The Little Way of Ruthie Leming
By Rod Dreher
THE LITTLE WAY OF RUTHIE LEMING follows Rod Dreher, a Philadelphia journalist, back to his hometown of St. Francisville, Louisiana (pop. 1,700) in the wake of his younger sister Ruthie's death. When the author's little sister was diagnosed at age 40 with a virulent form of cancer, Dreher was touched by the way the community he had left behind rallied around his dying sister. He was also struck by the grace and courage his sister displayed in the face of death. Back home in Louisiana for Ruthie's funeral in the fall of 2011, Dreher began to wonder whether the ordinary life Ruthie led was in fact a path of hidden grandeur, even spiritual greatness, concealed within the modest life of a mother and teacher. In order to explore this revelation, Dreher and his wife decided to leave Philadelphia, move home to help with family responsibilities and have their three children grow up amidst the rituals that had defined his family for five generations-Mardi Gras, L.S.U. football games, and deer hunting. As David Brooks poignantly described Dreher's journey homeward in a recent New York Times column, Dreher and his wife Julie 'decided to accept the limitations of small-town life in exchange for the privilege of being part of a community.'
A Life That Matters
By Kenneth Salyer
A LIFE THAT MATTERS is a fascinating and profoundly moving new book by a surgeon who has devoted his life to helping the world's most unfortunate children grow up with faces that allow them to know they are part of the human community - assured that they are ordinary in the very best way and fully capable of being loved. We present ourselves to the world foremost with our faces, Dr. Ken Salyer explains, and the people we meet initially look to our faces to ascertain who, in fact, we are. Dr. Salyer is a fiercely intelligent, energetic, insatiably inquiring, and deeply compassionate man whose life has been one of service. As he writes in his introduction to A LIFE THAT MATTERS, he is 'convinced that possessing a face you aren't forced to hide is a fundamental human right - as important to a fully lived life as freedom from fear or want.' And in clinics and operating room around the world, today Dr. Salyer continues a groundbreaking forty-year career whose nexus melds cutting-edge medicine with humanitarian aid offered to profoundly unfortunate children.A LIFE THAT MATTERS focuses on the moving stories of the children whose lives have been transformed and their moving personal testaments to how precious their 'normalcy' now is. It is these children who inspired Dr. Salyer to found the World Craniofacial Foundation and establish clinics across the globe that now offer hope for good lives to hundreds of poor children in still-developing countries who otherwise would be shunned, locked away, or abandoned. In a voice that's compelling, eloquent, and always impassioned, he issues a call for a new worldwide understanding of the rights of the terribly disfigured, and he encourages readers to be inspired by the lives of these children and to transform our own challenges into triumphs.
Licking the Spoon
By Candace Walsh
Recipes and cookbooks, meals and mouthfuls have framed the way Candace Walsh sees the world for as long as she can remember, from her frosting-spackled childhood to her meat-eschewing college years to her post-college phase as a devoted Martha Stewart's Entertaining disciple. In Licking the Spoon, Walsh tells how, lacking role models in her early life, she turned to cookbook authors real and fictitious (Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart, Mollie Katzen, Daniel Boulud, and more) to learn, unlearn, and redefine her own womanhood. Through the lens of food, Walsh recounts her life's journey,from unhappy adolescent to straight-identified wife and mother to divorcée in a same-sex relationship,and she throws in some dishy revelations, a-ha moments, take-home tidbits, and mouth-watering recipes for good measure. A surprising and rambunctiously liberating tale of cooking and eating, loving and being loved, Licking the Spoon is the story of how,accompanied by pivotal recipes, cookbooks, culinary movements, and guides,one woman learned that you can not only recover but blossom after a comically horrible childhood if you just have the right recipes, a little luck, and an appetite for life's next meal.
Life Is Not A Stage
By Florence Henderson, Joel Brokaw
For millions around the world, Carol Brady is synonymous with motherhood but growing up the youngest of 10 in rural Indiana in the aftermath of the Great Depression, Florence lived a life quite different from that of the quintessential TV mom she played on tv. Her father was a dirt-poor tobacco tenant farmer who was nearly 50 when he married Florence's 25-year-old mother and was nearly 70 when she was born. Her childhood was one of abuse and abandonment. Her father was an alcoholic and their home home rarely had electricity or running water. When she was 12 her mother left the family to work and never returned. Florence opens up about her childhood, as well as the challenges she's faced as an adult, inc.stage fright, postpartum depression, extramarital affairs and divorce and her hearing loss and heart problems. She writes with honesty and wisdom of how her faith and ability to survive has brought her through rough times to a life of profound joy and purpose. She notes that this memoir 'is written as a natural consequence of forgiveness and compassion, not only for those who harmed me but most importantly, for myself.
A Long Way From Paradise
By Leah Chishugi
Leah Chishugi grew up in eastern Congo but, aged seventeen, she moved to Kigali, the Rwandan capital, to work as a model. She married and had a son. Then in 1994 she was caught up in the horrific conflict, and escaped only after being left for dead under a pile of corpses. She fled with her son to Uganda, then South Africa where she was miraculously reunited with her husband whom she believed dead. Leah finally settled in the UK where she was granted asylum and became a nurse. After her mother died, Leah decided to set up a charity to help the women and children of eastern Congo - victims of continuing war atrocities. A LONG WAY FROM PARADISE is a deeply courageous narrative of one woman's survival of personal trauma and finding a greater purpose in life through devotion to the service of others.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
By Jean-Paul Bell
Clown Doctors work in hospitals around Australia, and overseas, to give children, especially, the opportunity to play, laugh and sing at a time when everything else in their lives is painful. Actors by training, the Clown Doctors sees the mood around the sick-bed, and in pairs they fall into routines that will relieve some tension and entertain, or they will simply be there to listen.The Clown Doctors touch the lives of over 85 000 people every year, and are now a familiar - and welcome - part of most major Australian children's hospitals. Here we follow a day in the life of a group of Clown Doctors, and go with them on their rounds, meeting patients, their parents and the hospital staff. Laugh and cry at these true stories of daily life in Australia's children's hospitals.
The Lion's Eye
By Joanna Greenfield
Joanna Greenfield dreamed of travelling to East Africa to study one of the last known populations of wild chimpanzees. When she was offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance, the young student set off from peaceful Kenya into politically hazardous Uganda. From there, a small team of guides led her into the mountains.In stunningly evocative language, Greenfield depicts the beauty of the rainforest and the determination required to wait for one transcendent encounter in the wild. But even one of the most remote places in the world is not immune to terrifying man-made conflict. Greenfield and her team are robbed by poachers and harassed by soldiers. Eventually, it becomes too dangerous to continue her research, though she knows she may never be allowed to return.THE LION'S EYE is the true story of one woman's burning mission to connect with animals -an adventure story and against-the-odds quest for a wilderness few of us have ever glimpsed.
Labor of Love
By Thomas Beatie
Thomas Beatie electrified the world in April 2008 with his announcement that he was seven months pregnant. He recounted his amazing story on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and was later featured in a Barbara Walters Exclusive, where he announced that he and his wife, Nancy, were expecting their second child. While Thomas's story made global headlines, there's much more to his story than his pregnancies. labour of Love chronicles Thomas Beatie's unique life experiences: his less-than-idyllic childhood in Hawaii his transition from female to male his marriage to his wife, Nancy his legal battles to live as a man his fight to conceive a child and the birth of their daughter, Susan, in late June. labour of Love is a ground-breaking book because it tackles social, political, and legal questions about gender, marriage, and family. Thomas and Nancy's uphill battle to have a baby is both fascinating and touching. They are a normal couple who wanted a family, and yet the circumstances surrounding their desire to get pregnant and their journey to get there are truly extraordinary. labour of Love is much more than the story of a unique pregnancy and birth,it's a beautiful and controversial love story, a story of going against the tide, and a powerful and important statement about the evolution of family in the new millennium.
Life On Planet Rock
By Lonn Friend
For fans of heavy metal music, RIP magazine was a cultural touchstone, every bit as crucial in its day as Kerrang, NME or Rolling Stone. Lonn Friend, RIP's legendary editor, helped launch and revive the careers of innumerable acts - including Guns n' Roses, Metallica and Pearl Jam - and created some of the most enduring rock journalism of the decade, rivaling the best work of Lester Bangs and Cameron Crowe. In Life on Planet Rock, Friend describes in lucid and lurid detail how he became the Zelig-like chronicler of the biggest musical moments of the 80s and 90s, providing revealing portraits of artists as varied as Gene Simmons, Alice Cooper, Axl Rose, Jon Bon Jovi, Kurt Cobain, and Steven Tyler, among others. A candid and humorous memoir which will appeal to fans of Motley Crue's The Dirt and Seb Hunter's Hell Bent For Leather.
By Elaine Dundy
Author of the celebrated and hilarious THE DUD AVOCADO, the classic novel about a young American ingenue in Paris, Elaine Dundy was born in New York in the 1930s. Her first years were spent in an apartment on Park Avenue until the stock market crash wiped out most of the family's money. She went to university in the south where, among other studies, she worked hard at losing her virginity. Deciding the stage was her true home, Elaine Dundy headed first to Paris and then to London, where she met and married the famous theatre critic Kenneth Tynan. Though their union was intoxicating, it was far from easy and the successful publication in 1958 of her novel finished off the marriage. But it was the opening of a new world of writers for Elaine Dundy, including friendships with Tennessee Williams, Hemingway and Gore Vidal. Extremely funny and extraordinarily honest this wonderfully remembered story of growing up in America is as much a tonic as life itself.
By Alex Halberstadt
One of the most original, influential, and commercially successful American songwriters, Doc Pomus (1927-1991) was a role model for several generations of composers, renowned for his mastery of virtually every popular style, and for the numerous hits he wrote during rock 'n' roll's first decade. But despite his successes, few knew that this writer of jukebox hits led one of the most dramatic lives of his time. Spanning the extremes between extravagant wealth and desperate poverty, suburban family life and the depths of New York's underworld, enduring love and persistent loneliness, and touching on more than a half-century of American popular music, Lonely Avenue reveals with novelistic flair the whole of Doc's experience-one of the great untold American stories.
Leaving The Saints
By Martha Beck
Leaving the Saints is an unforgettable memoir about one woman's lifetime struggle to overcome a dark secret buried in her childhood. Growing up within the narrow confines of the Mormon Church, bestselling author Martha Beck was raised in a home frequented by the Church's high elders. After Adam, her second child, was born with Down's syndrome, she and her husband left their graduate programmes at Harvard to return to Martha's hometown of Provo, Utah, where they knew the supportive Mormon community would embrace them. But after Martha began teaching at Brigham Young University, she began to recall horrific memories of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of one of the Church's most respected leaders. This book chronicles her difficult decision to sever her relationship with the faith that had raised her, and to confront and forgive the person who betrayed her so deeply.
Little New York Bastard
By M. Dylan Raskin
Meet M. Dylan Raskin , "MDR" to friends. At 22, he's the opposite of hip: a working-class college dropout who lives with his mother in Queens , "Flushing-Stinking-Queens," to be precise. It's not that he doesn't like New York, exactly, it's just that lately he's felt more and more at odds with everything , his family, his generation, his hometown, even himself. One day he gets fed up and decides to take his freedom on the road, setting off for Chicago in a quixotic attempt to turn his life around. Little New York Bastard is the story of an outsider for the ages, a mixed-up kid who knows what he wants in life but has no idea how to get it. Raskin's anger is palpable and his wounds are unabashedly raw, and readers will appreciate the immediacy and honesty of his story. Equal parts road story, coming-of-age memoir, and existential manifesto , this debut is in the tradition of cult classics like Youth in Revolt and The Fuck Up.
The Language Imperative
By Suzette Haden Elgin
Many of us view language as a tool, a means by which to communicate our thoughts and emotions. But is there more to language than just "talk"? Can learning languages actually change the way you think? In The Language Imperative , best-selling author and linguistic scholar Suzette Haden Elgin examines the power of language to shape our lives. She confronts some of the most pressing issues parents and educators face today: Is it a good or bad idea for Americans to have command of more than one language? Should learning languages be a luxury for only the rich? Or should it be a goal of the public educational system as well? Based on solid science and filled with personal insights, The Language Imperative is required reading for anyone interested in how words shape our lives, both as individuals and as a nation.
By Stephen Gardiner