1. Jumping Over Shadows: A Memoir by Annette Gendler
It was 1985 when German-American Annette Gendler fell in love with Harry, a Jewish man and the descendant of Holocaust survivors. Paralleling with the story of Annette’s great-aunt who married a Jew before World War II, Annette and Harry find themselves in a secret love affair until they can create a future together unburdened by their family histories. Together they face cultural differences, family traditions and history, and the ultimate test of love in getting married and their eventual move to the United States to start a new life. This striking and well-written memoir of Annette’s emotional and spiritual journey towards finding Judaism and eventual acceptance by Harry’s family puts Jumping Over Shadows as one of our top must-reads for the spring.
2. The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
Ariel Levy was raised to want everything for herself: a husband who is both secure and exotic, a life that is both safe and thrilling, and to remain an adventure seeker yet become a stable mother. When she left for a reporting trip in 2012 she was pregnant, married, financially secure and successful on her own terms. When she returned her unconventional life fell apart and she had to reinvent the standards she set for herself. After reading her story you may find yourself breaking some of your own rules.
3. The Outrun: A Memoir by by Amy Liptrot
Amy Liptrot finds herself back home at her family’s farm after spending ten years in the city. Now she is back her childhood memories and her current predicament come crashing together in a memoir about addiction, living on the edge and the way cold early morning swims can bring forth new hope.
4. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
Roxane Gay writes about food and bodies in her intimate memoir about her own body and the journey it has taken. In a vulnerable retelling of her childhood, Gay discusses the trauma that ensued years of pain and confusion. Her story will lend you empathy to your own self-image struggles and shed light on the issue of body shaming.
5. The Foundling: The True Story of a Kidnapping, a Family Secret, and My Search for the Real Me by Paul Joseph Fronczak
A woman pretending to be a nurse kidnaps an infant named Paul Fronczak in 1964. Two years later police find a boy abandoned outside a store. The FBI tracks down the kidnapped infant’s mother where she identifies him as her baby. Fifty years later Paul discovers he is not their real son via a DNA test. This is a story about Paul’s journey to solve who he is and who the real Paul Fronczak is. This heart-wrenching story will have you on edge as Paul tracks down his family history.
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