Hotel


Joanna Walsh - 2015
    Luxury, sex, power, anonymity, privacy…hotels are where our desires go on holiday, but also places where our desires are shaped by the hard realities of the marketplace. Part memoir and part meditation, this book visits a series of rooms, suites, hallways, and lobbies-the spaces and things that make up these modern sites of gathering and alienation, hotels.Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.

A Box of Darkness: The Story of a Marriage


Sally Ryder Brady - 2011
    Sally a debutante; Upton a classics major from Harvard, they met at the Boston Cotillion. He was articulate, witty, and worldly, and he danced like Fred Astaire. How could she resist? Despite raising four children on Upton’s modest wage as the editor-in-chief of the Atlantic Monthly Press, theirs was a world of champagne, sailboats, private islands, famous writers, family rituals, and ice-cold martinis. They lived life on their terms. But as time wore on, Upton, the charming and brilliant husband, the inventive, beguiling partner, grew opinionated, cranky, controlling, and dangerous. When Upton died suddenly one evening in their Vermont cottage, Sally began uncovering secrets. As she went through his papers, she discovered that her husband of forty-six years had desired the love of other men. Her riveting, charismatic husband was not quite the man he appeared to be, and a year of mourning became for Sally a time to unravel the dark and unexpected web he had left behind. Hers is a moving and powerful story of coming to terms with what cannot be changed. It is also a story of great love.

My Foreign Cities


Elizabeth Scarboro - 2013
    But then she fell in love with Stephen: brilliant, infuriating, living with cystic fibrosis. With Stephen's life expectancy hovering around thirty years, Scarboro embraced another sort of adventure--simultaneously joyous and heartrending--choosing to stay with Stephen and live an entire marriage in the ten years they had.A memoir in the tradition of Gail Caldwell's Let's Take the Long Way Home and Francisco Goldman's Say Her Name, Scarboro's story, told in intimate prose, reveals the ephemerality of her tender marriage. My Foreign Cities is a modern Love Story, a portrait of a young couple approaching mortality with reckless abandon, gleefully outrunning it for as long as they can.

My Estonia. Passport Forgery, Meat Jelly Eaters, And Other Stories


Justin Petrone - 2009
    Sure, it is romantic. But it was never easy. A foreigner arrives in the middle of a dark winter and must survive in Estonia, the "least fortunate Scandinavian country," a land where people eat blood sausage and jellied meat, drink warm bread, and are always on time; a place where every family is haunted by the past and is struggling to catch up to the present. Over the course of one year, so much happens in this tiny northern land that it stops being foreign. Estonia and the college grad turned journalist become intimately acquianted. Inseparable. And in the end, he comes to love it, even when they do not want to let him back into their country.

Father's Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son


Buzz Bissinger - 2012
    Gerry, the older one, is a graduate student at Penn, preparing to become a teacher. His brother Zach has spent his life attending special schools. He’ll never drive a car, or kiss a girl, or live by himself. He is a savant, challenged by serious intellectual deficits but also blessed with rare talents: an astonishing memory, a dazzling knack for navigation, and a reflexive honesty that can make him both socially awkward and surprisingly wise.Buzz realized that while he had always been an attentive father, he didn’t really understand what it was like to be Zach. So one summer night Buzz and Zach hit the road to revisit all the places they have lived together during Zach’s twenty-four years. Zach revels in his memories, and Buzz hopes this journey into their shared past will bring them closer and reveal to him the mysterious workings of his son’s mind and heart. The trip also becomes Buzz's personal journey, yielding revelations about his own parents, the price of ambition, and its effect on his twins.As father and son journey from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, they see the best and worst of America and each other. Ultimately, Buzz gains a new and uplifting wisdom, realizing that Zach’s worldview has a sturdy logic of its own: a logic that deserves the greatest respect. And with the help of Zach’s twin, Gerry, Buzz learns an even more vital lesson about Zach: character transcends intellect. We come to see Zach as he truly is: patient, fearless, perceptive, kind—a man of excellent character.

Freckled: A Memoir of Growing up Wild in Hawaii


T.W. Neal - 2018
    Living in tents and off the land without electricity or communication with the outside world, Toby escapes into reading and imagination to deal with racial harassment and indifferent parenting. Toby’s idealistic parents, breaking away from high achieving families, struggle with mental health and addiction issues as they try to live according to their own rules. Despite the hardship and deprivations of life on Kauai, they return again and again to an island whose hold on them is more powerful than any drug, as sensitive and resilient Toby clings to a dream of academic achievement and a “normal” life. “Neal’s prose is often effortless and elegant.” ~Kirkus Reviews

Lost in Transplantation: Memoir of an Unconventional Organ Donor


Eldonna Edwards - 2013
    When 48 year-old single mother, massage therapist and returning student Ellie meets a young woman with kidney disease, she decides to make it her mission to save the girl. Unfortunately, outdated rules made it difficult for altruistic donors, and besides, the woman doesn’t want a savior. Does this stop Ellie from her quest to “be the change” one seeks in the world? Not a chance. Told with humor and self-reflection, this inspirational memoir of courage and compassion is interwoven with anecdotal stories that help the reader identify what kind of person commits the selfless act of organ donation. Ellie,a self-described devout agnostic, is kind but often irreverent. She is generous, but she is no saint. Ultimately, becoming a kidney donor has given her a renewed sense of purpose and fulfillment. Lost in Transplantation asserts that we are all capable of altering a human being's life for the better, including our own.

Glass Half Full


Sarah Jane Butfield - 2013
    As a result, Glass Half Full has undergone a revamp including a professional edit, added photographs from our journey and a professional book cover. I hope you enjoy the changes. Is the glass half-empty or half-full? Ironically, sometimes life influences our view and alters our perception. Life changing events, up to 1997 almost destroyed me. At my lowest point, and just in time, I met Nigel. He helped me to discover how a positive attitude can change everything. I decided not to squander any more of my time or energy on undeserving people. This new positive approach helps me to perceive my glass as half-full, with my aim being to achieve a happy and healthy life for my family. Together, we live life to the full. In 2008, with good times ahead of us, my glass was half-full. As a family, we made the biggest and most difficult decision of our lives; part of our family would emigrate to Australia. We lived the Australian dream, embracing the adventure until adversity came to test us. A sequence of life changing events including a close family bereavement, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) following a road rage car accident and the shock of losing the roots to our Australian adventure as a result of the Brisbane floods tested us on many levels. Glass Half Full follows our journey into happy, sad and challenging times.Find out what it takes to survive with the odds stacked against you. Do you fight back, and if so, at what cost physically and emotionally? Could we maintain our positivity and family values against the odds? This is our story.

The Long Accomplishment: A Memoir of Hope and Struggle in Matrimony


Rick Moody - 2019
    As Moody has put it, "this is a story in which a lot of bad luck is the daily fare of the protagonists, but in which they are also in love.” To Moody’s astonishment, matrimony turns out to be the site of strength in hard times, a vessel infinitely tougher and more durable than any boat these two participants would have traveled by alone. Love buoys the couple, lifting them above their hardships, and the reader is buoyed along with them.

The Making of a Nurse


Tilda Shalof - 2007
    From when she was a child taking care of her sick parents to her current position on an ICU team in one of Canada’s largest hospitals, there have always been daunting challenges and worthy rewards for her work. With her trademark humour, unflinching honesty, and skilled storytelling, Shalof describes her experiences becoming the capable nurse she is today. After graduation from nurse’s college, finding no jobs in Toronto, Shalof travelled to Tel Aviv, Israel, to work in a hospital for the first time, finding adventure and young love in the process. A summer stint as a camp nurse came with requests for condoms, strange allergies (“Misty has reactions, but we don’t know to what”), and overly protective parents (also known as “helicopter parents” for their tendency to hover over their children). The Making of a Nurse contains these stories and much more, and they are comforting, entertaining, shocking, funny, heart-warming and heart-wrenching. From hospitals to home care, they will give readers a glimpse into the life of a nurse and the hidden medical world.

Confessions of a Qantas Flight Attendant: True Tales and Gossip from the Galley


Owen Beddall - 2014
    At last the lid is lifted. Come on board a real airline with a real flight attendant and find out what really goes on. In Confessions of a Qantas Flight Attendant – True Tales and Gossip from the Galley, Owen Beddall dishes the dirt – he tells you the things you always wanted to know (and maybe a few things you didn't) about the glamorous world of flying. This book is packed with cabin crew adventures and misadventures in and out of that smart uniform in far flung places. There's sex, drugs and lots of celebrity gossip; Katy Perry, Lily Allen, Kylie Minogue, Venus Williams and Cate Blanchett – are all in the galley having a gossip with Owen. Confessions of a Qantas Flight Attendant is a hilariously bumpy ride around the world with a very funny man.

Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke, Finding Home


Caitlin Shetterly - 2011
    This fascination is driven by the ancient chemical forces that first drew humans and animals together. It is also the same biology that transformed wolves into dogs and skittish horses into valiant comrades that would carry us into battle.Made for Each Other is the first book to explain how this chemistry of attraction and attachment flows through -- and between -- all mammals to create the profound emotional bonds humans and animals still feel today. Drawing on recent discoveries from neuroscience, evolutionary biology, behavioral psychology, archeology, as well as her own investigations, Meg Daley Olmert explains why the brain chemistry humans and animals trigger in each other also has a profound effect on our mental and physical well being. This lively and original investigation asks what happens when the bond is severed. If thousands of years of caring for animals infused us with a biology that shaped our hearts and minds, do we dare turn our back on it? Daley Olmert makes a compelling and scientific case for what our hearts have always known, that we were, and always will be, made for each other.

Island Wife: Living on the Edge of the Wild


Judy Fairbairns - 2013
    He whisked her off into an adventure, a marriage of forty years, and a life on a remote Hebridean island, where the sea-birds fly, the weather is always changing and whales swim in the deep. Along the way she bears five children, learns how to help run a rocky hill farm, a hotel, a recording studio and the first whale watching business in the UK - all the while inventively making fraying ends meet. When her children start to leave home, things fall apart and there is sadness and joy in how she puts things back together. Judy tells her story in a clear and unique voice, in turns funny, unforgettable and intensely moving.

Catching Babies: A Midwife's Tale


Sheena Byrom - 2011
    It reveals the unique experiences that filled Sheena's days as she looked after overwhelmed mums and dads and helped to bring their precious babies into the world.At the forefront of evolving medical practices, she was the first midwife to oversee a home water birth in her area, but also found herself at the centre of a traumatic delivery that resulted in a nine-year litigation case and tested her to her limits.Yet, whatever has come Sheena's way, ultimately, there are the strong mothers who taught her so much and the little miracles who have made every single moment as a midwife truly magical.

Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei


David Mura - 1991
    Mura is a sansei, a third-generation Japanese-American who grew up on baseball and hot dogs in a Chicago suburb, where he heard more Yiddish than Japanese. Turning Japanese chronicles his quest for identity with honesty, intelligence, and poetic vision and it stands as a classic meditation on difference and assimilation and is a valuable window onto a country that has long fascinated our own. Turning Japanese was a New York Times Notable Book and winner of an Oakland PEN Josephine Miles Book Award. This edition includes a new afterword by the author.