“Synanon Kid Grows Up: A Memoir Of Learning To Live Outside The Synanon Cult” by C.A. Wittman

Synanon Kid cover

Synanon Kid Grows Up: A Memoir Of Learning To Live Outside The Synanon Cult

by C.A. Wittman

Genre: Memoir & Biography/Women/YA

FREE at time of posting! Kindle Unlimited!

“Commune shopping,” my mother, Theresa, called it as if to imply some sort of fun. But I wasn’t fooled. One shopped for shoes, clothes, and groceries, not insular bizarre private societies to devote years of one’s life to.

After spending almost five years of her childhood in the Synanon cult, Celena has developed a deep longing and desire for normalcy, to live in a house with her mother, attend public school, and meld into the plainness of mainstream American life.

In October 1981, Celena’s longtime wish to leave the commune is finally realized, and one cold fall morning she departs by bus from the rural property in Marin with her mother, stepfather, and stepsister to start their lives anew. Yet right from the beginning, ideals of how and where to live clash within their small family. While Celena and her stepsister yearn for a nuclear home, their parents are on the hunt for the next utopia.

Money is tight and tempers are hot as the four try to navigate the challenge of what it is to be a family while attempting to survive in a society that rewards individualism over collectivism. For the first time, Celena is made aware of what it means to be black in a white world, sometimes struggling with a level of invisibility that she was not prepared for. Longing to belong somewhere, she develops the fierce desire to return to Los Angeles and the African American communities she came from.

As Celena grows into a young woman, her existential angst has her questioning God’s existence and taking a hard look at materialism and the values of the American mainstream culture that she once idealized. Over time, she learns to embrace the counterculture lifestyle of the Santa Cruz community that she and her family have settled in. Through her stepfather’s role as a drug counselor at the Sunflower House rehab, she comes to have a deeper understanding of what the Synanon cult was all about and why people initially became attracted to the commune.

This is the story of a young woman’s search for identity while coming to terms with her past as a Synanon kid.

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“Hungry for Life: A Memoir Unlocking the Truth Inside an Anorexic Mind” by Rachel Richards

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Hungry for Life: A Memoir Unlocking the Truth Inside an Anorexic Mind

by Rachel Richards

Genre: Memoir/YA/Personal Health/Diet & Nutrition

FREE at time of posting! Kindle Unlimited!

In this painfully moving memoir, take a firsthand look at anorexia through the eyes of a young girl. Even in kindergarten, Rachel Richards knows something isn’t right. By leading us through her distorted thoughts, she shines a light on the experience and mystery of mental illness.

As she grows up, unable to comprehend or communicate her inner trauma, Rachel lashes out, hurting herself, running away from home, and fighting her family. Restricting food gives her the control she craves. But after being hospitalized and force-fed, Rachel only retreats further into herself.

With a driving perfectionism, she graduates college with honors. But at sixty-nine pounds, Rachel is a shell of nervous and obsessive behaviors that have controlled her life. Years of self-harm and self-loathing have fueled the inner battles between good and evil, health and sickness, and life and death.

Acting on stage offers her moments of freedom from the skewed perceptions she’s constructed over the years. But her dream of a career in theater is not enough to save her. What is the secret that will finally unleash her will to recover?

If you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder or is a concerned parent, is anxious about weight and dieting, has an addiction, or wants to learn more about the mystery of how an eating disorder develops and the multifaceted and complex road to recovery, this book is a must-read!

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“Life Out Of Reach: Spare Burden” by Jas Dosanjh

Life Out Of Reach: Spare Burden

Genre: Memoirs/Biography/Dysfunctional Families/Cultural
6.99 at time of posting!

In this transcendent memoir, Jas Dosanjh, one of six girls born to immigrants who moved from India to Wolverhampton, tells a raw and harrowing first-hand account of growing up in a harsh, oppressive and male-dominated Sikh Punjabi family. In conversations with her therapist, Jas describes her grandfather’s way of dealing with unwanted daughters.

“My grandfather had eight children. Well, he had more, but he’d disposed of some of ‘em in India as soon as they’d been born.”

“Disposed of?”

“Yeah, you know…strangled, drowned, suffocated.”

Living in modern Britain, but with no intention of integrating into English culture, the men in Jas’s family brought with them brutal beliefs that continued to control and oppress their wives, sisters, and daughters. Women can be beaten merely for talking to a man. Boys are a prized addition, while girls are seen as valueless, a spare burden to be disposed of by marriage to the first available man. Her mother’s determination to have a son creates personal consequences for the entire family and when her uncle kills a Muslim teenager, the noose around the necks of the girls in Jas’s family gets tighter. Even at her comprehensive school, Jas finds the rivalry between Sikhs and Muslims is fierce and she finds herself having to fight for her right to befriend Muslims. Her attempts to break through the gender, religious and racial prejudices surrounding her bring Jas into conflict both outside the home and with those she loves. This captivating memoir describes the fascinating journey a young Jas makes into her teenage years. It will grip you from its very first page, enraging and shocking you at the injustice and blatant inequality suffered by Jas at the hands of her own family.

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“Confessions of a Call Centre Worker” by Izabelle Winter

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Confessions of a Call Centre Worker

by Izabelle Winter

Genre: Biography & Memoirs/Humor & Entertainment

Read for FREE on KINDLE UNLIMITED!

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work in a call centre?

Imagine speaking to members of the public fifty or more times every day, always having to be courteous and professional no matter what they say to you.

Could you keep your cool while talking to all levels of stupid?

Would you be able to wear a headset all day without wanting to throw it out of the window?

All calls are recorded, analysed and timed to the second. Average handling time (AHT) is discussed as if it’s the very meaning of life and managers are always coming up with new ways to shave milliseconds from each call.

Is it acceptable to only have a total eight minutes a day for visits to the toilet or coffee machine?

Imagine not being allowed to hang up on someone who is screaming abuse down the line at you.

Welcome to the Call Centre!

Izabelle worked in call centres for many years; from insurance to home shopping, from selling advertising to discussing loans. Finally in the early hours one morning, she decided enough was in fact far too much and left her final call centre job the same day, never to return.

On her way out of the door for the final time she vowed she would write a book about life in a call centre. Here is that book. Read about call centres in general, memorable customers and staff. How do staff stay sane? What is Big Red? Are cranberries the true meaning of Christmas?

Why would you have leather trousers round your ankles in a lift? How not to impress your boss. Izabelle shares these and many other true tales from her years of incarceration in UK call centres.

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“Ubered: My Life as a Rideshare Driver” by Evan Kail

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Ubered: My Life as a Rideshare Driver

by Evan Kail

Genre: Biography & Memoirs/LGBT

FREE at time of posting! (Thru 5/2/18)

His family’s wealth has evaporated, and now serendipity is all Evan Kail can salvage from his riches to rags nightmare. He’s been chasing a screenwriting dream, and he’s put everything on the line to attain it. So when a new phenomenon called “Rideshare” enters his market in Minneapolis, Kail seeks an opportunity which he believes will allow time to pursue his calling. His only item of value, a BMW sports car purchased in the glory days of wealth, affords him a down payment on a used luxury sedan. Before Kail knows it, he’s a soldier in the trenches of a tech revolution, and he’s in way over his head.

 

Ubered is a journey through the jungles of a wild mind in an even wilder adventure driving full-time for Uber and Lyft. Over the course of one year, Kail dances with all hosts of personalities, battles all sorts of scenarios, and struggles to realize what it means to be a contractor, not an employee. Prepare for the craziest year of Kail’s young life, one that would leave him grappling to understand the very meaning of fate and all he thought was sacred.

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“Let the Trumpet Sound” by Stephen B. Oates

Let the Trumpet Sound: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

by Stephen B. Oates

Genre: Biography & Memoirs/Leaders & Notable People/Social Activists

1.99 at time of posting!

Winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award and the Christopher Award, this brilliant examination of the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. portrays a very real man and his dream that shaped America’s history.

 

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“True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa” by Michael Finkel

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True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa

by Michael Finkel

Genre: Nonfiction/Biography & Memoirs/Journalism

1.99 at time of posting!

Now a Major Motion Picture Starring Jonah Hill & James Franco and Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures

When New York Times reporter Michael Finkel meets accused killer Christian Longo–who has taken on Finkel’s identity–his investigation morphs into an unforgettable game of cat and mouse. True Story weaves a spellbinding tale of murder, love, deceit, and redemption, following Finkel’s relentless pursuit of the shocking truth.

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