Flying Alone: A Memoir by Beth Ruggiero York {Book Review}

Beth Ruggiero York

Flying Alone by Beth Ruggiero York

Book Summary:

“From the time she was a teenager, Beth knew she wanted to fly, and a solo trip across the country to visit family confirmed her aspirations of becoming a pilot. But her dreams were almost grounded before they could take off when she received the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis at the age of 22.

Beth vowed that this new challenge would not put restrictions on her life and embarked on a journey to become an airline pilot. Starting at the small local airport, the aviation world swallowed her whole, and the next five years of her life were as turbulent as an airplane in a thunderstorm, never knowing when, how or if she would emerge.

An agonizing love affair with her flight instructor, dangerous risks in the sky and flying broken airplanes for shady companies all intertwined to define her road to the airlines, eventually being hired by Trans World Airlines in 1989.

Flying Alone outlines the struggles and the challenges of civil aviation that Beth faced 30 years ago.

Ultimately a story of survival and overcoming overwhelming odds, Flying Alone is told with soul-baring candor, taking readers on a suspenseful journey through terror, romance and victory.”

Publication Date:

September 14th, 2019

Genre:

Memoir

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

Genevieve Trono Gen The Bookworm

Link to Flying Alone by Beth Ruggiero

I have always been a huge fan of memoirs. I think there is such a power and connection with sharing our stories and so I was delighted to receive an advanced copy of Beth Ruggiero York’s Flying Alone. In Flying Alone, York brings us through the highs and lows of her early professional life in her journey to become an airline pilot in a male-dominated industry.

About the Author:

Beth Ruggiero York is a former airline pilot for Trans World Airlines. She entered the world of civil aviation in 1984 shortly after graduating from college and, for the next five years, climbed the ladder to her ultimate goal of flying for a major airline. Beth now has dual careers–Chinese translation and professional photography. She teaches photography workshops for Arizona Highways PhotoScapes and her own company, Ruggiero Images LLC. She and her husband live in Fountain Hills, AZ.

While this book is focused a lot on her goals in aviation, it is so much more than that. We follow York as she faces many obstacles within and outside the commercial airline world. I loved seeing York’s personal growth as she faced many obstacles both personally and professionally.

Her voice is relatable and I loved that while she was faced with many roadblocks in her quest, she pushed on and her resilience shined through. This is an honest account of the trials and tribulations she has faced and I so appreciated that she was raw and real about the real challenges she faced wtih her medical challenges and sometimes turbulent personal life.

In addition, Flying Alone was a fascinating look at the commercial aircraft industry and how much it has changed over the last few decades. This was an informative read for me as I am not someone who knows a lot about this the aviation world. I found York’s tenacity and ability to share the ups and downs of her life inspiring and if you like reading memoirs I think you would enjoy reading Flying Alone too.

Thank you to FSB Associates for an advanced copy of Flying Alone. 

September 2019 Book Recap & Ratings {Monthly Reading Wrap-Up)

Gen The Bookworm Monthly Book Wrap-Up

Hello and Happy October!

September always seems like the longest month to me…well along with January! It is filled with lots of great things but it always seems to last forever. The good thing about it seeming to last so long is that I read a lot of great books!

September Reading Highs & Lows:

Gen The Bookworm book reviews

September was filled with a lot of amazing reading and a couple of books that were a bit of a disappointment…. My very favorite books of the past month were The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer and The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall. They were not on my reading radar beforehand and completely blew me away! I also loved Fair Play by Eva Rodsky and Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur is now one of my favorite memoirs ever!

I really was looking forward to The Other’s Gold and The Nickel Boys and both of those were rather disappointing for me. I will include links to my book reviews of all of these in my recap below.

September Reading Wrap-Up:

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My book review of The Things We Cannot Say can be found HERE.

book review of The Dearly Beloved

The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can read my full review of The Dearly Beloved HERE

book review of With The Fire on High

With The Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*My full review will be coming soon…

book review of Fair Play

Fair Play by Eve Rodsky

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My full review of Fair Play can be found HERE

book review of The Gift of Failure

The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

*My full review is coming soon.

book of the month selection

If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

*My full review is coming soon.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

*My full review is coming soon.

Book review of The Nickel Boys

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can read my full review of The Nickel Boys HERE.

The Other's Gold by Elizabeth Ames

The Other’s Gold by Elizabeth Ames

⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can read my full review of The Other’s Gold HERE.

book of the month selection

Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can read my full review of Wild Game HERE.

Israel Keyes

American Predator by Maureen Callahan

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

You can read my full review of Amerian Predator HERE.

Before We Were Yours follow up book

 Before and After by Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

You can read my full review of Before and After HERE.


*The links above are Amazon affiliate referral links. When you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I receive a small percentage that helps support this blog at no cost to you. You can read more about this on my FAQs page HERE. Thank you! 

 

Before and After by Judy Christie & Lisa Wingate | Ballantine Books {Book Review}

Before We Were Yours + Georgia Tann

Book Summary:

The compelling, poignant true stories of victims of a notorious adoption scandal—some of whom learned the truth from Lisa Wingate’s bestselling novel Before We Were Yours and were reunited with birth family members as a result of its wide reach

From the 1920s to 1950, Georgia Tann ran a black-market baby business at the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in Memphis. She offered up more than 5,000 orphans tailored to the wish lists of eager parents—hiding the fact that many weren’t orphans at all, but stolen sons and daughters of poor families, desperate single mothers, and women told in maternity wards that their babies had died.

The publication of Lisa Wingate’s novel Before We Were Yours brought new awareness of Tann’s lucrative career in child trafficking. Adoptees who knew little about their pasts gained insight into the startling facts behind their family histories. Encouraged by their contact with Wingate and award-winning journalist Judy Christie, who documented the stories of fifteen adoptees in this book, many determined Tann survivors set out to trace their roots and find their birth families.

Before and After includes moving and sometimes shocking accounts of the ways in which adoptees were separated from their first families. Often raised as only children, many have joyfully reunited with siblings in the final decades of their lives. Christie and Wingate tell of first meetings that are all the sweeter and more intense for time missed and of families from very different social backgrounds reaching out to embrace better-late-than-never brothers, sisters, and cousins. In a poignant culmination of art meeting life, many of the long-silent victims of the tragically corrupt system return to Memphis with the authors to reclaim their stories at a Tennessee Children’s Home Society reunion . . . with extraordinary results.

Publication Date:

October 22nd, 2019

Genre:

Non-fiction, U.S. History & Adoption

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

The Tennessee Children's Home Society

Two years ago I read Before We Were Yours and it remains one of the most impactful books based on true events that I have ever read. While the characters were fictional, Georgia Tann and the Tennessee Adoption Scandal were not.

Books like Before We Were Yours are powerful because they bring to light heartbreaking parts of history that many people were unaware of before. In addition, this book took on an even bigger role for a group of people who came forward as children were connected to these actual events.

Before and After shares the non-fiction real-life accounts of 12 victims and their personal stories including photos and artifacts from the Tennessee Children’s Home Society Orphanage. Authors Judy Christie & Lis Wingate took on the powerful role of connected these victims to each other and to siblings some of them never knew they had.

While what Georgia Tann did was just horrific, I did appreciate that some of the stories shared moments of light in a time of such darkness. The story of baby Lillian who’s adoptive parents chose her over a healthy baby boy when they found her sickly and covered in a rash in a corner of a room on their way to pick up their baby was especially impactful. Her adoptive parents ended up elbowing past Tann and choosing Lillian, which ultimately saved her life. Tann would leave the sickly children to die since they were what she assumed “worthless” and it is estimated that over 500 children lost their lives while in the care of Tann.

This book felt very satisfying as Before We Were Yours opened the door to such a tragic part of fairly recent U.S. History. I love the idea that this group of survivors was able to come together and now have each other to process with and support one another. While the stories in Before and After are heartbreaking it was also filled with lots of hope and I highly recommend it but definitely read Before We Were Yours first!

Thank you to Ballantine Books for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.