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Pick Up a Memoir This Month

Face your fears, be inspired and laugh a little with these memoirs, recommended by Apple Valley's Galaxie Library staff.

A good memoir seems like just the thing to read during the dog days of summer. Check out these recommendations if you agree:

"Merle’s Door: Lessons From a Freethinking Dog" by Ted Kerasote

A chance encounter between a young dog and a nature writer in the Utah desert has a life changing effect on both the parties involved. Kerasote uses the story of his unique relationship with Merle to explore our deep affinity for our canine companions and what things might look like from their perspective. For anyone who has ever lived with and loved a dog. —Lee Schubert

"The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun" by Gretchen Rubin

Sitting on a city bus one afternoon, author Gretchen Rubin was struck with the realization that her life was quickly passing her by. Knowing that she needed to start focusing on the "big picture," she created the idea of the happiness project. This book records her journey over one year of trying to live happier in different area of life (marriage, work, parenting, self-fulfillment). Rubin’s account is humorous and inspirational, and offers concrete advice without lecturing to the reader. Fans of self-help books will thoroughly enjoy this delightful look into one woman’s life and her quest to add more happiness to her life. —Sarah Iverson

"My Year With Eleanor" by Noelle Hancock

This newly published memoir was inspired by a simple quote written on a chalkboard: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Eleanor Roosevelt’s now famous line has appeared in many graduation speeches, and now author Noelle Hancock uses these words as a platform to rewrite her own life. Newly unemployed and full of self-doubt, the author realizes that she is controlled by fear and anxiety in many aspects of her life. Roosevelt’s quote becomes a guide as Hancock spends 12 months living a "year of fear." From shark diving and tap dancing to standup comedy, the author’s experiences show that lots of joy and confidence can come from facing your fears. —Sarah Iverson

Children's Book: "How Angel Peterson Got His Name: And Other Outrageous Tales About Extreme Sports" by Gary Paulsen

Young readers who’ve enjoyed Gary Paulsen’s fiction stories, such as "Hatchet and Mudshark," will jump at the chance to learn more about the author’s childhood. Set in an early 1950s northern Minnesota, Paulsen shares the hilarious tales about his family, friends and the unbelievable situations they experienced. Short chapters introduce the reader to separate adventures—from a friend who refused to let go of a parachute and was pulled treetop high, to another friend who agreed to wrestle a bear in a cage! Of course, the best of all is the title story.  If you are curious how Angel Peterson earned his nickname, pick up this adventuresome and humorous children’s book. This will especially appeal to boys and reluctant readers in grades four and up. —Sarah Iverson

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