Memoirs you won't regret reading

When people say their life is like an open book, they mean this. Although all the memoirs are special, these ones are deserve a lot of readership love.
My Cross to Bear
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My Cross to Bear

by Gregg Allman

About the book:  For the first time, rock music icon Gregg Allman, one of the founding members of The Allman Brothers Band, tells the full story of his life and career in My Cross to Bear. No subject is taboo, as one of the true giants of rock ’n’ roll opens up about his Georgia youth, his long struggle with substance abuse, his string of bad marriages (including his brief union with superstar Cher), the tragic death of  brother Duane Allman, and life on the road in one of rock’s most legendary bands.

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Lust & Wonder: A Memoir
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Lust & Wonder: A Memoir

by Augusten Burroughs

About the book:  The instant New York Times bestsellerLust: 1. intense sexual desire or appetite2.a passionate or overmastering desire or craving3.ardent enthusiasm; zest; relish.Wonder: 1. something strange and surprising; a cause of surprise, astonishment,or admiration2. the emotion excited by what is strange and surprising; a feeling of surprised or puzzled interest, sometimes tinged with admiration3. a miraculous deed or event; remarkable phenomenonFrom the beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author comes an intimate look at the driving forces in one man’s life.With Augusten's unique and singular observations and his own unabashed way of detailing both the horrific and the humorous, Lust and Wonder is a hilariously frank memoir that his legions of fans have been waiting for. His story began in Running with Scissors, endured through Dry, and continues with this memoir, the capstone to the life of Augusten Burroughs. Funny, sweet, alarming, and ultimately, moving and tender, Lust & Wonder is an experience of a book that will resonate with anyone who has loved and lost and loved again.

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Bettyville: A Memoir
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Bettyville: A Memoir

by George Hodgman

About the book:  “The idea of a cultured gay man leaving New York City to care for his aging mother in Paris, Missouri, is already funny, and George Hodgman reaps that humor with great charm. But then he plunges deep, examining the warm yet fraught relationship between mother and son with profound insight and understanding.” —Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home  NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERFINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD   When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself—an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook—in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can’t bring himself to force her from the home both treasure—the place where his father’s voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay.   As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town—crumbling but still colorful—to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair. Evocative of The End of Your Life Book Club and The Tender Bar, Hodgman’s New York Times bestselling debut is both an indelible portrait of a family and an exquisitely told tale of a prodigal son’s return.   “A remarkable, laugh-out-loud book . . . Rarely has the subject of elder care produced such droll human comedy, or a heroine quite on the mettlesome order of Betty Baker Hodgman. For as much as the book works on several levels (as a meditation on belonging, as a story of growing up gay and the psychic cost of silence, as metaphor for recovery), it is the strong-willed Betty who shines through.” —The New York Times

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Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life
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Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

by William Finnegan

About the book:  **Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography**“Reading this guy on the subject of waves and water is like reading Hemingway on bullfighting; William Burroughs on controlled substances; Updike on adultery. . . . a coming-of-age story, seen through the gloss resin coat of a surfboard.” —Sports IllustratedIncluded in President Obama’s 2016 Summer Reading List  Barbarian Days is William Finnegan’s memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates, it is something else: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life.  Raised in California and Hawaii, Finnegan started surfing as a child. He has chased waves all over the world, wandering for years through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa. A bookish boy, and then an excessively adventurous young man, he went on to become a distinguished writer and war reporter. Barbarian Days takes us deep into unfamiliar worlds, some of them right under our noses—off the coasts of New York and San Francisco. It immerses the reader in the edgy camaraderie of close male friendships forged in challenging waves. Finnegan shares stories of life in a whites-only gang in a tough school in Honolulu. He shows us a world turned upside down for kids and adults alike by the social upheavals of the 1960s. He details the intricacies of famous waves and his own apprenticeships to them. Youthful folly—he drops LSD while riding huge Honolua Bay, on Maui—is served up with rueful humor. As Finnegan’s travels take him ever farther afield, he discovers the picturesque simplicity of a Samoan fishing village, dissects the sexual politics of Tongan interactions with Americans and Japanese, and navigates the Indonesian black market while nearly succumbing to malaria. Throughout, he surfs, carrying readers with him on rides of harrowing, unprecedented lucidity. Barbarian Days is an old-school adventure story, an intellectual autobiography, a social history, a literary road movie, and an extraordinary exploration of the gradual mastering of an exacting, little-understood art. Praise for Barbarian Days: “Without a doubt, the finest surf book I’ve ever read . . . But on a more fundamental level, Barbarian Days offers a clear-eyed vision of American boyhood. Like Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, it is a sympathetic examination of what happens when literary ideas of freedom and purity take hold of a young mind and fling his body out into the far reaches of the world.” —The New York Times Magazine “Incandescent . . . I’d sooner press this book upon on a nonsurfer, in part because nothing I’ve read so accurately describes the feeling of being stoked or the despair of being held under. . . . [But] it’s also about a writer’s life and, even more generally, a quester’s life, more carefully observed and precisely rendered than any I’ve read in a long time.” —Los Angeles Times

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A Fine Romance
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A Fine Romance

by Susan Branch

About the book:  Travel writing at its best by Susan Branch, New York Times best selling author, in a A Fine Romance, Falling in Love with the English Countryside. This charming book is part love story, part travel guide ~ a hand-written and watercolored diary/journal of Branch's six-day transatlantic crossing on board the Queen Mary 2 and two-month ramble through the backroads of rural England.     There are over three hundred photos, countless watercolor illustrations, wonderful quotes, recipes, a book list, a movie list, hand-drawn maps and so much more.  Travel with Susan as she makes her way through wildflower hedgerows to visit the homes and gardens of her literary and artistic heroes including Beatrix Potter and Jane Austen. It's a travel guide that will help you plan a trip of your own, lovely for the armchair traveler because Susan really does take you there, and perfect for all Downton Abbey anglophiles.  When you are finished, go to Susan's website where there is an interactive Appendix to the book .... you can experience driving across the Dales with Susan's own videos and find links to everything she writes about, the cottages and gardens you will want to see yourself.     A Fine Romance is book three of a Susan Branch trilogy. Book One is The Fairy Tale Girl, followed by Martha's Vineyard, Isle of Dreams, and then A Fine Romance, Falling in Love with the English Countryside. All three are hand-lettered, watercolored, filled with photos, recipes and quotes and, as Susan says, "as much magic as I could possibly stuff between two covers." Bon Voyage! 

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Running for My Life: One Lost Boy's Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games
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Running for My Life: One Lost Boy's Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games

by Lopez Lomong

About the book:  Running for My Life is not a story about Africa or track and field athletics. It is about outrunning the devil and achieving the impossible faith, diligence, and the desire to give back. It is the American dream come true and a stark reminder that saving one can help to save thousands more. Lopez Lomong chronicles his inspiring ascent from a barefoot lost boy of the Sudanese Civil War to a Nike sponsored athlete on the US Olympic Team. Though most of us fall somewhere between the catastrophic lows and dizzying highs of Lomong's incredible life, every reader will find in his story the human spark to pursue dreams that might seem unthinkable, even from circumstances that might appear hopeless. "Lopez Lomong's story is one of true inspiration. His life is a story of courage, hard work, never giving up, and having hope where there is hopelessness all around. Lopez is a true role model." ?MICHAEL JOHNSON, Olympic Gold Medalist "This true story of a Sudanese child refugee who became an Olympic star is powerful proof that God gives hope to the hopeless and shines a light in the darkest places. Don't be surprised if after reading this incredible tale, you find yourself mysteriously drawn to run alongside him." ?RICHARD STEARNS, president, World Vision US and author of THe Hole in Our Gospel

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A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story
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A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story

by Qais Akbar Omar

About the book:  Twenty-three years ago―after the Soviets left and before the Taliban came to power―Kabul was a garden where seven-year-old Qais Akbar Omar flew kites from the roof of his grandfather's house. Then came the hollow sounds of rocket fire as the Mujahedin, self-proclaimed holy warriors, took over Afghanistan, and the country erupted in civil war. Omar's family fled, leaving everything behind to take shelter in an old fort. But after a narrow escape from death, his father decided that the family must leave the country.Yet the journey proved more difficult than anticipated, and in this stunning coming-of-age memoir, Omar offers a moving recollection of these events―a story of daily hardships, relieved by moments of joy and immense beauty. Inflected with folktales and steeped in poetry, A Fort of Nine Towers is a life-affirming triumph.

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You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir
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You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir

by Felicia Day

About the book:  The instant New York Times bestseller from “queen of the geeks” Felicia Day, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is a “relentlessly funny and surprisingly inspirational” (Forbes.com) memoir about her unusual upbringing, her rise to internet stardom, and embracing her weirdness to find her place in the world.When Felicia Day was a girl, all she wanted was to connect with other kids (desperately). Growing up in the Deep South, where she was “home-schooled for hippie reasons,” she looked online to find her tribe. The Internet was in its infancy and she became an early adopter at every stage of its growth—finding joy and unlikely friendships in the emerging digital world. Her relative isolation meant that she could pursue passions like gaming, calculus, and 1930’s detective novels without shame. Because she had no idea how “uncool” she really was. But if it hadn’t been for her strange background—the awkwardness continued when she started college at sixteen, with Mom driving her to campus every day—she might never have had the naïve confidence to forge her own path. Like when she graduated as valedictorian with a math degree and then headed to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting despite having zero contacts. Or when she tired of being typecast as the crazy cat-lady secretary and decided to create her own web series before people in show business understood that online video could be more than just cats chasing laser pointers. Felicia’s rags-to-riches rise to Internet fame launched her career as one of the most influen­tial creators in new media. Ever candid, she opens up about the rough patches along the way, recounting battles with writer’s block, a full-blown gaming addiction, severe anxiety, and depression—and how she reinvented herself when overachieving became overwhelming. Showcasing Felicia’s “engaging and often hilarious voice” (USA TODAY), You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is proof that everyone should celebrate what makes them different and be brave enough to share it with the world, because anything is possible now—even for a digital misfit.

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Please Be with Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman
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Please Be with Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman

by Galadrielle Allman

About the book:  A deeply personal, revealing, and lyrical portrait of Duane Allman, founder of the legendary Allman Brothers Band, written by his daughter  In 1969, Duane Allman had a vision for a band with two drummers, two guitarists, and a bass player, anchored by his brother’s soulful lead vocals—and the Allman Brothers Band was born. Their fiery, mesmerizing performances tore down barriers and changed the landscape of American music forever, and the tragedies that beset the Brothers turned them into legends. In this remarkable, intimate book, Duane’s daughter, Galadrielle, tells the story of how the band came together, their influences and passions, their rivalries and incomparable musical vision. She introduces us to the artists, women, engineers, and roadies who were a part of the family. From Daytona Beach to the Fillmore East, this is both Duane’s story and the band’s, told with clarity, passion, yearning, and soul.Praise for Please Be with Me  “Duane Allman was my big brother, my partner, my best friend. I thought I knew everything there was to know about him, but Galadrielle’s deep and insightful book came as a revelation to me, as it will to everyone who reads it.”—Gregg Allman“Poignant and illuminating . . . brings Duane Allman to life in a way that no other biography will ever be able to do.”—BookPage “Galadrielle Allman offers a moving and poetic portrait of her late father.”—Rolling Stone  “[Allman’s] descriptions and scenes are vivid, even cinematic. . . . The pleasure of reading Please Be With Me lies as much in its lyrical prose as in its insider anecdotes.”—Newsweek  “An elegantly written, heartfelt account.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution   “Evokes a wistful, elegiac atmosphere; fans of the ’70s music scene may find it indispensable.”—San Jose Mercury News “A compelling and intimate portrait of Duane.”—The Hollywood Reporter   “Illuminating.”—Kirkus Reviews   “Frequently touching . . . Readers will come away feeling more connected to the man and his music.”—Publishers Weekly“The most moving music biography I’ve ever read. Better than that, Galadrielle has uncovered the heart and motivations, the desolation and saving graces, of the man, and lays it plain in a born-to-write southern voice. She has looked into absence, and from it she has salvaged two hearts: her father’s and her own.”—Mikal Gilmore, author of Shot in the Heart

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Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower's Final Mission
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Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower's Final Mission

by Bret Baier,Catherine Whitney

About the book:  #1 National Bestseller!“THE BEST BOOK ON EISENHOWER TO APPEAR IN A VERY LONG TIME”*: BRET BAIER’S “RIVETING ACCOUNT”† OF IKE’S FINAL MISSION IS “DESTINED TO TAKE ITS PLACE AS ONE OF THE CLASSICS OF PRESIDENTIAL HISTORY”§January 1961: President Eisenhower has three days to secure the nation's future before his young successor, John F. Kennedy, takes power — a final mission by the legendary leader who planned D-Day and guided America through the darkening Cold WarBret Baier, the Chief Political Anchor for Fox News Channel and the Anchor and Executive Editor of Special Report with Bret Baier, illuminates the extraordinary yet underappreciated presidency of Dwight Eisenhower by taking readers into Ike's last days in power. Baier masterfully casts the period between Eisenhower's now-prophetic farewell address on the evening of January 17, 1961, and Kennedy's inauguration on the afternoon of January 20 as the closing act of one of modern America's greatest leaders — during which Eisenhower urgently sought to prepare both the country and the next president for the challenges ahead.Those three days in January 1961, Baier shows, were the culmination of a lifetime of service that took Ike from rural Kansas to West Point, to the battlefields of World War II, and finally to the Oval Office. When he left the White House, Dwight Eisenhower had done more than perhaps any other modern American to set the nation, in his words, "on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment."On January 17, Eisenhower spoke to the nation in one of the most remarkable farewell speeches in U.S. history. Ike looked to the future, warning Americans against the dangers of elevating partisanship above national interest, excessive government budgets (particularly deficit spending), the expansion of the military-industrial complex, and the creeping political power of special interests. Seeking to ready a new generation for power, Eisenhower intensely advised the forty-three-year-old Kennedy before the inauguration.Baier also reveals how Eisenhower's two terms changed America forever for the better — perhaps even saved the world from destruction — and demonstrates how today Ike offers us the model of principled leadership that polls say is so missing in politics. The Supreme Commander of Allied Forces during World War II, Eisenhower only reluctantly stepped into politics. As president, Ike successfully guided the country out of a dangerous war in Korea, peacefully through the apocalyptic threat of nuclear war with the Soviets, and into one of the greatest economic booms in world history.Five decades later, Baier's Three Days in January forever makes clear that Eisenhower, an often forgotten giant of U.S. history, still offers vital lessons for our own time and stands as a lasting example of political leadership at its most effective and honorable.* David Eisenhower† Tom Brokaw§ Jay Winik 

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