Category

Memoir

Health & Wellness, Memoir, Non Fiction

Nov 30: Topher Brophy with Dog Dad

When you rescue an animal, who rescues who?

Life changed for Topher Brophy when he adopted his four-legged, look-alike  ‘love battery’ – aka Rosenberg.  One thing led to another, and today Brophy and Rosenberg have almost a quarter of a million followers on Instagram.

The title of Topher’s new book tells you exactly what we talk about today, DOG DAD: How Animals Bring Out the Best in Us and Can Help Save the World.

Studies show that living with animals can help improve our overall health. Pets provide emotional support proven to lower blood pressure, lift depression, reduce anxiety, increase feelings of joy and happiness – and they help us get out of our head and into nature.

*If you’re thinking of getting a new companion, Adopt Don’t Shop. Contact Conversations Live with Vicki St. Clair for shelters near you, if you need help.*

About Topher Brophy

Topher Brophy is a New York-based Dog Dad artist who’s gained international attention through the socially conscious, imaginative photos of him and his son, Rosenberg The Dog.  Topher is donating all author proceeds from DOG DAD to American Humane.

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Essays, Memoir, Non Fiction, Writers on Writing

Nov 9: Peter Orner – Still No Word From You: Notes in the Margin

Observations on books, stories, poems, and life by the author of Am I Alone Here?

He’s known as a writer’s writer, a triple threat — novelist, short story master, and prolific essayist. But if you ask Peter Orner what he really wants readers to take away from his work, it’s connection.

Still No Word from You: Notes in the Margin melds intimate stories from the lived life and reading life. We discuss how Peter’s stories are often built around small moments;  how he knows which moments will make a great story. Living the writer’s life. What challenges Peter as a writer, and more.

About Peter Orner

The author of two novels and several story collections, Peter Orner‘s work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, and more. His previous essay collection, Am I Alone Here? Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. Peter Orner is a 3-time recipient of the Pushcart Prize and has received numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Fulbright in Namibia. He is currently the director of creative writing at Dartmouth College.

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Inspirational, Memoir, Non Fiction

Nov 2nd: A Mother’s Memoir of Autism and Finding Joy

An Inspiring, Sometimes Challenging, Always Loving Journey

From the moment of conception, every parent dreams of having the perfectly healthy child. 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 share the uplifting journey she embarked upon when she discovered her son Cooper was born with a condition that would require special needs and care. Along the way, she discovered that no matter what, life can be joyful, and that she’s exactly who she’s supposed to be … and Cooper is exactly who he’s meant to be.

About Kate Swenson

A frequent contributor to publications on autism, parenting, and motherhood, 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. Her new memoir is  FOREVER BOY: A Mother’s Memoir of Autism and Finding Joy.

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Memoir, Non Fiction, Writers on Writing

Oct 26: Tuesdays in Jail with Author Tina Welling

Book Cover Tuesdays in Jail by Tina WellingWhat I Learned Teaching Journaling to Inmates

When Tina Welling volunteered to teach journaling at her local county jail, little did she know how much she’d learn about herself, and how much she and the inmates had in common.

Eleven years into her teaching journey, Tina shares some of the stories from her new book Tuesdays in Jail. We discuss what she learned about even the most hardened criminals. What working with inmates taught Tina about self-awareness, and helped her overcome some of her own limitations, providing growth in ways she didn’t expect.

About Tina Welling

The author of the novels Cowboys Never CryFairy Tale Blues, and Crybaby Ranch, Tina Welling also wrote Writing Wild: Forming a Creative Partnership with Nature (listen to our podcast on Writing Wild.) Tina Welling is the recipient of a Wyoming Arts Council writing fellowship, and has been conducting Writing Wild workshops for ten years. She lives in Jackson, Wyoming. More on Tuesdays in Jail.

 

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Memoir, Non Fiction

Oct 12: Escaping the Children of God Cult – Daniella Mestyanek Young

Uncultured: A Memoir

Daniella Mestyanek Young was a third-generation Family member to a group better known as the Children of God. She was raised from birth to believe the world outside was dangerous, full of evil people — and that childhood sex with multiple older men was normal. It was God’s will.

Yet when she was just 15 years old, Daniella had the fortitude to escape everything she knew, put herself through school, and forge a new career — only to find herself back in another “cult”.

We discuss how to identify culture vs. cult. The three phases to leaving a cult. How telling her story after many years of hiding the truth helped Daniella overcome imposter syndrome and build a healthy new life with a real family.

About Daniella Mestyanek Young

American author and speaker Daniella Mestyanek Young was raised in the religious cult the Children of God. She later served as an intelligence officer for more than six years in the US Army, achieving the rank of captain, and became one of the first women in US Army history to conduct deliberate ground combat operations on a Female Engagement Team. Daniella’s the recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award and is currently finalizing her master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from the Harvard Extension School. Her new book is Uncultured.

 

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Memoir, Non Fiction

Oct 05: White Flag – A Memoir with NYT Bestselling Author Judy L Mandel

70% of kids who try drugs before 13 develop a substance abuse disorder within 7 years

When Judy Mandel made a deathbed promise to her sister, she had no idea how that promise would end. From an early age, Judy’s niece Cheryl struggled with addiction and the horrors that came with it – from imprisonment to living in shelters, and ultimately, a fatal overdose.

Trying to understand Cheryl’s life and where things went wrong, Judy Mandel drew on her investigative journalism skills and set out on a painful but revealing journey. The result is her latest memoir, White Flag.

About Judy Mandel

Judy Mandel is a former reporter and marketing executive. She has an MFA in create writing from Stony Brook University, and her essays have appeared in numerous publications including American Writers Review and Complete Wellbeing Magazine. She’s the New York Times bestselling author of Replacement Child. Her second memoir is White Flag.

*According to NCDAS: National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics

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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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