By Isabel Allende,

Book cover of Paula: A Memoir

Book description

"Beautiful and heartrending. . . . Memoir, autobiography, epicedium, perhaps even some fiction: they are all here, and they are all quite wonderful."-Los Angeles Times

In this literary classic, New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende recalls the story of her beloved daughter and her remarkable family's past.

When her…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Paula as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I cannot imagine sitting at the bedside of one of my children in a coma.

Isabel Allende not only did that, but used her grief, fear, pain, hope, optimism, memory, and humor to write an extraordinarily compelling book. We come to know not only Paula, Isabel’s gravely ill daughter, but a colorful cast of characters from the family’s past.

We learn about Chilean history and somehow find ourselves laughing and crying in the same chapter. At least I did. Allende is a master with words – and English is not her first language. Do yourself a favor and read this…

In this heart-wrenching memoir, international best-selling author Isabel Allende interweaves her own extraordinary life journey and heritage, with her daughter Paula’s slow and torturous death. 

Driven out of Chile into exile herself, plus endangering her own life helping other refugees escape, Allende writes with deep psychological incite into the fate of the displaced. To being forced to leave one's home and country, to lose your tribe and nation, to survive the damage to your soul, and forever fearing not being safe.

From Robin's list on refugee odysseys to freedom.

Written to her adult daughter who lies in a coma, Isabel Allende begins, “Listen Paula, I am going to tell you a story so that when you wake up you will not feel so lost.” With that, Allende goes on to tell the great “legend” of their family in Chile, including impetuous, magical women one of whom sprouts wings. Moving back and forth between luscious storytelling and the tension of the hospital, Allende keeps her daughter company while awaiting the outcome of her illness. In this skillful way, Allende finds a place for Paula in a legend larger than life.

From Monica's list on maternal grief and universal love.

Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat

By Wendy Lee Hermance,

Book cover of Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat

Wendy Lee Hermance Author Of Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat

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Why am I passionate about this?

Wendy Lee Hermance was heard on National Public Radio (NPR) stations with her Missouri Folklore series in the 1980s. She earned a journalism degree from Stephens College, served as Editor and Features Writer for Midwestern and Southern university and regional publications, then settled into writing real estate contracts. In 2012 she attended University of Sydney, earning a master’s degree by research thesis. Her books include Where I’m Going with this Poem, a memoir in poetry and prose. Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat marks her return to feature writing as collections of narrative non-fiction stories.

Wendy's book list on why Portugal is weird

What is my book about?

Weird Foods of Portugal describes the author's first years trying to make sense of a strange new place and a home there for herself.

Witty, dreamlike, and at times jarring, the book sizzles with social commentary looking back at America and beautiful, finely drawn descriptions of Portugal and its people. Part dark-humor cautionary tale, part travel adventure, ultimately, Hermance's book of narrative non-fiction serves as affirmation for any who wish to make a similar move themselves.

Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat

By Wendy Lee Hermance,

What is this book about?

"Wendy Lee Hermance describes Portugal´s colorful people and places - including taxi drivers and animals - with a poet´s empathy and dark humor. Part travel adventure, part cautionary tale, Weird Foods of Portugal is at it´s heart, affirmation for all who consider making such a move themselves."

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