The Love Prison Made and Unmade

The Love Prison Made and Unmade

Author: Ebony Roberts

Publisher: HarperCollins

Published: 2019-07-09

Total Pages: 304

ISBN-13: 006287666X

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A Notable Memoir by the New York Times Medium’s Books to Help You Transition Into 2020 With echoes of Just Mercy and An American Marriage, a remarkable memoir of a woman who falls in love with an incarcerated man—a poignant story of hope and disappointment that lays bare the toll prison takes not only on those behind bars, but on their families and relationships. Ebony’s parents were high school sweethearts and married young. By the time Ebony was born, the marriage was disintegrating. As a little girl she witnessed her parents’ brutal verbal and physical fights, fueled by her father’s alcoholism. Then her father tried to kill her mother. Those experiences drastically affected the way Ebony viewed love and set the pattern for her future romantic relationships. Despite being an educated and strong-minded woman determined not to repeat the mistakes of her parents—she would have a fairytale love—Ebony found herself drawn to bad-boys: men who cheated; men who verbally abused her; men who disappointed her. Fed up, she swore to wait for the partner God chose for her. Then she met Shaka Senghor. Though she felt an intense spiritual connection, Ebony struggled with the idea that this man behind bars for murder could be the good love God had for her. Through letters and visits, she and Shaka fell deeply in love. Once Shaka came home, Ebony thought the worst was behind them. But Shaka’s release was the beginning of the end. The Love Prison Made and Unmade is heartfelt. It reveals powerful lessons about love, sacrifice, courage, and forgiveness; of living your highest principles and learning not to judge someone by their worst acts. Ultimately, it is a stark reminder of the emotional cost of American justice on human lives—the partners, wives, children, and friends—beyond the prison walls.


Letters to the Sons of Society

Letters to the Sons of Society

Author: Shaka Senghor

Publisher: Convergent Books

Published: 2022-01-18

Total Pages: 241

ISBN-13: 0593238028

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The New York Times bestselling author of Writing My Wrongs invites men everywhere on a journey of honesty and healing through this book of moving letters to his sons—one whom he is raising and the other whose childhood took place during Senghor's nineteen-year incarceration. “A visceral and visual journey for the ages . . . the perfect road map for us to remove the barriers and obstacles against our true feelings.”—Kenya Barris, creator of black-ish ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—Essence Shaka Senghor has lived the life of two fathers. With his first son, Jay, born shortly after Senghor was incarcerated for second-degree murder, he experienced the regret of his own mistakes and the disconnection caused by a society that sees Black lives as disposable. With his second, Sekou, born after Senghor's release, he has experienced healing, transformation, intimacy, and the possibilities of a world where men and boys can openly show one another affection, support, and love. In this collection of beautifully written letters to Jay and Sekou, Senghor traces his journey as a Black man in America and unpacks the toxic and misguided messages about masculinity, mental health, love, and success that boys learn from an early age. He issues a passionate call to all fathers and sons—fathers who don't know how to show their sons love, sons who are navigating a fatherless world, boys who have been forced to grow up before their time—to cultivate positive relationships with other men, seek healing, tend to mental health, grow from pain, and rewrite the story that has been told about them. Letters to the Sons of Society is a soulful examination of the bond between father and sons, and a touchstone for anyone seeking a kinder, more just world.


Writing My Wrongs

Writing My Wrongs

Author: Shaka Senghor

Publisher: Convergent Books

Published: 2017-01-31

Total Pages: 290

ISBN-13: 1101907312

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An “extraordinary, unforgettable” (Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow) memoir of redemption and second chances amidst America’s mass incarceration epidemic, from a member of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100 Shaka Senghor was raised in a middle-class neighborhood on Detroit’s east side during the height of the 1980s crack epidemic. An honor roll student and a natural leader, he dreamed of becoming a doctor—but at age eleven, his parents’ marriage began to unravel, and beatings from his mother worsened, which sent him on a downward spiral. He ran away from home, turned to drug dealing to survive, and ended up in prison for murder at the age of nineteen, full of anger and despair. Writing My Wrongs is the story of what came next. During his nineteen-year incarceration, seven of which were spent in solitary confinement, Senghor discovered literature, meditation, self-examination, and the kindness of others—tools he used to confront the demons of his past, forgive the people who hurt him, and begin atoning for the wrongs he had committed. Upon his release at age thirty-eight, Senghor became an activist and mentor to young men and women facing circumstances like his. His work in the community and the courage to share his story led him to fellowships at the MIT Media Lab and the Kellogg Foundation and invitations to speak at events like TED and the Aspen Ideas Festival. In equal turns, Writing My Wrongs is a page-turning portrait of life in the shadow of poverty, violence, and fear; an unforgettable story of redemption; and a compelling witness to our country’s need for rethinking its approach to crime, prison, and the men and women sent there.


I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness

I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness

Author: Claire Vaye Watkins

Publisher: Penguin

Published: 2022-10-04

Total Pages: 305

ISBN-13: 0593330226

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NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST, VOGUE, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, NPR, ESQUIRE, AND KIRKUS “There’s some kind of genius sorcery in this novel. It’s startlingly original, hilarious and harrowing by turns, finally transcendent. Watkins writes like an avenging angel. It's thrilling and terrifying to stand in her wake.” —Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation and Weather A darkly funny, soul-rending novel of love in an epoch of collapse—one woman’s furious revisiting of family, marriage, work, sex, and motherhood. Since my baby was born, I have been able to laugh and see the funny side of things. a) As much as I ever did. b) Not quite as much now. c) Not so much now. d) Not at all. Leaving behind her husband and their baby daughter, a writer gets on a flight for a speaking engagement in Reno, not carrying much besides a breast pump and a spiraling case of postpartum depression. Her temporary escape from domestic duties and an opportunity to reconnect with old friends mutates into an extended romp away from the confines of marriage and motherhood, and a seemingly bottomless descent into the past. Deep in the Mojave Desert where she grew up, she meets her ghosts at every turn: the first love whose self-destruction still haunts her; her father, a member of the most famous cult in American history; her mother, whose native spark gutters with every passing year. She can’t go back in time to make any of it right, but what exactly is her way forward? Alone in the wilderness, at last she begins to make herself at home in the world. Bold, tender, and often hilarious, I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness reaffirms Watkins as one of the signal writers of our time.


Fierce Attachments

Fierce Attachments

Author: Vivian Gornick

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Published: 2005-09-14

Total Pages: 216

ISBN-13: 1466819006

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In this deeply etched and haunting memoir, Vivian Gornick tells the story of her lifelong battle with her mother for independence. There have been numerous books about mother and daughter, but none has dealt with this closest of filial relations as directly or as ruthlessly. Gornick's groundbreaking book confronts what Edna O'Brien has called "the prinicpal crux of female despair": the unacknowledged Oedipal nature of the mother-daughter bond. Born and raised in the Bronx, the daughter of "urban peasants," Gornick grows up in a household dominated by her intelligent but uneducated mother's romantic depression over the early death of her husband. Next door lives Nettie, an attractive widow whose calculating sensuality appeals greatly to Vivian. These women with their opposing models of femininity continue, well into adulthood, to affect Gornick's struggle to find herself in love and in work. As Gornick walks with her aged mother through the streets of New York, arguing and remembering the past, each wins the reader's admiration: the caustic and clear-thinking daughter, for her courage and tenacity in really talking to her mother about the most basic issues of their lives, and the still powerful and intuitively-wise old woman, who again and again proves herself her daughter's mother. Unsparing, deeply courageous, Fierce Attachments is one of the most remarkable documents of family feeling that has been written, a classic that helped start the memoir boom and remains one of the most moving examples of the genre.


Lee Marvin

Lee Marvin

Author: Dwayne Epstein

Publisher: IPG

Published: 2013-01-01

Total Pages: 344

ISBN-13: 1936182416

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The first full-length, authoritative, and detailed story of the iconic actor's life to go beyond the Hollywood scandal-sheet reporting of earlier books, this account offers an appreciation for the man and his acting career and the classic films he starred in, painting a portrait of an individual who took great risks in his acting and career. Although Lee Marvin is best known for his icy tough guy roles—such as his chilling titular villain in The ManWho Shot Liberty Valance or the paternal yet brutally realistic platoon leader in The Big Red One—very little is known of his personal life; his family background; his experiences in WWII; his relationship with his father, family, friends, wives; and his ongoing battles with alcoholism, rage, and depression, occasioned by his postwar PTSD. Now, after years of researching and compiling interviews with family members, friends, and colleagues; rare photographs; and illustrative material, Hollywood writer Dwayne Epstein provides a full understanding and appreciation of this acting titan's place in the Hollywood pantheon in spite of his very real and human struggles.


The Salvatore Marriage

The Salvatore Marriage

Author: Michelle Reid

Publisher: Harlequin

Published: 2010-08-01

Total Pages: 192

ISBN-13: 1426872534

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For the sake of a tiny baby… When a tragic family accident reunites Shannon Gilbraith with Luca Salvatore, she isn't prepared for the searing attraction that still flames between them. Luca urges Shannon to marry him, but she knows he isn't motivated by love. For the sake of her orphaned baby niece, Shannon knows she will accept. But what does the future hold when Luca believes—wrongly—that she once betrayed him?


Draw Your Weapons

Draw Your Weapons

Author: Sarah Sentilles

Publisher: Random House

Published: 2017-07-04

Total Pages: 321

ISBN-13: 039959034X

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A single book might not change the world. But this utterly original meditation on art and war might transform the way you see the world—and that makes all the difference. “How to live in the face of so much suffering? What difference can one person make in this beautiful, imperfect, and imperiled world?” Through a dazzling combination of memoir, history, reporting, visual culture, literature, and theology, Sarah Sentilles offers an impassioned defense of life lived by peace and principle. It is a literary collage with an urgent hope at its core: that art might offer tools for remaking the world. In Draw Your Weapons, Sentilles tells the true stories of Howard, a conscientious objector during World War II, and Miles, a former prison guard at Abu Ghraib, and in the process she challenges conventional thinking about how war is waged, witnessed, and resisted. The pacifist and the soldier both create art in response to war: Howard builds a violin; Miles paints portraits of detainees. With echoes of Susan Sontag and Maggie Nelson, Sentilles investigates images of violence from the era of slavery to the drone age. In doing so, she wrestles with some of our most profound questions: What does it take to inspire compassion? What impact can one person have? How should we respond to violence when it feels like it can’t be stopped? Praise for Draw Your Weapons “A collage of death, savagery, torture, and trauma across generations and continents, Sarah Sentilles’s Draw Your Weapons is painful to read, hard to put down, and impossible to forget.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “In her dynamic, impressionistic (and cleverly titled) book, Sentilles focuses on language and images–particularly photography–and considers what role they play in peace and war. Eschewing a traditional narrative, Sentilles focuses on two men–one a World War II conscience objector who makes violins, and the other an Abu Ghraib prison guard who paints detainee portraits. In brief, delicately layered pieces rather than a narrative, Sentilles has created a collage that explores art, violence, and what it means to live a principled life.”—The National Book Review “It’s the kind of book that, after reading just half, you have to stop and catch your breath, because reading it changes you, not just in terms of what you know–it changes the way you think and how you feel–so much so that, halfway in, I wanted to go back and start again because I felt I was already a different person to the person I was when I began.”—Turnaround


UnMade: Honor Loyalty Redemption

UnMade: Honor Loyalty Redemption

Author: Robert Walason

Publisher:

Published: 2019-05-10

Total Pages: 310

ISBN-13: 9781733526425

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There are three ways most people leave the life of a mobster. Dying, Disappeared into Witness Protection, or just Disappeared. Bobby Walason defied the odds and walked away from the life...and lived to tell the story


If We Were Villains

If We Were Villains

Author: M. L. Rio

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Published: 2017-04-11

Total Pages: 368

ISBN-13: 1250095301

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“Much like Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, M. L. Rio’s sparkling debut is a richly layered story of love, friendship, and obsession...will keep you riveted through its final, electrifying moments.” —Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author of The Nest "Nerdily (and winningly) in love with Shakespeare...Readable, smart.” —New York Times Book Review On the day Oliver Marks is released from jail, the man who put him there is waiting at the door. Detective Colborne wants to know the truth, and after ten years, Oliver is finally ready to tell it. A decade ago: Oliver is one of seven young Shakespearean actors at Dellecher Classical Conservatory, a place of keen ambition and fierce competition. In this secluded world of firelight and leather-bound books, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingénue, extras. But in their fourth and final year, good-natured rivalries turn ugly, and on opening night real violence invades the students’ world of make-believe. In the morning, the fourth-years find themselves facing their very own tragedy, and their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, each other, and themselves that they are innocent. If We Were Villains was named one of Bustle's Best Thriller Novels of the Year, and Mystery Scene says, "A well-written and gripping ode to the stage...A fascinating, unorthodox take on rivalry, friendship, and truth."