Authors Jayson Greene, Lori Gottlieb, and Megan Phelps-Roper are among Amazon’s annual list of the best memoirs and biographies of 2019. They each share incredibly personal, and profound, stories.
Megan Phelps-Roper’s memoir, Unfollow, explores her life as a member of the notoriously hateful Westboro Baptist Church—and how she came to the decision to leave her entire family behind. As the granddaughter of the founder, she was immersed in the Westboro since day one, and eventually became their social media manager. It ended up being this connection to the outside world, where strangers interacted with her on a human level, that she came to see just how wrong her family was. Unfollow follows her journey from lifelong indoctrination in bigotry, to a life dedicated to spreading empathy, understanding, and hope. Her powerful memoir has been called a “must-read” by Publisher’s Weekly, and was praised by Sarah Silverman as being “wildly brave and incredibly thoughtful”.
In Lori Gottlieb’s New York Times bestseller, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, she explores what happens when a therapist—someone trained to manage human behavior—experiences her own personal crisis? Her personal narrative is at once intimate and universal; offering a rare glimpse into what exactly it means to be human, through her journey as both a clinician and patient. Mental health, wellness, vulnerability, and relationships are all explored in an ““irresistibly candid and addicting” (The New York Times Book Review) way. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone was named Best Nonfiction Book of the year by O, The Oprah Magazine and is currently being adapted as a television series with actress and director Eva Longoria.
In Once More We Saw Stars, writer Jayson Greene shares the incredibly powerful and profound journey through grief and trauma after the accidental death of his young daughter, Greta. It offers a testament of his family’s unwavering strength in the face of tremendous loss. How he tells his “intensely moving, life-affirming story” (Rolling Stone), garnered universal praise, and Greene shares his grief and resilience in an affecting way. The New York Times writes that Greene “has created a narrative of grief and acceptance that is compulsively readable and never self-indulgent,” and Cheryl Strayed described the memoir as “a gripping and beautiful book about the power of love in the face of unimaginable loss.” Once More We Saw Stars is not just a story about loss; but about love, and above all, hope.
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