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June 29, 2020

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul: “Tiny Hot Dogs” by Mary Giuliani

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DAY 100: June 29, 2020








Tiny Hot Dogs


by Mary Giuliani








From awkward schoolgirl to Caterer to the Stars, Mary Giuliani weaves together a collection of hilarious memories, from professional growing pains to her long journey to motherhood, never losing her sense of humor and her love for everyone’s favorite party food, pigs in a blanket.



Mary’s utterly unremarkable childhood was everything she didn’t want: hailing from a deeply loving yet overprotective Italian family in an all-Jewish enclave on Long Island. All she wanted was to fit in (be Jewish) and become famous (specifically a cast member on Saturday Night Live). With an easy, natural storytelling sensibility, Mary shares her journey from a cosseted childhood home to the stage and finally to the party, accidentally landing what she now refers to as “the breakthrough role of a lifetime” catering to a glittery list of stars she once hoped to be part of herself.



Fresh, personal, and full of Mary’s humorous,


self-deprecating, and can-do attitude against all odds, you’ll want to see where each shiny silver tray of hors d’oeuvres takes her next. You never know when the humble hot dog will be a crucial ingredient in the recipe for success, in building a business or simply making life more delicious.






































































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Published on June 29, 2020 10:00

June 28, 2020

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul: “Daughter of the Cold War” by Grace Kennan Warnecke

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DAY 99: June 28, 2020








Daughter of the Cold War


by Grace Kennan Warnecke








Grace Kennan Warnecke’s memoir is about a life lived on the edge of history. Daughter of one of the most influential diplomats of the twentieth century, wife of the scion of a newspaper dynasty and mother of the youngest owner of a major league baseball team, Grace eventually found her way out from under the shadows of others to forge a dynamic career of her own.



Born in Latvia, Grace lived in seven countries and spoke five languages before the age of eleven. As a child, she witnessed Hitler’s march into Prague, attended a Soviet school during World War II, and sailed the seas with her father. In a multi-faceted career, she worked as a professional photographer, television producer, and book editor and critic. Eventually, like her father, she became a Russian specialist, but of a very different kind. She accompanied Ted Kennedy and his family to Russia, escorted Joan Baez to Moscow to meet with dissident Andrei Sakharov, and hosted Josef Stalin’s daughter on the family farm after Svetlana defected to the United States. While running her own consulting company in Russia, she witnessed the breakup of the Soviet Union, and later became director of a women’s economic empowerment project in a newly independent Ukraine.



Daughter of the Cold War is a tale of all these adventures and so much more. This compelling and evocative memoir allows readers to follow Grace’s amazing path through life – a whirlwind journey of survival, risk, and self-discovery through a kaleidoscope of many countries, historic events, and fascinating people.






































































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Published on June 28, 2020 10:00

June 27, 2020

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul: “Soar” by Gail Campbell Woolley

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DAY 98: June 27, 2020








Soar


by Gail Campbell Woolley








When Gail Campbell Woolley was seven, a pediatrician told her mother that Gail suffered from sickle cell anemia, a rare blood disease, and that she would be dead by age 35. While others may have responded to this horrifying news by descending into a fog of self-pity, Gail went in the opposite direction. She decided to live an eventful, exciting life that ultimately included―despite a troubled home life and the systemic racism and sexism of the late 20th century―academic success, an impressive career, a long and loving marriage, and the ability to leave her unmistakable stamp on every person she met. By the time she finally succumbed to her disease at age 58 in 2015, she had ground that doctor’s words into dust.



Soar, written in the last two years of her life, is Woolley’s powerfully inspiring story, and its publication checks the last item off her extraordinary bucket list, which also included traveling to every continent except Antarctica.



Gail writes that from the time she was a child, she awoke every morning with the sound of the famous 60 Minutes clock ticking in the back of her mind. But those ticking seconds also formed her indomitable spirit in ways that can inspire each of us who still draw breath. Written in an engaging, no-nonsense voice with a directness that reflects her many years in journalism, Woolley’s remarkable story not only will move readers to root for this irrepressible, quietly heroic woman but also will push readers to reassess their own approach to life.






































































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Published on June 27, 2020 10:00

June 26, 2020

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul: “Day Nine” by Amanda Munday

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DAY 97: June 26, 2020








Day Nine


by Amanda Munday








A harrowing memoir about a woman’s struggle with postpartum depression.




Nine days after the birth of her daughter, Amanda was involuntarily admitted to a Toronto psychiatric ward for postpartum depression. The typical hold-and-release process in Ontario is seventy-two hours. She stayed eighteen days.



New parent sleep deprivation is familiar, but Munday’s tumultuous experience with depression is one rarely discussed within parent communities. Any mental illness comes with a strong public stigma, and with mental illness connected to motherhood, the judgments run deep. Through her experiences, Munday presents the harsh realities of new parenthood and the quiet suffering postpartum depression commands.



Day Nine is an intimate memoir that reads like a freight train, revealing how common life transitions ― childbirth and parenthood ― can unravel into a medical emergency few new parents are prepared for.






































































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Published on June 26, 2020 10:00

June 25, 2020

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul: “Borderline Shine” by Connie Greshner

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DAY 96: June 25, 2020








Borderline Shine


by Connie Greshner








A therapist’s story of complex trauma and her remarkable journey to recovery.



When Connie Greshner was eight years old, her father walked into a bar in Ponoka, Alberta, and shot her mother. So began a young life defined by trauma. From Catholic boarding school in Kansas to the streets of the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver, Connie travelled in pursuit of acceptance and belonging. Grief, confusion, and shame manifested as depression, addiction, and promiscuity. Branded chronically suicidal with no hope of recovery by the mental health system, Connie was determined to heal herself and help others. Supported and inspired by exceptional friends, a love of books, and a connection to nature, she finally found her home, purpose, and peace.



In Borderline Shine, Connie breaks the silence and shame of intergenerational violence. With unflinching honesty she chronicles her unique journey through the darkness of suffering to the light of compassion, hope, and recovery.






































































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Published on June 25, 2020 10:00

June 24, 2020

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul: “Like Falling Through a Cloud” by Eugenia Zukerman

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DAY 95: June 24, 2020








Like Falling Through a Cloud


by Eugenia Zukerman








What if the dreaded world of Alzheimer’s was also a world of emotional discovery? Eugenia Zukerman’s poetry and simple prose, both heartbreaking and ultimately inspirational, ushers the reader into her world as she unflinchingly examines familial loyalties, moments from her past and present, and the need to face an uncertain future due to the diagnosis of a condition that she truly hopes “will remain unnamed.”



Flutist, writer, artistic director of major music series, television journalist, educator and internet entrepreneur, Zukerman addresses her “lapses and losses” as she confronts and deals with a future under the shadow of her Alzheimer’s diagnosis.



Touching, honest, and fearlessly heartfelt, Like Falling Through a Cloud recounts Zukerman’s discovery, consultations, and diagnosis, all while navigating the death of her 103-year-old mother, a performance at the Kennedy Center, and the consolidation of her life via a full-time move to upstate New York. As she finds strength in family love, self-examination, and the enduring power of creating music, Zukerman teaches us the importance of living in the now, while accepting that what comes next may remain a mystery.






































































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Published on June 24, 2020 10:00

June 23, 2020

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul: “Burn the Place” by Iliana Regan

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DAY 94: June 23, 2020








Burn the Place


by Iliana Regan








A singular, powerfully expressive debut memoir that traces one chef’s struggle to find her place and what happens once she does.



Burn the Place is a galvanizing memoir that chronicles Iliana Regan’s journey from foraging on the family farm to running her Michelin-starred restaurant, Elizabeth. Her story is raw like that first bite of wild onion, alive with startling imagery, and told with uncommon emotional power.



Regan grew up the youngest of four headstrong girls on a small farm in Northwest Indiana. While gathering raspberries as a toddler, Regan preternaturally understood to pick just the ripe fruit and leave the rest for another day. In the family’s leaf-strewn fields, the orange flutes of chanterelles beckoned her while they eluded others.



Regan has had this intense, almost otherworldly connection with food and the earth it comes from since her childhood, but connecting with people has always been more difficult. She was a little girl who longed to be a boy, gay in an intolerant community, an alcoholic before she turned twenty, and a woman in an industry dominated by men—she often felt she “wasn’t made for this world,” and as far as she could tell, the world tended to agree. But as she learned to cook in her childhood farmhouse, got her first restaurant job at age fifteen, taught herself cutting-edge cuisine while running a “new gatherer” underground supper club, and worked her way from front-of-house staff to running her own kitchen, Regan found that food could help her navigate the strangeness of the world around her.



Regan cooks with instinct, memory, and an


emotional connection to her ingredients that can’t be taught. Written from that same place of instinct and emotion, Burn the Place tells Regan’s story in raw and vivid prose and brings readers into a world—from the Indiana woods to elite Chicago kitchens—that is entirely original and unforgettable.






































































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Published on June 23, 2020 10:00

June 22, 2020

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul: “The Body Papers” by Grace Talusan

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DAY 93: June 22, 2020








The Body Papers


by Grace Talusan








Winner of The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, Grace Talusan’s critically acclaimed memoir The Body Papers, a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection, powerfully explores the fraught contours of her own life as a Filipino immigrant and survivor of cancer and childhood abuse.



Born in the Philippines, young Grace Talusan moves with her family to a New England suburb in the 1970s. At school, she confronts racism as one of the few kids with a brown face. At home, the confusion is worse: her grandfather’s nightly visits to her room leave her hurt and terrified, and she learns to build a protective wall of silence that maps onto the larger silence practiced by her Catholic Filipino family. Talusan learns as a teenager that her family’s legal status in the country has always hung by a thread―for a time, they were “illegal.” Family, she’s told, must be put first.



The abuse and trauma Talusan suffers as a child affects all her relationships, her mental health, and her relationship with her own body. Later, she learns that her family history is threaded with violence and abuse. And she discovers another devastating family thread: cancer. In her thirties, Talusan must decide whether to undergo preventive surgeries to remove her breasts and ovaries. Despite all this, she finds love, and success as a teacher. On a fellowship, Talusan and her husband return to the Philippines, where she revisits her family’s ancestral home and tries to reclaim a lost piece of herself.



Not every family legacy is destructive. From her parents, Talusan has learned to tell stories in order to continue. The generosity of spirit and literary acuity of this debut memoir are a testament to her determination and resilience. In excavating such abuse and trauma, and supplementing her story with government documents, medical records, and family photos, Talusan gives voice to unspeakable experience, and shines a light of hope into the darkness.






































































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Published on June 22, 2020 10:00

June 21, 2020

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul: “How to Forget” by Kate Mulgrew

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DAY 92: June 21, 2020








How to Forget


by Kate Mulgrew








In this profoundly honest and examined memoir about returning to Iowa to care for her ailing parents, the star of Orange Is the New Black and bestselling author of Born with Teeth takes us on an unexpected journey of loss, betrayal, and the transcendent nature of a daughter’s love for her parents.



They say you can’t go home again. But when her father is diagnosed with aggressive lung cancer and her mother with atypical Alzheimer’s, New York-based actress Kate Mulgrew returns to her hometown in Iowa to spend time with her parents and care for them in the time they have left.



The months Kate spends with her parents in Dubuque—by turns turbulent, tragic, and joyful—lead her to reflect on each of their lives and how they shaped her own. Those ruminations are transformed when, in the wake of their deaths, Kate uncovers long-kept secrets that challenge her understanding of the unconventional Irish Catholic household in which she was raised.



Breathtaking and powerful, laced with the author’s irreverent wit, How to Forget is a considered portrait of a mother and a father, an emotionally powerful memoir that demonstrates how love fuses children and parents, and an honest examination of family, memory, and indelible loss.






































































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Published on June 21, 2020 10:00

June 20, 2020

100 Days of Memoirs to Nourish the Soul: “Quite Mad” by Sarah Fawn Montgomery

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DAY 91: June 20, 2020








Quite Mad


by Sarah Fawn Montgomery








Diagnosed with severe anxiety, PTSD, and OCD in her early twenties, Sarah Fawn Montgomery spent the next ten years seeking treatment and the language with which to describe the indescribable consequences of her mental illness. Faced with disbelief, intolerable side effects, and unexpected changes in her mental health as a result of treatment, Montgomery turned to American history and her own personal history—including her turbulent childhood and the violence she faced as a young woman—to make sense of the experience.



Blending memoir with literary journalism, Montgomery’s Quite Mad: An American Pharma Memoir examines America’s history of mental illness treatment—lobotomies to sterilization, the rest cure to Prozac—to challenge contemporary narratives about mental health. Questioning what it means to be a woman with highly stigmatized disorders, Montgomery also asks why mental illness continues to escalate in the United States despite so many “cures.” Investigating the construction of mental illness as a “female” malady, Montgomery exposes the ways current attitudes towards women and their bodies influence madness as well as the ways madness has transformed to a chronic Illness in our cultural imagination. Montgomery’s Quite Mad is one woman’s story, but it offers a beacon of hope and truth for the millions of individuals living with mental illness and issues a warning about the danger of diagnosis and the complex definition of sanity.






































































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Published on June 20, 2020 10:00