A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope by Tom Brokaw was a quick read that I enjoyed. I remember watching Brokaw as the anchor of the NBC Nightly News for years and also appreciating his thoughtful coverage of Presidential elections. To me, he was always intelligent, articulate, and reassuring in reporting the news. Then I got to hear him in person at the University of Iowa a few years ago after his book, The Greatest Generation, was published. Once again, his presence was so warm and familiar, his sense of humor very apparent, and his Midwestern values obvious. In his latest book, quite different from his others, Brokaw talks about the 2013–2014 year he spent battling multiple myeloma, a treatable but incurable blood cancer. After the diagnosis, Brokaw the journalist decided to keep a diary of his time dealing with the ups and downs of cancer treatment. His journal recounts his frustrations with the medical team in not communicating with each other well enough in coordinating his treatment. He talks about the importance of patients taking an active role in their own treatment, and the critical role of caretakers, nurses, and rehabilitation specialists. But he also takes a broader look at health care and aging in America and how fortunate he was to have the financial resources to pursue the best doctors at Mayo Clinic and elsewhere. The question I ask myself frequently, “what do other people do who don’t have health insurance?” is one posed by the author as well. His memories of important world events and interviews he’s done with famous world leaders are scattered throughout his memoir. For someone with a very charmed life to talk about his illness and ultimately offer hope to others facing devastating news about their own mortality, his book says a lot about the man himself who counts each day reading, writing, fishing, and time spent with his beloved family and friends, a precious gift.
Posts Tagged ‘Memoir’
Here are four new memoirs that will make the able-bodied glad we’re only trapped by crappy winter weather.
A bizarre illness rendered Martin Pistorius immobile and incommunicado for 12 years. His family was told the teenager was going to die, but he survived in a vegetative state with no way to communicate. His family didn’t know he was cognizant for more than a decade. How do you cope when you are trapped inside your body? What do you do when the staff at the care center leave Barney reruns on for hours? This memoir shares his intense story. eBook available on Overdrive. Read the rest of this entry »
Memoir is an area of non-fiction that often get lost in Library collections. Memoirs are similar to biographies and autobiographies, but with one significant difference that sets them apart.
A Biography tells the true story of a person’s entire life. Written by someone other than the subject, a biography tells a life story of from birth to death (or the present time) and all the events and facts in the story are verifiable.
An Autobiography is a biography written about the author’s own life. They tell their own story. Just as in a biography all the events and facts are verifiable, and they tell their complete life story – from birth to the current time.
A Memoir is most similar to an autobiography except its about a much smaller segment of time. It tells the story of a specific event, story arc, or time period in the author’s life. This is what makes memoirs so unique. Its the true story story of how a person dealt with an event in their own life, and lived to tell the tale. Memoirs can be found in just about anyplace in the Library’s collection, and on any topic.
We put up a new display of Memoirs on the 2nd floor today. Some of the titles include:
Banished: surviving my years in the Westboro Baptist Church. by Lauren Drain with Lisa Pulitzer.
Dan gets a minivan: life at the intersection of dude and dad by Dan Zevin. Bring on the two kids, overweight pooch, and a wife with a great full time job and Dan morphs into one great stay at home dad.
Escape by Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer. How a young woman, raised in an FLDS community, and married as a teenager to a man 32 years her senior eventually gets strong and finds a way out of the FLDS for herself and her 8 children.
A Family in Paris: stories of food, life and adventure by Jane Paech. Stories from the six years this Australian family spent living in Paris.
It sucked and then I cried: how I had a baby, a breakdown, and a much needed margarita by Heather B. Armstrong.
King Peggy: an American secretary, her royal destiny, and the inspiring story of how she changed and African Village by Peggielene Bartels and Eleanor Herman. How she went from a secretary in DC to King of a fishing village in Africa.
On the outside looking Indian: how my second childhood changed my life by Rupinder Gill. Describes Gill’s descision at the age of 30 to have the childhood she couldn’t growing up in a restrictive, traditional Indian household.
Talking to girls about Duran Duran: one young man’s quest for true love and a cooler haircut by Rob Sheffield. Being a teen ager in the 80′s meant the birth of MTV, John Hughes teen angst movies, and marking every step you took toward adulthood with pop culture references.