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).
The USA – the land of the future, the land of prosperity, success, glamor, and bling... But is it really (only) that?
Through this book and my eyes, you will come to feel the pulse of the "promised land". This story is a mash up of my own awkward experiences on the other side of the great puddle, which I describe with a simple goal in mind: to dissolve the prejudices that we have about each other.
Just between us, I can assure you that you will laugh – and cry – your heart out while reading this tour de farce. They say that laughter is the best medicine, so you're actually holding a cure-all in your hands ...
A memoir of overcoming pain, fear and doubt, and allowing faith to lead the way to a miraculous life.
You can only resist God's call for so long. Ask Moses, ask Paul… ask MaryAnne Connor.
As the owner of a successful real estate marketing firm, MaryAnne Connor, appeared to have it all. A happy marriage, the respect of her peers and a thriving career. But denial was her stronghold, and her enemy. She suffered from chronic pain, a dependency on pain medication and her marriage was failing.
And then there were God's whispers. They were getting louder. He wanted her to shift to a life of helping others. But how could He use her when she was so broken?
After years of resistance, she surrendered to His call, left everything behind and stepped onto the darkest streets of her city. There she found a kinship with other broken-hearted souls and the burning desire to help the poor and hungry. And so the genesis of NightShift Street Ministries began, along with an incredible series of miracles to conquer every obstacle put in her path.
Purchase The Shift today, walk in MaryAnne’s footsteps and take a remarkable journey to a place of love, hope & purpose.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time
SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING MICHAEL B. JORDAN AND JAMIE FOXX
Named one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Seattle Times • Esquire • Time
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.
Winner of the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction • Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction • Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award • Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize • Finalist for the Kirkus Reviews Prize • An American Library Association Notable Book
“Every bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so . . . a searing indictment of American criminal justice and a stirring testament to the salvation that fighting for the vulnerable sometimes yields.”—David Cole, The New York Review of Books
“Searing, moving . . . Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America’s Mandela.”—Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times
“You don’t have to read too long to start cheering for this man. . . . The message of this book . . . is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made. Just Mercy will make you upset and it will make you hopeful.”—Ted Conover, The New York Times Book Review
“Inspiring . . . a work of style, substance and clarity . . . Stevenson is not only a great lawyer, he’s also a gifted writer and storyteller.”—The Washington Post
“As deeply moving, poignant and powerful a book as has been, and maybe ever can be, written about the death penalty.”—The Financial Times
“Brilliant.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Not since Atticus Finch has a fearless and committed lawyer made such a difference in the American South. Though larger than life, Atticus exists only in fiction. Bryan Stevenson, however, is very much alive and doing God’s work fighting for the poor, the oppressed, the voiceless, the vulnerable, the outcast, and those with no hope. Just Mercy is his inspiring and powerful story.”—John Grisham
“Bryan Stevenson is one of my personal heroes, perhaps the most inspiring and influential crusader for justice alive today, and Just Mercy is extraordinary. The stories told within these pages hold the potential to transform what we think we mean when we talk about justice.”—Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
This witty and heartwarming memoir, based on the author’s own experiences, became an international success, spawning sequels, inspiring a beloved BBC television series, and winning over animal lovers everywhere.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, NAMED BY THE TIMES AS ONE OF "6 BOOKS TO HELP UNDERSTAND TRUMP'S WIN" AND SOON TO BE A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD
"You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist
"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal
"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.
The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history.
A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl's theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos ("meaning")-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.
At the time of Frankl's death in 1997, Man's Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. A 1991 reader survey for the Library of Congress that asked readers to name a "book that made a difference in your life" found Man's Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America.
A yet heartbreakingly honest, endearing memoir of incredible weight loss by a young food blogger who battles body image issues and overcomes food addiction to find self-acceptance.
All her life, Andie Mitchell had eaten lustily and mindlessly. Food was her babysitter, her best friend, her confidant, and it provided a refuge from her fractured family. But when she stepped on the scale on her twentieth birthday and it registered a shocking 268 pounds, she knew she had to change the way she thought about food and herself; that her life was at stake.
It Was Me All Along takes Andie from working class Boston to the romantic streets of Rome, from morbidly obese to half her size, from seeking comfort in anything that came cream-filled and two-to-a-pack to finding balance in exquisite (but modest) bowls of handmade pasta. This story is about much more than a woman who loves food and abhors her body. It is about someone who made changes when her situation seemed too far gone and how she discovered balance in an off-kilter world. More than anything, though, it is the story of her finding beauty in acceptance and learning to love all parts of herself.
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
Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer)
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER | NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER | PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST | NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST | NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • People • Entertainment Weekly • Vogue • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • New York • Newsday • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?
Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
Praise for Between the World and Me
“Powerful . . . a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“Eloquent . . . in the tradition of James Baldwin with echoes of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man . . . an autobiography of the black body in America.”—The Boston Globe
“Brilliant . . . [Coates] is firing on all cylinders.”—The Washington Post
“Urgent, lyrical, and devastating . . . a new classic of our time.”—Vogue
“A crucial book during this moment of generational awakening.”—The New Yorker
“Titanic and timely . . . essential reading.”—Entertainment Weekly
This eBook includes the full text of the book plus an exclusive additional chapter from Chip and Joanna that is not found in the hardcover!
Are you ready to see your fixer upper?
These famous words are now synonymous with the dynamic husband-and-wife team Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. As this question fills the airwaves with anticipation, their legions of fans continue to multiply and ask a different series of questions, like—Who are these people?What’s the secret to their success? And is Chip actually that funny in real life? By renovating homes in Waco, Texas, and changing lives in such a winsome and engaging way, Chip and Joanna have become more than just the stars of Fixer Upper, they have become America’s new best friends.
The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today.
They both attended Baylor University in Waco. However, their paths did not cross until Chip checked his car into the local Firestone tire shop where Joanna worked behind the counter. Even back then Chip was a serial entrepreneur who, among other things, ran a lawn care company, sold fireworks, and flipped houses. Soon they were married and living in their first fixer upper. Four children and countless renovations later, Joanna garners the attention of a television producer who notices her work on a blog one day.
In The Magnolia Story fans will finally get to join the Gaines behind the scenes and discover:
And yet there is still one lingering question for fans of the show: Is Chip really that funny? “Oh yeah,” says Joanna. “He was, and still is, my first fixer upper."
What happened that changed the priest—the revered healer of antiquity—into a person of science? How was the modern doctor made?
Physician is Rajeev Kurapati’s earnest attempt to answer this question and others central to the practice of medicine. For instance, how have the advances of medical technology influenced society’s perception of death? How do physicians balance thinking with feeling when dealing with critically ill patients? How do we meet the needs of patients seeking a personal connection to their doctor in what may seem to be an emotionally deficient medical landscape? Is it possible to overcome some of the compromises we’ve had to make along the way? What is the promise of modern medicine and its limitations? And notably—as medical care becomes more and more digitized and automated, will the medical degree—a universal badge of respectability—continue to hold value?
Dr. Kurapati, a practicing hospital physician, succeeds in gracefully exploring the depths of what it really means to be a doctor—and a patient—at this time in our human history, and his blueprint for building a stronger future of healthcare is an important and valuable one.
The mystery of Dead Mountain: In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened.
As gripping and bizarre as Hunt for the Skin Walker: This New York Times bestseller, Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident, is a gripping work of literary nonfiction that delves into the mystery of Dead Mountain through unprecedented access to the hikers' own journals and photographs, rarely seen government records, dozens of interviews, and the author's retracing of the hikers' fateful journey in the Russian winter.
You'll love this real-life tale: Dead Mountain is a fascinating portrait of young adventurers in the Soviet era, and a skillful interweaving of the hikers' narrative, the investigators' efforts, and the author's investigations. Here for the first time is the real story of what happened that night on Dead Mountain.
Regina’s Calcaterra memoir, Etched in Sand, is an inspiring and triumphant coming-of-age story of tenacity and hope.
Regina Calcaterra is a successful lawyer, New York State official, and activist. Her painful early life, however, was quite different. Regina and her four siblings survived an abusive and painful childhood only to find themselves faced with the challenges of the foster-care system and intermittent homelessness in the shadows of Manhattan and the Hamptons.
A true-life rags-to-riches story, Etched in Sand chronicles Regina’s rising above her past, while fighting to keep her brother and three sisters together through it all.
Beautifully written, with heartbreaking honesty, Etched in Sand is an unforgettable reminder that regardless of social status, the American Dream is still within reach for those who have the desire and the determination to succeed.
Now a major motion picture, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin and starring Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, and Michael Cera—the true story of "Hollywood’s poker princess" who gambled everything, won big, then lost it all.
Molly Bloom reveals how she built one of the most exclusive, high-stakes underground poker games in the world—an insider’s story of excess and danger, glamour and greed.
In the late 2000s, Molly Bloom, a twentysomething petite brunette from Loveland Colorado, ran the highest stakes, most exclusive poker game Hollywood had ever seen—she was its mistress, its lion tamer, its agent, and its oxygen. Everyone wanted in, few were invited to play.
Hundreds of millions of dollars were won and lost at her table. Molly’s game became the game for those in the know—celebrities, business moguls, and millionaires. Molly staged her games in palatial suites with beautiful views and exquisite amenities. She flew privately, dined at exclusive restaurants, hobnobbed with the heads of Hollywood studios, was courted by handsome leading men, and was privy to the world’s most delicious gossip, until it all came crashing down around her.
Molly’s Game is a behind the scenes look at Molly’s game, the life she created, the life she lost, and what she learned in the process.
The True Story Behind the Events on 9/11 that Inspired Broadway’s Smash Hit Musical Come from Away
When 38 jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land at Gander International Airport in Canada by the closing of U.S. airspace on September 11, the population of this small town on Newfoundland Island swelled from 10,300 to nearly 17,000. The citizens of Gander met the stranded passengers with an overwhelming display of friendship and goodwill.
As the passengers stepped from the airplanes, exhausted, hungry and distraught after being held on board for nearly 24 hours while security checked all of the baggage, they were greeted with a feast prepared by the townspeople. Local bus drivers who had been on strike came off the picket lines to transport the passengers to the various shelters set up in local schools and churches. Linens and toiletries were bought and donated. A middle school provided showers, as well as access to computers, email, and televisions, allowing the passengers to stay in touch with family and follow the news.
Over the course of those four days, many of the passengers developed friendships with Gander residents that they expect to last a lifetime. As a show of thanks, scholarship funds for the children of Gander have been formed and donations have been made to provide new computers for the schools. This book recounts the inspiring story of the residents of Gander, Canada, whose acts of kindness have touched the lives of thousands of people and been an example of humanity and goodwill.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
"Disturbing and riveting...It will sear your soul." —Dave Eggers, New York Times Book Review
SHELF AWARENESS'S BEST BOOK OF 2017
Named a best book of the year by Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, GQ, Time, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, NPR's Maureen Corrigan, NPR's "On Point," Vogue, Smithsonian, Cosmopolitan, Seattle Times, Bloomberg, Lit Hub's "Ultimate Best Books," Library Journal, Paste, Kirkus, Slate.com and Book Browse
From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history
In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.
Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.
In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the “Phantom Terror,” roamed—many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.
In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating.
From the award-winning author of I Knew You’d Be Lovely comes an empowering and disarmingly funny memoir about grief and illness—and the wit and wisdom it takes to survive it.
As a child, Alethea Black drifts between her father, a brilliant mathematician who is also her best friend, and her mother, a frank and outspoken woman on fire. After her father’s death, Alethea is left unmoored, a young woman more connected to life’s ethereal mysteries than to practical things such as doing laundry or paying taxes.
And then, just when life seems to be getting back on track, she’s suddenly racked by crushing fatigue, inexplicable pain, and memory loss. With her grasp on reality fading, and specialist after specialist declaring nothing is wrong, Alethea turns to her own research and desperate home remedies. But even as her frantic quest for wellness seems to lead to confusion and despair, she discovers more about her own strength than she ever could have imagined—and becomes a woman on fire herself.
In this New York Times bestseller, the White House chief usher for nearly three decades offers a behind-the-scenes look at America’s first families.
A HILARIOUS, WISE, REVEALING ROMP THROUGH FIVE DECADES OF HOLLYWOOD!
“Wow!!! Adrienne, like Mame, has LIVED!!!! And like Candide, she emerges unscathed, as dear as she was when she began. But what a wild ride!!!” —Bette Midler
Originally published in 2006, this L.A. Times bestseller by Tony-nominated actress, iconic “scream queen”, and vampyre thriller author Adrienne Barbeau is many things: a touching coming-of-age journal, an inspiring actor’s handbook on how to survive in the biz, and a witty Hollywood memoir—chronicling five decades of stage, screen, and romance.
There’s only one Adrienne Barbeau, as singular and irreplaceable as Marilyn, Meryl, or Hepburn—and as down-to-earth as any soccer mom (which she is). Only one Swamp Thing girlfriend, only one Ruthie the snake charmer, only one original Rizzo. No other voice in Hollywood can you imagine as Creepshow’s Billie growling, “Get out of the way, Henry, or I swear to God you’ll be wearing your balls for earrings.”
Twelve-year-old Barbeau entrusted her journal with a secret: she must become an actress. She set out with single-minded determination, succeeding on the strengths of an unsurpassed work ethic and discipline, unshakable commitment to the truth of her characters, a soul-stirring voice, a preternaturally perfect beauty, and her bawdy sense of humor—all on full display here!
Barbeau hilariously details her early years as a naif in New York, securing her first apartment with roommates: “One of the girls was an alcoholic…. The other had male friends who left money on the dresser on the nights I’d come home to find myself locked out of the bedroom.” Then getting her first job, as a barmaid: “My boss … is a ‘big man’ in New York—although not a member of the Mafia, they are good friends.” And, memorably, starring on Broadway in Grease. She warmly remembers her two hit television series (Maude and Carnivale), and spins tales of her many television and feature films (The Fog, Escape from New York, Cannonball Run, Swamp Thing, Back to School, Creepshow).
But unlike most showbiz biographies, Barbeau’s story doesn’t stop—or even slow down—at fifty, which finds our heroine newly in love, wandering the halls of the maternity ward a new mother (the only new mother on the floor with an AARP card), becoming a published author (of vampire thrillers!), and taking up trapeze-performance at seventy.
Always behind the scenes of Adrienne’s rise to iconic “scream queen” is the introspective girl, facing her fears to develop her concert singing career, searching for self-knowledge, the right guy, and happiness as a wife and mother with a very busy career—and always pushing the boundaries.
WHO WILL LIKE IT: Fans of Hollywood memoirs, young artists seeking the secrets to success, every starstruck male who was older than thirteen when Maude’s daughter Carol popped into our living rooms, every woman who could use a touch of the encouraging warmth of a friend, anybody who needs a rip-roaring good laugh— or fifty.
“This book will make you laugh, cry, and just root for the skinny little girl with glasses and bushy hair who became a beautiful woman, mother, wife and a darned good actress.” —Electric Review
Faith. Trust. Triumph.
“I’m sorry,” the doctor said. “He is permanently and totally blind. There is nothing we can do for him.”
George and Sarah Hingson looked at each other, devastated. Their six-month-old son, Michael was a happy, strawberry blond baby boy, healthy and normal in every way except one. When the Hingsons switched on a light or made silly faces, Michael did not react. Ever. “My best suggestion is that you send him to a home for the blind,” the doctor continued. “He will never be able to do anything for himself.”
Forty-seven years later, a yellow Labrador retriever puppy was born in the whelping unit of Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California. The puppy’s name was Roselle. On September 11, 2001, she saved Michael’s life. This is Roselle’s story too.
—From the Introduction
Every moment in Michael Hingson’s and Roselle’s lives seemed to lead up to this day. When one of four hijacked planes flew into the World Trade Center’s north tower on September 11, 2001, Michael Hingson, a district sales manager for a data protection and network security systems company, was sitting down for a meeting. His guide dog, Roselle, was at his feet. Paired for twenty-one months, man and dog spent that time forging a bond of trust, much like police partners who trust their lives to each other.
Michael couldn’t see a thing, but he could hear the sounds of shattering glass, falling debris, and terrified people flooding around him and Roselle. However, Roselle sat calmly beside him. In that moment, Michael chose to trust Roselle’s judgment and not to panic. They were a team.
Thunder Dog is a story that will forever change your spirit and your perspective. It illuminates Hingson’s lifelong determination to achieve parity in a sighted world and how the rare trust between a man and his guide dog can inspire an unshakable faith in each one of us.