrayal of life as a "Most Backward" child resisting all categorization, inspiring the rest of us to challenge our own perceived limitations.

All of These People: A Memoir


Fergal Keane - 2006
    As one of the BBC's leading correspondents, he recounts extraordinary encounters on the front lines. Alongside his often brutal experiences in the field, he also describes unflinchingly the challenges and demons he has faced in his personal life growing up in Ireland.Keane’s existence as a war reporter is all that we imagine: frantic filing of reports and dodging shells, interspersed with rest in bombed-out hotels and concrete shelters. Life in such vulnerable areas of the globe is emotionally draining, but full of astonishing moments of camaraderie and human bravery. And so this is also a memoir of the human connections, at once simple and complex, that are made in extreme circumstances. These pages are filled with the memories of remarkable people. At the heart of Fergal Keane's story is a descent into and recovery from alcoholism, spanning two generations, father and son; a different kind of war, but as much part of the journey of the last twenty-five years as the bullets and bombs.

Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life


Frances Mayes - 1998
    Frances Mayes offers her readers a deeply personal memoir of her present-day life in Tuscany, encompassing both the changes she has experienced since Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany appeared, and sensuous, evocative reflections on the timeless beauty and vivid pleasures of Italian life. Among the themes Mayes explores are how her experience of Tuscany dramatically expanded when she renovated and became a part-time resident of a 13th century house with a stone roofin the mountains above Cortona, how life in the mountains introduced her to a "wilder" side of Tuscany--and with it a lively engagement with Tuscany's mountain people. Throughout, she reveals the concrete joys of life in her adopted hill town, with particular attention tolife in the piazza, the art of Luca Signorelli (Renaissance painter from Cortona), and the pastoral pleasures of feasting from her garden.Moving always toward a deeper engagement, Mayes writes of Tuscan icons thathave become for her storehouses of memory, of crucible moments from which bigger ideas emerged, andof the writing life she has enjoyed in the room where Under the Tuscan Sun began. With more on the pleasures of life at Bramasole, the delights and challenges of living in Italy day-to-day and favorite recipes, Every Day in Tuscany is a passionate and inviting account of the richness and complexity of Italian life."

Clean: A story of addiction, recovery and the removal of stubborn stains


Michele Kirsch - 2019
    And yet, when she finally does have something like that life, as a wife and mother in 1980s London, she is the one blaring music from her room, necking vodka and valium and making an almighty mess of her home and family.Cleaning other people’s houses, eventually, is the only option left. At 50 years old, post rehab, living alone in a Hackney bedsit, Michele finds herself finishing her working life as she had begun, “in a dumb job that you do when you can’t really do anything else...”This is a remarkable, powerful, and often unbearably funny memoir in which cleaning and getting clean intertwine as a strange and magical form of redemption. Michele Kirsch is a Nora Ephron for the modern age.

Ultimate Glory: Frisbee, Obsession, and My Wild Youth


David Gessner - 2017
    Like his teammates and rivals, he trained for countless hours, sacrificing his body and potential career for a chance at fleeting glory without fortune or fame. His only goal: to win Nationals and go down in Ultimate history as one of the greatest athletes no one has ever heard of.With humor and raw honesty, Gessner explores what it means to devote one's life to something that many consider ridiculous. Today, Ultimate is played by millions, but in the 1980s, it was an obscure sport with a (mostly) undeserved stoner reputation. Its early heroes were as scrappy as the sport they loved, driven by fierce competition, intense rivalries, epic parties, and the noble ideals of the Spirit of the Game. Ultimate Glory is a portrait of the artist as a young ruffian. Gessner shares the field and his seemingly insane obsession with a cast of closely knit, larger-than-life characters. As his sport grows up, so does he, and eventually he gives up chasing flying discs to pursue a career as a writer. But he never forgets his love for this misunderstood sport and the rare sense of purpose he attained as a member of its priesthood.

Alfie: My Life, My Music, My Story


Alfie Boe - 2012
    This is the story of his life: the ups, the downs, from finding fame to losing his father, and his love-affair with music. Raised in Lancashire, as the youngest of nine children with a father who played opera at home, Alfie's story is not typical of opera stars. His dreams of singing were only ever going to be dreams until fate intervened in the form of a stranger: he was training as a car mechanic when a customer overheard him and told him about a London audition which Alfie needed to try out for. He got the part and never looked back. This is the story of how Alfie went from car mechanic to this generation's most popular and well-known opera star. How he became celebrated by Baz Luhrman, Cameron Macintosh and Michael Parkinson as the best tenor we've produced in a generation. This is also the story of snobbery from within the establishment and how Alfie has created serious upset with some of the more traditionally inclined members of the opera scene. It's a story which his legions of fans will love.

To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret


Jedidiah Jenkins - 2018
    He chronicled the trip on Instagram, where his photos and reflections drew hundreds of thousands of followers, all gathered around the question: What makes a life worth living?In this unflinchingly honest memoir, Jed narrates his adventure--the people and places he encountered on his way to the bottom of the world--as well as the internal journey that started it all. As he traverses cities, mountains, and inner boundaries, Jenkins grapples with the question of what it means to be an adult, his struggle to reconcile his sexual identity with his conservative Christian upbringing, and his belief in travel as a way to wake us up to life back home.A soul-stirring read for the wanderer in each of us, To Shake the Sleeping Self is an unforgettable reflection on adventure, identity, and a life lived without regret.Praise for To Shake the Sleeping Self"[Jenkins is] a guy deeply connected to his personal truth and just so refreshingly present."--Rich Roll, author of Finding Ultra"This is much more than a book about a bike ride. This is a deep soul deepening us. Jedidiah Jenkins is a mystic disguised as a millennial."--Tom Shadyac, author of Life's Operating Manual"Thought-provoking and inspirational . . . This uplifting memoir and travelogue will remind readers of the power of movement for the body and the soul." --Publishers Weekly

Pasha: The Autobiography of TV's Hottest Dance Star


Pasha Kovalev - 2013
    to LondonOCothe professional dancer's extraordinaryajourney to the glitzy world of ballroomWith his slick moves, calm demeanor, and brooding good looks, Pasha Kovalev has becomeaa senation as a popular dancer. His talent and determination have taken him around the world, but as he shares here, it was the stark, grey landscape of his Siberian hometown, still reeling from the Communist regime, which provided the unlikely inspiration for his early love of ballroom dancing. With a strongadesire to succeed, he moved to theaU.S. in 2001awith his professional dance partner Anya Garnis and settled in Fort Lee, New Jersey.aHe auditioned for seasonathree of "So You Think You Can Dance "in 2007, amoved to L.A. in 2008, aand heahas since participated in all following seasons as either a choreographer or an All Star. Froma2009-2011ahe joined the cast of Jason Gilkison's production "Burn the Floor," one of the leading ballroom based shows in the world, during its stint on Broadway. In September 2011, Pasha joined the BBC's "Strictly Come Dancing" as the new professional dancer of the ninth season, abeing partnered in the 10th season with Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh. He speaks candidly in this heartwarming autobiography, on topics from romance to body image to the illness that nearly killed him. Most of all, he gives readers a glimpse behind the scenes of the flashy world of ballroom, and what really goes on beneath the veneer of sparkles and glamour."

All of Me


Anne Murray - 2009
    It is a candid retrospective of the extraordinary success achieved, and the prices that had to be paid.“After ‘Snowbird’ hit, I was swept up like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, and catapulted into a strange new universe … If I thought for a moment that I was really in control of events, I was deluded.” Anne MurrayAn unflinching self-portrait of Canada’s first great female recording artist, All of Me documents the life of Anne Murray, from her humble origins in the tragedy-plagued coal-mining town of Springhill, Nova Scotia, to her arrival on the world stage. Anne recounts her story: the battles with her record companies over singles and albums; the struggle with drug- and alcohol-ridden band members; the terrible guilt and loneliness of being away from her two young children; her divorce from the man who helped launch her career, Bill Langstroth; and the deaths of two of her closest confidantes. The result is a must-read autobiography by Canada’s beloved songbird.

Confessions of an Air Ambulance Doctor


Tony Bleetman - 2013
    The first of its kind to carry doctors and surgeons who can take the hospital to the patient. Drug addicts, lorry crashes, open-heart surgery, stab wounds, headless chickens, mating llamas, and strip routines - it's all in a day's work for emergency doctor Tony Bleetman and his team.Whether they are landing in the middle of the M1 or at a maximum security jail, Tony and his crew Helimed 999 are the first on the scene in the most critical of emergencies.This gripping read will make you laugh, cry and marvel at the wonders of life (and death) in equal measure.

All I Know: A memoir of love, loss and life


Mary Coustas - 2013
    Anyone who has followed Mary's career in film and as the popular in-your-face TV and stage character Effie, may be shocked to learn of the trials she was going through at the time. But they won't be surprised by the love she gives out to all, and receives in return, from family and friends.By giving us an intimate view of her experiences—including meeting George, the love of her life, and their journey to parenthood—we also see the universal truth that in life there's loss and, amongst the pain and tragedy of that, there is the power of hope and humour. Mary's story of the deaths of her father, her grandmother and her daughter Stevie is at times heartbreaking but, ultimately, All I Know is an enriching and uplifting celebration of life.

On the Water: Discovering America in a Row Boat


Nathaniel Stone - 2002
    The hull glides in silence and with such perfect balance as to report no motion. I sit up for another stroke, now looking down as the blades ignite swirling pairs of white constellations of phosphorescent plankton. Two opposing heavens. ‘Remember this,’ I think to myself.”Few people have ever considered the eastern United States to be an island, but when Nat Stone began tracing waterways in his new atlas at the age of ten he discovered that if one had a boat it was possible to use a combination of waterways to travel up the Hudson River, west across the barge canals and the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, and back up the eastern seaboard. Years later, still fascinated by the idea of the island, Stone read a biography of Howard Blackburn, a nineteenth-century Gloucester fisherman who had attempted to sail the same route a century before. Stone decided he would row rather than sail, and in April 1999 he launched a scull beneath the Brooklyn Bridge to see how far he could get. After ten months and some six thousand miles he arrived back at the Brooklyn Bridge, and continued rowing on to Eastport, Maine. Retracing Stone’s extraordinary voyage, On the Water is a marvelous portrait of the vibrant cultures inhabiting American shores and the magic of a traveler’s chance encounters. From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where a rower at the local boathouse bequeaths him a pair of fabled oars, to Vanceburg, Kentucky, where he spends a day fishing with Ed Taylor -- a man whose efficient simplicity recalls The Old Man and the Sea -- Stone makes his way, stroke by stroke, chatting with tugboat operators and sleeping in his boat under the stars. He listens to the live strains of Dwight Yoakum on the banks of the Ohio while the world’s largest Superman statue guards the nearby town square, and winds his way through the Louisiana bayous, where he befriends Scoober, an old man who reminds him that the happiest people are those who’ve “got nothin’.” He briefly adopts a rowing companion -- a kitten -- along the west coast of Florida, and finds himself stuck in the tidal mudflats of Georgia. Along the way, he flavors his narrative with local history and lore and records the evolution of what started out as an adventure but became a lifestyle. An extraordinary literary debut in the lyrical, timeless style of William Least Heat-Moon and Henry David Thoreau, On the Water is a mariner’s tribute to childhood dreams, solitary journeys, and the transformative powers of America’s rivers, lakes, and coastlines.From the Hardcover edition.

Finding Bethany: A True Crime Memoir


Glen Klinkhart - 2014
    Finding Bethany is the true story of how, as a young boy, Glen Klinkhart was unable to save his sister from a heinous sexual homicide, and how he began his journey as a police officer to find the lost, the missing, and to bring those who would do evil upon others to justice. His career as a homicide detective takes the reader along as he travels from the brink of exhaustion and obsession and into the dark and evil world of sociopathic killers, and those who would do anything to help them. Finding Bethany details what real life homicide investigations are like, from his unique perspective as a victim and as a reluctant hero. The reader will experience the bizarre twists and turns down dark paths which result in macabre dead ends, and unexpected miracles found within the darkest of circumstances. His cases include the stories of people who were willing to give of themselves for someone they often didn’t even know. Finding Bethany is also about two brothers – one a sociopath, the other a good man whose own love for his evil brother had been exploited his entire life.

The Barefoot Coach


Paddy Upton - 2019
    Over three years of their innovative and creative ways of coaching, the team achieved these goals, and more.Paddy’s journey included working with the South African cricket team as the cricket world’s first fitness trainer, transitioned to him becoming a mental coach in professional sport, and in 2012 became head coach of the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League. Since then, he has coached five teams in thirteen seasons across three of the world’s premier T20 leagues.The Barefoot Coach is packed with Paddy’s out-of-the-box thinking and illuminating anecdotes on winning, preparation, failure and working to resolve life’s tangled knots. Inspiring, candid and unusual in its approach to coaching, and with fascinating breakaways into extreme sport, this is a must read for everyone who wishes to enhance their performance, and their lives. http://www.thebarefootcoach.net/