What I Thought I Knew

Author: Alice Eve Cohen
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101050934
Release Date: 2009-07-09
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

"Darkly hilarious...an unexpected bundle of joy." -O, The Oprah Magazine Alice Cohen was happy for the first time in years. After a difficult divorce, she had a new love in her life, she was rais­ing a beloved adopted daughter, and her career was blossoming. Then she started experiencing mysterious symptoms. After months of tests, x-rays, and inconclusive diagnoses, Alice underwent a CAT scan that revealed the truth: she was six months pregnant. At age forty-four, with no prenatal care and no insurance coverage for a high-risk pregnancy, Alice was besieged by opinions from doctors and friends about what was ethical, what was loving, what was right. With the intimacy of a diary and the suspense of a thriller, What I Thought I Knew is a ruefully funny, wickedly candid tale; a story of hope and renewal that turns all of the "knowns" upside down.

The Year My Mother Came Back

Author: Alice Eve Cohen
Publisher: Algonquin Books
ISBN: 9781616204310
Release Date: 2015-03-31
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

“A riveting journey.” —Julie Metz, author of Perfection “A perfect book. I want to tell everyone, every mother, every daughter, to read it.” —Abigail Thomas, bestselling author of A Three Dog Life For the first time in decades I’m remembering Mom, all of her--the wonderful and terrible things about her that I’ve cast out of my thoughts for so long. I’m still struggling to prevent these memories from erupting from their subterranean depths. Trying to hold back the flood. I can’t, not today. The levees break. Thirty years after her death, Alice Eve Cohen’s mother appears to her, seemingly in the flesh, and continues to do so during the hardest year Alice has had to face: the year her youngest daughter needs a harrowing surgery, her eldest daughter decides to reunite with her birth mother, and Alice herself receives a daunting diagnosis. As it turns out, it’s entirely possible for the people we’ve lost to come back to us when we need them the most. Although letting her mother back into her life is not an easy thing, Alice approaches it with humor, intelligence, and honesty. What she learns is that she must revisit her childhood and allow herself to be a daughter once more in order to take care of her own girls. Understanding and forgiving her mother’s parenting transgressions leads her to accept her own and to realize that she doesn’t have to be perfect to be a good mother. “Alice Eve Cohen’s warm, witty, wise memoir is an elixir of love. It captures the struggles of every woman who ever wanted to be a better mother or daughter. Read it and weep, and laugh, and love.” —Nancy Bachrach, author of The Center of the Universe “Funny, painful, absurd, and heartwarming . . . Alice’s struggle to accept her imperfect self is a loving message tomothers who struggle to live life with grace. A beautiful book.” —Julie Metz, New York Times bestselling author of Perfection “Cohen navigates what was a perfect storm of a year . . . What she made of this year is a book so honest, so moving, and ultimately so wise that it is a privilege to take the journey with her.” —Abigail Thomas, bestselling author of A Three Dog Life “I love, love, love this book. It’s so rich, so real, and so moving . . . An astonishingly wonderful book—I was enthralled.” —Caroline Leavitt, bestselling author of Pictures of You “Compassionate, compelling, and told in luscious prose that practically begs you to sink in and linger, Cohen’s imaginative story and its fascinating characters will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.” —Jessie Sholl, author of Dirty Secret

I m Supposed to Protect You from All this

Author: Nadja Spiegelman
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781594631924
Release Date: 2016
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A Vogue Best Book of the Year "What Ferrante did for female friends--exploring the tumult and complexity their relationships could hold--Spiegelman sets out to do for mothers and daughters. She's essentially written My Brilliant Mom." --Slate A memoir of mothers and daughters--and mothers as daughters--traced through four generations, from Paris to New York and back again. For a long time, Nadja Spiegelman believed her mother was a fairy. More than her famous father, Maus creator Art Spiegelman, and even more than most mothers, hers--French-born New Yorker art director Fran�oise Mouly--exerted a force over reality that was both dazzling and daunting. As Nadja's body changed and "began to whisper to the adults around me in a language I did not understand," their relationship grew tense. Unwittingly, they were replaying a drama from her mother's past, a drama Nadja sensed but had never been told. Then, after college, her mother suddenly opened up to her. Fran�oise recounted her turbulent adolescence caught between a volatile mother and a playboy father, one of the first plastic surgeons in France. The weight of the difficult stories she told her daughter shifted the balance between them. It had taken an ocean to allow Fran�oise the distance to become her own person. At about the same age, Nadja made the journey in reverse, moving to Paris determined to get to know the woman her mother had fled. Her grandmother's memories contradicted her mother's at nearly every turn, but beneath them lay a difficult history of her own. Nadja emerged with a deeper understanding of how each generation reshapes the past in order to forge ahead, their narratives both weapon and defense, eternally in conflict. Every reader will recognize herself and her family in I'm Supposed to Protect You From All This, a gorgeous and heartbreaking memoir that helps us to see why sometimes those who love us best hurt us most.

Addie

Author: Mary Lee Settle
Publisher: Univ of South Carolina Press
ISBN: 157003284X
Release Date: 1998
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

The multi-award-winning author of The Beulah Quintet recounts her childhood in the Kahawha Valley of West Virginia in the aftermath of World War I, her experiences during the Great Depression, and her discovery of literature and music. UP.

Lucky Man

Author: Michael J. Fox
Publisher: Hachette Books
ISBN: 9781401397791
Release Date: 2003-04-09
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A funny, highly personal, gorgeously written account of what it's like to be a 30-year-old man who is told he has an 80-year-old's disease. "Life is great. Sometimes, though, you just have to put up with a little more crap." --Michael J. Fox In September 1998, Michael J. Fox stunned the world by announcing he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease--a degenerative neurological condition. In fact, he had been secretly fighting it for seven years. The worldwide response was staggering. Fortunately, he had accepted the diagnosis and by the time the public started grieving for him, he had stopped grieving for himself. Now, with the same passion, humor, and energy that Fox has invested in his dozens of performances over the last 18 years, he tells the story of his life, his career, and his campaign to find a cure for Parkinson's. Combining his trademark ironic sensibility and keen sense of the absurd, he recounts his life--from his childhood in a small town in western Canada to his meteoric rise in film and television which made him a worldwide celebrity. Most importantly however, he writes of the last 10 years, during which--with the unswerving support of his wife, family, and friends--he has dealt with his illness. He talks about what Parkinson's has given him: the chance to appreciate a wonderful life and career, and the opportunity to help search for a cure and spread public awareness of the disease. He is a very lucky man, indeed. The Michael J. Fox Foundation Michael J. Fox is donating the profits from his book to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, which is dedicated to fast-forwarding the cure for Parkinson's disease. The Foundation will move aggressively to identify the most promising research and raise the funds to assure that a cure is found for the millions of people living with this disorder. The Foundation's web site, MichaelJFox.org, carries the latest pertinent information about Parkinson's disease, including: A detailed description of Parkinson's disease How you can help find the cure Public Services Announcements that are aired on network and cable television stations across the country to increase awareness Upcoming related Parkinson's disease events and meetings Updates on recent research and developments

Falling Backwards

Author: Jann Arden
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307399854
Release Date: 2012-02
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Jann Arden is funny. And sincere. She has legions of devoted fans. And a radio show. She is a darling of the music scene - always candid, always unplugged. You thought you knew Jann Arden, but there is more - to her readers' delight, in Falling Backwards Jann reveals her childhood, her bond with family, her struggle in the formative years and what keeps her so grounded in the whirlwind entertainment industry. Jann has always been true to herself, except for a minor lapse when she was young. Oh wait, wasn't that all of us? From the tender and honest to the laugh-out-loud funny, Jann's stories from home and from the road during her pre-celebrity years will take you to unexpected places, including high school parties in farmer's fields, sleepovers under the stars, hard-to-believe summer jobs and the time she was stuck upside down in a brick barbecue. She reminds us of the inestimable value to a child of having teachers who believe in you and wide open spaces to play. But with the good times come the bad (and not just the bad perm). Jann opens up about the darker side of her so-called prairie perfect nuclear family and the first signs that her eldest brother was a uniquely troubled young man. In the days when Jann was experiencing a lot of firsts - first school play, first home perm, first kiss - how lucky for all of us that she stole away to her basement and taught herself her first song on her mother's guitar. In addition to being an incredible musician and multi-award-winning lyricist, Jann is a natural writer and simply an inspiration. Jann will capture your heart - and keep you in stitches - with her powerful stories about coming of age as an artist and as a human being. Jann brings her wit and that infectious sparkle to everything she does. This book is no exception. From the Hardcover edition.

Spiritual Misfit

Author: Michelle DeRusha
Publisher: Convergent Books
ISBN: 9781601425331
Release Date: 2014-04-15
Genre: Religion

I decided to admit once and for all that I didn’t know what I was doing, what I thought, what I believed, even sometimes if I truly believed. I would tell the truth: I wasn’t like them; I didn’t fit in. I wasn’t a proper Christian. I didn’t have it all together like they did. Why not, I figured? What in the world did I have to lose? _____ After twenty years of unbelief, estranged from her childhood faith and ultimately from God, Michelle DeRusha unexpectedly found herself wrestling hard with questions of spirituality— and deeply frustrated by the lack of clear answers. Until she realized that the questions themselves paved a way for faith. “Declaring my unbelief,” writes DeRusha, “was the first step; declaring my unbelief allowed me to begin to seek authentically.” Spiritual Misfit chronicles one woman’s journey toward an understanding that belief and doubt can coexist. This poignant and startlingly candid memoir reveals how being honest about our questions, our fears, and our discomfort with black-and-white definitions of faith can move us toward an authentic and a deepening relationship with God.

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea

Author: Alyssa Mastromonaco
Publisher: Twelve
ISBN: 9781455588213
Release Date: 2017-03-21
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

New York Times bestseller! If your funny older sister were the former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, her behind-the-scenes political memoir would look something like this... Alyssa Mastromonaco worked for Barack Obama for almost a decade, and long before his run for president. From the then-senator's early days in Congress to his years in the Oval Office, she made Hope and Change happen through blood, sweat, tears, and lots of briefing binders. But for every historic occasion-meeting the queen at Buckingham Palace, bursting in on secret climate talks, or nailing a campaign speech in a hailstorm-there were dozens of less-than-perfect moments when it was up to Alyssa to save the day. Like the time she learned the hard way that there aren't nearly enough bathrooms at the Vatican. Full of hilarious, never-before-told stories, WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? is an intimate portrait of a president, a book about how to get stuff done, and the story of how one woman challenged, again and again, what a "White House official" is supposed to look like. Here Alyssa shares the strategies that made her successful in politics and beyond, including the importance of confidence, the value of not being a jerk, and why ultimately everything comes down to hard work (and always carrying a spare tampon). Told in a smart, original voice and topped off with a couple of really good cat stories, WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? is a promising debut from a savvy political star.

All the Things We Never Knew

Author: Sheila Hamilton
Publisher: Seal Press
ISBN: 9781580055840
Release Date: 2015-10-13
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Even as a reporter, Sheila Hamilton missed the signs as her husband Michael's mental illness unfolded before her. By the time she had pieced together the puzzle, it was too late. Her once brilliant, intense, and hilarious partner was dead within six weeks of a formal diagnosis of bipolar disorder, leaving his nine-year-old daughter and wife without so much as a note to explain his actions, a plan to help them recover from their profound grief, or a solution for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt that they would inherit from him. All the Things We Never Knew takes readers from Michael and Sheila's romance through the last three months of their life together and into the year after his death. It details their unsettling descent from ordinary life into the world of mental illness, and examines the fragile line between reality and madness. Now, a decade after Michael's death, Sheila and her daughter, Sophie, have learned the power of choosing life over retreat; let themselves love and trust again; and understand the importance of forgiveness. Their story will resonate with all those who have loved someone who suffers from bipolar disease and mental illness.

Educated

Author: Tara Westover
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9780399590511
Release Date: 2018-02-20
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times “A coming-of-age memoir reminiscent of The Glass Castle.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “Tara Westover is living proof that some people are flat-out, boots-always-laced-up indomitable.”—USA Today “The extremity of Westover’s upbringing emerges gradually through her telling, which only makes the telling more alluring and harrowing.”—The New York Times Book Review Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father’s junkyard. Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent. When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home. Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing one’s closest ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

The One You Get

Author: Jason Tougaw
Publisher:
ISBN: 1945814322
Release Date: 2017-10-09
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

In The One You Get: Portrait of a Family Organism, Jason Tougaw marries neuroscience and family lore to tell his story of growing up gay in 1970s Southern California, raised by hippies who had -dropped out- in the late sixties and couldn't seem to find their way back in. -There's something wrong with our blood, - the family mantra ran, -and it affects our brains---a catchall answer for incidents such as Tougaw's schizophrenic great-grandfather directing traffic in the nude on the Golden Gate Bridge, the author's own dyslexia and hypochondria, and the near-death experience of his notorious jockey grandfather, Ralph Neves. With shades of Oliver Sacks and Susannah Cahalan, this honest and unexpected true story recasts the memoir to answer some of life's big questions: -Where did I come from, - -How did I become me, - and -What happens when the family dog accidentally overdoses on acid?-

The Woman I Wanted to Be

Author: Diane von Furstenberg
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781451651577
Release Date: 2014-10-28
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

One of the most influential, admired, and colorful women of our time: fashion designer and philanthropist Diane von Furstenberg tells the most personal stories from her life, about family, love, beauty and business: “It’s so good, you’ll want to take notes” (People). Diane von Furstenberg started with a suitcase full of jersey dresses and an idea of who she wanted to be—in her words, “the kind of woman who is independent and who doesn’t rely on a man to pay her bills.” She has since become that woman, establishing herself as a major force in the fashion industry, all the while raising a family, maintaining that “my children are my greatest creation.” In The Woman I Wanted to Be, “an intriguing page-turner filled with revelations” (More), von Furstenberg reflects on her extraordinary life—from her childhood in Brussels to her days as a young, jet-set princess, to creating the dress that came to symbolize independence and power for generations of women. With remarkable honesty and wisdom, von Furstenberg mines the rich territory of what it means to be a woman. She opens up about her family and career, overcoming cancer, building a global brand, and devoting herself to empowering other women. This “inspiring, compelling, deliciously detailed celebrity autobiography…is as much of a smashing success as the determined, savvy, well-intentioned woman who wrote it” (Chicago Tribune).

Parish the Thought

Author: John Bernard Ruane
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451664419
Release Date: 2011-08-16
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

In a warm and affectionate narrative that "transports readers back to a time before cable television, cell phones, and the Internet" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), John Bernard Ruane paints a marvelous portrait of his Irish-Catholic boyhood on the southwest side of Chicago in the 1960s. Capturing all the details that perfectly evoke those bygone days for Catholics and baby boomers everywhere, Ruane recounts his formative years donning the navy-and-plaid school uniform of St. Bede's: the priests and nuns; bullies, best friends, and first loves; and most memorable teachers -- including the miniskirted blonde who inspired lust among the fifth-grade boys but was fired for protesting the Vietnam War. Here are stories from the heart of his hardworking, blue-collar family: the good times and bad; sibling rivalries; summers by the lake; delivering newspapers in the frigid Chicago winter; the fire that destroyed the family home; and the loss of their beloved mother to cancer. And here are priceless accounts of Ruane's days as an altar boy: from an embarrassing bell-ringing mishap, to serving a strict pastor who built a magnificent church but couldn't inspire Christian spirit, to the Heaven-sent guitar-playing priest who turned worship around for a generation of youth.

My Dead Parents

Author: Anya Yurchyshyn
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 9780553447057
Release Date: 2018-03-27
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A haunting, unforgettable family story about hidden secrets and a daughter’s journey to understand her parents Anya Yurchyshyn grew up in a narrow townhouse in Boston, every corner filled with the souvenirs of her parents’ adventurous international travels. On their trips to Egypt, Italy, and Saudi Arabia, her mother, Anita, and her father, George, lived an entirely separate life from the one they led as the parents of Anya and her sister – one that Anya never saw. The parents she knew were a brittle, manipulative alcoholic and a short-tempered disciplinarian: people she imagined had never been in love. When she was sixteen, Anya’s father was killed in a car accident in Ukraine. At thirty-two, she became an orphan when her mother drank herself to death. As she was cleaning out her childhood home, she suddenly discovered a trove of old letters, photographs, and journals hidden in the debris of her mother’s life. These lost documents told a very different story than the one she’d believed to be true – of a forbidden romance; of a loving marriage, and the loss of a child. With these revelations in hand, Anya undertook an investigation, interviewing relatives and family friends, traveling to Wales and Ukraine, and delving deeply into her own difficult history in search of the truth, even uncovering the real circumstances of her father’s death – not an accident, perhaps, but something more sinister. In this inspiring and unflinchingly honest debut memoir, Anya interrogates her memories of her family and examines what it means to be our parents’ children. What do we inherit, and what can we choose to leave behind? How do we escape the ghosts of someone else’s past? And can we learn to love our parents not as our parents, but simply as people? Universal and personal; heartbreaking and redemptive, My Dead Parents helps us to see why sometimes those who love us best hurt us most.