Category

Memoir

Journalism, Memoir, Non Fiction

Sep 21: Rebel with a Clause – Ellen Jovin

Tales and Tips from a Roving Grammarian

Ellen Jovin‘s journey of almost 30,000 miles around America began outside her Manhattan apartment, with a folding table, and a sign saying GRAMMAR TABLE. From lawyers , couples, and families, to  writers, students, and rappers, passers-by had questions for Ellen — and she had answers.

But how did this take Ellen to 49 cities and towns, by five modes of transport? We discuss why people stopped by the Grammar Table, how that led to the  documentary film and Ellen’s book. And why this isn’t just about words, language, and grammar, but connection, community and — yes — sometimes just wanting to be right.

About Ellen Jovin

Ellen Jovin is the author of four books on language, and a cofounder of Syntaxis, a communication skills training consultancy. She has a B.A. in German studies, an M.A. in comparative literature …  and studied 25 languages just for fun. Her latest book is Rebel with a Clause: Tales and Tips from a Roving Grammarian.

 

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Memoir, Non Fiction

Sep 14: Missing – A Memoir by Cornelia Maude Spelman

Discovering the truth behind her mother’s story helped heal this author

When Cornelia Maude Spelman ventured on a quest to understand her deceased mother’s early life, little did Cornelia know how much she’d learn about her own life.

We discuss how Cornelia put the puzzle of her mother’s past together through letters and interviews and journals. Some of the mysteries and emotional legacies that her family — like many families — never discussed. And how her journey to discover what made her mom tick, helped Corenlia grow and heal.

About Cornelia Maude Spelman

Cornelia Maude Spelman, MSW,  was a family therapist before turning fulltime to writing and art. She’s the author of 10 books for children including The Way It Feels series, which helps children recognize and manage emotions. Cornelia has awards from the Illinois Arts Council, was a finalist for the Penelope Niven Creative Nonfiction, and earned the Bernard De Voto Fellowship for Nonfiction at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

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Journalism, Memoir, Non Fiction, Travel & Adventure

Jul 13: A Hard Place to Leave: Stories from a Restless Life with Marcia DeSanctis

Travel journalist of the year reveals the push-pull tension between home and away

What did travel writers do when their wanderings were halted during COVID lockdown? Marcia DeSanctis sorted through a decade’s body of work to compile her new book  A Hard Place to Leave: Stories from a restless life.

We discuss some of Marcia’s adventures and insights into being a travel writer. Why the desert is her sweet spot. How she balances her introverted self with writing open honest personal stories – including the search for her way back after falling in love with another man. And, how Marcia finds stories that resonate while traveling the globe.

About Marcia DeSanctis

Marcia DeSanctis is a Contributing Writer at Travel + Leisure, and writes essays and stories for Vogue, Town & Country, Departures, BBC Travel, and many other publications. She received the 2021 Grand Solas Award for Travel Story of the Year, and has received 5 Lowell Thomas Awards for excellence in travel journalism, including one for Travel Journalist of the Year. She’s the New York Times bestselling author of 100 Places in France every Woman Should Go … and the book we talk about today, A Hard Place to Leave Place to Leave: Stories from a restless life. 

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Inspirational, Memoir, Non Fiction

May 18: Forever Boy with Kate Swenson

A Mother’s Memoir of Autism and Finding Joy

Every parent dreams of having the perfect child, the perfect healthy happy family. But sometimes life throws out challenges that test us. And that was true for Kate Swenson when her first born son was diagnosed with Autism.

Kate joins us today to talk about her inspiring, sometimes challenging, always loving journey to help her son live well in a world that often overlooks special needs and care. She says this journey has shown her that no matter what, life can be joyful, and that she’s exactly who she’s supposed to be … her son Cooper, is exactly who he’s meant to be.

About Kate Swenson

Kate Swenson’s work is all about helping to ease other families journey’s as they live with autism. She’s the founder of a popular blog called Finding Coopers Voice and is a frequent contributor to publications on autism, parenting, and motherhood. Her new memoir is  FOREVER BOY: A Mother’s Memoir of Autism and Finding Joy.

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Memoir, Non Fiction, Spirituality

Jan 12: Dan Millman Peaceful Heart, Warrior Spirit

The True Story of My Spiritual Quest

Written to inspire others on their own quest, Peaceful Heart, Warrior Spirit: The True Story of My Spriritual Quest  is a new memoir by bestselling author, Dan Millman.

We discuss what it means to have a peaceful heart and a warrior spirit; and explore the four archetypes who mentored Dan, and helped shaped his journey from young champion gymnast, to spiritual teacher the Professor, the Guru, the Warrior-Priest, and Sage. Dan shares some of his personal challenges along the way, as well as his unique views on reaching your potential, and self-sabotage.

About Dan Millman

He teaches “the peaceful warrior’s way” around the world, and is the author of 18 books, published in 29 languages. Dan Millman is a former world-champion athlete, university coach, martial arts instructor, and college professor. His original bestseller, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, was adapted to a feature film starring Nick Nolte.

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Journalism, Memoir, Non Fiction

NOV 17: Sacrifice: A Gold Star Widow’s Fight for the Truth with Michelle Black

How a Green Beret wife restored her husband’s good name

When Green Beret Bryan Black and three of his team were killed during an ambush in Niger, the military spun a tale of disinformation, misdirecting blame and shame. The media repeated it. Over and over. And that fueled widow Michelle Black‘s journey to find the truth.

Michelle shares how she went from being wife and mom to investigative journalist. We discuss life before the fatal mission–one that wasn’t supposed to happen. How leadership ignored the plea to abort. And the many challenges Michelle faced in interviewing survivors, and exposing the military cover up that left her children fatherless.

About Michelle Black

Michelle Black is mother to two boys, a Gold Star widow, and author. She has a degree in environmental sciences and horticulture. She’s been published in the New York Times, The Daily Beast, and Task & Purpose. Sacrifice: A Gold Star Widow’s Fight for the Truth is her debut book.

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Memoir, Non Fiction

NOV 03: Laura Galloway – Dálvi: Six Years in the Arctic Tundra

What did Laura Galloway do when her DNA test said she was related to the Sami?

She did what all good travelers do, and set out to learn more…which led to an affair with a reindeer herder, and to leaving the hustle of NY for the silent tundra of the Arctic. Laura Galloway‘s memoir Dálvi  is a story of courage and hope, and a love letter to the people and frozen landscape of Norway.

We discuss how adversity that brings us to our knees, can strengthen our character and build us back stronger and wiser. What life was like living with a reindeer herder. The meaning of home. And, how the silence of nature made Laura realize that love had always been there, just when she needed it.

About Laura Galloway

Laura Galloway began her career at the Los Angeles Times and holds a Master of Arts in Indigenous Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Dálvi: Six Years in the Arctic Tundra is Laura Galloway’s debut book.

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Environment, Memoir, Non Fiction, Science, Social Issues

OCt 06: Dr Samantha Montano & Disasterology–Dispatches From the Frontlines of the Climate Crisis

“At the start of every disaster movie, is a scientist being ignored.”

Dr Samantha Montano became passionate about studying disasters after spending years in New Orleans, working with various nonprofits on recovery efforts, related to Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Disaster.

Disasterology is part memoir, part expert-analysis. Dr. Montano shares insights on how climate crisis impacts what we call ‘natural disasters’. She discusses how media, politicians, and communities can hinder and help in such disasters. Why disaster resilience is the responsibility of every citizen. And what happens to those left behind after networks turn off their cameras.

About Dr. Samantha Montano

Dr. Samantha Montano has a B.S. in Psychology, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Emergency Management. She is currently an assistant professor of emergency management at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. She’s been interviewed in the New York Times, The Atlantic, National Geographic, Los Angeles Times, and published in the Washington Post, Teen Vogue, among others. Dr Montano is the author of Disasterology: Dispatches from The Frontlines of The Climate Crisis.

 

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Memoir, Non Fiction

SEP 01: Dr David Weill with Exhale-Hope, Healing, & a Life in Transplant

Memoir of a top transplant doctor who rode the emotional rollercoaster of saving and losing lives — until it was time to step back and save his own.

Dr. David Weill joins us to talk very openly about his painful journey with major burnout — something that’s impacting Americans in droves right now. He discusses the importance of selfcare, decisions he had to make, experiences that changed his life. And some of the challenges of transplant medicine from the perspective of doctors and patients.

About David Weill, MD

David Weill is the former Director of the Center for Advanced Lung Disease and the Lung Transplant Program at Stanford. He is currently the Principal of Weill Consulting Group, which focuses on improving the delivery of transplant care. Dr. Weill’s writing has appeared in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. And he’s been featured on media platforms such as CNN and the Wall Street Journal.  Exhale: Hope, Healing, and a Life in Transplant is Dr. Weill’s first book.

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History, Journalism, Memoir, Non Fiction

May 05: The Explorer Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World

ICEBOUND by Andrea Pitzer

In the 1500s, William Barents became the first Dutch polar explorer to set sail in an attempt to discover a northern route to China. Andrea Pitzer became fascinated by his story. So much so, that she did what all curious journalists would do—she set sail to retrace his journey.

We discuss what Andrea learned about Barents’ three Arctic expeditions, and some of the little known history around his challenges and successes. Andrea also shares how her own expedition to the Russian Arctic was life changing; what surprised her the most. And the highlight of her experience sailing on a tall ship, where she spent time high up the mast.

About Andrea Pitzer

Icebound: Shipwrecked At The Edge Of The World is the latest book by critically acclaimed author and journalist  Andrea Pitzer. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Review of Books, The Daily Beast, Vox, and Slate. Andrea’s two previous books are One Long Night and The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov.

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