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Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps

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A celebration of the relationships that bring us strength, purpose, and joy Ties That Bind honors the people who nourish and strengthen us. StoryCorps founder Dave Isay draws from ten years of the revolutionary oral history project’s rich archives, collecting conversations that celebrate the power of the human bond and capture the moment at which individuals become family. A celebration of the relationships that bring us strength, purpose, and joy Ties That Bind honors the people who nourish and strengthen us. StoryCorps founder Dave Isay draws from ten years of the revolutionary oral history project’s rich archives, collecting conversations that celebrate the power of the human bond and capture the moment at which individuals become family. Between blood relations, friends, coworkers, and neighbors, in the most trying circumstances and in the unlikeliest of places, enduring connections are formed and lives are forever changed. The stories shared in Ties That Bind reveal our need to reach out, to support, and to share life’s burdens and joys. We meet two brothers, separately cast out by their parents, who reconnect and rebuild a new family around each other. We encounter unexpected joy: A gay woman reveals to her beloved granddaughter that she grew up believing that family was a happiness she would never be able to experience. We witness lifechanging friendship: An Iraq war veteran recalls his wartime bond with two local children and how his relationship with his wife helped him overcome the trauma of losing them. Against unspeakable odds, at their most desperate moments, the individuals we meet in Ties That Bind find their way to one another, discovering hope and healing. Commemorating ten years of StoryCorps, the conversations collected in Ties That Bind are testament to the transformational power of listening.


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A celebration of the relationships that bring us strength, purpose, and joy Ties That Bind honors the people who nourish and strengthen us. StoryCorps founder Dave Isay draws from ten years of the revolutionary oral history project’s rich archives, collecting conversations that celebrate the power of the human bond and capture the moment at which individuals become family. A celebration of the relationships that bring us strength, purpose, and joy Ties That Bind honors the people who nourish and strengthen us. StoryCorps founder Dave Isay draws from ten years of the revolutionary oral history project’s rich archives, collecting conversations that celebrate the power of the human bond and capture the moment at which individuals become family. Between blood relations, friends, coworkers, and neighbors, in the most trying circumstances and in the unlikeliest of places, enduring connections are formed and lives are forever changed. The stories shared in Ties That Bind reveal our need to reach out, to support, and to share life’s burdens and joys. We meet two brothers, separately cast out by their parents, who reconnect and rebuild a new family around each other. We encounter unexpected joy: A gay woman reveals to her beloved granddaughter that she grew up believing that family was a happiness she would never be able to experience. We witness lifechanging friendship: An Iraq war veteran recalls his wartime bond with two local children and how his relationship with his wife helped him overcome the trauma of losing them. Against unspeakable odds, at their most desperate moments, the individuals we meet in Ties That Bind find their way to one another, discovering hope and healing. Commemorating ten years of StoryCorps, the conversations collected in Ties That Bind are testament to the transformational power of listening.

30 review for Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps

  1. 4 out of 5

    jv poore

    David Isay reminds us: "It's never too early to say the important things to the people who matter to you most..." Ties that Bind contains conversations from the first ten years of StoryCorps. Talk of admiration, pride, and whole-hearted, unabashed love will swell your heart and lift your spirit. Tales of forgiving, embracing and eventually loving the most unlikely of souls are stunning and hopeful and quite likely will reduce you to tears. Use caution and only water-proof mascara if you dare to r David Isay reminds us: "It's never too early to say the important things to the people who matter to you most..." Ties that Bind contains conversations from the first ten years of StoryCorps. Talk of admiration, pride, and whole-hearted, unabashed love will swell your heart and lift your spirit. Tales of forgiving, embracing and eventually loving the most unlikely of souls are stunning and hopeful and quite likely will reduce you to tears. Use caution and only water-proof mascara if you dare to read this book publicly and never begin reading without tissues close at hand. This is officially on my list of quintessential, go-to gifts because it is truly for everyone. Enjoy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    ahould be read slowly. there are some real gems in here. will share more later. in the meantime, you really have to love an organization that is dedicated to helping ordinary people tell their stories to one another.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

    I've heard a few StoryCorps pieces on NPR but never read any of the three previous collections from the ten year archives. The edited pieces in this anthology are all 2-4 pages long, within several sections. I took it (carefully) to read in a hot bath. I'd realized that allowing myself to read it, almost in its entirety during one long hot bath, would be the most restorative activity possible after hosting a complicated literary event the night before. In other words, I was trashed. So I was rea I've heard a few StoryCorps pieces on NPR but never read any of the three previous collections from the ten year archives. The edited pieces in this anthology are all 2-4 pages long, within several sections. I took it (carefully) to read in a hot bath. I'd realized that allowing myself to read it, almost in its entirety during one long hot bath, would be the most restorative activity possible after hosting a complicated literary event the night before. In other words, I was trashed. So I was reading along, enjoying these heartwarming (non-spoiler alert, every one of them could be marketed as heart-warming) and then one of the interviews, between a husband and wife, broke through my defenses and the tears just dripped right into the bathwater. I won't reveal which story but it made me realize how I was partially shielding myself from the sincerity of these pieces. I have been thinking a great deal lately about the necessity of telling our stories, particularly in my work with students with an average age of 87 years old. When Dave Isay, the creator of StoryCorps describes it by suggesting, "If you had only 40 minutes left to live what would you say to this person closest to you in the world..." it's a bit close to home for some of my students. They are well, but aging. However we all have to pass the memorial board at this large senior community to see who has died in the last week. This week I'm attending a memorial for a woman who did tell her story in time. Yesterday I saw posted the face of a man that attended my Kickstart your Memoir workshop two years ago. Back to the book. I recommend recommending it because people get hung up thinking they've got to tell their whole lives. Tell the most important story, because you do have more than 40 minutes left to live but this could still be one of the most important hours of your life.

  4. 4 out of 5

    JZ

    Really clears out those dry, crusty tear ducts.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I liked the audiobook version, but I feel like it would have been better if they'd chosen stories that hadn't been used so frequently. Most of them were repeats either from the "Listening Is An Act of Love" or "All There Is" audiobooks and/or were made into animated shorts previously, so I'd already heard most of them multiple times (such as No More Questions, the child with Asperger's and his mom, Danny/Annie, the woman who lost her ex-husband on 9/11, story about the physicist on the Challenge I liked the audiobook version, but I feel like it would have been better if they'd chosen stories that hadn't been used so frequently. Most of them were repeats either from the "Listening Is An Act of Love" or "All There Is" audiobooks and/or were made into animated shorts previously, so I'd already heard most of them multiple times (such as No More Questions, the child with Asperger's and his mom, Danny/Annie, the woman who lost her ex-husband on 9/11, story about the physicist on the Challenger space shuttle, Miss Devine). Don't get me wrong, they're all great stories, but I was kind of frustrated that I bought an audiobook that had ~50% repeat content as it was a gift for someone who already had the previous audiobooks. It's still a great organization and there are great stories included, but I wouldn't buy the audiobook if you already have the previous audiobooks or have seen all of the animated shorts. They have so many stories, I don't know why they keep using the same ones over and over again in "new" releases- many of the less well-known interviews are just if not more powerful and die-hard fans of Storycorps have undoubtedly heard most of these.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    Life got you down? Look no further than this little collection of true stories recorded in the last ten years by Storycorps. I guarantee you will feel lifted up by the experiences of these folks.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    What did I think? I think I laughed and gasped and sobbed. I think humans are the perfect poem. I think listening is an act of love. I think this book is required reading.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kirsti

    I'M NOT CRYING. YOU'RE CRYING. SHUT UP. I'M NOT CRYING. YOU'RE CRYING. SHUT UP.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    five big tearful stars

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alessandra

    I love storycorps. It always gets me choked up.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anna W.

    This book is my second completed read from the Dollar Tree book selection area. I have to say, I don't know how books get sent to the Dollar Tree aisle-of-doom, but I've greatly enjoyed both. First, I love NPR, so StoryCorps is one of my favorite aspects of radio. Humans, connecting, telling stories of value? Yes, please! Ties That Bind is an anthology of StoryCorps recordings in three segments: "We Saved Each Other," "Been Through Battles," and "Two Sides of the Same Heart." In each section I f This book is my second completed read from the Dollar Tree book selection area. I have to say, I don't know how books get sent to the Dollar Tree aisle-of-doom, but I've greatly enjoyed both. First, I love NPR, so StoryCorps is one of my favorite aspects of radio. Humans, connecting, telling stories of value? Yes, please! Ties That Bind is an anthology of StoryCorps recordings in three segments: "We Saved Each Other," "Been Through Battles," and "Two Sides of the Same Heart." In each section I found stories that astounded me, most detailing the human capacity for love, forgiveness, and grace. When his parents divorced when he was 26, Scott Macaulay found Thanksgiving to be a trying time; when no one in the family is talking, who gathers together to give thanks? He decided to put an ad in the paper and invite community members who also didn't have anyone over for Thanksgiving. Many people didn't have anyone to celebrate with, were new to the area, or, like him, were in unique family situations. Almost no one knew each other, but all gave thanks together. He continued the tradition, and at the recording his last Thanksgiving included eighty-four people. What a wonderful way to share a holiday with those who truly need the company. And that is only one story! The book's title itself details the crux of the book: love and gratitude. I found myself crying and laughing during many parts of the book, but by the end I felt nothing but happiness that so many stories--people, relationships--are in existence in both reality and recording. StoryCorps Legacy initiative is such a wonderful program, and each and every one of these stories is a testament to that truth.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nicolle Novak

    If you enjoy listening to the Story Corps podcast on NPR, this book won't disappoint. It's full of inspirational, uplifting, moving, and heartwarming stories. It's a nice break to read about the love and compassion people share with the ones they love. I enjoy the short versions of each interview - there's enough information to get a good fill of the interview but not so much information that it feels like it's dragging on. It was a page turner - I kept wanting to read about the next story in ea If you enjoy listening to the Story Corps podcast on NPR, this book won't disappoint. It's full of inspirational, uplifting, moving, and heartwarming stories. It's a nice break to read about the love and compassion people share with the ones they love. I enjoy the short versions of each interview - there's enough information to get a good fill of the interview but not so much information that it feels like it's dragging on. It was a page turner - I kept wanting to read about the next story in each section. And because it's broken up into short interviews, the book reads at a quick and easy pace. Well worth your time if you enjoy Story Corps podcast - I'd just be familiar with the format and topics of the short interviews they have on the show.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I flew through this book. Very easy to read and enjoyable, although not one story seemed to stick with me. I enjoy the NPR radio show and when I saw some of the stories in book form, I figured "why not?". Everyone has a story to tell and I love that this show gives everyone an outlet to tell their journey. If you are a fan of this show, you will recognize some of the stories, but it's nice to hear/read them again. I flew through this book. Very easy to read and enjoyable, although not one story seemed to stick with me. I enjoy the NPR radio show and when I saw some of the stories in book form, I figured "why not?". Everyone has a story to tell and I love that this show gives everyone an outlet to tell their journey. If you are a fan of this show, you will recognize some of the stories, but it's nice to hear/read them again.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Phil Overeem

    Every U. S. citizen should be required to read ONE StoryCorps collection. This is a best-of, so shore yourself up.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tami

    What a wonderful way to tell the world about the impact of the StoryCorps project. Best if you can listen to this - you hear some of their recordingslll Very moving...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Amazing, moving, beautiful, sad, happy.. I could go on!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Norma

    I absolutely loved this short but impactful collection of StoryCorps interviews. I had the opportunity to hear Dave Isay speak at a conference a couple of years ago and purchase a copy then but it took me too long to pick it up and read it. I’m so glad I did. I feel like we live in a world where there is often too much chaos, hatred, and violence. The stories of gratitude and love in this book remind me of all the good there is in the world. I cried multiple times while reading it. I plan to kee I absolutely loved this short but impactful collection of StoryCorps interviews. I had the opportunity to hear Dave Isay speak at a conference a couple of years ago and purchase a copy then but it took me too long to pick it up and read it. I’m so glad I did. I feel like we live in a world where there is often too much chaos, hatred, and violence. The stories of gratitude and love in this book remind me of all the good there is in the world. I cried multiple times while reading it. I plan to keep it on a nearby shelf so I can revisit the stories when I feel down. Thank you, Dave and everyone at StoryCorps, for your excellent work.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Denise E.

    So freaking good. Will make you want to sit everyone you know down with an iPhone cam and a list of questions and interview them. The premise is simple. One person asks another about a crucial experience in their life. You get simple, real and affirming moments in the human experience, not dumbed down, not sensationalized, in their own words. Reminded me a little bit of the Little House on the Prairie series for some reason. I was worried this would be like Chicken Soup for the Soul (or idk the So freaking good. Will make you want to sit everyone you know down with an iPhone cam and a list of questions and interview them. The premise is simple. One person asks another about a crucial experience in their life. You get simple, real and affirming moments in the human experience, not dumbed down, not sensationalized, in their own words. Reminded me a little bit of the Little House on the Prairie series for some reason. I was worried this would be like Chicken Soup for the Soul (or idk the Modern Love column in the NY Times, barf) but it was really amazing. It was unfortunate that each mini story wasn't actually a whole book, but that's just how good it was.

  19. 4 out of 5

    May-Ling

    3.5 probably. short read with important moments captured between pairs of people - best friends, spouses, grandparents, parents - all around the theme of gratitude. I'm glad I picked this up around the holiday season. I wish it was organized by types of relationships, just so I could keep it straight. I'm glad for the pictures of people at the end of each story. 3.5 probably. short read with important moments captured between pairs of people - best friends, spouses, grandparents, parents - all around the theme of gratitude. I'm glad I picked this up around the holiday season. I wish it was organized by types of relationships, just so I could keep it straight. I'm glad for the pictures of people at the end of each story.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joyce K.

    This collection of heart-warming stories walks the reader through personal experiences of everyday life. Individuals share their connections to others who have made an impression on their lives and positively impacted their futures. I found myself looking forward to reading the next encounter.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mac Daly

    A collection of transcripts of recordings of people taking with and about the people who influenced their lives. Each is only a couple of pages long, but they are great for when you're feeling a little down. The stories are heartfelt, upbeat and inspiring. A collection of transcripts of recordings of people taking with and about the people who influenced their lives. Each is only a couple of pages long, but they are great for when you're feeling a little down. The stories are heartfelt, upbeat and inspiring.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Steph Mecham

    BE STILL MY BEATING HEART. This book is so good. One I will reread...and reread... and reread again.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    Enjoyable, quick read. I am a fan of Story Corps on NPR radio, but usually miss the quick 5 minute episode, so I enjoyed browsing through these short personal interviews.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    The editing is really superb and I'm impressed with the curatorial aspect, too. The editing is really superb and I'm impressed with the curatorial aspect, too.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Oliviaolivia

    * I received this book for free in a Goodreads giveaway* I loved everything about this book and am definitely going to pick more books put out by storycorps.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    Enjoyable little read. The stories are touching and a great reminder of the importance of connectedness with those around us.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Curtis

    A must read. Just 1 hour of good stories.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Joyner

    This is a great book if you need to be reminded that most people really are mostly good most of the time.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Barb

    Good stories from real people.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    The Nevada County Reads and Writes book. Overall, the stories themselves are not that interesting. But I do like the idea behind the book.

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