Behind the Beautiful Forevers has changed the way I look at journalism—changed the very way that I want to tell stories.
I’m just a fun-loving collection of essays, looking for a reader who enjoys the same.
“Nothing seemed quite as important, as terrible, or as beautiful as the country I had just left behind.”
I am among the 44 percent of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions. I tend to think of my goals in more seasonal terms: each spring, summer, fall, and winter I rethink areas of my life that could use improvement. But Gretchen Rubin takes this idea much, much further. And her goal, although multifaceted, is simple: In one year, she wanted to find ways to make herself happier.
I was what you might call a high-reactive baby. The slightest disturbance would leave me wailing. I was picky about sound, about food, about the way fabric touched my skin. When I was a year or so old and still cried like it was my full-time job, my mom took me to the doctor and said, “There has to be something wrong with her.” My mother herself cried when she found out she was pregnant with the brother who arrived after me, and her best friend comforted her by saying, “Don’t worry. When God made Melody, he broke the mold.”
Scratching your head over what to get for your favorite misanthrope this holiday season? At a loss over what to slip into your post-collegiate kids’ stockings? You can’t go wrong with The Misanthrope’s Guide to Life, a slim, humorous book by Meghan Rowland and Chris Turner-Neal.
In just a few weeks, I’m leaving for Tanzania! Naturally, my mind first turns to books about or from Tanzania. Last week, I listed six novels I’d like to read before/after the trip; this week, I’m focusing on nonfiction titles. Guides & Wonky Stuff Bradt Guide to Tanzania by Philip Briggs Hunger and Shame: Child Malnutrition and Poverty on Mount Kilimanjaro by Mary Theresa Howard The Hadza: Hunter-Gatherers of Tanzania by Frank Marlowe Personal accounts The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuściński […]
It’s been a few months, and the Nonfiction Book Group at One More Page Books & More is going strong! Our selection for September is The Violinist’s Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code by Sam Kean. Here’s more on the book: In The Violinist’s Thumb, bestselling author Sam Kean explores the wonders of the magical building block of life: DNA. There are genes to explain crazy cat ladies, why other people have […]
When Cheryl Strayed set off to hike an 11,000-mile portion of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), she wasn’t just leaving the comforts of home behind. She was attempting to discard a lifetime of emotional baggage as well: grief over her mother’s death, anger over her father’s abandonment, pain over her recent divorce, promiscuity, and a heroin problem.
I am currently traveling in Zambia for work. Before I left, I did what I always do: searched for seminal works of literature about the country or by authors representing the country. I was quite surprised that Zambia remains a relatively unexplored country in literature. (Perhaps the world is waiting for my bestselling thriller about journalists in Zambia!) But I did find a few titles that are worth sharing, if you’re itching to read about Zambia—either as an armchair traveler, or in […]
Jenny Lawson, better known as The Bloggess, is kind of a big deal. She has more than 342,000 Twitter followers–including Neil Gaiman–and a popular blog supported by ad revenue; maintaining her site and Twitter feed is a full-time job. After becoming an online superstar, she published Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir.
Today, Politics & Prose bookstore announced that they are releasing a new literary journal, District Lines. The publication will be produced on their print-on-demand machine, the unveiling of which I attended back in 2011. It’s a smart marketing move for the store; not only does it position them even more as a literary destination, it also showcases what the POD machine can do for any customer. Here’s more info about the journal: In a city known for its lobbyists, lawyers, and politicians, […]
I’ve developed an interest in science ever since graduating college, but sometimes I feel like I’m missing crucial elements of my education, partly because I was homeschooled. This summer, I hope to do a lot of catching up by (re)educating myself on basic scientific principles. Here’s what I’ll be reading: 1. A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking Stephen Hawking’s worldwide bestseller A Brief History of Time remains a landmark volume in scientific writing. But for years readers have asked for […]
Title: Angelhead: My Brother’s Descent into Madness Author: Greg Bottoms ISBN: 9780226067643 Pages: 227 Release date: April 2005 Publisher: University Of Chicago Press Genre: Memoir Format: Hardcover Source: Personal collection (memoir class) Rating: 4 out of 5 When Greg Bottoms tackles the demons of his past, he’s being literal. In Angelhead, he writes of his brother’s heartbreaking decline into paranoid schizophrenia, and the terror and grief the entire family suffers. Greg Bottoms was a young boy when he witnessed his brother’s first […]
After her mother’s death, Katie Rosman is left reeling. Her mother, Suzy, was only 60 years old, and the diagnosis of lung cancer came as a shock to the nonsmoker. After Suzy’s death, Rosman, a journalist, decides to investigate her mother’s life in order to understand how she faced her own death.
James McBride, the eighth of twelve children, always wondered why his mother looked so different from his siblings, his stepfather, and everyone else in their predominantly black neighborhood. He badgered her for details all of his life, and when he became a journalist, he began recording her responses.