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."

July 28: Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin eloped on this day in 1814.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.


When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).