Memoir > Giveaways
by Jane Hersey (Goodreads Author)
"Anyone who has seen a homeless person, who has wondered why welfare exists, who has struggled to understand why another person is acting the way they do should read Jane Hersey's Full Circle. This is a book on understanding...It shows that people do try doing the best they can with what they have...Hersey's writing is real and raw and astonishingly honest." PsychCentral
"This book - like the first - is important reading, demonstrating the impact that childhood experiences have on adult relationships." Madness and Literature Network, Nottingham University.
by Casey Renee Kiser (Goodreads Author) , Jasmyn Taylor Givens (Goodreads Author)
by Gary Wright
Best known for his multiplatinum hits “Dream Weaver” and “Love is Alive,” Gary Wright came to prominence as a singer and songwriter during the golden age of rock in the 1970s. What is not as well known to the public, however, is Wright’s spiritual side. At the heart of this memoir is the spiritual conversion and journey that Wright experienced alongside his close friend George Harrison. Until Harrison’s death in 2001, the two spent decades together writing songs, eating Indian fare, talking philosophy, and gardening.
In addition to featuring lyrics to a never-released song cowritten by Wright and George Harrison in 1971, titled “To Discover Yourself,” this memoir includes a cache of never-before-seen photos and videos. [close]
by Gin Getz (Goodreads Author)
The Last of the Living Blue is an intimate, intense personal account of the…more
The Last of the Living Blue is an intimate, intense personal account of the effects of our changing climate in our big back yard, Colorado's majestic mountains and the Weminuche Wilderness. It reads close and comfortable, though the times it takes you through are often anything but. It's real and raw, told in a soft yet powerful voice, taking the reader along through one year of drought, fires, floods and the healing of mountain and mind.
"How does somebody hear a forest unraveling? How can she see a mountain sighing? With the patience of a predator and the melancholy notes of an autumn breeze, The Last of the Living Blue brings to us what is hidden before our eyes, disturbing yet enduringly beautiful. In a world careening recklessly over the speed limit, Gin Getz's 'quiet voice singing' is worth stopping to hear."
-- Daniel Glick, author of Monkey Dancing: A Father, Two Kids, and a Journey to the Ends of the Earth
This beautifully told story addresses a matter of utmost concern from a unique perspective and in a quiet yet captivating tone. The Last of the Living Blue is an unusual approach to addressing the effects of climate change upon our beautiful world, one tree at a time. Neither a preachy lecture, nor a "everything's peachy" scenario, you'll find yourself enchanted with Gin's prose, poetry and storytelling as she open up her world to us and shares with the reader in stunning words what she sees.
"Gin Getz writes exquisite prose about life on the mountain and at the headwaters of the Rio Grande. This is a passionate book: by a woman, for all that she loves intensely. And that's a lot. This is a beautiful book to read."-- Harold Rhenisch, author of Motherstone: British Columbia's Volcanic Plateau [close]
by Jacob M. Appel (Goodreads Author)
(One copy per household.) [close]
by Marcia Gloster (Goodreads Author)
“An elegant and eloquent narrative of seduction and s…more
“An elegant and eloquent narrative of seduction and sensual awakening, against the backdrop of the last summer of Kokoschka’s famed international art school in the historic city of Salzburg.” —Miriam Frank, author of My Innocent Absence
Marcia Gloster was a college student traveling through Europe in the summer of 1963. When she arrived in Salzburg, Austria to study at Oskar Kokoschka’s School of Vision, she envisioned a month of intensive painting, never expecting to find herself swept into a passionate affair. Nor did she imagine her lover to be a married instructor with a long history of indiscretions. Even at a young age, Marcia knew how to protect her heart. But it had never been taken by a man as overwhelming and sensual as Bill Thomson.
31 Days is the story of Marcia and Bill in Salzburg. 31 days that would redefine love, sex, passion, and permanence for a woman of twenty; and a month that would resonate in her life forever.
Deeply sensual, intensely vivid, and achingly beautiful 31 Days is a memoir that lives in all of us. [close]
by Alison Pick
Alison Pick was born in the 1970s and raised in a supportive, loving family. She grew up laughing with her sister and cousins, and doting on her grandparents. Then as a teenager, Alison made a discovery that instantly changed her understanding of her family, and her vision for her own life, forever. She learned that her Pick grandparents, who had escaped from the Czech Republic during WWII, were Jewish–and that most of this side of the family had died in concentration camps. She also discovered that her own father had not known of this history until, in his twenties, he had a chance encounter with an old family friend–and then he, too, had kept the secret from Alison and her sister.
In her early thirties, engaged to be married to her longtime boyfriend but struggling with a crippling depression, Alison slowly but doggedly began to research and uncover her Jewish heritage. Eventually she came to realize that her true path forward was to reclaim her history and indentity as a Jew. But even then, one seemingly insurmountable problem remained: her mother wasn’t Jewish, so technically Alison wasn’t either. In this by times raw, by times sublime memoir, Alison recounts her struggle with the meaning of her faith, her journey to convert to Judaism, her battle with depression, and her path towards facing and accepting the past and embracing the future–including starting a new family of her own. This is her unusual and gripping story, told in crystalline prose and with all the nuance and drama of a novel, but illuminated with heartbreaking insight into the very real lives of the dead, and hard-won hope for the lives of all those who carry on after. [close]
by William Wright (Goodreads Author)
Then he sees an ad for a doctor's position from the Colorado Department of Corrections at a supermax prison. Now that, he thinks, would be different. His wife has some thoughts on the matter too. She thinks her husband just lost his mind and is on a collision course with a prison shiv.
After his first day on the job, he wonders if she wasn't onto something. His first patient is an arrogant, callous youth convicted of five cold-blooded murders. Dr. Wright has to steel himself not to bolt.
Nothing prepares a doctor for life at the Colorado State Penitentiary. He quickly discovers treating maximum security convicts is like treating recalcitrant murderous four-year-olds. Always willing to threaten their doctors with bodily harm, they are more interested in scamming drugs than treatment.
Told with self-depreciating humor and scathing wit, "Maximum Insecurity" describes Dr. Wright's adventures practicing medicine in a supermax correctional facility without, he's glad to say, getting killed even once. [close]
by Fred Tribuzzo (Goodreads Author)
--Author Bob Livingstone, Flight Adviser for the movie UNBROKEN
I knew at the time of my uncle’s death that something important had been handed down to me—his love of flying. Two months later, at the age of twenty-six, I soloed in the same type of aircraft that he had owned: an unadorned, two-seat Cessna trainer. In twenty years I would be flying at 600 mph and two miles above the other traffic, working for a world-class company in the latest state-of-the-art jet. I believe my uncle would have smiled had he heard the air traffic controller ask us to begin our “reentry,” instead of the standard “descend and maintain….”
Alongside the sky’s drama I began to hear the human one and started to write, letting the happenstance of strangers, friends, new places, and ideas dovetail into American Sky. [close]
by Niki Smart (Goodreads Author)
A fast paced journey through a bizarre chidhood with a…more
A fast paced journey through a bizarre chidhood with a crazy mother who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Hell Camp has been called "one of the best worst childhoods to date, akin to Augusten Burroughs's Running with Scissors".
A hilariously funny, yet heart breakingly sad memoir. [close]
by Debby Irving (Goodreads Author)
"I read Waking Up White in one sitting. To say I loved it is an understatement. It's such a raw, honest port…more
"I read Waking Up White in one sitting. To say I loved it is an understatement. It's such a raw, honest portrait …. Irving's experience on display - warts and all - will help white people, who haven't noticed the role systemic privilege has played in their lives, start to see the world in a new way." -- Jodi Picoult, author, The Storyteller, My Sister’s Keeper
“Debby Irving’s powerful Waking Up White opens a rare window on how white Americans are socialized. Irving's focus on the mechanics of racism operating in just one life -- her own -- may lead white readers to reconsider the roots of their own perspectives -- and their role in dismantling old myths. Readers of color will no doubt find the view through Irving's window fascinating, and telling.” -- Van Jones, author, Rebuild The Dream, The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems; President, Rebuild The Dream; Co-host, CNN Crossfire [close]
by Rita M. Gardner (Goodreads Author)
by Rita Zoey Chin (Goodreads Author)
When she was eleven years old, Rita began to run away. Her father’s violence and her mother’s hostility drove her out of the house and into the streets in search of a better life. This soon led her into a dangerous world of drugs, predatory older men, and the occasional kindness of strangers, but despite the dangers, Rita kept running. One day she came upon a field of horses galloping along a roadside fence, and the sight of them gave her hope. The memory of their hoofbeats stayed with her.
Rita survives her harrowing childhood to become a prize-winning writer and the wife of a promising surgeon. But when she is suddenly besieged by terrifying panic attacks, her past trauma threatens her hard-won happiness and the stable, comfortable life she’s built with her husband. Within weeks, she is incapacitated with fear—literally afraid of her own shadow. Realizing that she is facing a life of psychological imprisonment, Rita undertakes a journey to find help through a variety of treatments. It is ultimately through chasing her childhood passion for horses that she meets a spirited, endearing horse named Claret—with his own troubled history—and together they surmount daunting odds as they move toward fear and learn to trust, and ultimately save, each other. [close]
by Leonard Stegmann (Goodreads Author)
Yes, every one of them sucked. In this book Leonard Stegmann shares the lifetime of misery that has been his employment history.…more
Yes, every one of them sucked. In this book Leonard Stegmann shares the lifetime of misery that has been his employment history. Lots of laughs for you. Not so much for him. Also included: What's Annoying Me Now, The Fifth Floor Girls, Tales of Unspeakable Woe and more. [close]
by Giacomo Casanova, Andrew K. Lawston (Goodreads Author)
The question is, which crime?
In 1755, the infamous…more
The question is, which crime?
In 1755, the infamous Giacomo Casanova was locked up without trial in Venice's notorious Leads prison. Over 15 months he battled disease, madness, boredom, grotesque gaolers, bad books and fellow prisoners, before attempting the most audacious and typically flamboyant escape in history.
This is Casanova's own account of the escape bid that cemented his celebrity across Europe, full of his unique wit and philosophy, translated into English in full for the first time. [close]
by Iris R. Campion (Goodreads Author)
by John Turner (Goodreads Author)
"Confessions of a Gi…more
"Confessions of a Gimp" is a collection of twenty tales about the author's life, from accidentally crushing his parents' Christmas tree, to pretending to be blind on an airplane flight, to numerous (and sometimes deadly!) encounters with pigs. The title story recalls John's mugging and assault, a near-fatal incident which left him permanently disabled. And through it all, the author displays razor-sharp wit, a profound depth of character, and interminable spirit. (He's also a pretty good bowler, too.)
So you might wanna sign up for this one. "Confessions..." will make you laugh, cry, and will possibly inspire you to poop your OWN pants. [close]
by Catherine Gildiner (Goodreads Author)
Picking up her story in the late ’60s at age 21, Cathy Gildiner whisks the reader th…more
Picking up her story in the late ’60s at age 21, Cathy Gildiner whisks the reader through five years and three countries, beginning when she is a poetry student at Oxford. Her education extended beyond the classroom to London’s swinging Carnaby Street, the mountains of Wales, and a posh country estate.
After Oxford, Cathy returns to Cleveland, Ohio, which was still reeling from the Hough Ghetto Riots. Not one to shy away from a challenge, she teaches at a high school where police escort teachers through the parking lot. There, she tries to engage apathetic students and tussles with the education authorities.
In 1970, Cathy moves to Canada. While studying literature at the University of Toronto, she rooms with members of the FLQ (Quebec separatists) and then with one of the biggest drug dealers in Canada. Along the way, she falls in love with the man who eventually became her husband and embarks on a new career in psychology.
Coming Ashore brings readers back to a fascinating era populated by lively characters, but most memorable of all is the singular Cathy McClure. [close]
by Malka Marom
When singer, musician, and broadcast journalist Malka Marom had the opportunity to interview Joni…more
When singer, musician, and broadcast journalist Malka Marom had the opportunity to interview Joni Mitchell in 1973, she was eager to reconnect with the performer she’d first met late one night in 1966 at a Yorkville coffeehouse. More conversations followed over the next four decades of friendship, and it was only after Joni and Malka completed their most recent recorded interview, in 2012, that Malka discovered the heart of their discussions: the creative process.
In Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words, Joni and Malka follow this thread through seven decades of life and art, discussing the influence of Joni’s childhood, love and loss, playing dives and huge festivals, acclaim and criticism, poverty and affluence, glamorous triumphs and tragic mistakes . . .
This riveting narrative, told in interviews, lyrics, paintings, and photographs, is shared in the hope of illuminating a timeless body of work and inspiring others.
by Lee Upton (Goodreads Author)
"Lee Upton has written a refreshingly honest, compact, ambitious, nuanced, anecdotal, and capacious book about writing. It will make y…more
"Lee Upton has written a refreshingly honest, compact, ambitious, nuanced, anecdotal, and capacious book about writing. It will make you flinch with recognition. It may also steel your resolve and steady your hand. I find it exhilarating and even wise." -- Edward Hirsch
"She's sly, eclectic, and never at a loss for bulls-eye examples. Our memories and moods are roused and revisited. We're reminded of writings we've enjoyed and alerted to ones we may not have encountered yet. There's not a shred of pomposity or self-importance in this wonderful rumination on a writer's life, world, and surprised delight." -- David Young
"Lee Upton announces at the beginning of her marvelous new book, 'This is a book about ambition.' This is true, and it's also an ambitious book, but an ambitious book that wears its ambitions, and brilliance, lightly, endearingly. I can't think of another book like it--at turns erudite, conversational, anecdotal, self-deprecating, commanding, personal and polemical. This is a book about why literature matters, but more than that it's example of why literature matters. The best, most remarkable book from one of our best, most remarkable writers." -- Brock Clarke
"Lee Upton advocates 'writing across genres.' Why shouldn't the poet write novels or stories or history or essays? As if to prove the point, here comes Swallowing the Sea, this talented poet's take on ambition, boredom, failure, and secrecy, the four points on any writer's compass. -- David Lehman [close]
by Bill T. Jones
In this ceaselessly questioning book, acclaimed African American dancer, choreographer, and director Bill T. Jones reflects…more
In this ceaselessly questioning book, acclaimed African American dancer, choreographer, and director Bill T. Jones reflects on his art and life as he describes the genesis of Story/Time, a recent dance work produced by his company and inspired by the modernist composer and performer John Cage. Presenting personally revealing stories, richly illustrated with striking color photographs of the work’s original stage production, and featuring a beautiful, large-format design, the book is a work of art in itself.
Like the dance work, Story/Time the book is filled with telling vignettes—about Jones’s childhood as part of a large, poor, Southern family that migrated to upstate New York; about his struggles to find a place for himself in a white-dominated dance world; and about his encounters with notable artists and musicians. In particular, Jones examines his ambivalent attraction to avant-garde modernism, which he finds liberating but also limiting in its disregard for audience response. As he strives to make his work more personal and broadly engaging, especially to an elusive African American audience, Jones—who is still drawn to the avant-garde—wrestles with questions of how an artist can remain true to himself while still caring about the popular reception of his work.
A provocative meditation on the demands and rewards of artistic creation, Story/Time is an inspiring and enlightening portrait of the life and work of one of the great artists of our time.
Bill T. Jones is an acclaimed dancer, choreographer, and director. He is the artistic director, cofounder, and choreographer of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and executive artistic director of New York Live Arts. He is the recipient of many awards and honors, including Tony Awards for FELA! and Spring Awakening, a Kennedy Center Honor, and a MacArthur Fellowship. [close]
by Rochelle Bilow
Rochelle, a classically trained cook and devoted foodie, was nursing a broken heart and frustrated with her yet-to-take-off writing career when she was assigned to write an article about a small, “full-diet” farm in central New York. It took just one day of moving hay bales, feeding pigs, and tapping maple sap for her to become hooked on farm life. The air was fresh, her muscles felt useful, and the smells from the kitchen where the farmhands gathered at the end of the day were intoxicating.
All these, plus a sweet, mysterious young farmer whose soulful gaze meets her own, set in motion The Call of the Farm. Rochelle Bilow’s enticing memoir charts the unexpected year that unfolds, as she immerses herself in life on the farm—helping to care for livestock, grow vegetables, work the farm-stand, and, as the designated cook, prepare each day’s meals. Bilow also sensitively portrays the arc of her passionate romance with that handsome freckled farmer. Honest, self-aware, and wonderfully tender, The Call of the Farm is for anyone who has daydreamed about farm life—or who has fallen too deeply in love.
by Darah Zeledon (Goodreads Author)
You don't know what you're made of until you are ripped apart.
This riveting tale of faith, courage and resilience is deeply con…more
You don't know what you're made of until you are ripped apart.
This riveting tale of faith, courage and resilience is deeply confessional and peppered with wit. It takes the reader on an intense and moving journey that begins in Panama when a pregnant mother of three is diagnosed with a massive brain tumor.
The tragedies that follow are mind-boggling and chaotic—-a suicide, an armed robbery, and a gruesome accident. When the young family spirals into financial ruin, they're forced to migrate to South Florida, marching straight into the worst financial crisis since The Great Depression. And start over with nothing more than raw guts and five young kids to support.
Revealing what it really takes to weather life's storms, this inspiring page-turner will take your breath away.
by Tonier Cain
It is almost unfathomable to believe that just nine years ago Neen was in pr…more
It is almost unfathomable to believe that just nine years ago Neen was in prison—a place as familiar to her as the streets she lived on. In just 15 years, she had been arrested 83 times with 66 convictions. Neen had–and lost–four children, she was a crack addict, a prostitute, and desperately lost. But as long as she had breath, she would still have hope. One day, after 19 years hustling on the streets of Annapolis, Neen's crumb of hope turned into a seed of trust.
"Then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten…" – Joel 2:25 (NASV)
Healing Neen isn't just another story about victims and survivors or recovery and redemption; ultimately, it is a story of Good News and a testament to God's grace and presence. It is the story of a woman's path to salvation and a propitious glimpse into the potential buried deep within some of society's most vulnerable people.
"See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven, their angels always see the face of my Father, who is in heaven." – Matthew 18:10 (ESV)
But this story isn't just about Neen; it's about the value of human life, the depth of suffering, and the heights of grace. It is a convincing cri de Coeur for better practices in the way we treat and counsel those caught in the cycles of trauma, addiction, and serial incarceration. Neen brings us face-to-face with the ubiquitous corruption, neglect, and abuse in some of the systems meant to safeguard at-risk women and children, yet she leaves us with hope that things can change for the better.
Today, Tonier Cain's calling is to help save thousands of other "Neens" across the nation. She is a leading advocate for trauma-informed care in prisons and mental health facilities. She is a champion for examining and improving the way we help one another toward redemption, and she is the voice of compassion and promise for so many still living on the fringe who need to hear, "where there's breath, there's hope." [close]
by Matt Baumgardner, Amy Baumgardner
But this is a story of miracles.
Combining the heart wrenching blow-by-blow devastation of Beautiful Boy, and the inspiring devotion found in The Vow, From This Day Forward has all the drama of a Lifetime Movie, with a universal message for anyone who strives to love one person no matter what happens. With heartrending honesty Matt and Amy tell a story that will keep readers on the edge of their seat. It is a story with the power to help others find the strength to take that first step in the right direction, to start a conversation with the one they love, to repair, rebuild, and restore, because once we understand the power of forgiveness, no relationship is ever past hope. [close]
by Shannon Galpin
Focusing on the war-torn country of Afghanistan, Shannon Galpin and her organization, Mountain2Mountain, have touched the…more
Focusing on the war-torn country of Afghanistan, Shannon Galpin and her organization, Mountain2Mountain, have touched the lives of hundreds of men, women and children.
In 2009 Galpin became the first woman to ride a mountain bike in Afghanistan. Now she's using that initial bike ride to gain awareness around the country, encouraging people to use their bikes "as a vehicle for social change and justice to support a country where women don't have the right to ride a bike."
In her lyric and honest memoir, Galpin describes her first forays into fundraising, her deep desire to help women and girls halfway across the world, her love for adventure and sports, and her own inspiration to be so much more than just another rape victim. During her numerous trips to Afghanistan, Shannon reaches out to politicians and journalists as well as everyday Afghans — teachers, prison inmates, mothers, daughters — to cross a cultural divide and find common ground. She narrates harrowing encounters, exhilarating bike rides, humorous episodes, and the heartbreak inherent in a country that is still recovering from decades of war and occupation.
by Starbuck O'Dwyer (Goodreads Author)
NOTE: For funny stories and other special promotions, please follow Starbuck on Goodreads, Facebook or Twitter. [close]
by Sophie Fontanel
by Joe Perry, David Ritz
In the tradition of the mega-bestseller Life by Keith Richards, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry opens up for the first time about the w…more
In the tradition of the mega-bestseller Life by Keith Richards, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry opens up for the first time about the wild, inside story of his life in the legendary band he cofounded in 1970—which is still going strong today.
In Rocks, Joe Perry exposes his unrepentant, unbridled life as the lead guitarist of Aerosmith. He delves deep into his volatile, profound, and enduring relationship with singer Steve Tyler and reveals the real people behind the larger-than-life rock-gods on stage. The nearly five-decade saga of Aerosmith is epic, at once a study in brotherhood and solitude that plays out on the killing fields of rock and roll.
With record-making hits and colossal album sales, Aerosmith has earned their place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But theirs is ultimately a story of endurance, and it starts almost half a century ago with young Perry, the rebel whose loving parents wanted him to assimilate, but who quits school because he doesn’t want to cut his hair. He meets Tyler in a restaurant in New Hampshire, sways him from pop music to rock-and-roll, and it doesn’t take long for the “Toxic Twins” to skyrocket into a world of fame and utter excess.
From the mega-successful song and music video with Run DMC, “Walk This Way,” to the realization that he can’t pay his room service bill, Perry takes a personal look into the human stories behind Aerosmith, the people who enabled them, the ones who controlled them, and the ones who changed them. In his own words, Rocks is the whole story: “the loner’s story, the band’s story, the recovery story, the cult story, the love story, the success story, the failure story, the rebirth story, the re-destruction story, the post-destructive rebirth story.” [close]
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