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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

$26.00
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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

Ladysitting: My Year with Nana at the End of Her Century

Ladysitting: My Year with Nana at the End of Her Century

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From cherished memories of weekends she spent as a child with her indulgent Nana to the reality of the year she spent "ladysitting" her now frail grandmother, Lorene Cary journeys through stories of their time together and five generations of their African American family. Brilliantly weaving a narrative of her complicated yet transformative relationship with Nana--a fierce, stubborn, and independent woman, who managed a business until she was 100--Cary looks at Nana's impulse to control people and fate, from the early death of her mother and oppression in the Jim Crow South to living on her own in her New Jersey home.

Cary knew there might be some reckonings to come. Nana was a force: Her obstinacy could come out in unanticipated ways--secretly getting a driver's license to show up her husband, carrying on a longtime feud with Cary's father. But Nana could also be devoted: to Nana's father, to black causes, and--Cary had thought--to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Facing the inevitable end raises tensions, with Cary drawing on her spirituality and Nana consoling herself with late-night sweets and the loyalty of caregivers. When Nana doubts Cary's dedication, Cary must go deeper into understanding this complicated woman.

In Ladysitting, Cary captures the ruptures, love, and, perhaps, forgiveness that can occur in a family as she bears witness to her grandmother's 101 vibrant years of life.

Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss

Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss

$24.00
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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.
Love That Boy: What Two Presidents, Eight Road Trips, and My Son Taught Me about a Parent's Expectations

Love That Boy: What Two Presidents, Eight Road Trips, and My Son Taught Me about a Parent's Expectations

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[A]n eloquent, brave, big-hearted book...about the timeless anxieties and emotions of parenthood, and the modern twists thereon."
--James Fallows, The Atlantic

Love That Boy is a uniquely personal story about the causes and costs of outsized parental expectations. What we want for our children--popularity, normalcy, achievement, genius--and what they truly need--grit, empathy, character--are explored by National Journal's Ron Fournier, who weaves his extraordinary journey to acceptance around the latest research on childhood development and stories of other loving-but-struggling parents.

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

$14.99
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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

$27.99
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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

$27.95
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WINNER OF THE SIGURD F. OLSON NATURE WRITING AWARD

"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.