december's recommended memoirs
Gary spends his twenties in New York, dreaming of starring on soap operas while in reality working at a hotel where he lusts after an unattainable colleague and battles a bellman who despises it when people actually use a bell to call him. He chronicles the torture of finding a job before the internet when you had to talk on the phone all the time, and fantasizes, as we all do, about who to tell off when he finally wins an Oscar.
In 2013, 29-year-old Edward Snowden shocked the world when he broke with the American intelligence establishment and revealed that the United States government was secretly pursuing the means to collect every single phone call, text message, and email. The result would be an unprecedented system of mass surveillance with the ability to pry into the private lives of every person on earth. Six years later, Snowden reveals for the very first time how he helped to build this system and why he was moved to expose it.
Simply as epic lives, the tales of these ten admirals offer up a collection of the greatest imaginable sea stories. Moreover, spanning 2,500 years from ancient Greece to the twenty-first century, Sailing True North is a book that offers a history of the world through the prism of our greatest naval leaders. None of the admirals in this volume were perfect, and some were deeply flawed.
Amaryllis Fox was in her last year as an undergraduate at Oxford studying theology and international law when her writing mentor, Daniel Pearl, was captured and beheaded. Galvanized by this brutality, Fox applied to a master's program in conflict and terrorism at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, where she created an algorithm that predicted, with uncanny certainty, the likelihood of a terrorist cell arising in any village around the world. At 21, she was recruited by the CIA. At the end of this training, she was deployed as a spy under non-official cover - the most difficult and coveted job in the field.
Now, in her first-ever audiobook, Laura recounts how she went from being a dangerously impulsive, broke, unemployable, suicidal, cocaine-addicted narcissist, crippled by fear and hopping from one toxic romance to the next...to a more-happy-than-not, somewhat rational, meditating, vegan yogi with good credit, a great marriage, a fantastic career, and four unfortunate-looking rescue animals. Still, above all, Laura remains an amazingly talented, adorable, and vulnerable self-described...Idiot.
Sentenced to 65 years in a Texas prison, Damon West once had it all. He came from a great family, in a home full of God, love, support, and opportunities to reach any goal. A natural born leader, an athlete with good looks and charm, he appeared to be the all-American kid pursuing his dreams.
Underneath this facade, however, was an addict in the early stages of disease.
After a fateful discussion during his incarceration with a seasoned convict, Damon had a spiritual awakening. His story of redemption continues to inspire audiences today.