Marcus Samuelsson’s life is extraordinary even without his extraordinary talent. Orphaned in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden by his adoptive parents, passionate about soccer but small too advance, he turns to food and finds an identity. He then travels the world, ultimately creating a unique style blending Swedish, French, and African cuisines. He tells his story honestly, sharing the joys and pains of the kitchen, including being one of the few faces of color in European Kitchens. Also shared are his personal triumphs and failures, including his abandonment by his birth father, his abandonment of his own child, his later attempt to correct that mistake, and his own reconnect ion with his father and his Ethiopian roots. Much like Marcus Samuelsson's plates, there is a lot of good things going on this book.
Amber Tozer is a comedian, writer, and alcoholic. She uses her first two gifts to share how her alcoholism took over her life, and how she finally surrendered and decided to change. Sober Stick Figure makes unfunny events funny in retrospect, and allows Tozer to explain how a person can be smart and in denial, anxiety-ridden and a party girl, and ultimately lost and found. It has a happy ending, and doesn't preach. The stick figures are a bonus.
On October 25th, 1986, Ron Darling was on the mound in New York for the biggest game of his life, pitching in front of his teammates in the dugout, tens of thousands of fans in the stadium, and millions in front of their TVs- and he failed. With honesty and clarity, Darling discusses how he lost his cool and his confidence, burdening his team with a deficit from which they escaped only through a miraculous comeback. He also recounts what it was like to be on one of the most successful (and disliked) single season teams in baseball history, and gives glimpses into why they didn't become the dynasty he thinks they could have.