Category: Memoir

Kit Harington Headlines the Hottest New Releases on Audible!

It’s summer, you’re busy with a million things: work, travel, friends, more travel— for what is supposed to be the most relaxing time of year, summer fills up fast and it can be hard to find the time to make a start on the summer to-be-read list you spent the year compiling! That’s where Audible comes in.

Audible have some amazing new additions to their already extensive library and we’ve got a list of some of the most exciting titles that are new to Audible this month! 

 

Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J. K. Rowling, narrated by Carlos ponce

 

 

As part of the launch of Audible Latino—an integrated, multicultural destination offering US Hispanic customers a robust catalog of Spanish-language and culturally relevant English-language spoken-word content on audible.com – Audible launched the much anticipated audio premiere of Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J. K. Rowling, performed by internationally acclaimed Puerto Rican actor, Carlos Ponce. This is the first time that the Spanish-language Harry Potter books have been available in digital audio. Books 1-5 are now available, with the remainder set to be released later this year and next.

 

Stan Lee’s Alliances: A Trick of Light narrated by Yara Shahidi

 

 

In Stan Lee’s Alliances: A Trick of Light, one of Stan Lee’s final collaborations and most innovative works, the legendary creator invites you to unleash the power of your imagination, and bring to life an epic, superhero origin story set within a tech-centric, highly connected world, unnervingly reminiscent of our own. Performed by Yara Shahidi, People Magazine called this Audible Original “an immersive audio experience” and Entertainment Weekly says it’s “a first-of-its-kind.”

 

Rise and Shine Yoga Flows by MoveWith 

 

 

Join a select group of MoveWith teachers in this uplifting series of yoga classesmeditationcore strength training, and more designed to get you moving and energized. Whether it’s first thing in the morning, or as an afternoon pick-me-up, this is the perfect way to squeeze a mindful sweat into your day. So grab your headphones and let a MoveWith coach guide you on a centering and rejuvenating journey. These high-energy classes are designed to be taken anytime of day and as many times through as you want. 

 

Black Sheep by Meghan March

 

 

Audible exclusively released Black Sheep, the first story in New York Times best-selling romance author Meghan March’s Audible Original series, The Dirty Mafia Duet.

 

 

Where The Light Enters by Jill Biden

 

 

Where The Light Enters is a candid, heartwarming glimpse into the creation of the beloved Biden family and the life of a woman at its center. This is the story of how Jill built a family – and a life – of her own. From the pranks she played to keep everyone laughing to the traditions she formed that would carry them through tragedy, hers is the spirited journey of a woman embracing many roles. 

 

 

Our Harlem by Marcus Samuelsson

 

 

In Our Harlem, award-winning chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson takes listeners on a music- and food-filled journey to his Harlem neighborhood and Red Rooster Harlem restaurant. The seven-hour Audible Original is filled with the sounds of Marcus’s kitchen, gospel and jazz from local bands, and conversation with friends. Marcus invites the listener to cook along with him, listen to the beats that flow through his restaurant, and learn about Harlem’s rich history, diversity, and vibrant pulse.

 

True West by Sam Shepherd, read by kit harington and johnny flynn

 

 

Kit Harington and Johnny Flynn smolder and burn as sparring brothers in Sam Shepard’s darkly comic 1980 drama, True WestThe Cain and Abel conflict is a showdown of sibling rivalry, but also bears witness to a legacy of booze-fueled family brawls. As Harington and Flynn duel it out, they bring a cagey, wiry energy to director Matthew Dunster’s West End revival of this Pulitzer Prize finalist, delivered as an audio play.

 

Heads Will Roll starring Kate Mckinnon and emily lynne 

 

 

Heads Will Roll is an Audible Original from Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon and her co-creator/co-star (and real-life sister) Emily Lynne. Produced by Audible and Broadway Video, this is not an audiobook—it’s a 10-episode, star-studded, scripted audio comedy that features performances from Meryl Streep, Tim Gunn, Peter Dinklage, Queer Eye’s Fab Five, and so many more!

When an experiment to study quantum uncertainty goes spectacularly wrong, physics student Bill Rustad and his friends find that they have accidentally created an inter-dimensional portal. They connect to Outland – an alternate Earth with identical geology, but where humans never evolved. Then everything changes when the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts in an explosion large enough to destroy civilization and kill half the planet. The team has just hours to get as many people as possible across to Outland before a lethal cloud of ash overwhelms them! This scifi Audible Original from bestselling author/narrator team Dennis E. Taylor and Ray Taylor is an absolute must-listen

 

Get excited for…

The Baby-Sitters Club by ann M. martin, read by elle fanning, coming august 13th

 

 

Three decades after The Baby-Sitters Club first rocked our world the beloved franchise is back to binge like never before! In the most exciting news since we first learned of Kristy Thomas’s great idea to start the Baby-Sitters Club, the blockbuster series that first celebrated young entrepreneurialism and fierce female friendships is now available only from Audible as an audio experience with the first five titles in the series performed by Elle Fanning.

 

 

8 Inspiring Memoirs You May Not Have Heard Of

Real life stories are among the most inspiring out there. There is so much to learn from each individual human experience, and memoirs remind us that each person we meet can teach us to grow in a new way. Here are eight super inspiring memoirs you may not have heard of, but need to check out!

Too Much of Not Enough by Jane Pollak

 

 

“In vivid, intelligent prose, Jane Pollak chronicles her journey from quiet, people-pleasing good girl to the successful artist, entrepreneur, and woman living her best life that she is today. Without melodrama or self-pity, she captures a universal yearning for true happiness. She will keep you turning pages and rooting for her in her quest to find it.”—Susan Shapiro best-selling author of Five Men Who Broke My Heart and The Byline Bible

Inspiring and deeply relatable, Pollak’s memoir is a primer on how to be the proactive agent of one’s own best path.

ONCE MORE WE SAW STARS BY JAYSON GREENE

 

“A gripping and beautiful book about the power of love in the face of unimaginable loss.”—Cheryl Strayed

A moving, transcendent memoir of loss and a stunning exploration of marriage in the wake of unimaginable grief.

 

Saturday’s Child: A Daughter’s Memoir by Deborah Burns

 

 

“In her searingly honest memoir, Deborah Burns unpacks what it means to be the daughter of a mistaken-for-a-movie-star mother who refuses to be defeated by life, no matter its disappointments. At once painful and uplifting, and rich with period detail, you will fall in love with both generations.”
―Sally Koslow, international best-selling author of Another Side of Paradise

In vivid, lyrical prose, Saturday’s Child tells the story of Deborah’s eccentric upbringing and her quest in midlife, long after her parents’ death, to uncover the truth about her mother and their complex relationship.

 

Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future by Peter Buttigieg

 

 

“Buttigieg’s Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future (Liveright) is the best written of all these books [by 2020 presidential candidates]; it offers the most unembarrassed political hope; and it’s got the best love story…. Buttigieg’s stirring, honest, and often beautiful book is a story of how the people of South Bend rebuilt their Rust Belt city, and made it a better place, and it’s an argument for what it means to answer a calling, and why it’s important to ask, again and again, ‘what each of us owes to the country.’” —Jill Lepore, The New Yorker

Described by the Washington Post as “the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of,” Pete Buttigieg, the thirty-seven-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has emerged as one of America’s most visionary politicians.

The Parrot’s Perch: A Memoir by Karen Keilt

 

 

“Keilt narrates an intense yet even-handed story of living under a dictatorship.” ―Publisher’s Weekly

Keilt tells the story of her life in Brazil―from her exclusive, upper-class lifestyle and dreams of Olympic medals to her turmoil-filled youth. Full of hints of a dark oligarchy in Brazil, corruption, crime, and military interference, The Parrot’s Perch is a searing, sometimes shocking true tale of suffering, struggle―and survival.

Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience by Allison Pataki

 

 

“An inspiring, intimate memoir about faith, resilience and the tenacity of love.”—People

It’s a tale of a man’s road to recovery after a rare and life-threatening stroke, the shifting nature of marriage, and the struggle of loving through pain and finding joy in the broken places.

 

Love You Like the Sky by Dr. Sarah Neustadter

 

 

“Honest, poignant, and filled with hard-earned advice and healing strategies. Highly recommended for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide and is struggling to find hope and purpose.”―Karen Meadows, author of Searching for Normal: The Story of a Girl Gone Too Soon

Love You Like the Sky is a companion guide and roadmap for supporting younger women and men through intense and complicated grief as an access point toward deeper transformation―shifting awareness from despair to beauty.

 

EVEN IF YOUR HEART WOULD LISTEN: LOSING MY DAUGHTER TO HEROIN BY ELISE SCHILLER

 

 

“A heart-rending story of a mother’s anguished journey to understand her daughter’s addiction. It indicts a treatment industry that often does more harm than good and a drug policy that fails to help parents save their children’s lives.”  ―Maia Szalavitz, New York Times best-selling author of Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction

A a meditation on a family’s grief, an intimate portrayal of a mother-daughter bond that endures, and an examination of how our nation is failing in its struggle with the opioid epidemic.

5 Shocking Memoirs by Cult Survivors

There is an abundance of cult literature out there— exposés of various cults, sects and organizations, but memoirs are where the real stories are. Here are five of the most shocking memoirs by cult survivors.

 

1. Little Sister by Patricia walsh Chadwick 

 

Image Via AllEvents.in

 

Sirius XM Host Gary Dell’Abate praises Patricia Walsh Chadwick’s “perseverance, wit and courage” as she describes her upbringing in the sequestered community that called itself the “Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” Bestselling Catholic author Mary Gordon notes that Little Sister “sheds light on a part of the history of American Catholicism that has been kept in the shadows. This fascinating, often horrifying story lets us in on the secrets of a cult that separated parents from children, fostered psychological abuse, and isolated its members from the modern world… all in the name of the One True Church.”  Despite entering society for the first time at eighteen, never having read a newspaper or used a phone, Chadwick achieved a BA in Economics from Boston University and embarked on a thirty-year career in the investment business, leading to her becoming a Global Partner at Invesco. In 2016, she founded Anchor Health Initiative, which serves the LGBTQ community in Connecticut, where she lives.

 

They promised her heaven, but there was no savior.

Imagine an eighteen-year-old American girl who has never read a newspaper, watched television, or made a phone call. An eighteen-year-old-girl who has never danced—and this in the 1960s.

It is in Cambridge, Massachusetts where Leonard Feeney, a controversial (soon to be excommunicated) Catholic priest, has founded a religious community called the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Center’s members—many of them educated at Harvard and Radcliffe—surrender all earthly possessions and aspects of their life, including their children, to him. Patricia Chadwick was one of those children, and Little Sister is her account of growing up in the Feeney sect.

Separated from her parents and forbidden to speak to them, Patricia bristles against the community’s draconian rules, yearning for another life. When, at seventeen, she is banished from the Center, her home, she faces the world alone, without skills, family, or money but empowered with faith and a fierce determination to succeed on her own, which she does, rising eventually to the upper echelons of the world of finance and investing. 

A tale of resilience and grace, Little Sister chronicles, in riveting prose, a surreal childhood and does so without rancor or self-pity.

 

2. The Burn Zone by Renee Linnell 

 

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Images Via Amazon

 

Linnell’s memoir details how a hugely successful entrepreneur found herself powerless in a cult, and how she managed to escape and regain her life and herself once more. In this hugely inspirational memoir, Linnell shows how anyone can end up brainwashed, and the strength it takes to leave and become whole again, once you have experienced such life-altering loss of control.

After seven years of faithfully following her spiritual teacher, Renee Linnell finally realized she was in a cult and had been severely brainwashed. But how did that happen to someone like her? She had graduated magna cum laude with a double degree. She had traveled to nearly fifty countries alone before she turned thirty-five. She was a surf model and a professional Argentine tango dancer. She had started five different companies and had an MBA from NYU. How could someone like her end up brainwashed and in a cult? 

The Burn Zone is an exploration of how we give up our power―how what started out as a need to heal from the loss of her parents and to understand the big questions in life could leave a young woman fighting for her sanity and her sense of self. In the years following her departure from the cult, Linnell struggled to reclaim herself, to stand in her truth, and to rebuild her life. And eventually, after battling depression and isolation, she found a way to come out the other side stronger than ever. Part inspirational story, part cautionary tale, this is a memoir for spiritual seekers and those who feel lost in a world that makes them feel less than perfect.

 

3. Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill and Lisa Pulitzer.

 

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Niece of the Church of Scientology’s leader David Miscavige, Jenna Miscavige Hill escaped the Church at the age of twenty-one, after a life of controlled abuse within the secretive organization. Her memoir reveals the Church’s methods of recruitment, reliance on celebrity endorsement, control, theft and punishment.  

Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was raised as a Scientologist but left the controversial religion in 2005. In Beyond Belief, she shares her true story of life inside the upper ranks of the sect, details her experiences as a member Sea Org—the church’s highest ministry, speaks of her “disconnection” from family outside of the organization, and tells the story of her ultimate escape.

In this tell-all memoir, complete with family photographs from her time in the Church, Jenna Miscavige Hill, a prominent critic of Scientology who now helps others leave the organization, offers an insider’s profile of the beliefs, rituals, and secrets of the religion that has captured the fascination of millions, including some of Hollywood’s brightest stars such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

 

4. The Witness Wore Red: The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice by Rebecca Musser 

 

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The nineteenth wife of the eighty-five-year-old polygamist leader of her people’s prophet, Rebecca Musser escaped the dangerous cult in which she grew up, and testified against its leaders, including her husband Warren Jeffs. Her testimony led to his imprisonment and revelations of the horrific abuse suffered by the child brides in the fanatically religious Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

 

Rebecca Musser grew up in fear, concealing her family’s polygamous lifestyle from the “dangerous” outside world. Covered head-to-toe in strict, modest clothing, she received a rigorous education at Alta Academy, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ school headed by Warren Jeffs. Always seeking to be an obedient Priesthood girl, in her teens she became the nineteenth wife of her people’s prophet: 85-year-old Rulon Jeffs, Warren’s father. Finally sickened by the abuse she suffered and saw around her, she pulled off a daring escape and sought to build a new life and family. 

The church, however, had a way of pulling her back in-and by 2007, Rebecca had no choice but to take the witness stand against the new prophet of the FLDS in order to protect her little sisters and other young girls from being forced to marry at shockingly young ages. The following year, Rebecca and the rest of the world watched as a team of Texas Rangers raided the Yearning for Zion Ranch, a stronghold of the FLDS. Rebecca’s subsequent testimony would reveal the horrific secrets taking place behind closed doors of the temple, sending their leaders to prison for years, and Warren Jeffs for life. 

The Witness Wore Red is a gripping account of one woman’s struggle to escape the perverse embrace of religious fanaticism and sexual slavery, and a courageous story of hope and transformation.

 

5. Synanon KidA Memoir of Growing Up in the Synanon Cult by C.A. Wittman

 

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In the late 70s, C.A. Wittman was kidnapped by her own mother and brought to live in the infamous Synanon Cult. For five years she lived in the cult, and in this memoir, she details a childhood of warped relationships and feelings of displacement, of strange dichotomies and the need for survival. 

In February of 1977, during a weekend visit to her uncle’s home in Riverside Valley, California, Celena was taken in the night. Two radicalized women planned the kidnapping. Both were members of the Synanon cult’s Kidsnatchers group in Marin. One of the women, Celena would learn, was her mother, whom she had not seen for two and half years. Leaving Los Angeles, she came to enter a strange, secluded world where childhood was an experiment, and no relationship was sacred. Immersed in the strange and deviant society of Synanon, Celena would spend the next five years subject to the unpredictable whims of Charles Dederich, the cult’s shadowy leader. In a series of scenes, Synanon Kid chronicles cult living from a young girl’s perspective and her search for identity and belonging in a world of physical and familial displacement. From the African American communities of South Central Los Angeles to the racially integrated, yet rural and isolated world of Synanon, Celena tries to make sense of and navigate the dichotomy of the mainstream blue-collar life into which she was born and the counterculture lifestyle she inherited. A haunting tale of estrangement, Synanon Kid, is a coming-of-age story of hope, survival, and determination. It is also a story of the unconditional love between a mother and daughter and how that love helped a young girl to grow and flourish against the odds of her distorted childhood.

5 of the Best Memoirs of the Past 5 Years

Memoirs are all about the personal. They allow writers an outlet to put their perspective — feelings and opinions and all — on the page. And readers are given the chance to personally connect with someone they relate to — or don’t relate to. Here are some of the best memoirs of recent years.

 

1. Heavy: An American Memoir  by Kiese Laymon, 2018

Via Amazon

 

Laymon’s Heavy is about many things. If it had to be placed in a nutshell, it would be: a black man confronts his childhood and coming of age by directly writing to his mother. Written in the second person, Laymon’s relationship with his mother — who raised him on her own — is at the core. But it is also about Laymon’s struggle with race, weight, early sexual abuse and gambling. It covers an expanse of weighty topics that are hard to read, but Laymon’s writing is not. It is poignant, striking and confident — it is impossible to look away from. 

 

2. Sex Object by Jessica Valenti, 2016

 

Via Wikipedia

 

Valenti has written five books on feminist theory, the first of which was published in 2008. But, in Sex Object, she turns the spotlight onto herself and writes about her own personal experiences as woman in society. The chapters chronicle street harassment, treatment from sexual partners and even Valenti’s very personal abortion story. Many of her experiences are easily recognizable by other women, a fact that Valenti is keenly aware of in her writing. She writes sharply and critically, but thoughtfully and carefully. She pushes away the absurdity of this treatment, but pulls the reader in. 

 

3. Boy Erased: A Memoir by Garrand Conley, 2016

 

Boy Erased

 

When Conley’s parents found out he was gay, they sent him to conversion therapy, a program called Love in Action. Grown up in Arkansas in a fundamentalist family meant Conley was already struggling to reconcile his faith with his sexuality. He wrote Boy Erased about his experiences at Love in Action and confronting his family about his faith and identity. Conley’s strong grasp on the trauma he experienced translates to a captivating account written in beautiful prose. It also gives an insider’s look into all angles of conversion therapy: the individuals sent there, the families who force it and the overarching damage it ultimately results in. Boy Erased was adapted into a film in 2018, with Joel Edgerton directing and Lucas Hedges playing Conley. 

 

4. The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae, 2016

 

Via Amazon

 

For a much more lighthearted memoir, look no further than Rae’s 2016 collection of personal essays. The Insecure creator and star writes a charming and compelling tell-all of her awkward coming of age. Rae narrates her experience as an introvert and a black girl and how the two made for a not so great combination. Rae’s voice is witty and wry, while her experiences are relatable and laugh out loud funny. All in all, Rae’s self-awareness and combined charisma make for an un-put-down-able reading experience. 

 

5. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein 

 

Via Amazon

Whether you know Brownstein from Portlandia or as the front woman of rock band Sleater Kinney, she wrote an entire memoir if you want to know her better. Her memoir, named after one of her lyrics, tracks her life centered around music. It chronicles her childhood and tumultuous family life to her eventual life as a woman in the rock music industry. Brownstein writes sharply and with purpose. Brownstein has a clear idea of her own identity and writes poignantly to show readers how she sees herself. Whether you had a perception of Brownstein prior to reading or not, you will have no choice by to see Brownstein — and her world — the way she herself does. 

 

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Dive Into Summer and Check Out These Bestselling Nonfiction Books!

Each week, Bookstr scans bestseller lists across the Internet to learn what people are reading, buying, gifting, and talking about most — just so we can ensure consistent, high-quality recommendations. This week’s nonfiction picks center are current bestsellers, showcasing which nonfiction books are the biggest hits with audiences! Pick these up to see what everyone is talking about!

 

5. Wally Funk’s Race for Space by Sue Nelson

 

A woman holding a space helmet stands before a rocket ship taking off

Image via Amazon

Wally Funk’s Race For Space by Sue Nelson tells the story of Wally Funk, who was one of the thirteen American female pilots in NASA’s 1961 program: Women in Space. She wanted to become one of the first women astronauts but just one week before the final phase of training, the program was cancelled. This book is a fascinating read, exploring Wally Funk’s life, before, during, and after the failed space venture. Although she may never reach the stars, her story will inspire you to reach for them.

 

4. Some kids I taught and what they taught me  by Kate CLanchy

 

A notebook sitting on some schoolbooks with a pencil

Image via Amazon

 

Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me by Kate Clanchy is an exploration and celebration of her thirty-year teaching career. From the pressures of explaining sex to teenagers, to nurturing a poetry group of refugees, to the regular stresses of coursework, this memoir is an honest exploration of teaching, from its highs to its lows. It is showcase of how vital teaching is and how undervalued it can be to the world at large. This novel will show you why it shouldn’t be.

 

3. The Corner shop by Babita Sharma

 

Image via Amazon

The Corner Shop by Babita Sharma tells of the institution that is still vital to our modern world today, even with the rise of retail. The author was raised in one and had her worldview shaped by gazing out from its tiny confines. Along with learning how to stack shelves and organize items, Babita gained unique political and human insight from the shop. This book is a very interesting look at these shops from her POV, discussing how they are still vital to the world and still beloved by many.

 

2. ‘Superior’ by Angela Saini

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Superior by Angela Saini is a disturbing read but an essential one. After the horrors the Nazis committed during World War II, the world turned its back on eugenics and the study of ‘race science’. But not all did. Some scientists remained committed to the terrible ideas of race science, believing that certain people are inferior to others. The book explores its horrific origins and how it’s been slowly keeping itself alive thanks to a small group of scientists who remain committed to its ideals. And how, it is today experiencing a horrific resurgence in popularity. At a time where white nationalism is rising, Superior is an examination of the insidious, disturbing, and destructive nature of race science.

 

1. Three Women by Lisa Taddeo 

 

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Three Women by Lisa Taddeo is the story of women’s relationship with sex, showcased in a manner that isn’t often seen. Taddeo tells the story of three women’s unmet needs, disappointments, and obsessions. The culmination of many long hours of research over an eight year period, the women featured are: Lisa, who is in an unhappy marriage with two kids, Maggie, who has a fling with her teacher and becomes the center of a small town court case, and Sloane, whose husband likes to watch her have sex with other people. This book is an exposure of erotic fragility in modern America, frank, honest, and up front about women’s relationships with sexual desire.

 

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