Bettyville

Bettyville
Available:
Author: George Hodgman
Pages: 278
ISBN: 9780143107880
Release: 2016-02-02
Editor: Penguin Books

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. He can't bring himself to force her from the home they both treasure - the place where his father's voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes 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. Bettyville is Hodgman's memoir of secrets, silences and enduring love.

Bettyville

Bettyville
Available:
Author: George Hodgman
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780698158450
Release: 2015-03-10
Editor: Penguin

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD “A beautifully crafted memoir, rich with humor and wisdom.” —Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club “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 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.

Bettyville

Bettyville
Available:
Author: George Hodgman
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781473649651
Release: 2016-07-14
Editor: Hachette UK

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

'OUR FAVOURITE READS OF 2016' THE TIMES | A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 'A BOOK THAT HAS YOU EMAILING FRIENDS "YOU HAVE TO READ THIS"' The Sunday Times - 'A WARM AND POIGNANT MEMOIR' Daily Express - 'WITHOUT A DOUBT MY FAVOURITE BOOK OF THE YEAR' Nathan Lane, Wall Street Journal Signed by Paramount for TV starring Oscar-winner Shirley MacLaine & Tony-winner Matthew Broderick A witty, tender memoir of a son's journey home to care for his irascible mother with dementia - a tale of secrets, silences, and enduring love. 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 ageing 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 colourful-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.

Bettyville

Bettyville
Available:
Author: George Hodgman
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780143107880
Release: 2016-02-02
Editor: Penguin

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Originally published: New York: Viking, 2015.

Making Gray Gold

Making Gray Gold
Available:
Author: Timothy Diamond
Pages: 296
ISBN: 0226144798
Release: 2009-06-12
Editor: University of Chicago Press

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

This first hand report on the work of nurses and other caregivers in a nursing home is set powerfully in the context of wider political, economic, and cultural forces that shape and constrain the quality of care for America's elderly. Diamond demonstrates in a compelling way the price that business-as-usual policies extract from the elderly as well as those whose work it is to care for them. In a society in which some two million people live in 16,000 nursing homes, with their numbers escalating daily, this thought-provoking work demands immediate and widespread attention. "[An] unnerving portrait of what it's like to work and live in a nursing home. . . . By giving voice to so many unheard residents and workers Diamond has performed an important service for us all."—Diane Cole, New York Newsday "With Making Gray Gold, Timothy Diamond describes the commodification of long-term care in the most vivid representation in a decade of round-the-clock institutional life. . . . A personal addition to the troublingly impersonal national debate over healthcare reform."—Madonna Harrington Meyer, Contemporary Sociology

Spoiler Alert The Hero Dies

Spoiler Alert  The Hero Dies
Available:
Author: Michael Ausiello
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781501134968
Release: 2017-09-12
Editor: Simon and Schuster

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Television industry journalist Michael Ausiello tells the story of his final year with his partner of thirteen years, Kit Cowan--diagnosed with a rare and very aggressive form of neuroendocrine cancer--while revisiting the many memories that preceded it, and describes how their undeniably powerful bond carried them through all manner of difficulties, with humor always front and center of the relationship.

The Bridge Ladies

The Bridge Ladies
Available:
Author: Betsy Lerner
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780062354488
Release: 2016-05-03
Editor: HarperCollins

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

A fifty-year-old Bridge game provides an unexpected way to cross the generational divide between a daughter and her mother. Betsy Lerner takes us on a powerfully personal literary journey, where we learn a little about Bridge and a lot about life. After a lifetime defining herself in contrast to her mother’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” generation, Lerner finds herself back in her childhood home, not five miles from the mother she spent decades avoiding. When Roz needs help after surgery, it falls to Betsy to take care of her. She expected a week of tense civility; what she got instead were the Bridge Ladies. Impressed by their loyalty, she saw something her generation lacked. Facebook was great, but it wouldn’t deliver a pot roast. Tentatively at first, Betsy becomes a regular at her mother’s Monday Bridge club. Through her friendships with the ladies, she is finally able to face years of misunderstandings and family tragedy, the Bridge table becoming the common ground she and Roz never had. By turns darkly funny and deeply moving, The Bridge Ladies is the unforgettable story of a hard-won—but never-too-late—bond between mother and daughter.

The Escape Artist

The Escape Artist
Available:
Author: Helen Fremont
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781982113629
Release: 2020-02-11
Editor: Simon and Schuster

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

A luminous new memoir from the author of the critically acclaimed national bestseller After Long Silence, The Escape Artist has been lauded by New York Times bestselling author Mary Karr as “beautifully written, honest, and psychologically astute. A must-read.” In the tradition of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and George Hodgman’s Bettyville, Fremont writes with wit and candor about growing up in a household held together by a powerful glue: secrets. Her parents, profoundly affected by their memories of the Holocaust, pass on to both Helen and her older sister a zealous determination to protect themselves from what they see as danger from the outside world. Fremont delves deeply into the family dynamic that produced such a startling devotion to secret keeping, beginning with the painful and unexpected discovery that she has been disinherited in her father’s will. In scenes that are frank, moving, and often surprisingly funny, She writes about growing up in such an intemperate household, with parents who pretended to be Catholics but were really Jews—and survivors of Nazi-occupied Poland. She shares tales of family therapy sessions, disordered eating, her sister’s frequently unhinged meltdowns, and her own romantic misadventures as she tries to sort out her sexual identity. Searching, poignant, and ultimately redemptive, The Escape Artist is a powerful contribution to the memoir shelf.

Dinner with Edward

Dinner with Edward
Available:
Author: Isabel Vincent
Pages: 242
ISBN: 9781616206048
Release: 2016-05-24
Editor: Algonquin Books

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

A memoir of food and friendship “combining the warm-heartedness of Tuesdays with Morrie with the sensual splendor of Julie and Julia” (Booklist, starred review). Isabel Vincent first arrives at Edward’s New York apartment to check on him as a favor to his daughter. She has no idea that the nonagenarian baking a sublime roast chicken and a light-as-air apricot soufflé will end up changing her life. But their meeting comes at a moment of transition for each of them: Edward wants nothing more than to follow his late wife to the grave, while Isabel is watching her marriage unravel. As Edward and Isabel meet weekly for the glorious dinners that Edward prepares, he shares so much more than his recipes for apple galette or the perfect martini, or even his tips for deboning poultry. Edward teaches Isabel the art of slowing down, taking the time to think through her own life—cutting it back to the bone and examining the guts, no matter how messy that proves to be. Dinner with Edward is a book about love and nourishment, and about how dinner with a friend can, in the words of M. F. K. Fisher, “sustain us against the hungers of the world.” “A rare, beautifully crafted memoir that leaves you exhilarated.” —Rosemary Sullivan, author of Stalin’s Daughter “This is a memoir to treasure.” —Booklist (starred review)

Bettyville

Bettyville
Available:
Author: George Hodgman
Pages: 278
ISBN: 0525427201
Release: 2015
Editor: Viking Adult

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

In a powerful story of secrets, silences and enduring love, a veteran magazine and book editor returns to his hometown of Paris, Missouri, to take care of his aging mother, Betty, a strong-willed woman who speaks her mind and has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay.

Let s Never Talk About This Again

Let s Never Talk About This Again
Available:
Author: Sara Faith Alterman
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781538748657
Release: 2020-07-28
Editor: Hachette UK

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Samantha Irby meets Bettyville in this darkly funny and poignant memoir about love, loss, Alzheimer's, and reviving her father's pornographic writing career, from writer and Mortified liveproducer Sara Faith Alterman. Twelve-year-old Sara enjoyed an G-rated existence in suburban New England, filled with over-the-top birthday cakes, Revolutionary War reenactments, and nerdy word games invented by her prudish father, Ira. But Sara's world changed for the icky when she discovered that Ira had been shielding her from the truth: that he was a campy sex writer who'd sold millions of books in multiple languages, including the wildly popular Games You Can Play with Your Pussy. Which was, to the naïve Sara's horror, not a book about cats. For decades the books remained an unspoken family secret, until Ira developed early onset Alzheimer's disease . . . and announced he'd be reviving his writing career. With Sara's help. In this cringeworthy, hilarious, and moving memoir, Sara shares the profound experience of discovering new facets of her father; once as a child, and again as an adult. Let's Never Talk About This Again is a must-read confessional from a woman who spent years trying to find humor in the perverse and optimism in the darkness, and succeeded.

The Electric Woman

The Electric Woman
Available:
Author: Tessa Fontaine
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780374717025
Release: 2018-05-01
Editor: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

A New York Times Editors' Choice; A Southern Living Best Book of 2018; An Amazon Editors' Best Book of 2018; A Refinery29 Best Book of 2018; A New York Post Most Unforgettable Book of 2018 "Fascinating." —Vogue “This is the story of a daughter and her mother. It’s also a memoir, a love story, and a tale of high-flying stunts . . . An adventure toward and through fear.” —Southern Living Tessa Fontaine’s astonishing memoir of pushing past fear, The Electric Woman, follows the author on a life-affirming journey of loss and self-discovery—through her time on the road with the last traveling American sideshow and her relationship with an adventurous, spirited mother. Turns out, one lesson applies to living through illness, keeping the show on the road, letting go of the person you love most, and eating fire: The trick is there is no trick. You eat fire by eating fire. Two journeys—a daughter’s and a mother’s—bear witness to this lesson in The Electric Woman. For three years Tessa Fontaine lived in a constant state of emergency as her mother battled stroke after stroke. But hospitals, wheelchairs, and loss of language couldn’t hold back such a woman; she and her husband would see Italy together, come what may. Thus Fontaine became free to follow her own piper, a literal giant inviting her to “come play” in the World of Wonders, America’s last traveling sideshow. How could she resist? Transformed into an escape artist, a snake charmer, and a high-voltage Electra, Fontaine witnessed the marvels of carnival life: intense camaraderie and heartbreak, the guilty thrill of hard-earned cash exchanged for a peek into the impossible, and, most marvelous of all, the stories carnival folks tell about themselves. Through these, Fontaine trained her body to ignore fear and learned how to keep her heart open in the face of loss. A story for anyone who has ever imagined running away with the circus, wanted to be someone else, or wanted a loved one to live forever, The Electric Woman is ultimately about death-defying acts of all kinds, especially that ever constant: good old-fashioned unconditional love.

Accounts and Papers of the House of Commons

Accounts and Papers of the House of Commons
Available:
Author: Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons
Pages: 329
ISBN: OXFORD:555101244
Release: 1877
Editor: Unknown

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

The Light Years

The Light Years
Available:
Author: Chris Rush
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780374719463
Release: 2019-04-02
Editor: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

Lambda Literary Award Finalist | A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice Named a best book of 2019 by Parade The Light Years is a joyous and defiant coming-of-age memoir set during one of the most turbulent times in American history "This stunningly beautiful, original memoir is driven by a search for the divine, a quest that leads Rush into some dangerous places . . . The Light Years is funny, harrowing, and deeply tender." —Kate Tuttle, The L.A. Times "Rush is a fantastically vivid writer, whether he’s remembering a New Jersey of 'meatballs and Windex and hairspray' or the dappled, dangerous beauty of Northern California, where 'rock stars lurked like lemurs in the trees.' Read if you loved... Just Kids by Patti Smith." —Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly “As mythic and wild with love, possibility, and danger as the decades it spans, you’ll read The Light Years with your breath held. Brutal, buoyant and wise to the tender terror of growing up, Chris Rush has written a timeless memoir of boyhood in the American wilderness.” —Emma Cline, author of The Girls Chris Rush was born into a prosperous, fiercely Roman Catholic, New Jersey family. But underneath the gleaming mid-century house, the flawless hostess mom, and the thriving businessman dad ran an unspoken tension that, amid the upheaval of the late 1960s, was destined to fracture their precarious facade. His older sister Donna introduces him to the charismatic Valentine, who places a tab of acid on twelve-year-old Rush’s tongue, proclaiming: “This is sacrament. You are one of us now.” After an unceremonious ejection from an experimental art school, Rush heads to Tucson to make a major drug purchase and, still barely a teenager, disappears into the nascent American counterculture. Stitching together a ragged assemblage of lowlifes, prophets, and fellow wanderers, he seeks kinship in the communes of the west. His adolescence is spent looking for knowledge, for the divine, for home. Given what Rush confronts on his travels—from ordinary heartbreak to unimaginable violence—it is a miracle he is still alive. The Light Years is a prayer for vanished friends, an odyssey signposted with broken and extraordinary people. It transcends one boy’s story to perfectly illustrate the slow slide from the optimism of the 1960s into the darker and more sinister 1970s. This is a riveting, heart-stopping journey of discovery and reconciliation, as Rush faces his lost childhood and, finally, himself.

Anthem for a Burnished Land

Anthem for a Burnished Land
Available:
Author: Shaun T. Griffin
Pages: 274
ISBN: 0935615512
Release: 2016-01-29
Editor: Unknown

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

The Paris Hours

The Paris Hours
Available:
Author: Alex George
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781250307194
Release: 2020-05-05
Editor: Flatiron Books

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

“Like All the Light We Cannot See, The Paris Hours explores the brutality of war and its lingering effects with cinematic intensity. The ending will leave you breathless.” —Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train and A Piece of the World One day in the City of Light. One night in search of lost time. Paris between the wars teems with artists, writers, and musicians, a glittering crucible of genius. But amidst the dazzling creativity of the city’s most famous citizens, four regular people are each searching for something they’ve lost. Camille was the maid of Marcel Proust, and she has a secret: when she was asked to burn her employer’s notebooks, she saved one for herself. Now she is desperate to find it before her betrayal is revealed. Souren, an Armenian refugee, performs puppet shows for children that are nothing like the fairy tales they expect. Lovesick artist Guillaume is down on his luck and running from a debt he cannot repay—but when Gertrude Stein walks into his studio, he wonders if this is the day everything could change. And Jean-Paul is a journalist who tells other people’s stories, because his own is too painful to tell. When the quartet’s paths finally cross in an unforgettable climax, each discovers if they will find what they are looking for. Told over the course of a single day in 1927, The Paris Hours takes four ordinary people whose stories, told together, are as extraordinary as the glorious city they inhabit.

The End of Your Life Book Club

The End of Your Life Book Club
Available:
Author: Will Schwalbe
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780307961112
Release: 2012-10-02
Editor: Vintage

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

“What are you reading?” That’s the question Will Schwalbe asks his mother, Mary Anne, as they sit in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2007, Mary Anne returned from a humanitarian trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan suffering from what her doctors believed was a rare type of hepatitis. Months later she was diagnosed with a form of advanced pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal, often in six months or less. This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother, who start a “book club” that brings them together as her life comes to a close. Over the next two years, Will and Mary Anne carry on conversations that are both wide-ranging and deeply personal, prompted by an eclectic array of books and a shared passion for reading. Their list jumps from classic to popular, from poetry to mysteries, from fantastic to spiritual. The issues they discuss include questions of faith and courage as well as everyday topics such as expressing gratitude and learning to listen. Throughout, they are constantly reminded of the power of books to comfort us, astonish us, teach us, and tell us what we need to do with our lives and in the world. Reading isn’t the opposite of doing; it’s the opposite of dying. Will and Mary Anne share their hopes and concerns with each other—and rediscover their lives—through their favorite books. When they read, they aren’t a sick person and a well person, but a mother and a son taking a journey together. The result is a profoundly moving tale of loss that is also a joyful, and often humorous, celebration of life: Will’s love letter to his mother, and theirs to the printed page. This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.

Gorilla and the Bird

Gorilla and the Bird
Available:
Author: Zack McDermott
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780349413549
Release: 2017-09-26
Editor: Hachette UK

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

'One of the gems of the year' - Michele Magwood, Sunday Times (Books LIVE SA) The story of a young man fighting to recover from a devastating psychotic break and the mother who refuses to give up on him. Zack McDermott, a twenty-six-year-old Brooklyn public defender, woke up one morning convinced he was being filmed as part of an audition for a TV pilot. Every passerby was an actor; every car would magically stop for him; everything he saw was a cue from 'The Producer' to help inspire the performance of a lifetime. After a manic spree around Manhattan, Zack, who is bipolar, was arrested on a subway platform and admitted to hospital. So begins the story of Zack's free fall into psychosis and his desperate, poignant, often darkly funny struggle to claw his way back to sanity, regain his identity, and rebuild some semblance of a stable life. It's a journey that will take him from New York City back to his Kansas roots and to the one person who might be able to save him, his tough, bighearted Midwestern mother, nicknamed the Bird, whose fierce and steadfast love is the light in Zack's dark world. Before his odyssey is over, Zack will be tackled by guards in mental wards, run naked through cornfields, receive secret messages from the TV, befriend a former Navy SEAL and his talking stuffed monkey and see the Virgin Mary in the whorls of his own back hair. But with the Bird's help, he just might have a shot at pulling through, starting over, and maybe even meeting a woman who can love him back, bipolar and all. Written with raw emotional power, humor, and tenderness, Gorilla and the Bird is a bravely honest account of a young man's unraveling and the relationship that saves him.

Burn the Place

Burn the Place
Available:
Author: Iliana Regan
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781982157777
Release: 2020-08-04
Editor: Scribner

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

LONGLISTED for the NATIONAL BOOK AWARD A “blistering yet tender” (Publishers Weekly) memoir that chronicles one chef’s journey from foraging on her family’s Midwestern farm to running her own Michelin-starred restaurant and finding her place in the world. Iliana Regan grew up the youngest of four headstrong girls on a small farm in Indiana. While gathering raspberries as a toddler, Regan learned to only pick the ripe fruit. In the nearby fields, the orange flutes of chanterelle mushrooms beckoned her while they eluded others. Regan’s profound connection with food and the earth began in childhood, but connecting with people was more difficult. She grew up gay in an intolerant community, was an alcoholic before she turned twenty, and struggled to find her voice as a woman working in an industry dominated by men. But food helped her navigate the world around her—learning to cook in her childhood home, getting her first restaurant job at age fifteen, teaching herself cutting-edge cuisine while hosting an underground supper club, and working her way from front-of-house staff to running her own kitchen. Regan’s culinary talent is based on instinct, memory, and an almost otherworldly connection to ingredients, and her writing comes from the same place. Raw, filled with startling imagery and told with uncommon emotional power, Burn the Place takes us from Regan’s childhood farmhouse kitchen to the country’s most elite restaurants in a galvanizing tale that is entirely original, and unforgettable.

The World According to Fannie Davis

The World According to Fannie Davis
Available:
Author: Bridgett M. Davis
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780316558716
Release: 2019-01-29
Editor: Little, Brown

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK:

As seen on the Today Show: This true story of an unforgettable mother, her devoted daughter, and their life in the Detroit numbers of the 1960s and 1970s highlights "the outstanding humanity of black America" (James McBride). In 1958, the very same year that an unknown songwriter named Berry Gordy borrowed $800 to found Motown Records, a pretty young mother from Nashville, Tennessee, borrowed $100 from her brother to run a numbers racket out of her home. That woman was Fannie Davis, Bridgett M. Davis's mother. Part bookie, part banker, mother, wife, and granddaughter of slaves, Fannie ran her numbers business for thirty-four years, doing what it took to survive in a legitimate business that just happened to be illegal. She created a loving, joyful home, sent her children to the best schools, bought them the best clothes, mothered them to the highest standard, and when the tragedy of urban life struck, soldiered on with her stated belief: "Dying is easy. Living takes guts." A daughter's moving homage to an extraordinary parent, The World According to Fannie Davis is also the suspenseful, unforgettable story about the lengths to which a mother will go to "make a way out of no way" and provide a prosperous life for her family -- and how those sacrifices resonate over time.