Paris in Love: A Memoir, by Eloisa James. Random House, 2012. Print Length: 273 p. MEMOIR. Amazon customer rating: 4 stars (65 reviews). People's slant: "...delightful charm-bracelet of a memoir...offers quirky, often laugh-out-loud funny snapshots of her adventures as an American suddenly immersed in all things French..." - Liza Nelson. Text-to-Speech: Enabled.
"In 2009, New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James took a leap that many people dream about: she sold her house, took a sabbatical from her job as a Shakespeare professor, and moved her family to Paris. Paris in Love: A Memoir chronicles her joyful year in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. With no classes to teach, no committee meetings to attend, no lawn to mow or cars to park, Eloisa revels in the ordinary pleasures of life—discovering corner museums that tourists overlook, chronicling Frenchwomen’s sartorial triumphs, walking from one end of Paris to another. She copes with her Italian husband’s notions of quality time; her two hilarious children, ages eleven and fifteen, as they navigate schools - not to mention puberty - in a foreign language; and her mother-in-law Marina’s raised eyebrow in the kitchen (even as Marina overfeeds Milo, the family dog)." - Publisher.
Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected: A Memoir, by Kelle Hampton. William Morrow, 2012. Print Length: 288 p. Optimized for larger screens. Please note: due to the fact that color photographs are an important element of this book, you may prefer the hardcover over the Kindle edition. MEMOIR. Amazon customer rating: 4 1/2 stars (39 reviews). People's slant: "Told in serviceable prose that too often falls back on cliché, it's a touching tale nonetheless..." Meredith Maran. Text-to-Speech: Enabled.
"From the outside looking in, Kelle Hampton had the perfect life: a beautiful two-year-old daughter, a loving husband, a thriving photography career, and great friends. When she learned she was pregnant with her second child, she and her husband, Brett, were ecstatic. Her pregnancy went smoothly and the ultrasounds showed a beautiful, healthy, high-kicking baby girl. But when her new daughter was placed in her arms in the delivery room, Kelle knew instantly that something was wrong. Nella looked different than her two-year-old sister, Lainey, had at birth. As she watched friends and family celebrate with champagne toasts and endless photographs, a terrified Kelle was certain that Nella had Down syndrome - a fear her pediatrician soon confirmed. Yet gradually Kelle's fear and pain were vanquished by joy, as she embraced the realization that she had been chosen to experience an extraordinary and special gift..." - Publisher.
Hand Me Down, by Melanie Thorne. Dutton, 2012. Print Length: 320 p. NOVEL. Amazon customer rating: 5 stars (4 reviews). People's slant: "A sad, compelling read." - Sue Corbett. Text-to-Speech: Enabled.
"Fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Reid has spent her life protecting her sister, Jaime, from their parents' cruel mistakes. Their father, who'd rather work the system than a job, pours every dollar into his many vices, denying his daughters the shoes and clothing they need. Their mother, once a loving parent, is going through a post-post-adolescent rebellious streak and finds love with a dangerous ex-con. When she chooses starting a new family over raising her first-born girls, Elizabeth and Jaime are separated and forced to rely on the begrudging kindness of increasingly distant relatives. Thorne writes with a command of language that is at once affecting and enticing. Her debut is the kind of voice-driven reading experience fiction lovers crave." - Publisher.
Briefly Mentioned: Kindle Singles
An Unexpected Twist, by Andy Borowitz. Print Length: 18 p. MEMOIR. Amazon customer rating: 4 1/2 stars (152 reviews). Text-to-Speech: Enabled.
"Andy Borowitz almost died, but lived to tell this stranger-than-fiction tale. In his first-ever work of autobiography, the comedian and New York Times bestselling author tells how a freakish medical condition descended upon him one October afternoon and led him to the brink of death – in a New York hospital 'consistently rated one of the ten best in the country.' What happens when 'one of the funniest people in America' (CBS News Sunday Morning) comes face to face with his own mortality? An Unexpected Twist is in equal parts harrowing and hilarious – and a moving affirmation of what it means to be alive." - Publisher.
Lifeboat No. 8: An Untold Tale of Love, Loss, and Surviving the Titanic, by Elizabeth Kaye. Byliner Inc, 2012. NONFICTION. Amazon customer rating: 4 stars (32 reviews). Text-to-Speech: Enabled.
"When the Titanic started sinking, who would make it off alive? The two cousins who had been so eager to see their first iceberg? The maid who desperately tried to escape with the baby in her care? The young newlyweds who’d booked passage despite warnings not to? One hundred years after that disastrous and emblematic voyage, Elizabeth Kaye reveals the extraordinary, little-known story behind one of the first lifeboats to leave the doomed ship. Told in real time and in the actual voices of survivors, Kaye’s poignant, pulse-pounding narrative includes the story of the Countess of Rothes, the wealthiest woman on the ship, bound for California, where she and her husband planned to start an orange farm. It was the Countess, dressed in ermine and pearls, who took command of Lifeboat No. 8, rowing for hours through the black and icy water...Surviving that fateful night in the North Atlantic was not the end of the saga for those aboard Lifeboat No 8. Kaye reveals what happened to each passenger and crew member and how the legendary maritime disaster haunted them forever."
Cooking Solves Everything: How Time in the Kitchen Can Save Your Health, Your Budget, and Even the Planet, by Mark Bittman. Byliner, 2011. Print Length: 37 p. NONFICTION. Amazon customer rating: 4 stars (18 reviews). Text-to-Speech: Enabled. Lending: Enabled.
"Mark Bittman is one of the nation’s most trusted and beloved food writers, but there was a time when he lived primarily on vanilla ice cream and McDonald’s. Then he discovered cooking, and everything changed. In this story from the new digital publisher Byliner, the New York Times columnist and bestselling author of How to Cook Everything traces his journey from grilled-cheese-making neophyte to confident cook. More than that, he makes the case for why all of us should spend more time in the kitchen, regardless of how comfortable we are there. After all, even he was a beginner once. Bittman argues that a simple meal prepared at home is a powerful tool: It’s one small step toward improving your health and, by extension, the health of the planet. Our reliance on prepared food - in the form of snacks, soft drinks, frozen meals, and fast food - supports a system of agriculture that is playing havoc with our bodies, our economy, and the environment. How can we break the cycle? By cooking." - Publisher.
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