Book Jacket


rank 2209
word count 17584
date submitted 01.05.2010
date updated 10.05.2010
genres: Non-fiction, Biography, Travel, Har...
classification: universal

Whatever Doesn't Kill You...

e.s. brath

London, England: fast-paced, cosmopolitan, home for the next three months. Add internship, working trip to Scotland and visit with family in Norway ... and stir.


I have always been stubborn. So much, in fact, it took 15 days beyond my due date to convince me to leave the warmth of the womb. But it is this stubbornness, coupled with an inborn thirst for adventure, that has carried me through the most challenging situations, most of which I create myself.

“Whatever Doesn't Kill You...” is one such example. Following a year of extreme stress, illness and the uncertainty following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, I traveled to the United Kingdom to complete my master's degree in journalism. It was an exciting learning experience, and not just because of my internship with the National Campaign for the Arts in London.

While there I made my second trip to Lockerbie, Scotland, the site of 1988's Pan Am Flight 103 terrorist bombing. Thirty-five students from Syracuse University, my graduate school, were killed in that attack, and I was there as part of a collaborative book on the town.

Less than a year after the attack on my own home soil, it was cathartic, informative and, most of all, inspiring to spend time with those who had survived and managed to keep going, and smiling, after all.

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buddhism, creative non-fiction, cultural differences, education, england, internship, lockerbie, london, memoir, scotland, sept. 11, terrorism, traged...

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klouholmes wrote 1447 days ago

Hi e. s., Even as this is good travel writing, the narrator’s POV brings other issues in and because of that, it feels like a story is simmering here. The background info creeping in but only as contrast, the narrator having seen both city and rural life, result in observations about humanity and their being thrown together. The images “rubbery grub” and the transparent boots - throughout they make for strong scenes. I was reading for the narrator's aims and consequence besides enjoying the trip. Happy to shelve – Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

nakiacap wrote 1448 days ago

This book is compelling, I think because it reminds me of myself.

NJ Capaldi
Crescent Heart

SusieGulick wrote 1448 days ago

Dear E.S., I got so excited when I saw that you had backed, "He Loves Me." Thanks so very much. :) Since I have already "backed" your book, I will also put your book on my "watchlist." Could you please take a moment to "back" my completed unedited memoir version? "Tell Me True Love Stories," which at the end tells my illness now & 6th abusive marriage. I'd be ever so grateful. :) Thank you. :) Love, Susie :)
p.s. Remember: Every "backing" you do moves your book & the other person's book closer to the top. :)

annaskitchenfr wrote 1449 days ago

This is so well written. You have a very strong narrative voice with wonderful humour even though you are on your way back to Lockerbie where such devastation and death took place.


Born on Friday 13th

crazy mama wrote 1449 days ago

Love biographies so I'm biased, but you are a gifted writer with a strong voice. This works on so many levels. Backed without question.

crazy mama wrote 1449 days ago

Love biographies so I'm biased, but you are a gifted writer with a strong voice. This works on so many levels. Backed without question.

T.Edwards wrote 1450 days ago

Wow, it is difficult to read about such terrible events but the journey to overcoming these things is a powerful one. Not everyone has the strength to endure something like this, much less revisit it by writing about it.

ltravnicek wrote 1452 days ago

I'll back this one. I actually felt nauseous right along with you...excellent work.

Amylovesbooks wrote 1452 days ago

I love travel narratives. Your pitch works well, and your writing kept me reading. I'd love to read more! Backed with pleasure.

Love Match

Melcom wrote 1452 days ago

Great observations on your travels an insightful read told really well.

I drove past Lockerbie not long after the disaster happened, very chilling air around the site.

Great writing and an exceptional read.
Happily shelved
Impeding Justice

Leslie Rocker wrote 1452 days ago

Having just finishing a 100,000 word autobiography, I emphasised with this book. On the other hand, in the course of a varied life the one thing I never got around to was formal education at a University, so it was of special interest to me. You write it well and, importantly, with humour. I am happy to back it. If you manage to take a look at Adam's Apple, I can assure you it is not autobiographical !
Leslie Rocker

Elizabeth Wolfe wrote 1452 days ago

The "I've always been stubborn" section of your pitch made me think your book was fiction. It is gracious writing that you might want to pursue in story form at some point. I am sorry you had to so personally experience the consequences of the terrorist bombing. It's a tribute to you that you are able to write this book. Sincerely, Elizabeth Wolfe (Memories of Glory)

lisawb wrote 1453 days ago

Non fiction books about people are significant in the insight they can bring to others. This besides being important is well written, enjoyable and interesting.



lizjrnm wrote 1453 days ago

This is superby writen - you have a real talent for narrative prose. Very deep and inportant. BACKED

The Cheech Room

Rusty Bernard wrote 1454 days ago

Hi looking forward to reading more. My favourite place is Norway, I live in Scotland and I'm just back from NYC where I came across, rather than visited Ground Zero. I had not intended to visit it but our taxi driver stopped and started to talk about and it was very emotional and unexpected.

You are on my WL till I read more towards backing.


lynn clayton wrote 1454 days ago

Percipient and funny observations. I adore travel books when they're well written and this is more than that. I have to say I didn't realise how deep the terrorist attacks had gone into the American psyche. As someone commented below, you reveal as much of yourself as others in such a book. Backed. Lynn

Burgio wrote 1454 days ago

This is an interesting book. I like the way you’ve written this in first person; made me feel I really was inside your head. The exploration of the differences between U.S. and Scotland hotels was well described (I stayed just outside St. Andrews and the hotel there had the same communal bathtub). It takes courage to write this kind of story because you expose so much of yourself by writing it; in this story, you also expose a great sense of humor – which makes this a good read. I’m adding this to my shelf. Burgio (Fatal Error).

PATRICK BARRETT wrote 1454 days ago

The more I read, the more I enjoyed. This is very well written and the observations are spot-on. I met a man once who was closely involved in the Lockerbie disaster and it will stay with him forever. Your style of writing will take you from book to book and will do very well on here. Paula Barrett (Cuthbert-how mean is my valley)

SusieGulick wrote 1454 days ago

Dear E.S., I love phrases like, "the wind was wicked that day," or "as I muddles through" - wonderfully put. :) Before I began to read your book, I was prepared by your recap/pitch,which was very well done. Your story is good because you create interest by having short paragraphs & lots of dialogue, which makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm "commenting & backing" your book to help it advance - this will help yours & mine move up on the charts. :) Could you please return the favor by taking a moment to "comment & back" my TWO memoir books, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" & my completed memoir unedited version? "Tell Me True Love Stories," which tells at the end my illness now & 6th abusive marraiage." Thanks, Susie :)
p.s. Remember: Every "comment" & "backing" you do moves your book & the other person's book closer to the top. :)

soutexmex wrote 1454 days ago

Welcome aboard, e.s. This website will improve your writing craft, if you allow it. I'll be your first comment. The short pitch TELLS instead of SHOWS which is normal for newbies to this site. With the long pitch, the same situation occurs. Though this is non-fiction, end it with one succinct question. Perfecting your pitches is how you climb in ranking to gather more exposure and comments to better your novel. The writing is good so I am SHELVING you.

Though I have been a very active member for over a year, I can still use your comments on my book when you get the chance. Every little bit helps. Cheers!

The Obergemau Key