All the Gear, No Idea

Author: MICHÈLE HARRISON

Category: Biographies & Memoirs

Regular price: $2.99

Deal price: Free

Deal starts: January 24, 2023

Deal ends: January 24, 2023

Description:

The author quits her high-flying job in London, orders a classic Indian Enfield Bullet motorbike and goes off for a year on a 17,000 mile circuit of India. She wants adventures, and as a solo traveller, has plenty of them. Follow her on her travels discovering an unknown world of motorbiking, wanderlust and Indian life. Humorous and well-written, this refreshingly honest book recounts her numerous mishaps, both on and off the bike. This story shows how a can-do attitude can compensate for inexperience and will appeal to those with a « just do it » attitude to life. And for that you don't even need to be a biker.BOOK REVIEW by Stuart Jewkes, Editor of The Rider's Digest"All the gear and no idea" is usually meant as a pejorative term aimed at chequebook bikers. On the other hand, Michele Harrison inverts the phrase here to illustrate her refreshingly honest and upfront admission of her inexperience in relation to the magnitude of her undertaking - a massive road trip round India, all by herself, on a locally-procured Royal Enfield, with no backup or support of any kind. Unlike many of her "moto-travel-lit" peers, Michele uses the best policy of all, which is to adopt the value system of her host nation and leave everything to fate; a policy which eventually has a lasting impact on the rest of her life (in a good way - but I won't give it away!). As a result, she makes Homeric road trips like this sound accessible and achievable to mere mortals, when so many others give the impression that lack of expertise is a barrier to entry.It's not all Pirsig-style mysticism either. Instead you variously get crashes, dynamite, harrassment and hospitality, charity and larceny, disease, enlightenment and a side-trip into the Himalayas. At the centre of all this is Michele and her motorcycle ("Big Thumper"), which is the perfect vehicle for the human interaction that is the cornerstone of all great travel stories, including this one.

She’s Nice Though

She’s Nice Though by Mia Mercado

Author: Mia Mercado

Category: Biographies & Memoirs

Regular price: $12.99

Deal price: $3.99

Deal starts: January 23, 2023

Deal ends: January 23, 2023

Description:

AN NPR BOOK-OF-THE-DAY • A PUBLISHERS WEEKLY STAFF PICK • A NYLON MUST-READ • A FORTUNE NEW BOOK TO READ IN AUGUST
“And, at the center of it all, am I actually nice or am I just performing a role I think I’m expected to play?” Mia Mercado is a razor-sharp cultural critic and essayist known for her witty and hilarious dissections of the uncomfortable truths that rule our lives. In this thought-provoking collection of new essays, Mercado examines what it means to be “polite,” “agreeable,” and “nice.” She covers topics from the subtleties of the “Bad Bitch” and why women dominate the ASMR market, to what makes her dog an adorable little freak and how you know if you’re shy. This is a book about the unspoken trick mirror of our “good” intentions: the inherent performance of the social media apology, celebrating men when they do the bare minimum, and why we trust a Midwesterner to watch our stuff when we go pee.
Throughout, she ponders her identity as an Asian woman and asks what “nice” even means—and why anyone would want to be it. With writing that is as precise as it is profound, and cultural references that range from trash reality television to the New York Times Sunday-morning crossword puzzle, Mercado uncovers weird, long-overdue truths about our frailties and failings. In the end, she sees them not as a source of shame but as a cause for celebration. Filled with revelations that range from the silly to the serious,
She’s Nice Though offers a mind-bending glimpse into the illusions and delusions of contemporary life—and reveals who we *really* are when no one is watching.

The Last Letter

The Last Letter by Karen Baum Gordon

Author: Karen Baum Gordon

Category: Biographies & Memoirs

Regular price: $9.99

Deal price: $0.99

Deal starts: January 23, 2023

Deal ends: January 23, 2023

Description:

Born a German Jew in 1915, Rudy Baum was eighty-six years old when he sealed the garage door of his Dallas home, turned on the car ignition, and tried to end his life. After confronting her father’s attempted suicide, Karen Baum Gordon, Rudy’s daughter, began a sincere effort to understand the sequence of events that led her father to that dreadful day in 2002. What she found were hidden scars of generational struggles reaching back to the camps and ghettos of the Third Reich.
In The Last Letter: A Father’s Struggle, a Daughter’s Quest, and the Long Shadow of the Holocaust, Gordon explores not only her father’s life story, but also the stories and events that shaped the lives of her grandparents—two Holocaust victims that Rudy tried in vain to save in the late 1930s and early years of World War II. This investigation of her family’s history is grounded in eighty-eight letters written mostly by Julie Baum, Rudy’s mother and Karen’s grandmother, to Rudy between November 1936 and October 1941. In five parts, Gordon examines pieces of these well-worn, handwritten letters and other archival documents in order to discover what her family experienced during the Nazi period and the psychological impact that reverberated from it in the generations that followed.
Part of the Legacies of War series, The Last Letter is a captivating family memoir that spans events from the 1930s and Hitler’s rise to power, through World War II and the Holocaust, to the present-day United States. In recreating the fatal journeys of her grandparents and tracing her father’s efforts to save them an ocean away in America, Gordon discovers the forgotten fragments of her family’s history and a vivid sense of her own Jewish identity. By inviting readers along on this journey, Gordon manages to honor victim and survivor alike and shows subsequent generations—now many years after the tragic events of World War II—what it means to remember.

The Class of ’65

The Class of ’65 by Jim Auchmutey

Author: Jim Auchmutey

Category: Biographies & Memoirs

Regular price: $14.99

Deal price: $1.99

Deal starts: January 22, 2023

Deal ends: January 22, 2023

Description:

In the midst of racial strife, one young man showed courage and empathy. It took forty years for the others to join him
Being a student at Americus High School was the worst experience of Greg Wittkamper's life. Greg came from a nearby Christian commune, Koinonia, whose members devoutly and publicly supported racial equality. When he refused to insult and attack his school's first black students in 1964, Greg was mistreated as badly as they were: harassed and bullied and beaten. In the summer after his senior year, as racial strife in Americus -- and the nation -- reached its peak, Greg left Georgia.
Forty-one years later, a dozen former classmates wrote letters to Greg, asking his forgiveness and inviting him to return for a class reunion. Their words opened a vein of painful memory and unresolved emotion, and set him on a journey that would prove healing and saddening.
The Class of '65 is more than a heartbreaking story from the segregated South. It is also about four of Greg's classmates -- David Morgan, Joseph Logan, Deanie Dudley, and Celia Harvey -- who came to reconsider the attitudes they grew up with. How did they change? Why, half a lifetime later, did reaching out to the most despised boy in school matter to them? This noble book reminds us that while ordinary people may acquiesce to oppression, we all have the capacity to alter our outlook and redeem ourselves.

The Suicide Index

The Suicide Index by Joan Wickersham

Author: Joan Wickersham

Category: Biographies & Memoirs

Regular price: $12.99

Deal price: $1.99

Deal starts: January 22, 2023

Deal ends: January 22, 2023

Description:

National Book Award Finalist: “Wickersham has journeyed into the dark underworld inside her father and herself and emerged with a powerful, gripping story.” —The Boston Globe
 
One winter morning in 1991, Joan Wickersham’s father shot himself in the head. The father she loved would never have killed himself, and yet he had. His death made a mystery of his entire life. Who was he? Why did he do it? And what was the impact of his death on the people who loved him? Using an index—the most formal and orderly of structures—Wickersham explores this chaotic and incomprehensible reality. Every bit of family history, every encounter with friends, doctors, and other survivors, exposes another facet of elusive truth. Dark, funny, sad, and gripping, at once a philosophical and a deeply personal exploration, The Suicide Index is, finally, a daughter’s anguished, loving elegy to her father.

World of Wonders

World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Author: Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Category: Biographies & Memoirs

Regular price: $17.99

Deal price: $1.99

Deal starts: January 22, 2023

Deal ends: January 22, 2023

Description:

“A poet celebrates the wonders of nature in a collection of essays that could almost serve as a coming-of-age memoir.” —Kirkus Reviews
As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home: the grounds of a Kansas mental institution, where her Filipina mother was a doctor; the open skies and tall mountains of Arizona, where she hiked with her Indian father; and the chillier climes of western New York and Ohio. But no matter where she was transplanted—no matter how awkward the fit or forbidding the landscape—she was able to turn to our world’s fierce and funny creatures for guidance.
“What the peacock can do,” she tells us, “is remind you of a home you will run away from and run back to all your life.” The axolotl teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments. Even in the strange and the unlovely, Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship. For it is this way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world’s gifts.
Warm, lyrical, and gorgeously illustrated by Fumi Nakamura, World of Wonders is a book of sustenance and joy.
Praise for World of Wonders
Barnes & Noble 2020 Book of the Year
An NPR Best Book of 2020
An Esquire Best Book of 2020
A Publishers Weekly “Big Indie Book of Fall 2020”
A BuzzFeed Best Book of Fall 2020
“Hands-down one of the most beautiful books of the year.” —NPR
“A timely story about love, identity and belonging.” —New York Times Book Review
“A truly wonderous essay collection.” —Roxane Gay, The Audacity