A Girl Behind Dark Glasses Jessica Taylor-Bearman Being a teenager is difficult. It’s a lot more difficult when you’re suddenly saddled with a debilitating illness. For those of you who’ve seen Jennifer Brea’s award-winning documentary “Unrest,” “A Girl Behind Dark Glasses” is the story of Jess, the English ME sufferer featured in the film. It […]
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Sick: A Memoir Porochista Khakpour Porochista Khakpour has always been sick. But why? Her story will be familiar to anyone who knows the standard Lyme narrative: years of mysterious ailments, frequent diagnoses of mental health problems, the treatment of which only made her problems worse, the growing worry that she was either crazy or dying […]
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Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me Ally Hilfiger “Bite Me’ is one of a growing group of celebrity memoirs about their terrible experiences with Lyme disease. Some commentators have wondered how so many people rich people are getting Lyme disease, to which the answers might be […]
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The Shattered Lens Jonathan Alpeyrie Jonathan Alpeyrie wanted to get that one great shot. Instead what he got was captivity. “The Shattered Lens” is the account of Alpeyrie’s capture by Syrian rebels and his almost three-month stint as their hostage. This is followed by his description of what his family went through trying to free […]
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Crossings Jon Kerstetter “Crossings” is subtitled “A Doctor-Soldier’s Story,” but there’s much more to it than that. It chronicles Jon Kerstetter’s service as a flight surgeon in Iraq, but it also tells the story of his whole life, in which his tours in Iraq are just a small part. The son of a single mother […]
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American Sniper Chris Kyle “We were slaughtering them,” brags Chris Kyle, America’s most prolific sniper, in his bestselling memoir that spawned the hit movie directed by Clint Eastwood. The “them” here refers to Iraqi insurgents, of whom Kyle killed close to 200, something he attributes largely to luck and being in the right place at […]
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Eric Fair always wanted to protect and serve. He dreamed of being a police officer, or maybe a Presbyterian minister. Instead he ended up running an interrogation booth in Abu Ghraib. “Consequence” tells the story of how, through a series of life choices that often seemed sensible at the time, Fair found himself conducting “enhanced […]
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How does an illegitimate Venetian girl become the wife of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire? What was her life like? What kind of power does she wield, and how? “The Mapmaker’s Daughter,” a fictionalized memoir of Cecilia/Nurbanu, the real-life Venetian captive who became wife and then mother to Sultans, seeks to answer those questions. […]
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Reading Politkovskaya is always a draining experience, and this, the last complete book of her writings and released after her death, is particularly challenging. It is organized in the form of a diary, with daily entries compiled of Politkovskaya’s notes, many of which later became articles–it includes, for example, the infamous interview with Ramzan Kadyrov, […]
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I read many of Kelly Baker’s essays about her transition away from academia on Vitae when they first came out, so of course I had to read them all when they were published as a collection. In “Grace Period,” Baker chronicles her–frequently bitter, angry, and desperate–transition out of academia to the alt-ac world. It’s hard […]
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