Nothing "goes viral". If you think a popular movie, song, or app came out of nowhere to become a word-of-mouth success in today's crowded media environment, you're missing the real story. Each blockbuster has a secret history - of power, influence, dark broadcasters, and passionate cults that turn some new products into cultural phenomena. In his groundbreaking investigation, Atlantic senior editor Derek Thompson uncovers the hidden psychology of why we like what we like.
"Interesting information with limited application"
With a sensibility that recalls her beloved screen characters, including Yvette, Queenie, Shug, and the iconic Cookie from Empire, yet is all Taraji, the screen actress writes of her families - the one she was born into and the one she created. She shares stories of her father, a Vietnam vet who was bowed but never broken by life's challenges, and of her mother, who survived violence both in the home and on DC's volatile streets. Here, too, she opens up about her experiences as a single mother.
"Around My way, Your Way & Every Woman's way"
Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”
"If you like Mindy, you'll enjoy this listen."
Growing a perfect moustache, grilling red meat, wooing a woman - who better to deliver this tutelage than the always charming, always manly Nick Offerman, best known as Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson? Combining his trademark comic voice and very real expertise in woodworking - he runs his own woodshop - Paddle Your Own Canoe features tales from Offerman's childhood in small-town Minooka, Illinois, to his theater days in Chicago, beginnings as a carpenter/actor and the hilarious and magnificent seduction of his now-wife Megan Mullally.
"Like bacon for your ears"
In a career spanning more than 30 years, David Letterman redefined the modern talk show with an ironic comic style that transcended traditional television. While he remains one of the most famous stars in America, he is a remote, even reclusive figure whose career is widely misunderstood. In Letterman, Jason Zinoman, the first comedy critic in the history of the New York Times, mixes groundbreaking reporting with unprecedented access and probing critical analysis to explain the unique entertainer's titanic legacy.
"Reminder of Letterman's Absurdist Genius"
In Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher tells the true and intoxicating story of her life with inimitable wit. Born to celebrity parents, she was picked to play a princess in a little movie called Star Wars when only 19 years old. "But it isn't all sweetness and light sabers."
"I've experienced a whole lot the last few years and I have a lot to share. So I hope that you'll take a moment to sit back, relax and enjoy the words I've put together for you in this book. I think you'll find I've left no stone unturned, no door unopened, no window unbroken, no rug unvacuumed, no ivories untickled. What I'm saying is, let us begin, shall we?" (Ellen DeGeneres)
Lifeless and wrapped in plastic. This is how Sheryl Lee was first introduced as "Laura Palmer" in the cult television classic, Twin Peaks. Now, Sheryl returns to voice Laura's darkest secrets in the audiobook event that fans of the show have long awaited.
Lin-Manuel Miranda's groundbreaking musical, Hamilton, is as revolutionary as its subject: the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap, and claims our country's origins for a diverse new generation.
"Love the idea of the book, get it in print."
In this rollicking memoir, So, Anyway..., John Cleese takes listeners on a grand tour of his ascent in the entertainment world, from his humble beginnings in a sleepy English town and his early comedic days at Cambridge University (with future Python partner Graham Chapman) to the founding of the landmark comedy troupe that would propel him to worldwide renown.
"A lovely memoir"
Great music is a language unto its own, a means of communication of unmatched beauty and genius. And it has an undeniable power to move us in ways that enrich our lives-provided it is understood.If you have ever longed to appreciate great concert music, to learn its glorious language and share in its sublime pleasures, the way is now open to you, through this series of 48 wonderful lectures designed to make music accessible to everyone who yearns to know it, regardless of prior training or knowledge.
"Wonderful, I've wanted this for so long...but..."
Nineteen-year-old Greg Sestero met Tommy Wiseau at an acting school in San Francisco. Wiseau's scenes were rivetingly wrong, yet Sestero, hypnotized by such uninhibited acting, thought, "I have to do a scene with this guy." That impulse changed both of their lives. The Disaster Artist is Greg Sestero's laugh-out-loud funny account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and friendship to make "the Citizen Kane of bad movies" (Entertainment Weekly), which is now an international phenomenon.
"It Starts coming Together"
This oral history takes the listener behind the curtain for all the show's highlights, from its origins as Comedy Central's underdog late-night program hosted by Craig Kilborn to Jon Stewart's long reign to Trevor Noah's succession, rising from a scrappy jester in the 24-hour political news cycle to become part of the beating heart of politics - a trusted source for not only comedy but also commentary, with a reputation for calling bullshit and an ability to effect real change in the world.
"Not narrated by the interviewees"
The definitive biography of movie executive and philanthropist Sherry Lansing traces her groundbreaking journey to become the first female head of a major motion picture studio, shares behind-the-scenes tales from movie sets and Hollywood boardrooms, and explains what inspired her to walk away from it all to start the Sherry Lansing Foundation.
From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.
From New York Times best-selling author Kathy Griffin, an A-Z compendium of the celebrities she's met over the years and the jaw-dropping, charming, and sometimes bizarre anecdotes only she can tell about them. Starting with Woody Allen and making pit stops with Demi Lovato, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Donald Trump, Kathy Griffin finally lifts the veil on her never-before-told run-ins with the famous and the infamous.
"it's everything you think it will be"
Told with the same intimate style, brutal honesty, and uproarious wisdom that placed Wishful Drinking on the New York Times bestseller list for months, Shockaholic is the juicy account of Carrie Fisher’s life, focusing more on the Star Wars years and dishing about the various Hollywood relationships she’s formed since she was chosen to play Princess Leia at only 19 years old.
"Shockingly Nearly Perfect Book"
In Music as a Mirror of History, Great Courses favorite Professor Greenberg of San Francisco Performances returns with a fascinating and provocative premise: Despite the abstractness and the universality of music - and our habit of listening to it divorced from any historical context - music is a mirror of the historical setting in which it was created. Music carries a rich spectrum of social, cultural, historical, and philosophical information, all grounded in the life and experience of the composer.
"Unique interdisciplinary music-history treatment"
Robert McKee's screenwriting workshops have earned him an international reputation for inspiring novices, refining works in progress, and putting major screenwriting careers back on track. Quincy Jones, Diane Keaton, Gloria Steinem, Julia Roberts, John Cleese, and David Bowie are just a few of his celebrity alumni. Writers, producers, development executives, and agents all flock to his lecture series, praising it as a mesmerizing and intense learning experience.
Melissa Francis was only eight years old when she won the role of a lifetime: playing Cassandra Cooper Ingalls on the world's most famous prime-time soap opera, Little House on the Prairie. Now, in Lessons from the Prairie, she shares behind-the-scenes stories from the set and lessons learned from the show's dynamic creator, Michael Landon, that have echoed throughout Melissa's adult life.
Rajiv Surendra was filming Mean Girls, playing the beloved rapping mathlete Kevin Gnapoor, when a cameraman insisted he read Yann Martel's Life of Pi. So begins his "lovely and human" (Jenny Lawson, author of Furiously Happy) tale of obsessively pursuing a dream, overcoming failure, and finding meaning in life.
Dreaming the Beatles is not another biography of the Beatles or a song-by-song analysis of the best of John and Paul. It isn't another exposé about how they broke up. It isn't a history of their gigs or their gear. It is a collection of essays telling the story of what this ubiquitous band means to a generation who grew up with the Beatles' music on their parents' stereos and their faces on T-shirts. What do the Beatles mean today? Why are they more famous and beloved now than ever? Find out.
I'm the Man is the fast-paced, humorous, and revealing memoir from the man who cofounded Anthrax, the band that proved to the masses that brutality and fun didn't have to be mutually exclusive. Through various lineup shifts, label snafus, rock 'n' roll mayhem, and unforeseen circumstances galore, Scott Ian has approached life and music with a smile, viewing the band with deadly seriousness while recognizing the ridiculousness of the entertainment industry.
Hear about everything you need to know in order to navigate the K-pop world. What does being a K-pop fan entail? Learn the difference between being a K-pop fan and a fan of other genres of music. Learn the basics of how the K-pop industry works.
Do you want to increase the quality of your pictures and make them world-class? Are other Photoshop tutorials too complicated?
Then read below.
Photoshop is of great importance to engineers, bloggers, designers, artists and promotors in the digital world. Every item of value needs a quality picture to go with it. Everyone needs a piece of Photoshop.
This is the first study to explore fully the myth of America as reflected in the nation's popular music. Beginning with the songs of the Pilgrims and continuing through more than two centuries of history and music, Born in the U.S.A. shows the emerging American myth and gives a close reading of the compositions of songwriters as diverse as William Billings, Henry Clay Work, Irving Berlin, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen.
For over a decade, Jesse Cannon has been pushing creative ideas in music. Processing Creativity: The Tools, Practices and Habits Used to Make Music You're Happy With is the culmination of four years of poring over scientific studies, books and thoughts from top creators as well as his own experience to write a book every musician should listen to about what goes into making great music versus what bands do when they make a bad album.
"One of the Most Important Books for a Creative!"
Brimming with humor and wit, an unforgettable cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, A Gentleman in Moscow casts a spell as it relates the count's endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose. Amor Towles joins us for an evening of conversation with Liesl Schillinger on this thrilling new work. With a reading by Tony Award-winning actor Boyd Gaines.
An afternoon of readings and lively discussion with contemporary authors, including Blue Balliett (Chasing Vermeer), Chris Grabenstein (Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library), Wendy Mass (The Candymakers), and Alexander London (The Wild Ones), who have been inspired by E. L. Konigsburg's Newbery Award-winning classic about a sister and brother who run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and find themselves caught up in a mysterious adventure.
Authors Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club), Victor LaValle (The Devil in Silver), Michael Cunningham (The Hours), and Jenny Offill (Dept. of Speculation) celebrate the 25th anniversary of Denis Johnson's contemporary classic short story collection. Jesus' Son chronicles the grief and transcendence of dreamers, addicts, and lost souls, and inspired the film starring Billy Crudup, Holly Hunter, Denis Leary, and Jack Black.
Karl Childers, also known as "Slingblade", challenged viewers morally in the 1996 film Slingblade. Now, prepare yourself for a quiz based on this popular US film.
"Awesome collecters item!"
April of 1958 - the Iron Curtain was at its heaviest, and the outcome of the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition seemed preordained. Nonetheless, as star musicians from across the globe descended on Moscow, an unlikely favorite emerged: Van Cliburn, a polite, lanky Texan whose passionate virtuosity captured the Russian spirit. This is the story of what unfolded that spring - for Cliburn and the other competitors, jurors, party officials, and citizens of the world who were touched by the outcome.
Country music rose out of the folk songs that immigrants brought to the United States. The music spread from the American South to all over the country, capturing the hopes and the struggles of everyday people. In the 21st century, fans enjoy all sorts of wild, upbeat, and moving styles of country music. Find out what inspired the country's most memorable songs. Discover the stories of outlaw musicians and Nashville legends. And learn more about superstars such as Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and Taylor Swift.
A singer calls out to the crowd. An electric bass thumps out a beat. Horns blare, and strings swirl. These are the sounds of R & B. Rhythm and blues music evolved from all sorts of sounds: swinging jazz, gritty blues, and African American spiritual songs. The music's smooth mix of styles made it unique, and its passionate performers made it a sensation. Ever since Ray Charles hit the charts in the 1950s, R & B fans have held it down on dance floors. And R & B singers have belted out messages of love and calls for social change.
A rapper spits rhymes into a microphone. A DJ scratches a record back and forth against a turntable needle. Fans' feet stomp along to a stiff beat. These are the sounds of hip-hop. Hip-hop music busted out of New York City in the 1970s. Many young African Americans found their voices after stepping up to the mic. In the decades afterward, rappers and DJs took over the airwaves and transformed American music. In the 21st century, hip-hop is a global sensation.
Throbbing disco beats boom at the club. Crowds move to the lively beat of dance pop hits. Fans scream and cheer for teen idols. These are the sounds of pop. After Elvis hit the scene in the 1950s, a distinct youth taste in popular music began to emerge. The sound of pop music has varied greatly in the decades since Elvis, ranging from rock to disco to boy bands to dance pop. But all pop music is defined by catchy melodies and a broad appeal to teens. Find out how it all began.
The crowd sways to the melodic strumming of a bossa nova guitarist. A vocalist belts out lyrics that blend English and Spanish. These are the sounds of Latin music. Before Latin music exploded into the mainstream in the 1990s, it was on the sidelines of American pop. Ritchie Valens fused Latin dance music with rock. Julio Iglesias popularized Latin ballads in the United States. And Gloria Estefan was the first crossover artist. But after Ricky Martin's "Livin' la Vida Loca" exploded onto the pop scene in 1999, Latin music took center stage.
A guitarist fires off riffs. A drummer pounds out primal rhythms. Fans scream along to a booming chorus. These are the sounds of rock. When rock 'n' roll first shook up young audiences, parents and politicians screamed in protest. But artists soon used the music to make protests of their own. Since rock's birth in the 1950s, its sounds have been blasted from garages to stadiums. The music can be the soundtrack to rebellion, a tool for self-expression, or just a way to bang your head.
In The Comedians, comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff brings to life a century of American comedy with real-life characters, forgotten stars, mainstream heroes and counterculture iconoclasts. Based on over 200 original interviews and extensive archival research, Nesteroff's groundbreaking work is a narrative exploration of the way comedians have reflected, shaped, and changed American culture over the past 100 years.
Alan Dean Foster is the acclaimed author of movie tie-ins for Star Wars, Alien and Transformers. He was awarded the IAMTW Grand Master Scribe Award in 2008. He is also a best-selling science fiction and fantasy author in his own right, including the popular Pip & Flinx novels and the Founding of the Commonwealth series.
It's one of the most revered movies of Hollywood's golden era. Starring screen legend Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly in her first significant film role, High Noon was shot on a lean budget over just 32 days but achieved instant box-office and critical success. It won four Academy Awards in 1953, including a best actor win for Cooper. And it became a cultural touchstone, often cited by politicians as a favourite film, celebrating moral fortitude.
Batman is one of the most compelling and enduring characters to come from the Golden Age of Comics, and interest in his story has only increased through countless incarnations since his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. Why does this superhero without superpowers fascinate us? What does that fascination say about us? Batman and Psychology explores these and other intriguing questions about the masked vigilante, including: Does Batman have PTSD? Why does he fight crime? Why as a vigilante? Why the mask, the bat, and the underage partner?
"Fun, Informative and Highly Recommended"
In 1972, when she was seven, Firoozeh Dumas and her family moved from Iran to Southern California, arriving with no firsthand knowledge of this country beyond her father's glowing memories of his graduate school years here.
"The melting pot, next generation"
Returned to Earth, Ellen Ripley learns that a colony has been established on LV-426, the planet where the crew of the Nostromo found the original Alien. But contact with the colonists has been lost, so she must accompany a unit of colonial marines to discover their fate. And to destroy any Aliens found on the planet known as Acheron. This is a groundbreaking sequel by science fiction legend Alan Dean Foster, with the wonderful characters and rapid-fire action that make Aliens one of the greatest science fiction films of all time.
"Game Over, Man...."
Diane Guerrero, the television actress from the megahit Orange Is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, was just 14 years old on the day her parents were detained and deported while she was at school. Born in the US, Guerrero was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in and helped her build a life and a successful acting career for herself, without the support system of her family.
"An important story I'm so grateful was shared."
What would the world look like if everybody had everything they wanted or needed? Trekonomics, the premier book in financial journalist Felix Salmon's imprint PiperText, approaches scarcity economics by coming at it backward - through thinking about a universe where scarcity does not exist. Delving deep into the details and intricacies of 24th-century society, Trekonomics explores post-scarcity and whether we, as humans, are equipped for it.
"Should be Mandatory reading for everyone."
Alice in Chains was the first of grunge's big four - ahead of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden - to get a gold record and achieve national recognition. With the charismatic Layne Staley behind the microphone, they became one of the most influential and successful bands to come out of the Seattle music scene. But as the band got bigger, so did its problems.
As soon as she graduated from high school, Pamela Des Barres headed for the Sunset Strip, where she knocked on rock stars' backstage doors and immersed herself in the drugs, danger, and ecstasy of the freewheeling 1960s. Over the next 10 years she had affairs with Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Keith Moon, Waylon Jennings, Chris Hillman, Noel Redding, and Jim Morrison, among others. She traveled with Led Zeppelin; lived in sin with Don Johnson; turned down a date with Elvis Presley; and was close friends with Robert Plant, Gram Parsons, Ray Davies, and Frank Zappa.
Ted Gioia's History of Jazz has been universally hailed as a classic - acclaimed by jazz critics and fans around the world. Now Gioia brings his magnificent work completely up-to-date, drawing on the latest research and revisiting virtually every aspect of the music, past and present. Gioia tells the story of jazz as it had never been told before, in a book that brilliantly portrays the legendary jazz players, the breakthrough styles, and the world in which it evolved. Here are the giants of jazz and the great moments of jazz history.
"Music should accompany text"
First published in 1973, this is a study of the force of photographic images, which are continually inserted between experience and reality. When anything can be photographed, and photography has destroyed the boundaries and definitions of art, a viewer can approach a photograph freely, with no expectations of discovering what it means. This collection of six lucid and invigorating essays, with the most famous being "In Plato's Cave", make up a deep exploration of how the image has affected society.
"I'm Glad I Bought, Despite Some Negative Reviews"
Veteran director John Badham explains the elements of action and suspense and dissects the essentials of any good scene from any genre. Continuing the work begun in his best-selling book I'll Be in My Trailer, Badham shares more insights into working with difficult actors, rehearsal techniques, and getting the best performance from your cast.
From one of the most acclaimed and profound writers in the world of comics comes a thrilling and provocative exploration of humankind's great modern myth: the superhero. In this exhilarating work of a lifetime, Grant Morrison draws on art, science, mythology, and his own astonishing journeys through this shadow universe to provide the first true history of the superhero - why they matter, why they will always be with us, and what they tell us about who we are... and what we may yet become.
Fury 161 is a wretched planet - a penal colony and an industrial complex manned by violent prisoners. When an escape pod from the USS Sulaco crash-lands there, Ellen Ripley appears to be the only passenger left alive. Then inmates begin to die, all at the hands of another survivor - a creature which encounters Ripley and spares her life! Desperate to know why, she seeks out an answer - and discovers terror unlike any she's ever known.
"Brilliant work, yet again"
Game of Thrones fans watch in delight as the epic battle of Lannister and Stark entangles the Seven Kingdoms. But only the sharpest notice how these houses echo Lancaster and York in the War of the Roses. Druids, Catholics, and even Zoroastrians wander through Westeros, reframing their religions for a new world of fantasy. But how medieval is Westeros? Did lady knights and pirates really battle across Europe? The audiobook Winter is Coming: Symbols and Hidden Meanings in A Game of Thrones explores all this and more, from the echoes of history to the symbols and omens our beloved characters.
"great review and food for thought"
Ellen Ripley awakens onboard the space station Auriga. Her last memory is of her own fiery death. And yet she is somehow alive. Ripley discovers that her "resurrection" is a result of an incredible experiment that has altered both her and the creature she has been carrying. To combat the incalculable alien menace, she teams up with a renegade band of space smugglers.
"Fan freaking tastic story"
You'd know Fred Stoller if you saw him. He has appeared on practically every great sitcom you've ever seen - Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends, and Murphy Brown just to name a few. But he has never been a regular on a series, always the guest star. He longs to find a showbiz home. Instead, he is a television foster child, shuttling from show to show in the vain hope that one will finally agree to keep him.
"Short but not sweet, just enjoyable"
In 1836 in East Texas, nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped by Comanches. She was raised by the tribe and eventually became the wife of a warrior. Twenty-four years after her capture, she was reclaimed by the U.S. cavalry and Texas Rangers and restored to her white family, to die in misery and obscurity. Cynthia Ann's story has been told and re-told over generations to become a foundational American tale.