Escape from the Ordinary


Julie Bradley - 2018
    This breathtakingly personal true story will thrill those wanting to sail off into the sunset or enjoy the wonders of the world from the comfort of home. Escape from the Ordinary reminds you of the unlimited possibilities in life and nudges the reader into thoughts of their own dreams.  Not a technical book about sailing or storm tactics but vividly described, full-tilt adventures on foreign shores.   WHAT READERS ARE SAYING “Secretly, we wish we had it in us, but life, fear, jobs, money or whatever creates roadblocks. What courage they must have had to follow this dream! So many places, so many adventures, and lessons learned. All along, because of Julie's descriptions, you are thinking, "How would I have handled that?" "What would I have done?" I love that it's written from a woman's point of view; and from someone who had little sailing experience. I recommend it highly!”“Couldn’t put it down,” described one reader, “as Escape from the Ordinary took me beyond the glimpses of liveaboard life told in sailing and travel magazines.  I felt like I was onboard as they fought storms in the north Atlantic their first week at sea, navigated the Panama Canal dwarfed by oil tankers, and snorkeled in crystal clear Polynesian waters.”“Told with keen observations and sparkling with wry humor, Julie Bradley describes the terrors and pleasures of living an independent life where simple decisions have big consequences; where the mundane is seconds away from a life-threatening scare; and where seafaring obstacles can pale next to facing personal challenges.  If you have an ounce of adventure in your soul, read this book.”   “Ordinary people can do extraordinary things...This is not a trip to Cabo for a two-week vacation.  This is true life …, on the edge real adventure.  I loved it…” Amazon Reviewer GREAT PEOPLE, PLACES AND PROSE You will want an atlas by your side as you travel from one epic adventure to the next with Glen and Julie on board their floating home; an Amel sailboat.  Immerse yourself deeply into islands and cultures and come along as they dodge voodoo curses in the Bahamas, claw their way out of an underwater cavern in the South Pacific, and experience adventures of a lifetime in places such as:* Bequia* Caribbean* Trinidad* Venezuela* Colombia* San Blas islands* Peru* Galapagos Islands* Marquesas Islands* Tuamotu Islands* Tahiti* Palmerston Island* Niue* Tonga* New Zealand* Fiji

The Gift Giver: A True Story


Jennifer Hawkins - 2011
    An accomplished athlete, businesswoman, and mother, author Jennifer Hawkins believes she has everything, until one morning she wakes up to find her husband's lifeless body lying in their bed. Shaken to the core of her being, Jennifer struggles to put her shattered world back together, rebalancing relationships with friends, family, and her own children as she comes to grips with the vacuum created by the loss of her husband.Jennifer teeters on the brink of despair, until she hears a voice--a voice she never thought she would hear again. It is the voice of her husband, who in six simple words tells her of the tragedy that would have occurred had he stayed--how his leaving saved a life, one whose loss would have had ripple effects that were inconceivable.

Until Further Notice, I Am Alive


Tom Lubbock - 2012
    In this remarkable record of those years, lived out in three-month intervals between scans, he examines the question of how to live with death in sight. As the tumour progressed, Tom engaged intensely and imaginatively with work, art, friends, and his wife and their young son, while trying to remain focused on the fact of his impending death. His tumour was located in the area of the brain associated with language, and he describes losing control over the spoken and written word and the resources he drew on to keep communicating; a struggle which brought him ever closer to the mysteries of the origin of speech. As the Independent's chief art critic, he was renowned for the clarity and unconventionality of his writing, and the same fierce intelligence permeates this extraordinary memoir. This is a book written by a man wholly engaged with life even as it ends.

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.

Silent Partner: A Memoir of My Marriage


Dina Matos McGreevey - 2007
    It was an unforgettable scene. Dina Matos McGreevey, an attractive woman in her mid-thirties, wife, mother, and First Lady of the state of New Jersey, watched silently as her husband, then New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, resigned his office with the revelation that he was a "gay American." The picture of grace and loyalty, perfectly composed in her pale blue suit, Dina Matos McGreevey gave no sign of the tangled mixture of fear, sorrow, and anger she felt that day, no hint of the devastation that was to come. Since then she has been asked repeatedly about the nature of her marriage, about what she knew and when she knew it. Since then, she has remained silent. Until now. Speaking up at last, Dina Matos McGreevey here recounts the details of her marriage to Jim McGreevey. What emerges is a tale of love and betrayal, of heartbreak and scandal . . . and, ultimately, hope. It all began with so much promise. Dina Matos was a responsible and civic-minded young woman who fell in love with the passion of political action. When Jim McGreevey walked into her life, he appeared to be a kind and loving man, someone with whom she could build a life based on shared ideals, a strong spiritual commitment, and a desire to make a difference in the world. Beyond their initial chemistry, Dina Matos was attracted by Jim McGreevey's principles and his unwavering devotion to his work. She didn't know that his life, and thus their marriage, were built on a foundation of lies; that his past was littered with casual sexual encounters in seedy bookstores and public parks; or that, by his own admission, he began an adulterous affair with another man while she was in the hospital awaiting the birth of their child. "Could I have known," she asks. "How could I have known?" With scalding honesty, she tells of her life with the former governor, of the politics and public service that brought them together, and the lies that tore them apart. Here is a story of a marriage that was anything but happily-ever-after, told by a strong and resilient woman who can, and finally will, speak for herself.

Eat, Gay, Love


Calum McSwiggan - 2020
    Along the way, he meets LGBT+ people from all walks of life and every part of the rainbow - from an Italian teenager struggling with a homophobic father to a kathoey navigating life as a trans person in Thailand, to a young HIV-positive man living on the streets of London.Their individual stories, not only of hardship and sorrow but also of profound strength and hope, show the breadth and depth of queer life and experience, shedding light on themes such as homophobia, sexual violence, marriage equality and gender identity. Through these meetings and friendships, Calum not only finds the encouragement to embrace life after heartbreak, but also discovers a beautiful, loving global community who support and uplift him through the best and worst moments of his time on the road.A travel memoir with a difference, Eat, Gay, Love is a celebration of the power of community and a personal tribute to the extraordinary lives of LGBT+ people everywhere in the world.

She: The Old Woman Who Took Over My Life


Kathryn Tucker Windham - 2011
    In She, which Windham was putting the finishing touches on when she died in June 2011, the author describes how she woke up one day to find that she had an unwanted houseguest, an old woman who had suddenly moved into her home and was taking over her life. Windham referred to this interloper simply as She, and here the reader has been invited into the lively colloquy between the author--whose spirit has not changed--and her alter ego, who moves haltingly toward her earthly end. She will leave you laughing and crying, but also grateful and hopeful.

Out of My Depth


Anne Darwin - 2016
    

Tango Lessons: A Memoir


Meghan Flaherty - 2018
    A young woman living with the scars of past trauma, she was terrified of being touched and shied away from real passion. But by her late twenties, she knew something had to change. She dug up an old dream and tried on her dancing shoes.   In tango, there’s a leader and a follower, and, traditionally, the woman follows. As Meghan moved from beginner classes to the late-night dance halls of New York’s vibrant tango underground, she discovered that more than any footwork, the hardest and most essential lesson of the dance was to follow with strength and agency; to find her balance, regardless of the lead. And as she broke her own rule—never mix romance and tango—she started to apply those lessons in every corner of her life.   Written in wry, lyrical prose, and beautifully enriched by the vivid history and culture of the dance, Tango Lessons is a transformative story of conquering your fears, living your dreams, and enjoying the dizzying freedom found in the closest embrace.

Palm Trees on the Hudson: A True Story of the Mob, Judy Garland & Interior Decorating


Elliot Tiber - 2010
    Before Elliot found financial success by bringing Woodstock Ventures to his upstate motel, he was one of Manhattan's leading interior designers. Then Elliot's career came to a halt due to a floating society party, Judy Garland, and the Mob.In April 1968, Elliot was hired to throw an elegant dinner party aboard a luxury yacht on the Hudson River. Included on the guest list were New York's rich and famous--politicians, financiers, and even Elliot's icon, Judy Garland. The big night arrived. But when a fight broke out, resulting in the destruction of everything including rented palms, Elliot's event turned into financial disaster. Things couldn't get any worse--or so it seemed until the Mob paid a visit.By turns comic and tragic, Palm Trees on the Hudson is the take-no-prisoners memoir that gives readers a more intimate look at the man who went on to fight back at Stonewall and who helped give birth to the Woodstock Nation.

The Pelee Project: One Woman's Escape from Urban Madness


Jane Christmas - 2002
    Weekdays were an urban triathlon, weekends evaporated into mile-long to-do lists. Jane found herself drained, living beyond her means emotionally, physically, and financially. She dreamed of a simpler life, but, like everyone else, worried about the consequences of disconnecting from the frenetic working world. A highway accident changed all that. After walking away from a crash that should have killed her, she did the unthinkable and booked a three-month leave of absence from her job, put her home up for sale, and moved with her 10-year-old daughter to Pelee Island, a remote community of 180 in the middle of Lake Erie. Does the absence of a pedal-to-the-metal schedule freak her out, or does it transform her from den mother to Zen mother? Jane published a 15-part series about her sabbatical in the National Post, and her adventure caused an immediate and huge buzz. Readers were captivated by someone who had the nerve to put the brakes on life. The Pelee Project is Jane's full memoir of her hilarious faux pas, anecdotes, and epiphanies on the island, all told in that refreshingly honest voice that attracted so many to her columns. The Pelee Project is an inspiring tale of personal transformation and self-discovery.This edition is no longer in print.

Making Piece: a Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie


Beth M. Howard - 2012
    It's bitter. It's messy. It's got some sweetness, too. Sometimes the ingredients get added in the wrong order, but it has substance, it will warm your insides, and even though it isn't perfect, it still turns out okay in the end."When journalist Beth M. Howard's young husband dies suddenly, she packs up the RV he left behind and hits the American highways. At every stop along the way—whether filming a documentary or handing out free slices on the streets of Los Angeles—Beth uses pie as a way to find purpose. Howard eventually returns to her Iowa roots and creates the perfect synergy between two of America's greatest icons—pie and the American Gothic House, the little farmhouse immortalized in Grant Wood's famous painting, where she now lives and runs the Pitchfork Pie Stand.Making Piece powerfully shows how one courageous woman triumphs over tragedy. This beautifully written memoir is, ultimately, about hope. It's about the journey of healing and recovery, of facing fears, finding meaning in life again, and moving forward with purpose and, eventually, joy. It's about the nourishment of the heart and soul that comes from the simple act of giving to others, like baking a homemade pie and sharing it with someone whose pain is even greater than your own. And it tells of the role of fate, second chances and the strength found in community

Just Me


Sheila Hancock - 2008
    And then she looked ahead. What next? 'Live adventurously', a Quaker advice, was hovering around her brain. Putting her and John's much-loved house in France on the market she embarked on a series of journeys.

The House on Dream Street: Memoir of an American Woman in Vietnam


Dana Sachs - 2000
    A finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award, this deftly written narrative reveals how Sachs settled in with slick, warmhearted Tung and his quietly tenacious wife Huong in Hanoi and made a place for herself in “enemy” territory. With vivid descriptions of the community—the noodle stalls and roaring motorcycles, the vestiges of French colonialism, and the encroachment of glittering high-rises—Sachs explores the tenuous balance between the traditions of old Vietnam and a country in the throes of modernization. Sachs’s honest depiction of her difficulties renders her triumphs and love for the country and its people all the more poignant and compelling. This edition includes a new afterword by the author.

Wild and Precious Life


Deborah Ziegler - 2016
    Brittany asked me to do the video with her, to support her. The first words my daughter uttered on the film were, “The thoughts that go through your mind when you find out you have so little time is everything you need to say to everyone that you love.” Wearing a simple black sweater, her face already rounded and puffy from taking prescribed steroids, her once waist-length hair now grazing her shoulders after a craniotomy, Brittany described why she was choosing to end her life by her own hand rather than waiting for her brain tumor to rob her of everything that defined who she was. In this poignant, powerful book, Deborah Ziegler makes good on the promise she made to her only child: that she would honor her daughter and carry forward her legacy by sharing their story and offering hope, empowerment, and inspiration to the growing tens of millions of people who are struggling with end-of-life issues.Wild and Precious Life is not a book about death, however. Instead, it is a book about a life well-lived. What emerges in this compassionate and lyrical text is an unforgettable story of how, while we can’t control the hand fate delivers, we can decide how we play it. It is also a thoughtful exploration of America’s ongoing struggle with end-of-life issues and most importantly, a touching tribute to the enduring power of a mother and daughter’s love.