Mary Karr says her third memoir, Lit, is about “leaving home to find home.” It is a hard look at her early adulthood wrought with insecurity, denial, and alcoholism. Fortunately, she tells her story with sharp observations and a sometimes dark humor that helps make this a powerful story of redemption.
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Michael C. Hall can’t seem to escape death. Before he was Dexter, he was a mortician in Six Feet Under. He’s part of a quirky family whose lives are entwined with the funeral home their father left after suddenly dying. Although the setting seems maudlin, the show is about relationships, expected and unexpected, and their complications.
Peter Gabriel’s album, So, is probably best known for “In Your Eyes” and the iconic image of John Cusack holding up a boombox to win back his girlfriend in Say Anything. Gabriel used experimentation, world music influence, and thoughtful – almost heartbreaking – lyrics to create a classic album.
It’s L.A. and everyone’s an aspiring something. In the meantime, they cater. Six struggling artists wear pink bow ties for Party Down, a catering company. Party Down, the show, is two seasons of hilarious catering malaise, romance, rivalries, and the mishaps of being close to, but not quite invited to the party.
Quirky Muriel’s love of ABBA is only surpassed by her desire to get married. Muriel’s Wedding has a fun soundtrack. It’s the backdrop to an often hilarious and moving story about a misfit who finds a way to move forward, let go of her fantasies, and face reality.
Dr. Faraday is fascinated by the thriving past of Hundreds Hall. Faraday is drawn into the lives of its three residents and its mysteries. The Little Stranger, by Sarah Waters, is a gothic glimpse of a country estate (a la Downton Abbey) following the changes of the world wars.
In 1973, the book Sybil made the name Sybil nearly synonymous with dissociative identity disorder. In Sybil Exposed, Debbie Nathan explores the lives, times and ambitions of Shirley Mason, her psychiatrist and Sybil’s author (Flora Rheta Schreiber) to find the truth behind the famous case study.
In 2001’s Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich set out to walk in the shoes of the working poor, trying to find jobs and living on the wages or lack thereof. The book remains timely and offers an eye-opening account of the challenges and obstacles faced by millions of Americans.
“Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.” Every seven years since 1964, the Up Series revisits a socially diverse group of British men and women. We watch as precocious seven year olds morph into awkward teenagers, ambitious or struggling young adults, and into middle age with 2005’s 49 Up.
Zeitoun insists on riding out Hurricane Katrina as his family flees for safety. In the aftermath, he provides whatever assistance he can from his secondhand canoe before his story takes a troubling turn. Dave Eggers‘ disturbing, nonfiction account shows how extreme circumstances can obstruct the lines between heroes, authority, victims and criminals.