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.
"Not enough science"
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."
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.
"Cleese, the early years, in his own voice"
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"
"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)
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"
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."
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"
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."
Who but Carol Burnett herself has the timing, talent, and wit to pull back the curtain on the Emmy Award-winning show that made television history for 11 glorious seasons? In Such Good Company delves into little-known stories of the guests, sketches, and antics that made the show legendary as well as some favorite tales too good not to relive again. Carol lays it all out for us, from the show's original conception to its evolution into one of the most beloved primetime programs of its generation.
"Awesome Memories of a Great Show!"
We all want to believe. The truth is still out there. The X-Files have been reopened. IDW Publishing and series creator Chris Carter have authorized new investigations into the weird, the strange, and the mysterious. New York Times best-selling author and multiple Bram Stoker Award winner Jonathan Maberry brings together some of today's top storytellers for a series of anthologies featuring all-new stories from the X-Files. Scully and Mulder continue their journey into darkness as they face aliens, monsters, shadow governments, and twisted conspiracies.
"Mulder and Scully are at it again"
Now at last Keith Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only to find themselves challenged by authorities everywhere....
"Ins and outs"
Nestled among the glitz and glitter of Tinseltown is a testament to American elbow grease and an honest-to-God hard day's work: Offerman Woodshop. Captained by hirsute woodworker, actor, comedian, and writer Nick Offerman, the shop produces not only fine handcrafted furniture but also fun stuff - kazoos, baseball bats, ukuleles, even mustache combs.
"Insightful, Cover to Cover"
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.
Have you ever been put off by music theory or thought that is too hard to learn? If the answer is yes, then this book is the answer for you. It covers everything that anyone who plays (or wants to play) music, and wishes to become better as a musician, should know. This is the most comprehensive book on music theory that you can find today. Not only that, but this book is written in a way that is really easy to follow, understand and internalize all the concepts explained.
"Excellent but previous exposure helpful"
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.
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..."
Challenged to retrieve a fallen star, Tristran Thorn leaves the sleepy English village of Wall and crosses into the land of Faerie and the realm of Stormhold. Locating the star, he discovers it is no meteorite but a young woman, Yvaine. When Yvaine evades him and escapes, Tristran discovers he is not the only one in pursuit of the star: there are dark forces in this magical land, and he must find Yvaine before she falls into their clutches.
"brought to life!"
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"
Artist Recordings 2 brings together leading artists active in the fields of painting, drawing, print, and sculpture. Conversations explore work in progress and the development of their practice. Patterns of personal experience link with a broader continuum of progressive ideas and show how their imaginative interventions bear on the world.
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.
Today both reality and entertainment crowd our fields of vision with brutal imagery. The pervasiveness of images of torture, horror, and war has all but demolished the 20th-century hope that such imagery might shock us into a less alienated state, or aid in the creation of a just social order. What to do now? When to look, when to turn away? Genre-busting author Maggie Nelson brilliantly navigates this contemporary predicament, with an eye to the question of whether or not focusing on representations of cruelty makes us cruel.
A collection of recordings made between 1988 and 1996 with emerging and established artists, from Anthony Caro and Arman to James Turrell and Rachel Whiteread. In considering their work, often in the context of a current exhibition, they discuss their ideas in formation and factors which informed their development.
From 1934 to 1951, The Andrews Sisters recorded more than 400 songs, including hits such as "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "Rum and Coca Cola", and sold almost 100 million records. Wink Martindale sat down with sisters Patty and Maxine to discuss how they got started and why breaking up was the best thing to happen to them. In this interview from 1972, the sisters share captivating stories about what it was like traveling as a trio, working with Bing Crosby, and what they would have done differently.
This is a short trivia guide based on the American TV political/suspense drama entitled The Killing, which is based on a Danish TV series entitled Forbrydelsen and produced by AMC. The American TV program lasted for four seasons and is now available for streaming on Netflix for a monthly subscription fee. The Killing stars many talented actors including Mireille Enos....
In February 1964, The Beatles made their TV debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, catching the attention of Bob Eubanks. Wink Martindale catches up with Eubanks in an interview from 1977 about The Beatles playing the Hollywood Bowl. He discusses having second thoughts about booking them for the concert and then selling out in three and a half hours.
Notes from the Sick Room is an investigation into the connections between physical illness and creativity. Although there are a number of books investigating mental illness and creativity, there are very few that concentrate on physical illness - cancer, HIV, tuberculosis and disabilities caused by accidents. Incapacity provides time for contemplation and creativity, yet pain and discomfort detract from inspiration.
Jerry Vale always knew that he wanted to sing. His tremendous vocal talent and charismatic personality allowed the crooner to impress both in recording and in live performances, as he toured all over the country and regularly topped the pop charts throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In this conversation with Wink Martindale, Vale discusses his career as a performer, some of his most popular recordings, and the people that helped him in his professional journey. He provides a personal look at his fantastic rise to success.
The third part of our Hall of Fame spotlight on Frank Sinatra's legendary career with host Wink Martindale continues the story of the artist who remains an internationally known icon. We dig deeper into the songs and soundtrack of Frank's career as told by friends and family, those who knew him best, including Nelson Riddle, Gordon McRae, and a large selection of songwriters who collaborated with Sinatra.
From Joe DiMaggio to Humphrey Bogart and from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan, Frank Sinatra was close to legends. He inspired and worked with the greats of popular music for well over 50 years. The first installment of our four-part Hall of Fame spotlight on Frank Sinatra's legendary career takes a look at the early years as he began to make a name for himself and presents a fascinating look at the development of Frank Sinatra as an artist.
Natalie Cole, the second of five children, said her parents raised her to work hard for what she wanted. The award-winning artist sat down with Wink Martindale to discuss what it was like growing up in a house filled with music. In this intimate conversation from the 1970s, she also reflects on her good friend Stevie Wonder, the similarities between her and her famous father's voices, and being compared to Aretha Franklin.
In 1973, Captain & Tennille wrote and cut a record completely at their own expense. The product of that recording session, "The Way I Want to Touch You", proved to be a regional hit and was the first step in their fascinating journey to major label success. The couple sat down with host Wink Martindale just as their first hit was climbing the charts. In this captivating interview, they discuss how they got started in music, the creation of their first album, and their love of performing.
Ella Fitzgerald's career began at various amateur nights around New York City, most famously at the Apollo Theater in 1934. From those early days, Fitzgerald grew to be an iconic jazz singer and the First Lady of Song. In the spring of 1983, Fitzgerald sat down for a conversation with Wink Martindale. She discusses how her career began and some of her first hits.
Cast lists and plots of 100 famous, not-so-famous, and infamous operas are presented by Felix Mendelsohn (not the composer), with some insightful comments sprinkled in along the way. This book is an interesting curiosity for opera lovers, as well as a handy introduction for those who are just getting their operatic toes wet. A complete list of the operas included can be found on our website, audiobookcontractors.com.
Bobby Goldsboro describes the first song he ever wrote with a laugh as "one of the worst you've ever heard". Though those first attempts at songwriting weren't exactly successful, he went on to enjoy a wildly successful career, including the chart-topping hit "Honey", which sold more than a million copies in the United States. At the height of his popularity in 1973, Goldsboro sat down with Wink Martindale to discuss his wildly successful career, that included 16 top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Patti Page's music provided a soothing counterpoint to the revolutionary sound of rock n' roll in the 1950s, incorporating elements of country music into traditional pop songs. From 1948 through 1970 she had nearly 100 records on the Billboard Singles chart, including "(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window", "Old Cape Cod", "Allegheny Moon", and "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte". Page sat down with host Wink Martindale to discuss her personal life, the early days of her career, and her astounding popular success.
Bobby Vinton says he never wanted to be a musician; he wanted to be a football player instead. In fact, his parents would bribe him 25 cents an hour just to get him to practice his clarinet. Vinton sat down with Wink Martindale in 1973 to discuss his success with "Blue on Blue" and the story behind "Roses are Red". He says writing songs is difficult, and he isn't sure who is buying his albums. Vinton also discusses putting together a pop music band in high school and how he began his acting career.
Lawrence Welk left home at the age of 21 and spent two years trying to get a job with bands with little success. Though his career got off to a rocky start, Welk would go on to become a renowned musician, bandleader, and television personality. In part one, we hear about Welk's earliest days of his life and career. In a conversation with Wink Martindale in 1973, he reflects on the beginning of his career and journey to success, while sharing intimate details about his personal life and experiences.
Despite her phenomenal success as a singer, Joni James initially had dreams of dancing. While she continued to receive scholarships and praise for her vocal performances, dancing was what she wanted to pursue and she continued to pay for lessons. When faced with the decision of going to school or pursuing her career, on the advice of a producer that "youth was the most urgent thing in show business", she dove headfirst into singing.
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"
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."
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.
Purple Rain is a song, an album, and a film - each one a commercial success and cultural milestone. How did this semiautobiographical musical masterpiece that blurred R&B, pop, dance, and rock sounds come to alter the recording landscape and become an enduring touchstone for successive generations of fans?
"Never too much info"
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...."
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.
"An Exciting Opportunity Missed"
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."
Simon Singh offers fascinating new insights into the celebrated television series The Simpsons: That the show drip-feeds morsels of number theory into the minds of its viewers - indeed, that there are so many mathematical references in the show, and in its sister program, Futurama, that they could form the basis of an entire university course.
"Print probably better than audio"
Hybrid fighters merging human and alien technology. Massive cannon emplacements on the moon and Mars. A planetary defense force with the finest military personnel ever trained. For two decades we've known the enemy would return. The nations of Earth have collaborated on a unified defense program designed to defend the planet.
The never-before-published edition of Francis Ford Coppola's notes and annotations on The Godfather novel by Mario Puzo reveals the story behind one of the world's most iconic films. In this one-of-a-kind audio production, Coppola provides listeners with unfiltered access to his creative process in his own voice. Featuring notes from eight scenes - handpicked by Coppola himself - The Godfather Notebook is a must-listen for fans of the 1972 film.
"It says unabridged but really just a snippet"
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.
Why is it that Leonard Cohen receives the sort of reverence we reserve for a precious few living artists? Why are his songs, three or four decades after their original release, suddenly gracing the charts, blockbuster movie sound tracks, and television singing competitions? And why is it that while most of his contemporaries are either long dead or engaged in uninspired nostalgia tours, Cohen is at the peak of his powers and popularity? These are the questions at the heart of A Broken Hallelujah.
"A beautiful story about a beautiful man"
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.
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"
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"
Take a peek inside the heads of some of the world's greatest living graphic designers. How do they think, how do they connect to others, what special skills do they have? In honest and revealing interviews, 19 designers, including Stefan Sagmeister, Michael Beirut, David Carson, and Milton Glaser, share their approaches, processes, opinions, and thoughts about their work with noted brand designer Debbie Millman. The internet radio talk host of Design Matters, Millman persuades the greatest graphic designers of our time to speak frankly and openly about their work.
"Not what I expected but"
Janis Ian was catapulted into the spotlight in 1966 at the age of 15, when her soul-wrenching song "Society's Child" became a hit. But this was only the beginning of a long and illustrious career. In Society's Child, Janis Ian provides a relentlessly honest account of the successes and failures - and the hopes and dreams - of an extraordinary life.
"Fascinating story. Couldn't stop listening."
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"