A parenting-relationships book recommendation: Between Them: Remembering My Parents by Richard Ford

A critic review (source National Post arts) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2iEmohZ.
At its strongest, with simply etched sentences and slow stabs of wisdom, this memoir conjures Rock Springs, Ford’s faultless 1987 story collection…
Book description from Google Books:
From American master Richard Ford, a memoir: his first work of nonfiction, a stirring narrative of memory and parental loveHow is it that we come to consider our parents as people with rich and intense lives that include but also exclude us? Richard Ford’s parents—Edna, a feisty, pretty Catholic-school girl with a difficult past; and Parker, a sweet-natured, soft-spoken traveling salesman—were rural Arkansans born at the turn of the twentieth century. Married in 1928, they lived “alone together” on the road, traveling throughout the South. Eventually they had one child, born late, in 1944.For Ford, the questions of what his parents dreamed of, how they loved each other and loved him become a striking portrait of American life in the mid-century. Between Them is his vivid image of where his life began and where his parents’ lives found their greatest satisfaction. Bringing his celebrated candor, wit, and intelligence to this most intimate and mysterious of landscapes—our parents’ lives—the award-winning storyteller and creator of the iconic Frank Bascombe delivers an unforgettable exploration of memory, intimacy, and love.
The book is rated 3.80/5 at goodreads.com, from 888 ratings. See 152 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2iDP0Yv.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2hfi87X.

A parenting-relationships book recommendation: Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning by Claire Dederer

A critic review (source Washington Times) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2iw3ucK.
Claire Dederer is different. She picks out private exploits that people rarely mention except to bosom buddies. By writing about them she makes her readers play the buddy role while she is the exhilarating friend: smart, clever, serious and funny.
Book description from Google Books:
From the New York Times best-selling author of Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses, a ferocious, sexy, hilarious memoir about going off the rails at midlife and trying to reconcile the girl she was with the woman she has become. Claire Dederer is a happily married mother of two, ages nine and twelve, when she suddenly finds herself totally despondent and, simultaneously, suffering through a kind of erotic reawakening. This exuberant memoir shifts between her present experience as a middle-aged mom in the grip of mysterious new hungers and herself as a teenager–when she last experienced life with such heightened sensitivity and longing. From her hilarious chapter titles (“How to Have Sex with Your Husband of Seventeen Years”) to her subjects–from the boyfriend she dumped at fourteen the moment she learned how to give herself an orgasm, to the girls who ruled her elite private school (“when I left Oberlin I thought I had done with them forever, but it turned out …they also edited all the newspapers and magazines, and wrote all the books”), to raising a teenage daughter herself–Dederer writes with an electrifying blend of wry wit and raw honesty. She exposes herself utterly, and in doing so captures something universal about the experience of being a woman, a daughter, a wife.
The book is rated 3.45/5 at goodreads.com, from 828 ratings. See 149 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2iwFVAE.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2ivkUqb.

A parenting-relationships book recommendation: Between Them: Remembering My Parents by Richard Ford

A critic review (source National Post arts) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2iEmohZ.
At its strongest, with simply etched sentences and slow stabs of wisdom, this memoir conjures Rock Springs, Ford’s faultless 1987 story collection…
Book description from Google Books:
From American master Richard Ford, a memoir: his first work of nonfiction, a stirring narrative of memory and parental loveHow is it that we come to consider our parents as people with rich and intense lives that include but also exclude us? Richard Ford’s parents—Edna, a feisty, pretty Catholic-school girl with a difficult past; and Parker, a sweet-natured, soft-spoken traveling salesman—were rural Arkansans born at the turn of the twentieth century. Married in 1928, they lived “alone together” on the road, traveling throughout the South. Eventually they had one child, born late, in 1944.For Ford, the questions of what his parents dreamed of, how they loved each other and loved him become a striking portrait of American life in the mid-century. Between Them is his vivid image of where his life began and where his parents’ lives found their greatest satisfaction. Bringing his celebrated candor, wit, and intelligence to this most intimate and mysterious of landscapes—our parents’ lives—the award-winning storyteller and creator of the iconic Frank Bascombe delivers an unforgettable exploration of memory, intimacy, and love.
The book is rated 3.79/5 at goodreads.com, from 883 ratings. See 152 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2iDP0Yv.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2hfi87X.

A parenting-relationships book recommendation: The Mayor of Casterbridge (Penguin Classics) by Thomas Hardy

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2ivRvMi.
Hardy’s reworking of Oedipus Rex, set in the author’s native Wessex in the 1840s. Michael Henchard, a drunken journeyman labourer…The novel is Hardy’s most powerful study of will and character and the irresistibility of fate.
Book description from Google Books:
A haunting study of guilt and lost love in Penguin Classics, Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge is edited with an introduction and notes by Keith Wilson. In a fit of drunken anger, Michael Henchard sells his wife and baby daughter for five guineas at a country fair. Over the course of the following years, he manages to establish himself as a respected and prosperous pillar of the community of Casterbridge, but behind his success there always lurk the shameful secret of his past and a personality prone to self-destructive pride and temper. Subtitled ‘A Story of a Man of Character’, Hardy’s powerful and sympathetic study of the heroic but deeply flawed Henchard is also an intensely dramatic work, tragically played out against the vivid backdrop of a close-knit Dorsetshire town. This edition includes an introduction, chronology of Hardy’s life and works, the illustrations for the original serial issue, place names, maps, glossary, full explanatory notes as well as Hardy’s prefaces to the 1895 and 1912 editions. Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), born Higher Brockhampton, near Dorchester, originally trained as an architect before earning his living as a writer. Though he saw himself primarily as a poet, Hardy was the author of some of the late eighteenth century’s major novels: The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891), Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), and Jude the Obscure (1895). Amidst the controversy caused by Jude the Obscure, he turned to the poetry he had been writing all his life. In the next thirty years he published over nine hundred poems and his epic drama in verse, The Dynasts. If you enjoyed The Mayor of Casterbridge, you might like George Eliot’s Silas Marner, also available in Penguin Classics. ‘The greatest tragic writer among the English novelists’ Virginia Woolf ‘Visceral, passionate, anti-hypocrisy, anti-repression … Hardy reaches into our wildest recesses’ Evening Standard
The book is rated 3.80/5 at goodreads.com, from 45059 ratings. See 1699 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2h7KsZT.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2h5h9r1.

A parenting-relationships book recommendation: This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabourey Sidibe

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2ixpunU.
As a writer her informal, chatty style engenders a kinship with both her struggles and triumphs. She speaks directly to the reader and welcomes them in to her private thoughts and dreams.
Book description from Google Books:
The Oscar-nominated Precious star and Empire actress delivers a much-awaited memoir–wise, complex, smart, funny–a version of the American experience different from anything we’ve read Gabourey Sidibe–“Gabby” to her legion of fans–skyrocketed to international fame in 2009 when she played the leading role in Lee Daniels’s acclaimed movie Precious. In This Is Just My Face, she shares a one-of-a-kind life story in a voice as fresh and challenging as many of the unique characters she’s played onscreen. With full-throttle honesty, Sidibe paints her Bed-Stuy/Harlem family life with a polygamous father and a gifted mother who supports her two children by singing in the subway. Sidibe tells the engrossing, inspiring story of her first job as a phone sex “talker.” And she shares her unconventional (of course!) rise to fame as a movie star, alongside “a superstar cast of rich people who lived in mansions and had their own private islands and amazing careers while I lived in my mom’s apartment.”    Sidibe’s memoir hits hard with self-knowing dispatches on friendship, depression, celebrity, haters, fashion, race, and weight (“If I could just get the world to see me the way I see myself,” she writes, “would my body still be a thing you walked away thinking about?”). Irreverent, hilarious, and untraditional, This Is Just My Face will resonate with anyone who has ever felt different, and with anyone who has ever felt inspired to make a dream come true. 
The book is rated 4.02/5 at goodreads.com, from 2449 ratings. See 436 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2izvnAC.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2h77znH.

A parenting-relationships book recommendation: The First Love Story: Adam, Eve, and Us by Bruce Feiler

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2xLiF7u.
Feiler plunges into this thicket with verve, intelligence and style. He’s done a miraculous thing, the literary equivalent of breathing life into a figure made of clay — taken a story I’ve been hearing since services were held in the old sanctuary and made me experience it again as if for the first time.
Book description from Google Books:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Walking the Bible and Abraham comes a revelatory journey across four continents and 4,000 years exploring how Adam and Eve introduced the idea of love into the world, and how they continue to shape our deepest feelings about relationships, family, and togetherness. Since antiquity, one story has stood at the center of every conversation about men and women. One couple has been the battleground for human relationships and sexual identity. That couple is Adam and Eve. Yet instead of celebrating them, history has blamed them for bringing sin, deceit, and death into the world. In this fresh retelling of their story, New York Times columnist and PBS host Bruce Feiler travels from the Garden of Eden in Iraq to the Sistine Chapel in Rome, from John Milton’s London to Mae West’s Hollywood, discovering how Adam and Eve should be hailed as exemplars of a long-term, healthy, resilient relationship. At a time of discord and fear over the strength of our social fabric, Feiler shows how history’s first couple can again be role models for unity, forgiveness, and love. Containing all the humor, insight, and wisdom that have endeared Bruce Feiler to readers around the world, The First Love Story is an unforgettable journey that restores Adam and Eve to their rightful place as central figures in our culture’s imagination and reminds us that even our most familiar stories still have the ability to surprise, inspire, and guide us today.
The book is rated 3.93/5 at goodreads.com, from 207 ratings. See 54 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2yu9kVb.
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A parenting-relationships book recommendation: Stiff Upper Lip by Alex Renton

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2yt1gV0.
Stiff Upper Lip is studded with startling stuff. Discussing the importance of football, for instance, in 19th-century public schools, he drops in the line that “in Charterhouse’s version a small boy was the ball”.
Book description from Google Books:
‘A brave and necessary book’ GUARDIAN ‘Shocking, gripping and sobering’ SUNDAY TELEGRAPH This is the story of generations of parents, Britain’s richest and grandest, who believed that being miserable at school was necessary to make a good and successful citizen. Childish suffering was a price they accepted for the preservation of their class, and their entitlement. The children who were moulded by this misery and abuse went on – as they still do – to run Britain’s public institutions and private companies. Confronting the truth of his own schooldays and the crimes he witnessed, Alex Renton has revealed a much bigger story. It is of a profound malaise in the British elite, shown up by tolerance of the abuse of its own children that amounts to collusion. This culture and its traditions, and the hypocrisy, cronyism and conspiracy that underpin them, are key to any explanation of the scandals over sexual abuse, violence and cover-up in child care institutions that are now shocking the nation. As Renton shows, complicity in this is the bleak secret at the heart of today’s British elite.
The book is rated 3.71/5 at goodreads.com, from 45 ratings. See 5 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2yt9wUG.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: .

A parenting-relationships book recommendation: Stiff Upper Lip by Alex Renton

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2yt1gV0.
Stiff Upper Lip is studded with startling stuff. Discussing the importance of football, for instance, in 19th-century public schools, he drops in the line that “in Charterhouse’s version a small boy was the ball”.
Book description from Google Books:
‘A brave and necessary book’ GUARDIAN ‘Shocking, gripping and sobering’ SUNDAY TELEGRAPH This is the story of generations of parents, Britain’s richest and grandest, who believed that being miserable at school was necessary to make a good and successful citizen. Childish suffering was a price they accepted for the preservation of their class, and their entitlement. The children who were moulded by this misery and abuse went on – as they still do – to run Britain’s public institutions and private companies. Confronting the truth of his own schooldays and the crimes he witnessed, Alex Renton has revealed a much bigger story. It is of a profound malaise in the British elite, shown up by tolerance of the abuse of its own children that amounts to collusion. This culture and its traditions, and the hypocrisy, cronyism and conspiracy that underpin them, are key to any explanation of the scandals over sexual abuse, violence and cover-up in child care institutions that are now shocking the nation. As Renton shows, complicity in this is the bleak secret at the heart of today’s British elite.
The book is rated 3.71/5 at goodreads.com, from 45 ratings. See 5 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2yt9wUG.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2xK1sLK.

A parenting-relationships book recommendation: Exes: A Novel by Max Winter

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2xIfAVS.
…one could easily see the Affleck brothers starring in a film adaptation of this often heartbreaking novel about the devastations of severed attachments.
Book description from Google Books:
[A] heartbreaking novel about the devastations of severed attachments.” —NPR For Clay Blackall, a lifelong resident of Providence, Rhode Island, the place has become an obsession. Here live the only people who can explain what happened to his brother, Eli, whose suicide haunts this heartbreaking, hilarious novel-in-fragments. A failed actor impersonates a former movie star; an ex-con looks after a summer home perched atop a rock in the bay; a broken-hearted salutatorian airs thirteen years’ worth of dirty laundry at his school’s commencement; an adjunct struggles to make room for her homeless and self-absorbed mother while revisiting a scandalous high school love affair; a recent widower, with the help of a clever teen, schemes to rid his condo’s pond of Canada geese. Clay compiles their stories, invasively providing context in the form of notes that lead always, somehow, back to Eli. Behind Clay’s possibly insane, definitely doomed, and increasingly suspect task burns his desire to understand his brother’s death, and the city that has defined and ruined them both. Full of brainy detours and irreverent asides, Exes is a powerful investigation of grief, love, and our deeply held yet ever-changing notions of home.
The book is rated 3.33/5 at goodreads.com, from 73 ratings. See 24 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2yr0M1H.
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A parenting-relationships book recommendation: An Abbreviated Life: A Memoir by Ariel Leve

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2cvDrAP.
…the many passages about her attempts to overcome the traumas of her youth can sound canned and overprocessed, as if they’d been run through a therapy software program. Yet I forgave her for them. It was hard not to. For Ms. Leve, the simple act of growing up was exhausting.
Book description from Google Books:
“Mesmerizing… A portrait of something familiar gone wildly, tragically awry.”—The New York Times“Sometimes, a child is born to a parent who can’t be a parent, and, like a seedling in the shade, has to grow toward a distant sun. Ariel Leve’s spare and powerful memoir will remind us that family isn’t everything—kindness and nurturing are.”  —Gloria SteinemAriel Leve grew up in Manhattan with an eccentric mother she describes as “a poet, an artist, a self-appointed troublemaker and attention seeker.” Leve learned to become her own parent, taking care of herself and her mother’s needs. There would be uncontrolled, impulsive rages followed with denial, disavowed responsibility, and then extreme outpourings of affection. How does a child learn to feel safe in this topsyturvy world of conditional love?Leve captures the chaos and lasting impact of a child’s life under siege and explores how the coping mechanisms she developed to survive later incapacitated her as an adult. There were material comforts, but no emotional safety, except for summer visits to her father’s home in South East Asia-an escape that was terminated after he attempted to gain custody. Following the death of a loving caretaker, a succession of replacements raised Leve—relationships which resulted in intense attachment and loss. It was not until decades later, when Leve moved to other side of the world, that she could begin to emancipate herself from the past. In a relationship with a man who has children, caring for them yields a clarity of what was missing.In telling her haunting story, Leve seeks to understand the effects of chronic psychological maltreatment on a child’s developing brain, and to discover how to build a life for herself that she never dreamed possible: An unabbreviated life.
The book is rated 3.90/5 at goodreads.com, from 724 ratings. See 115 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cY0S30.
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