Biography

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness Book Cover

This book brought the realities of madness right to the forefront. I couldn’t put it down. Miss Cahalan is a journalist who retells the story of her diagnoses and treatment of a form of autoimmune encephalitis which attacked her brain. I couldn’t help but think “this could happen to anyone”. Her experience was terrifying and she shows selflessness in sharing her story with others. An unbelievable telling of an incredible journey back to wellness both mentally and physically.

When women were birds

When women were birds Book Cover

This is a memoir that continues the work of Williams’ “Refuge”, honoring her mother’s identity and memory. Her mother died of cancer at a young age and left Terry her journals, of which she was surprised to discover that they were all blank. It is a book about nature, family, history, and what it means to have a voice.

Mom & Me & Mom

Mom & Me & Mom Book Cover

Maya Angelou once again does not disappoint. She continues her series of auto-biographies with an incredibly well written book about her relationship with her mother. She writes with such eloquence and ease that I did not want to put the book down. The book illustrates the hardships in their relationship with respect and love and at the same time entertains.

Stieg Larsson : The Real Story of the Man Who Played With Fire

Stieg Larsson : The Real Story of the Man Who Played With Fire Book Cover

Pettersson begins with Larsson's childhood in rural Sweden, his love of reading as a child, and his early career in journalism. He explores how Larsson's commitment to left-wing causes, social injustice, and work as an anti-fascist activist influenced his Millenium Trilogy. I found Larsson a very interesting and dedicated person, and this book has inspired me to read Larsson's novels.

Life and Death in Shanghai

Life and Death in Shanghai Book Cover

Life and Death in Shanghai is Cheng’s first-hand account of her life during China’s Cultural Revolution. It is a haunting narrative of Cheng’s years of imprisonment for being wrongly accused of being an imperialist spy. During her imprisonment, Cheng never gave up and never gave in to lies and false denunciations. Her story is heartbreaking, courageous, and unforgettable.

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef Book Cover

This book is the autobiography of Gabrielle Hamilton, and her path to becoming a chef and owner of her restaurant in New York City at a relatively young age. Her unconventional path begins after her family begins to dissolve and she takes restaurant and catering jobs to survive. With an even more unconventional marriage, she has to learn as she goes about the restaurant business, family, and the balance between all of it that will define her life. This is a great book for anyone that appreciates food and the hard work that goes into the restaurant business.

Until Tuesday : a wounded warrior and the golden retriever who saved him

Until Tuesday : a wounded warrior and the golden retriever who saved him Book Cover

A Captain in the US Army assigned to curtail arms smuggling at the border of Syria and Iraq, Montalvan returns home haunted by the war, in constant pain from a traumatic brain injury, physical wounds, and extreme PTSD, he got to the point where he couldn’t even climb a flight of stairs or face a bus ride to the VA hospital. He drank, he argued, and cut himself off from people he loved. He was sent an email from the VA about service dogs and them met Tuesday, a golden retriever trained to assist the disabled. This turned his life around. Told in his voice, Montalvan speaks about his feelings about the war, officials in the military and our government, and how he felt betrayed by them. Very compelling story in all of its aspects.

Even Silence Has an End

Even Silence Has an End Book Cover

During her campaign for the Columbian presidency in 2002, Ingrid Betancourt was abducted by the FARC and held captive in the Columbian jungle for over 6yrs. This is the amazing account of those years and what she endured and her reflection on what it really means to be human.