Saturday Night Widows

Author: Becky Aikman
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 9780307590442
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Describes the author's experiences as a young widow and the pivotal relationships she forged with five other widows, recounting the stories of their losses and bravery as exchanged throughout a year of monthly Saturday night meetings, during which the author met and fell in love with her current husband. (This book was previously listed in Forecast.)

Saturday Night Widows

Author: Becky Aikman
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 9780307590459
Release Date: 2013-01-22
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Six marriages, six heartbreaks, one shared beginning. In her forties – a widow, too young, too modern to accept the role – Becky Aikman struggled to make sense of her place in an altered world. In this transcendent and infectiously wise memoir, she explores surprising new discoveries about how people experience grief and transcend loss and, following her own remarriage, forms a group with five other young widows to test these unconventional ideas. Together, these friends summon the humor, resilience, and striving spirit essential for anyone overcoming adversity. Meet the Saturday Night Widows: ringleader Becky, an unsentimental journalist who lost her husband to cancer; Tara, a polished mother of two, whose husband died in the throes of alcoholism after she filed for divorce; Denise, a widow of just five months, now struggling to get by; Marcia, a hard-driving corporate lawyer; Dawn, an alluring self-made entrepreneur whose husband was killed in a sporting accident, leaving two small children behind; and Lesley, a housewife who returned home one day to find that her husband had committed suicide. The women meet once a month, and over the course of a year, they strike out on ever more far-flung adventures, learning to live past the worst thing they thought could happen. They share emotional peaks and valleys – dating, parenting, moving, finding meaningful work, and reinventing themselves – while turning traditional thinking about loss and recovery upside down. Through it all runs the story of Aikman's own journey through grief and her love affair with a man who tempts her to marry again. In a transporting story of what friends can achieve when they hold each other up, Saturday Night Widows is a rare book that will make you laugh, think, and remind yourself that despite the utter unpredictability and occasional tragedy of life, it is also precious, fragile, and often more joyous than we recognize. From the Hardcover edition.

Saturday Night Widows

Author: Dogukan Akbulut
Publisher: sasra
Release Date: 2013-01-21

Six marriages, six heartbreaks, one shared beginning. In her forties -- a widow, too young, too modern to accept the role -- Becky Aikman struggled to make sense of her place in an altered world. In this transcendent and infectiously wise memoir, she explores surprising new discoveries about how people experience grief and transcend loss and, following her own remarriage, forms a group with five other young widows to test these unconventional ideas. Together, these friends summon the humor, resilience, and striving spirit essential for anyone overcoming adversity. Meet the Saturday Night Widows: ringleader Becky, an unsentimental journalist who lost her husband to cancer; Tara, a polished mother of two, whose husband died in the throes of alcoholism after she filed for divorce; Denise, a widow of just five months, now struggling to get by; Marcia, a hard-driving corporate lawyer and something of a grown-up tomboy; Dawn, an alluring self-made...

Off the Cliff

Author: Becky Aikman
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780698405639
Release Date: 2017-06-27
Genre: Performing Arts

“You’ve always been crazy,” says Louise to Thelma, shortly after she locks a police officer in the trunk of his car. “This is just the first chance you’ve had to express yourself.” In 1991, Thelma & Louise, the story of two outlaw women on the run from their disenchanted lives, was a revelation. Suddenly, a film in which women were, in every sense, behind the wheel. It turned the tables on Hollywood, instantly becoming a classic, and continues to electrify audiences as a cultural statement of defiance. But if the film’s place in history now seems certain, at the time its creation was a long shot. Only through sheer hard work and more than a little good luck did the script end up in the hands of the brilliant English filmmaker Ridley Scott, who saw its huge potential. With Scott on board, a team willing to challenge the odds came together—including the stars Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon and a fresh-faced up-and-coming actor named Brad Pitt, as well as legends like actor Harvey Keitel, composer Hans Zimmer, and old-school studio chief Alan Ladd Jr.—to create one of the most controversial movies of all time. But before icons like Davis and Sarandon got involved, Thelma & Louise was just an idea in the head of Callie Khouri, a thirty-year-old music video production manager, who was fed up with working behind the scenes on sleazy sets. At four a.m. one night, sitting in her car outside the ramshackle bungalow in Santa Monica that she shared with two friends, she had a vision: two women on a crime spree, fleeing their dull and tedious lives—lives like hers—in search of a freedom they had never before been able to realize. But in the late 1980s, Hollywood was dominated by men, both on the screen and behind the scenes. The likelihood of a script by an unheard-of screenwriter starring two women in lead roles actually getting made was remote. But Khouri had one thing going for her—she was so inexperienced she didn't really know she would be attempting the nigh impossible. In Off the Cliff, Becky Aikman tells the full extraordinary story behind this feminist sensation, which crashed through barricades and upended convention. Drawing on 130 exclusive interviews with the key players from this remarkable cast of actors, writers, and filmmakers, Aikman tells an inspiring and important underdog story about creativity, the magic of cinema, and the unjust obstacles that women in Hollywood continue to face to this day.

They Left Us Everything

Author: Plum Johnson
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780399184116
Release Date: 2016-07-26
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

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. From the Hardcover edition.


Author: Sonali Deraniyagala
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
ISBN: 9780771025389
Release Date: 2013-03-05
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A brave, intimate, beautifully crafted memoir by a survivor of the tsunami that struck the Sri Lankan coast in 2004 and took her entire family. On December 26, Boxing Day, Sonali Deraniyagala, her English husband, her parents, her two young sons, and a close friend were ending Christmas vacation at the seaside resort of Yala on the south coast of Sri Lanka when a wave suddenly overtook them. She was only to learn later that this was a tsunami that devastated coastlines through Southeast Asia. When the water began to encroach closer to their hotel, they began to run, but in an instant, water engulfed them, Sonali was separated from her family, and all was lost. Sonali Deraniyagala has written an extraordinarily honest, utterly engrossing account of the surreal tragedy of a devastating event that all at once ended her life as she knew it and her journey since in search of understanding and redemption. It is also a remarkable portrait of a young family's life and what came before, with all the small moments and larger dreams that suddenly and irrevocably ended. From the Hardcover edition.

Taylor s Gift

Author: Tara Storch
Publisher: Baker Books
ISBN: 9781441241016
Release Date: 2013-04-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

In March 2010, thirteen-year-old Taylor Storch's life was tragically cut short by a skiing accident. With only a few minutes to consider their options, her grieving family made the life-changing decision to donate her organs. Knowing Taylor's caring spirit, they were sure this was what she would have wanted. Over the course of the next two years, Tara and Todd Storch connected with four of the five people who now live because of Taylor's gift. And through these encounters, the Storches have discovered unexpected blessings that are changing countless lives. Now Tara and Todd share their inspiring story, shining a light at the end of the tunnel for those enduring the suffering of losing a loved one. Through the stories of the donor recipients, readers will discover hope in the midst of pain. Honest with their struggles, the Storches show readers that life is a gift and our response to grief is a choice. They also speak with a clear voice about the importance and the blessing of being an organ donor, telling the inspiring story of the creation of Taylor's Gift Foundation and its goals to raise awareness of the need for organ donation, to re-gift life, renew health, and restore families. They are changing the conversation around the globe that organ donation is not about death--it's about life! Foreword by Max Lucado.

From Granny Panties to Thongs

Author: Penny Burke
Publisher: Createspace Independent Pub
ISBN: 1482778386
Release Date: 2013-04-06
Genre: Family & Relationships

It has been said that, over the course of a lifetime, a person will use only a fraction of the brain's capacity to learn. This would also be true of the heart's boundless capacity to love. This book is a collection of true stories spoken from the hearts of widowed women. Each was eager to crack open the door to her private world, and allow us an entrance inside. Many of the ladies have never told these stories to anyone, including immediate family. Their individual reasons for wanting to contribute vary, but they all share a common thread... to empower other widowed women. They speak candidly about being the single one at the dinner table, their desire to date again, and even the first time between the sheets. This treasured book will offer insight to those who are curious about dating and moving forward. From Granny Panties to Thongs is the portable paperback cheerleader for widows who hope to one day find love again.

How It Feels When a Parent Dies

Author: Jill Krementz
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 9780307820303
Release Date: 2012-05-23
Genre: Family & Relationships

18 children from age 7 - 17, speak openly of their experiences and feelings. As they speak we see them in photos with their surviving parent and with other family members, in the midst of their everyday lives.

Tuesday Nights in 1980

Author: Molly Prentiss
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781501121043
Release Date: 2016-04-05
Genre: Fiction

“In one sentence, Ms. Prentiss captures a sense of intoxication and possibility that six seasons of voice-overs from Sarah Jessica Parker never could…Ms. Prentiss concludes her novel on a note that’s both ethereal and brutally realistic. She cauterizes wounds, but they’re still visible and bare. But for her characters—for this promising author—it’s enough.” —The New York Times “An intoxicating Manhattan fairy tale…As affecting as it is absorbing. A thrilling debut.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “A vital, sensuous, edgy, and suspenseful tale of longing, rage, fear, compulsion, and love.” —Booklist (starred review) An intoxicating and transcendent debut novel that follows a critic, an artist, and a desirous, determined young woman as they find their way—and ultimately collide—amid the ever-evolving New York City art scene of the 1980s. Welcome to SoHo at the onset of the eighties: a gritty, not-yet-gentrified playground for artists and writers looking to make it in the big city. Among them: James Bennett, a synesthetic art critic for The New York Times whose unlikely condition enables him to describe art in profound, magical ways, and Raul Engales, an exiled Argentinian painter running from his past and the Dirty War that has enveloped his country. As the two men ascend in the downtown arts scene, dual tragedies strike, and each is faced with a loss that acutely affects his relationship to life and to art. It is not until they are inadvertently brought together by Lucy Olliason—a small town beauty and Raul’s muse—and a young orphan boy sent mysteriously from Buenos Aires, that James and Raul are able to rediscover some semblance of what they’ve lost. As inventive as Jennifer Egan's A Visit From The Goon Squad and as sweeping as Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings, Tuesday Nights in 1980 boldly renders a complex moment when the meaning and nature of art is being all but upended, and New York City as a whole is reinventing itself. In risk-taking prose that is as powerful as it is playful, Molly Prentiss deftly explores the need for beauty, community, creation, and love in an ever-changing urban landscape.


Author: Bob Spitz
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307961129
Release Date: 2012-08-07
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

It’s rare for someone to emerge in America who can change our attitudes, our beliefs, and our very culture. It’s even rarer when that someone is a middle-aged, six-foot three-inch woman whose first exposure to an unsuspecting public is cooking an omelet on a hot plate on a local TV station. And yet, that’s exactly what Julia Child did. The warble-voiced doyenne of television cookery became an iconic cult figure and joyous rule-breaker as she touched off the food revolution that has gripped America for more than fifty years. Now, in Bob Spitz’s definitive, wonderfully affectionate biography, the Julia we know and love comes vividly — and surprisingly — to life. In Dearie, Spitz employs the same skill he brought to his best-selling, critically acclaimed book The Beatles, providing a clear-eyed portrait of one of the most fascinating and influential Americans of our time — a woman known to all, yet known by only a few. At its heart, Dearie is a story about a woman’s search for her own unique expression. Julia Child was a directionless, gawky young woman who ran off halfway around the world to join a spy agency during World War II. She eventually settled in Paris, where she learned to cook and collaborated on the writing of what would become Mastering the Art of French Cooking, a book that changed the food culture of America. She was already fifty when The French Chef went on the air — at a time in our history when women weren’t making those leaps. Julia became the first educational TV star, virtually launching PBS as we know it today; her marriage to Paul Child formed a decades-long love story that was romantic, touching, and quite extraordinary. A fearless, ambitious, supremely confident woman, Julia took on all the pretensions that embellished tony French cuisine and fricasseed them to a fare-thee-well, paving the way for everything that has happened since in American cooking, from TV dinners and Big Macs to sea urchin foam and the Food Channel. Julia Child’s story, however, is more than the tale of a talented woman and her sumptuous craft. It is also a saga of America’s coming of age and growing sophistication, from the Depression Era to the turbulent sixties and the excesses of the eighties to the greening of the American kitchen. Julia had an effect on and was equally affected by the baby boom, the sexual revolution, and the start of the women’s liberation movement. On the centenary of her birth, Julia finally gets the biography she richly deserves. An in-depth, intimate narrative, full of fresh information and insights, Dearie is an entertaining, all-out adventure story of one of our most fascinating and beloved figures. From the Hardcover edition.

The Bridge Ladies

Author: Betsy Lerner
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780062354488
Release Date: 2016-05-03
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A fifty-year-old Bridge game provides an unexpected way to cross the generational divide between a daughter and her mother. Betsy Lerner takes us on a powerfully personal literary journey, where we learn a little about Bridge and a lot about life. After a lifetime defining herself in contrast to her mother’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” generation, Lerner finds herself back in her childhood home, not five miles from the mother she spent decades avoiding. When Roz needs help after surgery, it falls to Betsy to take care of her. She expected a week of tense civility; what she got instead were the Bridge Ladies. Impressed by their loyalty, she saw something her generation lacked. Facebook was great, but it wouldn’t deliver a pot roast. Tentatively at first, Betsy becomes a regular at her mother’s Monday Bridge club. Through her friendships with the ladies, she is finally able to face years of misunderstandings and family tragedy, the Bridge table becoming the common ground she and Roz never had. By turns darkly funny and deeply moving, The Bridge Ladies is the unforgettable story of a hard-won—but never-too-late—bond between mother and daughter.

Life s That Way

Author: Jim Beaver
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101032618
Release Date: 2009-04-16
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A remarkable memoir that shows the capacity of the human heart to heal after the challenge of having to say goodbye. Even the hardest lessons contain great gifts. Jim Beaver and his wife Cecily Adams appeared to have it all-following years of fertility treatments, they were finally parents and they were building their dream home and successful Hollywood careers. Life was good. But then their daughter, Maddie, was diagnosed as autistic. Weeks later, Cecily, a non-smoker, was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. Sadly, after 14 years of marriage, Jim became a widower and a single dad. Faced with overwhelming grief, Jim reached out to family and friends by writing a nightly email-a habit he established when Cecily was first diagnosed. Initially a cathartic exercise for Jim, the prose became an unforgettable journey for his readers. Life's That Way is a compilation of those profound, compelling emails.

Ship It Holla Ballas

Author: Jonathan Grotenstein
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781250021274
Release Date: 2013-01-15
Genre: Games & Activities

Who were the Ship It Holla Ballas? Arguably the most successful poker crew of all time, they took advantage of the online poker boom to win tens of millions of dollars before most of them were old enough to set foot inside a casino. Then they did what any red-blooded teenagers with mountains of cash and no responsibilities would do: They partied like rock stars, transforming themselves from Internet nerds with zero life skills into legends, at least in their own minds. In Ship It Holla Ballas!, Jonathan Grotenstein and Storms Reback trace the rise and fall of Internet poker through the eyes of its most unlikely stars: A group of teenage college dropouts, united by social media, who bluffed their way to the top of the game.

The Hard Way

Author: Lee Child
Publisher: Delacorte Press
ISBN: 0440336058
Release Date: 2006-05-16
Genre: Fiction

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Lee Child’s Bad Luck and Trouble. In Lee Child’s astonishing new thriller, ex–military cop Reacher sees more than most people would...and because of that, he’s thrust into an explosive situation that’s about to blow up in his face. For the only way to find the truth—and save two innocent lives—is to do it the way Jack Reacher does it best: the hard way…. Jack Reacher was alone, the way he liked it, soaking up the hot, electric New York City night, watching a man cross the street to a parked Mercedes and drive it away. The car contained one million dollars in ransom money. And Edward Lane, the man who paid it, will pay even more to get his family back. Lane runs a highly illegal soldiers-for-hire operation. He will use any amount of money and any tool to find his beautiful wife and child. And then he’ll turn Jack Reacher loose with a vengeance—because Reacher is the best man hunter in the world. On the trail of a vicious kidnapper, Reacher is learning the chilling secrets of his employer’s past…and of a horrific drama in the heart of a nasty little war. He’s beginning to realize that Edward Lane is hiding something. Something dirty. Something big. But Reacher also knows this: he’s already in way too deep to stop now.