Under This Beautiful Dome
By Terry Mutchler
One of the greatest love stories I have ever heard played out right here, under this beautiful dome. But it was a secret. . . . Penny and Terry just wanted what so many people want,to express their love through marriage. I believe that today, their relationship would have played out much differently than it did twenty years ago. Because times have changed, and we all view things differently. But the law has not caught up with society." ,Representative Ann Williams Under This Beautiful Dome tells the true story of journalist Terry Mutchler's secret five-year relationship with Penny Severns, an Illinois State Senator who mentored Barack Obama. Forced to engage in an elabourate ruse to keep their relationship a secret, the two women constantly fear discovery in their conservative town. Denied legal access to the altar, they face even greater hardships when Penny is diagnosed with cancer and begins undergoing treatment.Set in the political arena, Under This Beautiful Dome reminds us why the march to legalize same-sex marriage is both personal and political. This vivid, beautiful story paints an intimate portrait of a loving relationship and the vast impact gay marriage legislation has on couples and families in America today.
Until We All Come Home
By Kim de Blecourt, Ginger Kolbaba
When Kim de Blecourt and her husband decided to adopt a child from Ukraine, they knew that the process might be challenging. Nothing, however, could have prepared de Blecourt for the twisted nightmare she would endure. During her year-long struggle to extricate her newly adopted little boy from that post-Soviet country's corrupt social service and judicial systems, de Blecourt was insulted, physically assaulted, and arrested. Worse, her months of loneliness, worry, and fear drove her to the brink of spiritual despair. But God had no intention of abandoning de Blecourt or her family. Her amazing story-culminating in a spine-chilling race to freedom-offers dramatic proof that God's light shines on even in the deepest darkness.
The Unlikely Disciple
By Kevin Roose
As a student Kevin was eager for a term abroad - a break from the mind-numbing sameness of life at Brown University, one of the most liberal colleges in America. Kevin found the most foreign place he could in America's backyard. Liberty University is the late Rev. Jerry Falwell's fundamentalist Christian college for hardcore conservative Christians. The 10,000 students learn everything through a strict lens of Biblical literalism, every professor is a born-again Christian, the student code of conduct lays out a host of rules e.g. no witchcraft allowed and at spring break, they take a bus to Daytona Beach to convert the heathens. But Kevin did not go to poke fun at the students or the way of life there, far from it. He went there to try to better understand the people who are so similar and yet so different from him, to see if perhaps they have found a way to live that is more rewarding than his own. What begins as a journey to reveal what is actually going on at the nation's largest Christian fundamentalist school ends up revealing more about Kevin than he could have possibly imagined.
Undress Me In The Temple Of Heaven
By Susan Jane Gilman, Susan Jane Gilman
In 1986, Susie and her friend Chloe, fresh-faced graduates from Brown University, were inspired by a placemat entitled "Pancakes of Many Nations" to depart on an epic trip around the world, starting with Hong Kong and the People's Republic of China, then only recently opened to the rest of the world. As the two ventured into what turned out to be a strange and alien land, they encountered places far different from anything they had ever experienced, from the horrors of an open-ditch toilet in the back of a weird hybrid tenement hotel, to a magical boat ride through a fantastic landscape of wind-carved mountains. At every turn, they stumbled upon unforgettable people, including an earnest local who called himself George and loved everything American from hamburgers to Stevie Wonder, a heroic German exchange student named Eckehardt Grimm, and a young waitress named Lisa in an unlikely restaurant in the middle of rural China that specialized in food for weary travelers, such as pancakes and pizza, "just like their mama make."Armed only with Nietzsche's greatest works and a copy of Linda Goodman's Love Signs, Susie and Chloe were utterly unprepared for their expedition, and their experience alternated between culture shock and exotic adventure, until a near-tragedy turned the trip into a true-life international thriller. Recounted in Susan Jane Gilman's inspired and unmistakable voice, this adventure is an unforgettable voyage into a peculiarly modern heart of darkness.
Underwater to Get Out of the Rain
By Trevor Norton
On a hot summer's day there could be no quicker transport to the seaside than Trevor Norton's cool and entrancing account of a lifetime's adventures under or near the water. Norton's eye for the bizarre, amazing, and beautiful inhabitants of the oceans, and the eccentric characters who work, study, and live by the shore make his book a wonder-filled experience. An intrepid diver and distinguished scientist, Norton's writing is self-deprecating, very funny, and full of wry and intriguing anecdotes he is an unfailingly delightful companion. Whether his setting is a bed of jewel anemones in an Irish lough, a giant California cavern shared with sea lions, a mildewed research station, or the glittering coral gardens of Sharm el Sheikh, his captivating prose always finds the mark. Sometimes following the shoreline with earlier beachcombers such as Darwin, John Steinbeck, and George Orwell, Norton also takes the reader to depths where the shapes of creatures living without sunlight defy imagination. Admirers of the gorgeous detail of Rachel Carson's The Sea Around Us will revel in Norton's writing, his observations, and irreverent wit.
By Maureen Murdock
Beginning with the idea that memory is nothing more than "an angle of perception," Murdock explores the recurrent question asked by writers and readers of memoir alike: what actually happened? Prompted by the loss of identity that accompanied her mother's struggle with Alzheimer's and subsequent lost memories, Murdock offers that perhaps the faithful recording of the past isn't where the strength of memoir lies. Instead, Murdock looks at the basic components of memoir writing and the process of self-reflection it requires as they bring awareness to the underlying patterns of life. This captivating treatise on the corruptibility of memory, willed identity and the self as reflected through the lens of memoir speaks to all attracted to this most intimate of genres, and provides tools for exploration of the self and soul through personal narrative.