Posts tagged with "memoir"

Posted by jdunc on 08/28/15
cover image
In A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope Tom Brokaw, the incomparable newsman, recounts his struggle with multiple myeloma, an incurable form of blood marrow cancer. He describes how his once active life of fly fishing, horseback riding, camping, and hiking came to a sudden halt in 2013 when constant back pain led to the cancer diagnosis. Ever the reporter, Brokaw recorded his experience while battling cancer and based the memoir off of those notes. While the book centers around the diagnosis, Brokaw does an excellent job of reminiscing on his experience reporting world changing events, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Tiananmen Square massacre, and 9/11. He also showcases a profound love for his wife, children, grandchildren and extended family. Throughout the memoir Brokaw comments on the issues with health care in America, coming to terms with aging, and his own mortality.

The one disappointment with the audiobook was that it was not read by the author. Having watched Brokaw for years on the Nightly News and seen many of his stand alone news pieces, including his wonderful work on the greatest generation it was jarring to hear a voice other than his recount the story. However, Mark Bramhall is an accomplished reader and after the first few tracks his booming voice draws the listener in. It is a poignant memoir from one of America’s most well-known and beloved newsmen.

Posted by Pam I am on 10/18/12
cover image
Kim Stagliano is a nationally recognized autism advocate and speaker.  She is also the managing editor of Age of Autism, a daily web newspaper dedicated to autism. 
 
But, most importantly, Stagliano is in the unique position of being a mother to three girls that have autism.  Obviously, this is not the parenting life that she imagined, but she has embraced this new normal with a fierce sense of purpose.  She is sometimes controversial as she rallies against vaccines and mainstream medicine. Her writing is powerful, sometimes funny and filled with a sense of love above all.
 

Posted by lsears on 01/16/16
cover image
Author George Hodgman moved back home to tiny Paris, Missouri, in 2011 where he grew up as an only child to care for his 90-year-old widowed mother, Betty. He describes himself as an unlikely guardian, that his and Betty’s lives were lived on different planets.  Her independence is now at stake, her home. She struggles against needing assistance and George finds that he cannot bring himself to take her away from the house that his father built. So he stays.
 
So much goes on in any given day’s routine. Betty still plays bridge with her friends and plays the piano at church but irrational arguments erupt over shoes and forgetfulness becomes more frequent. George finds humor is often the best way to deal with this and the role reversal of a child now caring for a parent.
 
After graduating college, George lived a lifestyle that he knew his parents could not understand. His homosexuality was an issue they avoided because of the way they had been raised to think about people like him. In this story, there is a great deal of contemplation about life, memories, how events turned out, how people treat each other, and how you can trip yourself up and get into trouble – recovery hurts. Families are complex, living things that constantly change but if done right, one constant is love and that is what Betty gave him.
 
Many readers will be able to relate to the issues George and his mother face in this memoir written with kindness and candor. Other readers may find some of the topics eye-opening as told from George’s point of view.
 
 

Posted by mingh on 05/18/11
cover image
Gabrielle Hamilton is the head chef and owner of the popular New York restaurant Prune. The subtitle of this book is "the inadvertent education of a reluctant chef." Hamilton learned much of her cooking from observing her Mother and Father. Her Mother, a French ballet dancer, had to use all parts of whatever she was cooking to make everything last. Hamilton's Father was an artist and sometime theater producer. But the family of five children never had a lot of money. They tried to live off the land as much as possible and her Father even taught Hamilton how to kill a chicken.
 
You can read a lot of love and admiration in her stories of her parents when she was young. When Hamilton was 13, her parents divorced and everything seemed to fall apart in her life. So much so, that her parents forgot who was watching the youngest children and left them on their own for four weeks at their rural house. The children had been taught a lot of self-sufficiency. It even gave Hamilton enough confidence to walk to town and present herself as a 16 year old waitress for a local restaurant. This sets up a pattern for her life as she confidently starts to reinvent herself as older and more experienced at many different jobs--almost always in the food industry. The catering chapters alone will make you re-think any catering you are needing or wanting.
 
This is a memoir more than a foodie book. There are some deeper issues in this book that Hamilton presents than just becoming a chef. There is some bitterness, arguably understandable, considering she was basically abandoned by her family at 13 years old. As she grows older, Hamilton makes some interesting choices in her life, she tries to reconnect with her family, and finds in her travels to Italy that food is what can bring people together.

Posted by kmyers on 01/16/18
cover image
Bon Appétempt: A Coming-Of-Age Story (with Recipes!) by Amelia Morris, a 30-something “food” blogger, who writes a popular blog by the same title, is full of funny and charming stories in Morris’ distinctive voice. On her popular blog, PBS has produced her videos, she has won a Saveur food blog award, and her blog has been previously recognized as one of TIMES’s 25 Best Blogs of the Year.

Sharing personal observations about her life and family, she reveals relatable family dramas and growing into who you want to be. Full of thoughtful anecdotes, and a variety of recipes, from her mom’s comfort snack of Toasted Cheerios, to a delicious recipe for lemon pasta from her husband, this is a self-aware coming-of-age memoir. I recommend this book to anyone familiar with her Bon Appétempt blog or who likes modern memoirs.

Posted by Uncle Will on 03/24/17
cover image
Trevor Noah was born in South Africa to a black mother and a white father at the time when a union such as that was a crime under Apartheid rule. Noah's mother had to hide and shelter him for much of his childhood. In a place where Browns were only allowed to live with other Browns; Black only with Blacks; Whites with Whites; etc., a light-skinned African was a beacon of hatred and persecution. Young Noah did not make things easy for his mother, but she taught him to be proud and devout. Most times, she would have to chase him down and beat some sense into him, but his love for her never wavered. This book is humorous and sometimes sad. I had no idea who Noah was before reading this book and wasn't aware that he is a stand-up comic and that he has his own late night TV show in America. Add successful author to his resume. This book has a nice flow to it. I picked it up in our Marketplace just to review it and ended up not being able to put it down. 

Posted by jlasky on 12/05/17
cover image
 Although she says she is “not a reflective person by nature”, Alice Waters is a writer, an advocate and a chef. Her new memoir Coming to My Senses: the Making of a Counter Culture Cook tells a natural, graceful story of her life, and the various paths that led her to open the world- renowned restaurant Chez Panisse. Looking back from her early years in New Jersey, to European travels and eventually landing in Berkeley California, Waters shares tales of a true free spirit who is open to new experiences in all aspects of life. Falling in love with everything French, and finding a passion for organic and locally sourced food, leads her to open the now iconic Chez Panisse. At the age of 26, with no formal training, she embarks on opening a French restaurant with the simple goal of cooking for her friends. Now 46 years later, with dozens of prestigious awards, the restaurant is as strong as ever.  
 
Since opening, she has been credited with introducing mesculan salad to the US, as well as starting the Edible Schoolyard Project. Her passion and involvement in locally sourced organic food, as well as the Slow Food Movement has changed the way Americans eat. The beauty of a well written memoir is the thrill of being a fly on the wall through an interesting life well lived. This book is one of those.

Posted by mingh on 03/21/11
cover image
House of Prayer No. 2 : a writer's journey home is the story of writer Mark Richard's growing up as a "special" child because of his disabled legs and mental blocks. Some teachers found him slow, others found him above average. But when everything looks bad along the way he always finds a teacher or mentor who can help him in his journey to become a writer. Some of the mentors are men of faith of different religions. At one point he considers joining an Episcopal seminary. He attends Baptist Services and helps to rehab a Church. But there is a wild ride to go through before he is at that point.
 
Mark Richards grows up in the South with parents who seemed to have little time for him except to bring him to doctors who all tried to fix his legs. He spent weeks in the Crippled Children's Hospital without his parents at seven years old. Some of the nurses become his close caretakers and he met many friends. But it was still devastatingly lonely.
 
As a young adult he doesn't know what to do with his life, hitchhiking across the country, sleeping on friend's sofa's and squatting in abandoned homes on the coast. Taking some writing courses he is able to sell stories to such magazines as Esquire and The New Yorker. Not enough to live off of but enough to get noticed. Soon he is off to Hollywood and writing for TV.
 
This memoir is told in the second person.  It as is if the writer was saying to you, if YOU lived my life YOU would be doing this. YOU would find yourself in a hospital surrounded by other children with disabilities. YOU would wonder how they felt. This can be jarring but it also creates a very immediate experience for the reader.
 
An interesting memoir about a man who wanted to write, but had to go through a lot of living to get to that point.

Posted by Kelley M on 01/07/15
cover image
A book about the youngest Nobel Prize laureate in history…  You know this is going to be interesting. 
 
The author, Malala Yousafzai, was shot by the Taliban due to her belief that women should be educated.  It is easy to forget, living in the United States, that the education of females, unfortunately, is not a right extended to all women in the world.  This book is about overcoming that obstacle and speaking up about it, despite the potentially fatal response.  Yousafzai has been an advocate for girls’ educational rights since the age of 11.  I found it so interesting to hear a Muslim family’s perspective on the Taliban takeover of the Swat Valley in Pashtun.  What a perspective-altering book.  I really think the Washington Post summed up this book best when it said, “Ask social scientists how to end global poverty, and they will tell you: Educate girls… and watch a community change.”  If you find it difficult to get through the memoir in paper-form, give the audiobook a try.  Definitely worth the read.
 

Posted by Ultra Violet on 03/17/11
cover image
I picked this up because I wanted something light and fun. It was certainly witty, but it was much more than I expected in terms of the insight into women's rights. Nora Ephron's stories of her struggles as a young journalist were fascinating, and they were so clearly, objectively written that I felt like I was getting a real sense of what it was like in New York in the 60's for a young woman with ambitious career goals. Some of the other essays included in this book are about aging and her memory loss. Her anecdotes were poignant and charming.
 
I remember nothing: and other reflections is an enjoyable, pleasant read. Women of Ephron's age can relate to her personal stories, while younger readers can take away some valuable women's history told first hand.

 
If your status is Confirmed Registration, your spot for the event is confirmed.

If registration for this event is full, you will be placed on a waiting list. Wait listed registrants are moved to the confirmed registration list (in the order of registration) when cancelations are received. You will receive an email notification if you are moved from the wait list to the confirmed registration list.

6.012 Patron-Generated Content

04/27/2011
The Library offers various venues in which patrons can contribute content that is accessible to the public.  These include, but are not limited to, blogs, reviews, forums, and social tagging on the Library’s website and catalog.  Any instance in which a patron posts written or recorded content to any of the Library’s venues that are accessible to the public is considered “patron-generated content” and is subject to this policy.
 
By contributing patron-generated content, patrons grant the Library an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual right and license to use, copy, modify, display, archive, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works based upon that content.
 
By submitting patron-generated content, patrons warrant they are the sole authors or that they have obtained all necessary permission associated with copyrights and trademarks to submit such content.
 
Patrons are liable for the opinions expressed and the accuracy of the information contained in the content they submit.  The Library assumes no responsibility for such content.
 
The Library reserves the right not to post submitted content or to remove patron-generated content for any reason, including but not limited to:
 
  • content that is profane, obscene, or pornographic;
 
  • content that is abusive, discriminatory or hateful on account of race, national origin, religion, age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation;
 
  • content that contains threats, personal attacks, or harassment;
 
  • content that contains solicitations or advertisements;
 
  • content that is invasive of another person’s privacy;
 
  • content that is unrelated to the discussion or venue in which it is posted;
 
  • content that is in violation of the Library’s Code of Conduct or any other Library policy