Friday, December 6, 2019

Freeform Friday: 5 Non-fiction Books in My To-Be-Read Stack

I am a little behind on my To-Be-Read Stack.  We're currently scheduled out to MARCH 2020 which is awesome for us, but bad for books we've been asked to review as it means they have to wait a long time to receive any coverage.  I  hate to make books wait that long for their day in the sun...so here is a sneak peek at some of the books that are nearing the 'top' of my TBR stack.  While I can't give them a full review just yet, I've included a description (from the book sleeve) and some thoughts to help you decide if this book might be for you.


Running to Glory: An Unlikely Team, A Challenging Season, and Chasing the American Dream - Sam McManis. 

The Runners from Eisenhower High School had every possible justification to fail: they were poor, with little time to devote to their passion, and they had problems at home and distractions that would test even Job.  Yet they gave their quests fro the Washington State cross country championship everything they had. ...  Running to Glory [is a] celebration of grit, perseverance and ultimately, the American Dream.  It is the inspired story of an Irish immigrant coach and a group of Hispanic boys and girls as they chase their hopes and a state championship.

This book is a the very top of my pile...because I'm reading it right now.  Cross country isn't a sport that I am super-familiar with (unless you count cheering my little brother on at State), but so far the book makes me want to be a better runner.  This book takes place in the town where I live and I look forward to learning more about our (apparently) famous local running program.  So far, it's very well written.

I Have (Had) Enough: Memoirs of Abundance in Fatherhood, Friendship, and Faith - Jeff Jacobson  

Here's a good place to start... I'm new to marriage the the first Bush is president.  Pretty soon there's a child: my son.  Then there's infertility and I'm supposed to be learning about God's timing.  After five years of this, there are two more boys, at the same time.  People ask us if twins run in our family, and we say they do  now.  Then there's a fourth: a girl.  But right before she's born, my best childhood friend dies when planes fly into the Twin Towers.  I write a lot about all of this.  These are my stories.

Okay, confession time.  When I accepted this book for review I thought it was a book of poetry.  In reviewing the emails, I'm not sure how I got that impression but nary a poem can be seen in his slim book of memoirs.  I love reading about the everyday lives of ordinary people, so this book seems like a good way to do that.  A portion of the proceeds go towards a scholarship that honors Jim White, who died in the World Trade Center attack in 2001.

You're Going to Survive:  True Stories from People Who've Endured Soul-Crushing Moments in their Careers -- Failure, Rejection, Disappointment, Public Humiliation -- and How They Got Through it, and How You Will Too! - Alexandra Franzen

On tough days when you could use a friendly, encouraging voice...open this book. Inside, you'll find inspiring stories from writers, chefs, lawyers, actors, business leaders, and more, each describing one of the worst moments in their career, how they got through it, and what htey learned in the process.  With each story, you'll see that rock-bottom moments can lead to breakthroughs...that not getting your dream job may be a blessing in disguise... that everyone goes through difficult times, and no matter what you're dealing with, you are never alone.

I feel like the title pretty much explains why I want to read it.  Everyone needs to be thrown life preserver now and again.  This book seems like it might be a good one and, if nothing else, maybe my mess won't seem so messy in comparison to some of the stories in this book.  *Fingers Crossed?*

Why Will No One Play with Me?: The Play Better Plan to Help Children of All Ages Make Friends and Thrive - Caroline Macguire, PCC, M. Ed. with Teresa Barker

In-demand parenting expert and former Hallowell Center coach Caroline Maguire has helped thousands of families dealing with chronic social challenges, ranging from shyness to aggression to ADHD and more.  She knows how hard it can be to watch a child struggle, which is why she developed a program to coach kids to better understand how to feel comfortable socially and connect with others.  In this breakthrough book, Maguire shares her decade-in-the-making Play Better Plan for teaching kids -- and adults, too -- how to develop the skills they need to find social acceptance.

 I have a kid or two who struggles making friends and I thought this might help.  I will let you  know if it does! I will admit to being a little intimidated by its size (I like my self-helps short, sweet, and to the point) and will likely have to read it with a highlighter in hand, but I'm hopeful I will come away with some good tips.

Dressed for a Dance in the Snow: Women's Voices from the Gulag - Monika Zgustova
An unexpectedly uplifting account of women's suffering and resilience in Stalin's forced Labor camps, diligently transcribed in the kitchens and living rooms of nine survivors.  The pain inflicted by the gulags has cast a long shadow over Soviet-era history.  Zgustova's collection of interviews with former female prisoners not only chronicles the hardship of the camps, but also serves as a testament to the power of beauty in the face of adversity. Where one would expect to find only hopelessness and despair, Zgustova has unearthed tales of love, art, and friendship that endured and even flourished in times of tragedy.

I don't know much about the Stalin-era Soviet prison camps, but I am very interested to read what the women interned in these camps have to say about their experience.  It's sure to be emotionally excruciating, but I hope to learn more and honor the experience of these women by reading their stories.  



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I hope that you've found something to interest you here. If you have, don't wait for me to finish!  Read them and give me your thoughts in the comments!


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