In this honest, hilarious, fiercely intelligent memoir, journalist Susan Shapiro dares to do what every woman dreams of: track down the five men who’d broken her heart and find out what really went wrong. The result is a book for anyone who has ever wondered what became of their first love. Or second, third, fourth, or fifth…
A married freelance writer living in Manhattan, Susan Shapiro was in the midst of a midlife crisis she called her “no-book-no-baby summer.” Then one day the phone rang, and it was Brad, a college flame with a book of his own coming out. Susan offers to interview him, and she winds up launching into all the intense, invasive questions she’d always wanted to ask him. To her surprise, he answers them! This ignites a spark that sends her on a six-month-long jaunt back through her lust-littered past. While Brad is still single, she finds that Heartbreaks Number Two, Three, and Four are not. But when her happy marriage begins to show the strain of these past relationships, Susan discovers that somewhere between the tantalizing what-ifs and bittersweet might-have-beens, she might just find what she’s been searching for all along…
Martin Pistorius - Ghost Boy
In January 1988, aged twelve, Martin Pistorius fell inexplicably sick. Within eighteen months he was mute and wheelchair-bound, being cared for at centres for severely disabled children. What no-one knew is that while Martin's body remained unresponsive, his mind slowly woke up, yet he could tell no-one, a prisoner inside his own body. During this time, he suffered abuse of a kind that is barely imaginable, yet still he kept the spirit of hope alive. It wasn't until he was twenty-three that a gentle therapist realised he was alert to everything and, along with his parents, assisted his road to recovery. Since then, against all odds, he has fallen in love, married, and now runs a thriving web design business. Martin's extraordinary story is a deeply moving account of the power of love.
Craig Thompson - Blankets
"A rarity: a first -love story so well remembered and honest that it reminds you what falling in love feels like. Achingly beautiful." -- TIME "In telling his story, which includes beautifully rendered memories of the small brutalities that parents inflict upon their children and siblings upon each other, Thompson describes the ecstasy and ache of the obsession (with a lover, with God) and is unafraid to suggest the ways that obsession can consume itself and evaporate." -- The New York Times Book Review
Rachel Reiland - Get Me Out of Here
Borderline Personality Disorder. "What the hell was that?" raged Rachel Reiland when she read the diagnosis written in her medical chart. As the 29-year old accountant, wife, and mother of young children would soon discover, it was the diagnosis that finally explained her explosive anger, manipulative behaviors, and self-destructive episodes- including bouts of anorexia, substance abuse, and sexual promiscuity. With astonishing honesty, Reiland's memoir reveals what mental illness feels like and looks like from the inside, and how healing from such a devastating disease is possible through intensive therapy and the support of loved ones.
Paul Auster - Winter Journal
From the bestselling novelist and author of The Invention of Solitude, a moving and highly personal meditation on the body, time, and language itself "That is where the story begins, in your body, and everything will end in the body as well. Facing his sixty-third winter, internationally acclaimed novelist Paul Auster sits down to write a history of his body and its sensations—both pleasurable and painful. Thirty years after the publication of The Invention of Solitude, in which he wrote so movingly about fatherhood, Auster gives us a second unconventional memoir in which he writes about his mother's life and death. Winter Journal is a highly personal meditation on the body, time, and memory, by one of our most intellectually elegant writers.
Jeffrey Eugenides - The Marriage Plot
“The way of true love never works out, except at the end of an English novel.” ––Anthony Trollope The author of two beloved novels, MIDDLESEX (bestselling winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize, with more than 3 million copies sold) and the now-classic THE VIRGIN SUICIDES (made into a haunting film by Sofia Coppola), is back––with a delicious novel about modern love. It’s the early 1980s—the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to the Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. As Madeleine tries to understand why “it became laughable to read writers like Cheever and Updike, who wrote about the suburbia Madeleine and most of her friends had grown up in, in favor of reading the Marquis de Sade, who wrote about deflowering virgins in eighteenth century France,” real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead––charismatic loner, college Darwinist, and lost Portland boy––suddenly turns up in a semiotics seminar, and soon Madeleine finds herself in a highly charged erotic and intellectual relationship with him. Over the next year, as the members of the triangle in this amazing, spellbinding novel graduate from college and enter the real world, events force them to reevaluate everything they learned in school. Leonard and Madeleine move to a biologicy laboratory on Cape Cod, but can’t escape the secret responsible for Leonard’s seemingly inexhaustible energy and plunging moods. And Mitchell, traveling around the world to get Madeleine out of his mind, finds himself face-to-face with ultimate questions about the meaning of life, the existence of God, and the true nature of love. Are the great love stories of the nineteenth century dead? Or can there be a new story, written for today and alive to the realities of feminism, sexual freedom, prenups, and divorce? With devastating wit and an abiding understanding of and affection for his characters, Jeffrey Eugenides revives the motivating energies of the Novel, while creating a story so contemporary and fresh that it reads like the intimate journal of our own lives.
Ozzy Osbourne - I Am Ozzy
"They've said some crazy things about me over the years. I mean, okay: 'He bit the head off a bat.' Yes. 'He bit the head off a dove.' Yes. But then you hear things like, 'Ozzy went to the show last night, but he wouldn't perform until he'd killed fifteen puppies . . .' Now me, kill fifteen puppies? I love puppies. I've got eighteen of the f**king things at home. I've killed a few cows in my time, mind you. And the chickens. I shot the chickens in my house that night. It haunts me, all this crazy stuff. Every day of my life has been an event. I took lethal combinations of booze and drugs for thirty f**king years. I survived a direct hit by a plane, suicidal overdoses, STDs. I've been accused of attempted murder. Then I almost died while riding over a bump on a quad bike at f**king two miles per hour. People ask me how come I'm still alive, and I don't know what to say. When I was growing up, if you'd have put me up against a wall with the other kids from my street and asked me which one of us was gonna make it to the age of sixty, which one of us would end up with five kids and four grandkids and houses in Buckinghamshire and Beverly Hills, I wouldn't have put money on me, no f**king way. But here I am: ready to tell my story, in my own words, for the first time. A lot of it ain't gonna be pretty. I've done some bad things in my time. I've always been drawn to the dark side, me. But I ain't the devil. I'm just John Osbourne: a working-class kid from Aston, who quit his job in the factory and went looking for a good time."
Jung Chang - Wild Swans
Through the lives of three different women - grandmother, mother and daughter - this book tells the story of 20th-century China. At times scarcely credible in the details it reveals of the suffering of millions of ordinary Chinese people, it is an unforgettable record of tyranny, hope and ultimate survival under conditions of extreme harshness. In 1924, at the age of 15, the author's grandmother became the concubine of a powerful warlord, whom she was seldom to see during the ten years of their "marriage". Her daughter, born in 1931, experienced the horrors of Japanese occupation in Manchuria as a schoolgirl, and after their surrender joined the Communist-led underground fighting Chiang Kai-Shek's Kuomintang. She rose to be a senior Communist official, but was imprisoned three times. Her husband, also a high official and one of the very first to join the Communists, was relentlessly persecuted, imprisoned and finally sent to a labour camp where, physically broken and disillusioned, he lost his sanity. The author herself grew up during the Cultural Revolution, at the time of the personality cult of Mao and the worst excesses of the Gang of Four. She joined the Red Guard but after Mao's death she was to become one of the first Chinese students to study abroad.
Jade Snow Wong - Fifth Chinese Daughter
Originally published in 1945 and now reissued with a new introduction by the author, Jade Snow Wong's story is one of struggle and achievements. These memoirs of the author's first 24 years are thoughtful, informative, and highly entertaining. They not only portray a young woman and her unique family in San Francisco's Chinatown, but they are rich in the details that light up a world within the world of America. The third-person singular style is rooted in Chinese literary form, reflecting cultural disregard for the individual, yet Jad Snow Wong's story also is typically American. We first meet Jade Snow Wong the child, narrowly confined by the family and factory life, bound to respect and obey her elders while shouldering responsibility for younger brothers and sisters - a solemn child well versed in the proper order of things, who knew that punishment was sure for any infraction of etiquette. Then the schoolgirl caught in confusion between the rigid teaching of her ancestors and the strange ways of her foreign classmates. After that the college student feeling her was toward personal identity in the face of parental indifference or outright opposition. And finally the artist whose early triumphs were doubled by the knowledge that she had at long last won recognition from her family.
Lydia Davis - The End of The Story
Mislabeled boxes, problems with visiting nurses, confusing notes, an outing to the county fair--such are the obstacles in the way of the unnamed narrator of "The End of the Story "as she attempts to organize her memories of a love affair into a novel. With compassion, wit, and what appears to be candor, she seeks to determine what she actually knows about herself and her past, but we begin to suspect, along with her, that given the elusiveness of memory and understanding, any tale retrieved from the past must be fiction.
Anna Gavalda - I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere
'I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere' explores how a life can be changed irrevocably in just one fateful moment. A pregnant mother's plans for the future unravel at the hospital; a travelling salesman learns the concequences of an almost-missed exit on the motorway in the newapaper the next morning; while a perfect date is spoilt by a single act oh thoughtlessness. In those crucial moments Gavalda demostrates her almost magical skill in conveying love, lust, longing and loneliness. 'Someone I Loved' is a h hauntingly intimate look at the intolerably painful, yet sometimes valuable effects that adultery can have on a marriage and the individuals involved. A simple tale, yet long in substance, 'Someove I Loved' ends like most great love affairs, forever leaving you waiting just one more moment.
Robert Capa - Slightly Out of Focus
In 1942, a dashing young man who liked nothing so much as a heated game of poker, a good bottle of scotch, and the company of a pretty girl hopped a merchant ship to England. He was Robert Capa, the brilliant and daring photojournalist, and Collier's magazine had put him on assignment to photograph the war raging in Europe. In these pages, Capa recounts his terrifying journey through the darkest battles of World War II and shares his memories of the men and women of the Allied forces who befriended, amused, and captivated him along the way. His photographs are masterpieces -- John G. Morris, Magnum Photos' first executive editor, called Capa "the century's greatest battlefield photographer" -- and his writing is by turns riotously funny and deeply moving. From Sicily to London, Normandy to Algiers, Capa experienced some of the most trying conditions imaginable, yet his compassion and wit shine on every page of this book. Charming and profound, Slightly Out of Focus is a marvelous memoir told in words and pictures by an extraordinary man.
John Gray - Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
Massmarket edition with strong new cover design of the bestselling book on relationships of all time You can't live with them -- and you can't live without them! First published in '93, this book has gone on to become one of the most famous non-fiction publications of all time. A classic and lively book on successful communication between the sexes, many millions of readers all over the world have been able to work out what makes members of the opposite sex tick, learning to understand their verbal and non-verbal language, ultimately reaching a point of harmony where it becomes possible to live, work and love together. / Motivate the opposite sex & get what you want! / Avoid arguments and promote fruitful communication. / What will really impress your mate? Score points with the opposite sex! /Learn about the real emotional needs of the opposite sex and the behaviours associated with these needs. / Discover the keys to keeping love alive -- and staying together long term.
David Lodge - The Picturegoers
The Palladium, Brickley, is the haunting setting for this novel. Here is a seedy Saturday night venue which attracts people searching for something new in their lives. Mark, Clare and Father Kipling are just three of the characters featured.
Pete McCarthy - McCarthy's Bar: A Journey of Discovery in Ireland
_Never Pass a Bar That Has Your Name On It,_ says the eight rule of travel; a very rewarding rule if your name is McCarthy and you're wandering through the west of Ireland. As he meanders from Cork to Donegal, Pete encounters many McCarthy's bars in which he explores his confused Irish-Anglo identity with colorful, friendly, and funny people, before pleading to be let out at four o'clock in the morning. Written by someone who is both insider and outsider, MCCARTHY'S BAR is a vivid and affectionate portrait of a rapidly changing country.
Carolyn Jourdan - Heart in the Right Place
Carolyn Jourdan, an attorney on Capitol Hill, thought she had it made. But when her mother has a heart attack, she returns home—to the Tennessee mountains, where her father is a country doctor and her mother works as his receptionist. Jourdan offers to fill in for her mother until she gets better. But days turn into weeks as she trades her suits for scrubs and finds herself following hazmat regulations for cleaning up bodily fluids; maintaining composure when confronted with a splinter the size of a steak knife; and tending to the loquacious Miss Hiawatha, whose daily doctor visits are never billed. Most important, though, she comes to understand what her caring and patient father means to her close-knit community. With great humor and great tenderness, Heart in the Right Place shows that some of our biggest heroes are the ones living right beside us.
Corrie ten Boom - The Hiding Place
The amazing story of Corrie ten Boom, a heroine of the Dutch Resistance who helped Jews escape from the Nazis and became one of the most remarkable evangelists of the 20th century, is told in her classic memoir, now retold for a new generation.
Jodi Picoult - Sing You Home
Zoe Baxter has spent ten years trying to get pregnant, and after multiple miscarriages and infertility issues, it looks like her dream is about to come true – she is seven months pregnant. But a terrible turn of events leads to a nightmare – one that takes away the baby she has already fallen for; and breaks apart her marriage to Max. In the aftermath, she throws herself into her career as a music therapist – using music clinically to soothe burn victims in a hospital; to help Alzheimer’s patients connect with the present; to provide solace for hospice patients. When Vanessa – a guidance counselor -- asks her to work with a suicidal teen, their relationship moves from business to friendship and then, to Zoe’s surprise, blossoms into love. When Zoe allows herself to start thinking of having a family, again, she remembers that there are still frozen embryos that were never used by herself and Max. Meanwhile, Max has found peace at the bottom of a bottle – until he is redeemed by an evangelical church, whose charismatic pastor – Clive Lincoln – has vowed to fight the “homosexual agenda” that has threatened traditional family values in America. But this mission becomes personal for Max, when Zoe and her same-sex partner say they want permission to raise his unborn child. SING YOU HOME explores what it means to be gay in today’s world, and how reproductive science has outstripped the legal system. Are embryos people or property? What challenges do same-sex couples face when it comes to marriage and adoption? What happens when religion and sexual orientation – two issues that are supposed to be justice-blind – enter the courtroom? And most importantly, what constitutes a “traditional family” in today’s day and age? Also – in a very unique move – readers will get to literally hear Zoe Baxter’s voice. I am collaborating with Ellen Wilber, a dear friend who is also a very talented musician, to create a CD of original songs, which will correspond to each of the chapters. This CD will be packaged with each hardcover book. So – literally – stay tuned!
Mitch Winehouse - Amy, my daughter
Candid, compelling, and heartbreaking--a father's story of a talent taken too soon and a legacy that will live on for generations On July 23, 2011, Amy Winehouse's family, friends, and fans around the world mourned the tragedy that this remarkable, talented, and extraordinarily generous young woman was now gone. A legion of dedicated fans had lost their idol; a devastated family had lost their Amy. With this difficult news came an outpouring of love and grief from her fans, along with troubling questions about Amy's very public struggles with drugs and alcohol, as people tried to understand how such a soulful singer had been silenced so young. Now, in this intimate and tender account, her father and confidant, Mitch, offers an inside view of Amy's life as she lived it, putting to rest once and for all the controversies that have long surrounded her. Sifting fact from fiction, he pre-sents a portrait of Amy unlike any other, detailing the events and the people that shaped her youth--from her mischievous childhood to her grandmother's Jazz Age stories, to her father singing Frank Sinatra around the house. Shedding light on Amy's musical coming-of-age, Mitch explores how she honed her distinctive sound, created her unforgettable look, and channeled her own life into hits such as "You Know I'm No Good," "Rehab," and "Back to Black"--some of the most memorable and personal pop music in years. While her beehive hair, larger-than-life voice, and outrageous personality made her famous, her life offstage made her infamous. Here Mitch holds nothing back about Amy's addiction to drugs and alcohol, mixing the painful with the poignant as he describes the realities of her dependencies and the toll they took on the family and friends who refused to give up on her. Revealing the truth about Amy's substance abuse and dispelling many of the tabloid-fueled rumors about her tumultuous marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil, Mitch exposes the years of behind-the-scenes drama that consumed his life and explains how, for those who knew Amy in her last months, the greatest tragedy of all was that she finally appeared to be conquering her demons. Filled with insights into Amy Winehouse's music, photographs from her life, and stories of the real woman behind the headlines, "Amy, My Daughter" is an emotional journey into music, addiction, and the unbreakable bond between a daughter and her father.
Monica Ali - Brick Lane
At the tender age of eighteen, Nazneen's life is turned upside down. After an arranged marriage to a man twenty years her elder she exchanges her Bangladeshi village for a block of flats in London's East End. In this new world, where poor people can be fat and even dogs go on diets, she struggles to make sense of her existence - and to do her duty to her husband. A man of inflated ideas (and stomach), he sorely tests her compliance. But Nazneen submits, as she must, to Fate and devotes her life to raising her family and slapping down her demons of discontent. Until she becomes aware of a young radical, Karim. Against a background of escalating racial and gang conflict, they embark on an affair that finally forces Nazneen to take control of her life...
Vera Brittain - Testament of Youth
In 1914 Vera Brittain was eighteen, and as war was declared she was about to go up to Oxford. Four years later her life - and the life of her whole generation - had changed in a way that was unimaginable in the tranquil pre-war years. This is her account of how she survived the war; how she lost the man she loved; how she nursed the wounded; and how she emerged into an altered world.