Memoirs books

Educated: A Memoir

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER  NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW  ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMAS FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR  BILL GATESS HOLIDAY READING LIST  FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLES AWARD IN AUTOBIOGRAPHY FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLES JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK  FINALIST FOR THE PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD 

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post O: The Oprah Magazine Time NPR Good Morning America San Francisco Chronicle The Guardian The Economist Financial Times Newsday New York Post theSkimm Refinery29 Bloomberg Self Real Simple Town & Country Bustle Paste Publishers Weekly Library Journal LibraryReads BookRiot Pamela Paul, KQED New York Public Library


An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Taras older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if shed traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of Tara Westovers childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?Vogue


Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others.The New York Times Book Review

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  • Tara Westover Educated
  • 9780399590504
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High Achiever: The Shocking True Story of One Addict's Double Life

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I wasnt always a terrible person. In fact, there was a point when I was captain of my high school cheerleading squad, "Valentine Queen", and student body president. Once word got out that I was currently withdrawing from opiates on the floor of a jail cell, people in my town were shocked, to say the least. Not because of the 27 felonies Id acquired, or the nature of my crimes, but mainly because my boyfriend was a Sheriff Deputy, and his friendsour friends, were the ones whod arrested me. I spent 120 days in a jail where every officer knew what I had done to their brother in blue and despised me for it. After a few suicide attempts, cavity searches, pillow fights and lesbian love affairs, I made my way to a residential treatment center. It was there that I recounted the harrowing events leading up to my arrest, and eventually began the process of recovering from a life of addiction. Leaving rehab wasn't the end of my story, instead it was the beginning of a chapter more beautiful and surprising than I could have imagined. Whether you are currently sitting in jail feeling lost, in a rehabilitation center seeking hope, or struggling to understand a loved one who is suffering from addiction, "High Achiever" reads like fiction, and will give you a shocking, honest, and at times humorous look inside the mind of a drug addict.

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Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience

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An inspiring, intimate memoir about faith, resilience and the tenacity of love.People

In this emotional tale, a young couple see their lives changed in the blink of an eyeand learn to find love again.US Weekly

Five months pregnant, on a flight to their babymoon, Allison Pataki turned to her husband when he asked if his eye looked strange and watched him suddenly lose consciousness. After an emergency landing, she discovered that Davea healthy thirty-year-old athlete and surgical residenthad suffered a rare and life-threatening stroke. Next thing Allison knew, she was sitting alone in the ER in Fargo, North Dakota, waiting to hear if her husband would survive the night.

When Dave woke up, he could not carry memories from hour to hour, much less from one day to the next. Allison had lost the Dave she knew and loved when he lost consciousness on the plane. Within a few months, she found herself caring for both a newborn and a sick husband, struggling with the fear of what was to come.

As a way to make sense of the pain and chaos of their new reality, Allison started to write daily letters to Dave. Not only would she work to make sense of the unfathomable experiences unfolding around her, but her letters would provide Dave with the memories he could not make on his own. She was writing to preserve their past, protect their present, and fight for their future. Those letters became the foundation of this beautiful, intimate memoir. And in the process, she fell in love with her husband all over again.

This is a manifesto for living, an ultimately uplifting story about the transformative power of faith and resilience. Its a tale of a mans turbulent road to recovery, the shifting nature of marriage, and the struggle of loving through pain and finding joy in the broken places.

Praise for Beauty in the Broken Places

Bold and commendable . . . A strength of this memoir is Allison Patakis scrupulous honesty.USA Today

A memoir about . . . determination and gratitude, and the value of putting one foot in front of another during a crisis.The Washington Post

Heart-wrenching.Womens Health

Powerful and immersive . . . Pataki delivers an insightful look at how two people faced a life-altering test as a team fighting to make the dreams of our future possible.Publishers Weekly (starred review)


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The Glass Castle: A Memoir

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Now a major motion picture from Lionsgate starring Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, and Naomi Watts.

MORE THAN SEVEN YEARS ON THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST
The perennially bestselling, extraordinary, one-of-a-kind, nothing short of spectacular (Entertainment Weekly) memoir from one of the worlds most gifted storytellers.

The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannettes brilliant and charismatic father captured his childrens imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didnt want the responsibility of raising a family.

The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.

The Glass Castle is truly astonishinga memoir permeated by the intense love of a peculiar but loyal family.

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Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction

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Beloved former ABC 20/20 anchor Elizabeth Vargas reveals her alcohol addiction and anxiety disorder in a shockingly honest and emotional memoir.

Winner of the Books for a Better Life Award in the First Book category

Instant New York Times and USA Today Bestseller

From the moment she uttered the brave and honest words, "I am an alcoholic," to interviewer George Stephanopoulos, Elizabeth Vargas began writing her story, as her experiences were still raw.

Now, in BETWEEN BREATHS, Vargas discusses her accounts of growing up with anxiety--which began suddenly at the age of six when her father served in Vietnam--and how she dealt with this anxiety as she came of age, eventually turning to alcohol for a release from her painful reality. The now-A&E Network reporter reveals how she found herself living in denial about the extent of her addiction, and how she kept her dependency a secret for so long. She addresses her time in rehab, her first year of sobriety, and the guilt she felt as a working mother who could never find the right balance between a career and parenting.

Honest and hopeful, BETWEEN BREATHS is an inspiring read.


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Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland

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The #1 New York Times Bestseller

A bestselling book that is inspiring the nation: We have written here about terrible things that we never wanted to think about again . . . Now we want the world to know: we survived, we are free, we love life.

Two women kidnapped by infamous Cleveland school-bus driver Ariel Castro share the stories of their abductions, captivity, and dramatic escape

 
On May 6, 2013, Amanda Berry made headlines around the world when she fled a Cleveland home and called 911, saying: Help me, Im Amanda Berry. . . . Ive been kidnapped, and Ive been missing for ten years.
 
A horrifying story rapidly unfolded. Ariel Castro, a local school bus driver, had separately lured Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight to his home, where he kept them chained. In the decade that followed, the three were raped, psychologically abused, and threatened with death. Berry had a daughterJocelynby their captor.
 
Drawing upon their recollections and the diary kept by Amanda Berry, Berry and Gina DeJesus describe a tale of unimaginable torment, and Pulitzer Prizewinning Washington Post reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan interweave the events within Castros house with original reporting on efforts to find the missing girls. The full story behind the headlinesincluding details never previously released on Castros life and motivationsHope is a harrowing yet inspiring chronicle of two women whose courage, ingenuity, and resourcefulness ultimately delivered them back to their lives and families.

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  • Penguin Group USA
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Where the Light Falls: A Novel of the French Revolution

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A rich and sweeping novel of courage, duty, sacrifice, and love set during the French Revolution from New York Times bestselling author Allison Pataki and her brother Owen Pataki

Three years after the storming of the Bastille, the streets of Paris are roiling with revolution. The citizens of France are enlivened by the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. The monarchy of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette has been dismantledwith the help of the guillotineand a new nation is rising in its place. Jean-Luc, an idealistic young lawyer, moves his wife and their infant son from a comfortable life in Marseille to Paris, in the hopes of joining the cause. André, the son of a denounced nobleman, has evaded execution by joining the new French army. Sophie, a young aristocratic widow, embarks on her own fight for independence against her powerful, vindictive uncle. 

As chaos threatens to undo the progress of the Revolution and the demand for justice breeds instability and paranoia, the lives of these compatriots become inextricably linked. Jean-Luc, André, and Sophie find themselves in a world where survival seems increasingly less likelyfor themselves and, indeed, for the nation.

Featuring cameos from legendary figures such as Robespierre, Louis XVI, and Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, Where the Light Falls is an epic and engrossing novel, moving from the streets and courtrooms of Paris to Napoleons epic march across the burning sands of Egypt. With vivid detail and imagery, the Patakis capture the hearts and minds of the citizens of France fighting for truth above all, and for their belief in a cause greater than themselves.

Praise for Where the Light Falls

Compulsively readable . . . a compelling tale of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and bravery . . . a sweeping romantic novel that takes readers to the heart of Paris and to the center of all the action of the French Revolution.Bustle

Succeeds in forcefully illustrating the lessons of the French Revolution for todays democratic movements.Kirkus Reviews

Devotees of Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo will devour this tale of heroism, treachery, and adventure.Library Journal 

This is a story of the French Revolution that begins with your head in the slot watching how fast the blade of the guillotine is heading for your neckand thats nothing compared to the pace and the drama of what follows.Tom Wolfe

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The Size of Everything: a memoir

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"A beautifully written story of triumph, wit, and sheer determination to survive."
-W. Bruce Cameron, New York Times Bestselling Author

As the face of her eponymous couture bridal business, Erin Cole radiates refined elegance. But the designers glamorous lifestyle and sweeping success belie a childhood marked by profound dysfunction.

Raised on a steady diet of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and death, no one would have expected Cole to go on to become a force in the fashion world. As a child, she often had no access to food; other times she was force-fed until she vomited. At home and at school, she was beaten, bullied and belittled. Her alcoholic parents alternately abused and ignored her. By the age of sixteen, she was living on her own.

"Remarkable and inspiring."
-Jane Heller, bestselling author

The Size of Everything is Coles moving story and so much more. Equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious, its a love letter to her surviving siblings, a how-not-to-parent manual, a testament to the power of positivity, and proof that where you come from doesnt have to determine where you can go. Above all, The Size of Everything offers a powerful message of hope to anyone who believes that impossibly rocky beginnings cant have a happy ending.

"A searing account of a broken, devastating childhood and the triumph that emerged in spite of--and because of--the wreckage. What a book!"
-Allison Winn Scotch, bestselling author

MORE PRAISE FOR THE SIZE OF EVERYTHING

Ill wager my mother that Erin Coles life is wilder and weirder than yours. That, in and of itself, doesnt mean you ought to read this book. But the combination of grace, hope, and beauty with which she and Jenna McCarthy tell her story elevates it so far beyond the traditional memoir that theyve practically invented a new genre. If the very best memoirs inevitably teach us something about ourselves, The Size of Everything could realistically be considered a graduate level class in you. At turns heartbreaking, sweet, and inspirational, this book reveals new pockets of reality while slowly and slyly making you fall in love with one of the toughest protagonists youll ever meet.
Travis Sentell, author of Fluid and In the Shadow of Freedom

In The Size of Everything, Erin Coles life is stunningly documented by Jenna McCarthy in short but powerful chapters that describe the pain of an unimaginably brutal childhood that eventually becomes a life-changing message of hope. Coles amazing story is raw, honest, often heartbreaking, sometimes laugh-out-loud hilarious, and guaranteed to warm your heart.
Vikki Jensen Claflin, author of Who Left the Cork Out of My Lunch?

The story of Erin Cole is told in eloquent slivers of time that will, at times, jar the reader from complacency. Reading about the atrocities that Erin endured is sometimes hard, yet the poetic way in which her tale unfolds makes it impossible to peel your eyes from the page. This is one youll read again and again.
Tamara Doris, author of Caseys Quest

I was captivated by The Size of Everything from the very first page. With a magical blend of moments funny, uplifting and unforgiving, Cole and McCarthy have managed to turn a gruesome past into poetry. Get ready to fall in love.
Elizabeth Lyons, bestselling author

From tumultuous to triumphant, you will be mesmerized by this story from the very first page. The misplaced child of alcoholics, Erin Coles life was filled with unimaginable abuse and neglect. That she came out unscathed is a miracle in itself; her story - told with honesty and grace - is a lesson to us all, to never give up no matter what obstacles are in the way.
Stephanie Elliot, author of Sad Perfect

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Wholly Unraveled: A Memoir

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Sometimes all that it takes to start over is the courage to say you will.

In Kathleens home, red jeans were a sin. Parties were punishable with violence. Fear was part of the daily norm. Growing up in a Catholic cult, under the unforgiving eye of her abusive father, Kathleen knew from an early age that if she were to survive, shed have to do it on her own.

But when the time came to escape, she found herself in a damaging spiral of self-destruction. At rock bottom, and with nowhere to go, Kathleen stepped off a bus in the last place she ever thought shed find peace: a remote community in rural Canada. Spending a year in almost complete silence, Kathleen feared this experience would prove to be just another step in her unraveling. Instead, with her demons quieted, she emerged with a fresh understanding of self, an empowering new purpose, and a sense of worthiness that she would never let be challenged again.

Wholly Unraveled is Keele Burgins gripping and inspiring journey of self-discovery and of finally finding her voice against nearly insurmountable odds.

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Becoming

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An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States
 
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER OPRAHS BOOK CLUB PICK  NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of Americathe first African American to serve in that roleshe helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
 
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped herfrom her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the worlds most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived itin her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectationsand whose story inspires us to do the same.

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Memoirs books