Biographies and Memoirs

Biographies and Memoirs

Do the accounts of extraordinary peoples' lives inspire your own life?  Can the fortitude of individuals drive how you live your own life?  Our authors in the Biographies and Memoirs genre bring you the stories of people who have survived and grown through the most difficult of situations.  Their stories will move you to tears, to action, and to new levels in your own life. They will always do this for you on eBookHounds for free or for a discount.

 

Definition of the "Biographies and Memoirs Genre": Ebooks in both the Biographies and Memoirs genres focus on the life experiences of a single person.  Biographies are generally broader in the subject matters of a person's life experiences, while memoirs are more honed into the memories of that person.  However, there is very little difference between the two categories, which is why they are combined in a single genre. Ebooks in the Biographies and Memoirs genre also typically have a significant element of inspiration, as the stories which drove the writing of these ebooks are tremendously moving.

 

Examples of bestselling ebooks in the Biographies and Memoirs genre are Cheryl Strayed (Wild), Chris Kyle (American Sniper), Laura Hillenbrand (Unbroken), and Donna Mabry (Maude).

My Lobotomy: A Memoir

by Howard Dully et al

 

In this heartfelt memoir from one of the youngest recipients of the transorbital lobotamy, Howard Dully shares the story of a painfully dysfunctional childhood, a misspent youth, his struggle to claim the life that was taken from him, and his redemption.

At twelve, Howard Dully was guilty of the same crimes as other boys his age: he was moody and messy, rambunctious with his brothers, contrary just to prove a point, and perpetually at odds with his parents. Yet somehow, this normal boy became one of the youngest people on whom Dr. Walter Freeman performed his barbaric transorbital—or ice pick—lobotomy.

Abandoned by his family within a year of the surgery, Howard spent his teen years in mental institutions, his twenties in jail, and his thirties in a bottle. It wasn’t until he was in his forties that Howard began to pull his life together. But even as he began to live the “normal” life he had been denied, Howard struggled with one question: Why?

There were only three people who would know the truth: Freeman, the man who performed the procedure; Lou, his cold and demanding stepmother who brought Howard to the doctor’s attention; and his father, Rodney. Of the three, only Rodney, the man who hadn’t intervened on his son’s behalf, was still living. Time was running out. Stable and happy for the first time in decades, Howard began to search for answers.

Through his research, Howard met other lobotomy patients and their families, talked with one of Freeman’s sons about his father’s controversial life’s work, and confronted Rodney about his complicity. And, in the archive where the doctor’s files are stored, he finally came face to face with the truth.

Revealing what happened to a child no one—not his father, not the medical community, not the state—was willing to protect, My Lobotomy exposes a shameful chapter in the history of the treatment of mental illness. Yet, ultimately, this is a powerful and moving chronicle of the life of one man.

 

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The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man

by Al Hirshen


Al Hirshen has led an unusual life. He learned street smarts in the Bronx, helped out at his father's candy store, worked as a waiter in the Catskills to pay for his schooling, and became a lawyer. A participant in many of the pivotal changes of our times, Al was a Civil Rights and pioneering anti-poverty lawyer and created the first public/private partnerships in the Carter Administration. He was among the first USAID consultants to work in Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia and Albania.

Ready for new challenges and adventure, Al travelled the world, was a successful international development consultant, and tried his luck at movie production in Hollywood. For nine years he worked as a consultant to the leadership of Indonesia during that nation's turbulent transition to democracy.

Al writes with a sense of humor and a profound love of life, the world, and people. As a recovering alcoholic, father, grandfather and husband in a happy twenty-five-year third marriage, he sees himself as an "ordinary man" blessed to live life fully in an imperfect, yet stunning world.

"This book is a vibrantly alive, candid, and compelling memoir of a son of Jewish Immigrants from the Bronx, an intensely restless soul, ever in search of the next adventure, driven to making the world a better place along the way."

Thelton Henderson, Judge (Ret.) United States District Court

"A beautifully written, gripping, and amusing memoir, full of psychological insights, humor and world-wisdom. Al Hirshen has the determination, chutzpah, self-irony, and heartfelt generosity of a true lover of life."

Kim Chernin, author of In My Mother's House

"The title of this memoir may at first glance resemble a kited check; but there is more than enough in the bank of Hirshen's life story to cover two books. Not since Sybille Bedford's The Faces of Justice have I encountered such sharply observed stories of public life in the trenches."

Richard Buxbaum, Ralston Professor Emeritus of International Law, UC Berkeley Law School

"Al Hirshen weaves a remarkable tale of people, places, and events. His reflections on his illness and his recovery into the life of sobriety are rich and helpful. These are good words, written by a good fellow."

Fr. Tom Weston SJ., 12-Step Retreats, Renewal Ministries

From the Foreword by Richard Bangs:

Al's incisive writings stitch together the cloth that binds us as Americans and as world citizens. He explores different ideologies without judging. For him, ideology is a personal choice. With riveting tales of his various adventures and misadventures, he provides a road map to empathy, and the antidote to bigotry: traveling and living with an open mind.

This remarkable book encourages all of us to embrace a more deeply nuanced exploration of the world and its cultures, and to make it all part of the conversation. Al's peregrinations and interpretations encourage us to relinquish ingrained hyper-attachment to individualism, and to celebrate diversity and inclusion.

And yet, is the exploration and betterment of oneself not the greatest, most harrowing journey of all? In a raw account of his path to sobriety, Al gives his audience a look at what it means to reflect upon and confront our innermost demons and ultimately come out on the other side. Much like the stories of his travels, Al is able to recognize the parts of himself that need change, while also approaching that change with compassion, hope, and an open mind.

 
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The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State

by Nadia Murad


WINNER OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

In this intimate memoir of survival, a former captive of the Islamic State tells her harrowing and ultimately inspiring story.

 
Nadia Murad was born and raised in Kocho, a small village of farmers and shepherds in northern Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, she and her brothers and sisters lived a quiet life. Nadia had dreams of becoming a history teacher or opening her own beauty salon.
 
On August 15th, 2014, when Nadia was just twenty-one years old, this life ended. Islamic State militants massacred the people of her village, executing men who refused to convert to Islam and women too old to become sex slaves. Six of Nadia’s brothers were killed, and her mother soon after, their bodies swept into mass graves. Nadia was taken to Mosul and forced, along with thousands of other Yazidi girls, into the ISIS slave trade.
 
Nadia would be held captive by several militants and repeatedly raped and beaten. Finally, she managed a narrow escape through the streets of Mosul, finding shelter in the home of a Sunni Muslim family whose eldest son risked his life to smuggle her to safety.
 
Today, Nadia's story—as a witness to the Islamic State's brutality, a survivor of rape, a refugee, a Yazidi—has forced the world to pay attention to an ongoing genocide. It is a call to action, a testament to the human will to survive, and a love letter to a lost country, a fragile community, and a family torn apart by war.

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Autism in Heels: The Untold Story of a Female Life on the Spectrum

by Jennifer Cook O'Toole


The face of autism is changing. And more often than we realize, that face is wearing lipstick.

Autism in Heels, an intimate memoir, reveals the woman inside one of autism’s most prominent figures, Jennifer O'Toole. At the age of thirty-five, Jennifer was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, and for the first time in her life, things made sense. Now, Jennifer exposes the constant struggle between carefully crafted persona and authentic existence, editing the autism script with wit, candor, passion, and power. Her journey is one of reverse-self-discovery not only as an Aspie but--more importantly--as a thoroughly modern woman.

Beyond being a memoir, Autism in Heels is a love letter to all women. It’s a conversation starter. A game changer. And a firsthand account of what it is to walk in Jennifer's shoes (especially those iconic red stilettos).

Whether it's bad perms or body image, sexuality or self-esteem, Jennifer's is as much a human journey as one on the spectrum. Because autism "looks a bit different in pink," most girls and women who fit the profile are not identified, facing years of avoidable anxiety, eating disorders, volatile relationships, self-harm, and stunted independence. Jennifer has been there, too. Autism in Heels takes that message to the mainstream.

From her own struggles and self-discovery, she has built an empire of empowerment, inspiring women the world over to realize they aren't mistakes. They are misunderstood miracles.

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Body & Soul: A Novel

by Frank Conroy


This saga of a son of the working class who grows into a piano prodigy is “hypnotically readable . . . The best story I know of in a long, long time” (Vanity Fair).
 
As a boy, Claude Rawlings looks up through the grated window of his basement apartment to watch the world go by. Poor, lonely, supported by a taxi-driver mother whose eccentricities spin more and more out of control, he faces the terrible task of growing up on the margins of life, destined to be a spectator of that great world always hurrying out of reach. But there is an out-of-tune piano in the small apartment, and in unlocking the secrets of its keys, as if by magic, Claude discovers himself. He is a musical prodigy.
 
Body & Soul is the story of a young man whose life is transformed by a gift. The gift is not without price—the work is relentless, the teachers exacting—but the reward is a journey that takes him to the drawing rooms of the rich and powerful, private schools, a gilt-edged marriage, and Carnegie Hall. Claude moves through this life as if he were playing a difficult composition, swept up in its drama and tension, surprised by its grace notes. Music, here, becomes a character in its own right, equaled in strength only by the music of Frank Conroy’s own unmistakable and true voice.
 
Bristling with character and invention, Body & Soul is Dickensian in its range and richness. This is a novel with all the emotional appeal and moral gravity of a classic bildungsroman, but with a tone as contemporary as a jazz riff—an unforgettable achievement by one of the great writers of our time.

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Woman In Scarlet

by Karen L. Adams


An inspirational memoir of one woman’s 28-year journey from aspirations of becoming one of the first female officers within the fabled Royal Canadian Mounted Police, to overcoming the harsh realities of discrimination, injustice and personal violation.

Karen Adams’ dream became possible the day the RCMP finally included women in what was then, an unashamed boy’s club. When Karen joined the very first group of female RCMP recruits at age 22, she never anticipated the indelible mark this would leave on the landscape of Canada’s iconic police force and the women who came after her. Karen, least of all.

Fueled by equal measures of naiveté and a relentless pursuit of excellence to win the respect of her fellow officers, Karen found her passion in life despite a hostile work environment, both inside and outside the RCMP. Her story pulses with excitement as she recounts her initial forays into drug busts, surveillance and undercover missions–all the while suffering silently with PTSD after a physical assault perpetrated by a trusted member of the vaunted force she strived so hard to become part of.

Told with exuberance, humor and astonishing honesty, Woman In Scarlet, is a thrilling police car ride-along, as well as a deeply personal and courageous view of one woman’s evolution from a fledgling cadet to a respected trailblazer for social and political change.

Read Woman In Scarlet today for a remarkable journey filled with brutal obstacles, the heartbreaks of loss and the triumphs of achievement.

Genre: Women’s Historical Memoir

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Into the Wild

by Jon Krakauer


In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.  How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir.  In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his  cash.  He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented.  Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away.  Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.

Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless's short life.  Admitting an interst that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the dries and desires that propelled McCandless.  Digging deeply, he takes an inherently compelling mystery and unravels the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.

When McCandless's innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris.  He is said  to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless's uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity , and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding--and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, Into the Wild is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer's stoytelling blaze through every page.

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"Great Day in the Morning!": Growing up in the 1950s Deep South

by John Vedder

"Great Day in the Morning!" is a book comprised of stories about life in America's Deep South during the 1950s as seen through the eyes of a child. Told in the tradition of "Tom Sawyer," the author gives the reader glimpses into the world of an adolescent boy, who, like most his age, was more interested in fun, adventure, and discovery than in America's racial strife, the menace of communism, and the threat of nuclear war by the superpowers of that era. This book is charmingly naive from a 21st century perspective, but shows how a boy's environment helps shape the man he will become. These stories lead one to ponder whether it was better growing up during this naive time in our nation's history more so than growing up in our country today.

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Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service

by Michael Bar-Zohar et al

 

For decades, Israel's renowned security arm, the Mossad, has been widely recognized as the best intelligence service in the world. In Mossad, authors Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal take us behind the closed curtain with riveting, eye-opening, boots-on-the-ground accounts of the most dangerous, most crucial missions in the agency's 60-year history. These are real Mission: Impossible true stories brimming with high-octane action—from the breathtaking capture of Nazi executioner Adolph Eichmann to the recent elimination of key Iranian nuclear scientists. Anyone who is fascinated by the world of international espionage, intelligence, and covert "Black-Ops" warfare will find Mossad electrifying reading.

"This book tells what should have been known and isn't—that Israel's hidden force is as formidable as its recognized physical strength."
— Israeli President Shimon Peres

 

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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed

by Lori Gottlieb


Now being developed as a television series with Eva Longoria and ABC!

"An irresistibly addictive tour of the human condition."--Kirkus, starred review

"Rarely have I read a book that challenged me to see myself in an entirely new light, and was at the same time laugh-out-loud funny and utterly absorbing."--Katie Couric

"This is a daring, delightful, and transformative book."--Arianna Huffington, Founder, Huffington Post and Founder & CEO, Thrive Global

"Wise, warm, smart, and funny. You must read this book."--Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author of Quiet

From a New York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a hilarious, thought-provoking, and surprising new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist's world--where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she).

One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose of­fice she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but.

As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients' lives -- a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can't stop hooking up with the wrong guys -- she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell.

With startling wisdom and humor, Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is rev­olutionary in its candor, offering a deeply per­sonal yet universal tour of our hearts and minds and providing the rarest of gifts: a boldly reveal­ing portrait of what it means to be human, and a disarmingly funny and illuminating account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them.

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Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel

by Jesmyn Ward


WINNER of the NATIONAL BOOK AWARD and A NEW YORK TIMES TOP 10 BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

A finalist for the Kirkus Prize, Andrew Carnegie Medal, Aspen Words Literary Prize, and a New York Times bestseller, this majestic, stirring, and widely praised novel from two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward, the story of a family on a journey through rural Mississippi, is a “tour de force” (O, the Oprah Magazine) and a timeless work of fiction that is destined to become a classic.

Jesmyn Ward’s historic second National Book Award–winner is “perfectly poised for the moment” (The New York Times), an intimate portrait of three generations of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. “Ward’s writing throbs with life, grief, and love… this book is the kind that makes you ache to return to it” (Buzzfeed).

Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn’t lack in fathers to study, chief among them his Black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent White father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his absent White grandfather, Big Joseph, who won’t acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager.

His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister’s lives. She is an imperfect mother in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is Black and her children’s father is White. She wants to be a better mother but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. Simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high, Leonie is embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances.

When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another thirteen-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.

Rich with Ward’s distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic and unforgettable family story and “an odyssey through rural Mississippi’s past and present” (The Philadelphia Inquirer).

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Next Year in Havana

by Chanel Cleeton


A REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK

"A beautiful novel that's full of forbidden passions, family secrets and a lot of courage and sacrifice."--Reese Witherspoon

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity--and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution...


Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba's high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country's growing political unrest--until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary...

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa's last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba's tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she'll need the lessons of her grandmother's past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

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An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew

by Annejet van der Zijl


A Wall Street Journal and Amazon Charts bestseller.

Two-time Man Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel names An American Princess as one of her favorite books of the year: “light and gracefully written, it dances through a century of history…” (The Guardian)

Born to a pioneering family in Upstate New York in the late 1800s, Allene Tew was beautiful, impetuous, and frustrated by the confines of her small hometown. At eighteen, she met Tod Hostetter at a local dance, having no idea that the mercurial charmer she would impulsively wed was heir to one of the wealthiest families in America. But when he died twelve years later, Allene packed her bags for New York City. Never once did she look back.

From the vantage point of the American upper class, Allene embodied the tumultuous Gilded Age. Over the course of four more marriages, she weathered personal tragedies during World War I and the catastrophic financial reversals of the crash of 1929. From the castles and châteaus of Europe, she witnessed the Russian Revolution and became a princess. And from the hopes of a young girl from Jamestown, New York, Allene Tew would become the epitome of both a pursuer and survivor of the American Dream.

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Organizing Her Life: How My Journey Can Help You Declutter Your Spaces and Your Life

by Laura Souders

***Amazon Bestseller***
Do you feel overwhelmed by clutter, shuffling piles from one place to another?
Are you fulfilled by your life path?
In Organizing Her Life, Laura Souders, Professional Organizer and motivational speaker, invites us into her personal journey, traveling through her struggles and triumphs, to create a meaningful life. She shares how small steps led her to big change that positively impacted her physical space as well as her life path. Organizing Her Life is for people who want to improve their lives, without getting bogged down by reference books about organizing. In Organizing Her Life you will:

•Learn Laura’s 4 Step System for organizing any space
•Discover ways to change your mindset about things you own
•Gather easy to use, applicable tips to organize
•Gain knowledge to help find your passion
•Be inspired to improve your life

Transform not only the rooms in your home, but the spaces in your life, to have that calm, inspired existence we all desire.
ORGANIZING HER LIFE is combination of a fun beach novel, a great how to get organized guide, and a thought-provoking follow your dreams self-help book - I loved it! Laura humanizes organizing giving just enough information that the reader can absorb it but not so much that they get overwhelmed and bogged down. Mixing in inspiration and her own family story that I certainly could identify with – I just couldn’t wait to read more. - Ellen Faye, COC®, CPO ®Productivity and Leadership Coach | Certified Organizer Coach® | Certified Professional Organizer®Past President: National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO)

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Purpose: Mindful Leadership - An Exploration Of The Leadership Mindset

by Noura Books


Leadership requires a mindset of wisdom which brings order inspired by love. Without love and empathy, leadership becomes exploitative, abusive, or tyrannous. Sometimes, we find ourselves thrust in positions of leadership without the mental foundation to handle it. This can create a lot of pressure but can also provide opportunities to learn and grow through experience. Some of the main ideas we will explore here in relation to purpose are:

-Thoughts for meditation on leadership

-The challenges that occur when we find ourselves in leadership positions without the right mindset

-The mindset needed for leadership

-Taking leadership of our minds

-Leading with empathy

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The Outlook of a Happy Fella: A Journey to Joy

by Randy McIntire


“I LOVE THIS BOOK! IT’S ENGAGING, FUN TO READ, AND A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IMPROVE THE WAY WE LOOK AT LIFE —PROVING “JOY” CAN STILL BE ATTAINED.”

This is an easy book to read with a clear step-by-step method to lead a happier life. It is written in an engaging, conversational style that draws the reader in, showing how “joy” can still be achieved. You will find yourself smiling and nodding as you recognize yourself in certain situations.

“THIS BOOK IS ABOUT TAKING BACK YOUR POWER OVER YOUR EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HABITS TO CREATE A FULLER AND MORE JOYOUS LIFE.”

It shows how the author decided to become a happy fella who celebrates the joys of being alive. Along his journey of transformation, he developed a series of strategies, mental exercises, attitude checkups all aimed at becoming a more positive, happy, and confident person.

He shares these lessons with others with the writing of “The Outlook of a Happy Fella — A Journey to Joy.”

This book will prompt self-examination. In the end, you are confronted with two questions:

Do I want to become a calmer, happier person?

How do I do that?

 

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Man & Horse: The Long Ride Across America

by John Egenes


In 1974 a disenfranchised young man from a broken home set out to do the impossible. With a hundred dollars in his pocket, a beat up cavalry saddle, and a faraway look in his eye, John Egenes saddled his horse Gizmo and started down the trail on an adventure across the North American continent. Their seven month journey took them across 11 states from California to Virginia, ocean to ocean.. As they left the pressing confinement of the city behind them, the pair experienced the isolation and loneliness of the southwestern deserts, the vastness of the prairie, and the great landscapes that make up America. Across hundreds of miles of empty land they slept with coyotes and wild horses under the stars, and in urban areas they camped alone in graveyards and abandoned shacks. Along the way John and Gizmo were transformed from inexperienced horse and rider to veterans of the trail. With his young horse as his spiritual guide John slowly began to comprehend his own place in the world and to find peace within himself. Full of heart and humor, Egenes serves up a tale that's as big as the America he witnessed, an America that no longer exists. It was a journey that could only have been experienced step by step, mile by mile, from the view between a horse's ears.

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Alexander Hamilton

by Ron Chernow

 

New York Times Bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton!

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.


In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, Alexander Hamilton is “a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.”

Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow’s biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today’s America is the result of Hamilton’s countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. “To repudiate his legacy,” Chernow writes, “is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world.” Chernow here recounts Hamilton’s turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington’s aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America’s birth as the triumph of Jefferson’s democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we’ve encountered before—from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton’s famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.

Chernow’s biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America’s birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans.

“Nobody has captured Hamilton better than Chernow” —The New York Times Book Review 

Ron Chernow's other biographies include: Grant, Washington, and Titan.

 

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A House in the Sky: A Memoir

by Amanda Lindhout


BREAKING NEWS: Amanda Lindhout’s lead kidnapper, Ali Omar Ader, has been caught.

Amanda Lindhout wrote about her fifteen month abduction in Somalia in A House in the Sky. It is the New York Times bestselling memoir of a woman whose curiosity led her to the world’s most remote places and then into captivity: “Exquisitely told…A young woman’s harrowing coming-of-age story and an extraordinary narrative of forgiveness and spiritual triumph” (The New York Times Book Review).

As a child, Amanda Lindhout escaped a violent household by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself visiting its exotic locales. At the age of nineteen, working as a cocktail waitress, she began saving her tips so she could travel the globe. Aspiring to understand the world and live a significant life, she backpacked through Latin America, Laos, Bangladesh, and India, and emboldened by each adventure, went on to Sudan, Syria, and Pakistan. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a television reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Somalia—“the most dangerous place on earth.” On her fourth day, she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road.

Held hostage for 460 days, Amanda survives on memory—every lush detail of the world she experienced in her life before captivity—and on strategy, fortitude, and hope. When she is most desperate, she visits a house in the sky, high above the woman kept in chains, in the dark.

Vivid and suspenseful, as artfully written as the finest novel, A House in the Sky is “a searingly unsentimental account. Ultimately it is compassion—for her naïve younger self, for her kidnappers—that becomes the key to Lindhout’s survival” (O, The Oprah Magazine).

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Hanging the Artificial Sun: A U.S. Marine Corps Story

by Dale Young

Mud, whiskey, pole dancers and the girl from homeroom… Welcome to the Marine Corps. This is our story.

You and I are going to take journey and it will begin with the photo on my desk of a girl from my high school homeroom. Despite the age of the photo I can still feel her magic and remember how sweet the air smelled every time she walked past me in the hallway so many years ago.

The journey begins with her and will lead to Parris Island, Camp Lejeune and to distant lands halfway around the world. As we travel together I’ll introduce you to the raw and raunchy lifestyle of a seagoing U.S. Marine serving in an artillery battery - a rigorous, hardcore world that is not for the fainthearted.

We’ll travel by way of ship and go ashore in strange lands where we’ll hang the artificial sun for the grunts while living under conditions that will make you yearn for home. We’ll travel to foreign ports of call and to seedy brothels where we’ll make our business deals, and to the back alleys where we’ll sleep off the whiskey.

As we take our journey you will meet my fellow Marines, some of the most colorful and toughest young men God has ever put on this planet. You’ll lie beside us as we sleep in the pouring rain, the driving snow or the 100+ degree heat. You will go hungry, wear the same skivvy drawers for a month at a time, and learn to appreciate the little things in life such as a letter from home tinged with perfume.

This will be a journey unlike any you’ve ever taken. But remember, it will revolve around the girl from homeroom. You’ll experience her magic, and understand why I traveled the world as a U.S. Marine only to return to the place where I started, and to the girl that I always knew was meant to be mine.
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Hanging the Artificial Sun is a vivid, heartfelt story told in the first person that offers the reader an inside view into the hearts and minds of the young men that serve in the United States Marine Corps. If you have ever served in the Marine Corps or have a family member that is currently serving, or if you just love an adventurous tale you will enjoy this story and find it immensely satisfying and entertaining. The story will leave you with a better understanding of the pride that burns in the heart of every Marine, as well as the power of the love he carries with him for his girl back home, his fellow Marines and his Corps.

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