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Plenty of Time to Read? How About a Memoir?

A list of 10 memoirs you will enjoy reading whilst staying at home.

Most of us are living with restrictions on travel and have plenty of time to read a good book. Go through this list of memoirs and see which name jumps out at you. Then order online and take your time enjoying the stories of the lives of some amazing people.

Michael J. Fox: Lucky Man: A Memoir

Most of us think of Michael J. Fox as Alex Keaton in Family Ties or Marty McFly in the Back to the Future series. His Memoir takes us deeper into his persona revealing his life as a celebrity, but also highlighting his struggle with Parkinson’s disease. 

John Bolton: The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir

John Bolton, is a former national security advisor to President Trump. His long-awaited memoir is available for pre-order on Amazon and now due to be released on May 12th.  Bolton’s service to the country goes back to the Reagan and both Bush administrations, but his frank evaluations of the current administration caused the release of the book to be delayed.  

Katherine Hepburn: Me

Katherine Hepburn’s sixty year career has always been of interest to her fans. This book was published back in 1991, but gives an insight into the private life of this amazingly talented star. 

Woody Allen: Apropos of Nothing

Always controversial, Woody Allen has published a memoir of his long career as an actor, writer director and comedian. He began as a writer for Sid Caesar’s television show, Your Show of Shows, where he worked alongside Carl Reiner and Neil Simon. His career has spanned sixty years and he earned many awards over the years. His recent memoir, originally to be published by Hachette, is now being published by Arcade Publishing and is available as an e-book now. The hardcopy will be available in April.

Martha MacCallum: Unknown Valor: A Story of Family, Courage and Sacrifice from Pearl Harbor to Iwo Jima 

Martha MacCallum is a well-known news anchor for Fox News. She’s written a story of small-town America during World War II. It’s part family memoir and part personal history. This well-written book chronicles a story of love in the midst of battle.

Chief Two White Feathers: Chief Two White Feathers: Portrait of a Spiritual Practitioner as told to Donald Panther-Yates

This is Book 2 in the Cherokee Chapbook Series. It tells the life story of this remarkable healer, storyteller, dancer and singer, painter and ceremonial chief.

Cheryl Strayed: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

This is the story of a journey to self-discovery. It follows Strayed’s 1100 mile solo hike from the Mojave Desert to The Bridge of the Gods in Washington State. It was selected as the first book to be read by Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club. 

Michelle Obama: Becoming

Michelle Obama, the first African American to hold the position of First Lady shares her personal journey. Growing up in the tough and gritty south side of Chicago to earning her way to a B.A. from Princeton and a PhD from Harvard, she later became a top-level executive, always balancing her roles as wife, mother and working woman.

Jane Fonda: Jane Fonda in Five Acts

In this DVD interview memoir Jane tells her story of growing up in a celebrity family, learning to act herself, becoming a celebrity in her own right and then her series of marriages. Jane’s activism and causes are also highlighted as she examines her life in the limelight.

Anne Glenconner: A Lady in Waiting: My extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown

Lady Anne Coke, born in 1932 was the eldest daughter of the 5th Earl of Leicester and grew up on their estate, Holkham Hall in Norfolk. She tells the story of her life in the shadow of the Royal family. She and Lord Glenconner had five children and spent much of their time transforming the island of Mustique into a place for the rich and famous. She was a Lady in Waiting for Princess Margaret.

I also mention that Anne Glenconner is my 1st cousin, (our grandfather was the 4th Earl of Leicester) and I stayed with her last summer during the time she was writing her story. We never imagined it would be such a huge success in the UK and 4th best seller in the US. Brilliant!

While many of us enjoy a good novel, there is something fantastic about reading the real-life, true stories of those we admire or who have become famous for one reason or another. 

How to Procure Food during the Pandemic

Most of us are either under quarantine or are making the effort to distance ourselves during this corona virus threat. We’re realizing that shopping in crowded grocery stores is not a good idea even if we try to social distance. There are several good ways to order online and receive our food during these difficult times. 

It’s important that we take good care of ourselves during this crisis. We need to keep lines of communication open with friends and family. We need adequate sleep and as much exercise as we can find. We also need to eat well and that takes some planning.

Making sure we have a good supply of staples on hand will enable us to keep preparing hearty meals even when we can’t get out to shop. This may be a time to turn back the clock and do some “from scratch” cooking. Hearty homemade soups, tasty homemade breads and the like are not only enjoyable to eat, they’re also satisfying to make. And when we need to supplement the food in our pantries, there are several ways to bring in a fresh supply of goods.

Safety First: It’s essential that we think through the process of receiving the food once it’s ordered for the safety of both the delivery person and ourselves.

  1. While the Center for Disease Control assures us that food itself does not carry the virus, the packaging materials may. 
  2. As much as possible have a contactless delivery. Direct the delivery person to leave the food on a porch or front stairway.
  3. When receiving deliveries of meals from restaurants, immediately remove the food from its packaging, reheat it to minimize contamination and place it on clean dishes. Discard the packaging. Use wipes or bleach water to cleanse hard surfaces such as plastic. After handling any packaging, wash hands thoroughly.
  4. When receiving groceries either at a pick-up point (where the delivery is loaded into your car with no direct contact) or your front door, move the items to a “safety zone” where you can leave non-perishable items for at least 24 hours. Some directives say to leave groceries in your car for three days. Again, cleanse hard surfaces and leave cardboard and other materials that may be contaminated for at least 24 hours before storing.
  5. Wash perishable items before storing.

Online grocery store shopping with either pick-up sites or home delivery

Understandably, these delivery services are terribly overloaded in this circumstance. Many websites have had trouble handling the crush of orders and keeping items in supply. The delivery services that may usually offer same day delivery may now take up to four or five days. Best to plan ahead and not “panic buy.”

In the US

In the U.S. all major grocery stores are offering online shopping with either free pick-up or delivery with a small fee. That would include Fred Meyer, Kroger, Safeway, Albertson’s, and Walmart to name a few.

Instacart offers delivery from a number of grocery stores in the larger U.S. cities.

Peapod fills your online order and shops for you, then delivers to your door.

USGrocer.com is another grocery and household product online shopping site.

There are many specialty delivery services for example Farm Box Direct which delivers fresh organic fruits and vegetables on a regular delivery basis.

In the UK

Ocado is the premier grocery shopping site in the U.K. As with all online shopping at present, they have a backlog of orders.

Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda and Iceland all offer online grocery shopping and delivery. As with Ocado, the stores do their best to offer discounts and sales prices when available.

Wedeliverlocal.co.uk offers produce and other food items selected from local farms, markets and smaller shops. 

Online food delivery services (usually from local restaurants)

When you’ve been cooped up for a while, it may sound tempting to find the website of a local restaurant and see what is on offer. Many restaurants are struggling to keep their doors open during the closures and ordering a delivery meal or buying a giftcard to use later, will be a way to support your local restaurants.

Services delivering restaurant meals to your door include:

In the U.S.

Grubhub

Door Dash

Postmates   

In the U.K.

Just Eat (they purchased Hungry House, another meal delivery service)

Food Hub 

Deliveroo

Online purchase of meal kits 

Meal kits tend to be the most expensive way to order food into your home, but they have certain advantages. First you select something you know your family enjoys and the kit provides absolutely everything you’ll need to make the meal, including condiments and spices. You’ll prepare the meal at home and enjoy a traditional family meal together. 

Here are some of the top meal kit providers

In the U.S.

Hello Fresh

Blue Apron

Freshly

Purple Carrot

In the U.K.

HelloFreshUK

Mindful Chef

Simply Cook

Abel and Cole

Be well during this difficult time and enjoy healthy meals.