Meredith Baxter

The actress and author on three true stories about survival in the face of adversity.



Best known for her role as hippie mom Elyse Keaton on the 80s sitcom Family Ties, Meredith Baxter has enjoyed a 40-year career in show business. Her new memoir, Untied, chronicles, with unflinching candor and surprising wit, her passage through personal challenges (domestic abuse, divorce, alcoholism) into a renewed sense of who she is and an acceptance of life on her terms. Here she shares three books that have inspired her foray into self-examination.


Books by Meredith Baxter



Driving with Dead People: A Memoir

By Monica Holloway


"This is a finely written story about growing up in a family that, at the outset, seems merely amusing and eccentric in its dysfunction. The darkness to come is telegraphed through Holloway's macabre fascination with a funeral home and the sad irresponsibility of her parents. Her light tone often belies appalling familial betrayals in this gripping narrative that reads just like fiction."



Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

By Laura Hillenbrand


"This is the captivating, true story of Louis Zamperini, who went from boyhood delinquent to Olympic runner to heroic World War II Army Air Corps pilot. He survives the unimaginable: a crash landing that leaves him adrift at sea; multiple captures by the Japanese; internment in various prison camps; and years of inhuman torture, degradation, and humiliation while imprisoned. Just as she did in Seabiscuit: An American Legend, Hillenbrand writes with a heart-pounding urgency about subjects that initially interested me little, but bound me to her tale by the sheer force and immediacy of her words. Riveting!"




By Mary Karr


"This is the story of Mary Karr's journey into alcoholism and onto sobriety, but happiness and serenity elude her as she confronts the wreckage of her past, her alcoholic mother, her own desire to be a loving mother, and her commitment to living a life of rigorous honesty. Karr's writing has an appealing lack of sentimentality as she fearlessly depicts conflicts in her spiritual life and as a writer. This is a lovely, moving book."

April 17: "In less than three years, both GM and Chrysler would be bankrupt, and a resurgent Ford would wow Wall Street..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.