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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

Your May Reading List by Fran Joyce


Everyone has a story; sometimes the most entertaining or touching stories are true and can only be shared by the people who have experienced them. In honor of Personal History Month we decided to feature a selection of books based on the personal experiences of their authors or co-authors.

For Adults:

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Running with Scissors by Augustin Burroughs

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Just Kids by Patti Smith

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X

Naked by David Sedaris

Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life by Steve Martin

Lucky by Alice Sebold

Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman by Richard Feynman

Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

For Children:

The Flea: The Amazing Story of Leo Messi by Michael Part – the story of a boy destined to play soccer and become the one of the best players in the world. For ages 8-18

Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story by Ruby Bridges – the story of the first African American student to integrate a New Orleans school. In 1960, six-year old Ruby Bridges walked past an angry crowd and through the doors of an all-white school to help end segregation. For ages 4-8

Helen Keller: Courage in the Dark by Johanna Hurwitz – inspirational story that reminds us Helen Keller and others facing physical challenges are so much more than their disabilities. For ages 7-9

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer– the true story of a boy who created a windmill to power his family’s home and brought electricity to his Malawian village. For ages 11-17

The May Quiz: Believe it or Not

Author Page: Where to Find Your Next Great Read