In early 2013, Taya Kyle and her husband Chris were the happiest they ever had been. Their decade-long marriage had survived years of war that took Chris, a U.S. Navy SEAL, away from Taya and their two children for agonizingly long stretches while he put his life on the line in many major battles of the Iraq War. After struggling to readjust to life out of the military, Chris had found new purpose in redirecting his lifelong dedication to service to supporting veterans and their families. Their love had deepened, and, most special of all, their family was whole, finally.
Then, the unthinkable. On February 2, 2013, Chris and his friend Chad Littlefield were killed while attempting to help a troubled vet. The life Chris and Taya fought so hard to build together was shattered. In an instant, Taya became a single parent of two. A widow. A young woman facing the rest of her life without the man she loved.
Chris and Taya’s remarkable story has captivated millions through Clint Eastwood’s blockbuster, Academy Award-winning film American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper as Chris and Sienna Miller as Taya, and because of Chris’s bestselling memoir, in which Taya contributed passages that formed the book’s emotional core. Now, with trusted collaborator Jim DeFelice, Taya writes in never-before-told detail about the hours, days, and months after his shocking death when grief threatened to overwhelm her. Then there were wearying battles to protect her husband’s legacy and reputation.
And yet throughout, friendship, family, and a deepening faith were lifelines that sustained her and the kids when the sorrow became too much. Two years after her husband’s tragic death, Taya has found renewed meaning and connection to Chris by advancing their shared mission of “serving those who serve others,” particularly military and first-responder families. She and the children now are embracing a new future, one that honors the past but also looks forward with hope, gratitude, and joy.
American Wife is one of the most remarkable memoirs of the year -- a universal chronicle of love and heartbreak, service and sacrifice, faith and purpose that will inspire every reader.
Biank tells the story of four typical Army wives who, in a flash, find themselves in extraordinary circumstances that ultimately force them to redefine who they are as women and wives. This is a true story about what happened when real life collided with army convention.
Army Wives is a groundbreaking narrative that takes the reader beyond the Army's gates, taking a close look at the other woman—the Army itself—and how its traditions, rules and war-time realities deeply impact marriage and home life.
“As soon as I arrived in Afghanistan, I began reading The 5 Love Languages®. I had never read anything so simple yet so profound.” — Anonymous soldier
If you are in a military relationship, you know the strain of long deployments, lonely nights, and difficult transitions. For extraordinary challenges like these, couples need specific advice.
In this updated edition of The 5 Love Languages®:Military Edition, relationship expert Dr. Gary Chapman teams up with Jocelyn Green, a former military wife, to speak directly to military couples. They share the simple secret to loving each other best, including advice for how to:Build intimacy over long distancesReintegrate after deploymentUnlearn harsh military-style communication Rebuild and maintain emotional love Help your spouse heal from trauma
With more than 10 million copies sold, The 5 Love Languages® has been strengthening millions of relationships for over 25 years. This military edition will inspire and equip you to build lasting love in your relationship, starting today.
Includes stories from every branch of service, tips for expressing love when apart, and an updated FAQs section.
Without a father figure in his own life since the age of fifteen, Eric was desperate to maintain the bonds he’d fought so hard to forge when his children were young—particularly with his son, Jason, because he knew how difficult it was to face the challenge of becoming a man on one’s own. Unfortunately, Eric learned the hard way that Quality Time doesn’t always show up in Quantity Time.
Facebook, television, phones, video games, school, jobs, friends—they all got in the way of a real, meaningful father-son relationship. It was time to take action.
As a SEAL, Eric learned to innovate and push boundaries, allowing him to function at levels beyond what was expected, comfortable, ordinary, and even imaginable, and he knew that as a father he needed to do the same with his son. Meeting extreme with extreme was the only answer.
Using a unique blend of discipline, leadership, adventure, and grace, Eric and his SEAL brothers will teach you how to connect, and reconnect, with your sons and learn how to raise real men—the Navy SEAL way.
Mental health professionals, see also the related treatment manual, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for PTSD.
Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Self-Help Book of Merit
No one knows this better than Elaine Brye, an “Army brat” turned military wife and the mother of four officers—one each in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. For more than a decade she's endured countless teary goodbyes, empty chairs at Thanksgiving dinners, and sleepless hours waiting for phone calls in the night. She's navigated the complicated tangle of emotions—pride, worry, fear, hope, and deep, enduring love—that are part and parcel of life as a military mother.
In Be Safe, Love Mom Elaine braids together her own personal experiences with those of fellow parents she's met along the way. She offers gentle guidance and hard-earned wisdom on topics ranging from that first anxious goodbye to surrendering all control of your child, from finding comfort in the support of the military community and the healing power of faith to coping with the enormous sacrifices life as a military mother requires. Readers looking for encouragement and hard-to-come-by information as they travel the challenging road of having a child in uniform will find Elaine a wise and trusted friend, and Be Safe, Love Mom an essential handbook to membership in a strong and special sisterhood.
An American clothing designer and widowed mother of two teenagers, Miranda Graham arrives in China and is immediately overwhelmed by the way of life in this faraway place. Then she meets Yuan Li, son of an American soldier and Chinese mother—and suddenly, two worlds, two cultures, and two hearts collide. As Miranda bravely explores vistas beyond the safe, ordered limits of her own life, she is inexorably drawn to Yuan, a man who embodies all the hardship, dignity, and mystery of China. Their love is an unexpected awakening of body, mind, and spirit—even as the intrusive government and Yuan’s ambitious son threaten their newfound joy, propelling them toward the most shattering choice two lovers can make.
In the summer of 2002, Army wives were in the headlines after Biank, a military reporter for the Fayetteville Observer, made international news when she broke the story about four Army wives who were brutally murdered by their husbands in the span of six weeks at Fort Bragg, an Army post that is home to the Green Berets, Airborne paratroopers, and Delta Force commandos. By that autumn, Biank, an Army brat herself, realized the still untold story of Army wives lay in the ashes of that tragic and sensationalized summer. She knew the truth—wives were the backbone of the Army. They were strong—not helpless—and deserved more than the sugarcoating that often accompanied their stories in the media.
Under the Sabers tells the story of four typical Army wives, who, in a flash, find themselves neck-deep in extraordinary circumstances that ultimately force them to redefine who they are as women and Army wives. In this fascinating and meticulously researched account, Biank takes the reader past the Army's gates, where everyone has a role to play, rules are followed, discipline is expected, perfection praised, and perception often overrides reality. Biank explores what happens when real life collides with Army convention.
Biank describes what it means to be a wife and mother in a subculture that is in a constant state of readiness for war. In this hard-hitting and powerful book, Biank takes a close look at the other woman—the Army itself—and its impact on wives, marriages, and home life. This story of strength and perseverance is an eye-opener for those who have never experienced military life and an anthem to those women who each day live the "unwritten code."
Award-winning Chef Ayinde has crafted 80 delicious recipes that both vegans and omnivores can enjoy together, including: Classic Cloud-Nine PancakesTuscan 12-Vegetable Soup with Savory BiscuitsHabanero Portobelo FajitasCrispy Spring RollsCherry Cobbler and Cacao NibsMany more Ayinde and Zoe are longtime vegans, but they have something else in common; neither has ever dated another vegan. After comparing notes, they realized the need for a manifesto to help vegans and omnivores navigate their cross-cuisine love life. The book shares tips for vegans who want to satisfy the appetites of their omnivorous counterpart, and for non-vegans who want to impress their plant-based partners.
The authors' personal experiences and advice can be irreverent, but always on the mark for people needing relationship solutions, both romantic and culinary. Loaded with humorous anecdotes and seductive full-color food photographs. The Lusty Vegan provides delicious recipes and lots of fun along the way.
When she fell in love with her brother’s best friend, Rachel Starnes had no idea she was about to repeat a painful family pattern—marrying a man who leaves regularly and for long stretches to work a dangerous job far from home. Through constant relocations, separations, and the crippling doubts of early parenthood, Starnes effortlessly weaves together strands from her past with the relentless pace of Navy life in a time of war. Searingly honest and emotionally unflinching—and at times laugh out loud funny—Starnes eloquently evokes the challenges she faces in trying to find and claim a sense of home while struggling to chart a new path and avoid passing on the same legacy to her two young sons.
At once a portrait of the devastating strains that military life puts on families and a meditation on what it means to be left behind, The War at Home is a brave portrait of a modern military family and the realities of separation, endurance, and love that overcomes.
“Rachel Starnes’s The War at Home navigates the joys, fears, compromises, and casualties that create the terrain of marriage. And if you are a military spouse, her memoir will reveal thoughts you never even knew you had. This is a wise and fearless book.”
—Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone
“One of the most honest and genuine memoirs I’ve ever read, as well as one of the most finely written. There’s not a false note in these pages. Rachel Starnes’s story is at once both singular and emblematic. . . . The War at Home is that rare thing: a book about the here and now that promises to last well beyond next month or next year.”
—Steve Yarbrough, award-winning author of The Realm of Last Chances and Safe from the Neighbors
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Single mother Kelly Kennedy can't afford lavish gifts for her four-year-old daughter, Bree. Homeless veteran Tyler Manning doesn't believe he deserves a Merry Christmas.
When Bree asks Santa for a father and picks Tyler, both Tyler and Kelly vow to keep Bree from being hurt while fighting their feelings for each other.
Tyler struggles with frightening flashbacks that scare Kelly. Meanwhile, Kelly's criminal past threatens her chance for happiness. Tyler and Kelly must believe in the power of love to give Bree her best Christmas ever.
A Veteran's Christmas Series:
Book #1, A Father for Christmas
Book #2, A Pet for Christmas
Book #3, A Wedding for Christmas
Collect all three for a heartwarming holiday experience.
Kelly Kennedy thought her life was finally on track. Engaged to the man of her dreams and with a baby on the way, she reassures her five-year-old daughter, Bree, that the father she picked for Christmas still loves her.
Unfortunately, war veteran Tyler Manning has been away most of the year. Recovering from PTSD isn’t easy. Rather than worry Kelly, Tyler spends his time traveling to Afghanistan to work at a children's charity he founded.
Kelly decides to distract Bree with promises of a pet for Christmas. When Tyler is taken hostage by terrorists in Afghanistan, she finds it hard to convince Bree that they will truly be a family in time for Christmas.
A Veteran's Christmas Series:
Book #1: A Father for Christmas
Book #2: A Pet for Christmas
Book #3: A Wedding for Christmas
Collect all three for a heartwarming holiday read.
Standing By is Buckholtz’s candid and moving account of her family’s experiences during her husband’s seven-month deployment on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. With insight and humor she describes living near a military base in Washington State, far from home and in the midst of great upheaval, while trying to keep life as normal as possible for the couple’s two young children. But she is not alone in her struggle. In Standing By, Buckholtz portrays her friendships with other military wives and the ways in which this supportive community of women helps one another to endure—to even thrive—during difficult times.
Throughout Standing By, Buckholtz speaks honestly about the culture shock she experienced transitioning into the role of a military wife. Because she had been raised to conquer the world on her own terms rather than be a more traditional wife and mother supporting her husband’s career, the world of the Armed Forces was at first as unfamiliar as a foreign land. But a remarkable and surprising series of events has challenged her long-held assumptions about the military, motherhood, and even the nature of American citizenship.
A rare and intimate portrait of one of the tens of thousands of families who now wait patiently for their service member to return home safely, Standing By is a window into what matters most for families everywhere.
Alison Buckholtz’s articles and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post and Washington Post Magazine, Real Simple, Forbes Global, Salon.com and many other publications. She was a resident of Washington, D.C. before she married into the military and now lives in Washington State with her husband and two children. This is her first book.
Skyhorse Publishing, along with our Arcade, Good Books, Sports Publishing, and Yucca imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. Our list includes biographies on well-known historical figures like Benjamin Franklin, Nelson Mandela, and Alexander Graham Bell, as well as villains from history, such as Heinrich Himmler, John Wayne Gacy, and O. J. Simpson. We have also published survivor stories of World War II, memoirs about overcoming adversity, first-hand tales of adventure, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
Author June Cotner has long been fascinated by the course of the lifetime relationship between husbands and wives: from the electric sizzle and wild imaginings of love's beginning through the early years of marriage, filled with discovery and grand dreams of the future, and ultimately till the day we part, still in love and grateful for the lifetime companionship.
In Forever in Love, Cotner has collected her favorite love poems and arranged them in chapters set as mileposts in love's long journey. Beginning entries include "The Search," "Attraction," "Longing," and "Courtship." The middle chapters include "Commitment," "Early Years," and "Daily Life," and the book closes with poems gathered under the headings of "Partings" and "Reflections."
Cotner's selections for this compendium are as inspired as the words themselves. Classic writers such as Dickinson, Shakespeare, and Browning lend well-loved words, but this broad-ranging collection draws most of its content from poets writing today, assuring that every reader will discover many new gems to share with one's partner.
Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world.
Barely out of her own tumultuous childhood, Michelle was estranged from her family and fighting for custody of her young son when she disappeared. Local police believed she had run away, so they removed her from the missing persons lists fifteen months after she vanished. Castro tormented her with these facts, reminding her that no one was looking for her, that the outside world had forgotten her. But Michelle would not be broken.
In Finding Me, Michelle will reveal the heartbreaking details of her story, including the thoughts and prayers that helped her find courage to endure her unimaginable circumstances and now build a life worth living. By sharing both her past and her efforts to create a future, Michelle becomes a voice for the voiceless and a powerful symbol of hope for the thousands of children and young adults who go missing every year.
One of the most compelling and adored superstars in Latin music history, Selena was nothing short of a phenomenon who shared all of herself with her millions of devoted fans. Her tragic murder, at the young age of twenty-three, stripped the world of her talent and boundless potential, her tightly knit family of their beloved angel, and her husband, Chris Perez, of the greatest love he had ever known.
For over a decade, Chris held on to the only personal thing he had left from his late wife: the touching and sometimes painful memories of their very private bond. Now, for the first time, Chris opens up about their unbreakable friendship, forbidden relationship, and blossoming marriage, which were cut short by Selena’s unforgivable death.
Chris’s powerful story gives a rare glimpse into Selena’s sincerity and vulnerability when falling in love, strength and conviction when fighting for that love, and absolute resilience when finding peace and normalcy with her family’s acceptance of the only man she called her husband. While showcasing a side of Selena that has never been disclosed before and clarifying certain misconceptions about her life and death, To Selena, with Love is an everlasting love story that immortalizes the heart and soul of an extraordinary, unforgettable, and irreplaceable icon.
Includes exclusive photos!
A bestselling book that is inspiring the nation: “We have written here about terrible things that we never wanted to think about again . . . Now we want the world to know: we survived, we are free, we love life.”
Two women kidnapped by infamous Cleveland school-bus driver Ariel Castro share the stories of their abductions, captivity, and dramatic escape
On May 6, 2013, Amanda Berry made headlines around the world when she fled a Cleveland home and called 911, saying: “Help me, I’m Amanda Berry. . . . I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for ten years.”
A horrifying story rapidly unfolded. Ariel Castro, a local school bus driver, had separately lured Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight to his home, where he kept them chained. In the decade that followed, the three were raped, psychologically abused, and threatened with death. Berry had a daughter—Jocelyn—by their captor.
Drawing upon their recollections and the diary kept by Amanda Berry, Berry and Gina DeJesus describe a tale of unimaginable torment, and Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan interweave the events within Castro’s house with original reporting on efforts to find the missing girls. The full story behind the headlines—including details never previously released on Castro’s life and motivations—Hope is a harrowing yet inspiring chronicle of two women whose courage, ingenuity, and resourcefulness ultimately delivered them back to their lives and families.
From the Hardcover edition.
Night is Elie Wiesel's masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie's wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author's original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man's capacity for inhumanity to man.
Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.
The only autobiography authorized by Jenni Rivera
"I can’t get caught up in the negative because that destroys you. Perhaps trying to move away from my problems and focus on the positive is the best I can do. I am a woman like any other, and ugly things happen to me like any other woman. The number of times I have fallen down is the number of times I have gotten up."
These are the last words that beloved Mexican American singer Jenni Rivera spoke publicly before boarding the plane that would crash and cut her life short on December 9, 2012. However, they are not the final words that La Diva de la Banda had for the world. Those are found in the pages you hold in your hands, Jenni’s own account of the highs and lows of her extraordinary journey.
She became the most acclaimed Spanish-language singer in the United States and sold more than 15 million records worldwide. A single mother of five and grandmother of two, she was also an actress, a television producer, the star of her own reality show, and an entrepreneur. But for all its immense success, Jenni’s life often seemed to be a series of personal battles in which perseverance was her only weapon. As her fame grew, she made it her mission to speak about her struggles, forging an intimate connection with her fans. She became a figure of strength and a source of encouragement to women of all ages.
In Unbreakable, Jenni recounts the crucial moments in her past, revealing her experiences with domestic and sexual abuse, divorce, body image issues, making her way in a male-dominated industry, raising her children as a single mother, and learning that she could depend only on herself.
Though she is no longer with us, Jenni will always be the "Rivera rebel from Long Beach," the girl who maintained her sense of humor and fighting spirit in every circumstance. In this remarkable memoir, Jenni leaves behind a legacy of inspiration and determination that will forever live on through her precious family, friends, and fans.
For eighteen years I was a prisoner. I was an object for someone to use and abuse.
For eighteen years I was not allowed to speak my own name. I became a mother and was forced to be a sister. For eighteen years I survived an impossible situation.
On August 26, 2009, I took my name back. My name is Jaycee Lee Dugard. I don’t think of myself as a victim. I survived.
A Stolen Life is my story—in my own words, in my own way, exactly as I remember it.
The pine cone is a symbol that represents the seed of a new beginning for me. To help facilitate new beginnings, with the support of animal-assisted therapy, the J A Y C Foundation provides support and services for the timely treatment of families recovering from abduction and the aftermath of traumatic experiences—families like my own who need to learn how to heal. In addition, the J A Y C Foundation hopes to facilitate awareness in schools about the important need to care for one another.
Our motto is “Just Ask Yourself to . . . Care!”
A portion of my proceeds from this memoir will be donated to The J A Y C Foundation Inc.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
THE WASHINGTON POST • THE NEW YORK TIMES • NPR
BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE AWARD FINALIST
At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.
What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.
Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.
Praise for When Breath Becomes Air
“I guarantee that finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option. . . . Part of this book’s tremendous impact comes from the obvious fact that its author was such a brilliant polymath. And part comes from the way he conveys what happened to him—passionately working and striving, deferring gratification, waiting to live, learning to die—so well.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“An emotional investment well worth making: a moving and thoughtful memoir of family, medicine and literature. It is, despite its grim undertone, accidentally inspiring.”—The Washington Post
“Possesses the gravity and wisdom of an ancient Greek tragedy . . . [Kalanithi] delivers his chronicle in austere, beautiful prose. The book brims with insightful reflections on mortality that are especially poignant coming from a trained physician familiar with what lies ahead.”—The Boston Globe
“Devastating and spectacular . . . [Kalanithi] is so likeable, so relatable, and so humble, that you become immersed in his world and forget where it’s all heading.”—USA Today
“It’s [Kalanithi’s] unsentimental approach that makes When Breath Becomes Air so original—and so devastating. . . . Its only fault is that the book, like his life, ends much too early.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Split my head open with its beauty.”—Cheryl Strayed
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
One of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, The Boston Globe, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, St. Louis Dispatch
Leah Remini has never been the type to hold her tongue. That willingness to speak her mind, stand her ground, and rattle the occasional cage has enabled this tough-talking girl from Brooklyn to forge an enduring and successful career in Hollywood. But being a troublemaker has come at a cost.
That was never more evident than in 2013, when Remini loudly and publicly broke with the Church of Scientology. Now, in this frank, funny, poignant memoir, the former King of Queens star opens up about that experience for the first time, revealing the in-depth details of her painful split with the church and its controversial practices.
Indoctrinated into the church as a child while living with her mother and sister in New York, Remini eventually moved to Los Angeles, where her dreams of becoming an actress and advancing Scientology’s causes grew increasingly intertwined. As an adult, she found the success she’d worked so hard for, and with it a prominent place in the hierarchy of celebrity Scientologists alongside people such as Tom Cruise, Scientology’s most high-profile adherent. Remini spent time directly with Cruise and was included among the guests at his 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes.
But when she began to raise questions about some of the church’s actions, she found herself a target. In the end, she was declared by the church to be a threat to their organization and therefore a “Suppressive Person,” and as a result, all of her fellow parishioners—including members of her own family—were told to disconnect from her. Forever.
Bold, brash, and bravely confessional, Troublemaker chronicles Leah Remini’s remarkable journey toward emotional and spiritual freedom, both for herself and for her family. This is a memoir designed to reveal the hard-won truths of a life lived honestly—from an author unafraid of the consequences.
Praise for Troublemaker
“An aggressively honest memoir . . . Troublemaker is the most raw and revealing Scientology memoir to date.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Leah’s story is a juicy, inside-Hollywood read, but it’s more than that. It’s a moving story about the value of questioning authority and how one woman survived a profound crisis of faith.”—People
“Remini [offers] up some juicy tidbits from her decades in the church.”—Newsweek
America’s World War II is most often told through the stories of its great battles, when an entire generation of our young men was suddenly thrust across the oceans to represent the New World in deadly combat against the great powers of the Old. On sea, in the air, and on land our boys fought against totalitarian powers that threatened to overturn the American ideal of liberty for every individual, even civilization itself.
But while often forgotten, America’s women participated too. On the home front they were more than willing to share in the hardships of wartime, and in countless cases they fairly lived and breathed with support for our troops overseas. Whether working in factories or taking care of families, rationing or volunteering, their unflagging support contributed more to our victories than has ever been told.
Young people have been falling in love since time began, but romance during a global conflagration brought a unique set of challenges. The uncertainty of the time led to an abundance of couples marrying quickly, after brief courtships. Others grew closer through intermittent correspondence, in which the soldier was often censored by officers, yet true longing from both sides invariably came through. It was the worst time of all to try to have a relationship, yet amazingly, thousands of couples created lifelong bonds.
From blind dates to whirlwind romances to long separations, War Bonds highlights stories of couples who met or married during WWII. Each of the thirty stories begins with a World War II-era song title and concludes with a look at wartime couples in their twilight, as well as when they were so hopeful and young and determined to save the world. Illustrated with photographs from the 1940s as well as current ones of each couple, War Bonds offers readers a glimpse of bygone days, as well as a poignant glimpse of our own.
During history’s greatest war it was no time to start a relationship. But many among our young men and women did so regardless, and in this book we see how amazingly the “war bonds” of that World War II generation so frequently endured.
What are the ingredients of a successful and enduring relationship? Love, passion, and commitment are all vital—yet without certain basic skills, even the most devoted partners can find themselves descending into arguments, power struggles, and disillusionment. With The Relationship Skills Workbook, Dr. Julia Colwell presents a practical guide for building a conscious partnership based on cooperation and trust—offering relationship-saving techniques and on-the-spot conflict resolution tools for disarming the explosive clashes that most commonly break couples apart.
In this friendly and easy-to-use resource, Dr. Colwell teaches you essential tools for:
Crisis and conflict first aid—communication strategies and emotional mastery techniques to stop arguing and start connectingGetting unstuck from power struggles—how to shift from deadlock to mutual responsibility and supportEnding the blame game—letting go of accusation and resentment to create win-win agreementsSupporting each other's growth and success—how to retain your personal autonomy while fully committing to your partner's happinessMoving from reactivity to creative solutions—techniques to keep your brain's flight-or-fight instinct from undermining your heart's desiresSustaining love, passion, and romance—how you can choose to create a magnificent relationship together
"Relationships, while seemingly complicated, don't have to be so mysterious," Dr. Colwell says. "What I've learned from my decades of personal and professional experiences is that a few elegantly simple concepts and skills can help any couple through the most difficult spots—and help us transform conflict into intimacy, passion, and ever-deepening love."
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER | NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER | PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST | NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST | NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • People • Entertainment Weekly • Vogue • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • New York • Newsday • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?
Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
Praise for Between the World and Me
“Powerful . . . a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“Eloquent . . . in the tradition of James Baldwin with echoes of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man . . . an autobiography of the black body in America.”—The Boston Globe
“Brilliant . . . [Coates] is firing on all cylinders.”—The Washington Post
“Urgent, lyrical, and devastating . . . a new classic of our time.”—Vogue
“A crucial book during this moment of generational awakening.”—The New Yorker
“Titanic and timely . . . essential reading.”—Entertainment Weekly
Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.
For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.
Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger?
Mitch Albom had that second chance. He reconnected with Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final "class:" lessons in how to live.
Tuesdays with Morrie is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie's lasting gift with the world.
A spontaneous decision at age twenty-one transformed small-town Oregon girl Holly Sue Cullen into Holly Madison, Hugh Hefner’s #1 girlfriend. But like Alice’s journey into Wonderland, after Holly plunged down the rabbit hole, what seemed like a fairytale life inside the Playboy Mansion—including A-list celebrity parties and her own #1-rated television show for four years—quickly devolved into an oppressive routine of strict rules, manipulation, and battles with ambitious, backstabbing bunnies. Life inside the notorious Mansion wasn’t a dream at all—and quickly became her nightmare. After losing her identity, her sense of self-worth, and her hope for the future, Holly found herself sitting alone in a bathtub contemplating suicide.
But instead of ending her life, Holly chose to take charge of it.
In this shockingly candid and surprisingly moving memoir, this thoughtful and introspective woman opens up about life inside the Mansion, the drugs, the sex, the abuse, the infamous parties, and her real behind-the-scenes life with Bridget, Kendra, and, of course, Mr. Playboy himself.
With great courage, Holly shares the details of her subsequent troubled relationship, landing her own successful television series, and the hard work of healing, including her turn on Dancing with the Stars. A cautionary tale and a celebration of personal empowerment, Down the Rabbit Hole reminds us of the importance of fighting for our dreams—and finding the life we deserve.
From his first vlog back in 2008 to his full-length film directorial debut Not Cool, Shane Dawson has been an open book when it comes to documenting his life. But behind the music video spoofs, TMI love life details, and outrageous commentary on everything the celebrity and Internet world has the nerve to dish out is a guy who grew up in a financially challenged but loving home in Long Beach, California, and who suffered all the teasing and social limitations that arise when you’re a morbidly obese kid with a pretty face, your mom is your best friend, and you can't get a date to save your life.
In I Hate Myselfie, Shane steps away from his larger-than-life Internet persona and takes us deep into the experiences of an eccentric and introverted kid, who by observing the strange world around him developed a talent that would inspire millions of fans. Intelligent, hilarious, heartbreaking, and raw, I Hate Myselfie is a collection of eighteen personal essays about how messy life can get when you’re growing up and how rewarding it can feel when the clean-up is (pretty much) done.
A Family's Guide to the Military For Dummies is for the millions of military dependents, family members, and friends who are looking for straightforward guidance to take advantage of the benefits and overcome the challenges unique to life in the military. This comprehensive guide covers such key topics as introducing military life to readers new to the armed forces, financial planning, relocation, deployment, raising kids alone while a partner is away, and taking advantage of the available benefits. It offers tips and advice for dealing with emotions that surround events like deployments, deciphering the acronyms used in daily military life, forming support groups, keeping track of a loved one's whereabouts, and surviving on a military base in a foreign country.
When Jenny Lawson was little, all she ever wanted was to fit in. That dream was cut short by her fantastically unbalanced father and a morbidly eccentric childhood. It did, however, open up an opportunity for Lawson to find the humor in the strange shame-spiral that is her life, and we are all the better for it.
In the irreverent Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson’s long-suffering husband and sweet daughter help her uncover the surprising discovery that the most terribly human moments—the ones we want to pretend never happened—are the very same moments that make us the people we are today. For every intellectual misfit who thought they were the only ones to think the things that Lawson dares to say out loud, this is a poignant and hysterical look at the dark, disturbing, yet wonderful moments of our lives.
Includes a new chapter!
Readers Guide Inside
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Cathy, an experienced foster carer, is pressured into taking Jodie as a new placement. Jodie's challenging behaviour has seen off five carers in four months but Cathy decides to take her on to protect her from being placed in an institution.
Jodie arrives, and her first act is to soil herself, and then wipe it on her face, grinning wickedly. Jodie meets Cathy's teenage children, and greets them with a sharp kick to the shins. That night, Cathy finds Jodie covered in blood, having cut her own wrist, and smeared the blood over her face.
As Jodie begins to trust Cathy her behaviour improves. Over time, with childish honesty, she reveals details of her abuse at the hands of her parents and others. It becomes clear that Jodie's parents were involved in a sickening paedophile ring, with neighbours and Social Services not seeing what should have been obvious signs.
It’s clear that Josie needs psychiatric therapy, but instead Social Services take Jodie away from her, and place her in a residential unit. Although the paedophile ring is investigated and brought to justice, Jodie’s future is still up in the air. Cathy promises that she will stand by her no matter what – her love for the abandoned Jodie is unbreakable.
Chiquis Rivera is a singer and the daughter of the late music superstar Jenni Rivera. In Forgiveness, her memoir, Chiquis bravely reveals the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father during her childhood and the difficulties she’s faced in her personal life as a result. Despite growing up marked by the wounds of abuse, she eventually conquered her fear of love andintimacy.
The story within these pages also recounts what caused the distance between her and her mother toward the end of Jenni’s life. In Forgiveness, Chiquis brings to light truths that she wishes she had been able to reveal to Jenni.
Two years after her mother’s death, Chiquis answers the most difficult questions: Was she able to make peace with Jenni? And in this story of triumph and tragedy, who is most in need of forgiveness?
It’s not where you begin that matters.
It's where you end up.
Twenty-three year old Joey Graceffa has captured the hearts of millions of teens and young adults through his playful, sweet, and inspirational YouTube presence (not to mention his sparkling eyes and perfect hair). Yet, Joey wasn’t always comfortable in his skin, and in this candid memoir, he thoughtfully looks back on his journey from pain to pride, self-doubt to self-acceptance.
To his fans, Joey is that best friend who always captures the brighter side of life but also isn’t afraid to get real. In the pages of his first book, he opens up about his years of struggling with family hardships and troubles at school, with cruel bullying and the sting of rejection. He tells of first loves and losses, embarrassing moments and surprising discoveries, loneliness, laughter, and life-changing forks in the road, showing us the incalculable value of finally finding and following your true passion in this world. Funny, warm-hearted, and inspiring, Joey Graceffa’s story is a welcome reminder that it’s not where you begin that matters, but where you end up.
Here is the threshold of a hell for young Cupcake. Rather than being allowed to live with the man she believed to be her father--who turns out to have been her stepfather--she is forced into a foster home where the kids were terrorized, the refrigerator padlocked, and Cupcake sexually abused. She eventually fled the house, only to find herself wandering from misadventure to misadventure in the "system," while also developing a massive appetite for drugs and alcohol, an appetite she paid for by turning tricks. She settled down in Los Angeles and found a home in the Crips, where she was taken in and befriended by gangsters like the legendary "Monster" Kody Scott. For the first time she found a family, but when Cupcake was blasted in the back with a 12-gauge shotgun, she was once more taken in by the system.
At 16, her stepfather reeneters her life and engineers an "emancipation," in which the courts declare her an adult and free her, finally, from the child welfare system. Cup takes advantage of her new freedom to start a drug-dealing operation with her stepfather, who also manages a stable of colorful prostitutes. Soon she meets a man, falls in love, and gets married. He convinces her to get a real job and learn to speak proper English--but he also abuses her and introduces her to crack cocaine. Cupcake flits from job to job, miraculously, given that she never fails to show up without some cocktail of narcotics floating in her system.
She hits rock bottom when, in desperation, she steals crack from her drug dealer. He beats her nearly to death, rapes her, and then leaves her body behind a dumpster. Cupcake wakes up days later, not sure of how she ended up in this state and from that moment begins to turn her life around. She was adopted by a lawyer who ran the law firm where she "worked," and slowly he assisted her in kicking the habit--with the help of an eccentric group of fellow addicts who became, at last, a family to her--and catching up on her education. With the support of her new family, she eventurally goes all the way to law school (although not without a few additional misadventures along the way) and joins one of the top law firms in the country.
Cupcake's story is an inspiring, at times hilarious, often distrubing, and deeply moving account of a singular woman who took on the worst of contemporary urban life and survived it with wit and a ferocious will. It updates classic memoirs like I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Makes Me Wanna Holler, and gives a bold and gritty spin to contemporary memoirs like Finding Fish. At the center of it, Cupcake is a charming and inspiring narrator through the inferno of her life.
From the Compact Disc edition.
At first Lisa's step-father would just make her stroke and massage his feet, hitting her if she stopped, but he soon wanted more. Much more. By the time she was 12 he was regularly abusing her. One day, when Lisa turned 16, she came home to discover that her mother had swapped bedrooms with her. 'You're my girlfriend now', her step-father told her. Lisa turned to her mother for help, but was met with a shrug. She wouldn't hear a word against her husband. 'Don't blame me,' she said. Her step-father's abuse was horrific but what completely tore her apart was knowing her mother knew and encouraged it.
Trapped and increasingly desperate, Lisa tried to find a way out. But her isolation was complete. A few months later her mother told her she'd arranged for Lisa and her step-father to move into a flat together down the road. It was too much for Lisa to bear. 'Please don't make me, please,' she sobbed. But her mother just ignored her. Lisa was marched around to the flat with her possessions and her nightmare was complete.
Alone with her step-father, Lisa's life became even more unbearable. Then one day, finally, she got the chance she'd been looking for to escape. Lisa bravely struck out on her own, petrified her mother would find her and hand her back into the waiting arms of her step-father. But Lisa's mother had no idea how determined she was to break away...
"Why did you leave Sierra Leone?"
"Because there is a war."
"You mean, you saw people running around with guns and shooting each other?"
"Yes, all the time."
I smile a little.
"You should tell us about it sometime."
This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them.
What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived.
In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now twenty-five years old, tells a riveting story: how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts.
This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.
Scar Tissue is Anthony Kiedis's searingly honest memoir of a life spent in the fast lane. In 1983, four self-described "knuckleheads" burst out of the mosh-pitted mosaic of the neo-punk rock scene in L.A. with their own unique brand of cosmic hardcore mayhem funk. Over twenty years later, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, against all odds, have become one of the most successful bands in the world. Though the band has gone through many incarnations, Anthony Kiedis, the group's lyricist and dynamic lead singer, has been there for the whole roller-coaster ride.
Whether he's recollecting the influence of the beautiful, strong women who have been his muses, or retracing a journey that has included appearances as diverse as a performance before half a million people at Woodstock or an audience of one at the humble compound of the exiled Dalai Lama, Kiedis shares a compelling story about the price of success and excess. Scar Tissue is a story of dedication and debauchery, of intrigue and integrity, of recklessness and redemption--a story that could only have come out of the world of rock.
*** NOW A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ***
Maci Bookout was just a normal, slightly overachieving high school girl in Chattanooga, Tennessee. But then she got pregnant, and everything turned upside down. Even as she rose to fame on MTV's hit series Teen Mom, Maci was struggling to balance life as a single teen mom with her own hopes and dreams...all while honoring her own sense of independence.
This is the true story of how she took charge of the unexpected to build a life for herself and her son Bentley, and managed not to go crazy in the process. Because sometimes growing up is an act of will...and Maci's will is bulletproof.
On June 5, 2002, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night by religious fanatic, Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. She was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped, and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. After her rescue on March 12, 2003, she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life.
Now for the first time, in her memoir, MY STORY, she tells of the constant fear she endured every hour, her courageous determination to maintain hope, and how she devised a plan to manipulate her captors and convinced them to return to Utah, where she was rescued minutes after arriving. Smart explains how her faith helped her stay sane in the midst of a nightmare and how she found the strength to confront her captors at their trial and see that justice was served.
In the nine years after her rescue, Smart transformed from victim to advocate, traveling the country and working to educate, inspire and foster change. She has created a foundation to help prevent crimes against children and is a frequent public speaker. In 2012, she married Matthew Gilmour, whom she met doing mission work in Paris for her church, in a fairy tale wedding that made the cover of People magazine.
Angie Martinez is the “Voice of New York.” Now, for the first time, she candidly recounts the story of her rise to become an internationally celebrated hip hop radio icon.
In her current reign at Power 105.1 and for nearly two decades at New York’s Hot 97, Angie Martinez has had one of the highest rated radio shows in the country. After working her way up as an intern, she burst on the scene as a young female jock whose on-air “Battle of the Beats” segment broke records and became a platform for emerging artists like a young Jay Z. Angie quickly became known for intimate, high-profile interviews, mediating feuds between artists, and taking on the most controversial issues in hip hop. At age twenty-five, at the height of the East Coast/West Coast rap war, Angie was summoned by Tupac Shakur for what would be his last no-holds-barred interview—which has never aired in its entirety and which she’s never discussed in detail—until now.
Angie shares stories from behind-the-scenes of her most controversial conversations, from onetime presidential hopeful Barack Obama to superstars like Mary J. Blige and Chris Brown, and describes her emotional, bittersweet final days at Hot 97 and the highly publicized move to Power 105.1. She also opens up about her personal life—from her roots in Washington Heights and her formative years being raised by a single mom in Brooklyn to exploring the lessons that shaped her into the woman she is today.
From the Puerto Rican Day Parade to the White House—Angie is universally recognized as a powerful voice in the Latino and hip hop communities. My Voice gives an inside look at New York City’s one-of-a-kind urban radio culture, the changing faces of hip hop music, and Angie’s rise to become the Voice of New York.
From the Hardcover edition.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
Michiko Kakutani, New York Times • Newsday • Esquire • NPR • Booklist
Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.
Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.
The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.
Praise for Born a Crime
“[A] compelling new memoir . . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, [Trevor Noah’s] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah’s family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. . . . Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author’s remarkable mother.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“[An] unforgettable memoir.”—Parade
“What makes Born a Crime such a soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, is reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism. . . . What also helped was having a mother like Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah. . . . Consider Born a Crime another such gift to her—and an enormous gift to the rest of us.”—USA Today
“[Noah] thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. . . . Their fierce bond makes this story soar.”—People
“[Noah’s] electrifying memoir sparkles with funny stories . . . and his candid and compassionate essays deepen our perception of the complexities of race, gender, and class.”—Booklist (starred review)
“A gritty memoir . . . studded with insight and provocative social criticism . . . with flashes of brilliant storytelling and acute observations.”—Kirkus Reviews
Jude is one of the top hip-hop radio hosts on Sirius Satellite radio. His self-published, print-on-demand edition of Hyena has been an indie bestseller, despite having no ebook or physical distribution. Its exploration of drugs, sex, and the human condition compares to Charles Bukowski, Hunter S. Thompson, Artie Lange, and Jim Norton. It also captures the hardscrabble culture, language, and landscape of post-industrial Detroit, from which came some of pop culture’s most compelling artists.
--from the Introduction
Actual reader feedback:
"I am completely baffled as to how you can congratulate yourself for being a womanizer and a raging drunk, or think anyone cares about an idiot like you. Do you really think that exploiting the insecurities of others while getting wasted is a legitimate thing to offer?"
"Thank you, thank you, thank you--for sharing with us your wonderful tales of drunken revelry, for teaching me what it means to be a man, for just existing so I know that there is another option; I too can say 'screw the system' and be myself and have fun. My life truly began when I finished reading your stories. Now, when faced with a quandary about what course of action I should take, I just ask myself, 'What Would Tucker Do?'--and I do it, and I am a better man for it."
"I find it truly appalling that there are people in the world like you. You are a disgusting, vile, repulsive, repugnant, foul creature. Because of you, I don't believe in God anymore. No just God would allow someone like you to exist."
"I'll stay with God as my lord, but you are my savior. I just finished reading your brilliant stories, and I laughed so hard I almost vomited. I want to bring that kind of joy to people. You're an artist of the highest order and a true humanitarian to boot. I'm in both shock and awe at how much I want to be you."
"You are the coolest person I can even imagine existing. If you slept with my girlfriend, it'd make me love her more."
Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.
Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.
“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings liberates the reader into life simply because Maya Angelou confronts her own life with such a moving wonder, such a luminous dignity.”—James Baldwin
From the Paperback edition.
When US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter invited Corie, as the 2015 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year, to join his team on a one-week overseas holiday trip, she eagerly accepted, hoping to gain a better understanding of her husband’s deployment experience and lessen the impact sacred spaces had on her marriage.
Corie didn’t choose the timing or circumstances of her trip with Secretary Carter—Christmastime, in the midst of her family’s second cross-state move in six months—but it seemed the perfect opportunity for Corie and Matt to gain a better understanding of each other’s perspectives.
Matt experienced life on the home front with new eyes as he moved their household belongings, prepared for the holidays, and settled their two young sons into their new school.
At US military installations and aboard aircraft and aircraft carriers in Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Persian Gulf, Corie spoke with military families stationed overseas and deployed troops on the ground, in the air, and at sea. She paid close attention to her own sensory and emotional reactions to these new environments and recorded her thoughts each day via video log, blog, and social media. She also wrote about the trip for Military Spouse magazine.
While she wanted to inform other military families about her discoveries, Corie deeply hoped the trip would impact her own marriage as well. She didn’t choose the locations the entourage would visit, yet fate landed her in the very place that had changed the trajectory of her life.
As Corie sat in the belly of a C-17, where her husband had said goodbye to the remains of friends and fellow soldiers, as she touched with her own hands the memorial at FOB Fenty and reflected on her grief as a care team member following the battle of COP Keating, Corie realized this journey was about much more than the push-pull of duty away from loved ones.
This was a journey to the heart of her marriage, a place where she would have to leave behind her resentment in exchange for ground she and her husband had surrendered to hurt, misunderstanding, loss—and to Afghanistan.
Corie set out on this trip hoping to gain a better understanding of her husband and his deployment experience, but along the way, she discovered a whole new perspective of herself and her military marriage. By sharing her story, Corie hopes to help other military couples strengthen their marriages.