Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Life Stories

Memorable Reads
If you are looking for a memorable read, try any of the following memoirs.  Something for everyone in this short list of books about people deeply affected by war, family or personal challenges, and the long road to overcoming.  As is the case with any list, expect at least one guilty read.

What It's Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes
The author describes his experience as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corp during the Vietnam War and takes time to advocate for ensuring there are strong support systems available to our country's returning veterans.  Pair this memoir with Marlantes' acclaimed novel, Matterhorn.

Karp lost her job and took up residence in her RV, which she parked in a California Walmart lot. The author busts the easy stereotypes about the 'whys' of homelessness in this candid memoir.

The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown
The author's explores the meaning of life and love by way of his son, Walker, one of only 300 people affected by a rare genetic disorder.  The memoir made the NYT's list of top 10 books of 2011.

Missing by Lindsay Harrison
Harrison's memoir details the 40 days between the disappearance of her mother, Michelle, and learning Michelle had committed suicide.  A deeply personal story of grief and healing.

The Dirty Life : a Memoir of Farming, Food and Love by Kristin Kimball
After interviewing a young farmer, the author gave up her urban lifestyle to begin a farm with her interviewee near Lake Champlain in northern New York.

Full Service by Scotty Bowers
In this believe-it-or-not memoir, the author, now age 88, dishes on his lurid escapades as a go-to guy in post WWII Hollywood. TMI?  You decide.

Breaking the Code : A Daughter's Journey into Her Father's Secret War by Karen Fisher Alaniz
When the author's father Murray turned 81 years old, he gave her the letters he'd written home during WWII. What follows is a father-daughter discussion of Murray's role as a code-breaker and his life-long struggle with the aftermath of his WWII experiences.

American Sniper by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice
What does it take, both personally and professionally, to work as sniper for the Navy SEALS?  Find out here in Kyle's open account.