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Lauren Hough Books In Order

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Leaving Isn't the Hardest Thing: Essays (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Lauren Hough is a renowned NY Times bestselling essayist and author based in Austin, Texas. She is famous for writing short stories and nonfiction, religious, feministic, women’s fiction, LGBT, memoirs, and biographical books. Hough is widely popular for her debut book called Leaving Isn’t The Hardest Thing. This 2021 book has succeeded in reaching out to a large number of readers across the globe and managed to connect very well with them.

Author Hough has shared events from her personal life while growing up and has explained how those events shaped her life, thereby, making her become what she is today. It is an autobiographical story showcasing the ups and downs, struggles, losses, triumphs, and hard work of the author’s life. Author Hough’s birth happened in Berlin, Germany. She was brought up in seven different countries before her settling down in West Texas.

While growing up, Hough took different jobs to earn her livelihood. She has worked as a barista, a cable guy, an airman in the United States Air Force, a bartender, and a driver. In between her different jobs, Hough used to find time to write stories and work on the ideas that came to her mind. Later, she used to publish those short stories and articles in various magazines and journals.

Some of the popular literary journals that have featured her work include The Guardian, Huffington Post, Granta, and The Wrath Bearing Tree. One particular aspect in Hough’s life that had a great impact on her and influenced her to write her life story was being raised in a Cult and made to follow rules forcefully. Her parents were members of a nomadic Christian cult known as Children of God.

There, she was taught that animals had the ability to speak to Noah, among many other things, that are hard to believe for any sensible person. Very early on, Hough had started having problems with the teachings of the cult, but she was not able to express them. The earliest thing that her parents taught her was to keep her mouth shut, which she could not do and that gave rise to the various problems faced by her as she grew up.

Hough explains how she would face solitary confinement when she was small because of her behavior of asking questions and challenging the teachings of the cult. She even suffered sexual abuse at the hands of the so-called Family’s adults.

Though Hough has parted herself from the cult years before, she still keeps a track of its events and knows that it has undergone several iterations to be currently named as the Family International. It was at the age of 15 that Hough managed to convince her parents to leave the cult.

However, she was worried about other children there and faced problems connecting with them. She wanted to rescue them as well so that they could also understand life the way it was instead of what the cult taught them. Later, Hough enrolled herself in the military and soon realized that she was a misfit there.

It was her sexual orientation of being gay that made her uncomfortable. Also, the time of the 1990s was not an easy one for gays. After getting discharged from the Air Force, Hough thought that things would get easier for her, but sadly that did not happen. She had to live the life of a homeless person and sleep in her car.

When Hough felt that she must do some hustling to get by with her life, she decided to take up whatever job she could find. The first job that she got was that of a bouncer. Hough was employed in a club for gays and would utilize her free time to write about her past as a way of venting out the bad feelings. This routine was continued when she switched over from being a bouncer to a cable guy.

Hough believes she spent too much time lying to herself more than anyone else by thinking that her childhood did not affect her or the military did not affect her. And the thing that helped her bring that out was writing. A point came in her life when she realized that she needed to tell the truth and what all she has been through or it will end up being crap. The first essay that went viral and got her recognition was the one about her time employed as a cable guy. Later, Hough included it in her debut book.

The first time Hough came to Texas after moving out of the cult, she felt lonely but better. At that time, Hough was very new in a foreign country and didn’t know how to speak to other children around. So, she would end up making mistakes and landing in awkward situations. As time went by, Hough learned to handle herself and slowly learned the language that others spoke around her.

The town of Amarillo taught her many things and helped her to stand on her feet. Hough’s time in the military was also difficult, but not as difficult in comparison to the cult. Even there, she would make silly mistakes and often wonder whether she was doing things the right way or not. Her low self-confidence had a major impact on her. However, as Hough was surrounded by people of her own age, things had started to ease after some time.

As there was no one close enough to share her stories, Hough made friends with writing. It gave her the natural feel of telling her story and at the same time allowed her to be secretive. For a long time, Hough kept telling her secrets to the pages in her notebook.

Initially, she didn’t have any intention of publishing it and did not do it until she found a reason to do so. Hough was skeptical in the beginning and worried about hurting someone’s sentiments or traumatize them with her story. Hough’s debut book, ‘Leaving Isn’t The Hardest Thing’, was released in April 2021 by the Vintage publication. This extremely personal and searing essay collection takes root from the heart of America’s working-class and is showcased with the help of the darkest elements manifested by the country, including cults, hunger, homelessness, etc.

In the end, the book shows how humor and light can be discovered in unexpected corners. Through this book, author Hough has compared her childhood and adult life. She has shown how she didn’t have any identity as a child as compared to the multiple ones during her twenties.

Being associated with the infamous cult allowed her to travel across the globe, but robbed her of the innocent childhood that she could have had otherwise. It had a long-lasting impact on her which she finally managed to overcome by moving out and living an independent life in Texas. Overall, the book is profoundly brave, funny, and has razor-sharp prose. It is capable of motivating a lot of people struggling with their lives.

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