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An Emmy Award-winning writer and activist describes the harrowing years she spent in early adulthood fighting leukemia and how she learned to live again while forging connections with other survivors of profound illness and suffering.
A compilation of articles written by and about Suleika Jaouad and a journey through cancer from age 22."My life was interrupted overnight. But guess what? That interruption was the best thing that's ever happened to me. I would never go so far as to say "cancer is a gift." It's not. And I've seen it take way too many lives, way too soon. But when I found out I had cancer, I also began to find my voice."
In this work of allegorical fantasy, author Boyd takes readers on a pilgrimage to a land of two kingdoms, but only one true King. An ancient land, where children never grow old. But also a dying land, where a false prince threatens to swallow everything in a dark shadow.
Named One of the Best Books of the year by: Esquire, Refinery29, BookRiot, Medium, Electric Literature, The Brooklyn Rail, Largehearted Boy, The Coil and The Cut. Winner of the Lambda Literary Jeanne Cordova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction Finalist, Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir/Biography Finalist, Publishing Triangle's Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction An Indie Next Pick For readers of Maggie Nelson and Leslie Jamison, a fierce and dazzling personal narrative that explores the many ways identity and art are shaped by love and loss. In her critically acclaimed memoir, Whip Smart, Melissa Febos laid bare the intimate world of the professional dominatrix, turning an honest examination of her life into a lyrical study of power, desire, and fulfillment. In her dazzling Abandon Me, Febos captures the intense bonds of love and the need for connection -- with family, lovers, and oneself. First, her birth father, who left her with only an inheritance of addiction and Native American blood, its meaning a mystery. As Febos tentatively reconnects, she sees how both these lineages manifest in her own life, marked by compulsion and an instinct for self-erasure. Meanwhile, she remains closely tied to the sea captain who raised her, his parenting ardent but intermittent as his work took him away for months at a time. Woven throughout is the hypnotic story of an all-consuming, long-distance love affair with a woman, marked equally by worship and withdrawal. In visceral, erotic prose, Febos captures their mutual abandonment to passion and obsession -- and the terror and exhilaration of losing herself in another. At once a fearlessly vulnerable memoir and an incisive investigation of art, love, and identity, Abandon Me draws on childhood stories, religion, psychology, mythology, popular culture, and the intimacies of one writer's life to reveal intellectual and emotional truths that feel startlingly universal.
Book We Came, We Saw, We Left: A Family Gap Year Description/Summary:
Charlie Wheelan and his family do what others dream of: They take a year off to travel the world. This is their story. What would happen if you quit your life for a year? In a pre–COVID-19 world, the Wheelan family decided to find out; leaving behind work, school, and even the family dogs to travel the world on a modest budget. Equal parts "how-to" and "how-not-to"—and with an eye toward a world emerging from a pandemic—We Came, We Saw, We Left is the insightful and often hilarious account of one family’s gap-year experiment. Wheelan paints a picture of adventure and connectivity, juggling themes of local politics, global economics, and family dynamics while exploring answers to questions like: How do you sneak out of a Peruvian town that has been barricaded by the local army? And where can you get treatment for a flesh-eating bacteria your daughter picked up two continents ago? From Colombia to Cambodia, We Came, We Saw, We Left chronicles nine months across six continents with three teenagers. What could go wrong?
A warm, heartfelt memoir of family, loss, and a house jam-packed with decades of goods and memories. After almost twenty years of caring for elderly parents—first for their senile father, and then for their cantankerous ninety-three-year old mother—author Plum Johnson and her three younger brothers have finally fallen to their middle-aged knees with conflicted feelings of grief and relief. Now they must empty and sell the beloved family home, twenty-three rooms bulging with history, antiques, and oxygen tanks. Plum thought: How tough will that be? I know how to buy garbage bags. But the task turns out to be much harder and more rewarding than she ever imagined. Items from childhood trigger difficult memories of her eccentric family growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, but unearthing new facts about her parents helps her reconcile those relationships, with a more accepting perspective about who they were and what they valued. They Left Us Everything is a funny, touching memoir about the importance of preserving family history to make sense of the past, and nurturing family bonds to safeguard the future.
In this celebrated memoir and exploration of identity, cancer transforms the author’s face, childhood, and the rest of her life. At age nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with a potentially terminal cancer. When she returned to school with a third of her jaw removed, she faced the cruel taunts of classmates. It took her twenty years of living with a distorted self-image and more than thirty years of reconstructive procedures before she could come to terms with her appearance. In this lyrical and strikingly candid memoir, Grealy tells her story of great suffering and remarkable strength without sentimentality and with considerable wit. She captures what it is like as a child and a young adult to be torn between two warring impulses: to feel that more than anything else we want to be loved for who we are, while wishing desperately and secretly to be perfect. A New York Times Notable Book “This is a young woman’s first book, the story of her own life, and both book and life are unforgettable.” —New York Times “Engaging and engrossing, a story of grace as well as cruelty, and a demonstration of [Grealy's] own wit and style and class."—Washington Post Book World
An intellectual, personal, and ultimately ferocious reckoning with feminism, family, and motherhood from a celebrated critic. During one of the texting sessions that became our habit over the period I now think of as both late and early in our relationship, my mother revealed the existence of someone named Janis Jerome. So begins Michelle Orange’s extraordinary inquiry into the meaning of maternal legacy—in her own family and across a century of seismic change. Jerome, she learns, is one of her mother’s many alter egos: the name used in a case study, eventually sold to the Harvard Business Review, about her mother’s midlife choice to leave her husband and children to pursue career opportunities in a bigger city. A flashpoint in the lives of both mother and daughter, the decision forms the heart of a broader exploration of the impact of feminism on what Adrienne Rich called “the great unwritten story”: that of the mother-daughter bond. The death of Orange’s maternal grandmother at nearly ninety-six and the fear that her mother’s more “successful” life will not be as long bring new urgency to her questions about the woman whose absence and anger helped shape her life. Through a blend of memoir, social history, and cultural criticism, Pure Flame pursues a chain of personal, intellectual, and collective inheritance, tracing the forces that helped transform the world and what a woman might expect from it. Told with warmth and rigor, Orange’s account of her mother’s life and their relationship is pressurized in critical and unexpected ways, resulting in an essential, revelatory meditation on becoming, selfhood, freedom, mortality, storytelling, and what it means to be a mother’s daughter now.
The instant #1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller "A must read for anyone hoping to live a creative life... I dare you not to be inspired to be brave, to be free, and to be curious." --PopSugar From the worldwide bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and City of Girls: the path to the vibrant, fulfilling life you've dreamed of. Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert's books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the "strange jewels" that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.
The riveting account of a young journalist’s awakening to chronic illness, weaving together personal story and reporting to shed light on living with an ailment forever Tessa Miller was an ambitious twentysomething writer in New York City when, on a random fall day, her stomach began to seize up. At first, she toughed it out through searing pain, taking sick days from work, unable to leave the bathroom or her bed. But when it became undeniable that something was seriously wrong, Miller gave in to family pressure and went to the hospital—beginning a yearslong nightmare of procedures, misdiagnoses, and life-threatening infections. Once she was finally correctly diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, Miller faced another battle: accepting that she will never get better. Today, an astonishing three in five adults in the United States suffer from a chronic disease—a percentage expected to rise post-Covid. Whether the illness is arthritis, asthma, Crohn's, diabetes, endometriosis, multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, or any other incurable illness, and whether the sufferer is a colleague, a loved one, or you, these diseases have an impact on just about every one of us. Yet there remains an air of shame and isolation about the topic of chronic sickness. Millions must endure these disorders not only physically but also emotionally, balancing the stress of relationships and work amid the ever-present threat of health complications. Miller segues seamlessly from her dramatic personal experiences into a frank look at the cultural realities (medical, occupational, social) inherent in receiving a lifetime diagnosis. She offers hard-earned wisdom, solidarity, and an ultimately surprising promise of joy for those trying to make sense of it all.
Book Alright, Alright, Alright Description/Summary:
The definitive oral history of the cult classic Dazed and Confused, featuring behind-the-scenes stories from the cast and crew and written with the cooperation of Oscar-nominated director Richard Linklater. Dazed and Confused not only heralded the arrival of filmmaker Richard Linklater, it introduced a cast of unknowns who would become the next generation of movie stars. Embraced as a cultural touchstone, the 1993 film would also make Matthew McConaughey’s famous phrase—alright, alright, alright—ubiquitous. But it started with a simple idea: Linklater thought people might like to watch a movie about high school kids just hanging out and listening to music on the last day of school in 1976. To some, that might not even sound like a movie. But to a few studio executives, it sounded enough like the next American Graffiti to justify the risk. Dazed and Confused made almost no money at the box office and seemed destined to disappear. Then something weird happened: Linklater turned out to be right. This wasn’t the kind of movie everybody liked, but it was the kind of movie certain people loved, with an intensity that felt personal. No matter what their high school experience was like, they thought Dazed and Confused was about them. Alright, Alright, Alright is the story of how this iconic film came together and why it worked. Combining behind-the-scenes photos and insights from nearly the entire cast, including Matthew McConaughey, Parker Posey, Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, and many others, and with the full cooperation of Linklater himself, it offers an inside look at how a budding filmmaker and a cast of newcomers made a period piece that would feel timeless for decades to come.
Called "such a sad, tough story, but finally so life-affirming, filled with spirit and love" by Anne Lamott, this is a raw and intensely affecting memoir by a young priest about loss of a child, its grief and its aftermath, and the hard-won joy that can follow. Liz Tichenor has taken her newborn son, five weeks old, to the doctor, from a cabin on the shores of Lake Tahoe. She is sent home to her husband and two-year-old daughter with the baby, who is pronounced "fine" by an urgent care physician. Six hours later, the baby dies in their bed. Less than a year and a half before, Tichenor's mother jumped from a building and killed herself after a long struggle with alcoholism. As a very young Episcopal priest, Tichenor has to "preach the Good News," to find faith where there is no hope, but she realizes these terrible parts of her own life will join her in the pulpit. The Night Lake is the story of finding a way forward through tragedies that seem like they might be beyond surviving and of carving out space for the slow labor of learning to live again, in grief.
Brain on Fire meets Carry On, Warrior in this inspirational memoir and “testament to the things that break us, heal us, and make us who we are” (Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author) that explores one woman’s journey from chronic pain and hopelessness to finding joy, redemption, and healing. At seventeen years old, Ruthie Lindsey is hit by an ambulance near her home in rural Louisiana. She’s given a five percent chance of survival and one percent chance of walking again. One month later after a spinal fusion surgery, Ruthie defies the odds, leaving the hospital on her own two feet. Just a few years later, newly married and living in Nashville, Ruthie begins to experience debilitating pain. Her case confounds doctors and after numerous rounds of testing, imaging, and treatment, they prescribe narcotic painkillers—lots of them. Ruthie has become bedridden, dependent on painkillers, and hopeless, when an X-ray reveals that the wire used to fuse her spine is piercing her brain stem. Without another staggeringly expensive experimental surgery, she could well become paralyzed, but in many ways, she already is. Ruthie goes into the hospital in chronic pain, dependent on prescription painkillers, and leaves the same way. She can still walk but has no idea where she’s going. As her life unravels, Ruthie returns home to Louisiana and sets out on a journey to learn joy again. She trades fentanyl for sunsets and morphine for wildflowers, weaning herself off of the drugs and beginning the process of healing—of coming home to her body. Raw and redemptive, There I Am is not just about the magic of optimism, but the work of it. Ruthie’s extraordinary memoir “like going on a walk with a best friend and listening to a life-changing speech at the same time: it’s equal parts familiar and profound, warm and insightful, comforting and challenging, relatable and unlike anything you’ve read before” (Mari Andrew, New York Times bestselling author).
A Los Angeles Times Bestseller A Lit Hub | Chicago Review | Ms. Magazine March pick A Lambda Literary Most Anticipated Book In this perceptive and provocative essay collection, an award-winning writer shares her personal and reportorial investigation into America’s search for meaning When Jordan Kisner was a child, she was saved by Jesus Christ at summer camp, much to the confusion of her nonreligious family. She was, she writes, “just naturally reverent,” a fact that didn’t change when she—much to her own confusion—lost her faith as a teenager. Not sure why her religious conviction had come or where it had gone, she did what anyone would do: “You go about the great American work of assigning yourself to other gods: yoga, talk radio, neoatheism, CrossFit, cleanses, football, the academy, the American Dream, Beyoncé.” A curiosity about the subtle systems guiding contemporary life pervades Kisner’s work. Her celebrated essay “Thin Places” (Best American Essays 2016), about an experimental neurosurgery developed to treat severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, asks how putting the neural touchpoint of the soul on a pacemaker may collide science and psychology with philosophical questions about illness, the limits of the self, and spiritual transformation. How should she understand the appearance of her own obsessive compulsive disorder at the very age she lost her faith? Intellectually curious and emotionally engaging, the essays in Thin Places manage to be both intimate and expansive, illuminating an unusual facet of American life, as well as how it reverberates with the author’s past and present preoccupations.
*An Instant New York Times Bestseller!* A memoir of love and loss, of being in the right place at the right time, and of the mysterious ways a beloved pet can bring people together, from CBS Sunday Morning News correspondent and multi-Emmy-Award-winning Martha Teichner. There are true fairy tales. Stories that exist because impossible-to-explain coincidences change everything. Except in real life, not all of them have conventional, happily-ever-after endings. When Harry Met Minnie is that kind of fairy tale, with the vibrant, romantic New York City backdrop of its namesake, the movie When Harry Met Sally, and the bittersweet wisdom of Tuesdays with Morrie. There’s a special camaraderie among early-morning dog walkers. Gathering at dog runs in the park, or strolling through the farmer's market at Union Square before the bustling crowd appears, fellow pet owners become familiar–as do the personalities of their beloved animals. In this special space and time, a chance encounter with an old acquaintance changed Martha Teichner’s world. As fate would have it, her friend knew someone who was dying of cancer, from exposure to toxins after 9/11, and desperate to find a home for her dog, Harry. He was a Bull Terrier—the same breed as Martha’s dear Minnie. Would Martha consider giving Harry a safe, loving new home? In short order, boy dog meets girl dog, the fairy tale part of this story. But there is so much more to this book. After Martha agrees to meet Harry and his owner Carol, what begins as a transaction involving a dog becomes a deep and meaningful friendship between two women with complicated lives and a love of Bull Terriers in common. Through the heartbreak and grief of Carol’s illness, the bond that develops changed Martha’s life, Carol’s life, Minnie’s life, Harry’s life. As it changed Carol’s death as well. In this rich and touching narrative, Martha considers the ways our stories are shaped by the people we meet, and the profound love we can find by opening our hearts to unexpected encounters.
A bold, urgent argument on the misplacement of value in financial markets and how we can and need to maximize value for the many, not few. As an economist and former banker, Mark Carney has spent his life in various financial roles, in both the public and private sector. VALUE(S) is a meditation on his experiences that examines the short-comings and challenges of the market in the past decade which he argues has led to rampant, public distrust and the need for radical change. Focusing on four major crises-the Global Financial Crisis, the Global Health Crisis, Climate Change and the 4th Industrial Revolution-- Carney proposes responses to each. His solutions are tangible action plans for leaders, companies and countries to transform the value of the market back into the value of humanity.
Book Stories I Only Tell My Friends Description/Summary:
A wryly funny and surprisingly moving account of an extraordinary life lived almost entirely in the public eye A teen idol at fifteen, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at twenty, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences as a painfully misunderstood child actor in Ohio uprooted to the wild counterculture of mid-seventies Malibu, where he embarked on his unrelenting pursuit of a career in Hollywood. The Outsiders placed Lowe at the birth of the modern youth movement in the entertainment industry. During his time on The West Wing, he witnessed the surreal nexus of show business and politics both on the set and in the actual White House. And in between are deft and humorous stories of the wild excesses that marked the eighties, leading to his quest for family and sobriety. Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last twenty-five years. Rob Lowe's New York Times bestselling autobiography, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, shares tales that are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.
Book A Lucky Life Interrupted Description/Summary:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WITH A NEW PREFACE BY THE AUTHOR • A powerful memoir of a dramatic year spent battling cancer and reflecting on a long, happy, and lucky life—from the bestselling author of The Greatest Generation, whose iconic career in journalism has spanned more than fifty years Tom Brokaw has led a fortunate life, with a strong marriage and family, many friends, and a brilliant journalism career culminating in his twenty-two years as anchor of the NBC Nightly News and as bestselling author. But in the summer of 2013, when back pain led him to the doctors at the Mayo Clinic, his run of good luck was interrupted. He received shocking news: He had multiple myeloma, a treatable but incurable blood cancer. Friends had always referred to Brokaw’s “lucky star,” but as he writes in this inspiring memoir, “Turns out that star has a dimmer switch.” Brokaw takes us through all the seasons and stages of this surprising year, the emotions, discoveries, setbacks, and struggles—times of denial, acceptance, turning points, and courage. After his diagnosis, Brokaw began to keep a journal, approaching this new stage of his life in a familiar role: as a journalist, determined to learn as much as he could about his condition, to report the story, and help others facing similar battles. That journal became the basis of this wonderfully written memoir, the story of a man coming to terms with his own mortality, contemplating what means the most to him now, and reflecting on what has meant the most to him throughout his life. Brokaw also pauses to look back on some of the important moments in his career: memories of Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the morning of September 11, 2001, in New York City, and more. Through it all, Brokaw writes in the warm, intimate, natural voice of one of America’s most beloved journalists, giving us Brokaw on Brokaw, and bringing us with him as he navigates pain, procedures, drug regimens, and physical rehabilitation. Brokaw also writes about the importance of patients taking an active role in their own treatment, and of the vital role of caretakers and coordinated care. Generous, informative, and deeply human, A Lucky Life Interrupted offers a message of understanding and empowerment, resolve and reality, hope for the future and gratitude for a well-lived life. Praise for A Lucky Life Interrupted “It’s impossible not to be inspired by Brokaw’s story, and his willingness to share it.”—Los Angeles Times “A powerful memoir of battling cancer and facing mortality . . . Through the prism of his own illness, Brokaw looks at the larger picture of aging in America.”—Booklist (starred review) “Moving, informative and deeply personal.”—The Daily Beast “The former NBC News anchor has applied the fact-finding skills and straightforward candor that were his stock in trade during his reporting days to A Lucky Life Interrupted.”—USA Today “Brokaw doesn’t paste a smiley face on his story. Again and again, the book returns to stories of loss but also of grace, luck and the beauty of having another swing at bat.”—The Washington Post “Engaging . . . [with] the kind of insight that is typical of Mr. Brokaw’s approach to life and now to illness.”—The Wall Street Journal “Powerful and courageous . . . [Brokaw] looks ahead to the future with hope.”—Bookreporter
“[An] often beautiful jewel of a book . . . Black’s power as a writer means she can take us with her to places that normally our minds would refuse to go.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice) From the New York Times bestselling author of The Still Point of the Turning World comes an incisive memoir about how she came to question and redefine the concept of resilience after the trauma of her first child’s death. “Congratulations on the resurrection of your life,” a colleague wrote to Emily Rapp Black when she announced the birth of her second child. The line made Rapp Black pause. Her first child, a boy named Ronan, had died from Tay-Sachs disease before he turned three years old, an experience she wrote about in her second book, The Still Point of the Turning World. Since that time, her life had changed utterly: She left the marriage that fractured under the terrible weight of her son’s illness, got remarried to a man who she fell in love with while her son was dying, had a flourishing career, and gave birth to a healthy baby girl. But she rejected the idea that she was leaving her old life behind—that she had, in the manner of the mythical phoenix, risen from the ashes and been reborn into a new story, when she still carried so much of her old story with her. More to the point, she wanted to carry it with her. Everyone she met told her she was resilient, strong, courageous in ways they didn’t think they could be. But what did those words mean, really? This book is an attempt to unpack the various notions of resilience that we carry as a culture. Drawing on contemporary psychology, neurology, etymology, literature, art, and self-help, Emily Rapp Black shows how we need a more complex understanding of this concept when applied to stories of loss and healing and overcoming the odds, knowing that we may be asked to rebuild and reimagine our lives at any moment, and often when we least expect it. Interwoven with lyrical, unforgettable personal vignettes from her life as a mother, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher, Rapp Black creates a stunning tapestry that is full of wisdom and insight.