Our Harmony Memoir Series
Bottom Dog Press/ Bird Dog Publishing
Books that Matter
Most of these books are also availabe on Kindle.
The Thick of Thin:
Memoirs of a Working-Class Writer
by Larry Smith
This is a remarkable memoir, two memoirs really. One chronicles Larry Smith’s odyssey from son of a mill town worker to accomplished teacher, writer, publisher. We see a young man take his first uncertain steps from a way of life that had defined his family for generations. As he and wife Ann move from their beloved Ohio Valley, we also see the values of hard work, honesty to self, acceptance of others, and others instilled from his parents impelling his life forward from college graduate to high school teacher to college professor. Throughout, love of family remains at the center of his life.The other memoir is his creative odyssey. Shared the evolution of his creative self as reflected in selections from his poetry, fiction, and biography. It brings him–and us–to a precipice of understanding that is deep and profound, a holistic self grounded in the world of nature and others. --Kurt Landefeld, author of Jack's Memoir
24 photos A Life Story For More Information
Author Larry Smith
Waiting to Begin: A Memoir
by Patricia O'Donnell
Harmony Memoir Series
(26 photos included)
"This book is so fair, so honest and wise; no one is a villain or a victim. It’s a book about a rich, full life–how we figure out who we are and who we want to be. It’s about how mistakes, or what we think at the time are mistakes, can turn out to be gifts and treasures. This beautiful book is dramatic, wise and powerful, the interweaving of past and present brilliantly done. It’s like having a glass of wine (a really good glass of wine) with a wise and funny and trusted friend. The author’s voice is irresistible – you can’t stop reading. Or maybe I should say, you can’t stop listening, because this book feels more like an intimate conversation than reading words on a page. It’s like having a glass of wine (a really good glass of wine) with a wise and funny and trusted friend." ~ Judith Slater, author of The Baby Can Sing
"In the opening scene of Waiting to Begin Patricia O'Donnell speaks to incoming students at a university, telling of her transformation from a rebellious young woman to the writer and professor standing before them. Pat feels the story is not wholly true however, that some of the professor was in the younger woman, and that there is 'something of that young woman--lawless, braless, rude and exuberant--in me now.' Here's the real story, she writes. ~ Douglas Whynott, author of The Season of Sugar
Author, Patricia O'Donnell
Salvatore and Maria
by Paul L. Gentile
Paul Gentile takes you along on Salvatore’s journey as he leaves Italy in 1902, works in the mines of Colorado, falls in love with Maria and moves to the Pittsburgh area to work in the mills. Like so many of that time, Salvatore rarely complains and takes his greatest joy in his family. The story that Gentile weaves here will ring true to nearly everyone in America. This book is for historians as well as those who enjoy a good family story. ~Kathleen Ganster
Through fine writing and a remarkable level of research, Paul L. Gentile’s book is a compelling read, a powerful reminder of our shared history as American immigrants. ~Karen Kotrba
270 pgs. $17.00
But we prefer the book.
Daughters of the Grasslands
Mary Woster Haug
A Midwest Gem
Here is a beautifully written book of family and culture and history woven into the author's life in South Dakota and in Korea.
Mary Woster Haug offers a lovely, ruminative book transcending usual boundaries of memoir and travel writing. Set in modern, bustling Korea during a teaching year abroad, but forever grounded within implicating memories from South Dakota's stark landscape, Haug's writing evokes the intoxications of boiled silkworm, blood sausage, and Korean kimchi. These appear amid wafting tugs of childhood illness, a sometimes overanxious mother, and the magic of a childhood in Lakota country....Such intricate artistry, dating back some twenty-two centuries in Korea, fashions Haug's own book where knots of writer observation and memory grow all the stronger for our efforts to unravel them. ~Daniel W. Lehman, Co-Editor of River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative
Author Mary Woster Haug
The Curve of the World:
Into the Spiritual Heart of Yoga, Memoir
by Andy Douglas
"This book chronicles the journey of one American soul willing to risk everything in search of a more meaningful and satisfying experience. It will bump you out of the well-worn ruts of status quo religion, taking you to places you've never been before." --Tim Bascom, author of Chameleon Days: An American Childhood in Ethiopia
The Curve of the World tells the story of the author's relationship with a remarkable spiritual teacher on a path grounded in meditation and service. It draws connections between spirituality and social justice, music and devotion. And, as the author eventually faces serious illness, the book explores the link between body, mind and spirit, in a journey toward self-knowledge.
"Illness and disease force one to separate the gripping and material mind-body connection, summoning forth a previously unknown strength of spirit. This launches one on a sojourn through a higher and all-encompassing process of healing."
-New York Journal of Books
"Beautifully rendered, Douglas is particularly adept at placing the reader in his exotic locales through lush descriptions and heartfelt prose. His care with his subject matter creates a sensitive but rational portrait of the cultural and political climate of the Ananda Marga movement. He manages the personal, his relationships both spiritual and emotional, with sentiment yet tempered by objectivity."
-Lee Ware, The US Review of Books
But we prefer the book and think you will too.
Stories from Abroad and Other Places
ISBN 978-1-933967-87-4 152 pgs. $17
Far Country: Stories from Abroad and Other Places
Harmony Memoir Series
"Timothy Kenny’s Far Country moves from Kabul to Detroit, Azerbaijan to Kosovo, and the connecting thread is not the obvious adventure but human relationships. Each essay is a story we fall into, story after story connected through relationship and observation, from darkness to the next darkness. Kenny’s essays are not just reports from the front but a fascinating set of hard-won observations on any front, any complex of situations, that any of us might encounter." ~Trish Harris, editor Pea River Journal
“War reporting from foreign lands is an exciting business, but the drama is as likely to involve hostile passport officers and feral dogs as whizzing bullets. In Far Country, Tim Kenny shares his memorable adventures, separated from the events and characters that dominated the headlines of the day. From Berlin to Prague to Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Sarajevo, these stories tell what it was really like to be there at the time.” ~Tom Gjelten, National Public Radio correspondent and author
152 pgs. $17.00
Author Timothy Kenny
Milldust and Roses: Memoirs
Milldust and Roses is a beautiful tapestry, the substance of whice describes an Ohio Valley working-class family from the mid-century onward. These memoirs are not about his life as a poet, but about the metapmorphosis of self and family life in the urban Midwest as he has experienced it. -Holly Beye
Larry Smith is a writer who does not draw attention to himself even though he is writing about himself, nor des his writing draw attention to itself. Rather, here is a writer who dedicates all of himself and his use of languate to that simple directness." -David Budbill
9781564391148 150 pgs. $14
The Compelling Story of the Wife and Mother of Two Poetry Prize Winners, James Wright & Franz Wright
Liberty Kovacs' life story has all the elements of the American Dream, both its myth and its reality. Breaking free from the patriarchal rule of her Greek immigrant family, she set an uneasy but independent course that led to her becoming a nurse and marrying fellow Ohioan, the poet James Wright. Headed for the fabled Land of Happiness, Life broke in with all its unpredictable misery: living in Minneapolis with their two sons, the marriage was soon riven by alcoholism, angers, unspeakable trauma and eventually bitter divorce. Bereft but courageous, Liberty set a new course and headed west to San Francisco where she had a scholarship to study psychiatric nursing. A single mother, she experienced triumphs in her profession, married again and bore a third son - that household too fell victim to unhappiness and despairs. Yet with each blow, her spirit rose again and again, never giving up on herself or her sons, whom she writes about with disarming openness. -Merrill Leffler, publisher of Dryad Press, author of Partly Panemonium, Partly Love, Take Hold
424 pgs. 1st Edition, beautiful hardcover, signed by author, $20
The Way-Back Room:
A Memoir of a Childhood in Detroit
by Mary Minock
There is no sentimentality here, and there are no real enemies, just the simple truth spoken through the lens of profound loneliness and shame, insatiable curiosity, wit, and immense vulnerability.
This is an honorable story that will leave you at once with a flood of warmth and that achy breaky heart, wanting more from Mary Minock, and soon. ~Rebecca B. Rank, author of Pears in a Porcelain Bowl
Mary Minock teaches at Madonna University
Early Reviews and Interviews
“Ms. Minock is a major talent, writing The Way-Back Room with more objectivity than subjectivity, its detachment lending it a certain matter-of-fact truthfulness unusual in a memoir. The Way-Back Room approaches some of the best of modern realism. It’s a worthwhile, engaging read.” -New York Journal of Books
Second Story Woman
A Memoir of Second Chances
by Carole Calladine
“In Second Story Woman Carole Calladine takes the reader along on her journey of self-discovery. Her authentic voice comes through as she comes to terms with the balance between her professional responsibilities and her need for a creative life. This strong memoir will speak to anyone charting life past 50.” – Doris Larson, founder of “A Writing Retreat: In the Company of Women”
“Likeable and candid, Calladine writes a lively account of her quest for second chances—while she becomes a 'second—story woman.'” —Akron Beacon Journal.
A remarkable book of dealing with life's turnings as the author confronts her mid-life passage and diagnosis for Type 2 diabetes at the same time.
978-1-933964-12-6 232 pages $15.00
A Suburban Childhood
by Joanne Jacobson
“Magically, brilliantly, movingly, the particularity of Joanne Jacobson’s language captures the universal truths of childhood. I devoured Hunger Artist. It is a fresh and riveting memoir of the highest order.” -Patricia Volk, author of My Dearest Friends
“In her stunning debut memoir, Hunger Artist, Joanne Jacobson tells her story of growing up Jewish in a suburban world comprised not only of new houses and bright gardens and exuberant dreams for the future, but also of frustrated longings and unmet hungers. Her prose is at once gorgeous and meticulous…” -Richard McCann, author of Mother of Sorrows
120 Charles Street: The Village,
by Holly Beye
Holly Beye’s journals are a remarkable record of a period long gone—post-World War II in the “Village,” New York City’s downtown enclave of artists, sculptors, writers, musicians and playwrights.... It was a time when the entire Village was your neighbor, a cauldron of hopefuls pulsing with the life and determination that would produce a generation of creative artists. You could walk anywhere, and usually did because it was cheaper...and all New York was a neighborhood. -Betty Ballentine
Relive the Greenwich Village Days of the late 1940s
240 pages... $15