Make Something Good Today: A Memoir

Make Something Good Today
by Erin Napier, Ben Napier

From Ben and Erin Napier, the stars of the hit HGTV show Home Town, comes Make Something Good Today, a memoir that tells us all to seek out the good in life, celebrate the beauty of family and friends, and prosper within our communities because everything we need in life to be happy, is within our grasp.

Long before their hugely popular TV show, an expanding family, or demolition day on their dream home, Erin began keeping a daily online journal to help her stay focused on the positive and count her blessings in life. She never expected that her depictions of small-town life in the tiny swath of Mississippi where she Ben call home would catch the eye of a television producer and set them off on the journey of a lifetime.

Make Something Good Today offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the struggles and triumphs of a couple that America has come to know and love for their easy humor, adoring relationship, and ability to utterly transform a place into something beautiful and personal. This is the poignant story of how Erin and Ben took a small, tight-knit town into their own hands (literally) and used ingenuity, community, and authenticity to rebuild a once-thriving American Main Street. And how, by combining Ben’s carpentry skills with Erin’s design eye, Home Town is making it clear to us all that small-town living can feel as big as you make it.

Complete with family photographs, Erin’s hand-painted sketches, and never-before-heard personal stories, this inspirational memoir reminds us all not to give up hope that great love stories are possible, big things can bloom in small towns, and there is always magic in the ordinary if you know where to look for it.


Make Something Good Today
by Erin Napier, Ben Napier

From Ben and Erin Napier, the stars of the hit HGTV show Home Town, comes Make Something Good Today, a memoir that tells us all to seek out the good in life, celebrate the beauty of family and friends, and prosper within our communities because everything we need in life to be happy, is within our grasp.

Long before their hugely popular TV show, an expanding family, or demolition day on their dream home, Erin began keeping a daily online journal to help her stay focused on the positive and count her blessings in life. She never expected that her depictions of small-town life in the tiny swath of Mississippi where she Ben call home would catch the eye of a television producer and set them off on the journey of a lifetime.

Make Something Good Today offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the struggles and triumphs of a couple that America has come to know and love for their easy humor, adoring relationship, and ability to utterly transform a place into something beautiful and personal. This is the poignant story of how Erin and Ben took a small, tight-knit town into their own hands (literally) and used ingenuity, community, and authenticity to rebuild a once-thriving American Main Street. And how, by combining Ben’s carpentry skills with Erin’s design eye, Home Town is making it clear to us all that small-town living can feel as big as you make it.

Complete with family photographs, Erin’s hand-painted sketches, and never-before-heard personal stories, this inspirational memoir reminds us all not to give up hope that great love stories are possible, big things can bloom in small towns, and there is always magic in the ordinary if you know where to look for it.


Make Something Good Today
by Ben Napier

From Ben and Erin Napier, the stars of the hit HGTV show Home Town, comes Make Something Good Today, a memoir that tells us all to seek out the good in life, celebrate the beauty of family and friends, and prosper within our communities because everything we need in life to be happy, is within our grasp.

Long before their hugely popular TV show, an expanding family, or demolition day on their dream home, Erin began keeping a daily online journal to help her stay focused on the positive and count her blessings in life. She never expected that her depictions of small-town life in the tiny swath of Mississippi where she Ben call home would catch the eye of a television producer and set them off on the journey of a lifetime.

Make Something Good Today offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the struggles and triumphs of a couple that America has come to know and love for their easy humor, adoring relationship, and ability to utterly transform a place into something beautiful and personal. This is the poignant story of how Erin and Ben took a small, tight-knit town into their own hands (literally) and used ingenuity, community, and authenticity to rebuild a once-thriving American Main Street. And how, by combining Ben’s carpentry skills with Erin’s design eye, Home Town is making it clear to us all that small-town living can feel as big as you make it.

Complete with family photographs, Erin’s hand-painted sketches, and never-before-heard personal stories, this inspirational memoir reminds us all not to give up hope that great love stories are possible, big things can bloom in small towns, and there is always magic in the ordinary if you know where to look for it.


Half a Life
by Darin Strauss

In this powerful, unforgettable memoir, acclaimed novelist Darin Strauss examines the far-reaching consequences of the tragic moment that has shadowed his whole life. In his last month of high school, he was behind the wheel of his dad’s Oldsmobile, driving with friends, heading off to play mini-golf. Then: a classmate swerved in front of his car. The collision resulted in her death. With piercing insight and stark prose, Darin Strauss leads us on a deeply personal, immediate, and emotional journey—graduating high school, going away to college, starting his writing career, falling in love with his future wife, becoming a father. Along the way, he takes a hard look at loss and guilt, maturity and accountability, hope and, at last, acceptance. The result is a staggering, uplifting tour de force.

Look for special features inside, including an interview with Colum McCann.


The Source of All Things
by Tracy Ross

Called “brave and heartbreaking” by Elle and “an extraordinary journey” by People, Tracy Ross’s riveting memoir about abuse, survival, and healing is now available in paperback.

Tracy Ross’s adult life has been defined by her determination to push herself to the physical limits of what a person can endure. In The Source of All Things, she struggles to reconcile her stepfather’s abuse with her desire to make her family whole again.

Tracy’s stepfather first molested her when she was eight years old. But he was also her family’s savior—the man who rescued her mother from deep depression and the protective figure who instilled in her the very passion for nature that saved her life. It wasn’t until she ran away from home at fourteen that her family was forced to confront the abuse that tore them apart.

The Source of All Things is a powerful, breathtakingly honest story about a mistake that has taken three decades and thousands of miles of raw wilderness to reconcile. Unfolding in the achingly gorgeous landscapes of Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, and Alaska, Tracy describes her search for a place in which to heal, the sacredness of the outdoors, and the ways in which nature, at its most wild and challenging, gave her the strength to overcome.


Man Made
by Ken Baker

Prolactin: A hormone that women secrete to produce breast milk.
— Prolactin level in the blood of an average human male = 10 ng/ml
— Prolactin level of a nursing mother = 100 ng/ml
— Prolactin level of the author on October 16, 1997 = 1,578 ng/ml

On the surface, Kenny Baker seemed a model man. He was a nationally ranked hockey goalie who played for Colgate on a full scholarship; girls threw themselves at him and his teammates; professional scouts regularly came to see him play; fans cheered him on. Inside, though, Kenny didn’t feel like a “man”.

Unlike his macho teammates, Kenny found that despite his attraction to women, he had little sex drive and even less of a sex life. To his great anguish, he repeatedly found himself unable to perform sexually. Despite strenuous workouts, his body remained flabby and soft, earning him the locker room nickname “Pear”. After graduation and well into his career as a hotshot journalist, Ken’s secret problems and confusions grew worse.

As a Hollywood correspondent for People magazine, Ken found himself challenged and tormented by the sexually charged atmosphere of Tinseltown. Perpetually confused over the workings of his mind and body, Ken’s relationships with women repeatedly fractured. Physically, matters would grow more bizarre as he would one day find himself lactating.

The macho culture that reared Ken made it agonizingly difficult for him to seek medical help or even to discuss the true nature of his condition. Eventually other health problems forced him to see a doctor who revealed something that would suddenly lift years of pain, frustration, and confusion.

Ken was suffering from a rare, chestnut-sized brain tumor thatflooded his body with massive amounts of the female hormone Prolactin. Although he was a male by nature, Ken’s biochemical make-up was increasingly female. Six hours of brain surgery would finally accomplish what years of therapy, rumination, and denial could not. Finally, Ken Baker would be able to feel — and function — like a man.

At a moment of heated debate over the powers of nature versus nurture, Man Made — like no other book — illuminates the biochemical nature of sexuality. Moreover, it is a fascinating chronicle of growing up sexually as a male in America — and an agonizingly blunt and honest recollection of the pain that accompanies sexual abnormality in our post-sexual revolution culture.


Educated
by Tara Westover

#1 NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW • ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR • BILL GATES’S HOLIDAY READING LIST • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S AWARD IN AUTOBIOGRAPHY • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK • FINALIST FOR THE PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD 

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post O: The Oprah MagazineTime • NPR • Good Morning America San Francisco ChronicleThe Guardian The Economist Financial TimesNewsdayNew York PosttheSkimmRefinery29BloombergSelfReal Simple Town & CountryBustlePastePublishers WeeklyLibrary JournalLibraryReadsBookRiot • Pamela Paul, KQED • New York Public Library

An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

“Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Tara Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”—Vogue

“Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others.”—The New York Times Book Review


Memoir of a Nobody
by Steve Bluestein

Steve Bluestein is articulate, and funny, and incredibly insightful. You will laugh as you completely identify reading this book.

– Henry Winkler, Actor best know as

Arthur Fonzarelli on Happy Days

 

 

Steve Bluestein has always been able to make me laugh out loud, and now his book… Memoir of a Nobody has that same magical power. It makes me laugh.

– Cindy Williams, Actress best known for her role in Laverne & Shirley and author of Shirley, I Jest!

 

 

Steve Bluestein’s Memoir of a Nobody is one of the most entertaining books you will ever read. While you are laughing non-stop you will marvel at how he is able to turn every bad day into one of the funniest stories you’ve ever heard. It’s a true gift that comes right out of his amazing humor and perfectly skewed view of the world. You will laugh and cry, and when you are done you will feel like you have a new best friend.

– Elayne Boosler, stand up comedian,

activist, TV personality

 

 


You Should Really Write a Book
by Regina Brooks, Brenda Lane Richardson

Even if you don’t happen to be a celebrity, this book will teach you methods for striking publishing gold—conceptualizing, selling, and marketing a memoir—while dealing with the complicated emotions that arise during the creation of your work.

If you’ve ever been told that “You should really write a book” and you’ve decided to give it a try, this book is for you. It hones in on the three key measures necessary for aspiring authors to conceptualize, sell, and market their memoirs. Written especially for those who don’t happen to be celebrities You Should Really Write a Book reveals why and how so many relatively unknown memoirists are making a name for themselves.

With references to more than four hundred books and six memoir categories, this is essential reading for anyone wanting to write a commercially viable memoir in today’s vastly changing publishing industry. The days are long gone when editors and agents were willing to take on a manuscript simply because it was based on a “good” idea or even because it was well written. With eyes focused on the bottom line, they now look for skilled and creative authors with an established audience, too.

Brooks and Richardson use the latest social networking, marketing, and promotional trends and explain how to conceptualize and strategize campaigns that cause buzz, dramatically fueling word-of-mouth and attracting attention in the publishing world and beyond. Full of current examples and in-depth analysis, this guide explains what sells and why, teaches writers to think like publishers, and offers guidance on dealing with complicated emotions—essential tools for maximizing memoir success.


By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There
by Tom Sizemore, Anna David

A harrowing, deeply personal memoir of the acclaimed actor’s wild ride through Hollywood, fueled by his crippling addiction to methamphetamines, exposing the darkest side of fame and how one man found a path to recovery.

Tom Sizemore has been called many things. Brilliant. Brutal. Fiercely talented. Angry. Drug-addicted. In reality, he’s all of them. He’s a survivor of the Detroit ghetto, the father of twin boys, and a veteran of dozens of movies. He’s also now sober, after his addiction took his life as far down, arguably, as any human being could go.

Through screen-stealing performances in the 1990s movies True Romance, Heat, and Natural Born Killers, Sizemore was so in demand that even when his drug problem was widely known, directors such as Steven Spielberg offered him roles and begged him to stay sober for them. Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Robert Downey, Jr., and Johnny Depp each went out of their way to befriend him. But the same man who once romanced Elizabeth Hurley and Juliette Lewis was accused of domestic violence by the world’s most famous madam and moved from Beverly Hills to solitary confinement in state prison.

For years, Sizemore’s days were filled with overdoses, suicide attempts, and homelessness. By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There is a harrowing journey into the heart of his addiction, told in riveting and often shocking detail. By turns gritty and heartbreaking, it is also one man’s look at a particular moment in entertainment history—a window into the drug-fueled spotlight that sent Robert Downey, Jr., to jail and killed River Phoenix, Heath Ledger, Chris Farley, and many others far before their time.


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