When all the Balls Drop: The Upside of Loosing Everything by Heidi Siefkas

Publication Date: September 15, 2014

 

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A freak accident with a tree limb stopped Heidi’s perfect globetrotting life. As her life suffered a domino effect from the dissolution of her marriage to the hurt of betrayal, Heidi hit the bottom and struggled to rise back to the top. When all balls drop, can things ever be right again?

 

 

 

 

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I Don’t Believe God Wrote The Bible by Gerald Freeman

February 14, 2015

 

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After nearly dying of a drug overdose, Gerry Freeman sets out on a voyage of self-discovery by hitchhiking Europe. Gerry finds that no matter how far he runs, there are things he simply cannot escape. Join a man in the late 80s running from his demons through adventure and odd jobs.

 

 

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Survival In Auschwitz by Primo Levi

Publication Date: September 1, 1995

 

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Primo Levi was a twenty-five-year-old chemist living in Turin, Italy when he was arrested as an “Italian Citizen of Jewish Race” and deport to Auschwitz. Survival in Auschwitz chronicles the ten months that Levi spent in the death camp and the triumph of human spirit that kept him alive.

 

 

 

January 27, 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Levi was one of only twenty survivors in his transport of 650 prisoners. His memoir “If this is a Man” was first released in his home country as a limited run in October of 1947. The version that I read was translated in 1958 by Giulio Einaudi.

Survival In Auschwitz is a dispassionate account of the Holocaust and Auschwitz Death Camp in a way that seems perhaps a bit odd for an account written a mere few years after the author’s experience. At first I thought that perhaps the removal from the subject was due to the translated text. Survival In Auschwitz reads awkwardly at points as though there really isn’t a translation for certain things. As the book progressed, I came to believe that the objectivity of Levi in the work perhaps highlights the suffering that its subject must have experienced. Survival In Auschwitz reads a bit like a victim having to leave the body emotionally to survive a nightmarish experience. Levi’s experience was raw and brutal. He doesn’t describe events in a graphic way but manages to still convey the awfulness of the experience. In the time he was in the camp, Levi didn’t see himself as a man but a slave.

There is always a fragility of life in accounts we hear of the concentration camps. Levi is able to work and he’s sent immediately to perform hard labor in the camp. Anyone who couldn’t work was immediately put to death and if a person became ill they would be sent to a very short-term infirmary where they’d either improve or be sent immediately to the gas chambers.

Survival In Auschwitz is not a book designed to horrify the reader but to inform. Levi, as an author, doesn’t read as a man who is looking to inspire his audience with his brave perseverance in horrific odds. Levi instead reads as a man who never wants us to forget. The Holocaust is something that happened to him. He was not a religious man and didn’t consider himself a Jew but he was labeled as such and for that label was sent to slavery, degradation and almost certain death. In Levi’s eyes, he regained his humanity when he was sent to the infirmary for 10 days and spared a march that would have surely killed him.

Levi’s bravery to write such a work and so soon after the experience astounds the reader. Ten months must have seemed a lifetime to this 25-year-old as he saw cruelty and hate and people dying every day. The people that Levi described as emaciated and broken can be viewed in historical footage of the Liberation of Auschwitz. Levi doesn’t seem to hate the Germans in his narrative and the minimization of them seems to be something of a dehumanizing of them. They are the faceless mass. They are the uncertain evil gobbling the souls of those around him.

Survival In Auschwitz is well written, poignant and simply an important work of nonfiction. Please, take a moment to remember today the 4.1 million people who died at this horrible death camp.

You can read an excerpt and buy Survival In Auschwitz by Primo Levi on:

Amazon U.S.Amazon U.K.Amazon Canada

For more information about Primo Levi, check Goodreads, Facebook and Wikipedia.

Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth: How a Gay Child was Saved From Religion by Scott Terry

Publication Date: October 6, 2012

 

ST_Cowboys_Armaboeddon_and_the_Truth.fpgThis memoir by Scott Terry describes growing up in the 70s, in a home ruled by a tyrannical step-parent and a restrictive religion. Readers follow Terry to adulthood and through his personal struggle with his beliefs and sexuality.

 

 

 

 

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Shadows, Skeletons and a Southern Belle by Jilda Leigh

Publication Date: August 16, 2012

 

JL_Shadows_SkeletonsJilda Leigh tells her own story of mental disorder and depression and encourages readers who feel like they can’t go on with a look into her depth of despair and the light she found at the end of the tunnel.

 

 

 

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The Funky Butts: An Unauthorized Autobiography by The Blade

Publication Date: July 15, 2012

 

TB_The_Funky_ButtsThe Funky Butts is the story of the rise and fall of a fictional band in the pre-grunge and early MTv era. The Blade tells the story of Marathon Man, Slinkmaster and M.C. Mike rising from the ashes of Denton, Texas to a National stage and then realizing that fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

 

 

 

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Life by Keith Richards and James Fox

Publication Date: October 26, 2010 (Kindle Edition)

 

KR_LifeKeith Richards was born in 1943 in Dartford, Kent as the only child of Bert and Doris. He is the guitar player in the band the Rolling Stones. He is notorious for his drug use and also for the claim that the strangest thing he ever snorted was his father’s ashes. This book is about his life, the Rolling Stones, his drug use and everything else he thinks to talk about. Spoiler alert, he comes out of Life alive.

 

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