The Sound of Gravel

The Sound of Gravel Author Ruth Wariner
ISBN-10 9781250077714
Year 2016-01-05
Pages 352
Language en
Publisher Flatiron Books
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An instant New York Times bestseller “A haunting, harrowing testament to survival." — People Magazine “An addictive chronicle of a polygamist community.” — New York Magazine “Unforgettable” — Entertainment Weekly The thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children, Ruth Wariner grew up in polygamist family on a farm in rural Mexico. In The Sound of Gravel, she offers an unforgettable portrait of the violence that threatened her community, her family’s fierce sense of loyalty, and her own unshakeable belief in the possibility of a better life. An intimate, gripping tale of triumph and courage, The Sound of Gravel is a heart-stopping true story.

The Sound of Gravel

The Sound of Gravel Author Ruth Wariner
ISBN-10 1250077702
Year 2017-04-25
Pages 352
Language en
Publisher Flatiron Books
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A riveting, deeply affecting true story of one girl’s coming-of-age in a polygamist family. RUTH WARINER was the thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children. Growing up on a farm in rural Mexico, where authorities turn a blind eye to the practices of her community, Ruth lives in a ramshackle house without indoor plumbing or electricity. At church, preachers teach that God will punish the wicked by destroying the world and that women can only ascend to Heaven by entering into polygamous marriages and giving birth to as many children as possible. After Ruth’s father—the man who had been the founding prophet of the colony—is brutally murdered by his brother in a bid for church power, her mother remarries, becoming the second wife of another faithful congregant. In need of government assistance and supplemental income, Ruth and her siblings are carted back and forth between Mexico and the United States, where Ruth’s mother collects welfare and her stepfather works a variety of odd jobs. Ruth comes to love the time she spends in the States, realizing that perhaps the community into which she was born is not the right one for her. As she begins to doubt her family’s beliefs and question her mother’s choices, she struggles to balance her fierce love for her siblings with her determination to forge a better life for herself. Recounted from the innocent and hopeful perspective of a child, The Sound of Gravel is the remarkable memoir of one girl’s fight for peace and love. This is an intimate, gripping tale of triumph, courage, and resilience.

The Polygamist s Daughter

The Polygamist s Daughter Author Anna LeBaron
ISBN-10 9781496417589
Year 2017-03-21
Pages 320
Language en
Publisher NavPress
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My father had thirteen wives and more than fifty children . . . This is the haunting memoir of Anna LeBaron, daughter of the notorious polygamist and murderer Ervil LeBaron. Ervil’s criminal activity kept Anna and her siblings constantly on the run from the FBI. Often starving, the children lived in a perpetual state of fear—and despite their numbers, Anna always felt alone. Would she ever find a place she truly belonged? Would she ever be anything other than the polygamist’s daughter? Filled with murder, fear, and betrayal, The Polygamist’s Daughter is the harrowing, heart-wrenching story of a fatherless girl and her unwavering search for love, faith, and a place to call home.

This is Not for You

This is Not for You Author Venus Soileau
ISBN-10 9781483524856
Year 2014-04-11
Pages 136
Language en
Publisher BookBaby
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This is Not for You reveals a childhood of raw encounters with drug abuse and mental illness. This is Not for You is a memoir which vividly describes the memories of growing up in a dysfunctional environment and how these circumstances developed a spirit within the narrator. This is a story of resiliency and drive to overcome the extreme adversities that addiction and poverty can create in the life of a young child.

North of Normal

North of Normal Author Cea Sunrise Person
ISBN-10 9780062289889
Year 2014-06-24
Pages 352
Language en
Publisher Harper Collins
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Sex, drugs, and . . . bug stew? In the vein of The Glass Castle and Wild, Cea Sunrise Person’s compelling memoir of a childhood spent with her dysfunctional counter-culture family in the Canadian wilderness—a searing story of physical, emotional, and psychological survival. In the late 1960s, riding the crest of the counterculture movement, Cea’s family left a comfortable existence in California to live off the land in the Canadian wilderness. But unlike most commune dwellers of the time, the Persons weren’t trying to build a new society—they wanted to escape civilization altogether. Led by Cea’s grandfather Dick, they lived a pot-smoking, free-loving, clothing-optional life under a canvas tipi without running water, electricity, or heat for the bitter winters. Living out her grandparents’ dream with her teenage mother Michelle, young Cea knew little of the world beyond her forest. She spent her summers playing nude in the meadow and her winters snowshoeing behind the grandfather she idolized. Despite fierce storms, food shortages, and the occasional drug-and-sex-infused party for visitors, it seemed to be a mostly happy existence. For Michelle, however, now long separated from Cea’s father, there was one crucial element missing: a man. When Cea was five, Michelle took her on the road with a new boyfriend. As the trio set upon a series of ill-fated adventures, Cea began to question both her highly unusual world and the hedonistic woman at the centre of it—questions that eventually evolved into an all-consuming search for a more normal life. Finally, in her early teens, Cea realized she would have to make a choice as drastic as the one her grandparents once had in order to save herself. While a successful international modeling career offered her a way out of the wilderness, Cea discovered that this new world was in its own way daunting and full of challenges. Containing twenty-four intimate black-and-white family photos, North of Normal is Cea’s funny, shocking, heartbreaking, and triumphant tale of self-discovery and acceptance, adversity, and strength that will leave no reader unmoved.

Cult Insanity

Cult Insanity Author Irene Spencer
ISBN-10 9781599952130
Year 2009-08-12
Pages 352
Language en
Publisher Hachette UK
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Life for Irene Spencer was a series of devastating disappointments and hardships. Irene's first book, Shattered Dreams, is the staggering chronicle of her struggle to provide for her children in abject poverty and feelings of abandonment each time her husband left to be with one of his other wives. Irene was raised to believe polygamy was the way of life necessary for her ticket to heaven. The hard knocks of her environment were just the beginning of Irene's shocking tale. Insanity ran rampant in her husband's family and was the source of inconceivable events that unfolded throughout Irene's adult life. CULT INSANITY takes readers deeper into her story to uncover the outrageous behavior of her brother-in-law Ervil -- a self-proclaimed prophet who determined he was called to set the house of God in order -- and how he terrorized their colony. Claiming to be God's avenger and to have a license to kill in the name of God, Ervil ordered the murders of friends and family members, eliminating all those who challenged his authority. For those who were gripped by Shattered Dreams, the rest of the story will blow them away. CULT INSANITY is a riveting, terrifying memoir of polygamist life under the tyranny of a madman.

The Book of Mormon Girl

The Book of Mormon Girl Author Joanna Brooks
ISBN-10 9781451699685
Year 2012-08-07
Pages 209
Language en
Publisher Simon and Schuster
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Story about leaving behind the innocence of childhood belief and embracing the complications and heartbreaks that come to every adult life of faith. Explores the author's journey through her faith, and the experience of being a Mormon.

The Only Girl in the World

The Only Girl in the World Author Maude Julien
ISBN-10 9781925410440
Year 2017-05-15
Pages 256
Language en
Publisher Text Publishing
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‘A living testimony of resilience...An account as gripping as it is inspiring.’ Elle The Only Girl in the World is an inspiring testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Maude Julien’s childhood was defined by the iron grip of her father, who was convinced his daughter was destined for great deeds. His plan began when he adopted Maude’s mother and indoctrinated her with his esoteric ideals. Her mission was to give him a daughter as blonde as she was, and then to take charge of the child’s education. That child was Maude, on whom her father conducted his outrageous experiment—to raise the perfect ‘super-human’ being. The three lived in an isolated mansion in northern France, where her father made her undergo endless horrifying endurance tests. Maude had to hold an electric fence without flinching. Her parents locked her in a cellar overnight and ordered her to sit still on a stool in the dark, contemplating death, while rats scurried at her feet. How did this girl, with her loveless and lonely childhood, emerge so unscathed, so full of the empathy that was absent in her childhood? How did she manage to escape? Maude was sustained by her love of nature and animals and her passion for literature. In writing this memoir, Maude Julien shows that it is possible to overcome severe trauma. She recounts her chilling and deeply moving story in a compelling and compassionate voice. Maude Julien works as a psychotherapist, specialising in mind and behavioural control, emotional manipulation and trauma, and conducts anthropological research among Indigenous Australians. She lives in Paris. Ursula Gauthier is a journalist at the French weekly magazine L’Obs and the author and co-author of many works. She lives in Paris. Adriana Hunter is the prize-winning translator of writers including Catherine Millet, Amelie Nothomb and Véronique Olmi. ‘Maude Julien delivers a staggering testimony, one that remains full of hope.’ Ouest France ‘A serious subject: manipulation, in which the author is now a professional therapist. Maude Julien does not write with resentment, or bear grievances; rather she delivers a clear message of hope.’ Livreshebdo ‘This story is never maudlin—it is so absorbing that you have to remind yourself to breathe from time to time.’ Le Point ‘Her book offers a ray of hope.’ Metro Belgique ‘A fascinating and inspirational read.’ BookMooch ‘A fantastic memoir that I recommend highly. It’s a unique survivorship novel of what cults can do to children, but how the resilience of children can create positive outcomes.’ Cosy Dragon ‘A harrowing yet achingly beautiful tale of a girl imprisoned by her brutal, fanatic family, but whose yearning for wonder and love ultimately drives her toward the improbable light of the world. This is a story of resilience unlike any I have ever read.’ Mira Bartók, author of The Memory Palace ‘One of the most original and compelling stories I’ve read. Maude Julien’s love of books ignites an insatiable curiosity about the world outside the walls of the home where her parents hold her captive. A tale of hope and profound courage, Julien’s story illustrates how trusting ourselves and following our hearts can save us from the most oppressive and cruel conditions. Her brave spirit shines as a bright reminder that what lies within us is stronger and more powerful than our circumstances.’ Ruth Wariner, author of The Sound of Gravel ‘Harrowing, heartbreaking, and against-all-odds uplifting...Julien’s voice is eloquent, composed, understated – the facts of the story are devastating enough. They require no emotive embellishment. That she recounts these experiences in the present tense, however, gives the book a gripping and visceral immediacy...Maude Julien is genuinely a super human.’ Saturday Paper ‘A deeply moving story of resilience and the power of the human spirit to find beauty and love amid the bleakest circumstances.’ Good Reading ‘[Julien’s] growing independence of mind and fierce hunger for freedom make for an ultimately uplifting read.’ Sydney Morning Herald ‘Your heart will break out in symphonies. This is an astonishing story, told in lucid, intelligent prose.’ Australian

Sex Object

Sex Object Author Jessica Valenti
ISBN-10 9780062435101
Year 2016-06-07
Pages 224
Language en
Publisher HarperCollins
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New York Times Bestseller NPR Best Book of 2016 “Sharp and prescient… The appeal of Valenti’s memoir lies in her ability to trace objectification through her own life, and to trace what was for a long time her own obliviousness to it…Sex Object is an antidote to the fun and flirty feminism of selfies and self-help.” — New Republic Author and Guardian US columnist Jessica Valenti has been leading the national conversation on gender and politics for over a decade. Now, in a darkly funny and bracing memoir, Valenti explores the toll that sexism takes from the every day to the existential. Sex Object explores the painful, funny, embarrassing, and sometimes illegal moments that shaped Valenti’s adolescence and young adulthood in New York City, revealing a much shakier inner life than the confident persona she has cultivated as one of the most recognizable feminists of her generation. In the tradition of writers like Joan Didion and Mary Karr, this literary memoir is sure to shock those already familiar with Valenti’s work and enthrall those who are just finding it.

With or Without You

With or Without You Author Domenica Ruta
ISBN-10 9780679645023
Year 2013-02-26
Pages 240
Language en
Publisher Spiegel & Grau
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY A haunting, unforgettable mother-daughter story for a new generation—the debut of a blazing new lyrical voice Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more. Domenica Ruta grew up in a working-class, unforgiving town north of Boston, in a trash-filled house on a dead-end road surrounded by a river and a salt marsh. Her mother, Kathi, a notorious local figure, was a drug addict and sometimes dealer whose life swung between welfare and riches, and whose highbrow taste was at odds with her hardscrabble life. And yet she managed, despite the chaos she created, to instill in her daughter a love of stories. Kathi frequently kept Domenica home from school to watch such classics as the Godfather movies and everything by Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen, telling her, “This is more important. I promise. You’ll thank me later.” And despite the fact that there was not a book to be found in her household, Domenica developed a love of reading, which helped her believe that she could transcend this life of undying grudges, self-inflicted misfortune, and the crooked moral code that Kathi and her cohorts lived by. With or Without You is the story of Domenica Ruta’s unconventional coming of age—a darkly hilarious chronicle of a misfit ’90s youth and the necessary and painful act of breaking away, and of overcoming her own addictions and demons in the process. In a brilliant stylistic feat, Ruta has written a powerful, inspiring, compulsively readable, and finally redemptive story about loving and leaving. Praise for With or Without You “A luminous, layered accomplishment.”—The New York Times Book Review “A singular new coming-of-age memoir traces one girl’s twisting path up from mean streets (and parents) to the reflective life of a writer. . . . The burgeoning canon of literary memoir . . . begets another winner in Domenica Ruta’s searing With or Without You. . . . [A] gloriously gutsy memory-work.”—Elle “Stunning . . . comes across as a bleaker, funnier, R-rated version of The Glass Castle and marks the arrival of a blazing new voice in literature.”—Entertainment Weekly “Valiant and heartbreaking.”—Bust “Powerful . . . Ruta found an unconventional voice, a scary good mixture of erudition and hardened street smarts. Her writing is also, as they say in Danvers, wicked funny—though in her case wicked is more an adjective than an intensifier. . . . [With or Without You] hums with jangled energy and bristles with sharp edges. . . . Ruta writes with unflinching honesty.”—Slate “Bracingly funny and poignant.”—The Boston Globe “Exceedingly powerful.”—Booklist

Favorite Wife

Favorite Wife Author Susan Schmidt
ISBN-10 9781599217376
Year 2009-03-03
Pages 416
Language en
Publisher Rowman & Littlefield
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She had no choice in the matter—none of the girls did. Her mission was to give birth to and raise many children in devoted service to a shared husband. Susan was fifteen years old when she became the sixth wife of Verlan LeBaron—one of the leaders of a rogue Mormon cult engaged in a blood feud with his brother that, from 1972 to 1988, claimed up to two dozen lives and led one prosecutor to call their descendents a “Lord of the Flies generation.” In this gripping and eloquent book, Susan Ray Schmidt tells the story of growing up on the inside and of her ultimate escape. Delving more deeply into this mysterious underworld than any previous work, Favorite Wife is a powerful account of the affairs of the heart, coming of age under exceptional circumstances, and the tough choices that are sometimes painfully necessary to preserve human dignity.

Die Young with Me

Die Young with Me Author Rob Rufus
ISBN-10 9781501142628
Year 2017-04-04
Pages 400
Language en
Publisher Simon and Schuster
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In the tradition of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, this incredibly moving and harrowing true story of a teenager diagnosed with cancer is “a resounding affirmation of how music can lift one’s spirits beyond gray skies and bad news (Kirkus Reviews).” Punk’s not dead in rural West Virginia. In fact, it blares constantly from the basement of Rob and Nat Rufus—identical twin brothers with spiked hair, black leather jackets, and the most kick-ass record collection in Appalachia. To them, school (and pretty much everything else) sucks. But what can you expect when you’re the only punks in town? When the brothers start their own band, their lives begin to change: they meet friends, they attract girls, and they finally get invited to join a national tour and get out of their rat box little town. But their plans are cut short when Rob is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that has already progressed to Stage Four. Not only are his dreams of punk rock stardom completely shredded, there is a very real threat that this is one battle that can’t be won. While Rob suffers through nightmarish treatments and debilitating surgery, Nat continues on their band’s road to success alone. But as Rob’s life diverges from his brother’s, he learns to find strength within himself and through his music. Die Young with Me is a “raw, honest picture of the weirdness of growing up” (Marky Ramone) and the story of a brave teen’s battle with cancer and the many ways music helped him cope through his recovery.

Not Fade Away

Not Fade Away Author Rebecca A. Alexander
ISBN-10 9780698162167
Year 2014-09-11
Pages 320
Language en
Publisher Penguin
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Even a darkening world can be brilliantly lit from within. Born with a rare genetic mutation called Usher Syndrome type III, Rebecca Alexander has been simultaneously losing both her sight and hearing since she was a child, and was told that she would likely be completely blind and deaf by age 30. Then, at 18, a fall from a window left her athletic body completely shattered. None of us know what we would do in the face of such devastation. What Rebecca did was rise to every challenge she faced. She was losing her vision and hearing and her body was broken, but she refused to lose her drive, her zest for life and – maybe most importantly – her sense of humor. Now, at 35, with only a sliver of sight and significantly deteriorated hearing, she is a psychotherapist with two masters’ degrees from Columbia University, and an athlete who teaches spin classes and regularly competes in extreme endurance races. She greets every day as if it were a gift, with boundless energy, innate curiosity, and a strength of spirit that have led her to places we can't imagine. In Not Fade Away, Rebecca tells her extraordinary story, by turns harrowing, funny and inspiring. She meditates on what she’s lost—from the sound of a whisper to seeing a sky full of stars, and what she’s found in return—an exquisite sense of intimacy with those she is closest to, a love of silence, a profound gratitude for everything she still has, and a joy in simple pleasures that most of us forget to notice. Not Fade Away is both a memoir of the senses and a unique look at the obstacles we all face—physical, psychological, and philosophical—exploring the extraordinary powers of memory, love, and perseverance. It is a gripping story, an offering of hope and motivation, and an exquisite reminder to live each day to its fullest.