Driving Hungry: A Memoir
Product rating: 4.2 with 22 reviews
A delicious memoir that takes us from Buenos Aires to New York to Berlin as the author, driven by wanderlust and an unrelenting appetite, finds purpose, passion, and unexpected flavor.
After putting her dream of opening her own restaurant on hold, Layne Mosler moves to Buenos Aires to write about food. But she is also in search of that elusive something
that could give shape to her life. One afternoon, fleeing a tango club following a terrible turn on the dance floor, she impulsively asks her taxista to take her to his favorite restaurant. Soon she is savoring one of the best steaks of her life and, in the weeks that follow, repeating the experiment with equally delectable results. So begins the gustatory adventure that becomes the basis for Mosler’s cult blog, Taxi Gourmet
. It eventually takes her to New York City, where she continues her food quests, hailing cabs and striking up conversations from the back seat, until she meets a pair of extraordinary lady cab drivers who convince her to become a taxi driver herself. Between humbling (and hilarious) episodes behind the wheel, Mosler reads about the taxi drivers in Berlin, who allegedly know as much about Nietzsche as they do about sausage. Intrigued, she travels to the German capital, where she develops a passion for the city, its restlessness, its changing flavors, and a certain fellow cab driver who shares her love of the road.
With her vivid descriptions of places and people and food, Mosler has given us a beguiling book that speaks to the beauty of chance encounters and the pleasures of not always knowing your destination.
Posted in Memoirs Tagged with: Driving, Hungry, Memoir, Pantheon
Wondering Who You Are: A Memoir
by: Tin House Books
Product rating: 4.7 with 13 reviews
In exploring her husband’s traumatic brain injury and loss of memory, Sonya Lea has written a memoir that is both a powerful look at perseverance in the face of trauma and a surprising exploration into what lies beyond our fragile identities.
In the twenty-third year of their marriage, Sonya Lea’s husband, Richard, went in for surgery to treat a rare appendix cancer. When he came out, he had no recollection of their life together: how they met, their wedding day, the births of their two children. All of it was gone, along with the rockier parts of their past―her drinking, his anger. Richard could now hardly speak, emote, or create memories from moment to moment. Who he’d been no longer was.
Wondering Who You Are braids the story of Sonya and Richard’s relationship, those memories that he could no longer conjure, together with his fateful days in the hospital―the internal bleeding, the near-death experience, and eventual traumatic brain injury. It follows the couple through his recovery as they struggle with his treatment, and through a marriage no longer grounded on decades of shared experience. As they build a fresh life together, as Richard develops a new personality, Sonya is forced to question her own assumptions, beliefs, and desires, her place in the marriage and her way of being in the world. With radical candor and honesty, Sonya Lea has written a memoir that is both a powerful look at perseverance in the face of trauma and a surprising exploration into what lies beyond our fragile identities.
Posted in Authors Tagged with: Memoir, Tin House Books, Wondering
This Is Not a Love Story: A Memoir
by: Little, Brown and Company
Product rating: 4.0 with 3 reviews
A razor-sharp, hilarious, and poignant memoir about growing up in the closed world of the ultraorthodox Jewish community.
The third of six children in a family that harks back to a gloried Hassidic dynasty, Judy Brown grew up with the legacy of centuries of religious teaching, and the faith and lore that sustained her people for generations.
But her carefully constructed world begins to crumble when her “crazy” brother Nachum returns home after a year in Israel living with relatives. Though supposedly “cured,” he is still prone to retreating into his own mind or erupting in wordless rages. The adults’ inability to make him better – or even to give his affliction a name – forces Judy to ask larger questions: If God could perform miracles for her sainted ancestors, why can’t He cure Nachum? And what of the other stories her family treasured?
Judy starts to negotiate with God, swinging from holy tenets to absurdly hilarious conclusions faster than a Talmudic scholar: she goes on a fast to nab coveted earrings; she fights with her siblings at the dinner table for the ultimate badge of honor (“Who will survive the next Holocaust?”); and she adamantly defends her family’s reputation when, scandalously, her parents are accused of having fallen in love—which is absolutely not what pious people do.
For all its brutal honesty about this insular community, This Is Not a Love Story is ultimately a story of a family like so many others, whose fierce love for each other and devotion to their faith pulled them through the darkest time in their lives.
Posted in Jewish Tagged with: Brown and Company, Little, Love, Memoir, Story, this
A Life Let Go: A Memoir and Five Birth Mother Stories of Closed Adoption
by: Long Journey Home Press
Product rating: 5.0 with 2 reviews
Closed adoption, heralded as the answer to the problem of unplanned pregnancy, shows its other side in A Life Let Go, A Memoir and Five Birth Mother Stories of Closed Adoption. These women tell how they experienced unplanned pregnancy in the restrictiveness of the last decades of the twentieth century. All gave up a child in closed adoption—the only option—understanding they would never see them again, a dark contract made under great duress. 1972: Patricia is not yet 16 when her parents learn she is pregnant. They decide she will stay hidden in the house and give the baby up for adoption. 1983: Nancy, lost and wandering in her early twenties, is anxious to to do the “right thing” when she becomes pregnant. 1964: Evelyn, married only a short time, becomes pregnant. When her husband says he is not ready, she believes she must choose between him and her baby and she gives the child up for adoption. Two months later, she is pregnant again. 1959: Marti, married mother of two, is already struggling to keep from having a nervous breakdown when she learns she is pregnant with her third child. 1969: Dena, a rebellious teen, is pregnant and marries the abusive birth father. After a brutal beating, her family sends her halfway across the country to live with her aunt and physician uncle. Dena loses her fight to keep her child. 1969: Kate, a young unmarried woman from a loving family, is ready to raise her baby and her family will support her decision, but a social worker talks her into placing the baby for adoption.
Posted in Women Tagged with: Adoption, Birth, Closed, Five, Life, Long Journey Home Press, Memoir, Mother, Stories
My First Hundred Years in Show Business: A Memoir
by: The Overlook Press
Product rating: 5.0 with 2 reviews
The unabashedly funny and forthright memoir by the Tony Award winner for Grey Gardens, detailing the singular life and career of one of our most admired and acclaimed stage actors
Mary Louise Wilson became a star at age sixty with her smash one-woman play Full Gallop portraying legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland. But before and since, her life and her career―including the Tony Award for her portrayal of Big Edie in Grey Gardens―have been enviably celebrated and varied.
Raised in New Orleans with a social climbing, alcoholic mother, Mary Louise moved to New York City in the late 1950s; lived with her gay brother in the Village; entered the nightclub scene in a legendary review; and rubbed shoulders with every famous person of that era and since. My First Hundred Years in Show Business gets it all down. Yet as delicious as the anecdotes are, the heart of this book is in its unblinkingly honest depiction of the life of a working actor. In her inimitable voice―wry, admirably unsentimental, mordantly funny―Mary Louise Wilson has crafted a work that is at once a teeming social history of the New York theatre scene and a thoroughly revealing, superbly entertaining memoir of the life of an extraordinary woman and actor. 24 b&w photographs
Posted in Actors & Entertainers Tagged with: Business, First, Hundred, Memoir, Show, The Overlook Press, years
Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed
by: Hachette Audio and Blackstone Audio
Product rating: 4.8 with 290 reviews
[Read by Pete Larkin]
Ben Rich, director of Lockheed’s Skunk Works, reveals the behind-the-scenes drama involved in the development of the military’s aerial technology.
From the development of the U-2 to the stealth fighter, the never-before-told story behind America’s high-stakes quest to dominate the skies, Skunk Works
is the true story of America’s most secret and successful aerospace operation.
As recounted by Ben Rich, the operation’s brilliant boss for nearly two decades, the chronicle of Lockheed’s legendary Skunk Works is a drama of Cold War confrontations and Gulf War air combat, of extraordinary feats of engineering and human achievement against fantastic odds. Here are up-close portraits of the maverick band of scientists and engineers who made the Skunk Works so renowned. Filled with telling personal anecdotes and high adventure, with narratives from the CIA and from Air Force pilots who flew the many classified, risky missions, this book is a riveting portrait of the most spectacular aviation triumphs of the twentieth century.
Posted in Business Tagged with: Hachette Audio and Blackstone Audio, Lockheed, Memoir, Personal, Skunk, Works, years
Anchor and Flares: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hope, and Service
by: Little, Brown and Company
Product rating: 5.0 with 3 reviews
Kate Braestrup’s life was transformed by the loss of her husband; now Kate faces the possibility that she may lose her son.
As a young mother Kate Braestrup discovered the fierce protectiveness that accompanies parenthood. In the intervening years–through mourning her husband and the joy of remarriage and a blended family-Kate has absorbed the rewards and complications of that spirit.
But when her eldest son joins the Marines, Kate is at a crossroads: Can she reconcile her desire to protect her children with her family’s legacy of service? Can parents balance the joy of a child’s independence with the fear of letting go?
As Kate examines the twinned emotions of faith and fear-inspired by the families she meets as a chaplain and by her son’s journey towards purpose and familyhood-she learns that the threats we can’t predict will rip us apart and knit us together.
Posted in Grief & Bereavement Tagged with: Anchor, Brown and Company, Flares, Hope, Little, Memoir, Motherhood, Service
Great Necessities: A Gaucher Memoir
by: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Product rating: 5.0 with 1 reviews
Dr. Wayne Rosenfield is a psychologist experienced in trauma therapy and emergency assessment. He navigated serious life threatening and life changing events related to Gaucher Disease which had increasing relevance to his professional life. His two complementary narratives of professional activity while coping with a chronic disorder reaffirmed the psychological responses that are related to successful adaptation to life’s challenges.
Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Gaucher, Great, Memoir, Necessities
Smokejumper: A Memoir by One of America’s Most Select Airborne Firefighters
by: William Morrow
Product rating: 4.9 with 7 reviews
A rare inside look at the thrilling world of smokejumpers, the airborne firefighters who parachute into the most remote and rugged areas of the United States, confronting the growing threat of nature’s blazes.
Forest and wildland fires are growing larger, more numerous, and deadlier every year — record drought conditions, decades of forestry mismanagement, and the increasing encroachment of residential housing into the wilderness have combined to create a powder keg that threatens millions of acres and thousands of lives every year. One select group of men and women are part of America’s front-line defense: smokejumpers. The smokejumper program operates through both the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Though they are tremendously skilled and only highly experienced and able wildland firefighters are accepted into the training program, being a smokejumper remains an art that can only be learned on the job. Forest fires often behave in unpredictable ways: spreading almost instantaneously, shooting downhill behind a stiff tailwind, or even flowing like a liquid. In this extraordinarily rare memoir by an active-duty jumper, Jason Ramos takes readers into his exhilarating and dangerous world, explores smokejumping’s remarkable history, and explains why their services are more essential than ever before.
Posted in Memoirs Tagged with: Airborne, America’s, Firefighters, Memoir, Most, Select, Smokejumper, William Morrow
Dark Days: A Memoir
by: Da Capo Press
Product rating: 4.9 with 35 reviews
Lamb of god vocalist D. Randall Blythe finally tells the whole incredible story of his arrest, incarceration, trial, and acquittal for manslaughter in the Czech Republic over the tragic and accidental death of a concertgoer in this riveting, gripping, biting, bold, and brave memoir.
On June 27, 2012, the long-running, hard-touring, and world-renowned metal band lamb of god landed in Prague for their first concert there in two years. Vocalist D. Randall “Randy” Blythe was looking forward to a few hours off—a rare break from the touring grind—in which to explore the elegant, old city. However, a surreal scenario worthy of Kafka began to play out at the airport as Blythe was detained, arrested for manslaughter, and taken to Pankrác Prison—a notorious 123-year-old institution where the Nazis’ torture units had set up camp during the German occupation of then-Czechoslovakia, and where today hundreds of prisoners are housed, awaiting trial and serving sentences in claustrophobic, sweltering, nightmare-inducing conditions.
Two years prior, a 19-year-old fan died of injuries suffered at a lamb of god show in Prague, allegedly after being pushed off stage by Blythe, who had no vivid recollection of the incident. Stage-crashing and -diving being not uncommon occurrences, as any veteran of hard rock, metal, and punk shows knows, the concert that could have left him imprisoned for years was but a vague blur in Blythe’s memory, just one of the hundreds of shows his band had performed over their decades-long career.
At the time of his arrest Blythe had been sober for nearly two years, having finally gained the upper hand over the alcoholism that nearly killed him. But here he faced a new kind of challenge: jailed in a foreign land and facing a prison sentence of up to ten years. Worst of all, a young man was dead, and Blythe was devastated for him and his family, even as the reality of his own situation began to close in behind Pankrác Prison’s glowering walls of crumbling concrete and razor wire.
What transpired during Blythe’s incarceration, trial, and eventual acquittal is a rock ‘n’ roll road story unlike any other, one that runs the gamut from tragedy to despair to hope and finally to redemption. While never losing sight of the sad gravity of his situation, Blythe relates the tale of his ordeal with one eye fixed firmly on the absurd (and at times bizarrely hilarious) circumstances he encountered along the way. Blythe is a natural storyteller and his voice drips with cutting humor, endearing empathy, and soulful insight. Much more than a tour diary or a prison memoir, Dark Days is D. Randall Blythe’s own story about what went down—before, during, and after—told only as he can.
Posted in Heavy Metal Tagged with: Da Capo Press, Dark, Days, Memoir
Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Memoir, Recipes, and More
by: Da Capo Lifelong Books
Product rating: 5.0 with 2 reviews
For more than 15 years, writing coach, editor, and blogger Dianne Jacob has taught food lovers how to take their passion from the plate to the page. Now, Jacob has revised and updated her award-winning guide. Whether you’ve been writing for years or are just starting out, Will Write for Food offers what you need to know to succeed and thrive, including:
– A new chapter dedicated to making an income from food writing
– Updated information about self-publishing and cookbook production
– Tips on creating and sustaining an irresistible blog with gorgeous photos
– The keys to successful freelancing and reviewing
– Advice from award-winning writers, editors, and agents
– Engaging, fun writing exercises to get the juices flowing
Posted in Essays Tagged with: Blogs, Complete, Cookbooks, Da Capo Lifelong Books, Food, Guide, Memoir, More, Recipes, Will, Write, Writing