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May 29, 2024

In this edition of Indie Spotlight, our monthly roundup of BookLife titles, we feature memoirs and autobiographies. Want to see your book featured? Check out the Indie Spotlight calendar at


Career Memoirs

Misfit Leadership: Lessons Learned from a Misfit FBI Agent
Steve Gladis
Author statement: “I’ve published 28 books, including two novels. Most of my work has been about leadership, which I research, write about, and teach at George Mason. Reflecting on my FBI career and my late-discovered dyslexia helped me make sense—or as Steve Jobs discussed in his speech at Stanford, connect the dots backwards–to make sense of what seemed like chaos at the time.”
Warrior Judge: One Man’s Journey from Gridiron to Gavel
Holly Newman Greenberg and Ed Newman
ISBN 978-1-63784-459-5
Author statement: “I needed to write my father’s life story. There were too many universal life lessons that had to be captured before it was too late. He was a professional football player turned lawyer and then judge. He is a three-time cancer survivor. He is my hero, and yet the humblest man I know. And, after watching numerous of his teammates pass away too early due to CTE and other sports-related injuries, I knew I couldn’t wait. The time was now. My dad and I began the interview process in 2019. For four years, he shared his stories and provided deep insight into the psychology of a professional athlete. At first, he was my subject. But in time, my dad became my coauthor and then my co-editor. This involvement brought deeper authenticity to his story. It is a passion project, a love note, and an inspiration.”

Trauma, Healing & Mental Health

The Day My Mother Never Came Home
Reginald L. Reed Jr.
Author statement: “On Aug. 23, 1987, 26-year-old Selonia Reed—my mother—was found dead in Louisiana. Nearly 40 years after my mother's death, her husband Reginald Reed was sentenced to life in prison for her murder. I hope my memoir will resonate with readers who have experienced trauma or loss. I hope it serves as a reminder to men, especially marginalized men, that sharing one’s story is far from weak, but the most powerful act one can undertake.”
Feisty Righty: A Cancer Survivor’s Journey
Jennifer D. James
Author statement: “My memoir, Feisty Righty, is based on seven handwritten journals, completed in over 247 days, as I navigated chemo, surgery, radiation, and the physical, emotional, and mental struggles brought on by cancer. During this time, I discovered my life purpose: to help others diagnosed with the same disease and to open the conversation about cancer to break down the stigmas surrounding it. This book contains the valuable lessons I learned. With clarity and insight, I share how to survive life’s toughest obstacles, what truly matters, why we fight to overcome them, and the art of living versus the act of living. For me, this inspiring book is about love, light, perseverance, and hope.”
The Gift of Sensitivity
Elena V. Amber
ISBN 978-1-78860-567-0
Author statement: “Have you ever wondered about sensitivity? Many of us associate it with weakness or a curse. But what if I told you that sensitivity is actually your most authentic strength and a superpower for the future? Unfortunately, most of us are frozen or disconnected, emotionally stultified. Others are vulnerable and wounded. We prefer to avoid the emotional zone, as it often brings pain. Instead, we choose a life of self-control, sacrificing freedom. I witnessed this firsthand with my father, who never connected with his inner emotional world, ultimately succumbing at a young age. Inspired by this calling, I embarked on an eight-year transformative journey. And you know what I discovered? Sensitivity holds the key to unlocking our limitless potential. It's accessible to all who seek it.”
Healing of a Psychotherapist: A Journey of Rebellion, Reflection, and Redemption
Charles McCormack
Author statement: “I was walking with my adult children one day when one of them, enjoying great success in his life, asked me, ‘Dad, is this it?’ On another occasion, one of my daughters gave me a book to fill out for my grandchildren telling them a bit about myself. I translated these two asks into two questions: ‘Who am I?’ and ‘What is life about?’ The writing became a journey unto itself. I laughed and I cried as I relived my troubled beginnings, the anguish of several divorces, and mental health issues in my family, to becoming a multi-award–winning yet strangely morose psychotherapist.”
Barb Higgins
Author statement: “In Motherland, I share the unabashed truth of living in the throes of indescribable grief, the small steps that began my journey toward some measure of peace, and what it was like to come out on the other side, giving birth to a child I never thought I would have. I describe being a mother as living in a country with all its various terrains, climates, cultural assumptions, and beliefs. My story is an invitation to visit the place I call Motherland.”
Not That Girl Anymore: How Binge Eating Led Me to Confront My Childhood Sexual Abuse and Open Myself to Love
Patty Cabot
Author statement: “I never planned to write about my childhood sexual abuse and spent much of my life keeping it secret because it was so shameful. When I started therapy for help with an eating disorder only to learn it was about the abuse, I was so closed that I didn’t feel that there was anyone I could talk to about it. Writing about my sessions became a way for me to process my past and all the feelings it brought up. This later became the basis for my memoir, Not That Girl Anymore. Every author has their reasons for writing a book, and mine is to show those struggling with trauma that it is possible to undo the ruin within.”

Travel & Exploration

Paris for Life: Notes from a Lifetime in and out of Paris
Barry Frangipane
ISBN 978-0-9836141-4-2
Author statement: “When a Swiss girl invited me to spend a year in 1970s Paris at 21 years old, I wound up between police and rioters with shots being fired, narrowly escaping a terrorist bombing, and begging for food. And then helped to save the home of the world’s most famous mime from foreclosure. I wrote Paris for Life to show how taking a chance can change your life, or if you’re not careful, possibly end it altogether.”
Where Two Worlds Touch: An Outsider’s Memoir in England
River Faire
Author statement: “I wanted to make an offering of goodness and beauty in the world, to craft something exquisite, looking through a wider aperture than typical of most memoirs. What happens when identity and worldview enlarge unexpectedly through crisis, challenge and perspective, revelation, or simply the cards dealt by life? Beyond a tale of two gay outsiders drawn mysteriously back together, the real shimmer of gold in this story is its humanness; an inspiring narrative about navigating the intricacies of the human heart, no matter whom we love. Ultimately, the book is an eloquent celebration—from the food on our plates to nature’s healing embrace, from personal purpose to our place in the universe.”
The Work: A Jigsaw Memoir
Zachary Sklar
ISBN 978-1-954744-96-7
Author statement: “I never set out to write a memoir. But over the years I wrote a number of personal essays about people, places, and experiences that had a profound effect on me. Some of the pieces were long, some short. Some published, some not. In the last couple of years, I realized that these essays, when put together like a jigsaw puzzle, added up to an informal memoir. The pieces were written at different times. The urgency of the contra war in 1984 demanded that I write ‘Report from Nicaragua’s Coffee Fields’ in the heat of the moment. But it took 15 years before I could face the painful emotions described in ‘Nyoko.’ And I couldn’t begin to understand the impact of what had happened to me on Daufuskie Island in 1969 until five decades later when I finally put words on paper. Each of the essays in this collection is, in its own way, a love letter.”