Imagine being a tall, Swedish redheaded mother of two young girls―the apparent picture of health―but for years living with constant chest pressure, severe fatigue and difficulty breathing. In Beautiful Affliction, Lene Fogelberg explains how, for much of her life, she feared she was about to die because of what she called "the monster" pounding against her ribs.
Don’t miss these superbly written books that combine intriguing history with memorable real-life escapades.
The lessons we learn from our mothers shape who we are, even the lessons we don’t particularly appreciate. Those lessons keep coming year after year, and their most valuable messages stay with us forever.
Years ago, as a small-town newspaper editor, I spent a night riding along with an officer on patrol. The shift began with a potential car dealership break-in and ended with an encounter with a drunk stumbling along the side of a lonely road. That night―as memorable as it was―pales in comparison to the drama that Steve Osborne shares with readers in The Job: True Tales from the Life of a New York City Cop.
Stephen King called Abigail Thomas’ memoir A Three Dog Life “the best memoir I have ever read,” and Thomas has another winner with her latest, What Comes Next and How to Like It.
In 1971, 10-year-old Allen Kurzweil arrived at a Swiss boarding school called Aiglon. He was a Jewish boy from New York; his father had died, and his mother was “test-driving her third husband.” Kurzweil was happy to be back in the Alps—his Viennese father had brought him there for winter holidays and imbued him with a love of alpine hiking and skiing.
Val Wang, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., wondering about her place in the world. "I didn't feel as though I belonged there," she wrote, "or anywhere yet, and I itched to travel to exotic places far away to look for what was missing in my life."
Rebecca Alexander started having vision problems when she was about 10 years old. Eventually, doctors realized she was suffering from Usher syndrome, a condition that would cause her to become both deaf and blind. Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found is a compelling account of her journey, starting with childhood and ending with her fairly recent acquisition of a cochlear implant.
These four books add unique insights to this essential question, with subjects including an irrepressible immigrant mother, birth mothers and adoptive mothers, and a crusading mom who wants to liberate others from their guilt.
Cheryl Strayed wrote about how the death of her mother changed her life in the best-selling Wild. In a similar and yet very different vein, Kelly Corrigan writes about the effects of her mom’s presence in a wonderful new memoir, Glitter and Glue.