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Memoir

A Promised Land

A Promised Land

$45.00
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A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making--from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post - Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times - NPR - The Guardian - Marie Claire

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency--a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation's highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune's Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective--the story of one man's bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of "hope and change," and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama's conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.

Across Black Spaces: Essays and Interviews from an American Philosopher

Across Black Spaces: Essays and Interviews from an American Philosopher

$35.00
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Across Black Spaces gathers and builds on a diverse array of essays and interviews by American philosopher and leading public intellectual George Yancy. Within this multidisciplinary framework are works from The New York Times, The Guardian, and other major media outlets which have drawn international acclaim for their spotlight on vicious racial tensions in American academia and society at large. With this collection of revised and updated works, Yancy engages a vast scope of social, political, historical, linguistic, and philosophical themes that together illustrate what it means to be Black in America. Four sections of the book engage, first, moral outrage at contemporary ethical crises; second, the search for identity and value of vulnerability; third, the history and present values of Black and Africana philosophy; and fourth, the essential role of African American language in understanding Black lived experience. Representing twenty years of persistent inquiry and advocacy, Across Black Spaces celebrates Yancy's undeniable importance in American intellectual progress and essential social change.
All Over But the Shoutin'

All Over But the Shoutin'

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When childhood is complicated by poverty and an abusive, alcoholic father, it vecomes focused on survival. Were it not for the dedication and strength of his mother, Rick Bragg may have never left northeast Alabama and become a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter. His memoir captures the essence of the South, explores the bonds and responsibilities of family, and, in the end, celebrates his own coming-of-age.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Year of Food Life

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Year of Food Life

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A beautiful deluxe trade paperback edition celebrating the 10th anniversary of Barbara Kingsolver's New York Times bestseller, which describes her family's adventure as they move to a farm in southern Appalachia and realign their lives with the local food chain.

Since its publication in 2007, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle has captivated readers with its blend of memoir and journalistic investigation. Newly updated with original pieces from the entire Kingsolver clan, this commemorative volume explores how the family's original project has been carried forward through the years.

When Barbara Kingsolver and her family moved from suburban Arizona to rural Appalachia, they took on a new challenge: to spend a year on a locally-produced diet, paying close attention to the provenance of all they consume. Concerned about the environmental, social, and physical costs of American food culture, they hoped to recover what Barbara considers our nation's lost appreciation for farms and the natural processes of food production. Since 2007, their scheme has evolved enormously. In this new edition, featuring an afterword composed by the entire Kingsolver family, Barbara's husband, Steven, discusses how the project grew into a farm-to-table restaurant and community development project training young farmers in their area to move into sustainable food production. Camille writes about her decision to move back to a rural area after college, and how she and her husband incorporate their food values in their lives as they begin their new family. Lily, Barbara's youngest daughter, writes about how growing up on a farm, in touch with natural processes and food chains, has shaped her life as a future environmental scientist. And Barbara writes about their sheep, and how they grew into her second vocation as a fiber artist, and reports on the enormous response they've received from other home-growers and local-food devotees.

With Americans' ever-growing concern over an agricultural establishment that negatively affects our health and environment, the Kingsolver family's experiences and observations remain just as relevant today as they were ten years ago. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is a modern classic that will endure for years to come.



"Cogent and illuminating...Without sentimentality, this book captures the pulse of the farm and the deep gratification it provides, as well as the intrinsic humor of the situation."--Janet Maslin, New York Times

Beautiful Things: A Memoir

Beautiful Things: A Memoir

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"I come from a family forged by tragedies and bound by a remarkable, unbreakable love," Hunter Biden writes in this deeply moving memoir of addiction, loss, and survival.

When he was two years old, Hunter Biden was badly injured in a car accident that killed his mother and baby sister. In 2015, he suffered the devastating loss of his beloved big brother, Beau, who died of brain cancer at the age of forty-six. These hardships were compounded by the collapse of his marriage and a years-long battle with drug and alcohol addiction.

In Beautiful Things, Hunter recounts his descent into substance abuse and his tortuous path to sobriety. The story ends with where Hunter is today--a sober married man with a new baby, finally able to appreciate the beautiful things in life.

Becoming

Becoming

$34.50
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An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - WATCH THE EMMY-NOMINATED NETFLIX ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY - OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK - NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER - ONE OF ESSENCE'S 50 MOST IMPACTFUL BLACK BOOKS OF THE PAST 50 YEARS

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America--the first African American to serve in that role--she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her--from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it--in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations--and whose story inspires us to do the same.

Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home

Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home

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* Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award * Silver Medal Society of Illustrators *

* Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Comics Beat, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal

This "ingenious reckoning with the past" (The New York Times), by award-winning artist Nora Krug investigates the hidden truths of her family's wartime history in Nazi Germany.

Nora Krug was born decades after the fall of the Nazi regime, but the Second World War cast a long shadow over her childhood and youth in the city of Karlsruhe, Germany. Yet she knew little about her own family's involvement; though all four grandparents lived through the war, they never spoke of it.

After twelve years in the US, Krug realizes that living abroad has only intensified her need to ask the questions she didn't dare to as a child. Returning to Germany, she visits archives, conducts research, and interviews family members, uncovering in the process the stories of her maternal grandfather, a driving teacher in Karlsruhe during the war, and her father's brother Franz-Karl, who died as a teenage SS soldier. In this extraordinary quest, "Krug erases the boundaries between comics, scrapbooking, and collage as she endeavors to make sense of 20th-century history, the Holocaust, her German heritage, and her family's place in it all" (The Boston Globe). A highly inventive, "thoughtful, engrossing" (Minneapolis Star-Tribune) graphic memoir, Belonging "packs the power of Alison Bechdel's Fun Home and David Small's Stitches" (NPR.org).

Between the Woods and the Water

Between the Woods and the Water

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Continuing the epic foot journey across Europe begun in A Time of Gifts, Patrick Leigh Fermor writes about walking from Hungary to the Balkans.

The journey that Patrick Leigh Fermor set out on in 1933--to cross Europe on foot with an emergency allowance of one pound a day--proved so rich in experiences that when much later he sat down to describe them, they overflowed into more than one volume. Undertaken as the storms of war gathered, and providing a background for the events that were beginning to unfold in Central Europe, Leigh Fermor's still-unfinished account of his journey has established itself as a modern classic. Between the Woods and the Water, the second volume of a projected three, has garnered as many prizes as its celebrated predecessor, A Time of Gifts.

The opening of the book finds Leigh Fermor crossing the Danube--at the very moment where his first volume left off. A detour to the luminous splendors of Prague is followed by a trip downriver to Budapest, passage on horseback across the Great Hungarian Plain, and a crossing of the Romanian border into Transylvania. Remote castles, mountain villages, monasteries and towering ranges that are the haunt of bears, wolves, eagles, gypsies, and a variety of sects are all savored in the approach to the Iron Gates, the division between the Carpathian mountains and the Balkans, where, for now, the story ends.

Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home

Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home

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Faced with the sale of the century-old family summer house on Cape Cod where he had spent forty-two summers, George Howe Colt recounts returning for one last stay with his wife and children in this stunning memoir that was a National Book Award Finalist and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

This poignant tribute to the eleven-bedroom jumble of gables, bays, and dormers that watched over weddings, divorces, deaths, anniversaries, birthdays, breakdowns, and love affairs for five generations interweaves Colt's final visit with memories of a lifetime of summers. Run-down yet romantic, The Big House stands not only as a cherished reminder of summer's ephemeral pleasures but also as a powerful symbol of a vanishing way of life.

BLOOD BONES & BUTTER

BLOOD BONES & BUTTER

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Miami Herald - Newsday - The Huffington Post - Financial Times - GQ - Slate - Men's Journal - Washington Examiner - Publishers Weekly - Kirkus Reviews - National Post - The Toronto Star - BookPage - Bookreporter


Before Gabrielle Hamilton opened her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, she spent twenty hard-living years trying to find purpose and meaning in her life. Blood, Bones & Butter follows an unconventional journey through the many kitchens Hamilton has inhabited through the years: the rural kitchen of her childhood, where her adored mother stood over the six-burner with an oily wooden spoon in hand; the kitchens of France, Greece, and Turkey, where she was often fed by complete strangers and learned the essence of hospitality; Hamilton's own kitchen at Prune, with its many unexpected challenges; and the kitchen of her Italian mother-in-law, who serves as the link between Hamilton's idyllic past and her own future family--the result of a prickly marriage that nonetheless yields lasting dividends. By turns epic and intimate, Gabrielle Hamilton's story is told with uncommon honesty, grit, humor, and passion.

Features a new essay by Gabrielle Hamilton at the back of the book

Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more.

Bookshop in Berlin: The Rediscovered Memoir of One Woman's Harrowing Escape from the Nazis

Bookshop in Berlin: The Rediscovered Memoir of One Woman's Harrowing Escape from the Nazis

$26.00
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A PEOPLE BOOK OF THE WEEK
WINNER OF THE JQ-WINGATE LITERARY PRIZE

"A haunting tribute to survivors and those lost forever--and a reminder, in our own troubled era, never to forget." --People

An "exceptional" (The Wall Street Journal) and "poignant" (The New York Times) book in the tradition of rediscovered works like Suite Française and The Nazi Officer's Wife, the powerful memoir of a fearless Jewish bookseller on a harrowing fight for survival across Nazi-occupied Europe.

In 1921, Françoise Frenkel--a Jewish woman from Poland--fulfills a dream. She opens La Maison du Livre, Berlin's first French bookshop, attracting artists and diplomats, celebrities and poets. The shop becomes a haven for intellectual exchange as Nazi ideology begins to poison the culturally rich city. In 1935, the scene continues to darken. First come the new bureaucratic hurdles, followed by frequent police visits and book confiscations.

Françoise's dream finally shatters on Kristallnacht in November 1938, as hundreds of Jewish shops and businesses are destroyed. La Maison du Livre is miraculously spared, but fear of persecution eventually forces Françoise on a desperate, lonely flight to Paris. When the city is bombed, she seeks refuge across southern France, witnessing countless horrors: children torn from their parents, mothers throwing themselves under buses. Secreted away from one safe house to the next, Françoise survives at the heroic hands of strangers risking their lives to protect her.

Published quietly in 1945, then rediscovered nearly sixty years later in an attic, A Bookshop in Berlin is a remarkable story of survival and resilience, of human cruelty and human spirit. In the tradition of Suite Française and The Nazi Officer's Wife, this book is the tale of a fearless woman whose lust for life and literature refuses to leave her, even in her darkest hours.

Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life

Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life

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Coetzee has been reluctant to talk about himself. Now, revisiting the South Africa of a half century ago, he writes about his childhood and his own interior life. "Boyhood" 's young narrator grew up in a new development north of Cape Town, tormented by guilt and fear. With a father he did not respect, and a mother he both adored and resented, he led a double life -- at school the brilliant and well-behaved student, at home the princely despot, always terrified of losing his mother's love. His first encounters with literature, the awakenings of sexual desire, and a growing awareness of apartheid left him with baffling questions; and only in his love of the veld ('farms are places of freedom, of life') could he find a sense of belonging. Bold and telling, this masterly evocation of a young boy's life is the book Coetzee's many admirers have been waiting for, but never could have expected.
Cockroaches

Cockroaches

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Imagine being born into a world where everything about you--the shape of your nose, the look of your hair, the place of your birth--designates you as an undesirable, an inferior, a menace, no better than a cockroach, something to be driven away and ultimately exterminated. Imagine being thousands of miles away while your family and friends are brutally and methodically slaughtered. Imagine being entrusted by your parents with the mission of leaving everything you know and finding some way to survive, in the name of your family and your people.

Scholastique Mukasonga's Cockroaches is the story of growing up a Tutsi in Hutu-dominated Rwanda--the story of a happy child, a loving family, all wiped out in the genocide of 1994. A vivid, bitterwsweet depiction of family life and bond in a time of immense hardship, it is also a story of incredible endurance, and the duty to remember that loss and those lost while somehow carrying on. Sweet, funny, wrenching, and deeply moving, Cockroaches is a window onto an unforgettable world of love, grief, and horror.

Cost of Living: A Working Autobiography

Cost of Living: A Working Autobiography

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The bestselling exploration of the dimensions of love, marriage, mourning, and kinship from two-time Booker Prize finalist Deborah Levy.

A New York Times Notable Book
A New York Public Library Best Nonfiction Book of 2018

What does it cost a woman to unsettle old boundaries and collapse the social hierarchies that make her a minor character in a world not arranged to her advantage?

This vibrant memoir, a portrait of contemporary womanhood in flux, is an urgent quest to find an unwritten major female character who can exist more easily in the world. Levy considers what it means to live with meaning, value, and pleasure, to seize the ultimate freedom of writing our own lives, and reflects on the work of such artists and thinkers as Simone de Beauvoir, James Baldwin, Elena Ferrante, Marguerite Duras, David Lynch, and Emily Dickinson.

The Cost of Living, longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal in Nonfiction, is crucial testimony, as distinctive, witty, complex, and original as Levy's acclaimed novels.

Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking

Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking

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"You can almost taste the food in Bill Buford's Dirt, an engrossing, beautifully written memoir about his life as a cook in France." --The Wall Street Journal

What does it take to master French cooking? This is the question that drives Bill Buford to abandon his perfectly happy life in New York City and pack up and (with a wife and three-year-old twin sons in tow) move to Lyon, the so-called gastronomic capital of France. But what was meant to be six months in a new and very foreign city turns into a wild five-year digression from normal life, as Buford apprentices at Lyon's best boulangerie, studies at a legendary culinary school, and cooks at a storied Michelin-starred restaurant, where he discovers the exacting (and incomprehensibly punishing) rigueur of the professional kitchen.

With his signature humor, sense of adventure, and masterful ability to bring an exotic and unknown world to life, Buford has written the definitive insider story of a city and its great culinary culture.

Dragons, the Giant, the Women: A Memoir

Dragons, the Giant, the Women: A Memoir

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FINALIST FOR THE 2020 NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR AUTOBIOGRAPHY

An engrossing memoir of escaping the First Liberian Civil War and building a life in the United States


When Wayétu Moore turns five years old, her father and grandmother throw her a big birthday party at their home in Monrovia, Liberia, but all she can think about is how much she misses her mother, who is working and studying in faraway New York. Before she gets the reunion her father promised her, war breaks out in Liberia. The family is forced to flee their home on foot, walking and hiding for three weeks until they arrive in the village of Lai. Finally, a rebel soldier smuggles them across the border to Sierra Leone, reuniting the family and setting them off on yet another journey, this time to the United States.

Spanning this harrowing journey in Moore's early childhood, her years adjusting to life in Texas as a black woman and an immigrant, and her eventual return to Liberia, The Dragons, the Giant, the Women is a deeply moving story of the search for home in the midst of upheaval. Moore has a novelist's eye for suspense and emotional depth, and this unforgettable memoir is full of imaginative, lyrical flights and lush prose. In capturing both the hazy magic and the stark realities of what is becoming an increasingly pervasive experience, Moore shines a light on the great political and personal forces that continue to affect many migrants around the world, and calls us all to acknowledge the tenacious power of love and family.

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

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Anne Fadiman is--by her own admission--the sort of person who learned about sex from her father's copy of Fanny Hill, whose husband buys her 19 pounds of dusty books for her birthday, and who once found herself poring over her roommate's 1974 Toyota Corolla manual because it was the only written material in the apartment that she had not read at least twice.

This witty collection of essays recounts a lifelong love affair with books and language. For Fadiman, as for many passionate readers, the books she loves have become chapters in her own life story. Writing with remarkable grace, she revives the tradition of the well-crafted personal essay, moving easily from anecdotes about Coleridge and Orwell to tales of her own pathologically literary family. As someone who played at blocks with her father's 22-volume set of Trollope ("My Ancestral Castles") and who only really considered herself married when she and her husband had merged collections ("Marrying Libraries"), she is exquisitely well equipped to expand upon the art of inscriptions, the perverse pleasures of compulsive proof-reading, the allure of long words, and the satisfactions of reading out loud. There is even a foray into pure literary gluttony--Charles Lamb liked buttered muffin crumbs between the leaves, and Fadiman knows of more than one reader who literally consumes page corners. Perfectly balanced between humor and erudition, Ex Libris establishes Fadiman as one of our finest contemporary essayists.

Find a Way: The Inspiring Story of One Woman's Pursuit of a Lifelong Dream

Find a Way: The Inspiring Story of One Woman's Pursuit of a Lifelong Dream

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Hillary Clinton said that Find a Way would stay with her through the general election: "When you're facing big challenges in your life, you can think about Diana Nyad getting attacked by the lethal sting of box jellyfishes. And nearly anything else seems doable in comparison."

When Diana Nyad arrived on the shore of Key West after fifty-three hours of grueling swimming across an epic ocean, she not only set a world record--becoming the first person to swim the shark-infested waters between Cuba and Florida with no cage for protection--she also succeeded in fulfilling a dream she first chased at age twenty-eight and at long last achieved when she was sixty-four.

Now, in a riveting memoir, Diana shares a spirited account of what it takes to face one's fears, engage one's passions, and never ever give up. For no matter what life may throw at you, or how many times you may have experienced defeat, it is always possible--as long as you commit to living life to the nth degree, no regrets--to "find a way.

Finding Freedom: A Cook's Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch

Finding Freedom: A Cook's Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch

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**New York Times Bestseller**

From Erin French, owner of the critically acclaimed The Lost Kitchen, a TIME world dining destination, a life-affirming memoir about survival, renewal, and finding a community to lift her up

Long before The Lost Kitchen became a world dining destination with every seating filled the day the reservation book opens each spring, Erin French was a girl roaming barefoot on a 25-acre farm, a teenager falling in love with food while working the line at her dad's diner and a young woman finding her calling as a professional chef at her tiny restaurant tucked into a 19th century mill. This singular memoir--a classic American story--invites readers to Erin's corner of her beloved Maine to share the real person behind the "girl from Freedom" fairytale, and the not-so-picture-perfect struggles that have taken every ounce of her strength to overcome, and that make Erin's life triumphant.

In Finding Freedom, Erin opens up to the challenges, stumbles, and victories that have led her to the exact place she was ever meant to be, telling stories of multiple rock-bottoms, of darkness and anxiety, of survival as a jobless single mother, of pills that promised release but delivered addiction, of a man who seemed to offer salvation but in the end ripped away her very sense of self. And of the beautiful son who was her guiding light as she slowly rebuilt her personal and culinary life around the solace she found in food--as a source of comfort, a sense of place, as a way of bringing goodness into the world. Erin's experiences with deep loss and abiding hope, told with both honesty and humor, will resonate with women everywhere who are determined to find their voices, create community, grow stronger and discover their best-selves despite seemingly impossible odds. Set against the backdrop of rural Maine and its lushly intense, bountiful seasons, Erin reveals the passion and courage needed to invent oneself anew, and the poignant, timeless connections between food and generosity, renewal and freedom.

Girl with Seven Names

Girl with Seven Names

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

An extraordinary insight into life under one of the world's most ruthless and secretive dictatorships - and the story of one woman's terrifying struggle to avoid capture/repatriation and guide her family to freedom.

As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee was one of millions trapped by a secretive and brutal communist regime. Her home on the border with China gave her some exposure to the world beyond the confines of the Hermit Kingdom and, as the famine of the 1990s struck, she began to wonder, question and to realise that she had been brainwashed her entire life. Given the repression, poverty and starvation she witnessed surely her country could not be, as she had been told "the best on the planet"?

Aged seventeen, she decided to escape North Korea. She could not have imagined that it would be twelve years before she was reunited with her family.

Good Husbandry: A Memoir

Good Husbandry: A Memoir

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From the celebrated author of the beloved bestseller The Dirty Life, a "beguiling memoir about the simple life" (Elle), Kristin Kimball describes the delicious highs and sometimes excruciating lows of life on Essex Farm--a 500-acre farm that produces a full diet for a community of 250 people.

The Dirty Life chronicled Kimball's move from New York City to 500 acres near Lake Champlain where she started a new farm with her partner, Mark. In Good Husbandry, she reveals what happened over the next five years at Essex Farm.

Farming has many ups and downs, and the middle years were hard for the Kimballs. Mark got injured, the weather turned against them, and the farm faced financial pressures. Meanwhile, they had two small children to care for. How does one traverse the terrain of a maturing marriage and the transition from being a couple to being a family? How will the farm survive? What does a family need in order to be happy?

Kristin had chosen Mark and farm life after having a good look around the world, with a fair understanding of what her choices meant. She knew she had traded the possibility of a steady paycheck, of wide open weekends and spontaneous vacations, for a life and work that was challenging but beautiful and fulfilling. So with grit and grace and a good sense of humor, she chose to dig in deeper.

Featuring some of the same local characters and cherished animals first introduced in The Dirty Life, (Jet the farm dog, Delia the dairy cow, and those hardworking draft horses), plus a colorful cast of aspiring first-generation farmers who work at Essex Farm to acquire the skills they need to start sustainable farms of their own, Good Husbandry is about animals and plants, farmers and food, friends and neighbors, love and marriage, births and deaths, growth and abundance.

Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life

Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life

$27.00
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A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK AND INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Often hilarious and ultimately very touching." --People

"Have you ever read a book that made you want to hug the author?" --Reese Witherspoon

"This unrestrained memoir is a transporting experience and one of the most startlingly hopeful books I have ever read." --Lisa Taddeo, New York Times bestselling author of Three Women

The refreshingly original debut memoir of a guarded, over-achieving, self-lacerating young lawyer who reluctantly agrees to get psychologically and emotionally naked in a room of six complete strangers--her psychotherapy group--and in turn finds human connection, and herself.

Christie Tate had just been named the top student in her law school class and finally had her eating disorder under control. Why then was she driving through Chicago fantasizing about her own death? Why was she envisioning putting an end to the isolation and sadness that still plagued her despite her achievements?

Enter Dr. Rosen, a therapist who calmly assures her that if she joins one of his psychotherapy groups, he can transform her life. All she has to do is show up and be honest. About everything--her eating habits, childhood, sexual history, etc. Christie is skeptical, insisting that that she is defective, beyond cure. But Dr. Rosen issues a nine-word prescription that will change everything: "You don't need a cure. You need a witness."

So begins her entry into the strange, terrifying, and ultimately life-changing world of group therapy. Christie is initially put off by Dr. Rosen's outlandish directives, but as her defenses break down and she comes to trust Dr. Rosen and to depend on the sessions and the prescribed nightly phone calls with various group members, she begins to understand what it means to connect.

Group is a deliciously addictive read, and with Christie as our guide--skeptical of her own capacity for connection and intimacy, but hopeful in spite of herself--we are given a front row seat to the daring, exhilarating, painful, and hilarious journey that is group therapy--an under-explored process that breaks you down, and then reassembles you so that all the pieces finally fit.

Heart Berries: A Memoir

Heart Berries: A Memoir

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A powerful, poetic memoir of an Indigenous woman's coming of age on the Seabird Island Band in the Pacific Northwest--this New York Times bestseller and Emma Watson Book Club pick is "an illuminating account of grief, abuse and the complex nature of the Native experience . . . at once raw and achingly beautiful (NPR)

Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder, Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot's mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father―an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist―who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame.

Mailhot trusts the reader to understand that memory isn't exact, but melded to imagination, pain, and what we can bring ourselves to accept. Her unique and at times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state. As she writes, she discovers her own true voice, seizes control of her story, and, in so doing, reestablishes her connection to her family, to her people, and to her place in the world.

Heavy: An American Memoir

Heavy: An American Memoir

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*Named a Best Book of 2018 by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed (Nonfiction), The Undefeated, Library Journal (Biography/Memoirs), The Washington Post (Nonfiction), Southern Living (
Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs

Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs

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This National Book Award finalist is a revealing and beautifully written memoir and family history from acclaimed photographer Sally Mann.

In this groundbreaking book, a unique interplay of narrative and image, Mann's preoccupation with family, race, mortality, and the storied landscape of the American South are revealed as almost genetically predetermined, written into her DNA by the family history that precedes her.

Sorting through boxes of family papers and yellowed photographs she finds more than she bargained for: deceit and scandal, alcohol, domestic abuse, car crashes, bogeymen, clandestine affairs, dearly loved and disputed family land . . . racial complications, vast sums of money made and lost, the return of the prodigal son, and maybe even bloody murder.

In lyrical prose and startlingly revealing photographs, she crafts a totally original form of personal history that has the page-turning drama of a great novel but is firmly rooted in the fertile soil of her own life.

How to Be a Muslim: An American Story

How to Be a Muslim: An American Story

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A young Muslim leader's memoir of his struggles to forge an American Muslim identity

Haroon Moghul was thrust into the spotlight after 9/11, becoming an undergraduate leader at New York University's Islamic Center forced into appearances everywhere: on TV, before interfaith audiences, in print. Moghul was becoming a prominent voice for American Muslims even as he struggled with his relationship to Islam. In high school he was barely a believer and entirely convinced he was going to hell. He sometimes drank. He didn't pray regularly. All he wanted was a girlfriend.

But as he discovered, it wasn't so easy to leave religion behind. To be true to himself, he needed to forge a unique American Muslim identity that reflected his beliefs and personality. How to Be a Muslim reveals a young man coping with the crushing pressure of a world that fears Muslims, struggling with his faith and searching for intellectual forebears, and suffering the onset of bipolar disorder. This is the story of the second-generation immigrant, of what it's like to lose yourself between cultures and how to pick up the pieces.

I Feel Bad About My Neck

I Feel Bad About My Neck

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With her disarming, intimate, completely accessible voice, and dry sense of humor, Nora Ephron shares with us her ups and downs in I Feel Bad About My Neck, a candid, hilarious look at women who are getting older and dealing with the tribulations of maintenance, menopause, empty nests, and life itself.

Ephron chronicles her life as an obsessed cook, passionate city dweller, and hapless parent. But mostly she speaks frankly and uproariously about life as a woman of a certain age. Utterly courageous, uproariously funny, and unexpectedly moving in its truth telling, I Feel Bad About My Neck is a scrumptious, irresistible treat of a book, full of truths, laugh out loud moments that will appeal to readers of all ages.

In Real Life: My Journey to a Pixelated World

In Real Life: My Journey to a Pixelated World

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A confessional, uplifting memoir from beloved YouTube personality, Joey Graceffa.

It's not where you begin that matters. It's where you end up.

Twenty-three-year-old Joey Graceffa has captured the hearts of millions of teens and young adults through his playful, sweet, and inspirational YouTube presence (not to mention his sparkling eyes and perfect hair). Yet, Joey wasn't always comfortable in his skin, and in this candid memoir, he thoughtfully looks back on his journey from pain to pride, self-doubt to self-acceptance.

To his fans, Joey is that best friend who always captures the brighter side of life but also isn't afraid to get real. In the pages of his first book, he opens up about his years of struggling with family hardships and troubles at school, with cruel bullying and the sting of rejection. He tells of first loves and losses, embarrassing moments and surprising discoveries, loneliness, laughter, and life-changing forks in the road, showing us the incalculable value of finally finding and following your true passion in this world. Funny, warm-hearted, and inspiring, Joey Graceffa's story is a welcome reminder that it's not where you begin that matters, but where you end up.

In the Country of Women: A Memoir

In the Country of Women: A Memoir

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One of NPR's Best Books of the Year

"Straight's memoir is a lyric social history of her multiracial clan in Riverside that explores the bonds of love and survival that bind them, with a particular emphasis on the women's stories . . . The aftereffect of all these disparate stories juxtaposed in a single epic is remarkable. Its resonance lingers for days after reading." --San Francisco Chronicle

In the Country of Women is a valuable social history and a personal narrative that reads like a love song to America and indomitable women. In inland Southern California, near the desert and the Mexican border, Susan Straight, a self-proclaimed book nerd, and Dwayne Sims, an African American basketball player, started dating in high school. After college, they married and drove to Amherst, Massachusetts, where Straight met her teacher and mentor, James Baldwin, who encouraged her to write. Once back in Riverside, at driveway barbecues and fish fries with the large, close-knit Sims family, Straight--and eventually her three daughters--heard for decades the stories of Dwayne's female ancestors. Some women escaped violence in post-slavery Tennessee, some escaped murder in Jim Crow Mississippi, and some fled abusive men. Straight's mother-in-law, Alberta Sims, is the descendant at the heart of this memoir. Susan's family, too, reflects the hardship and resilience of women pushing onward--from Switzerland, Canada, and the Colorado Rockies to California.

A Pakistani word, biraderi, is one Straight uses to define a complex system of kinship and clan--those who become your family. An entire community helped raise her daughters. Of her three girls, now grown and working in museums and the entertainment industry, Straight writes, "The daughters of our ancestors carry in their blood at least three continents. We are not about borders. We are about love and survival."

"Certain books give off the sense that you won't want them to end, so splendid the writing, so lyrical the stories. Such is the case with Southern California novelist Susan Straight's new memoir, In the Country of Women . . . Her vibrant pages are filled with people of churned-together blood culled from scattered immigrants and native peoples, indomitable women and their babies. Yet they never succumb . . . Straight gives us permission to remember what went before with passion and attachment." --Los Angeles Times

Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss

Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss

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A TODAY Show #ReadWithJenna December 2019 Book Club Pick
Named a Best Book of the Year by New Statesman, New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library, and Washington Independent Review of Books
Southern Book Prize Finalist
An O, the Oprah Magazine July 2019 Pick
A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week
An Indie Next Selection for July 2019
An Indies Introduce Selection for Summer/Fall 2019
A 2019 Okra Pick

From New York Times contributing opinion writer Margaret Renkl comes an unusual, captivating portrait of a family--and of the cycles of joy and grief that inscribe human lives within the natural world.

Growing up in Alabama, Renkl was a devoted reader, an explorer of riverbeds and red-dirt roads, and a fiercely loved daughter. Here, in brief essays, she traces a tender and honest portrait of her complicated parents--her exuberant, creative mother; her steady, supportive father--and of the bittersweet moments that accompany a child's transition to caregiver.

And here, braided into the overall narrative, Renkl offers observations on the world surrounding her suburban Nashville home. Ringing with rapture and heartache, these essays convey the dignity of bluebirds and rat snakes, monarch butterflies and native bees. As these two threads haunt and harmonize with each other, Renkl suggests that there is astonishment to be found in common things: in what seems ordinary, in what we all share. For in both worlds--the natural one and our own--"the shadow side of love is always loss, and grief is only love's own twin."

Gorgeously illustrated by the author's brother, Billy Renkl, Late Migrations is an assured and memorable debut.

Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

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From one of the world's most beloved writers and New York Times bestselling author of A Walk in the Woods and The Body, a vivid, nostalgic, and utterly hilarious memoir of growing up in the 1950s.

Bill Bryson was born in the middle of the American century--1951--in the middle of the United States--Des Moines, Iowa--in the middle of the largest generation in American history--the baby boomers. As one of the best and funniest writers alive, he is perfectly positioned to mine his memories of a totally all-American childhood for 24-carat memoir gold. Like millions of his generational peers, Bill Bryson grew up with a rich fantasy life as a superhero. In his case, he ran around his house and neighborhood with an old football jersey with a thunderbolt on it and a towel about his neck that served as his cape, leaping tall buildings in a single bound and vanquishing awful evildoers (and morons)--in his head--as The Thunderbolt Kid.

Using this persona as a springboard, Bill Bryson re-creates the life of his family and his native city in the 1950s in all its transcendent normality--a life at once completely familiar to us all and as far away and unreachable as another galaxy. It was, he reminds us, a happy time, when automobiles and televisions and appliances (not to mention nuclear weapons) grew larger and more numerous with each passing year, and DDT, cigarettes, and the fallout from atmospheric testing were considered harmless or even good for you. He brings us into the life of his loving but eccentric family, including affectionate portraits of his father, a gifted sportswriter for the local paper and dedicated practitioner of isometric exercises, and of his mother, whose job as the home furnishing editor for the same paper left her little time for practicing the domestic arts at home. The many readers of Bill Bryson's earlier classic, A Walk in the Woods, will greet the reappearance in these pages of the immortal Stephen Katz, seen hijacking literally boxcar loads of beer. He is joined in the Bryson gallery of immortal characters by the demonically clever Willoughby brothers, who apply their scientific skills and can-do attitude to gleefully destructive ends.

Warm and laugh-out-loud funny, and full of his inimitable, pitch-perfect observations, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is as wondrous a book as Bill Bryson has ever written. It will enchant anyone who has ever been young.

Life in the Twentieth Century: Innocent Beginnings, 1917-1950

Life in the Twentieth Century: Innocent Beginnings, 1917-1950

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This nationally bestselling memoir of America's most renowned historian tells Schlesinger's personal story--from his childhood in the Midwest through his student days at Harvard to the post-World War II years -- which parallels the history of America coming into its own as a world power. of photos.
M.F.K. Fisher's Provence

M.F.K. Fisher's Provence

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The book highlights her strong sense of place - Fisher's Celtic eye for detail - with a comparison of Aix-en-Provence, a university town, the site of an international music festival and the former capital of Provence, and Marseille, the port town.

Fisher's description of the sights and smells belonging to an Aix bakery shop window is her Platonic ideal of a bakery shop to be found anywhere in France, for example, with its "delicately layered" scents of "fresh eggs, fresh sweet butter, grated butter, vanilla beans, old kirsch and newly ground almonds."

Then, there is her portrayal of the sounds of Aix's fountains mixed with the music of Mozart during the town's festival, leaving her bedazzled. She would return again and again to stroll the narrow streets of Aix with two young daughters who "seemed to grow like water-flowers under the greening buds of the plane trees."

It is the quality of Fisher's writing that inspired photographer Aileen Ah-Tye to look for her Provence. In a letter to Fisher, Aileen would report back from Marseille: "The eels and the prickly rascasse were exotique to my San Francisco eyes, the smells as pungent as you can get, and . . . miracle of all miracles . . . the men and women on the docks were exactly as you described them."

Thus, began a collaboration that illustrates Fisher's passion for life and all its sensual pleasures that nourish the soul.

Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son

Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son

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"Chabon has always been a magical prose stylist, adept at combining the sort of social and emotional detail found in Philip Roth's Goodbye, Columbus stories with the metaphor-rich descriptions of John Updike and John Irving's inventive sleight of hand. . . . As in his novels, he shifts gears easily between the comic and the melancholy, the whimsical and the serious, demonstrating once again his ability to write about the big subjects of love and memory and regret without falling prey to the Scylla and Charybdis of cynicism and sentimentality."
-- Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

"Wondrous, wise and beautiful."
-- David Kamp, New York Times Book Review

The bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Werewolves in Their Youth, Wonderboys, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and The Yiddish Policemen's Union Michael Chabon "takes [his] brutally observant, unfailingly honest, marvelously human gaze and turns it on his own life" (Time) in the New York Times bestselling memoir Manhood for Amateurs.

Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir

Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir

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An Instant New York Times Bestseller

A New York Times Notable Book

One of Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2020

Named One of the Best Books of the Year by: The Washington Post, NPR, Shelf Awareness, Esquire, Electric Literature, Slate, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and InStyle

A chillingly personal and exquisitely wrought memoir of a daughter reckoning with the brutal murder of her mother at the hands of her former stepfather, and the moving, intimate story of a poet coming into her own in the wake of a tragedy

At age nineteen, Natasha Trethewey had her world turned upside down when her former stepfather shot and killed her mother. Grieving and still new to adulthood, she confronted the twin pulls of life and death in the aftermath of unimaginable trauma and now explores the way this experience lastingly shaped the artist she became.

With penetrating insight and a searing voice that moves from the wrenching to the elegiac, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey explores this profound experience of pain, loss, and grief as an entry point into understanding the tragic course of her mother's life and the way her own life has been shaped by a legacy of fierce love and resilience. Moving through her mother's history in the deeply segregated South and through her own girlhood as a "child of miscegenation" in Mississippi, Trethewey plumbs her sense of dislocation and displacement in the lead-up to the harrowing crime that took place on Memorial Drive in Atlanta in 1985.

 

Memorial Drive is a compelling and searching look at a shared human experience of sudden loss and absence but also a piercing glimpse at the enduring ripple effects of white racism and domestic abuse. Animated by unforgettable prose and inflected by a poet's attention to language, this is a luminous, urgent, and visceral memoir from one of our most important contemporary writers and thinkers.

I love how memoir opens up the author’s life, and lets me have a little voyeuristic peek.  A good one will even make me feel invested and connected with his or her experience.  That is exactly what happened here.  Tasha starts out with a happy, stable childhood in Mississippi, but when her parents divorce and she and her mom, Gwen, move to Atlanta, everything changes.  Gwen marries Joel, a narcissistic, abusive man who beats her and torments Tasha.  Despite a divorce when Tasha is in high school, Joel does not disappear, and ultimately kills her mother.  Tragic in content, but healing and cathartic as Trethewey beautifully confronts this event from her past. Somehow she kept me right there with her throughout, without scaring me off. - Carrie

Miracle Country: A Memoir

Miracle Country: A Memoir

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"Blending family memoir and environmental history, Kendra Atleework conveys a fundamental truth: the places in which we live, live on--sometimes painfully--in us. This is a powerful, beautiful, and urgently important book."
--Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members and The Shakespeare Requirement

Kendra Atleework grew up in Swall Meadows, in the Owens Valley of the Eastern Sierra Nevada, where annual rainfall averages five inches and in drought years measures closer to zero.

Kendra's parents taught their children to thrive in this beautiful, if harsh, landscape, prone to wildfires, blizzards, and gale-force winds. Above all, they were raised on unconditional love and delight in the natural world. After Kendra's mother died of a rare autoimmune disease when Kendra was just sixteen, however, her once-beloved desert world came to feel empty and hostile, as climate change, drought, and wildfires intensified. The Atleework family fell apart, even as her father tried to keep them together. Kendra escaped to Los Angeles, and then Minneapolis, land of tall trees, full lakes, water everywhere you look.

But after years of avoiding her troubled hometown, she realized that she needed to come to terms with its past and present and had to go back. Miracle Country is a moving and unforgettable memoir of flight and return, emptiness and bounty, the realities of a harsh and changing climate, and the true meaning of home. For readers of Cheryl Strayed, Terry Tempest Williams, and Rebecca Solnit, this is a breathtaking debut by a remarkable writer.

Mistaken Identity

Mistaken Identity

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A grief reversed. A hope deferred. Mistaken Identity tells the unprecedented story of Laura Van Ryn and Whitney Cerak: one buried under the wrong name, and the other in a coma being cared for by the wrong family.

Five lives were lost in a tragic car accident, and the sole survivor was rushed to the hospital, where she remained in a coma for five weeks. Everyone believed that Laura Van Ryn was in a coma, and that Whitney Cerak had died in the crash--until Whitney woke up.

This shocking case of mistaken identity stunned the country and made national news. Would it destroy a family? Shatter their faith? Push two families into bitterness, resentment, and guilt? In Mistaken Identity, the Van Ryn family and the Cerek family describe their ordeal and explore the bond sustaining and uniting them as they deal with their bizarre reversal of life lost and life found.

Mistaken Identity weaves a complex tale of honesty, vulnerability, loss, hope, faith, and love in the face of one of the strangest twists of circumstances imaginable.

More Was Lost: A Memoir

More Was Lost: A Memoir

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Best known for her classic book Green Thoughts: A Writer in the Garden, Eleanor Perényi led a worldly life before settling down in Connecticut. More Was Lost is a memoir of her youth abroad, written in the early days of World War II, after her return to the United States. In 1937, at the age of nineteen, Perényi falls in love with a poor Hungarian baron and in short order acquires both a title and a struggling country estate at the edge of the Carpathians. She throws herself into this life with zeal, learning Hungarian and observing the invisible order of the Czech rule, the resentment of the native Ruthenians, and the haughtiness of the dispossessed Hungarians. In the midst of massive political upheaval, Perényi and her husband remain steadfast in their dedication to their new life, an alliance that will soon be tested by the war. With old-fashioned frankness and wit, Perényi recounts this poignant tale of how much was gained and how much more was lost.
MY FOREIGN CITIES

MY FOREIGN CITIES

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When she was just seventeen, independent and ambitious Elizabeth Scarboro fell in love with irreverent and irresistible Stephen. She knew he had cystic fibrosis, that he was expected to live only until the age of thirty or so, and that soon she'd have a choice to make. She could set out to travel, date, and lead the adventurous life she'd imagined, or she could be with Stephen, who came with an urgency of his own. In choosing him, Scarboro embraced another kind of adventure--simultaneously joyous and heartrending--staying with Stephen and building a life in the ten years they'd have together. The illness would be present in the background of their lives and then ever-more-insistently in the foreground.

Beyond the illness, though, is a breathtaking love story. In crystalline prose, Scarboro describes the pulse of her relationship with Stephen with all its illuminating quirks. Like any young couple, they agonize about career choices, attempt ill-fated road trips, bargain about whether to adopt a puppy, and host one memorably disastrous Thanksgiving. They navigate the growing pains of their twenties alongside the twists and turns of life-threatening disease; if their telephone rings at midnight, the caller might be a heartbroken friend, or the hospital offering a new set of lungs. As time goes on and trouble looms, the dangers of Stephen's illness consume her, just as they will consume readers who feel they have come to know this extraordinary couple.

Scarboro tells her story of fierce love and its limitations with humor, grace, and remarkable bravery. My Foreign Cities is a portrait of a young couple approaching mortality with reckless abandon, gleefully outrunning it for as long as they can.

My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me: A Memoir

My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me: A Memoir

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An inspiring memoir of life, love, loss, and new beginnings by the widower of bestselling children's author and filmmaker Amy Krouse Rosenthal, whose last of act of love before her death was setting the stage for her husband's life without her in the viral New York Times Modern Love column, "You May Want to Marry My Husband."

On March 3, 2017, Amy Krouse Rosenthal penned an op-ed piece for the New York Times' "Modern Love" column --"You May Want to Marry My Husband." It appeared ten days before her death from ovarian cancer. A heartbreaking, wry, brutally honest, and creative play on a personal ad--in which a dying wife encouraged her husband to go on and find happiness after her demise--the column quickly went viral, reaching more than five million people worldwide.

In My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me, Jason describes what came next: his commitment to respecting Amy's wish, even as he struggled with her loss. Surveying his life before, with, and after Amy, Jason ruminates on love, the pain of watching a loved one suffer, and what it means to heal--how he and their three children, despite their profound sorrow, went on. Jason's emotional journey offers insights on dying and death and the excruciating pain of losing a soulmate, and illuminates the lessons he learned.

As he reflects on Amy's gift to him--a fresh start to fill his empty space with a new story--Jason describes how he continues to honor Amy's life and her last wish, and how he seeks to appreciate every day and live in the moment while trying to help others coping with loss. My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me is the poignant, unreserved, and inspiring story of a great love, the aftermath of a marriage ended too soon, and how a surviving partner eventually found a new perspective on life's joys in the wake of tremendous loss.

Carrie: If you missed Amy Krouse Rosenthal's essay "You May Want to Marry My Husband" published in the NYT Modern Love column in 2017, right before she died, start there. With Kleenex.  (online but also included in the book pgs. 102-105) This book will make much more sense! Her intention was to give her husband Jason space to move forward and that is the theme and focus of this book. Thankfully it was not about his foray back into the dating world! Instead it was about his efforts to live without the love of his life. Amy and Jason were married for 26 years (me too, this month! which feels timely, but hopefully a different trajectory) and raised 3 kids together and had great plans to proceed with an empty nest when Amy was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. This book is both a chronicle of their love story and an examination of grief and death in our culture. Jason frequently repeats his intention to be honest and open in speaking about his experience and does a good job narrating through illness, caretaking and the three years after Amy's death of trying to regain equilibrium. What is so endearing (besides their amazing relationship) is all the little artifacts that are included here: notes and photos and captions and drawings that show the deeply personal level of sharing with the world they were both accustomed to. Chicago connection is a plus too! And I am a big fan of AKR's children's book Little Pea and her memoir TextBook. This rounded out the picture for me. 

Natural Mother of the Child: A Memoir of Nonbinary Parenthood

Natural Mother of the Child: A Memoir of Nonbinary Parenthood

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Krys Malcolm Belc's visual memoir-in-essays explores how the experience of gestational parenthood--conceiving, birthing, and breastfeeding his son Samson--eventually clarified his gender identity.

Krys Malcolm Belc has thought a lot about the interplay between parenthood and gender. As a nonbinary, transmasculine parent, giving birth to his son Samson clarified his gender identity. And yet, when his partner, Anna, adopted Samson, the legal documents listed Belc as "the natural mother of the child."

By considering how the experiences contained under the umbrella of "motherhood" don't fully align with Belc's own experience, The Natural Mother of the Child journeys both toward and through common perceptions of what it means to have a body and how that body can influence the perception of a family. With this visual memoir in essays, Belc has created a new kind of life record, one that engages directly with the documentation often thought to constitute a record of one's life--childhood photos, birth certificates--and addresses his deep ambivalence about the "before" and "after" so prevalent in trans stories, which feels apart from his own experience.

The Natural Mother of the Child is the story of a person moving past societal expectations to take control of his own narrative, with prose that delights in the intimate dailiness of family life and explores how much we can ever really know when we enter into parenting.

No Ordinary Life: Awakenings in the Final Days of Apartheid

No Ordinary Life: Awakenings in the Final Days of Apartheid

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Love, war, espionage, NO ORDINARY LIFE is a thrilling inside account of marriage and diplomatic life seen through the eyes of a newlywed in Cape Town during one of the most dangerous periods in South Africa's modern history. When Mary, who dreams of travel and adventure, meets Patrick, who has dedicated his life to Foreign Service, the two are a perfect match. The couple marry and set off for their first diplomatic assignment to South Africa. The year is 1992. Nelson Mandela is free, his course set to end apartheid. Patrick's post at the U.S. Embassy in Cape Town is to keep the American diplomatic community safe during what will be two years of political turmoil. Instead of her dream of adventure, Mary struggles with the restrictions imposed by diplomatic life during times of high risk. The stress on Patrick is tremendous. When the embassy denies Mary's request to seek local employment due to security concerns, she gets a job at the embassy. Happy to be working in Foreign Service, the exotic setting Mary dreamed of turns out to be a pressure cooker that undermines her freedom, her friendships, and ultimately, her marriage. Based an true stories during an assignment at the U.S. Embassy in Cape Town, South Africa, 1992-1994.
Nobody Will Tell You This But Me

Nobody Will Tell You This But Me

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER

 

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR:
VOGUE - FORBES - BOOKPAGE - NEW YORK POST - WIRED

 

"I have not been as profoundly moved by a book in years." --Jodi Picoult

 

Even after she left home for Hollywood, Emmy-nominated TV writer Bess Kalb saved every voicemail her grandmother Bobby Bell ever left her. Bobby was a force--irrepressible, glamorous, unapologetically opinionated. Bobby doted on Bess; Bess adored Bobby. Then, at ninety, Bobby died. But in this debut memoir, Bobby is speaking to Bess once more, in a voice as passionate as it ever was in life.

 

Recounting both family lore and family secrets, Bobby brings us four generations of indomitable women and the men who loved them. There's Bobby's mother, who traveled solo from Belarus to America in the 1880s to escape the pogroms, and Bess's mother, a 1970s rebel who always fought against convention. But it was Bobby and Bess who always had the most powerful bond: Bobby her granddaughter's fiercest supporter, giving Bess unequivocal love, even if sometimes of the toughest kind. Nobody Will Tell You This But Me marks the creation of a totally new, virtuosic form of memoir: a reconstruction of a beloved grandmother's words and wisdom to tell her family's story with equal parts poignancy and hilarity.

OOh this one. Perfect for Mother’s Day Bess Kalb honors her grandma Bobby’s inimitable character in this endearing and fresh take on the family memoir (with photos just where your curiosity wants them). Bobby helped raise Kalb and their relationship was immensely close; to capture Bobby’s voice Kalb interviews her mother and grandfather, quotes beloved Bobby-voicemails, and sorts through nostalgic memorabilia to bring her to life. Bobby was at once brash and beloved and you will love every minute of her life-story; she was the child of a Russian immigrant escaping anti-Semitism and yet she rises from the tenements to a summer house on the Vineyard “My mother fled through Europe,” Bobby marvels, “and half a century later I danced through it, Kir Royale in hand. How do you like that?” You’ll delight in Bobby’s joy and shake your head when she says things like -- after Kalb gets a job writing for Jimmy Kimmel: “get a blowout for your hair. The rest you can handle.” One of a kind. - Sandy

Once More to the Rodeo: A Memoir

Once More to the Rodeo: A Memoir

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Five years into fatherhood, Calvin Hennick is plagued by self-doubt and full of questions. How can he teach his son to be a man, when his own father figures abandoned him? As a white man, what can he possibly teach his biracial son about how to live as a black man in America? And what does it even mean to be a man today, when society's expectations of men seem to change from moment to moment?

In search of answers, Calvin takes his young son on the road, traveling across the country to the annual rodeo in his small Iowa hometown. Along the way, a stop at the Baseball Hall of Fame turns into an impromptu lesson about racism and segregation. In Niagara Falls, a day of arcade games and go-karts unexpectedly morphs into a titanic struggle between father and son. A stop in Chicago rips the scars off of old wounds. And back in Iowa, Calvin is forced to confront the most difficult question of all: What if his flaws and family history doom him to repeat the mistakes of the past?

In this unforgettable debut memoir, Calvin Hennick holds a mirror up to both himself and modern America, in an urgent and timely story that all parents, and indeed all Americans, need to read.

Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year

Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year

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With the same brilliant combination of humor and warmth she brought to bestseller Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott gives us a smart, funny, and comforting chronicle of single motherhood.

It's not like she's the only woman to ever have a baby. At thirty-five. On her own. But Anne Lamott makes it all fresh in her now-classic account of how she and her son and numerous friends and neighbors and some strangers survived and thrived in that all important first year. From finding out that her baby is a boy (and getting used to the idea) to finding out that her best friend and greatest supporter Pam will die of cancer (and not getting used to that idea), with a generous amount of wit and faith (but very little piousness), Lamott narrates the great and small events that make up a woman's life.

Lamott has a conversational style that perfectly conveys her friendly, self-depricating humor. -- Los Angeles Times Book Review

Lamott is a wonderfully lithe writer .... Anyone who has ever had a hard time facing a perfectly ordinary day will identify. -- Chicago Tribune

Pappyland: A Story of Family, Fine Bourbon, and the Things That Last

Pappyland: A Story of Family, Fine Bourbon, and the Things That Last

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An instant New York Times bestseller

From the bestselling author of The Cost of These Dreams

The story of how Julian Van Winkle III, the caretaker of the most coveted cult Kentucky Bourbon whiskey in the world, fought to protect his family's heritage and preserve the taste of his forebears, in a world where authenticity, like his product, is in very short supply.

As a journalist said of Pappy Van Winkle, You could call it bourbon, or you could call it a $5,000 bottle of liquified, barrel-aged unobtanium. Julian Van Winkle, the third-generation head of his family's business, is now thought of as something like the Buddha of Bourbon - Booze Yoda, as Wright Thompson calls him. He is swarmed wherever he goes, and people stand in long lines to get him to sign their bottles of Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve, the whiskey he created to honor his grandfather, the founder of the family concern. A bottle of the 23-year-old Pappy starts at $3000 on the internet. As Julian is the first to say, things have gone completely nuts.

Forty years ago, Julian would have laughed in astonishment if you'd told him what lay ahead. He'd just stepped in to try to save the business after his father had died, partly of heartbreak, having been forced to sell the old distillery in a brutal downturn in the market for whiskey. Julian's grandfather had presided over a magical kingdom of craft and connoisseurship, a genteel outfit whose family ethos generated good will throughout Kentucky and far beyond. There's always a certain amount of romance to the marketing of spirits, but Pappy's mission statement captured something real: We make fine bourbon - at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but always fine bourbon. But now the business had hit the wilderness years, and Julian could only hang on for dear life, stubbornly committed to preserving his namesake's legacy or going down with the ship.

Then something like a miracle happened: it turned out that hundreds of very special barrels of whiskey from the Van Winkle family distillery had been saved by the multinational conglomerate that bought it. With no idea what they had, they offered to sell it to Julian, who scrambled to beg and borrow the funds. Now he could bottle a whiskey whose taste captured his family's legacy. The result would immediately be hailed as the greatest whiskey in the world - and would soon be the hardest to find.

But now, those old barrels were used up, and Julian Van Winkle faced the challenge of his lifetime: how to preserve the taste of Pappy, the taste of his family's heritage, in a new age? The amazing Wright Thompson was invited to be his wingman as he set about to try. The result is an extraordinary testimony to the challenge of living up to your legacy and the rewards that come from knowing and honoring your people and your craft. Wright learned those lessons from Julian as they applied to the honest work of making a great bourbon whiskey in Kentucky, but he couldn't help applying them to his own craft, writing, and his upbringing in Mississippi, as he and his wife contemplated the birth of their first child. May we all be lucky enough to find some of ourselves, as Wright Thompson did, in Julian Van Winkle, and in Pappyland.

Return (Pulitzer Prize Winner): Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between

Return (Pulitzer Prize Winner): Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between

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WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE - The acclaimed memoir about fathers and sons, a legacy of loss, and, ultimately, healing--one of The New York Times Book Review's ten best books of the year, winner of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize

When Hisham Matar was a nineteen-year-old university student in England, his father went missing under mysterious circumstances. Hisham would never see him again, but he never gave up hope that his father might still be alive. Twenty-two years later, he returned to his native Libya in search of the truth behind his father's disappearance. The Return is the story of what he found there.

The Pulitzer Prize citation hailed The Return as "a first-person elegy for home and father." Transforming his personal quest for answers into a brilliantly told universal tale of hope and resilience, Matar has given us an unforgettable work with a powerful human question at its core: How does one go on living in the face of unthinkable loss?

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY

Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times - The Washington Post - The Guardian - Financial Times

"A tale of mighty love, loyalty and courage. It simply must be read."--The Spectator (U.K.)

"Wise and agonizing and thrilling to read."--Zadie Smith

"[An] eloquent memoir . . . at once a suspenseful detective story about a writer investigating his father's fate . . . and a son's efforts to come to terms with his father's ghost, who has haunted more than half his life by his absence."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"This outstanding book . . . roves back and forth in time with a freedom that conceals the intricate precision of its art."--The Wall Street Journal

"Truly remarkable . . . a book with a profound faith in the consolations of storytelling . . . a testament to [Matar's] father, his family and his country."--The Daily Telegraph (U.K.)

"The Return is a riveting book about love and hope, but it is also a moving meditation on grief and loss. . . . Likely to become a classic."--Colm Tóibín

"Matar's evocative writing and his early traumas call to mind Vladimir Nabokov."--The Washington Post

"Utterly riveting."--The Boston Globe

"A moving, unflinching memoir of a family torn apart."--Kazuo Ishiguro, The Guardian

"Beautiful . . . The Return, for all the questions it cannot answer, leaves a deep emotional imprint."--Newsday

"A masterful memoir, a searing meditation on loss, exile, grief, guilt, belonging, and above all, family. It is, as well, a study of the shaping--and breaking--of the bonds between fathers and sons. . . . This is writing of the highest quality."--The Sunday Times (U.K.)

Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A memoir of leadership and success The executive chairman of Disney, Time's 2019 businessperson of the year, shares the ideas and values he embraced during his fifteen years as CEO while reinventing one of the world's most beloved companies and inspiring the people who bring the magic to life.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR

Robert Iger became CEO of The Walt Disney Company in 2005, during a difficult time. Competition was more intense than ever and technology was changing faster than at any time in the company's history. His vision came down to three clear ideas: Recommit to the concept that quality matters, embrace technology instead of fighting it, and think bigger--think global--and turn Disney into a stronger brand in international markets.

Today, Disney is the largest, most admired media company in the world, counting Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox among its properties. Its value is nearly five times what it was when Iger took over, and he is recognized as one of the most innovative and successful CEOs of our era.

In The Ride of a Lifetime, Robert Iger shares the lessons he learned while running Disney and leading its 220,000-plus employees, and he explores the principles that are necessary for true leadership, including:

- Optimism. Even in the face of difficulty, an optimistic leader will find the path toward the best possible outcome and focus on that, rather than give in to pessimism and blaming.
- Courage. Leaders have to be willing to take risks and place big bets. Fear of failure destroys creativity.
- Decisiveness. All decisions, no matter how difficult, can be made on a timely basis. Indecisiveness is both wasteful and destructive to morale.
- Fairness. Treat people decently, with empathy, and be accessible to them.

This book is about the relentless curiosity that has driven Iger for forty-five years, since the day he started as the lowliest studio grunt at ABC. It's also about thoughtfulness and respect, and a decency-over-dollars approach that has become the bedrock of every project and partnership Iger pursues, from a deep friendship with Steve Jobs in his final years to an abiding love of the Star Wars mythology.

"The ideas in this book strike me as universal" Iger writes. "Not just to the aspiring CEOs of the world, but to anyone wanting to feel less fearful, more confidently themselves, as they navigate their professional and even personal lives."

Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body

Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body

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A memoir-in-essays from disability advocate and creator of the Instagram account @sitting_pretty Rebekah Taussig, processing a lifetime of memories to paint a beautiful, nuanced portrait of a body that looks and moves differently than most.

Growing up as a paralyzed girl during the 90s and early 2000s, Rebekah Taussig only saw disability depicted as something monstrous (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), inspirational (Helen Keller), or angelic (Forrest Gump). None of this felt right; and as she got older, she longed for more stories that allowed disability to be complex and ordinary, uncomfortable and fine, painful and fulfilling.

Writing about the rhythms and textures of what it means to live in a body that doesn't fit, Rebekah reflects on everything from the complications of kindness and charity, living both independently and dependently, experiencing intimacy, and how the pervasiveness of ableism in our everyday media directly translates to everyday life.

Disability affects all of us, directly or indirectly, at one point or another. By exploring this truth in poignant and lyrical essays, Taussig illustrates the need for more stories and more voices to understand the diversity of humanity. Sitting Pretty challenges us as a society to be patient and vigilant, practical and imaginative, kind and relentless, as we set to work to write an entirely different story.

Somewhere Towards the End: A Memoir

Somewhere Towards the End: A Memoir

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Diana Athill is one of the great editors in British publishing. For more than five decades she edited the likes of V. S. Naipaul and Jean Rhys, for whom she was a confidante and caretaker. As a writer, Athill has made her reputation for the frankness and precisely expressed wisdom of her memoirs. Now in her ninety-first year, "entirely untamed about both old and new conventions"(Literary Review) and freed from any of the inhibitions that even she may have once had, Athill reflects candidly, and sometimes with great humor, on the condition of being old the losses and occasionally the gains that age brings, the wisdom and fortitude required to face death. Distinguished by "remarkable intelligence...[and the] easy elegance of her prose" (Daily Telegraph), this short, well-crafted book, hailed as "a virtuoso exercise" (Sunday Telegraph) presents an inspiring work for those hoping to flourish in their later years.