Recommended Memoirs1

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Information about Recommended Memoirs1
Travel-Nature

Published on March 30, 2008

Author: Chloe

Source: authorstream.com

Recommended Memoirs in the BEHS Library:  Recommended Memoirs in the BEHS Library Overcoming Obstacles Living With and Overcoming Disease Crime and Consequence Travel and Other Cultures Growing Up Within Various Religions Unusual and Interesting Careers Sports War—Living and Participating in War More Than Playdates and Pokemon: Unusual or interesting childhoods Fur and Feathers (Life with animals) What is a memoir?:  What is a memoir? A book written by an individual about him or herself. Usually focuses on a specific event, theme, time period, or experience. Frequently written by people focused on the craft of writing. Often written by someone who is not well-known or famous. Overcoming Obstacles:  Overcoming Obstacles The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominque Bauby:  The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominque Bauby The author, who died two days after the French publication of his book, tells of his life and feelings after suffering a brain stem stroke that left him unable to move his body or communicate in any way except through the blinking of his left eye. Please Stop Laughing at Me—One Woman’s Inspirational Story by Jodee Blanco:  Please Stop Laughing at Me—One Woman’s Inspirational Story by Jodee Blanco The author, a victim of bullying, provides her inspirational story of her miserable school career, telling how being an outcast affected her life, and sharing her perspective on the events now that she is an adult. Where is the Mango Princess? By Cathy Crimmins:  Where is the Mango Princess? By Cathy Crimmins After her husband is brain-injured in a boating accident, Cathy Crimmins must rebuild her life and help her young daughter understand and cope with the changes in her father's personality. In addition, she must battle her HMO to get the company to pay for the tremendous recovery needs of her husband. Life is So Good by George Dawson:  Life is So Good by George Dawson What makes a person, a happy life? In this remarkable book, George Dawson, a 101-year-old man who learned to read when he was 98, reflects on the philosophy he learned from his father-a belief that "life is so good." He offers valuable lessons in living and a fresh, firsthand view of America during the twentieth century. Augusta, Gone by Martha Tod Dudman:  Augusta, Gone by Martha Tod Dudman Have you ever read GO ASK ALICE? Well, this is the memoir Alice’s mother might have written. Martha Tod Dudman’s teenage daughter completely rebelled—ignoring all of the rules her mother set, staying out all night, running away, and eventually ending up in a residential treatment center for teens who couldn’t follow rules. This is hr mother’s story, however—how she tried to cope with and help her daughter before she hurt herself—or worse. Living at the Edge of the World by Jamie Pastor Bolnick and Tina S.:  Living at the Edge of the World by Jamie Pastor Bolnick and Tina S. Tina S. describes the year she spent trying to survive as a homeless teenager in the tunnels beneath New York City’s Grand Central Station—and how she was eventually helped out. Angelhead: My Brother’s Descent into Madness by Greg Bottoms:  Angelhead: My Brother’s Descent into Madness by Greg Bottoms In a terrifying memoir of a family held hostage by a son with schizophrenia, Greg Bottoms chronicles the events that kept his family in fear of his brother, Michael and eventually led to Michael's psychotic breakdown and his admission to the psychiatric wing of a maximum security prison. The Flock by Joan Casey:  The Flock by Joan Casey The author describes her years-long struggle with Multiple Personality Disorder, a time period in which she managed a normal life, despite the chaotic comings and goings of her twenty-four separate personalities, all of which were unaware of each other. Needles: A Memoir of Growing Up With Diabetes by Andie Dominick:  Needles: A Memoir of Growing Up With Diabetes by Andie Dominick As the title suggests, the author is graphically frank about the medical necessities of living with juvenile-onset diabetes, and squeamish readers may find her memoir harrowing. In its essence, however, this is a story of emotional growth and healing. Diagnosed at 9 by her older sister Denise, who is herself a diabetic, Andie Dominick spends her adolescence rebelling against her condition: "dieting" by skipping shots, other reckless behavior. When, at 21, Andie discovers 33-year-old Denise dead in the house they share, she begins to reexamine the reckless lifestyle that killed her sister and threatens her as well. The discovery three years later that she has diabetic retinopathy, which could lead to blindness, helps Dominick realize she cannot follow her sister's path: "Denise always told me having the disease didn't have to change my life. But now it has ... because I am finally facing who I am." (review from Amazon). Model Patient by Karen Duffy:  Model Patient by Karen Duffy Model/actress Karen Duffy tells how her whirlwind celebrity life came to an abrupt end when she was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, a disease that causes the soft parts of the body to harden; and discusses her decision to react to the disease with courage and humor. Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox:  Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox In September 1998, actor Michael J. Fox revealed to the world that he had be struggling with Parkinson's Disease for seven years. In his memoir, he describes his reaction to the diagnosis, his ongoing efforts to find a cure, and his family's support in helping him live with the degenerative disease. My Sister from the Black Lagoon by Laurie Fox:  My Sister from the Black Lagoon by Laurie Fox Lorna Person grows up unintentionally neglected in the shadow cast by her crazy sister, and it is not until she grows older that she finally gets the attention she needs when she takes to the stage. Rescuing Jeffrey by Richard Galli:  Rescuing Jeffrey by Richard Galli When his seventeen-year-old son is paralyzed from the neck down in a swimming accident, the author, Richard Galli, is convinced that his son would rather be dead than live without any physical mobility, but after his son awakes from a coma and is able to communicate his wishes, Galli realizes that a happy life is not necessarily determined by what the body is able to do. Up and Running by Jami Goldman:  Up and Running by Jami Goldman After being trapped in a car in freezing weather for many days, Jami Goldman somehow survives—but not completely intact. Her legs have suffered severe hypothermia and must be amputated. Nevertheless, the young woman triumphs over this disability, and after being fitted and trained to use special athletic prosthetic legs, she becomes an accomplished competitor. Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self by Lori Gottlieb:  Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self by Lori Gottlieb Lori Gottlieb spent several years of her childhood trying to become the skinniest girl in her school. Pressured by her mother and by messages from the media, Gottlieb was convinced that she was fat. Eventually, her anorexia landed her in the hospital—at age eleven. Sickened by Julie Gregory :  Sickened by Julie Gregory Throughout her childhood, Julie Gregory was subjected to numerous cruelties at the hands of her mother, who suffered from a strange and rare psychological disorder called Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy. The disorder caused her to purposely sicken her daughter in order to get medical attention from doctors and make herself feel more interesting and important. Julie Gregory writes about the effect that her mother’s illness has had on her own life. Slackjaw: A Memoir by Jim Knipfel:  Slackjaw: A Memoir by Jim Knipfel The author describes his sometimes harrowing, sometimes hilarious experiences as a thirty-year-old man facing impending blindness as his eyes deteriorate due a condition called retinitis pigmentosa. Planet of the Blind by Stephen Kuusisto:  Planet of the Blind by Stephen Kuusisto Kuusisto was raised to disavow his blindness, and spent much of his life trying to pass a sighted person. He struggles with anorexia, obesity, ridicule, and derision, but he persists nonetheless, becoming a talented writer and student. When a devastating injury forces him to acknowledge that he cannot see, he picks up the white can and acquires a seeing eye dog, a yellow Lab who becomes his guide and changes his life forever. Food and Loathing by Betsy Lerner:  Food and Loathing by Betsy Lerner The author chronicles her long struggle with depression and binge eating, including her years in therapy, her experiences with Overeaters Anonymous, and her six-month stay in a mental institution. The Last Time I Wore a Dress by Daphne Scholinski:  The Last Time I Wore a Dress by Daphne Scholinski Daphne Scholinski lived in mental institutions from the time she was fifteen until her 18th birthday, committed because she was ruled an "inappropriate female," a teenage tomboy whose lack of interest in make-up and other "feminine" things was ruled a mental problem. For those who also enjoyed "Girl, Interrupted," this story of life in a mental institution and a sane girl's attempt to escape the expectations of those around her will appeal to all readers. Riding the Bus with My Sister by Rachel Simon:  Riding the Bus with My Sister by Rachel Simon Rachel Simon chronicles the experiences she had and shares the lessons she learned during the year she spent riding the bus which her mentally handicapped sister rides on each day. The Day the Voices Stopped: A Schizophrenic’s Journey from Madness to Hope by Ken Steele:  The Day the Voices Stopped: A Schizophrenic’s Journey from Madness to Hope by Ken Steele Ken Steele chronicles his struggle with schizophrenia, discussing how he was diagnosed and treated, how it affected his family, and what he is doing to help others with schizophrenia cope with the disease. Look Up for Yes by Julia Tavalaro:  Look Up for Yes by Julia Tavalaro The autobiography of Julia Tavalaro, a woman who suffered two severe strokes at the age of thirty-two and remained in a coma for seven months before waking up totally paralyzed, and then had to endure six more years of pain and abuse before a young speech therapist noticed she was awake, aware, and in complete control of her mind. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen:  Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen At age 18, Susanna Kaysen was sent to a mental institution for an undefined mental problem—primarily that she wouldn’t conform to the rules and expectations of her parents—and she spent several years living among the mentally ill before finally being released. You Remind Me of You: A Poetry Memoir:  You Remind Me of You: A Poetry Memoir A startling autobiographical account of a young woman¹s battle with eating disorders that put her in and out of hospitals over a span of four years and led to her own parents fighting for the right to commit her. When her last source of support, her boyfriend, attempts suicide and ends up in a coma, she is forced to find strength from within. A courageous story about the strange paths we take to recovery. The Burn Journals by Brent Runyon:  The Burn Journals by Brent Runyon Presents the true story of Brent Runyon, who at fourteen set himself on fire and sustained burns over eighty percent of his body and describes the months of physical and mental rehabilitation that followed as he attempted to pull his life together. Everything in its Place: My Trials and Triumphs with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by Marc Summers:  Everything in its Place: My Trials and Triumphs with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by Marc Summers Television personality Marc Summers, former host of MTV's "Double Dare," shares the story of his sometimes harrowing, often humorous struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and provides information about the causes and treaments of OCD. Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood by Jennifer Traig:  Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood by Jennifer Traig Traig recounts her experience struggling with and overcoming a severe form of obsessive-compulsive disorder called scrupulosity in this humorous story. First Person Plural:My Life as a Multiple by Cameron West:  First Person Plural:My Life as a Multiple by Cameron West Cameron West describes his experience with multiple personality disorder. He experienced the mental illness in his thirties, when he was already a successful businessman, happily married, and a new father. Over a period of several months, twenty-four distinct personalities emerge and recount specific incidents of abuse West had encountered as a child--and kept long hidden. Passing for Normal by Amy Wilensky:  Passing for Normal by Amy Wilensky Passing for Normal is Amy's emotionally charged account of her lifelong struggle with the often misunderstood disorders of obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette's Syndrome. A powerful witness to her own dysfunction, she describes the strain it bore on her relationships with the people she thought she knew best. Somebody Somewhere: Breaking Free from the World of Austism by Donna Williams:  Somebody Somewhere: Breaking Free from the World of Austism by Donna Williams Chronicles the four years since Donna's diagnosis as autistic and continues the journey begun in her first memoir, Nobody Nowhere, including sessions with her therapist, her experiences attending college to obtain a degree in education, and her work with autistic children. The Weight of It by Amy Wilensky:  The Weight of It by Amy Wilensky Wilensky tells the story of her close relationship with her sister, Allison, which changed when the two became teens and Allison became morbidly obese. As an adult, Allison has gastric bypass surgery, loses over 100 pounds, and the women’s relationship changes again. Crime and Consequence:  Crime and Consequence Honor Lost: Love and Death in Modern-Day Jordan by Norma Khouri:  Honor Lost: Love and Death in Modern-Day Jordan by Norma Khouri The author exposes the practice of honor killing in Jordan through the story of her friend Dalia, an Arabian Muslim living with her family in Amman who was stabbed to death by her father in 1996 for her chaste association with Michael, a major in the Royal Army, and a Catholic. Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir:  Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir In 1972, Malika Oufkir and her five siblings were exiled after their father, was arrested and executed after attempting to assassinate the King of Morrocco. For fifteen years, the exiled siblings barely survived in an isolated penal colony, spending the last ten years of their imprisonment in solitary cells. Eventually, the Oufkirs managed a heroic, amazing escape. Burned Alive: A Victim of the Law of Men by Souad:  Burned Alive: A Victim of the Law of Men by Souad The author provides an account of her experiences as the victim of an honor crime, telling how her brother-in-law, tried to kill her for having sex before marriage by dousing her with gasoline and setting her on fire, and sharing the story of how she survived with the help of the women of her West Bank village, and the intervention of a European aid worker. Around the World: True Stories of Travel and Life in Other Cultures:  Around the World: True Stories of Travel and Life in Other Cultures Eating the Flowers of Paradise by Kevin Rushby:  Eating the Flowers of Paradise by Kevin Rushby The author describes his experiences traveling the old Qat Road from the highlands of Ethiopia to Yemen in an effort to trace the history and culture surrounding the drug qat. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson:  A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson In this humorous travel memoir, Bryson shares his experiences hiking the Appalachian Trail with a childhood friend. The two encounter eccentric characters, a blizzard, getting lost, and rude yuppies along the way, and Bryson includes fascinating and unusual facts about the Appalachian wilderness, the construction of the trail, and the fates of some of the travelers who have made the hike. The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson:  The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson Bryson, an Iowan transplanted to England, returns to search for the perfect American small town in this humorous account of road-tripping across the U.S. In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson:  In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson In a very funny account, travel writer Bill Bryson chronicles the experiences he had and profiles the people and wildlife he encountered while traveling through Australia. Blue Highways William Least Heat Moon:  Blue Highways William Least Heat Moon The author buys a van and outfits it for a long-distance trip, and then travels across America. He only drives on the “blue highways,” however—the small, offbeat roads that lead through rural towns and steer him away from the bigger cities. He discovers a much different, much more interesting America. French Lessons by Alice Kaplan:  French Lessons by Alice Kaplan Alice Kaplan describes her lifelong fascination with the French language and culture in this sweet, frequently funny memoir. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes:  Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes A chronicle of the author's first four years in Italy, describing her purchase and restoration of an abandoned villa in the Tuscan countryside, her transformation of the overgrown gardens, and her discovery of the many links between the food and culture of the region. The Adventurist: My Life in Dangerous Places by Robert Young Pelton:  The Adventurist: My Life in Dangerous Places by Robert Young Pelton Robert Young Pelton, author of The World's Most Dangerous Places, recounts the adventures he has had while visiting some of the most dangerous places on Earth. Honeymoon in Purdah: An Iranian Journey by Alison Wearing:  Honeymoon in Purdah: An Iranian Journey by Alison Wearing Wearing, a Canadian, traveled for five months in Iran, often in full Islamic garb in the desert heat, to learn about the culture and people. Her story is often funny and very adventurous. The Faith of Our Fathers: Memoirs About Religious Upbringing and Experience:  The Faith of Our Fathers: Memoirs About Religious Upbringing and Experience In the Wilderness by Kim Barnes:  In the Wilderness by Kim Barnes In the mid-1960s, as mechanization and the forests' depletion drove many loggers into the cities,Kim Barnes's parents turned to fundamentalism to sustain their increasingly difficult life. The author struggled to live by this religion's exacting tenets, but her chilling descriptions of the harsh punishments meted out for lapses make us understand why she ultimately had to leave it behind. Yet she conveys understanding and love for the rigid yet secure world of her youth in this haunting memoir of faith and loss in the Idaho woods. Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith by Martha Beck:  Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith by Martha Beck Martha Beck describes her lifelong membership in the Mormon Church, how and why she returned to her ward in Provo after the birth of her second child, how she confronted her father and other church elders about abuse she suffered as a child, and ultimately, her reasons for leaving as an adult. The Spiritual Tourist: A Personal Odyssey Through the Outer Reaches of Belief by Mick Brown:  The Spiritual Tourist: A Personal Odyssey Through the Outer Reaches of Belief by Mick Brown On a pilgrimage to see the Dalai Lama in the foothills of the Himalayas, blissed out in Germany with a beautiful Indian girl believed to be "the Divine Mother," witnessing miracles in the ashram of Sai Baba, and searching for the Messiah in the back streets of London-Mick Brown takes us on a wild voyage of inner search and illumination. Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia by Dennis Covington:  Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia by Dennis Covington Chronicles the trial of snake-handling preacher Glendel Buford Summerford who was convicted of attempted murder after forcing his wife to stick her arm in a box of rattlesnakes, and details how the author was drawn into the lives and religion of the people of The Church of Jesus with Signs Following in southern Appalachia. My Life in Orange:Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest:  My Life in Orange:Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest Tim Guest provides an account of his life with his mother growing up in communes in Oregon, England, India, and Germany, modeled on the teachings of Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott:  Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott The author describes the lifelong process through which she came to believe in God, discussing the battles she fought with alcohol, food disorders, and the loss of loved ones, and following her search for the spiritual path in this often funny memoir. Chasing Grace: Reflections of a Catholic Girl, Grown Up by Martha Manning:  Chasing Grace: Reflections of a Catholic Girl, Grown Up by Martha Manning One woman's humorous account of how being raised in a Catholic home and attending parochial schools affected her. The Calling: A Year in the Life of an Order of Nuns by Catherine Whitney:  The Calling: A Year in the Life of an Order of Nuns by Catherine Whitney It was her father's funeral that brought Whitney back to her Seattle roots as an adult journalist, and back to the doors of the Sisters of Saint Dominic of the Holy Cross--the same order of nuns that ran her childhood school. As a Catholic rebel, Whitney had dismissed her childhood teachers as archaic and out of touch with reality. But now as a seeker and wiser soul, Whitney was "completely disarmed by the women I found there.... They were smart, engaged, spiritually grounded, visionary women, remarkably at ease with uncertainty and change." Through interviews with the nuns and yearlong observations, Whitney explains how women hear this unique calling, and why they answer it. She also examines why some women break their vows and leave, becoming "Rebel Brides." Blue Windows: A Christian Science Childhood by Barbara Wilson:  Blue Windows: A Christian Science Childhood by Barbara Wilson A memoir in which the author discusses growing up as a member of the Christian Science faith and the effects of the religion on her and her mother, who had a mental breakdown before dying of cancer. Another Day, Another Dollar: Unusual and Interesting Careers:  Another Day, Another Dollar: Unusual and Interesting Careers Catch Me if You Can by Frank Abagnale:  Catch Me if You Can by Frank Abagnale During his brief but notorious criminal career, Frank Abagnale (a.k.a. Frank Williams, Robert Conrad, Frank Adams, etc.) masqueraded as a pilot, a lawyer, a professor, and a doctor, cashing more than $2.5 million in phony checks before finally being captured by the FBI. Now a specialist for the government, Abagnale describes his crime spree, his life as a con artist, and how he uses his expertise to capture criminals. Special Agent by Candice DeLong:  Special Agent by Candice DeLong The author, retired after 20 years in the FBI, recounts her experiences as an investigator in some of the organization's most memorable cases. She's tailed gangsters, gone undercover, trailed terrorists, and was one of the agents chosen to carry out the manhunt for the Unabomber. My Life as a Ten-Year-Old Boy by Nancy Cartwright:  My Life as a Ten-Year-Old Boy by Nancy Cartwright Nancy Cartwright has an unusual job: she is a cartoon voice. For years now, she has been the voice behind America’s most lovable brat: Bart Simpson. In her memoir, she describes the cartoon-voice process, some inside secrets about the creation of The Simpsons, and other details about her life in the business. The Immortal Class: Bike Messengers and the Cult of Human Power by Travis Hugh Culley:  The Immortal Class: Bike Messengers and the Cult of Human Power by Travis Hugh Culley A career bike messenger in Chicago, Culley writes about living your life on two wheels changes (and in his mind, improves) your outlook on the world. A powerful account of an unusual career and an interesting, thought-provoking book about bicycling. Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande:  Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande The author, nearing the end of eight years of training in general surgery, contemplates the nature of modern medicine, discussing the fallibility of doctors, the mysteries and unknowns of medicine and the struggle to know what to do about them, and the issue of uncertainty. The Blood of Strangers: Stories from Emergency Medicine by Frank Huyler:  The Blood of Strangers: Stories from Emergency Medicine by Frank Huyler The author, a poet and emergency room doctor, tells of the most unusual encounters he has had with people and illness in the emergency room. In the Company of Men: A Woman at the Citadel by Nancy Mace :  In the Company of Men: A Woman at the Citadel by Nancy Mace Nancy Pace describes her decision to attend the Citadel, formerly a males-only military university, and the experiences she had there--both positive and negative--on her path to becoming the first female of the South Carolina institution. Last Man Down by Richard Picciotto:  Last Man Down by Richard Picciotto Richard Picciotto, the highest-ranking firefighter to survive the collapse of the World Trade Center, provides an account of his activities and those of his fellow firefighters on September 11, 2001, when he and his team put their own lives on the line to help evacuate the North Tower, working until the building collapsed around them. Ambulance Girl: How I Saved My Life by Becoming an EMT by Jane Stern (617.09 STE):  Ambulance Girl: How I Saved My Life by Becoming an EMT by Jane Stern (617.09 STE) An inside look at what it takes to be a volunteer EMT and help people in crisis. Stern gets a first-hand look at how people deal with trauma, and how they depend on emergency workers to help them. Jumping Fire: A Smokejumper’s Memoir of Fighting Wildfire by Murry Taylor:  Jumping Fire: A Smokejumper’s Memoir of Fighting Wildfire by Murry Taylor Smokejumper Murry Taylor recounts more than twenty years' experience of jumping by parachute to fight fires in Alaska and the American West. Good Sports: Stories of Athletic Achievement and Physical Strength:  Good Sports: Stories of Athletic Achievement and Physical Strength It’s Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong:  It’s Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong Three-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong chronicles his life as a bicyclist and his triumph over cancer. Every Second Counts by Lance Armstrong:  Every Second Counts by Lance Armstrong Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong chronicles his struggles after beating cancer, including dealing with allegations of drug use, finding a balance between his career and family life, and coping with the fear that his cancer will return. Ice Time: A Tale of Hockey and Hometown Heroes by Jay Atkinson:  Ice Time: A Tale of Hockey and Hometown Heroes by Jay Atkinson When Jay Atkinson grew up in Massachusetts in the 1970s, hockey was the passion and pasttime of himself and his friends. As a high school senior, he played on his school's first varsity team. Twenty-five years later, he returns to his high school as a volunteer assistant coach and follows the team through a season, reporting on the team's tempermental star, the lovesick goalie, the rookie whose father is battling cancer, and the "old school" coach. Surviving the Toughest Race on Earth by Martin Dugard:  Surviving the Toughest Race on Earth by Martin Dugard The author, a freelance journalist, describes his experiences as a reporter and participant in the Raid Gauloises, an annual eight- to twelve-day race designed to test the limits of human endurance. Hawk: Occupation: Skateboarder by Tony Hawk:  Hawk: Occupation: Skateboarder by Tony Hawk World-class skateboarder Tony Hawk tells the story of how he became one of the most recognized athletes in the sport. Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam:  Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam An entertaining and extraordinary memoir of Homer Hickam's life in Coalwood, West Virginia-a town where the only things that mattered were coal mining and high-school football. After watching the Soviets launch Sputnik in 1957, Homer and his friends took the future into their own hands, changing their lives and their town forever by turning scraps into rockets and launching their futures as NASA scientists. The Imaginary Girlfriend by John Irving:  The Imaginary Girlfriend by John Irving Author John Irving recounts the many ways in which his life, and his son’s lives, have been impacted by their involvement in wrestling. If you are a wrestler or a wrestling fan, you’ll want to read this one! Mind Over Water: Lessons on Life from the Art of Rowing by Craig Lambert:  Mind Over Water: Lessons on Life from the Art of Rowing by Craig Lambert The author shares the lessons about life and living that he has learned from his experiences rowing. The Way of the River: Adventures and Meditations of a Woman Martial Artist by BK Loren:  The Way of the River: Adventures and Meditations of a Woman Martial Artist by BK Loren An autobiographical account of the author's experiences with various forms of martial arts and how they have helped her develop patience and wisdom. Wide Open: A Life in Supercross by Jeremy McGrath:  Wide Open: A Life in Supercross by Jeremy McGrath Supercross champion Jeremy McGrath tells his life story, describing his childhood in southern California, his rise to the top of his sport, the challenges he faced and the wild life he led along the way, and his relationship with his wife, Kim. Also provides tips for young riders. The Oldest Rookie by Jim Morris:  The Oldest Rookie by Jim Morris Jim Morris escaped the desolation of his youth by dreaming of pitching in the major leagues. But it was just a fantasy, made more impossible because of the injuries he suffered in his early twenties. He becomes a teacher and high school baseball coach instead, and is encouraged to try out for the big leagues in his mid-thirties by members of the team he coaches. Caught by the Sea by Gary Paulsen:  Caught by the Sea by Gary Paulsen Author Gary Paulsen, well known for his many books about real-life and fictional adventures in the outdoors, tells the story of how he came to love sailing. In this short memoir, he describes his first boat, his lack of knowledge about the sea, and the near-fatal adventures that taught him how to sail and survive. Guts: The True Stories Behind Hatchet and The Brian Books by Gary Paulsen:  Guts: The True Stories Behind Hatchet and The Brian Books by Gary Paulsen The author relates incidents in his life and how many inspired parts of his books about the character, Brian Robeson, who appears in the novels Hatchet, The River, Brian's Winter, and Brian's Return. Within Reach: My Everest Story by Mark Pfetzer:  Within Reach: My Everest Story by Mark Pfetzer The author describes how he spent his teenage years climbing mountains in the United States, South America, Africa, and Asia, with an emphasis on his two expeditions up Mount Everest. Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston:  Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston Ralston describes the events leading up to his accident in the wilderness in April 2003, in which he found himself trapped under an 800 pound boulder and was forced to amputate his own arm to escape. Looking for a Fight by Lynn Snowden:  Looking for a Fight by Lynn Snowden Seeking an outlet for aggression and hurt she feels after a painful divorce, Lynn Picket is led by her trainer to a gym in New York City, where she learns how to box. After ten months, she is ready for her first public fight against another woman equal to her in strength and size, the greatest physical challenge she has ever faced. She finds, however, the greatest test of her courage will be knowing when to quit. The Answer is Never: A Skateboarder’s History of the World by Jocko Weyland:  The Answer is Never: A Skateboarder’s History of the World by Jocko Weyland The stories of early skateboarders like Gregg Weaver and Dogtown Z-Boys, as well as living skateboarders such as Tony Hawk and Steve Caballero are the subject of journalist Jocko Weyland's personal history of his, and others', skateboarding experiences. It traces skateboarding from its invention to its current popularity and offers a detailed view into the sport and subculture of skateboarding. Hoop Roots: Basketball, Race, and Love by John Edgar Wideman:  Hoop Roots: Basketball, Race, and Love by John Edgar Wideman Wideman's memoir describes his dicovery and relationship with the game of basketball, which has been his passion for nearly 50 years. War and Peace: Survivors of Hatred and Violence and Life in the Military:  War and Peace: Survivors of Hatred and Violence and Life in the Military Another River, Another Town: A Teenage Tank Gunner Comes of Age in Combat—1945 by John P. Irwin:  Another River, Another Town: A Teenage Tank Gunner Comes of Age in Combat—1945 by John P. Irwin Chronicles the experiences of John P. Irwin, a teenage tank gunner whose desire to achieve heroism was shattered by the different view of life he gained during World War II. If I Die in a Combat Zone Box Me Up and Ship Me Home by Tim O’Brien:  If I Die in a Combat Zone Box Me Up and Ship Me Home by Tim O’Brien A personal memoir describing combat from behind an infantryman's rifle, walking the mine fields of My Lai, snipers, and the ambiguities of morality in a war gone wrong. Born to Fly: The Untold Story of the Downed American Reconnaissance Plane by Shane Osborne:  Born to Fly: The Untold Story of the Downed American Reconnaissance Plane by Shane Osborne Shane Osborne was among a group of Navy soldiers aboard a reconnaissance plane when it was shot down over the South China Sea in April 2001. This is his amazing story of how he, and 24 crew members, survived their near-fatal crash and detention by the Chinese. In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke:  In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke As a teenager, the author, who is Polish, helped hide Jews during the war and protected them from certain death at the hands of the Nazis. First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung:  First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung From a childhood survivor of Cambodia's brutal Pol Pot regime comes an unforgettable narrative of war crimes and desperate actions, the unnerving strength of a small girl and her family and their triumph of spirit. Desertion In the Time of Vietnam by Jack Todd:  Desertion In the Time of Vietnam by Jack Todd After completing basic training, Jack Todd's ambivalence about the American role in Vietnam led him to desert the Army and travel to Canada, where he has lived as a journalist ever since. In this memoir, he describes his decision to desert as well as his life in Canada and his reasons for remaining there. The Coalway Way by Homer Hickam:  The Coalway Way by Homer Hickam In this follow-up to his first memoir, Rocket Boys, Homer Hickam recalls the events of his senior year of high school. Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller:  Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller Born in England and now living in Wyoming, Alexandra Fuller was conceived and bred on Rhodesian soil during the Rhodesian civil war. She describes her parents' racism and the wartime relationships between blacks and whites through a child's perspective. Curfews, war, mosquitos, land mines, ambushes, and an abundance of leopards are the stuff of her childhood. More than Playdates and Pokemon: Stories of Interesting and Unusual Childhoods:  More than Playdates and Pokemon: Stories of Interesting and Unusual Childhoods American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood by Marie Arana:  American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood by Marie Arana The author, who grew up in Peru in the 1950s, was surrounded by native servants who filled her with magical legends and tales of fearsome spirits; when she moved to New Jersey with her family in 1959, the author found herself slipping between cultures and choosing when to be American and when to be Peruvian. The Life and Times of the Last Kid Picked by David Benjamin:  The Life and Times of the Last Kid Picked by David Benjamin In this funny memoir, David Benjamin chronicles his own childhood growing up in Middle America in the 1950s. Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos:  Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos The author relates how, as a young adult,he became a drug user and smuggler, was arrested, did time in prison, and eventually got out and went to college, all the while hoping to become a writer. Blackbird: A Childhood Lost and Found by Jennifer Lauck:  Blackbird: A Childhood Lost and Found by Jennifer Lauck Lauck’s account of her childhood, during which her mother was terminally ill and eventually died, recalls her father’s remarriage to a Scientologist who forced her two new stepchildren to become involved in the religion and mistreated them in numerous other ways. The memoir has caused some controversy. Since its publication, her stepbrother has stepped forward and claimed that much of the story Lauck tells is false. Read it for yourself and see what you believe! Still Waters by Jennifer Lauck:  Still Waters by Jennifer Lauck In this sequel to Blackbird, Jennifer Lauck is sent to live with her relatives, who are bullying and mean, and make it clear that she is unwelcome. She survives—and thrives—nevertheless. Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers:  Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers Author Walter Dean Myers weaves the details of his Harlem childhood in the 1940's and 1950's: a loving home with adoptive parents, Bible school, street games, and the vitality of his neighborhood. Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self by Rebecca Walker:  Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self by Rebecca Walker Rebecca Walker, daughter of writer Alice Walker, discusses how she dealt with her mixed heritage and remained true to both her African-American and Jewish cultures. Fallen Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah:  Fallen Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah Born in 1937 in a port city 1000 miles north of Shanghai, Adeline Yen Mah was the youngest child of an affluent Chinese family who enjoyed rare privileges during a time of political and cultural upheaval. But wealth and position could not shield Adeline from a childhood of appalling abuse at the hands of a cruel stepmother. This is the adult version of CHINESE CINDERELLA. Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah:  Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah After her mother dies giving birth to her, Adeline's affluent, powerful family considers her bad luck. Life does not get any easier when her father remarries. She and her siblings are subjected to their stepmother's disdain, while her half brother and half sister are thoroughly spoiled. Although winning prizes at school, all she yearns for is the love and understanding of her family. Honky by Dalton Conley:  Honky by Dalton Conley In this unique memoir, Dalton Conley recalls some typical-but-insightful vignettes about his childhood. In a unique twist, Conley grew up as one of the only white children in a New York City neighborhood inhabited primarily by blacks and Hispanics. From Our House by Lee Martin:  From Our House by Lee Martin Lee Martin was born into a farming family the same year his father unexpectedly lost both of his hands, becoming an embittered, hardened man. It is Lee's mother's quiet compassion that account for the grace that Lee and his father finally discover both within themselves and within their family. Lost in Place: Growing Up Absurd in Suburbia by Mark Salzman:  Lost in Place: Growing Up Absurd in Suburbia by Mark Salzman In a humorous memoir, Mark Salzman recalls his tortured years as an eccentric growing up in Connecticut, where he pursued an interest in Asian culture and eventually became an accomplished martial artist. Atomic Farmgirl:  Atomic Farmgirl The author recalls her experiences growing up in the Palouse region of Eastern Washington during the 1950’s and some of the environmental and political changes the area underwent. Hoop Roots by John Edgar Wideman :  Hoop Roots by John Edgar Wideman Wideman's memoir describes his dicovery and relationship with the game of basketball, which has been his passion for nearly 50 years. This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff:  This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff Wolff's account of his boyhood and the process of growing up in rural Washington includes paper routes, whiskey, scouting, fistfights, friendship, betrayal, and America in the fifties. Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood by Oliver Sacks:  Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood by Oliver Sacks Renowned neurologist and author Oliver Sacks describes his childhood, espcially experiences that generated his interest in science. My Forbidden Face: Growing Up Under the Taliban by Latifa:  My Forbidden Face: Growing Up Under the Taliban by Latifa Latifa, a young woman born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1980, describes how her life changed after the Taliban took over control of the country. SHe describes the restrictions place on all Afghan citizens, but especially the hardships and indignities that women were forced to endure. Zoya’s Story: An Afghan Woman’s Struggle for Freedom by Zoya :  Zoya’s Story: An Afghan Woman’s Struggle for Freedom by Zoya Zoya grew up during the Taliban's reigh over Afghanistan, and witnessed her parents' murders at the hands of Muslim fundamentalists. Escaping to Pakistan, she joined the Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan, which challenged the Taliban's harsh edicts against women, and she made dangerous journeys back to Afghanistan to help women who were oppressed by the regime. The Liars’ Club by Mary Karr:  The Liars’ Club by Mary Karr In this funny, razor-edged memoir, Mary Karr, a prize-winning poet and critic, looks back at her upbringing in a swampy East Texas refinery town with a volatile, defiantly loving family. She recalls her painter mother, seven times married, whose outlaw spirit could tip into psychosis; a fist swinging father who spun tales with his cronies - dubbed the Liars' Club; and a neighborhood rape when she was eight. The Pigman and Me by Paul Zindel:  The Pigman and Me by Paul Zindel Anyone familiar with Zindel’s well-known novel, The Pigman, will enjoy learning about the real-life experiences the author had while growing up on Staten Island, where he found inspiration in his own “pigman.” Feathers and Fur: Memoirs of Life With Animals:  Feathers and Fur: Memoirs of Life With Animals The Lost Pet Chronicles: Adventures of a K-9 Cop Turned Pet Detective by Kat Albrecht:  The Lost Pet Chronicles: Adventures of a K-9 Cop Turned Pet Detective by Kat Albrecht Kat Albrecht, the first law-enforcement-based pet detective in the United States, shares stories of how she uses investigative techniques, and searches with scent-detection dogs to help locate lost pets, including dogs, cats, snakes, turtles, and horses. The Parrot Who Owns Me by Joanna Burger:  The Parrot Who Owns Me by Joanna Burger The true story of author Joanna Burger's amazing pet Amazon parrot, Tiko, who came into her life as a sullen, hostile, neglected bird and later became her best friend--and even her caretaker. Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby:  Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby Nick Hornby reports on his lifelong fascination with British football (American soccer) and gives readers a funny, insightful look at the intricacies of the sport. My Cat Spit McGee by Willie Morris:  My Cat Spit McGee by Willie Morris Morris describes what he has learned from his cat over the years, and details the experiences the two have shared. Clara: The Early Years The True Story of the Pug Who Ruled My Life by Margo Kaufman:  Clara: The Early Years The True Story of the Pug Who Ruled My Life by Margo Kaufman Clar, The Early Years is the hilarious story of how a glossy-black, twelve-pound package of canine energy took over Margo Kaufman's life and home while charming everyone around her. The Man Who Listens to Horses: The True Story of a Real-Life Horse Whisperer by Monty Roberts:  The Man Who Listens to Horses: The True Story of a Real-Life Horse Whisperer by Monty Roberts This memoir by Monty Roberts focues on the unique methods he has developed for training horses through gentleness and an understanding of nonverbal communication, and tells how he has applied his techniques to human relationships. My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen:  My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen The author describes some of the dogs that have had special places in his life, including his first dog, Snowball, in the Philippines; Dirk, who protected him from bullies; and Cookie, who saved his life. The Hero of the Herd: More Tales from a Country Veterinarian by Dr. John McCormack:  The Hero of the Herd: More Tales from a Country Veterinarian by Dr. John McCormack An amusing cast of characters make up Dr. McCormack’s co-workers, patients, and clients in this true-life story of rural animal medicine that will entertain anyone who loves animals and country life.

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