Melissa Burch's Blog

April 1, 2020

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul for Social Distancing Bookclub “In Its Shadow: A 9/11 Memoir” by Jodi Graber Pratt

MELISSA BURCH


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DAY 11: April 1, 2020








In Its Shadow: A 9/11 Memoir


by Jodi Graber Pratt








At 8:43 a.m., it was unthinkable. Three minutes later, it was reality.



September 11, 2001 started as a normal day for the people of Manhattan. Leaving Building Seven of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m., businesswoman Jodi Graber Pratt heard the roar of massive engines and felt the air


pressure increase directly over her head—a split second before the North Tower was ripped open by the first of two planes that would hit the World Trade Center that day, shattering the domestic peace and safety


Americans took for granted. Jodi ran for her life as chunks of concrete rained from the sky.



And that was only the beginning.



Imprisoned


within the city for several excruciating days, she found herself living in an alternate United States, where assumptions about security,


safety, and freedom were suspended. Despair gripped New York and the rest of the country, and terrorism became more than something that happened to other people in other countries.



She also found herself rethinking her privileges and responsibilities as an American.



Experience the first moments of 9/11 through the eyes of someone who lived through them, then struggled to recall and evaluate them, looking for the real questions: how to return America’s focus to its traditional values, ideals and democracy? How to find and promote men and women of character, intelligence, humility and ability to build the necessary


government? How—and when—to begin?






































































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The post 100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul for Social Distancing Bookclub “In Its Shadow: A 9/11 Memoir” by Jodi Graber Pratt appeared first on Melissa Burch.

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Published on April 01, 2020 10:00

March 31, 2020

12 Tips to Boost Your Immune System Against the Coronavirus, or any other Flu

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12 Tips to Improve Your Immune System Against the Coronavirus, or any other Flu




































Homeopath turned memoirist shares her best immune booster tips…




























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CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE DOWNLOAD


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THE CORONAVIRUS , OR ANY OTHER FLU


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DISCLAIMER: You must not rely on the information on this workbook as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you or your child may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information in this workbook.





























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*AMAZON DISCLOSURE:  The links above are affiliate links. These picks are editorially selected, but if you purchase, I may get something in return. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.






































































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Published on March 31, 2020 12:51

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul for Social Distancing Bookclub “Between Inca Walls,” by Evelyn Kohl LaTorre

MELISSA BURCH


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DAY 10: March 31, 2020








Between Inca Walls


by Evelyn Kohl LaTorre








At twenty-one, Evelyn is naïve about life and love. Raised in a small Montana town, she moves at age sixteen with her devout Catholic family to California. There, she is drawn to Latino culture when she works among the migrant workers. During the summer of her junior year in college, Evelyn travels to a small Mexican town to help set up a school and a library—an experience that whets her appetite for a life full of both purpose and adventure.



After graduation, Evelyn joins the Peace Corps and is sent to perform community development work in a small mountain town in the Andes of Perú. There, she and her roommate, Marie, search for meaningful projects and adjust to living with few amenities. Over the course of eighteen months, the two young women work in a


hospital, start 4-H clubs, attend campesino meetings, and teach PE in a school with dirt floors. Evelyn is chosen queen of the local boys’ high school and—despite her resolve to resist such temptations—falls in love with a university student. As she comes of age, Evelyn learns about life and love the hard way when she must choose between following the


religious rules of her youth and giving in to her sexual desires.






































































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The post 100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul for Social Distancing Bookclub “Between Inca Walls,” by Evelyn Kohl LaTorre appeared first on Melissa Burch.

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Published on March 31, 2020 05:25

March 30, 2020

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul for Social Distancing Bookclub “How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences” by Sue William Silverman

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DAY 9: March 30, 2020








How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences


by Sue William Silverman








Many are haunted and obsessed by their own eventual deaths, but perhaps no one as much as Sue William Silverman. This thematically linked collection of essays charts Silverman’s attempt to confront her fears of that ultimate unknown. Her dread was fomented in part by a sexual assault, hidden for years, that led to an awareness that death and sex are in some ways inextricable, an everyday reality many women know too well.



Through gallows humor, vivid realism, and fantastical speculation, How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences explores this fear of death and the author’s desire to survive it. From cruising New Jersey’s industry-blighted landscape in a gold Plymouth to visiting


the emergency room for maladies both real and imagined to suffering the stifling strictness of an intractable piano teacher, Silverman guards her memories for the same reason she resurrects archaic words–to use as talismans to ward off the inevitable. Ultimately, Silverman knows there is no way to survive death physically. Still, through language,


commemoration, and metaphor, she searches for a sliver of transcendent immortality.






































































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COPYRIGHT MELISSA BURCH, 2020






















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Published on March 30, 2020 02:00

March 28, 2020

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul for Social Distancing Bookclub “Off the Rails: One Family’s Journey Through Teen Addiction” by Susan Burrowes

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DAY 8: March 29, 2020








Off the Rails: One Family’s Journey Through Teen Addiction


by Susan Burrowes








In this award-winning memoir, you’ll meet Hannah, a young girl who has a promising future until she suddenly spirals into sex, drugs, alcohol, and other high-risk behaviors. Off the Rails: One Family’s Journey Through Teen Addiction narrates Hannah’s decline and subsequent treatment through the raw, honest, compelling voices of Hannah and her shocked and desperate mother―each one telling her side of the story.



Fearing that they couldn’t keep their teen safe, Hannah’s parents make the agonizing


decision to send her to a wilderness program, and then to residential treatment. Off the Rails tells the story of the two tough years


Hannah spent in three separate programs―and ponders the factors that


contributed to her ultimate recovery.



Written for families facing challenges and those that wish to support them, Off the Rails is an inspiring story of love, determination, and a last-resort intervention, as a mother and daughter lose, and then try to find each


other again.






































































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Published on March 28, 2020 22:00

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul for Social Distancing Bookclub “Wiving: A Memoir of Loving Then Leaving the Patriarchy” by Caitlin Myer

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DAY 7: March 28, 2020








Wiving: A Memoir of Loving then Leaving the Patriarchy


by Caitlin Myer








A literary memoir of one woman’s journey from wife to warrior, in the vein of breakout hits like Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and Jeannette Walls’s The Glass Castle. 




At thirty-six years old, Caitlin Myer is ready to start a family with her husband. She has left behind the restrictive confines of her Mormon


upbringing and early sexual trauma and believes she is now living her happily ever after . . . when her body betrays her. In a single week, she suffers the twin losses of a hysterectomy and the death of her mother, and she is jolted into a terrible awakening that forces her to reckon with her past—and future.



This is the story of one woman’s lifelong combat with a culture—her “escape” from religion at age twenty, only to find herself similarly entrapped in the gender conventions of the secular culture at large, conventions that teach girls and women to shape themselves to please men, to become good wives and mothers. The biblical characters Yael and Judith, wives who became assassins, become her totems as she evolves from wifely submission to warrior independence.



An electric debut that loudly redefines our notions of womanhood, Wiving grapples


with the intersections of religion and sex, trauma and love, sickness and mental illness, and a woman’s harrowing enlightenment. Building on the literary tradition of difficult women who struggle to be heard, Wiving


introduces an urgent, striking voice to the scene of contemporary women’s writing at a time when we must explode old myths and build new stories in their place.






































































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Published on March 28, 2020 02:00

March 27, 2020

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul for Social Distancing Bookclub “Broken Whole” by Jane Binns

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DAY 6: March 27, 2020








Broken Whole


by Jane Binns








At the age of thirty-five, desperate to salvage a self that has been suffocating for years―and to save her two-year-old son from witnessing a


miserable relationship between his parents―Jane Binns leaves her husband of twelve years. She has no plan or intention but to leave, however, and therein begins the misadventures lying in wait for her.



Over the years that follow, Binns falls in love with Steve, a man eighteen years her senior who has been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder since his return from military service in Vietnam forty years prior, and who has a talent for making her feel heard. Despite his inability to provide anything more than a spurious connection, run on a mercurial and erratic schedule, and despite his repeated rejections of her love, she continues to pursue him. During their off periods, she dates other men―but she inevitably compares each new suitor to Steve, and all of them fall short. Ultimately, it takes the loss of her father in the summer of 2014, followed by the death of her ex-husband five months later, for her to finally let go of Steve―and, in the process, fully unearth the self she’s been chasing all along.






































































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Published on March 27, 2020 01:00

March 26, 2020

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul for Social Distancing Bookclub “Headstrong: Surviving a Traumatic Brain Injury” by JoAnne Silver Jones

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DAY 5: March 26, 2020








Headstrong: Surviving a Traumatic Brain Injury


by JoAnne Silver Jones









She didn’t see the hammer. For a fraction of a second JoAnne Jones saw a young black face, framed by a black hoodie, and then she descended into a place where she felt and saw nothing.



Jones survived this sudden assault by a stranger, but it left her with severe traumatic


brain injury (TBI), fractured hands, and PTSD. Headstrong tells the story of how she learned to live with the daily challenges of TBI.


It brings the reader into a life traumatized by violence and set in the context of a society full of violence and vocal, visible white supremacists. Woven throughout Jones’s account are the stories of how medical professionals, friends, family, and strangers became a foundation strong enough to hold her during the worst of times, and to give her the buoyancy to find a path toward hope.







































































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COPYRIGHT MELISSA BURCH, 2020






















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Published on March 26, 2020 01:00

March 25, 2020

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul for Social Distancing Bookclub “Lost in the Reflecting Pool” by Diane Pomerantz

MELISSA BURCH


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DAY 4: March 25, 2020








Lost in the Reflecting Pool


by Diane Pomerantz









When Diane, a psychologist, falls in love with Charles, a charming and brilliant psychiatrist, there is laughter and flowers―and also darkness. After moving through infertility treatments and the trials of the adoption process as a united front, the couple is ultimately successful in creating a family. As time goes on, however, Charles becomes


increasingly critical and controlling, and Diane begins to feel barraged and battered. When she is diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, Charles is initially there for her, but his attentiveness quickly vanishes and is replaced by withdrawal, anger, and unfathomable sadism. What Diane previously thought were just Charles’ controlling ways are replaced by clear pathologic narcissism and emotional abuse that turns venomous at the very hour of her greatest need.



A memoir and a psychological love story that is at times tender and at times horrifying, Lost in the Reflecting Pool is a chronicle of one woman’s struggle to survive within―and ultimately break free of―a relationship with a man incapable of caring about anyone beyond himself.






































































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COPYRIGHT MELISSA BURCH, 2020






















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Published on March 25, 2020 01:00

March 24, 2020

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul for Social Distancing Bookclub “Digging up the Salt Mines” by Susana Aikin

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DAY 3: March 24, 2020








Digging up the Salt Mines


by Susana Aikin








DIGGING UP THE SALT MINES is a film memoir recounting the author´s experience shooting her first documentary film. In the early 1980´s when New York City swarmed with a diversity of homeless populations, two young filmmakers encountered a community of homeless Latino drag queens living in abandoned garbage trucks by the Hudson River and set out to shoot a film depicting their lifestyle of drugs, prostitution and community dynamics in a garbage dump. A fascinating filmmaking odyssey into a world both far removed from our own, Susana Aikin’s recounting is at once a documentary tutorial and absorbing transformational journey.



Following the lives of Sara, Gigi, and Giovanna, three Latino transvestites who worked Manhattan’s dangerous streets supporting their drug habits through prostitution, Susana and her cameraman/partner Carlos set out to capture their lifestyle as well as explore the


boundaries of sexual identity and social tolerance. A profoundly moving memoir that captures the essence of the human struggle to find and form communities of shared experience, Aikin delivers a recounting of her


journey with keen insight and bracing honesty. Her ability to capture not only the lives of her subjects but her own transformation is nothing short of a revelation.



Gritty, poignant, and filled with a quiet


reverence for life—and truth, Digging Up the Salt Mines is a captivating portrayal of a world long since abandoned but still resonant of the


evolving urban experience.






































































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COPYRIGHT MELISSA BURCH, 2020






















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Published on March 24, 2020 01:01