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Alive in the Sunshine: A Memoir Kindle Edition
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Nancy came into my life around the time of Obama's first presidential election in 2008, or a little more than halfway through the timeline of this memoir. By then she was an established life coach, was writing her twice-weekly column "Game Plan" for FoxBusiness.com, and was immersed in writing her memoir. At that point the book had a definite beginning, but the end....well, that was not yet clear.
During the years since we met, many a morning or afternoon was spent talking over coffee at Panera in Hoboken, or breakfast at the Spa Diner (an odd juxtaposition of words if ever there was one!), or simply sitting on a shaded bench beside the Hudson with the Manhattan skyline spread out before us. I learned about some of Nancy's history - her Italian Jersey Girl upbringing could not have been more different from my own rural New York State experience, and working a sports beat for an urban newspaper and then for Oxygen in NYC was pretty foreign to my small-town/suburban adult life with husband, children and golden retriever.
What an interesting woman, I thought. She wasn't afraid to voice her insecurities and fears, to share her disappointments as well as her triumphs. And most surprisingly to me, who true to my Cancer-the-Crab nature lets few people peer behind my shell, she was not afraid to lay all this bare on the page. In fact, she felt compelled to do so.
And that is, of course, what makes for good memoir. Truth. The good with the bad. Life lessons learned. Lessons yet to be learned. Love, hate, disappointment, hope. Stories that make you spit out your coffee laughing. Stories that make you nod your head in agreement or shake your head in disbelief (you did what?!?!?!?!) The other critical element is good writing, and decades of working at her craft have honed Nancy's skills. Her writing is witty and sharp, and her "Jersey" voice comes through loud and clear. Read the first paragraph of the book and you'll see what I mean.
So no, I cannot in truth be objective about this book. I am too close to the story and to the author. I watched this memoir take shape and am thrilled to pieces to see it finally birthed and shared. Of course I love it, and of course I encourage you to read it, but in the spirit of "being naked on the page" I cannot say I have no bias as I most happily and certainly do.