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Showing posts with the label Autobiography

Book review: I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

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The obvious attraction of I Am Malala is the inside story of this young women's violent struggle with the Taliban but there are even greater, quieter wonders on offer for the patient reader.

Malala Yousafzai tells her story with a refreshing lack of self-consciousness so that we are given not only a deeply personal insight into her own soul, but into the intricacies of her family and her troubled Swat homelands in Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The entire world focused on one day of her life, Tuesday, October 9, 2012 when the high school student and campaigner for girls education, was shot by a member of the Taliban who also wounded two of her fellow students.

The entire world has again focused on Malala with the announcement she is to jointly receive the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.*

Although the book takes its time to provide satisfying detail as to the events of the day she was shot, there is no sense of frustrating delay as the reader is first introduced to…

Women entertain angels in the midst of 9-11, Ash Wednesday fires

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Two women who have been through the most horrific events of our time have written of the comfort and aid brought by angels during periods of suffering.

Genelle Guzman was the last person rescued from Ground Zero after the September 1, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre and tells her story in Angel in the Rubble.

Ann Fogarty is one of few people to survive the seriousness of burns she received while protecting her children from the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983 and she tells her story in the new book, Forged with Flames.

As scepticism often greets accounts of people coming through near death experiences and saying they went to heaven (or hell), so too no doubt many will be tempted to write-off accounts of angels from women suffering extreme trauma.

But these are strong survivors who have told their stories in detail some time after the events, very differently, but with similar degrees of certainty. It may come down to your beliefs about spiritual reality...
Mysterious Paul …

Book review: Forged with Flames by Ann Fogarty and Anne Crawford

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The opening chapter of Forged With Flames seems as timeless as our continent's contention with bushfire and as immediate as this summer's smoky ruins.

It doesn't matter that it tells the events of Ash Wednesday, 1983, because it could be happening to someone, somewhere - today.

I read this chapter in the midst of a busy day and at the end had to take a few moments to collect myself. Ann Fogarty, with the assistance of Anne Crawford, tells what happens when "a massive fireball" leaping ahead of a raging bushfire heads straight toward her and her children.

I could see an entire movie being made from this one chapter.

Perhaps it is the kind of telling only possible so many years later and that is true of much of the rest of the book which is intensely personal and would not be easy to write without the passing of time.

It is a well-written book that ensures not only the compelling action scenes, but also the ebb and flow of an entire life, are engaging and fulfillin…

Cherish life, especially the small things: Jim Styne's My Journey

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'If you don't have cancer, cherish life. If you do, cherish it even more.' – Jim Stynes, My Journey Jim Stynes, AFL Brownlow Medalist and former president of Melbourne Football Club, endured a tough and public fight with cancer after being diagnosed three years ago at the age of 43.

My Journey is his autobiography, in which he recalls his football career from recruitment as a young Irishman and including winning the Brownlow Medal in 1991. It also discusses his co-founding of Reach, a community outreach organisation that works with troubled youth, and his cancer diagnosis and the subsequent battle.

At the book's launch in Melbourne yesterday, his wife Sam spoke of how the prospect of Jim never seeing his kids grow up was one of the most upsetting aspects, but at the book will offer some comfort:

"So just knowing that they will always have that book with that beautiful sparkly spine sitting on their bookshelf that they can grab at any time, it takes the pressure, …

Thorpedo of an autobiography

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There always seemed to be a missing plot-line or two to the story surrounding Ian Thorpe's retirement from swimming and it seems those details are about to be revealed.

A new "tell-all" autobiography will be published by Simon & Schuster on October 1 (according to News Ltd) or November 1 (according to S & S website) and extracts already sold to magazines reportedly disclose battles with depression and alcohol.

His new manager James Erskine seems less interested in the tell-all approach, making it clear to News Ltd reporters that it was "not your  divine right to know what's in the book" along with more colourful statements.

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