Title: Thorns of Chester Street
Author: Shawn Alex Nemeth
At seven years old, Shawn Nemeth walks into the little, white church in his hometown all alone, desperately yearning for the love so lacking at home and finding it in a relationship with God. From a very young age, he’s known that he’s gay, which he’s been taught is a sin. This, combined with years of emotional and physical abuse at the hands of his stepfather, family members, and other bullies as a child, leaves Shawn confused and insecure despite eventually becoming an ordained pastor and chosen to lead a nationally-acclaimed worship band.
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Title: That Brant Country Sound! In Pictures
Author: Tom Ryerson
Genre: Non-Fiction / Biography / Illustrated with Pictures
That Brant County Sound! In Pictures provides readers and fans of Canadian Country Music the photographic heritage of Brant County, with snapshots of Terry Sumsion, Roger Quick, Jan Stevens, Fred H. W. McKenna, the Mercey Brothers, Dave Souliere, Terry Carisse, Marilynne Caswell, Marie Bottrell, Charlie Louvin, Don Oatman, Michelle Wright, and Whisky Hollow.
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Title: That Brant County Sound!: The Ballad of Jim Allison and Thunderbird Recording
Author: Tom Ryerson
Genre: Arts & Entertainment, Biography
This sizable volume contains the story of Jim Allison, a local Canadian country musician back in the 1960s and 1970s, and it shares how he influenced the careers and music industry of Brant County.
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As a non-fiction book set in Uganda, Queen of Katwe is a novel I would never normally have picked up. However, something in the story called to me and, having read the entire book in a matter of hours, I don’t regret that decision in the slightest.
Queen of Katwe details the life and experiences of Phiona Mutesi, the young, female, Ugandan chess player from the poorest of the slums who somehow managed to learn chess and become the best player in the country, despite having virtually no resources, or even enough food to eat.
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Title: William Shatner: A Transformed Man
Author: Dennis William Hauck
This quote-rich biography presents a balanced view of William Shatner as a person, an actor, a husband and father, and a visionary. It features his work with Star Trek and his various cast mates without neglecting his other facets and relationships, and it is designed to be readable and interesting even for non-Trekkies (in fact, Trekkies might be disappointed by the generalized summaries of the movies and the lack of trivia about the show).
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The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo
Memoirs from female comedians seem to be coming fast and furious these days. Books by Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey, Anna Kendrick, etc. are all examples of this extremely popular trend in books right now. Personally, I hate trends, I’m the person with a giant scowl on my face as people tell me all about this ‘new exciting thing’ that the entire world has seemed to jump on board with. But of course I make exceptions, what kind of a book reviewer would I be if I didn’t?
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This series highlights cheap, free, or discounted books to give you, dear reader, the most options on what to read.
Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep
$1.99, reduced from $12.99
A portrait of a woman, an era, and a profession: the first thoroughly researched biography of Meryl Streep—the “Iron Lady” of acting, nominated for nineteen Oscars and winner of three—that explores her beginnings as a young woman of the 1970s grappling with love, feminism, and her astonishing talent.
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I was kindly sent a copy of this book by the publisher Austin Macauley. It is the story of Kevin Lueshing, a British boxing champion and the dark past he’s kept hidden. Here is my review:
I had never heard of Kevin ‘The Look’ Lueshing before, having never followed boxing, so when I was asked to read his autobiography I wasn’t sure what to expect. But the first few lines of the introduction alone had me hooked and I couldn’t stop reading until the end. ‘The Belt Boy’ is the harrowing story of a boxing champion’s rise to fame and success and the awful past he kept hidden.
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“I did nothing to save the first person who died in front of me.” An inauspicious beginning to Kevin Hazzard’s decade-long career as an EMT, then paramedic in Atlanta’s mean streets, to say the least.
In the aftermath of 9/11 and at the age of 25, Kevin Hazzard found himself searching for a way to make a difference with his life. He abandoned his second of two back-to-back unfulfilling jobs and began training as an Emergency Medical Technician.
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The subtitle of Mr Copacabana – An American History by Night– is peculiarly apt for this biography of the author’s father, Monte Proser. Monte, it seems, was born with the cultural history of the United States locked into his DNA. His life was lived literally and metaphorically in the nighttime world of nightclubs, addiction, gangsterism and corruption. His fascinating story is his own, yet it provides an entirely convincing alternative account of the US twentieth century – the ‘American century’ – as one determined by darkly powerful forces.
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