169. Emergency Admissions: Memoirs of an Ambulance Driver

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Title: Emergency Admissions: Memoirs of an Ambulance Driver

Author: Kit Wharton

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Non-Fiction>Memoir

Shocking, funny and unflinchingly honest, Emergency Admissions gives us a fascinating glimpse into the extraordinary world of ambulance driving from the man behind the wheel.

Kit Wharton has been an ambulance driver for a dozen years. This book is his report from the frontline of that work: 999 calls that hurtle him to critical moments in other peoples’ lives. Nothing in this job is normal, every job is different. From the bizarre to the terrifying and tragic, Wharton takes the reader through his strange work.

There is an S&M party gone horribly wrong and bodily discharges sure to make you wretch. There is a man who calls 999 saying he has picked a spot – you can imagine Kit’s irritation. When he arrives, the patient is lying in a pool of his own blood. On the other hand there are colossal time wasters. There are extraordinarily sad stories, heart-warming, touching instances of human bravery and connection

Along the way Kit reveals more about his own unconventional upbringing, a childhood pickled in alcohol abuse and bohemian family set ups. As he says, he was well prepared for the ambulance service…(Goodreads 2017)

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147: Maus- Art Spiegelman

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Title: Maus (The Complete, Vol 1 & 2)

Author: Art Spiegelman

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Graphic Novels

Combined for the first time here are Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale and Maus II – the complete story of Vladek Spiegelman and his wife, living and surviving in Hitler’s Europe. By addressing the horror of the Holocaust through cartoons, the author captures the everyday reality of fear and is able to explore the guilt, relief and extraordinary sensation of survival – and how the children of survivors are in their own way affected by the trials of their parents. A contemporary classic of immeasurable significance.(Goodreads 2015)

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121. How to be a Woman- Caitlin Moran

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Title: How to be a Woman

Author: Caitlin Moran

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Non-fiction> memoir

 

Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven’t been burned as witches since 1727, life isn’t exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant talk about babies? And do men secretly hate them?

Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women’s lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from the riot of adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother. With rapier wit, Moran slices right to the truth—whether it’s about the workplace, strip clubs, love, fat, abortion, popular entertainment, or children—to jump-start a new conversation about feminism. With humor, insight, and verve, How To Be a Woman lays bare the reasons female rights and empowerment are essential issues not only for women today but also for society itself” (Goodreads 2014)

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119. Timequake- Kurt Vonnegut

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Title: Timequake

Author: Kurt Vonnegut

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction/Non-fiction/Memoir…ish?!

According to science-fiction writer Kilgore Trout, a global timequake will occur in New York City on 13th February 2001. It is the moment when the universe suffers a crisis of conscience. Should it expand or make a great big bang? It decides to wind the clock back a decade to 1991, making everyone in the world endure ten years of deja-vu and a total loss of free will – not to mention the torture of reliving every nanosecond of one of the tawdiest and most hollow decades. With his trademark wicked wit, Vonnegut addresses memory, suicide, the Great Depression, the loss of American eloquence, and the obsolescent thrill of reading books (Goodreads 2014)

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110. A Room of One’s Own- Virginia Woolf

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Title: A Room of One’s Own

Author: Virginia Woolf

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Non-Fiction> Classics

A Room of One’s Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published on 24 October 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women’s colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928. While this extended essay in fact employs a fictional narrator and narrative to explore women both as writers of and characters in fiction, the manuscript for the delivery of the series of lectures, titled “Women and Fiction”, and hence the essay, are considered non-fiction. The essay is generally seen as a feminist text, and is noted in its argument for both a literal and figural space for women writers within a literary tradition dominated by patriarchy (Goodreads 2014)

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107. Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler- Trudi Kanter

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Title: Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler

Author: Trudi Kanter

Rating: ★★★★★

On the Shelves: Non-fiction> Memoir

 

Vienna, 1938: Trudi Miller, young, beautiful and chic, designs hats for the smartest women in the city. She is falling in love with Walter, a charming and charismatic businessman. But their idyll is about to end. Trudi and Walter are Jewish, and as Hitler’s tanks roll into Austria, they know they have to flee. (Goodreads 2014)

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38. Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea- Barbara Demick

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Title: Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea

Author: Barbara Demick

Rating: 

On the Shelves: Non-Fiction

A National Book Award finalist and National Book Critics Circle finalist, Barbara Demick’s Nothing to Envy is a remarkable view into North Korea, as seen through the lives of six ordinary citizens. “Nothing to Envy” follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years — a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the unchallenged rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population. Taking us into a landscape most of us have never before seen, award-winning journalist Barbara Demick brings to life what it means to be living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today — an Orwellian world that is by choice not connected to the Internet, in which radio and television dials are welded to the one government station, and where displays of affection are punished; a police state where informants are rewarded and where an offhand remark can send a person to the gulag for life. Demick takes us deep inside the country, beyond the reach of government censors. Through meticulous and sensitive reporting, we see her six subjects — average North Korean citizens — fall in love, raise families, nurture ambitions, and struggle for survival. One by one, we experience the moments when they realize that their government has betrayed them. “Nothing to Envy” is a groundbreaking addition to the literature of totalitarianism and an eye-opening look at a closed world that is of increasing global importance. (Goodreads 2014)

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