In this poignant and timely memoir, Melanie Merriman shares her struggle to care for her fiercely independent aging mother. When her father dies, Melanie commits herself to making the rest of her mother’s life the best it can be. She brings knowledge to the situation—as a hospice consultant, she has studied aging, illness, and the intricacies of the healthcare system—and she has a sister who is willing to help. But even with these advantages, Melanie finds the real-life experience of caring for her mother humbling. Every decision becomes a tug of war, with Mom on one side, fighting for her independence, and the two sisters on the other, trying to keep her safe. A win for either side suddenly feels like a loss for all.
Written for people who have cared for a parent, are currently facing that challenge, or are aging parents themselves, Holding the Net offers practical details about the effects of aging on the body and mind, living arrangements for older people, health care decisions, and surviving rehab. It also challenges the notion that anyone can be an expert when it comes to caring for an aging parent, and encourages us to simply do our best. Melanie hits all the right notes, and her story will have readers nodding their heads and shedding healing tears.
Navigating a Life: Henry Bloch in World War II by John Herron and Mary Ann Wynkoop explores how Henry Bloch's wartime experiences molded his character decisively, preparing him to later launch H&R Block, one of the postwar era's major entrepreneurial success stories. As a bomber navigator who defied the odds by surviving dangerous missions over some of Germany's most heavily guarded targets, Bloch learned how to face down fear. In his training before and after combat, especially at the Harvard Business School's Statistical Control Program for military personnel, Bloch further learned how to apply the newest scientific breakthroughs in decision making. Navigating a Life recounts Bloch's service in the U.S. Army Air Force's Ninety-fifth Bomb Group, but readers also glimpse Bloch's life in Kansas City and Michigan before he was called to duty and after the war. Illustrated with personal and historical images, this book shows the challenges that fliers like Bloch faced and why so many lost their lives. Navigating a Life shows how one man finds resilience amid overwhelming challenges. Henry Bloch is the co-founder and chairman emeritus of H&R Block.
When Deb Brandon discovered that cavernous angiomas—tangles of malformed blood vessels in her brain—were behind the terrifying symptoms she'd been experiencing, she underwent one brain surgery. And then another. And then another. And that was just the beginning.
The book also includes an introduction by Connie Lee, founder and president of the Angioma Alliance. Unlike other memoirs that focus on injury crisis and acute recovery, But My Brain Had Other Ideas follows Brandon’s story all the way through to long-term recovery, revealing without sugarcoating or sentimentality Brandon’s struggles—and ultimate triumph.
Duck and Cover is a wry, laconic memoir penned by Kathie Farnell, based on her perspective as a smart-mouthed, unreasonably optimistic white girl growing up in Cloverdale, a genteel and neatly landscaped neighborhood of Montgomery, Alabama, in the late 1950s and early 1960s. During those decades Montgomery's social order was slowly—very slowly—changing. The bus boycott was over if not forgotten, Normandale Shopping Center had a display of the latest fallout shelters, and integration was on the horizon, though many still thought the water in the white and colored drinking fountains came from separate tanks.
Farnell’s household, more like the Addams family than the Cleavers of Leave it to Beaver, included socially ambitious parents who were lawyers, two younger brothers, a live-in grandmother, and Libby, the family maid. Her father was a one-armed rageaholic given to strange business deals such as the one resulting in the family unintentionally owning a bakery. Mama, the quintessential attorney, could strike a jury but was hopeless at making Jello. Granny, a curmudgeon who kept a chamber pot under her bed, was always at odds with Libby, who had been in a bad mood since the bus boycott began.
In the vinyl era, David W. Berner played rock ‘n' roll in a neighborhood garage band. Decades later at the age of 57 he enters a national songwriting contest and quite unexpectedly is named a finalist. But there's more. He's called on to perform the song live at a storied venue for Americana music. Grabbing his old guitar and the love of his life, David hits the road, hoping to live out a musical fantasy he thought had been buried long ago. October Song is a powerful examination of the passage of time, love, the power of music, and the power of dreams.
As a bored child in a working class family, Lou Marincovich imagined a life of adventure and strong emotions—and got far more than he anticipated. Inspired to become a paleontologist by a children’s book on dinosaurs, he plunged into realms of life where intellectuals rarely go, working hardhat jobs on offshore oil drilling platforms in equatorial Africa and Alaska to put himself through grad school and laboring beside cutthroat coworkers, one of whom he was barely stopped from murdering. Later, as an internationally recognized paleontologist, he spent three decades researching fossil mollusks in the surreal landscapes of remotest Alaska, Arctic Canada and Siberia. In the course of documenting faunal and climate changes in the Arctic over the span of 60 million years, he solved the mystery of Bering Strait’s age; discovered an unnamed river; survived a helicopter crash, several bush plane accidents, a near-drowning in an icy river, landslides, and punishing storms; and saved his own life by shooting a charging grizzly with his last bullet. In addition to finding the adventure he craved as a young man, Marincovich was rewarded by surprising and profound spiritual experiences, during one of which he found his soul mate. This is a unique story of youthful yearning, high adventure, moral lapses, scientific discovery and love.
In his touching and often hilarious theatrical memoir, Ron Fassler tells the real-life stories of how he saw over 200 Broadway plays and musicals between the ages of 12-16 for as little as $2 a ticket, self-funded by the profits from his Long Island paper route. In the days when 50-60 shows came to Broadway every season, Fassler sat in the last row of the balcony, then headed home to write reviews which he reveals for the first time so many decades later. Ron’s eyewitness account to some of the greatest shows and stars of the 1960s and 70s (with visits backstage to many of them), is furthered by conversing over the past four years with legendary actors, writers, producers, directors, and composers who were part of this remarkable time. Threading his own personal stories with theirs, the book features memories and insights from Jane Alexander, Sheldon Harnick, James Earl Jones, Stacy Keach, Nathan Lane, Hal Linden, John Lithgow, Bette Midler, Austin Pendleton, Harold Prince, Doris Roberts, Stephen Sondheim, and Mike Nichols among many others.
When the Judaism of her childhood doesn't satisfy Dani Antman's yearning for spiritual awakening, she embarks on a quest for a spiritual path. Dani finds herself immersed in the world of yoga, energy healing, and Kabbalah but her journey of inner transformation has only just begun. A healing crisis, misplaced trust and a failed marriage, intensify her desire for a teacher who can lead her to self-realization. Her prayers are answered in the form of a realized adept, a Swami from the faraway shores of Rishikesh, India, who initiates her in his lineage of Kundalini Science, the study of the Divine force within every human being that is the initiator of spiritual growth. And so begins an incredible inner journey as Dani dedicates herself to a spiritual practice aimed at the redirection and completion of a challenging Kundalini process related to her Jewish past. Paradoxically, with the completion of her process she experiences a triumphant return to the religion of her birth. Wired for God is the candid and compelling memoir of Dani Antman's spiritual journey from mystical Judaism through Kundalini Science and back again, told in a conversational and informal style. Her story gives inspiration and hope to all sincere seekers looking to make real spiritual progress and find their own unique spiritual path.
This is the story of a renegade medical doctor who fought the old school medical establishment, lawmakers, and bureaucrats who absolutely did not want the paramedic and emergency medical services programs to exist. Prior to December 1, 1972 there was no such thing as emergency medical technician, paramedic, or a fire department that operated ambulances that actually treated and transported sick or injured people. Prior to that cold December day in 1972 in ten northwest suburban cities of metropolitan Chicago these services were nonexistent. The heroic efforts of Dr. Stanley M. Zydlo Jr. M.D., and a rag tag band of renegade firemen and fire chiefs changed all that and American medicine would never be the same again. In spite of overwhelming odds and the power of an entire national medical community, the modern paramedic is responsible for saving the lives of tens of millions of people in the last 44 years. Dr. Zydlo's genius and incredible ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles places him at the top of American achievement in the last century. The modern paramedic is perhaps the most valuable public asset ever created.
A fresh, revealing, and entertaining account of the most notorious figure of his age and the women who inspired him.
Oscar Wilde famously insisted that "there should be no law for anybody," and his devotion to personal liberty made him a staunch defender of gender equality. Women were central to his life and career.
Wilde's Women is the first book to tell the story of the female family members, friends, and colleagues who traded witticisms with Wilde, who gave him access to vital publicity, and to whose ideas he gave expression through his social comedies.
In this essential new work, Eleanor Fitzsimons reframes Wilde's story and his legacy through the women in his life, including such scintillating figures as Florence Balcombe; actress Lillie Langtry; and his tragic and witty niece, Dolly, who, like Wilde, loved fast cars, cocaine, and foreign women. Fresh revealing, and entertaining, full of fascinating detail and anecdotes, Wilde's Women relates the untold story of how a beloved writer and libertine played a vitally sympathetic role on behalf of many women, and how they supported him in the midst of a Victorian society in the process of changing forever.
During twenty-two years of overwhelming obstacles, Linda grew in wisdom and strength as she grappled with her children's puzzling behavior and searched for the reason behind it. A miraculous gift of grace revealed the source of her children's heart-wrenching circumstances. A Long Awakening to Grace captures a parent's sorrow for "what might have been" as well as a spiritual seeker's reverence for the treasures bestowed in life's darkest moments. A gripping, heart-tugging, courageous journey into the light.
A Soul Divided: Memoir of a Modern Emigrant inspires readers from all walks of life to keep moving forward, no matter what life throws at them… and to persist in finding their special purpose. This story of an emigrant woman, Maka Kartheiser (Kverenchkhiladze) who shares her personal journey from the European country of Georgia, her beloved homeland, to her cherished new foster country, the United States of America. The author also recalls her life experiences growing up in the former Soviet Union country. A Soul Divided is about a journey similar to thousands of fellow emigrants who, like Maka, were forced to move away from their homelands, leaving behind their lifelong friends, parents, children and… a piece of their soul. The struggle to find one's place, one's self, and one's calling is universal; for emigrants, this struggle is even more to bear. They are destined to dwell among two countries, not belonging fully to both. Thus, living with a soul divided. This book is a story of hope, inspiration, and strength to do what seems impossible. It takes your heart and soul into the experience of holding on to one's identity, roots, and culture. A Soul Divided speaks to thousands of emigrants whose journeys and hardships are all unique, and give them courage and hope. It also opens the eyes of the people of those foster countries and helps them understand emigrants' search for belonging, challenges they face, and strengths they hold while overcoming them. Author's Note: The beauty of A Soul Divided: Memoir of a Modern Emigrant is that it brings to light the similarities that we all share as humans.
Overeducated and underemployed? In love with learning but stumped on how to translate it into a paycheck? Desperately striving to make your seemingly useless liberal arts education work for you in any sort of satisfying or meaningful way? Trying to simultaneously engage your interests, skillset and values and still pay the bills while pleading for another student loan deferment? I feel your pain and have stories to share, but if you're looking for inspirational uplift, self-help or a life coach, please look elsewhere.
HARDBARNED! One Man's Quest for Meaningful Work in the American South is a darkly comic, brutally honest and introspective memoir about working for a living--without being able to shake the feeling that there has got to be more to it than that.
The FBI - They Eat Their Young is an honest and detailed memoir of an FBI agent’s career. It provides the reader with a unique and often amusing story of one agent’s journey from his first day of work until his retirement. Each account reveals his dedicated service, accomplishments, and sacrifices, as well as his failures, struggles, and battles with spiteful management in a callous bureaucracy. The book discloses fascinating details of the inner workings of the FBI. It provides captivating insight into the investigations of a multitude of cases personally worked on by the author, including drugs, fugitives, white collar crime, foreign counterintelligence, espionage, police corruption, civil rights and internal affairs matters. Meticulous descriptions of the agent’s work in these investigations invite the reader into the story alongside the agent. As injustices mount, Larsh’s scrapes with FBI management increase. He exposes a dark side of the FBI hierarchy, illustrating their pettiness, vindictiveness, massive egos, and retaliatory nature. This eye-opening book offers a rare and frank portrayal of the world’s premier law enforcement agency.
As featured in the New York Times “Modern Love” column * a Redbook Magazine must-read * Harper's Bazaar * Yahoo! Style, InStyle, Rumpus, Hello Giggles, Bustle, and Southern Living magazine Fall book pick
Fugitives from a man as alluring as he is violent, Andrea Jarrell and her mother develop a powerful, unusual bond. Once grown, Jarrell thinks she’s put that chapter of her life behind her?until a woman she knows is murdered, and she suddenly sees that it’s her mother’s choices she’s been trying to escape all along. Without preaching or prescribing, I’m the One Who Got Away is a life-affirming story of having the courage tobecome both safe enough and vulnerable enough to love and be loved.
When your grandparents go shopping with funny money, and your dad flaunts his degree from the school of hard knocks, you grow up learning that "life ain't no got-dem picnic." These lessons are handed down to Cathy Curran by Eastern European immigrants who learned how to survive caring little for aesthetics--"if it works, who gives a got-dem what da hell it looks like." Lucky for Curran, her mother is a gentle soul with a dry wit. Lillian Low's homespun values--people come in all flavors just like ice cream--bring joy into the Low house. When restless Joe Low ditches one suburb for another because he wants a do-over, Lillian tells him, "How the hell many do you need? Don't you know that wherever you go, you've got to take yourself with you?" Along for the ride is the colorful Low clan, who turn up to celebrate the arrival of Joe and Lillian's army of kids. They eat, drink, sing, Joe gets plastered, and all too often scotch-fired arguments lead to some good old-fashioned fistfights, which are immediately forgiven with an unspoken rule--shut up and forget it, then it all gets swept under the rug. But when Curran finally pulls up the carpet, pandemonium emerges from hell with a vengeance. Through the vision of a sensitive young girl with a wickedly funny voice, "Secondhand Scotch" uncorks some harsh realities, but never ceases to warm and entertain.
A singer-songwriter moves from New York City to rural Minnesota for love, and finds somewhere, and someone, in the middle of nowhere.
When Elisa Korenne took a month's break from New York City to be the resident singer-songwriter in middle-of-nowhere Minnesota, she didn't intend to stay. Then she fell in love with the local outdoorsman/insurance guy. One cross-country romance later, Elisa gave up subways, theater, City Bakery cookies, and her Brooklyn apartment to become the 1,153rd resident of New York Mills, a rural town ninety miles from the nearest metropolitan area, Fargo.
She had to resort to moonshine to stay sane.
The barista knew her weekend plans before she did. The postmaster set up gigs for her behind her back. Chris expected her to eat roadkill for dinner. And you wouldn't believe the uproar when the Finnish Lutherans in town learned she was Jewish. Despite a gun-toting Millenialist neighbor and the furnace dying at twenty-six below, Elisa moved to Minnesota and married Chris anyway. Then a tornado threatens to destroy the home she had finally made for herself.
Hundred Miles to Nowhere is A Year in Provence for the Prairie Home Companion crowd, or Coop for fans of indie music.