WINNER Autobiography/Memoir Best New Nonfiction 2023 Best Book Awards
The shocking and affecting memoir from a gold-star widow searching for the truth behind her Green Beret husband's death, this book bears witness to the true sacrifices made by military families.
When Green Beret Bryan Black was killed in an ambush in Niger in 2017, his wife Michelle saw her worst nightmare become a reality. She was left alone with her grief and with two young sons to raise. But what followed Bryan's death was an even more difficult journey for the young widow. After receiving very few details about the attack that took her husband's life, it was up to Michelle to find answers. It became her mission to learn the truth about that day in Niger--and Sacrifice is the result of that mission.
In this heartbreaking and revelatory memoir, Michelle uses exclusive interviews with the survivors of her husband's unit, research into the military leadership and accountability, and her own unique vantage point as a gold-star widow to tell a previously unknown story. Sacrifice is both an honest, emotional look inside a military marriage and a searing investigation of the people and decisions at the heart of the US military.
When Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941, forcing the U.S. to enter WWII, MAC was 23 years old.
He had graduated with honors from high school, served two years in the Merchant Marine, and had a year of college under his belt. During the summer he had graduated from DePaul University's preliminary army air course to become a pilot and graduated as their highest-ranking student. Joining the U.S. Army Air Forces, he was assigned to the newly formed 307th BG and trained to fly the brand-new B-24 Liberator. Like Lou Zamperini–of Unbroken–who was also in the 307th, Mac's plane was shot down in the ocean. It was his first combat mission from Guadalcanal. After a three-week odyssey, he and his surviving crew members were rescued, and he went on to fly 51 more combat missions from his base in the Solomon Islands.
In 1943, the following year, he was brought back to the U.S. to be trained on the even newer B-29 Superfortress. This was the plane designed to carry the atomic bombs. He flew 30 missions in 1945 from Guam dropping incendiaries on Japan. The Japanese finally surrendered just as the wheels of the Superfortress touched down on Mac's 30th mission. The war was over.
After the war, MAC served as director of air training for the 20th Air Force during the Korean War, as air attaché to French Indochina, at NATO prior to the Vietnam War, and as director of war plans for TAC during the Vietnam War. This is his story.
WINNER Legacy: Autobiography/Memoir 2023 Best Book Awards
Challenged by wars, rebellions, and finally the brutal and consuming Japanese occupation of Manchuria, Vladislav Kowalski was relentless in his pursuit of establishing a business empire in China. Stolen Dreams details the emotional roller coaster of deceit and despair,triumph and loss, love and betrayl, and the gripping struggle for survival under desparate circumstances that Kowalski endured, which put everyone, including his family, to the ultimate test. Blending family stories and photos with research and information from her trips to Harbin, Julie Sormark, Kowalski's granddaughter, takes the reader on a unique journey back to that adventurous time in Manchuria and China's history, and tells the compelling story of a true pioneer.
WINNER Autobiography/Memoir 2023 International Book Awards
A raw, uplifting story from one of the most important hidden figures in track and field history.
When Pauline Davis first began to run, it wasn’t with any thought of future Olympic glory. A product of the poor neighborhood of Bain Town in The Bahamas, she carried the family’s buckets every day to fetch fresh water—running sideways, sprinting barefoot from bullies, to get the buckets of water home without spilling. But when a seasoned track coach saw Pauline sprinting, he saw the heart of a champion.
In Running Sideways, Pauline Davis shares her inspiring story. Born and raised in the ghetto, Pauline fought through poverty, inequality, racism, and political machinations from her own country to beat the odds and become a two-time Olympic gold medalist, the first individual gold medalist in sprinting from the Caribbean, the first Black woman on the World Athletics council, and a central figure in the Russian anti-doping campaign. A casualty herself of the doping plague that hit track and field—she wouldn’t be awarded her individual gold medal until Marion Jones was infamously stripped of her medals for doping—Pauline dedicated her years on the World Athletics council to clean sport and fair play.
Running Sideways is a book about determination, faith, focus, and an incredible will to succeed. It’s about a trailblazer in women’s sports, not just in The Bahamas, not just in track and field, but on the global stage.
WINNER Legacy: Autobiography/Memoirs 2023 International Book Awards
Life-Changing Journey... but this is NOT a typical blah-blah-blah memoir
Planning is for sissies. A solo bike ride across the country will be filled with sunshine, lollipops, rainbows, and 80 degree temps every day, right? Not so much. The Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, an alkaline desert, and the Sierra Nevadas lay miles and days ahead. Disappointment with unrealized potential, and the thirst for what’s next drew farther away in the rotating wide-angle shockproof convex rear-view mirror.
I will ride my bike down a never-ending ribbon of asphalt wearing a backpack.
Cory Mortensen began his bike ride across the United States from Chaska, Minnesota, to Truckee, California, without a route, a timeline, or proper equipment. Along the way, he gained more than technical skills required for a ride that would test every fiber of his physical being and mental toughness. Ride along as he meets “unusual” characters, dangerous animals, and sweet little old ladies with a serious vendetta for strangers in their town.
Humor ■ Insight ■ Adventure ■ Gratitude ■ Peace
From long stretches of road ending in a vanishing point at the distant horizon, to stunning vistas, terrifying close calls, grueling conditions, failed equipment, and joyous milestones he stayed the course and gained an appreciation for the beauty of the land, the genius of engineering and marvel of nature.
WINNER Biography: General 2023 International Book Awards
A courageous and poignant memoir of one young man's daring escape from Cambodia's genocidal regime
Forced from his home by the Khmer Rouge, teenager Mae Taing struggles to endure years of backbreaking work, constant starvation, and ruthless cruelty from his captors--supposed freedom fighters who turned against their own people. Mae risks torture and death to escape into the dark tropical jungles, trekking across a relentless wilderness crawling with soldiers.
When Mae is able to overcome unthinkable odds in the hopes of reuniting with his family, fate takes a cruel turn as he flees war-torn Cambodia. He becomes trapped as a refugee with thousands of others on the ancient temple mountain, Preah Vihear, a place surrounded by countless deadly landmines. Caught up in the terror once more, it is only his willpower to survive and dreams of a better country that give Mae the strength to face the dangers ahead.
This gripping and inspiring memoir, written with Mae's son, James, is not merely an incredible story of survival, but a testament to the human spirit's capacity in us all to endure and prevail in spite of great adversity. Under the Naga Tail will find its place among the most epic true stories of personal triumph.