How it works
2008-2009 ~ This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women, edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman (2006)
This collection of essays from the 1950s and today is based on the National Public Radio series of the same name. Information about the series and the book is available on the This I Believe website.
2007 ~ Fast Food Nation
2005 and 2006 ~ The Glass Castle, A Memoir, by Jeannette Walls
The Glass Castle tells of the poor, nomadic childhood Walls [a reporter for MSNBC] shared with her three siblings, eating butter for dinner, making her own braces, and suffering the whims of her artistic, intelligent, and utterly selfish parents. The title of the book is taken from her gambling, alcoholic father’s promise that he would build them a magical, perfect glass castle in which to live.
2004 ~ If Life is a Game, These are the Rules
2003 ~ Tuesdays With Morrie, by Mitch Albom
2002 ~ Comrades: Brothers, Fathers, Heroes, Sons, Pals (2000), Chapter 7, “A Lifetime of Friends,” pp. 75-90, by Stephen E. Ambrose
This tender book about male friendship will probably surprise those readers who know Stephen Ambrose best for his histories of World War II and biography of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Born in 1936, Ambrose acknowledges in the introduction to his memoir that men of his generation do not speak or write easily about their feelings. Yet male bonding is a strong theme in all of his work, as selections from previous writings on Lewis and Clark, Richard Nixon, Crazy Horse, and General Custer that are included in Comrades prove. What is more interesting, however, is the more personal material on Ambrose's two brothers (their youthful competitiveness mellowed into mature devotion), fellow historian Gordon Mueller ("my dearest and closest friend"), and several college buddies. After losing touch with each other during the harried years of career building and child rearing, these men rediscovered intimacy in middle age. Most moving of all is the closing chapter on Ambrose's father, an old-fashioned authority figure and disciplinarian quick to criticize his sons, but always available to sustain and guide them. The warming of that rather stern relationship is clearly one of the great joys of his son's adult life. It makes a fitting finale to a dignified but strikingly sweet memoir. --Wendy Smith – [excerpted from Amazon.com]