Testing the Wind, by Peter Ilgenfritz There are journeys in life we would never choose to take, but we do so anyway, because we know that our lives depend on our taking them. In a tippy little boat, on a tiny lake in downtown Seattle, I learned to sail. I discovered a practice that helped…

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Among the Remnants, by Josh Gortler When three-year-old Joshua Gortler and his family were forced from their hometown in Poland during World War II, they scrambled for safety across border after border, finding refuge at last in Europe’s Displaced Persons Camps. Undocumented and unschooled, Gortler spent his adolescence learning how to survive. When his family…

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Parkinson Pete on Living and Dying with Parkinson’s Disease is a direct, honest, and sometimes funny assessment of what it can be like to face a life and a death with a neurodegenerative disease like Parkinson’s. Most of the writers of the books Pete reviewed in Parkinson Pete’s Bookshelves dealt exclusively with the easy early stages of the disease. Then they mumbled…

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How We Survive Here: Families Across Time by Claire Gebben

How We Survive Here (334 pages), is a memoir by Claire Gebben with letter translations by Angela Weber. In 2008, Claire Gebben’s relative from Freinsheim, Germany, came to the Pacific Northwest, bringing with her fifteen letters, dated 1841 to 1900. As the two begin translating the Old German Script, they become captivated by the stories. Via 19th-century…

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Wherever You Are: A Memoir of Love, Marriage and Brain Injury by Cynthia Lim

Wherever You Are (240 pages), by Cynthia Lim, is a memoir about the responsibilities of caregiving, redefining life with disability, and discovering the real truth of love and marriage. “I can’t get this story out of my head. It haunts me. It makes me wonder, Would I be that brave? That strong? That full of…

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Thirty Years a Dresser by Dennis Milam Bensie

Thirty Years a Dresser (216 pages) is a new memoir by Dennis Milam Bensie, sharing essays, anecdotes, and backstage antics from his years as a theatrical dresser. “The author writes in such a way that you feel you are backstage with him experiencing all he is and does. He is honest, funny and sometimes cutting. Thirty Years…

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Beauty and the Breast

Beauty and the Breast: A Tale of Breast Cancer, Love, and Friendship (192 pages) is a literary memoir by award-winning author Merrill Joan Gerber. With wit and wisdom, Gerber reflects on her breasts, her life,  and her Jewish heritage as she undergoes treatment for breast cancer. “I LOVE IT!!  I could not put it down.…

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The Game Warden’s Son, by Steven T. Callan

Awarded “Best Outdoor Book” of 2016 by the Outdoor Writers Association of California The Game Warden’s Son (272 pages), is the new memoir by retired fish and game warden, Steven T. Callan. In a follow-up to his 2013 memoir, Badges, Bears, and Eagles, Callan relates a half century of adventures and investigations from the early…

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Chef Interrupted

** Winner of an International Jury Prestige Award, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2016 ** Chef Interrupted: Discovering Life’s Second Course in Ireland with Multiple Sclerosis (288 pages), a memoir, is the first published book by former Seattle Chef and popular MS Blogger, Trevis L. Gleason. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Gleason follows his dreams…

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Sirocco by Danielle A. Dahl

Sirocco: A French Girl Comes of Age in War-Torn Algeria (274 pages), is a memoir by Danielle A. Dahl about her adventures growing up under threat of terrorism. Sirocco is a finalist in two categories of the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards: Memoirs (Historical/Legacy/Career) and Historical Nonfiction. “Sirocco is the riveting account of the…

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