BRAVE AND FUNNY MEMORIES OF WWII: By a P-38 Fighter Pilot


Lyndon Shubert - 2017
    Always afraid he was about to die, he climbed into the cockpit anyway ... and lived to tell you about it. How would you feel if you were a new guy in the sky ... attacked by four Messerschmitts? Let me tell you, no matter how much you prepare, no matter how much you read, how much you train, no matter how much you think of yourself as a 'Hot Shot Pilot,' you are never ready for life and death combat! How did it feel to say a 'last goodbye' to your bride believing you would never see her again, as you left to fight WWII? Author's Facebook page at: facebook.com/P38Flyer/ As reviewed by A. L. Hanks, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF (Ret) who said it perfectly: In "Brave and Funny Memories of WWII" Lyndon Shubert, to our great benefit, tells us his story, an engaging tale of his WWII experience as a fighter pilot in WWII. A member of the "greatest generation" he recounts his days (and nights) flying P-38 fighters in the wartime skies of Europe. The tale is told in a relaxed, conversational style, honest and personal. The reader will appreciate the authenticity and the easy humor. He tells us a story that is at once delightfully humorous and deadly serious. He shares that unfettered sense of flying a powerful aircraft free in the vast expanse of the sky. The special sense that pilots have when they "can reach out and touch the face of God". Shubert relates the feelings of men in combat, that gripping apprehension in your gut when you know you're going to die, your senses at full maximum intensity, and then that striking after mission fear when you look back and realize that you cheated death once again. Shubert was indeed a special fellow. We are indebted to him for his service and his book. He captures a special piece of the American character and our history that is essential to pass on to our children and grandchildren. Lt Shubert was exceptional, a USAF officer and a fighter pilot who fought the war and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. The author reminds us once again why fighter pilots are special. Why they are ubiquitously viewed as swaggering "raconteurs", with big egos and big watches who can sometimes be insufferable. But his tale also captures the reality of one-on-one aerial combat, loser goes home.... to God.

Changing Gears: A Pedal-Powered Detour from the Rat Race


Greg Foyster - 2013
    

The Club


Christy O'Connor - 2010
    It tells the story of St. Joseph's Doora-Barefield and covers the 2009 season.

What the Grown-ups Were Doing: Battenburg, bottoms and bridge ? an odyssey through 1950s suburbia


Michele Hanson - 2012
    Yet this shopfront of respectability masked a multitude of anxieties and suspected salacious goings-on. Was Shirley's mother really having an affair with the man from the carpet shop? Did chatterbox Dora Colborne harbour unspeakable desires for Michele's sulky dad? Whose Battenburg cake was the best? An atmosphere of intense rivalry prevails, with Michele's mum very suspicious of her non-Jewish neighbour's domestic and personal habits, and Michele very wary of children's games like 'Doctors and Nurses' that might bring bottoms into the equation. And with glamorous, scheming Auntie Celia swanning around in silk dresses demanding attention, Michele has a lot to contend with. Only the annual holidays to the south of France relieve the tension. This hilarious and wonderfully evocative memoir charts Michele's childhood and coming of age in a Britain that was emerging from post-war austerity into the days of 'you've never had it so good'. It is a characterful and affectionate look at a way of British life long since disappeared but one for which we continue to hold huge affection.

Blanketmen: An Untold Story of the H-Block Hunger Strike


Richard O'Rawe - 2005
    

Johnny's Girl: A Daughter's Memoir of Growing Up In Alaska's Underworld


Kim Rich - 1993
    Kim Rich longed for normalcy, yet she was inescapably her father's child, and she had no choice but to grow up fast. Her mother was a stripper and B-girl: her father was a major player in the underworld of Anchorage, Alaska in the sixties, a city flush with newfound oil money.  Only after her father was gruesomely murdered and Kim became a journalist was she able to fill in the missing pieces of one American dream gone horribly wrong. Kim's true story is a tale of a woman's search for her parent's secrets. What she finds is both shocking and tragic, but in the end she's able to discover her true self amid the remnants of her parents' lost lives.

Cleaning the Kingdom: Insider Tales of Keeping Walt's Dream Spotless


Ken Pellman - 2015
    The authors are two former Disneyland Custodial cast members, and they share their experiences keeping the Magic Kingdom clean for guests from all over the world while working with an assortment of characters. You will encounter hilarious, unbelievable, heartbreaking, and magical stories. Documenting a time of growth and controversy at the Disneyland Resort, this book answers the question, "Just how do they keep the place so clean?"

Sylvia's Farm: The Journal of an Improbable Shepherd


Sylvia Jorrin - 2004
    The world of Sylvia's Farm is a rich landscape of natural beauty and simple pleasures. Sylvia Jorrín never expected to become the first woman in the New York City Watershed to solely own and operate a large livestock farm. But first the farm, and then farm life, captured her heart as it has captured the hearts of all those who have read her book. Through unexpected surprises and unanticipated hardships, Sylvia Jorrín has grown into the epitome of the one thing she never expected to be: a farmer.With a devoted following of readers inspired by her underlying appreciation of the world around her, Sylvia's Farm is the sort of ageless story that any reader can pick up and enjoy. Sylvia's Farm is, to quote Kirkus Reviews, "The delight-filled education of an out-of-the-clue shepherdess...." consisting of "....fine-grained, honest rural sketches, on a par with Noel Perrin and Don Mitchell." Sylvia's Farm is a contemporary account of rural farm life and all of the sometimes beautiful, always meaningful lessons that it continues to teach. Told in short vignettes that span over more than a decade, it is a journal of growth, persistence, and the unexpected joys that a new day can bring.

Anne's Song


Anne Nolan - 2008
    At the height of their fame, The Nolan Sisters were one of the biggest acts around, touring with Frank Sinatra, performing at the Royal Variety Performance and travelling around the world to play for their adoring fans.Surrounded by a bevy of loving sisters, two protective brothers and parents who wanted to see their children succeed, how could Anne Nolan's childhood have been anything but idyllic? And yet behind the fairytale script - the fame and glitz lay hidden a dark family secret that has, until now, never been told.Anne's story - which starts in her birthplace Dublin and moves to the Northern club scene of Blackpool - tells of this other life - one that had to remain hidden, one of fear and pain that has cast a terrible shadow over her entire life. After so many years of silence, she has decided the time has come to speak of the brutal truth behind the carefully cultivated image, that was The Nolans.

Travels with Charlie


Sol Smith - 2014
    In Travels with Charlie, William and Charlotte Stronghold quit their jobs and sell their belongings in order to set sail and find a new home somewhere between their native California and the green mountains of Vermont. Along the way, they fall in love and into hate with the popular culture that binds Americans together. The lines are blurred between shady roadside attractions and heralded national monuments, between the natural wonders of the country and the loud and annoying tourists who populate them, between the concepts of place and self. A head-on collision, a single burrito nearly a yard long, dead presidents, something that is probably a bear, and a Canadian sex club provide the backdrop for this story that is part romance story, part tall-tale, and part coming of age memoir. At times sweet and heartbreaking, almost always bitingly funny, Travels with Charlie is an American story about life on the road, in the tradition of Huck Finn, On the Road, and Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley.

Chomp, Chomp, Chomp: How I Survived a Bear Attack and Other Cautionary Tales


Allena Hansen - 2012
    We make eye contact for the merest fraction of a second, and in this moment I know exactly what's coming…." A tragicomic collection of latter day Grimm's Fairy Tales, Allena Hansen's true life accounts won the IBPA 2015 Benjamin Franklin Award for best memoir/autobiography. "Chomp, Chomp, Chomp; How I Survived a Bear Attack and Other Cautionary Tales" introduces us to the bon vivant and social pariah Hunter S. Thompson toasted as "the distaff Hunter S. Thompson" and her sworn antagonist, Andrew Breitbart called out as "the coolest person in the room." Offering herself up as a cautionary example, Hansen poses the age-old question, 'What makes a survivor?" Read this book and remain as puzzled as ever, but as you marvel at her uncompromisingly bad judgment and uncanny resilience, you just might learn something that could save your life.

Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time


David Goodwillie - 2006
    Arriving in Manhattan in the mid-nineties, Goodwillie quickly falls into one implausible job after another. He becomes a private investigator, imagining himself as a gumshoe, a hired gun—only to realize that he's more adept at bungling cases than at solving them. When, in his stint as a freelance journalist, he unveils the Mafia in a magazine exposé, he succeeds only in becoming a target of their wrath. As a copywriter for a sports auction house, he imagines documenting the great histories hidden in priceless artifacts but finds himself forced to write about a lock of Mickey Mantle's hair. Even when he seems to break through, somehow becoming the sports expert at Sotheby's auction house—appearing on major news networks, raking in a hefty salary—he's lured away by the promise of Internet millions...just in time for the dot-com crash. Teeming with the vibrancy of a city in hyperdrive, Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time recounts a dizzying and enthralling search for authenticity in a cynical, superficial—and suddenly dangerous—age. In his heartbreaking and hilarious struggle to become a big-city writer, Goodwillie becomes something more: an important voice of the lost generation he so elegantly describes.

The Pipes are Calling: Our Jaunts Through Ireland


Niall Williams - 1990
    This Irish-American couple told of their decision to emigrate in reverse, to settle in Christine's great-grandmother's cottage in the west of Ireland, in "O Come Ye Back to Ireland." They chronicled their further adventures, and the adoption of their daughter, Deirdre, in "When Summer's in the Meadow." Now they take us with them on their travels by foot, bicycle, car and boat through the island they have come to know and love in search of that "Irish feeling, " the feeling which first called them back to Ireland.

How to Love the Empty Air


Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz - 2018
    Continuing in her tradition of engaging autobiographical work, How to Love the Empty Air explores what happens when the impossible becomes real―for better and for worse. Aptowicz’s journey to find happiness and home in her ever-shifting world sees her struggling in cities throughout America. When her luck changes―in love and in life―she can’t help but “tell the sun / tell the fields / tell the huge Texas sky…. / tell myself again and again until I believe it.” However, the upward trajectory of this new life is rocked by the sudden death of the poet’s mother. In the year that follows, Aptowicz battles the silencing power of grief with intimate poems burnished by loss and a hard-won humor, capturing the dance that all newly grieving must do between everyday living and the desire “to elope with this grief, / who is not your enemy, / this grief who maybe now is your best friend. / This grief, who is your husband, / the thing you curl into every night, / falling asleep in its arms…” As in her award-winning The Year of No Mistakes, Aptowicz counts her losses and her blessings, knowing how despite it all, life “ripples boundless, like electricity, like joy / like... laughter, irresistible and bright, / an impossible thing to contain.”

My Incredibly Wonderful, Miserable Life: An Anti-Memoir


Adam Nimoy - 2008
    Today, he's waking up in a sleeping bag on an air mattress in a two-bedroom apartment with no furniture thinking, "How the hell did I get here?"A thirty-year battle with drug addiction, three career changes, one divorce, a major mid-life crisis, and countless AA meetings later, he tells his cautionary -- and very funny -- tale.In this frankly humble and hilarious anti-memoir, Adam Nimoy shares the incredibly wonderful, miserable truth about life as a newly divorced father, a forty-something on the L.A. dating scene, a recovering user, and a former lawyer turned director turned substitute teacher...in search of his true self. And, oh yeah, the wonderful, miserable truth about growing up the son of a pop culture icon.In a city where appearing perfect is a way of life, Adam Nimoy doesn't mince words. He's been rushed by crazed Star Trek fans at a carnival, propositioned by his father's leading ladies, promised by his own teenage daughter that she never wants to see him again, and fired by famous television producers for his temper.Wonderful? Sometimes. Miserable? Occasionally. Survivable? Stay tuned...