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Biography and Memoir April 2014
"It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart."
~ Anne Frank (1929-1945), resident of Amsterdam and victim of the Holocaust
New and Recently Released!
I Forgot to Remember: A Memoir of Amnesia - by Su Meck with Daniel De Visé
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/04/2014
Share I Forgot to Remember%3a A Memoir of Amnesia ISBN-13: 9781451685817
ISBN-10: 1451685815
In 1988, at age 22, author Su Meck suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) when a ceiling fan fell onto her head. Her closed-head TBI caused total amnesia, so everything became a total blank. Family and friends related anecdotes to help her know who she had been, but establishing a new relationship with her husband proved difficult, and caring for her two young children was an even bigger challenge. As she re-learned basic tasks and coped by imitating what others showed her, she gradually developed a new identity. I Forgot to Remember offers a candid, inspirational account of Meck's life since 1988.
The Priority List: A Teacher's Final Quest to Discover Life's Greatest Lessons - by David Menasche
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 01/14/2014
Share The Priority List%3a A Teacher ISBN-13: 9781476743448
ISBN-10: 1476743444
In The Priority List, former high school English teacher David Menasche explains a teaching tool he developed to help his students understand the literature they were studying. He gave them a list of concepts that anyone could understand, such as love, honor, respect, and power and asked them to rank the importance of these concepts in a literary work. Though he realized the students' rankings gave him insight into their own lives, Menasche didn't create his own priority list until years later. To his surprise, friendship and education ranked above his marriage. After brain cancer forced him to quit teaching, he traveled around the country to renew his connections with former students; this memoir expresses these meaningful relationships in a "beautiful meditation" (Kirkus Reviews).
Eliot Ness: The Rise and Fall of an American Hero - by Douglas Perry
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/20/2014
Share Eliot Ness%3a The Rise and Fall of an American Hero ISBN-13: 9780670025886
ISBN-10: 0670025887
Federal law enforcement agent Eliot Ness is best known for having defeated Chicago gangster Al Capone. Ness' fame led to a film and a television series called The Untouchables, which, though fictionalized, cemented his position in Jazz Age history. In Eliot Ness, biographer Douglas Perry corrects both the popular image of a heroic figure and the subsequent revisionist view that Ness' part in the Capone cleanup was minor. While Ness was an obsessive man with personal flaws, his crime fighting work in Chicago and later in Cleveland, Ohio, was remarkably effective -- though he eventually died broke and forgotten. Readers who enjoy biography, early 20th-century history, or historical true crime shouldn't miss Perry's thoroughly researched, engaging book.
Code Name: Johnny Walker: The Extraordinary Story of the Iraqi Who Risked Everything to Fight with the U.S. Navy SEALs - by Johnny Walker with Jim DeFelice
Publisher: HarperCollins
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/11/2014
Share Code Name%3a Johnny Walker%3a The Extraordinary Story of the Iraqi Who Risked Everything to Fight with the U.S. Navy SEALs ISBN-13: 9780062267559
ISBN-10: 0062267558
"Johnny Walker" is the code name for an Iraqi translator who worked with American Special Forces during the post-9/11 war in Iraq. He is now an American citizen, but he maintains his code name to protect relatives who remain in Iraq. In this riveting, thought-provoking memoir, "Johnny Walker" explains what motivated him to work with Americans and what it meant to be a civilian translator with Navy SEALs -- he had to be as ready for combat as they were. Eventually, he was forced to leave Iraq because assassins were targeting him. Code Name: Johnny Walker offers an engaging, candid, and eye-opening view of the war and of one man's personal commitment to his own and his adopted country.
Plenty of Time When We Get Home: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War - by Kayla Williams
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/10/2014
Share Plenty of Time When We Get Home%3a Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War ISBN-13: 9780393239362
ISBN-10: 0393239365
Author Kayla Williams, an Army veteran of the Iraq war, married fellow soldier Brian McGough after their return to the States. In this unblinking, poignant memoir, Williams details McGough's struggles resulting from a head wound and traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by an explosive device in Iraq. Since his discharge, McGough has discovered that veterans' services are ill-prepared to deal with the psychological and neurological wounds of returning soldiers. To help others with similar challenges, Williams includes a section on resources for military families. Readers who appreciated David Finkel's Thank You for Your Service, which profiles several other veterans of Iraq, will find Williams' book equally compelling.
Focus on: The Nazi Holocaust
The Journal of Hélène Berr - by Hélène Berr; translated by David Bellos
Publisher: Perseus Books Group
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/03/2009
Share The Journal of Hélène Berr ISBN-13: 9781602860940
ISBN-10: 1602860947
In 1942, Hélène Berr was a student of English literature at the Sorbonne in Paris during the Nazi occupation. Berr, a member of a Jewish family, wrote her journal on individual sheets of paper, which she passed to the family's cook for safekeeping. Full of light and hope, yet tinged with anxiety and despair, Berr's writing vividly depicts Parisian life under the Nazis. Deported to Bergen-Belsen in 1944, Berr died there days before the British liberated the camp in 1945. Her journal remained with family members and was published only recently, revealing an absorbing and insightful record of the Holocaust's effects on Jews in France.
Searching for Schindler: A Memoir - by Thomas Keneally
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 10/14/2008
Share Searching for Schindler%3a A Memoir ISBN-13: 9780385526173
ISBN-10: 0385526172
Acclaimed Australian author Thomas Keneally was visiting Beverly Hills, California, in 1981, when he met Polish Holocaust survivor Leopold Poldek Pfefferberg. Poldek wanted somebody to tell the story of Oskar Schindler, who accomplished the rescue of over 1,000 Polish Jews from the Nazis. Intrigued by Poldek's account, Keneally agreed to work with him. Together they located Holocaust survivors to interview, visited relevant sites in Poland, and documented Schindler's personal life. Their efforts resulted in Keneally's Man Booker Prize-winning novel, Schindler's List, and an Oscar-winning film of the same name. Searching for Schindler will fascinate anyone interested in Holocaust history or in the research and writing process of a successful author.
Sala's Gift: My Mother's Holocaust Story - by Ann Kirschner
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 06/12/2007
Share Sala ISBN-13: 9781416541707
ISBN-10: 1416541705
Ann Kirschner, a New York management consultant, received a remarkable collection of writings from her mother, Sala, when Sala was on the brink of triple-bypass surgery at age 67. The 350-plus letters, cards, and notes came from Polish Jews who had been enslaved in seven different Nazi labor camps during World War II. When Kirschner translated the materials, she discovered that they recorded not only details about the little-known slave labor camps, but the hopes, dreams, fears, and despair of hundreds of Jewish workers. Sala's story -- and many others' -- emerges poignantly from Kirschner's transcription of these documents, augmented by her "powerful and informed" (Publishers Weekly) connecting narrative.
Clara's War: One Girl's Story of Survival - by Clara Kramer
Publisher: Ecco
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 05/01/2009
Share Clara ISBN-13: 9780061728600
ISBN-10: 0061728608
When Clara Kramer, who grew up to co-found the Holocaust Resource Foundation at Kean University, was 12 years old, the Nazis occupied her Polish hometown, Zolkiew, and ordered all Jews to relocate to the ghetto. Desperate to escape, Kramer's family -- along with 17 other Jews -- hid in a grimy, cramped space underneath a house that the Nazis searched repeatedly, terrifying the people secreted below. Aiding the Kramers and their companions was the most unlikely of allies: their former neighbor, Mr. Beck, a drunken anti-Semite. Booklist calls Clara's War "a gripping thriller and a heartbreaking drama of human kindness."
The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million - by Daniel Adam Mendelsohn
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/01/2007
Share The Lost%3a A Search for Six of Six Million ISBN-13: 9780060542993
ISBN-10: 0060542993
The Lost is both a memoir of author Daniel Mendelsohn's life and a biographical tribute to his great-uncle and his family, lost in the Holocaust. As a youth in the 1960s, Mendelsohn could learn no details about their deaths, so in 2001 he decided to find out exactly what happened to Shmiel, his wife, and his four daughters. Mendelsohn collected information about Shmiel's life and relevant information about the Holocaust and visited Shmiel's home in Polish Bolechow. Interspersed with accounts of what Mendelsohn learned are his reflections on portions of the Torah that shed light on the meaning of suffering. Reading this insightful work "recalibrates our perception of the Holocaust and of human nature," says Booklist.
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