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Memoir

  • Middle Place

    The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan "Quick, funny, heart wrenching read - very enjoyable. I am looking forward to her next novel." A story about a mother of two who finds out she has cancer and her father also has cancer.

  • Mommies Who Drink

    Mommies Who Drink: Sex, Drugs, and Other Distant Memories of an Ordinary Mom by Brett Paesel. "It may not be for everyone because of the raunchiness but if you want a chuckle, it’s worth it. Here is the part from Amazon that I feel sums up her humor: Paesel's willingness to mock herself even allows her to milk a laugh from a postpartum visit to a therapist. "I'm so unhappy," she cries. "I hate myself. I hate my life. I feel like it's never going to change." After a while, the therapist makes a suggestion. "Maybe we should think about antidepressants.'' "What?" Paesel thinks. "It's not that bad." And guess what? She eventually finds that motherhood is not that bad. In fact, she likes it, which is lucky, since Hollywood demands a happy ending. Even so, it's safe to say that if there's Jell-O around, this mommy wants not a lollipop but a vodka-infused "shooter."

  • My Losing Season

    My Losing Season by Pat Conroy – (NB: This one, like Blind Side, also recommended by Drew and perhaps more interesting for your husbands/fathers/etc.) "Great read for anyone who has played competitive basketball. True story of Pat Conroy’s senior season at the Citidel with life lessons he learned from basketball. Great themes for younger readers, but some rough language."

  • Night

    Night By Elie Wiesel. “His acct of the Holocaust, I hadn’t read it since I was in 8th grade & clearly didn’t get it all. Unbelievable. Short & dense.”

  • oh the glory of it all

    Oh the Glory of it All by Sean Wilsey, son of a San Francisco bsinessman and a socialite/peace activist, and stepson of another socialite.  He had a wildly extravagant but in many ways very sad childhood.  "A much talked about memoir...some of us know the players...I found it sad, funny, insightful, and a little self-serving."  It has a great first line:  "In the beginning we were happy. And we were always excessive. So in the beginning we were happy to excess."

  • One and the Same

    One and the Same: My Life as an Identical Twin and What I've Learned About Everyone's Struggle to Be Singular by Abigail Pogrebin. "Not only for twins or parents of twins, this is a very interesting look at what it means to be a 'double' and how even as singletons we can learn from the unique twin relationship."

  • Power of One

    The Power of One: A Novel by Bryce Courtenay. "Episodic and bursting with incident, this sprawling memoir of an English boy's lonely childhood in South Africa during WW II pays moderate attention to questions of race but concerns itself primarily with epic melodrama." The New York Times: "The Power of One has everything: suspense, the exotic, violence; mysticism, psychology and magic; schoolboy adventures, drama in the boxing ring."

  • Princess Diarist

    The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher. "Just read it.  Or, get the audio version because Carrie narrates it, and it’s brilliant.  Memoir where she reveals affair with Harrison Ford and other juicy nuggets from her Star Wars life".

  • Princess Remembers

    A Princess Remembers by Gayatri Devi. “This is the memoir of the last Maharani of Jaipur.  It tells her personal story which spans one of the most interesting periods of Indian history, from the princely states under British rule to Indian Independence.  It is a very readable, interesting book that reads more like a novel than an historical memoir”.

  • Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio

    The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio.  The true story of housewife Evelyn Ryan, who, faced with an abusive and alcoholic husband, supported her ten children by entering (and winning) jingle-writing contests that were common in the 1950s and 1960s.

  • Reading Lolita in Tehran

    Reading Lolita in Tehran By Azar Nafisi. “I think Reading Lolita in Tehran is only enjoyable if you've read Lolita.”

  • Same Kind of Different as me

    Same Kind of Different as Me: : A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. From Wiki: Ron Hall and Denver Moore became best friends through Ron's wife, Deborah. She was very connected with God and she was told to 'save' Denver. Deborah started dying of cancer and Denver, in return, helped Deborah carry on the ministry she had started. There is a memorial that was made for Deborah when she passed, called the Deborah Hall Memorial.  The story, however, goes deeper into the developing personal friendship between two men of entirely different upbringing, and the struggle that is required to make and maintain such a friendship across a wide cultural canyon. The characters struggle with raw and honest emotions, real life situations, and set an example for those who want to be challenged to make a difference in their own lives and those around them. The story also reveals the true level of commitment required to be an effective leader in service to others.

  • Shockaholic

    Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher. "The photo captions are enough reason to read this book.  Brilliant.  Some may love Nora Ephron, but I think Carrie has her beat with this one". Shockaholic tells the story of Carrie Fisher's upbringing as the daughter of Hollywood royalty. Filled with outrageous tales of celebrity gossip, Carrie Fisher gives readers an intimate look at the realities of Hollywood.

  • Shoedog

    Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike.  By Phil Knight.  "Knight’s unvarnished memoir about the company he birthed—Nike. Bill Gates puts it best, “Shoe Dog is a refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like. It’s a messy, perilous, and chaotic journey riddled with mistakes, endless struggles, and sacrifice. In fact, the only thing that seems inevitable in page after page of Knight’s story is that his company will end in failure.” So many books written by entrepreneurs make their path to success seem like a pre-ordained endeavor that the entrepreneur somehow willed to success and fortune with careful planning and a well thought out business plan. Not Phil Knight’s journey. He shows the real path warts and all.  This is not a 'how to' book with another contrived formula for success. This amazing tale is real. A young man with no money assembled an unlikely band of misfits, lives precariously for a decade at the mercy of unmerciful bankers until an unlikely potential nemesis becomes a benefactor, he pays an art student $35 to design the swoosh logo because he needed one by the next day, he doesn’t like the name “Nike” but goes along with his staff’s suggestion and say’s what the hell,”maybe it will grow on us”.  Reading this book is as close as most of us will get to having a beer with Phil and letting him regale us with this extraordinary story, you will want him to relay one more experience, one more stroke of luck, one more personal tragedy. And then you will understand in the final pages why, despite all of the hardships he experienced along the way, Knight says, 'God, how I wish I could relive the whole thing.'"
  • Somewhere Towards the End

    Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill. "I know it is about death but it is not sad and depressing, just makes us award in captivating language about the adventure of life and death. It is actually a little bit of a fun read..." 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.

  • Summer at Tiffany

    Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart. "Read this on a Vamoose ride to NYC. Set in NYC during the latter part of WWII, the book tells of the life changing adventures (in that 1940's kind of way) of two Iowa college students who move to Manhattan for a summer and secure jobs at Tiffany's. The cute tone is as if your 80 something year old grandmother were recounting favorite memories with that far away smile on her face. In fact, the book is a memoir, albeit quite light."

  • Tender Bar

    Tender Bar – Memoir of NY Times/LA Tribune reporter who grew up fatherless on Long Island raised by his uncle bartenders. Graduated from Yale in 1986. Sort of an American Angela’s Ashes.

  • The Middle Place

    The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan "A wonderful, heart-warming memoir about Corrigan’s breast cancer treatment and her relationship with her incredible family." "It's a beautiful book, made me cry so hard."

  • Traveling with Pomegranates

    Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story by Sue Monk Kidd. From Amazon:  "In this intimate dual memoir, she and her daughter, Ann, offer distinct perspectives as a fifty-something and a twenty-something, each on a quest to redefine herself and to rediscover each other."

  • Under the Banner of Heaven

    Under the Banner of Heaven: a Story of Violent Faith By Jon Krakauer. “The story of homicidal Mormon fundamentalists. This is the guy who wrote Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster.