Iditarod 2020: This Mush Is True

Since 1973, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, has united mushers, dogs, and spectators for a 938 mile run from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. This can take anywhere from 8 days to over 15! I’ve heard of the Iditarod, but it wasn’t until my husband started following Blair Braverman on Twitter a few years back that I really started getting into it. I read her book and started looking into other female mushers like Aly Zirkle and the Berington twins, Anna and Kristy. And the dogs – they have this amazing way of making you feel so happy and alive and grateful. They are pure energy and joy!

Photo credit: Braver Mountain Mushing

Below are a few books in our collection by female mushers! Continue reading “Iditarod 2020: This Mush Is True”

Read This: The Misfit’s Manifesto, by Lidia Yuknavitch

Quote: “You are not nothing. You are vital to your culture. We misfits are the ones with the ability to enter grief. Death. Trauma. And emerge. But we have to keep telling our stories, giving them to each other, or they will eat us alive. Our suffering is not the Christ story. Our suffering is generative of secular meaning. We put ordinary forms of hope into the world so that others, scruffy or graceful, might go on.”
– The Misfit’s Manifesto, by Lidia Yuknavitch

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What’s it about? Yuknavitch expands her TED Talk into a compelling account of how she and other misfits have struggled to be in the world, and how the world is a better place for it. It is about the lie that suffering makes you stronger; about the misleading myth of the hero’s journey; about making mistakes and making art and making it through the day; about surviving, and not surviving. This is a different kind of self help book, without a dash of sentiment, schmaltz or feel-good glibness. Continue reading “Read This: The Misfit’s Manifesto, by Lidia Yuknavitch”

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: Audiobook Memoirs Read by the Author

I unabashedly love audiobooks. They are not cheating. Audiobooks are simply a different way to take in and make sense of information, and to enjoy stories.

Audiobooks have an inherent performance value that can be done well with multi-person cast productions or simply great individual narrators. My personal favorite is the particular insight and authenticity conveyed by a memoir or biography narrated by its writer. The emotion, the timing, and understanding of a particular instance, recounted by the voice of the person who went through it, can’t be easily recreated.

Here are twelve relatively recent memoirs read by the author that I devoured for the Seattle Public Library’s 2017 Summer Book Bingo, and a few more that I plan to listen to soon: Continue reading “Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: Audiobook Memoirs Read by the Author”

The Vietnam War: Essential Accounts

There is no single story of the Vietnam War. In our second of four lists commemorating the premiere of Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s ten part documentary series on the Vietnam War, we feature twenty-five memoirs and personal accounts of the War and its aftermath, representing a wide array of experiences and voices. Here are some highlights.

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Continue reading “The Vietnam War: Essential Accounts”

Inside the Story: Immersive and Personal Journalism

Memoir tends to be subjective, while journalistic writing aims at objective treatment of a topic. Then there are those books that combine these strengths, exploring a topic of interest from within, either through the eyes of someone whose experience gives them a revealing perspective, or a journalist who immerses themselves in the world they’re writing about. In both cases, the results can be both highly informative and deeply moving.

Continue reading “Inside the Story: Immersive and Personal Journalism”