1. don't kill the birthday girl - tales from allergic life by sandra beasley
this is a great memoir! i could totally relate to her many stories of realizing that she had just accidentally eaten something that was going to make her very very sick, very very soon. she interwove her personal experiences growing up sensitive to many foods/animals/environmental elements, with the history of allergy diagnosis and current treatment methods. although the same list of allergies play a HUGE role in my life, i learned by reading this book that i don't really know very much about them in general - or what they specifically do to my hypersensitive immune system. but it seems like the researchers are pretty confused as well. although it may be sad news to many new parents that allergies are on the rise - i am thankful that society is an increasingly kinder place for us allergic-folk.
2. the journey from abandonment to healing by susan anderson
well, the title kinda says it all. this book helped me come to terms with being an "abandonment survivor" while also providing me a way to deal with the often violent, continuous, flowing nature of grief. and it contained two phrases that would make great tattoos: (1) "the best revenge is success" and (2) "amor fati" which means "love your fate"...that's good stuff.
3. the tipping point by malcolm gladwell
am i the last person to read this book...i think so!
4. the illumination by kevin brockmeier
kevin brockmeier creates a world where every person's wounds - internal and external - suddenly begin to shine and illuminate. simply, you cannot hide your pain because it blinds you and others. i liked the premise and it did make me think about how society might change if we were actually forced to constantly SEE the physical manifestation of suffering. but the main "character" was actually a diary/journal that got passed from person to person over many years, so each chapter was in the point-of-view of a new person who possessed the journal. more than once, i really missed the "voice" of a character when their chapter ended and someone else was introduced. sadly, i would not recommend this book...sorry kevin.