Thursday, September 13, 2012

Over the Counter #127

What books caught my eye this week as they passed over the library counter and under my scanner? A pair of biographies - from very different women.

First up was It's Not About the Pom-Poms by Laura Vikmanis with Amy Sohn. Subtitled: How a 40-Year-Old Mom became the NFL's Oldest Cheerleader - and Found Hope, Joy, and Inspiration Along the Way.
From the publisher, Ballantine Books:
"A forty-year-old cheerleader? When Laura Vikmanis, a single mom in Ohio, told friends that she wanted to be an NFL cheerleader, they said it would never happen. But she proved them all wrong. . . .

Laura Vikmanis has got spirit . . . and pom-poms, too! But before she stepped onto the field as the oldest cheerleader in the National Football League, she was sidelined by a bad marriage and the many responsibilities of stay-at-home motherhood. She finally got the courage to leave her husband and to ask herself something she had never asked before: What do I want to do? Remembering her teenage love of dance, she signed up for a pole-dancing fitness class, where she met a former cheerleader for the Cincinnati Bengals. When the woman suggested that Laura audition to be a “Ben-Gal,” Laura laughed her off but soon realized that the audition process could be a way of healing herself—and regaining her confidence. Her boots were made for walking—but also for stomping on a football field.

She tried out for the team next to girls young enough to be her daughters. Girls with tighter abs, fuller hair, no kids, and no crow’s-feet. After much adversity and multiple auditions, she finally made the team, becoming the oldest cheerleader in the League.

It’s Not About the Pom-Poms follows Laura’s inspiring, funny, and eye-opening journey from demoralized divorcĂ©e to high-kicking Cincinnati Ben-Gal. Readers will cheer her on as she rediscovers her passion for dancing, takes hip-hop classes with twelve-year-olds, loses twenty-five pounds, discovers her abs, finds love again, and becomes a new kind of role model to her daughters. Laura also provides an inside look into the fascinating world of NFL cheerleaders—the grueling workouts, bad pay, twice-weekly weigh-ins, but, most important, the lifelong bond between the women, who do it all for the glory.

Leading with her heart, Laura Vikmanis faces adversity with her head held high as she learns in mid-life to take a flying leap. Powerful and uplifting, It’s Not About the Pom-Poms shows that, no matter your age, it’s never too late to go, fight, and win!"

And Eyes Right - Confessions from a Woman Marine by Tracy Crow.

From the publisher, University of Nebraska Press:

Just out of high school in 1977, her personal life already a mess, Tracy Crow thought the Marines might straighten her out. And sure enough, in the Corps she became a respected public affairs officer and military journalist—one day covering tank maneuvers or beach assaults, the next interviewing the secretary of the navy. But success didn’t come without a price.

When Crow pledged herself to God, Corps, and Country, women Marines were still a rarity, and gender inequality and harassment were rampant. Determined to prove she belonged, Crow always put her career first—even when, after two miscarriages and a stillborn child, her marriage to another Marine officer began to deteriorate. And when her affair with a prominent general was exposed—and both were threatened with court-martial—Crow was forced to re-evaluate her loyalty to the Marines, her career, and her family.
Eyes Right is Crow’s story. A clear-eyed self-portrait of a troubled teen bootstrapping her way out of a world of alcoholism and domestic violence, it is also a rare inside look at the Marines from a woman’s perspective. Her memoir, which includes two Pushcart Prize–nominated essays, evokes the challenges of being a woman and a Marine with immediacy and clarity, and in the process reveals how much Crow’s generation did for today’s military women, and at what cost."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)


bermudaonion said...

I love memoirs so they both look good to me.

Tracy Crow said...

Thanks for featuring my memoir!