Winner Autobiography & Memoirs The 2020 Best Book Awards
Have you ever wondered what being a part of CSI is really like? If so, here’s your chance to experience it…WALK inside the crime scene tape with retired Sergeant Tamara Mickelson as she shares her personal experiences of the most grueling and heartbreaking crime scenes she had ever worked. Catch a glimpse of what she saw, touched, smelled, and even tasted during an average workday. Dare to join her as she takes you through a difficult journey of memories, uncovering layers of emotional trauma left behind. Discover the ways she healed from yesterday's pain to live an emotionally balanced life today.
In this powerful biography, David T. Beito and Linda Royster Beito shine a light on the life and accomplishments of civil rights leader T. R. M. Howard. He founded black community organizations, organized civil rights rallies and boycotts, mentored Medgar Evers, antagonized the Ku Klux Klan, and helped lead the fight for justice for Emmett Till. Raised in poverty and witness to racial violence from a young age, Howard was passionate about justice and equality. Ambitious, zealous, and sometimes paradoxical, T. R. M. Howard provides a complete portrait of an important leader all too often forgotten.
It is August 1990, and Iraq has just invaded Kuwait, setting off a chain reaction of events leading up to the first Gulf War. Vicki Cody’s husband, the commander of an elite Apache helicopter battalion, is deployed to Saudi Arabia—and for the next nine months they have to rely on written letters in order to stay connected.
From Vicki’s narrative and journal entries, the reader gets a very realistic glimpse of what it is like for the spouses and families back home during a war, in particular what it was like at a time when most people did not own a personal computer and there was no Internet—no iPhones, no texting, no tweeting, no Facetime. Her writing also illuminates the roller coaster of stress, loneliness, sleepless nights, humor, joys, and, eventually, resilience, that make up her life while her husband is away. Meanwhile, Dick’s letters to her give the reader a front row seat to the unfolding of history, the adrenaline rush of flying helicopters in combat, his commitment to his country, and his devotion to his family back home. Together, these three components weave a clear, insightful, and intimate story of love and its power to sustain us.
Nearly one hundred Labrador retrievers, many sick or dying, are discovered one hot summer day in a rural Colorado field.They’ve been abandoned by Dodie Cariaso, a college-educated woman from an upper middle-class Midwestern family.
What drove this tragedy? Former journalist and prosecutor Cary Unkelbach unfolds a riveting account of how Dodie’s early success as a talented potter devolves into unimaginable neglect. Along the way, Cary gives animal lovers everywhere insight into the pitfalls and responsibilities of dog ownership through uplifting tales of Max, a Labrador from Dodie’s kennel, who finds his forever home with the author’s family.
Heartbreak Kennel will shock you but will also give you a wealth of information for the canines in your life.
For more than six decades, Joe Besser brought gales of laughter to millions—in vaudeville, on Broadway, on radio, in motion pictures, and on television. From his days working as a bumbling assistant to the world-famous Thurston the Magician, he carved out success with his own act—that of a childlike sissy who brandished his foils with a flick of the wrist and such hilarious verbal assaults as “Ooh, you crazy you!” and “Not so f-a-s-t!” From stage to film and television screens, the famed roly-poly comedian left an indelible mark–from starring in his own feature films and short-subject series for Columbia Pictures, to dishing out huge laughs on scores of popular programs of the day, most notably as the malevolent brat “Stinky” on The Abbott and Costello Show, to stepping in to replace Shemp Howard after his death as a member of Three Stooges comedy team.
The peaceful farm life of a teenage girl in Germany is abruptly upended when WWII comes knocking at her family’s door. One month before her sixteenth birthday, Mildred “Mickchen” Schindler and her family are captured by Russian Soldiers. Having already survived life in Hitler’s Nazi Germany, they now face the terror of a new enemy—Stalin’s Red Army.
Driven from their home, Mildred and her family become refugees along with a sad, slow-moving caravan of other families who have suffered the same fate. Cleverly disguised by her mother, Mildred avoids being taken to a work camp until one morning when authorities arrive unexpectedly. Her father has already been taken by Russian soldiers, and now she is taken from her mother and brother.
At thirty-one, Kirsten has just returned to San Francisco from a bohemian year in Rome, ready to pursue a serious career as a writer and eventually, she hopes, marriage and family. When she meets Steve Beckwith, a handsome and successful attorney, she begins to see that future materialize more quickly than she’d dared to expect.
Twenty-two years later, Steve has turned into someone quite different. Unemployed and addicted to opioids, he uses money and their two children to emotionally blackmail Kirsten. What’s more, he’s been having an affair with their real estate agent, who is also her close friend. So she divorces him—but after their divorce is finalized, Steve is diagnosed with colon cancer and dies within a year, leaving Kirsten with $1.5 million in debts she knew nothing about. It’s then that she finally understands: The man she’d married was a needy, addictive person who came wrapped in a shiny package.
God? I can’t feel him, touch him, see him, or hear him, so how can he be, and what could he ever want with me?” Illegitimate, poor, bi-racial in 1960s America – searching for an identity and unconditional love. As she recalls a childhood trauma and hair straightening “torture” sessions, we feel her heartache, pain, and sense of not being good enough. A critical choice leads her down a path of self-destruction as she denies her authentic self in search of wealth and worthiness. Fleeing to Australia, suffering a dysfunctional marriage, battling with alcohol, drugs, sugar, and relationships with all the wrong men, it’s a chance meeting with a long lost friend that is her saving grace. His belief in her music and God’s purpose for her life leads her on a path to salvation, devastating loss, and ultimately, Perfect Love.
2021 AML Creative Nonfiction Winner 2021 International Book Awards Finalist 2021 Author Elite Finalist
What happens when an ambitious girl grows up to be a mother?
Maleah thinks being a stay-at-home mom makes her inferior to women with paying jobs. Plagued with unrelenting thoughts of inadequacy, she struggles to heal from postpartum depression without medication. Her search to save her body, her marriage, and her family leads to an unexpected revelation.
Lies of the Magpie sweeps readers into the heart and mind of an accomplishment-driven woman who worries that being a mother isn’t enough. Flowing with humor, witty observation, and sensitivity, the narrative escorts readers to a surprising epiphany of the liberating and healing power of motherhood.
In 1999, a 49-year-old woman tended her garden outside of the Chicago suburban home she shared with her husband, daughter and pet dogs. Extended family lived close by. She had a job that she loved. Life didn’t get any better than this. One phone call changed everything.
A random blood test had just revealed that she had hepatitis C. She’d never heard of it before. Not only did she have it, but it had been swimming in her bloodstream for 30 years, contracted from a blood transfusion in 1969. Tests would reveal that her liver was engulfed in chronic active liver disease – almost cirrhotic. Hepatitis C in 1999 was a degenerative, often incurable and deadly disease. Something had to be done.
The only treatment at the time offered less than a 50% chance for cure and came with a plethora of nasty side effects. It was a yearlong regimen of chemotherapy that could trigger flu-like symptoms. And those patients who didn’t respond to this difficult protocol frequently found themselves immunocompromised when it was over and sicker than before. The “wonder drugs” were still a long way off.
While waiting 15 years for a cure, Labar Laskie took extraordinary measures – except the chemotherapy – to keep her symptoms at bay, calm her fears, and lift her spirits. Above the Din is her story.
A stunning, funny, and heartbreaking memoir, Welcome to California recalls one woman's diagnosis with bipolar disorder, which ultimately leads to her wrongful and traumatic incarceration in the Los Angeles County jail system.
At age thirty-one, Sandra Boszko leaves her Winnipeg home for Hollywood with two secrets: her desire to perform and her mental illness. Although her health has already twice sent her packing from L.A.'s world of acting schools, auditions, and stunt work, she's determined to succeed this time. But shortly after her arrival, Sandra's mind clicks into a manic state, and within twenty-four hours she finds herself in the worst hell imaginable: detained and manic in a system that refuses to follow protocol for inmates with mental illness.
"PLAYING FOR KEEPS” in business is a self-help memoir that provides a “cheat sheet” for your career success.
Best-Selling and Award-Winning Author, Mom and Mentor Therese Allison is recognized as a groundbreaking pioneer and female executive, who broke the glass ceiling in a mostly male business niche (insurance brokerage). Her goal now is to empower women (and men) to “WIN” in business and life by landing a dream job, building business allies, achieving financial success and creating a work/life balance.
Based on 35 years of years of success in business and life, Allison uncovers how she became financially independent at age 38 when her company (McKenna & Associates) was sold to AON, and then retired early at age 43 to spend quality time with her children.
I Had A Secret for Seventeen Years is the redemptive life story of Tori Shaw, centered around her abortion as a teenager. She spent years covered by guilt and shame while enduring continual abandonment and rejection. Childhood experiences taught her to hide hardship, so she silently dealt with depression, fear, anxiety, self-loathing, and addictions. After hiding her dark secret for seventeen years, Tori shares her story with the world. A woman who once walked in fear and self-doubt is now willing to go wherever God wants her to go. Through Tori’s story, God builds a ministry that helps abortion-minded women choose life for their babies and shares God’s forgiveness and love with post-abortive women. I Had a Secret for Seventeen Years enables the reader to see a post-abortive woman come full circle and embrace the world of possibilities God makes available to those who are willing.
Nobody’s Child: A Biography is an urban drama. It takes place in the Brooklyn, Queens & Harlem sections of New York City, from the beginning of the Second Great Migration to the present day. It is a family drama rooted in the life experiences of a mother, my mother Brenda. It’s about overcoming drug addiction, complicated black family dynamics, surviving domestic violence, and the healing of family trauma. It’s about choices parents make and how those choices affect their children and everyone else around them. And, It’s also about secrets kept and the far-reaching, dysfunctional affects those secrets have on families. Finally, it’s about LOVE. Love between mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, love between women, sisters and friends, husbands and wives and fathers and their daughters.One thing is certain… no life is perfect. This story is about imperfect lives, the ones lived by my family, mainly my mother – a most beautiful, God-fearing soul.
Farm Girl is a memoir of urgent grace that crosses boundaries of genre and time. In her second year of college, Megan finds herself bonded to a lover spiraling into addiction and two thousand miles away from her heart’s home—a stretch of forty certified-organic acres along the banks of the Connecticut River separating Vermont and New Hampshire. In the crucible of a rainy Portland winter, Megan is forced to decide whether to embrace her future as a farm girl or to continue growing into the woman everyone hopes she’ll become. Farm Girl is about two love affairs that force a decision: the love between two people and the love between Megan and the landscape. With innovative prose and lush description, Farm Girl raises the earth up as a character and asks questions about the work we choose to sustain us—how careful attention and devotion to the earth transcends human tragedy.
“Throughout this book is the metaphor to archery. Arrows fly; arrows land; arrows miss; arrows hit. The aim isn't merely metaphoric. It's a missed opportunity: a mother to know her son, a father to be the protector... the boy.
As the author targets the past and present in a series of well-paced vignettes, we are not left wondering about the destruction of child abuse and the scars it leaves. Text credited to The Wounded Storyteller gives the author a chance to share his questions of faith and existence, a search for meaning.
The Day the Sky Broke Open is an engaging read into hurt. Hoerner weaves dialog with honesty and poetic verse. His sense of emotional timing puts the reader in the front row of a house of dysfunction.
For those who are self-reflective, have questions of their own—or some experience with abuse, read this book. Lovingly attentive to the complications of the family heart, The Day the Sky Broke Open hits the bull's-eye.” —LitStack
As an only child isolated within a troubled family, F. Scott Service found solace in fantasy and imagination, until a fateful day led to the discovery of his father's Korean War field jacket hidden in a closet. What began as innocent emulation and approval, eventually spiraled into the calamitous loss of everything he had built as an adult. Faced with a grievous divorce, post-traumatic stress, homelessness, substance abuse, and the failure of everything he had willed himself to believe was truth, one night communing with a loaded pistol became the mechanism for self-clarity. From that darkest time, only elemental deconstruction and reconstruction of identity would allow him to forge a reclamation with his true, original self.
Visceral, with breathtaking candor, Playing Soldier powerfully captures the unlearning of expectation, the celebration of individuality, and the nourishing of self-acceptance once buried by cultural stamps of approval and societal convention. Braided with humor, courage, fear, despair, and hope, his unflinching, evocative story of passage into adulthood, the Iraq War, and beyond, speaks to anyone who has confronted adversity from without and grappled for their dreams from within.
Desperate to find respite from her father's verbal abuse, his various affairs, and her step-mother's psychological torment, Gina spent hours doing Jane Fonda's workouts, smoked cigarettes instead of eating food, and became obsessed with her thinness... with the notion of fading away. She found solace in restlessness-drinking hallucinogenic mushroom tea and inhaling crushed pills and powders-perching herself on the periphery of danger again and again.
Gina soon glimpsed a better life for herself when her grandfather, a man who was a surrogate father to her, became terminally ill. She soon fell in love with John, a stranger who was utterly familiar, but who was addicted to heroin. She moved from New Hampshire to California, crossing the country in an attempt to alleviate her self-destructive tendencies, but found herself pulled back to New Hampshire, to John, a man with whom, despite his struggle, she could not deny the sense of home she felt.
What would it cost for a girl to run wildly and recklessly into womanhood, making instant, temporary homes?
"I found my Feats in These Shoes engaging and poignant with a strong call for us all to continue taking giant steps toward who we want to be and what we want to do." —James Reed, bestselling author and Chairman of REED - Britain's biggest and best-known recruitment brand and the largest family-owned recruitment company in the world.
"The stories in 'My Feats in These Shoes' sparkle and shine with wit, warmth, and lessons for anyone looking for a place to not just fit in but stand out." —Courtney Anderson, Founder/CEO SparklBands
"A delightful read, full of imagery and imagination, from a woman who knows how to step up!" —Nanci Bell, Author of "Visualizing and Verbalizing" and Founder of the global education firm, LIndamood-Bell Learning Processes
The Properties of Perpetual Light is an homage to the work of the activist-writer, which author Julian Aguon describes as ''the work of bearing witness, wrestling with the questions of one's day, telling children the truth.'' With prose and poetry both bracing and quiet, Aguon weaves together stories from his childhood in the villages of Guam with searing political commentary. Throughout the book, Aguon grapples with one heart-breaking loss after another by immersing himself in the beauty of his island, the magic of Micronesia, and the wisdom of his favorite books and elders.
An Educational Journey to Deanship: A Memoir explores and highlights achievements and stories of success throughout the author's academic and administrative experiences. Specifically, this book includes photographs and personal narratives from early educational experiences to deanship. The information presented in this memoir will serve to provide role modeling, lessons of success, mentorship, and hope for other persons who aspire to become an academic dean.
In spring 1942, eighteen-year-old Bill Gemmill was eager to serve his country. After a recruiter stamped his paperwork “Deferred,” Bill reluctantly agreed to pursue a college football scholarship. It was the crash of a ferried bomber behind his frat house that changed his life and spurred him on to war.
Following fourteen months of training, Bill’s vision of fighting from the air finally took shape as his bombardier insignia was pinned by the girl he had to leave behind. Within a month, he and his crew were on their way to Southern Italy.
After more than twenty successful missions, on 22 November 1944, disaster struck: Bill and his crew were hit badly. Unable to re-cross the Alps, the decision was made to abandon ship. Parachuting into the Yugoslavian countryside, Bill found himself alone. Would he find his way back to Italy or end up in the hands of German allies? Would he be reunited with his crew? Ultimately, would he survive?
Think Under the Tuscan Sun meets La Passione. Through heart-warming and humorous stories that unfold across Italy's 20 regions over the span of 15 years, Italy Through the Rear-View Mirror makes a persuasive case for why so many of us fall in love with Italy.
“What can I say: Susan's 'Italy Through the Rear-View Mirror' IS Italy." —Franco Cavalleri, Italian Journalist and Photographer
While pursuing her insatiable passion for Italy, Italy and its inhabitants helped Susan discover the real reason behind a growing attachment to this sun-drenched country. Beneath the obvious beauty and intriguing diversity that we learn about, she knew there was something more profound building her sense of connection to a country she otherwise had no connection with. A rear-view mirror perspective opened Susan's eyes to the underlying role that every-day aspects of the Italian lifestyle—its traditions and rituals, its food, its people and their engaging approach to 'living life in the piazza'—played in cultivating this sense of connection. These were the ties binding it all together for her, and her to it. Travel was the vehicle and Italy the teacher, helping to illuminate how we are all wired for connection, how we crave a sense of belonging, and how simple human encounters can feed our soul.
Italy Through the Rear-View Mirror inspires us to reflect on our own journey, whether it involves travel or not, and in the process learn about our connection to this global community we call humanity. In fragile times, when our capacity to travel may be constrained and our ability to connect feels distant, the message is even more relevant.
Born in Lebanon, Marlene Zaedyan is a descendant of the Armenian people who fled Turkey during the Armenian Genocide. Zaedyan lived through the Lebanese Civil War and suffered through many hardships over the course of her formative years. In her autobiography, Nine Lives, Endless Dreams, Zaedyan narrates the violence and trauma of a childhood interrupted and displaced by war. "I want to educate readers on the horrors of the war and the genocide that took place in Lebanon as well as illuminate present day struggles," says Mrs. Zaedyan. "I want to bring awareness to the Armenian Genocide that took place from 1914 to 1923.
Despite the ugliness of the war, Zaedyan still believes life is full of beauty and mystery. "Life is really good in spite of its challenges," says Mrs. Zaedyan. "The key is knowing how to react to adversity." Zaedyan hopes to inspire readers to overcome adversity through grit and resilience.
"In Letters to Bolivar, Betty Jean Steinshouer opens the blinds on a window to the past and holds a mirror for us to view ourselves in the present day. In conversational prose, she discusses family, friendships,politics, manners, civil rights, natural and built environments and is alternately funny, edgy, droll,poignant, and passionate. She had me laughing out loud one minute and feeling teary the next. These letters to Steinshouer’s beloved hometown prove the old adage that says, 'The more things change, the more they stay the same.' They provide reminders, sometimes sweet and sometimes tart, of who we were and, by implication, whom we’ve become." —Ann Simas Schoenacher, Program Director (Retired) Florida Humanities Council
Layla spent the first eight years of her life in a loving home with her grandparents. That comfort all ended once welfare caught up with her mother who was still receiving food benefits for her. After moving to her mothers’ home, the dysfunctional relationships continued for years. Layla was abused emotionally, physically, and sexually. She looked to her mother for love and protection but never found it. Layla’s mom, Val, often told her she looked like a boy and would never amount to anything just like her dad. Layla began connecting with the wrong men for what she thought was love. Several of those relationships produced children and ended just as quickly as they began. A life full of low self-esteem, promiscuity and one bad relationship after another continued until finally, she had enough. Layla sought to take her power back from all those that had taken advantage of her.
This story will inspire you to look within for the strength to push forward. Life does not come with a road map and sometimes we fail miserably. But even with the vicissitudes, we can pick up our pieces and rise above it all.
Ice & Oil is indeed a biography of an unlikely titan. Meet Dan Murphy, the man who shaped Los Angeles as the 19th century turned into the 20th century Murphy and his endeavors parallel the history of California. But, because he’s shunned renown his name is virtually unknown. Author Joseph Francis Ryan delves into the complex life of Dan Murphy, businessman-turned-tycoon: Mentored by Southern Pacific’s Charles Crocker, he built the town of Needles the transfer point for a second transcontinental railroad. His ingenuity made it possible to transport citrus across the country. He honored Mojave culture in and the Native American’s respect. He saved the day when Edward Doheny needed money for his oil company. His California Portland Cement Company provided cement for Los Angeles just as it was becoming a 20th century metropolis and for the construction of Boulder dam. “Another important piece of California history has emerged.”
Jon B is an R&B icon. He rose to fame against the odds in the late 90s, and his version of blue-eyed soul has captivated fans and rhythm and blues lovers for over a quarter century. Jon started out as a young boy from a musical family with a dream of making it big. From there, he worked with his idol and subsequent mentor, Babyface, who helped him prove the haters wrong, and top the charts. Ultimately, Jon had to deal with backlash about his skin color and credibility in the R&B hip hop world alone, but he did it, and came out stronger, and more respected, on the other side. Jon made history with Tupac, carved his own path, and even released music independently before the rest of the industry hopped on the trend. The fame and demise of his first marriage almost broke him, but ultimately, set him up for his greatest comeback, and a life of love with Danette. “Are You Still Down?” lays bare the proof that Jon B has been, and always will be, a groundbreaking, bonafide R&B star.
In this moving memoir, Joy Clausen Soto vividly brings us into her world. We see her go from her dream job to fighting for her life and how she is able to come back from it all. You can't avoid falling in love with her quirks, indomitable spirit, and wry sense of humor.
Soto takes readers on a compelling journey as she faces cancer and the challenges she encounters while re-entering "normal" life. Her ability to find something amusing, redeeming, or beautiful in every situation is not only relatable, but wonderful to experience. This is an inspirational story of how joy can be found in the smallest moments and something meaningful can be created from our greatest challenges in life.
A young woman's gripping account of faith, courage, and survival during and after World War II. Follow Marion Ghent as she endures the death of her father, Japanese attacks during World War II, hiding among the feared Moros on Mindanao Island, becoming a Japanese POW, escaping, and then hiding out in the mountains and rain forests just trying to survive the war. Learn the miraculous story of how she reconnects with her father's American family, then comes to the USA to live among the family and complete her education. See how her constant Faith, Courage, and Strength saw her through every trial, and how she clung to the knowledge that she was "NEVER FORSAKEN!"
Only once in a lifetime does a war so brutal erupt. A war that becomes an official genocide, causes millions to run from their homes, compels the slaughtering of thousands in the most horrific of ways, and inspires terrorist attacks to transpire across the world.
That is the chilling legacy of the ISIS onslaught, and Only Cry for the Living takes a profoundly personal, unprecedented dive into one of the most brutal terrorist organizations in the world.
Journalist Hollie S. McKay offers a raw, on-the-ground journey chronicling the rise of ISIS in Iraq exposing the group's vast impact and how and why it sought to wage terror on civilians in a desperate attempt to create an antiquated caliphate.
The book, constructed chronologically through memos, captures the historical impact of ISIS across Iraq and Syria, as seen through the eyes of sex slave survivors, internally displaced people, persecuted minorities, humanitarian workers, religious leaders, military commanders, and even the terrorists themselves.
Ronit was six years old when her mother left her and her four year old sister for India to follow a cult guru. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, whose commune was responsible for the largest biological attack on U.S. soil, preached that children were hindrances and encouraged sterilizations among his followers. Luckily Ronit's father, who'd left the family the previous year, stepped up and brought the girls to live with him first in Newark, New Jersey, and later in Flushing, Queens. On the surface, his nurturing was the balm Ronit sought, but she soon paid a second emotional price, taking on the role of partner and confidant to him, and substitute mother to her sister. By the end of her childhood, Ronit would discover she had lost her mother and the close and trusting relationship she once had with her father. Though they have had a relationship now for years, she grappled with the toll her mother's leaving took, measuring her self-worth by her absence.
Blame it on Hawaii’s rainbows, sparkling beaches, fruity cocktails, and sensuous breezes. For Heather Diamond, there for a summer course on China, a sea change began when romance bloomed with Fred, an ethnomusicologist from Hong Kong. One night under a full moon, Fred tells Heather the story of Chang’e, the moon goddess. He points out how the shadows form a rabbit pounding an elixir of immortality, but all Heather sees in the moon is a man’s face.
Returning to her teaching job in Texas, Heather wonders if the whirlwind affair was a moment of madness. She is, after all, forty-five years old, married, a mother and grandmother. Rabbit in the Moon follows Heather and Fred’s relationship as well as Heather’s challenges with multiple mid-life reinventions, such as moving to Hawaii, entering a Ph.D. program, and living in a dorm with students half her age. When Fred goes on sabbatical, Heather finds herself on the Hong Kong island of Cheung Chau with his large, boisterous family. For an independent, reserved American, adjusting isn’t easy. She wants to fit in, but is culture shocked by the lack of privacy, the language barrier, and the Chinese aesthetic of renao (“hot & noisy”).
American Dreamer is an inspirational, first-hand account of the motivating power of an immigrant's dream for a better life. From the rural Vietnam of Tim Tran's childhood to his eventual escape to America and his rise as CFO of a multi-billion-dollar company, Tran's memoir is a lesson in perseverance and ingenuity. After he initially left Vietnam in 1970 to attend American universities on a USAID scholarship, Tran's sense of commitment led him home shortly before the fall of Saigon in 1975. Suspected of being a CIA agent, he found life under Communism increasingly difficult and dangerous, and was forced to flee. During multiple attempts to escape, he encountered deceit, betrayal, and even murder. Finally, in 1979 Tran and his wife, Cathy, escaped with 350 others in a rickety, overcrowded boat, and faced pirate attacks and months in a Malaysian refugee camp before reaching their new home in Oregon. American Dreamer, written with passion, unflinching candor, and wit, is an extraordinary debut that confirms the American dream is alive and gives hope to anyone willing to work for a better life.
A wayward descendant of Mexico's national hero, a femme fatale who recites poems in cantinas, a Tunisian prostitute in Barcelona, a Spanish psychiatrist who fights brave bulls, the wise owner of the world's oldest restaurant. They are just a handful of the characters portrayed in VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain, the first travel memoir to explore Mexico and Spain with the perspective of an American and the knowledge of an insider.
VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain is a passage from adolescence to maturity, a tribute to nature and the open road, an exaltation of love, food and wine, a journey from the tender, mortal flesh to the luminous world of the spirit. It is also travel writing at its best, an evocation of peoples, places and rituals seldom glimpsed by natives or foreigners.
"If you are seventeen, at large in Mexico, seeing new things and learning every hour, any cheap dive, any impulse or encounter is pure as the snows on Popocatepetl, stained by hot ashes."
Literary Nonfiction. Memoir. Feminism. Boomers. Ageism. Binge-Eating Disorder. Sexual Abuse. Women's Studies. The 1960s. The wry and relatable narrator of GRAY IS THE NEW BLACK--a memoir of ageism, sexism and self-acceptance--came of age in the psychedelic sixties. Now in her sixties, it's time to take stock. After decades struggling to be thin enough, pretty, sexy and successful enough to deserve love and happiness, she devotes a year to cracking the code, a journey that forces her to confront the gnarled roots of female shame.
If you have a complicated relationship with your mother, food, your hair, your body, your past self, or your current self, you will likely find GRAY IS THE NEW BLACK a page-turning, resonant read.
From the Author: "A memoir of what I saw, heard and have personally experienced in the course of my life since my childhood till this day. I have described in as much accuracy and detail as I could remember the events that, in my view had indeed mattered and which had profoundly influenced and shaped the lives of great many people as well as mine.
The most significant event that I have witnessed, lived, and suffered from, was the evil plot against; the Palestinian people.
I was explicit, forthcoming and very detailed, I thought that it would be impossible for the reader to grasp the full amplitude of such a humanitarian calamity without invoking the darkest impulses of all the sins behind it."
Everyone has dreams of what they want to accomplish in life. Marty Essen’s childhood dream of becoming a herpetologist gave way to his dream of becoming a popular DJ, which led to his dream of becoming a big-time talent manager, which morphed into the dream of becoming an in-demand author and college speaker. While he achieved most of his dreams at various levels, he also realized that he didn’t necessarily have to reach the top to find success or happiness. Sometimes “almost” is close enough.
Hits, Heathens, and Hippos: Stories from an Agent, Activist, and Adventurer is a humorous and inspirational memoir that explores relationships and careers and how seemingly minor events can lead to life-changing results. Compelling stories have filled Marty’s life, and he tells those stories in a conversational style that combines his talents as an award-winning author with his talents as the creator of a one-man stage show that he has performed at hundreds of colleges across the United States.
Through meditations on race, culture, and family, One Day on the Gold Line tells the story of a lesbian Jewish single mother raising a black son in Los Angeles. A memoir-in-essays, it examines life’s surprising changes that come through choice or circumstance, often seemingly out of nowhere, and sometimes darkly humorous—even as the situations are dire.
While escaping from a burning boat, Carla realizes that if she died, her one regret would be not having children. She overcomes miscarriages to finally give birth to a son. Motherhood’s usual struggles are then complicated by identity, community, and the challenges of creating a blended family. The overarching theme of these loosely woven reflective tales is the storyteller’s dream of the “perfect” family, the pursuit of which hurls her from one crisis to the next, ultimately meeting its greatest challenge in the form of her teenage son’s struggle with drug addiction.
Born of illustrious New England stock, Rachel Field was a National Book Award–winning novelist, a Newbery Medal–winning children’s writer, a poet, playwright, and rising Hollywood success in the early twentieth century. Her light was abruptly extinguished at the age of forty-seven, when she died at the pinnacle of her personal happiness and professional acclaim.
Fifty years later, Robin Clifford Wood stepped onto the sagging floorboards of Rachel’s long-neglected home on the rugged shores of an island in Maine and began dredging up Rachel’s history. She was determined to answer the questions that filled the house’s every crevice: Who was this vibrant, talented artist whose very name entrances those who still remember her work? Why is that work—so richly remunerated and widely celebrated in her lifetime—so largely forgotten today? The journey into Rachel’s world took Wood further than she ever dreamed possible, unveiling a life fraught with challenge, and buried by tragedy, and yet incandescent with joy.
M. C. Armstrong secured his embed as a journalist with the Navy SEALs in 2008. Shortly before he left for Iraq his father asked him to tell the story no one else seemed to be telling, the story of the people sometimes constructed as our friends and other times our enemies: the Iraqis. “But what about them?” he asked. “Who’s their good guy? Who’s their George Washington? That’s the story you want to find. Talk to them.”
Armstrong’s searing memories about his relationship with his father, his fiancé, and his SEAL team companion take the reader on a nosedive ride from a historically black college in the American South straight into Baghdad, the burn pits, and the desert beyond the mysterious Haditha dam. Culminating in the disclosure of a devastating secret, The Mysteries of Haditha explores the lengths Armstrong was willing to go to prove himself and to witness a truth he couldn’t have prepared himself to receive. At once daring, dark, and hilarious, this memoir of M. C. Armstrong’s journey pulls no punches and lifts the veil on the lies we tell each other and the ones we tell ourselves. The Mysteries of Haditha is a coming-of-age story and an unprecedented glimpse into the heart of the war on terror.
Touchdown of Apollo 11 had many unknowns for the first lunar landing. Dodging the craters and boulders on the moon to land on a firm surface without totally running out of fuel for the return to Earth was a breathtaking experience.
The author recounts his press briefing to the world’s journalists prior to the 1969 launch at Cape Kennedy, followed by how he became an aerospace engineer. Building a suit to protect the astronauts from the unknowns encountered in the extremes of space and on the lunar surface was an ongoing challenge.
Details such as the effects of cosmic rays, thermal extremes and micro-meteoroids on the human body were addressed as they were discovered over the eight-year period following JFK’s challenge. Key engineering changes to meet the new requirements for the space suit that had to be tested and implemented before each mission are described.
Applications of the new technologies, materials and processes developed in the space programs adapted to industrial and consumer products are also delineated.
This vivacious personal story captures the heart and soul of modern Iceland. Born in Reykjavik on the eve of the Second World War, Sverrir Sigurdsson watched Allied troops invade his country and turn it into a bulwark against Hitler's advance toward North America. The country's post-war transformation from an obscure, dirt-poor nation to a prosperous one became every Icelander's success. Spurred by this favorable wind, Sverrir answered the call of his Viking forefathers, setting off on a voyage that took him around the world. Join him on his roaring adventures!
Dancing in the Narrows chronicles a mother and daughter’s multiyear journey through illness and trauma. At sixteen, Anna’s youngest daughter, Dana, is stricken with a mysterious and debilitating condition, eventually diagnosed as Lyme disease. Desperate to find a cure, the two women are thrust into the established medical world, then far beyond. Full of adventure, humor, and blind faith, Dancing in the Narrows is an inspiring story of self-discovery as a single mother fights to save the life of her child.
In “Turn and Burn” the author takes the readers with him in the cockpit as he shares the fulfillment of his boyhood dream and some of his most memorable adventures and misadventures during a twenty-four year flying career as a fighter pilot, both in combat and peacetime. Share the author’s emotions when being surrounded by enemy anti-aircraft flak, when having to crash land twice, during occasions when the aircraft’s response was violent and uncontrollable, when having a large turkey buzzard crash through the windscreen into the cockpit when the aircraft was 200 feet off the ground and traveling nearly 600 mph, just to mention a few of those memorable occasions the author shares.
Along the way, the readers are given vivid accounts of the joys and delights, the fears and terrors, the frustrations and fulfillments, the thrills, intensity, and humor involved in the fighter pilot’s unique life, and the special and inseparable bond that exists in the fighter pilot community. The author’s account is also deeply personal as he shares his opinion of the top leadership, both civilian and military, during the Vietnam War. His criticism is shared by the vast majority of those who fought in that war, and includes the leadership’s lack of understanding of the enemy, a prime requisite when going to war, their lack of will to do what was necessary to win, a prime requisite when going to war, and worst of all, their unconscionable willingness to allow the U.S. military to suffer substantial losses in personnel and resources by fighting a war they were not allowed to win.
It's 1973. Our nation is torn apart by the Vietnam War, and the massacre of unarmed students at Kent State. The Vice President has resigned for bribery and tax evasion. The President is being investigated for engaging in criminal activity. At twenty-three, David Reed has become embittered by political strife and corruption. Disenchanted with his future, he wants out. Along with new friends Rusty and Susie, David leaves everything he knows to cross the United States with little more than his bicycle and camera. The trio gets more than they bargain for, with menacing animals, extreme weather, and astonishing encounters. Uphill and Into the Wind recounts an odyssey that spans 5420 miles on bicycles. It chronicles the sudden and surprising glories of nature, the raw beauty of the land, and the majesty of the mountains. But that is just the start. Through it all, the three are changed forever, in ways they did not expect, by their long journey into the unknown.
From author Cindy Collins comes an unblinkingly honest, poignant, and often heartbreaking firsthand account of what it’s like to live with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) . . . and the pervasive trauma she endured as a child that led to her descent into the dark world of BPD. Gaslighted by her mother—who cultivated an outward appearance of being the perfect wife and mother—Cindy suffered ongoing sexual abuse by multiple family members, abandonment, and cruelty at the hands of the one person who should have loved and protected her most. The resulting fits of rage, extreme thinking, difficulty maintaining relations, and depression would set Cindy on a path of destruction until she finally found the hope and courage to fight her demons.
Chronicling her childhood of abuse, her diagnosis of BPD in her twenties, and her ultimate road to recovery, Born Under the Gaslight is a memoir like none you have ever read before. Offering a rare and insightful glimpse into the inner struggles of someone who lives with BPD, Born Under the Gaslight is a must-read for therapists, others living with BPD, and anyone wanting to understand the complexities of BPD and how to offer practical and emotional support.
Can a mother be both loving and selfish? Caring and thoughtless? Deceitful and devoted? These are the questions that fuel psychologist Dr. Judy Rabinor’s quest to understand her ambivalence toward her mother.
While leading a seminar exploring the importance of the mother-daughter relationship, Dr. Judy Rabinor, an eating disorder expert, is blindsided by a memory of a childhood trauma. Realizing how this buried trauma has resonated through her life, she sets off to heal herself. The Girl in the Red Boots weaves together tales from Rabinor’s psychotherapy practice and her life, helping readers understand how painful childhood experiences can linger and leave emotional scars. In the process, Rabinor traces her own journey becoming a wounded healer and ultimately making peace with her mother, and herself.
Not a traditional self-help book outlining “steps” to reconcile or forgive one’s mother, The Girl in the Red Boots is a poignant memoir filled with hard-won life lessons, including the fact that it’s never too late to let go of hurts and disappointments and develop compassion for yourself—and even for your mother.
In 1949, twin sisters came into this world surprising everybody including their parents and the doctor because he had heard only one heartbeat.
On a path ordered by God, these twins touched the lives of many in their roles as teachers, attorneys, and judges. The rocky road they followed to achieve these professions was God's way of preparing them for life.
In Your Honor, Your Honor, author Judge Leonia J. Lloyd tells the story of this dynamic duo whose professional careers led them to become models, schoolteachers, and entertainment lawyers. Eventually, with their unique moniker, Twins for Justice, they became the first identical-twin district court judges to sit on the same bench at the same time in the country. Focusing on restorative justice, their careers were on a meteoric rise until the unexpected and sudden death of Judge Leona Lloyd put an abrupt halt to their successful lives together.
Lost and alone, Leonia was in the storm of her life; despair had an iron-clad grip around her. She turned to God for guidance, and her prayers were answered. Your Honor, Your Honor chronicles her life experiences including her relationship with her twin, her struggles against racism, her account of the grieving process, and her stride toward justice.
Laila Tarraf was the Chief People Officer for Peet’s Coffee and Tea, the iconic Berkeley coffee roaster that launched the craft coffee movement in America, but she had a secret: she was failing in the most important relationships in her life. Yes, she was a strong and effective business leader, the successful daughter of immigrants, and the mother of a toddler; but she was also disconnected from her own feelings and had little patience for the feelings of others.
All that changed when life handed her a trifecta of losses: her husband died of an accidental drug overdose, and her parents' deaths followed in quick succession. Laila had spent her life leading from the head, convinced that any display of vulnerability would make her soft. What she didn’t expect was that soft would turn out to be strong. As she reconnected to her heart, one painful step at a time, something remarkable happened: she became a better leader, a better mother, and a better person. Her heart turned out to be the true source of her power, at home and at work.
What would you do if your child were diagnosed with a life-threatening illness? When his 12-year-old daughter Lilli was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia two weeks before Christmas, Travis Hicks was in the worst shape of his life. Overweight and overworked, Hicks watched his daughter Lilli fight for her life against an aggressive blood cancer. Inspired by his daughter’s strength, Travis took up yoga and walking while giving up sweet tea, a blasphemous adjustment for this Southerner. After wondering, “What’s the worst that could happen if I were to start running?” Hicks ultimately became a long distance runner, shed over 40 pounds, and restored his health in time to help his daughter through the fight of her life. Read this father’s story of life, health, family, and faith to understand the impact of pediatric cancer on a family and their community.
Dance provides a way to travel far beyond the typical tourist experience. By connecting with local people through a shared love of movement, dancers catalyze many unique opportunities. They build cross-cultural friendships with dance as the only shared language, discover ways to train with celebrated teachers, experience cultural immersion key to their personal development, and more. In this anthology, you'll find stories from renowned performers, dance educators, and other avid dance adventurers. Their tales about epic dance adventures across North America, Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa highlight various dance traditions, as well as unique aspects of each country's geography, history, demographics and educational systems. In this way, Dance Adventures celebrates the power of dance to connect us to the best parts of humanity, as well as to the best parts of ourselves.
For more than four decades beginning in 1944, the Hanford nuclear weapons facility in southeastern Washington State secretly blanketed much of the Pacific Northwest with low-dose ionizing radiation, the byproduct of plutonium production. For those who lived in the vicinity, many of them families of Hanford workers, the consequences soon became apparent as rates of illness and death steadily climbed—despite repeated assurances from the Atomic Energy Commission that the facility posed no threat. Trisha T. Pritikin, who has battled a lifetime of debilitating illness to become a lawyer and advocate for her fellow “downwinders,” tells the devastating story of those who were harmed in Hanford’s wake and, seeking answers and justice, were subjected to yet more suffering.
At the center of The Hanford Plaintiffs are the oral histories of twenty-four people who joined In re Hanford Nuclear Reservation Litigation, the class-action suit that sought recognition of, and recompense for, the grievous injury knowingly caused by Hanford. Radioactive contamination of American communities was not uncommon during the wartime Manhattan Project, nor during the Cold War nuclear buildup that followed. Pritikin interweaves the stories of people poisoned by Hanford with a parallel account of civilians downwind of the Nevada atomic test site, who suffer from identical radiogenic diseases.
Finalist Autobiography & Memoirs The 2020 Best Book Awards
In 1988, a young, mid-level employee named Art Bell pitched a novel concept—a television channel focused 100% on just one thing: comedy—to the chairman of HBO. The station that would soon become Comedy Central, with celebrated programs like South Park, Chapelle’s Show, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report, was born.
Constant Comedy takes readers behind the scenes into the comedy startup on its way to becoming one of the most successful and creative purveyors of popular culture in the United States. From disastrous pitch meetings with comedians to the discovery of talents like Bill Maher and Jon Stewart, this intimate biography peers behind the curtain and reveals what it’s really like to work, struggle, and ultimately succeed at the cutting edge of show business.
Finalist Autobiography & Memoirs The 2020 Best Book Awards
As a journalist he dug up the truth. But deep inside, he hid a life-shattering secret.
CBS News reporter Charles Gomez was fearless when facing down dictators. Earning an Emmy and an Edward R. Murrow Award, the Latin correspondent and son of a Cuban immigrant seemed on top of the world. But the terror of exposing his sexuality and AIDS diagnosis led him down a dark path of drugs and depression that nearly destroyed him. Cuban Son Rising is an honest and raw memoir detailing Gomez's lifelong battle to overcome stigma and self-loathing. Meticulously researched, Gomez's story takes you from interviews with despots and the front lines of civil wars to the silent struggles he faced seeking his father's acceptance. And after a lifetime of anxiety and regret, Gomez embarks on an emotional journey with his father to his homeland. Will Gomez finally reconcile with the man he's looked up to for his whole life? Or will disclosing his sexuality and the shame and stigma of AIDS cause his father to reject him? Cuban Son Rising is a testament to survival and the triumph of hope over fear.
Finalist Autobiography & Memoirs The 2020 Best Book Awards
It’s 1971 in Connecticut, and sixteen-year-old Sharon’s parents think that, because she’s a girl, she should become a clerical office worker after high school and live at home until she marries and has a family. But Sharon wants to join the hippies and be part of the changing society, so she leaves home and heads to California.
Upon arriving in California, Sharon is thrown into an adult world for which she is unprepared, and she embarks on a precarious journey amid the 1970s counterculture. On her various adventures across the country and while living on a commune, with friends and lovers filtering in and out of her life, she realizes she must learn quickly in order to survive―as well as figure out a way to reconcile her developing spirituality with her Catholic upbringing.
In this colorful memoir, Sharon reflects upon the changes that reshaped her during the 1970s women’s movement, and how they have transformed society’s expectations for girls and women today―and, through it all, shares moments of triumph, joy, love, and awakening.
Finalist Autobiography & Memoirs The 2020 Best Book Awards
A vivid, true-life tale of service, survival and sacrifice
This gripping memoir vividly recounts Al Moreno's rise as a gifted and fearless Los Angeles police officer, surviving gangs and homicidal situations in brutal urban war zones as he strove to achieve his personal and professional dreams. Packed with unforgettable scenes of both beauty and despair, it culminates in his vocal stand against corruption within the L.A.P.D., and the political retribution that ensued--a dirty internal investigation that unleashed the murderous vendetta of a violent ex-con from the Aryan Brotherhood.
Finalist Autobiography & Memoirs The 2020 Best Book Awards
Award-winning investigative reporter Matthew Schwartz was ordered to lie on TV in the name of sensationalism. He was arrested for trespassing on the property of a business he exposed for committing fraud. A target of one of his investigations swung a baseball bat at his head. He's been shoved, sued, and cursed out. He caught a car dealership rolling back odometers and selling used cars as new. In Confessions of an Investigative Reporter, this veteran journalist reveals his inner thoughts and the inside stories viewers never saw. Confessions of an Investigative Reporter is funny, fast-moving, and dishy. It provides a rare look inside the world of local news from someone who spent four decades in it. It's not only for news viewers. It's for anyone who cares about justice and their community. And about that time he was ordered to lie? His answers lie within.
Finalist Autobiography & Memoirs The 2020 Best Book Awards
The Blue Chameleon details the journey of Detective Daril Cinquanta, now retired from the Denver Police Department, as he evolves into a Super Cop. Despite the efforts by some of his own commanders, community activists and even many other fellow officers who felt (threatened) by his hard work and exemplary successes, they attempted, but failed, to render him ineffective for years. Through his investigations, he generated a great deal of positive and negative publicity. His work is legendary in Colorado police circles. He often bent, and at times, broke departmental rules and regulations. But he followed the law, resulting in an outstanding and extraordinary conviction rate. Routinely, his police administration, lawyers, judges and even citizen activists would attack his credibility and style. Despite the harassment, he goes on to arrest thousands of felons and put 1,000 individuals in prison nationwide. During his career, he received the Police Medal of Honor,the Police Distinguished Service Cross,The Service Cross, The Purple Heart, 6 Police Merit Awards, Optimist Club Policeman of the Year, Citizens Appreciate Police Award of Honor and over 160 official departmental and outside jurisdiction commendations. This book takes you deep into the inner mechanics of a big city police department and the world of informants, search warrants, investigations and the creative way Detective Cinquanta was able to become a controversial legend among fellow officers and criminals alike.
In the 1940s, Veronica Lake stirred a nation of filmgoers into a frenzy with her memorable screen performances and famous hairdo draped over one eye. The sultry blonde bombshell rocketed to stardom for Paramount Pictures only for it all to spiral out of control and be over in a flash. By age twenty-nine, Veronica was washed up with her career on the ash heap of movie history. Her climb to the top started with her dominating mother pouring everything into her daughter’s future for the sake of her career until ending tragically after years of personal struggles with paranoid schizophrenia and alcoholism that set her on a path of self-destruction and put her so far out of reach that not even her mother’s love could save her in the end.
Fully revised and expanded, this authorized, intimate biography, featuring exclusive interviews with Lake’s mother, friends and co-workers, tells the entire, unvarnished truth of the rise and fall of one of the silver screen's most beloved beauties. Copious new discoveries, revelations, personal stories and insights; scores of previously unknown unproduced and rumored starring feature films and television projects and undocumented radio and television appearances; and a full accounting of her off-Broadway and legitimate stage work in the United States and abroad illuminate this richly detailed, lavishly illustrated volume, including many never-before published photographs from private and personal collections, in what is the most complete record ever written about this fallen star’s life and career.
In the early years of TB sanatoriums, mothers, fathers, children, and grandparents … both the young and the old, the rich and the poor … went away to recover at hospitals ... sometimes for years.
Because fresh air was believed to cure TB, patients slept by open windows, even in winter, sometimes waking to snow and ice on their thick covering of blankets, frozen water in their glasses, and frozen urine in their pots.
Today, while tuberculosis casts its sinister shadow back to earlier times by reemerging in new, drug-resistant forms and infecting one-fourth of the world’s population, Open Window takes you inside the Lake Julia Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Northern Minnesota where the author’s family once lived and worked—a place where a community was created and bound together by a bacterium called the tubercle bacillus.
Leopold’s Ice Cream: A Century of Tasty Memories 1919-2019 chronicles the lives and history of the Leopold brothers and their family in Savannah, Georgia, between 1901 and 2019, including the incredible life of renowned ice cream maker and Hollywood film producer Stratton Leopold.
The book is richly illustrated with historic photographs and includes a foreword by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter as well as vintage recipes, celebrity quotes and customer memories.
Written by Melanie Bowden Simón, A Century of Tasty Memories provides a detailed, intimate look at the history of a growing Southern city through two World Wars and in modern times through the lens of a family and their local business. The book also explores Georgia’s early film history that was a catalyst for today’s multibillion-dollar industry.
This book spotlights 100 people and events central to the civil rights movement. Too many are unfamiliar with black history, with the trials and challenges suffered by those who came before. Many people in this book were beaten, humiliated and died in their quest for racial justice. Most of them triumphed over the inequities and discrimination to accomplish miracles.
Life for Autumn Toelle-Jackson started out on a happy and ordinary timeline. When she entered her thirties, however, tragedy made up for lost time. Over the span of a few short years, she endured several miscarriages and the loss of her husband, a dear cousin, and child.
But one small cross-section of a life doesn't do justice to the amount of love, resilience, growth, and blessings a person experiences after such titanic losses. With each new harbinger of grief, Toelle-Jackson was forced to discover another way to survive the pain. In Boldly into the Darkness, she examines all the lessons and outcomes of her life story with aching intimacy and insight. The result is a portrait of healing so complete, it transcends the traditional survivor narrative and enters new territory, a bold light shining where before was only darkness.