Before I Forget is an incredible look into a slow and relentless journey through the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. This book is packed with sometimes terrifying, sometimes humorous stories and jarringly honest observations on living with the disease. B. Smith, model and owner of several restaurants, including the now closed B. Smith's located in Union Station, explains the frustration in knowing that there's something wrong but being helpless to fix it. It's a beautiful and rare first person view into a person's struggling with Alzheimer's thoughts and how she copes with it. Just as amazing is her husband of 23 years, Dan and his account. In brutal honesty, he reveals what it's like to watch the person that you love change, little by little and the attempt to learn more and try to discover new treatments. All in all, it's a beautiful, if sometimes painful, look into life and love. Things may happen, but they show us it's not only possible, but crucial, to not give up on the things and people we love.
The Secret Lives of Teachers is an interesting look at the day to day life of an educator. By using the fictional name "Horace Dewey", he allows us a very rare, completely honest glimpse at what really goes on in our classrooms and in the minds of teachers who occupy them. From forgetting a kid's name at the beginning of the year to listening to the sometimes too typical senior speeches at the close, we get to take on this new perspective. It shows us how sometimes the years (and the kids) may blend together, but the sense of hope for the future and passion for one's subject never does. Educators and non-educators alike will find themselves laughing at the sometimes all too relatable stories.
An absolutely inspiring book about a very young woman who overcame incredible hardships and obstacles in order to attain a better life for herself and her family. Through Yeonmi's eyes, we catch a glimpse of day to day life (if, it can indeed be called "life") in one of the world's harshest countries. It gave me a huge reality check to read about how, among several other things, a used plastic bag is considered a "treasure" when found or how a simple egg is a rare delicacy. In Order to Live is a frequently tragic yet beautiful story of survival, triumph and the power of family that will have you rooting for Yeonmi and desperately hoping for a happy ending. You won't be disappointed.