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While there have been many memoirs written about grieving (from Isabel Allende’s Paula, about the loss of her daughter, to Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking, detailing her story of widowhood), Meghan O’Rourke’s book is notable in that it tells the story of an adult child losing a parent. O’Rourke was in her late 20s when her mother died of cancer. The Long Goodbye is her story of grief and longing. It details the complexity and sharp edges that exist between mothers and daughters, but it also speaks of an American family and the joys and thrills that exist in everyday life. I loved this memoir for its layered simplicity—the ways that loss, love, pretense, and discovery weave together. O’Rourke offers us a real look at the complicated, and in this case, everlasting, mother–daughter bond.
In 2011, one young man stood up and told the Iowa House of Representatives that having two moms had not damaged his character. A video of the eloquent message instantly went viral. This is his story of life with two moms and the struggle of growing up different. It is a timely, moving story that serves as testimony to all that strength, love, and character matter more than conformity or tradition.
The author of The Men Who Stare at Goats has brought us another unexpected journey, this time into the madness industry. Part mystery, part research project, Ronson’s latest will change the way you view insanity, handing out equal parts entertainment and intrigue as he explores the relationship between madness, deception, and power.
If you’re someone who appreciates a good rant, then chances are you make a few new rules each day yourself. You know, when you’ve had all you can take, and for a moment you imagine you’re omnipotent and you issue a proclamation, a new rule, regarding some bit of nonsense that will no longer be tolerated. However, yours are probably not as hilarious as the ones in Bill Maher’s A–Z collection, The New New Rules.