Tag Archives: Memoir

Book of the Week | No Baggage by Clara Bensen

cover63990-mediumTITLE: No Baggage

AUTHOR: Clara Bensen

PUBLISHER: Perseus Books Group, Running Press

RELEASE DATE: January 5, 2016

GENRE: Biographies & Memoirs

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&NINDIEBOUND | BAM! | POWELL’S

No Baggage is a memoir that will resonate with adventurers and homebodies alike—it’s at once a romance, a travelogue, and a bright modern take on the age-old questions: how do you find the courage to explore beyond your comfort zone? And can you love someone without the need for commitment, or any expectations for the future?

When Clara Bensen arranged to meet Jeff Wilson on the steps of the Texas State Capitol, after just a few email exchanges on OKCupid, it felt like something big was going to happen. Clara, a sensitive and reclusive personality, is immediately drawn to Jeff’s freewheeling, push-the-envelope nature. Within a few days of knowing one another, they embark on a 21-day travel adventure—from Istanbul to London, with zero luggage, zero reservations, and zero plans. They want to test a simple question: what happens when you welcome the unknown instead of attempting to control it?

Donning a single green dress and a small purse with her toothbrush and credit card, Clara travels through eight countries in three weeks. Along the way, Clara ruminates on the challenges of traveling unencumbered, while realizing when it comes to falling in love, you can never really leave your baggage behind. (Description found on NetGalley.com)

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September New Releases

SEPTEMBER NEW RELEASES

Here are the upcoming September releases I’m excited about and have added to my TBR list.

cover64144-mediumTITLE: The Sea Keeper’s Daughter

AUTHOR: Lisa Wingate

PUBLISHER: Tyndale House Publishers

RELEASE DATE: September 8, 2015

GENRE: Women’s Fiction

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&N | BAM!

From modern-day Roanoke Island to the sweeping backdrop of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and Roosevelt’s WPA folklore writers, past and present intertwine to create an unexpected destiny.

Restaurant owner Whitney Monroe is desperate to save her business from a hostile takeover. The inheritance of a decaying Gilded Age hotel on North Carolina’s Outer Banks may provide just the ray of hope she needs. But things at the Excelsior are more complicated than they seem. Whitney’s estranged stepfather is entrenched on the third floor, and the downstairs tenants are determined to save the historic building. Searching through years of stored family heirlooms may be Whitney’s only hope of quick cash, but will the discovery of an old necklace and a Depression-era love story change everything. (Description from NetGalley.com)

cover64319-mediumTITLE:  Reading the Sweet Oak

AUTHOR: Jan Stites

PUBLISHER: Lake Union Publishing

RELEASE DATE: September 29, 2015

GENRE: Women’s Fiction

PRE-ORDER LINKS: AMAZON

Along the banks of the Sweet Oak River, deep in the heart of the Ozarks, a romance novel book club takes five women on stunning journeys of self-discovery.

After losing first her husband, then her daughter, seventy-eight-year-old grandmother Ruby wants to teach her risk-averse granddaughter, Tulsa, that some leaps are worth taking, no matter how high the potential fall. Tulsa loves her grandmother dearly, but she has a business to run and no time for romance—not even the paperback version. But when Ruby ropes her into a book club, Tulsa can’t bring herself to disappoint the woman who raised her.

Together with Ruby’s best friend, Pearl, as well as family friends BJ and Jen, the women embark on an exploration of modern-day love guided by written tales of romance. What they discover is a beautiful story that examines the bonds of friendship and the highs and lows of love in all its forms. (Description and photo from Netgalley.com)

cover65935-mediumTITLE: Last Night in the OR

AUTHOR: Bud Shaw, MD

PUBLISHER: Penguin Group Blue Rider Press

RELEASE DATE: September 29, 2015

GENRE: Memoir

PRE-ORDER LINKS: AMAZON | B&N | BAM! | HUDSON | INDIEBOUND | POWELL’S | WALMART

The 1980s marked a revolution in the field of organ transplants, and Bud Shaw, M.D., who studied under Tom Starzl in Pittsburgh, was on the front lines. Now retired from active practice, Dr. Shaw relays gripping moments of anguish and elation, frustration and reward, despair and hope in his struggle to save patients. He reveals harshly intimate moments of his medical career: telling a patient’s husband that his wife has died during surgery; struggling to complete a twenty-hour operation as mental and physical exhaustion inch closer and closer; and flying to retrieve a donor organ while the patient waits in the operating room. Within these more emotionally charged vignettes are quieter ones, too, like growing up in rural Ohio, and being awakened late at night by footsteps in the hall as his father, also a surgeon, slipped out of the house to attend to a patient in the ER.

In the tradition of Mary Roach, Jerome Groopman, Eric Topol, and Atul Gawande, Last Night in the OR is an exhilarating, fast-paced, and beautifully written memoir, one that will captivate readers with its courage, intimacy, and honesty. (Description and photo from NetGalley.com)

What new releases are you excited about this month?

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Friday Finds | Memoirs

This Friday I want to share some new memoirs I’ve added to my TBR list. Memoirs are one of my favorite genres mostly because I’m writing one myself and because they are stories about real people and real experiences.

cover63798-mediumTITLE: Stir

AUTHOR: Jessica Fechtor

PUBLISHER: Penguin Group Avery

RELEASE DATE: June 23, 2015

GENRE: Memoir

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&N | BAM! | HUDSON | INDIEBOUND | POWELL’S | TARGET | WALMART

An exquisite memoir about how food connects us to ourselves, our lives, and each other.

At 28, Jessica Fechtor was happily immersed in graduate school and her young marriage, and thinking about starting a family. Then one day, she went for a run and an aneurysm burst in her brain. She nearly died. She lost her sense of smell, the sight in her left eye, and was forced to the sidelines of the life she loved.

Jessica’s journey to recovery began in the kitchen as soon as she was able to stand at the stovetop and stir. There, she drew strength from the restorative power of cooking and baking. Written with intelligence, humor, and warmth, Stir is a heartfelt examination of what it means to nourish and be nourished.”

Woven throughout the narrative are 27 recipes for dishes that comfort and delight. For readers of M.F.K.Fisher, Molly Wizenberg, and Tamar Adler, as well as Oliver Sacks, Jill Bolte Taylor, and Susannah Cahalan, Stir is sure to inspire, and send you straight to the kitchen. (Description found on NetGalley.com)

cover70899-mediumTITLE: Below The Water Line

AUTHOR: Lisa Karlin

PUBLISHER: Centennial Publishers

RELEASE DATE: July 20, 2015

GENRE: Memoir

BUY LINKS: AMAZON

In this intensely personal and moving memoir, Lisa Karlin provides a gripping account of her family’s hurricane evacuation experiences and all that followed in the decade after Hurricane Katrina. Her story begins in August 2005, when Lisa, her husband, thirteen-year-old daughter, eleven-year-old son, and two dogs evacuated New Orleans for what they thought would be a two-day “hurrication.”

Her day-by-day account of the weeks that follow vividly chronicles the unprecedented displacement of thousands of Americans, and on a personal level, describes how her family makes the trifecta of major life decisions: where to live, where to work, and where to enroll their children in school. With unflinching candor, Lisa Karlin provides a first-hand commentary on how everyday life has been impacted by Katrina’s aftermath and how, a decade later, there are still lingering effects of one of the most devastating events in American history. (Description found on NetGalley.com)

cover66697-mediumTITLE: The Boy In The Mirror

AUTHOR: Tom Preston

PUBLISHER: Inpress Books – Valley Press

RELEASE DATE: September 1, 2015

GENRE: Memoir

“When you turn on the bathroom light your reflection stares numbly back at you, gormless and vacant. You blink. Your eyes are yellow, as is your skin. You’ve lost weight: your pyjamas hang off your arms like the wilting leaves of a dying plant.
You stare at yourself in the mirror for several surreal minutes. The thing before you is not you. But it is.”

In January 2011, aged 21, Tom Preston was diagnosed with stage 4 advanced aggressive lymphoma. His chances of survival were optimistically placed at around 40%. This short, autobiographical work tells the story of the fight in the months that followed – but this is no ordinary cancer memoir.

The Boy in the Mirror is written in the second person – so the events in this book are happening to you, the reader, living through the hope, love, suffering, death and black comedy encountered by Tom during the battle to save himself. (Description found on NetGalley.com)

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Book Update | Wish Me Luck!

i-am-a-writer

In a mere 26 days, I will be submitting the first 20 pages of my memoir for a chance to be chosen for the 2016 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellowship.

The Fellowship includes the following:

  • Professional Mentorship
  • Enrollment in classes at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program (one 12-week course & a one-day workshop)
  • Attending Author Evenings
  • Enrollment in one genre-specific Masters Class
  • Completion of a 25-hour volunteer project
  • Voice Instruction Class to read work in recording studio & receive instruction on reading publicly
  • Participation in (3) public readings
  • Stipend

This is (by far) one of the scariest, most thrilling things I will do to get my book finished and get it published. I’m sure all you published (and even non-published) authors understand me when I say the part that scares me the most is having other people judge my work, but with a memoir they will also be judging my life and my experiences.

Even though I’m scared and nervous and anxious, I’m also very excited to see if I get this Fellowship. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn more about the craft of writing and gain valuable experience, all while working on my memoir.

So over the next 26 days I may be MIA from my blog, but know that I’ll be back in full force after I’ve had the chance to make my 20 pages good enough to submit.

If you want more information on this Fellowship please follow this link: Emerging Voices Fellowship

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