Memoir of an independent woman : an unconventional life well lived

From Margaret Mezzacapo
Author:  Tania Grossinger
Title:  Memoir of an independent woman : an unconventional life well lived
Yes, that Grossinger. Tania G. grew up with the hotel family and had a fairly unconventional childhood, followed by a definitely unconventional young and middle adulthood. She strikes me as someone who would be an absolute hoot to hang out with. Hey, anyone who made her living as Hugh Hefner’s Playboy publicist can’t be boring. The book is lively and an entertaining read. One does wonder what her life would have been like without the clout that came with the Grossinger name and connections. Either way,it’s a fun book.

Son of a gun : a memoir

From Margaret Mezzacapo
Author: Justin St. Germain
Title: Son of a gun : a memoir
The author’s mother was murdered when he was young. He sets out to figure out why his mother dated horrible men and married five of them. When I got to the end of the book I was still waiting for something of compelling interest to happen.

Dough, a memoir

From Wendy Bocian
Title: Dough, a memoir
Author: Mort Zachter
This book tells the story of how Mort, who was raised as poor in Manhattan’s lower East Side in the 1960s, discovers at age 36 that his bachelor uncles who ran a small, struggling family business were actually very, very rich. The story examines how Mort reacts to the news that he is eventually going to inherit millions. It is filled with an interesting cast of characters and is fun for nostaglia’s sake if you are familiar with the lower east side.I do not usually read non-fiction, but enjoyed the memoir and recommend it.

Honeymoon with My Brother

From Margaret Mezzacapo
Title:  Honeymoon with My Brother
Author:  Franz Wisner
This is an entertaining book based on a true story.  The author was left at the altar by the woman he loved.  He decided to go on his honeymoon trip and wound up traveling the world with his brother, gaining understanding both of his brother and his own self.  They concentrate on seeing the “Real World” of the countries they visit, instead of the sanitized version presented to most tourists.

Look me in the Eye

From Frank DelBalso
Title:  Look me in the Eye
Author:  John Elder Robinson
This is the memoirs of John Elder Robinson  who has Aspergers (an Autism spectrum disorder).  He is also the brother of Augusten Burroughs (NYT best seller : Running with Scissors).  His struggles socializing early in life are insightful as he did not yet know that he had this syndrome. His various jobs are interesting (guitar technician for the rock band Kiss). His family is dysfunctional. His practical jokes are unreal. This is great book for anyone who wants to understand the mentality of someone with Asperger’s syndrome. This is an easy and entertaining read.

The Gift of an Ordinary Day

From Elaine Pasquali
Title:  The Gift of an Ordinary Day
Author:  Katrina Kenison
Kenison uproots her family from an upper middle class suburb to relocate to rural New Hampshire. The purpose: live a simpler life.  Kenison steam-roles over her husband and two sons with her relocation plans.  The family is uprooted; her youngest son is so unhappy he cries himself to sleep for a year.  The three month stay with her parents turns into three years.  Family finances are severely strained as is her marriage. For a while, Kenison’s perfectionism  becomes obsessive.  Eventually, she evolves, letting go of some of her need for control.  She begins to  treasure the ordinary moments of everyday life.  Her family moves forward and change becomes a fabric of their family life.  Was it worth the angst along the way?  You’ll have to judge that for yourself.

All Gone: a Memoir of My Mother’s Dementia. With Refreshments

From  Margaret Mezzacapo
Author:  Alex Witchel
All Gone: a Memoir of My Mother’s Dementia. With Refreshments 
This book chronicles the author’s mother’s journey through stages of Alzheimer’s, from an active, vibrant, educated woman to a completely different and debilitated person. This journey impacts not only the patient, but many others as well. Witchel uses food as an illustrative device to chronicle her younger years as well as the present, and includes recipes for the dishes that serve to illustrate her life.

I enjoyed this book and its style. Before starting any Alzheimer’s support group, I’d recommend reading this book. It shows that those who are mourned are not necessarily deceased.