PositiveBooklistThe author shares her difficulties in fitting into the white world as she searches for her roots. Beautifully written and painfully honest, Nguyen’s memoir reveals the struggles and prejudices refugees face and the importance of knowing your life story.
Helen Elaine Lee
RaveBooklistLee has created a powerful, beautifully written story of a woman who painfully confronts her past to build her future.
PositiveBooklistHackman goes back in history to show the evolution of emotional labor and how it became the province mostly of women. She includes interviews with a wide selection of emotional-labor suppliers, from stressed moms to sex workers.
PositiveBooklist... poignant ... Hays does a wonderful job of honestly recalling the turmoil, moves, and challenges that followed as well as the unexpected aid from families and friends. Throughout the letter, she shows constant love and support for her daughter, who remains at peace with her choices. Gradually, Hays and family become eloquent advocates for the girl and the trans community. Families facing similar challenges will be comforted and inspired by this clear-eyed, love-filled tale.
PositiveBooklistFrank and direct ... Brave, incisive, and uncompromising, Hill...will inspire women, especially women of color, to challenge sexism and racism in every realm.
PositiveBooklistMcInerny isn’t afraid to attack these challenges and speaks frankly about alcoholism, depression, her husband’s death from cancer, and an aunt with dementia. Her gift is addressing these grim topics with humor and insight ... Whether she’s recalling a college friend who danced drunkenly on bar tops who later became a nun, or attending a high-school reunion, this author can find a hilarious twist. Childhood adventures, competitive parenting, the lure of social media, and emotional therapy are all served up with groans and laughs. The author is a millennial nearing middle age, but her experiences are told with fierce honesty that will resonate with a wide range of readers.
PositiveBooklistParker offers an intriguing twist in this tale of revisiting high school as an adult and redeeming one’s past; that and a touch of romance and the lure of second chances make for a fun read.
RaveBooklist... beautifully written ... Her tales of shelling peas with her grandmother and the kindness of a neighbor who listened patiently to her fears are heart-warming ... This lovely book teaches gentle lessons on gratitude and celebrating life.
PositiveBooklistMorton has an appealing style and shares his challenges...with a dose of humor and self-deprecation. He’s also honest about his hesitancy to bring his mother into his own home and his own feelings of inadequacy. This is a personal story, but anyone facing the same challenges will be nodding along in agreement.
RaveBooklistEverywhere he perceives gratitude, optimism, hope, and courage in his interviewees, leading to a shift within himself to compassion and appreciation. The result is a book about vision loss that becomes testimony to human courage, a moving memoir that offers perspective, comfort, and hope.
PositiveBooklistAs she interviews women making a difference in her country, she speaks frankly about her own struggles with parenting and living a life of purpose in her husband’s shadow. Intercut within her chapters are profiles of sprakkar, an ancient Icelandic word for extraordinary or outstanding women ... the tiny country of Iceland should serve as an inspiration to the rest of the world.
PositiveBooklistThoughtful ... Especially moving are the final chapters in which Ignatieff profiles poets of the Holocaust and Cicely Saunders, founder of the hospice movement. Along the way, the author shares his own struggles with grief and search for consolation. While not an easy read, this moving and meaningful work will be compelling and comforting for readers looking for perspective and balance.
Dr. Wendy Suzuki
PositiveBooklistAs a neuroscientist at New York University, Suzuki has a unique view on the effects of these related states ... The final segment of this reassuring book includes tests to help readers rate their anxieties and hacks to guide us in turning negative thoughts into positive actions. A solid library purchase.
RaveBooklistIn a world of infinite options, Davis makes a plea for commitment. He acknowledges that we fear that we’ll regret our choices or miss out on opportunities. He also recognizes that there’s value in sampling different paths, especially for young adults. But ultimately, constantly jumping between options becomes tiring rather than fulfilling ... Well-versed in the current zeitgeist, Davis is insightful without being preachy, and his wise guide to commitment should be on everyone’s reading list.
PositiveBooklistStill, she manages to face life with her characteristic offbeat faith and hilarious insights ... We all need to march together and share our stories, Lamott observes, because in the end truth, science, and love almost always win. A message of reason and hope we all need to hear.
PositiveBooklistKross recaps his concrete tips in a \'tools\' section that will reinforce his sound advice, making this a practical, useful guide to quieting one’s inner noise.
RaveBooklistIn this introspective, beautifully written mix of memoir and philosophy, May explores life’s hardest season and the lessons of acceptance. With a pandemic keeping us isolated in so many ways, May offers much-needed solace and comfort and a reminder that seasons eventually turn.
RaveBooklistBerg’s fans will be touched by her disclosures, and readers caring for an aging parent will see themselves in Berg’s painfully honest, beautifully written account, and be comforted by her insights.
Scott Dominic Carpenter
PositiveBooklistIn this entertaining memoir, Carpenter, who teaches French in Minnesota, tries to adapt his midwestern mores to the ways of the Parisians. Although he’s fluent in the language, he soon finds that nuance plays a big part in his conversations. As he stumbles through interactions and relationships, he shares hilarious faux-pas and cultural differences. The author reads with a deadpan, self-deprecating, understated tone that allows the situations to play out drily for the listener. The result is an affectionate, insider’s look at French culture.
PositiveBooklist... thoughtful ... Amos’ songs are complex and often heartrending, and she is honest about the ups and downs artists face and the challenges involved in maintaining artistic integrity in a business that’s built on the amassing of money and popularity. Amos’ many fans are this book’s natural audience, but it will sing to anyone with an artistic soul.
Natasha Gregson Wagner
PositiveBooklistNatasha’s memories are vivid and heartbreaking, carefully pieced together from conversations, photographs, Natalie’s writings, news stories, and her family’s recollections ... This memoir, like Wagner’s life, is filled with the film elite, and her insider’s view is fascinating. What makes this work memorable, however, is her willingness to share her psychological struggles so candidly. While rumors still circulate about Natalie Wood’s death, her daughter remains convinced of Robert Wagner’s innocence. She admits that her parents had conflicts but believes in their overpowering love. And it’s this love that comes through in this personal account that fans of old Hollywood will savor.
PositiveBooklistRaphel, freely admitting to her puzzle addictions, mingles with enthusiasts at the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament and crosses the seas on a crossword-themed ocean liner. Puzzle nerds (and there are a lot of us) will enjoy this celebration of all things crossword.
PositiveBooklistKay has an edgy tone as he alternates between gallows humor and heartbreaking tales. Frequent footnotes explain medical terms in very accessible language ... eaders may be inclined to send their own doctors a thank-you note after reading this candid, caring memoir.
PositiveBooklistMcConville’s style is welcoming, and his advice is reassuring. Parents facing these challenges (and there are plenty) will snap this up.
PositiveBooklistThe tale is steeped in the rich, bawdy background of sixteenth-century London ... Jack [is]...a likeable opportunist ... There are enough suspects and red herrings to keep mystery fans intrigued as Jack dodges money collectors, chases women, and searches for the culprit. Readers who enjoy the period details as much as the plot will be entertained.
PositiveBooklistAccessible and surprisingly entertaining, this work addresses an important issue for the growing pool of aging baby boomers.
RaveBooklistThis is a beautifully written, heartfelt look at aging, disease, and death that will both comfort and inspire readers who are living through or fearing such passages.
A K Benjamin
PositiveBooklistBenjamin travels terrain between reality and psychosis in this complex memoir of mental illness and treatment, and readers willing to burrow into troubled minds will be fascinated.
RaveBooklist...as always in her warmly candid nonfiction, Quindlen voices concerns and celebrates high points with sensitivity and insight ... Quindlen savors a shared book, a held hand, a child’s laugh, and a relationship built on mutual love and respect. This tender book should be required reading for grandparents everywhere.
Erin Lee Carr
PositiveBooklist\"... poignant ... In the months that followed her father’s death, Carr had to come to terms with her grief and anger and find a way to honor his memory. Writing her moving memoir accomplishes both and serves as a guide for others who grieve.\
RaveBooklistWhat makes this book so powerful is the way McInerny shares the painful act of rebuilding her life with such honesty and humor. She isn’t afraid to admit how hard it is to find joy surrounded by so much sorrow ... Everyone faces tragedy. McInerny shows you how to do it with strength and grace.
Katherine S. Newman
PositiveBooklistSociologist Newman delves into the uncertainty confronting today’s retiring workers, using personal stories to explore the problems faced by blue-collared Teamsters, white-collared United Airlines workers, and Detroit’s municipal employees ... This well-argued study offers a broad look at the insecurity threatening generations to come and possible solutions to this complex issue.
RaveBooklistThis is a story of slavery, and the words and imagery are often coarse and graphic, and the action can be horrifying ... Lilith is petulant, with a youthful vulnerability that is often heartbreaking ... Rich in imagery and language, this gripping tale, reminiscent of the novels of Edwidge Danticat and Toni Morrison, is... outstanding[.]
PositiveBooklistPipher contends that unless women make the effort to grow, they will be left with bitterness ... Pipher shares examples from many lives, including her own, but focuses in particular on four women who illustrate these important life lessons. This positive, affirming book will inspire and guide women facing these challenges.
RaveBooklistSome of [Power\'s] plights are hilarious; others are almost unbearably poignant. Self-help seekers will be moved and entertained by Power’s over-the-top exploits.
PositiveBooklist\"She speaks frankly of her life and such issues as prescription medicine addiction and depression. Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose, and Khakpour’s frank memoir will give hope to others who are struggling with this devastating illness.\
PositiveBooklistRauch argues for recognition of a new stage in life (maybe encore adulthood? Act II?), when still-vital seniors are given support and direction to use their wisdom to mentor and aid struggling midlifers, a reassuring concept for both age groups. This thoughtful study is sure to find an audience