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"
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 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)
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"
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"
A teen idol at 15, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at 20, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences. Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last 25 years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.
"Great Book and Great Story"
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"
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"
From Andre Agassi, one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court, a beautiful, haunting autobiography. Agassi brings a near-photographic memory to every pivotal match and every relationship. Never before has the inner game of tennis and the outer game of fame been so precisely limned.
"Just an Incredible Story!"
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!"
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.
Wildflower is a portrait of Drew's life in stories as she looks back on the adventures, challenges, and incredible experiences of her earlier years. It includes tales of living on her own at 14 (and how laundry may have saved her life), getting stuck in a gas station overhang on a cross-country road trip, saying good-bye to her father in a way only he could have understood, and many more adventures and lessons that have led her to the successful, happy, and healthy place she is today.
"Stop the Screaming!"
Seven years in the making and meticulously researched - Gabler is the first writer to be given complete access to the Disney archives - this is the full story of a man whose work left an ineradicable brand on our culture but whose life has largely been enshrouded in myth.
At 31, Noah Calhoun, back in coastal North Carolina after World War II, is haunted by images of the girl he lost more than a decade earlier. At 29, socialite Allie Nelson is about to marry a wealthy lawyer, but she cannot stop thinking about the boy who long ago stole her heart. Thus begins the story of a love so enduring and deep it can turn tragedy into triumph, and may even have the power to create a miracle.
"Yes, finally a man !"
Two-time Grammy-winning rap artist, Lecrae, learned this lesson through more than his share of adversity - childhood abuse, drugs and alcoholism, a stint in rehab, an abortion, and an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Along the way, Lecrae attained an unwavering faith in Jesus and began looking to God for affirmation. Now as a chart-topping industry anomaly, he has learned to ignore the haters and make peace with his craft.
At a high point in his career, Artie Lange performed a sold-out show in Carnegie Hall-and he did it with a pocketful of heroin. In the midst of a deep, self-destructive depression, addicted to heroin, cocaine, and prescription drugs, he lashed out at everyone around him-from his cohosts on The Howard Stern Show to celebrity guests and even his longtime friends. Then came his legendary meltdown on-air, with 6 million people listening, after which Lange pulled himself together enough to go to a buddy's bachelor party in Amsterdam.
"[Narrator Fail] Comic Genius+Depression+Drugs=Mess"
Maci Bookout was just a normal, slightly overachieving high school girl in Chattanooga, Tennessee. But then she got pregnant, and everything turned upside down. Even as she rose to fame on MTV's hit series Teen Mom, Maci was struggling to balance life as a single teen mom with her own hopes and dreams...all while honoring her own sense of independence.
"Loved the story"
Funnyman Adam Carolla is known for two things: hilarious rants about things that drive him crazy and personal stories about everything from his hardscrabble childhood to his slacker friends to the hypocrisy of Hollywood. He tackled rants in his first book, and now he tells his best stories and debuts some never-before-heard tales as well. Adam Carolla started broke and blue collar and has now been on the Hollywood scene for over 15 years. Yet he never lost his underdog demeanor.
"Not bad but uneven and not revealing."
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.
Is it evil not to be sure? is a collection of entries from Lena Dunham's diary - or what she called her "Creative Snippets and Observations Journal" - from the fall of 2005 and the spring of 2006. It is a candid, chaotic, and occasionally poetic snapshot of a young person becoming an adult.
When poet, writer and lesbian Audrey Lorde was diagnosed with breast cancer, she immediately began to chronicle her experience with the disease. She began to raise awareness about the risks for African-American women, and for lesbians. In interviews with Lorde and other women, producer Njemile Rollins explores what it means for minority women to live with breast cancer. Reaching for Power Through Pain received the Ohio State Award for Outstanding Documentary in 1992.
Fixer Upper is a popular reality television series on HGTV, starring Chip and Joanna Gaines and based in Waco, Texas. The pilot episode first aired in May of 2013. Season one began nearly one year later, in April of 2014, followed by the second season in January of 2015, the third season in December of 2015, and the fourth season in November of 2016. Before starring in Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna Gaines consulted with clients on purchasing and remodeling homes.
With unforgettable performances such as Moses in The Ten Commandments, the anguished astronaut George Taylor in 1968's Planet of the Apes, and the eponymous Ben-Hur - for which he won an Academy Award - Charlton Heston cemented his place in the pantheon of 20th-century Hollywood royalty. But his fame as an actor was matched by his political activism. A Democrat in his early years, Heston became a staunch supporter of Richard Nixon and Reagan Republicanism.
The second part of our Hall of Fame spotlight on Frank Sinatra's legendary career features more audio interviews and highlights from Sinatra and the friends and family who knew him best - including John F. Kennedy, Paul Anka, and songwriter Sammy Cahn, among others. Host Wink Martindale explores the stories behind some of the classic songs in the Sinatra catalog, including "Three Coins in the Fountain", a hit record for Sinatra that went to the top of the charts in the UK in 1954.
We conclude our four-part Hall of Fame spotlight on Frank Sinatra's career with more little-known details about the man and his music. In this installment, you'll hear about the post-Columbia Records days, when he was no longer in demand. He had no hits and no record contract - that is, until Capitol Records came calling and everything changed.
Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot helped to define the folk-pop sound of the '60s and early '70s. With a focus on crafting quality albums, not hit singles, Lightfoot found great success and provided a soundtrack for a tumultuous time.
In a conversation with host Wink Martindale, Lightfoot discusses working his way up throughout his career and how it shaped the way he views success.
Pat Boone's first hit came with "Two Hearts, Two Kisses (Make One Love)" in 1954. His success continued as he sold millions of records through the '50s and early '60s, and recorded more than a dozen singles that went gold. Boone's career expanded beyond music as he starred in numerous films and even hosted his own variety television show. He sat down with Wink Martindale for a conversation in May of 1972 to discuss his early life, his relationship with religion, and his prosperous career.
Norma Deloris Egstrom grew up far away from the big city life where her future would take her. While still a teenager, she left her small town of Jamestown, North Dakota, to audition for WDAY in Fargo. An hour later she found herself on the air and with a brand-new name, courtesy of radio personality Ken Kennedy: Peggy Lee. The singer, songwriter and actress sat with Wink Martindale in her Hollywood Hills home in 1975 and reflected on the early days of her career, her musical influences, and her ability to adapt to new sounds and audiences.
In this 1977 interview, Wink Martindale takes listeners on an extensive survey of the singer's long and successful career. From his first taste of fame with the single "Diana" to being one of the first pop singers to play in the Las Vegas casinos, Anka shares engaging stories of his career as an entertainer.
Roger Williams stood alone in the world of popular music. He was just three years old when he first sat in front of a piano and played a song. He went on to study piano at Drake University and Julliard and had his first success with the single "Autumn Leaves". Williams sat down for a conversation with Wink Martindale in 1972 to discuss his career and passion for playing music. He talks about his early life and musical journey, the importance of hard work and practice, and the toll life on the road takes.
We continue our exploration of the career of Elvis Presley with the second installment of this three part series. Presley would face both happy times and challenging moments as his popularity continued to grow. He went Hollywood and added "movie star" to his resume, but he also got drafted in 1958, and that same year faced the death of his beloved mother.
In an interview with host Wink Martindale, Steve and Eydie sat down and discussed how they met, their early lives, and their love for performing. Martindale gives listeners an entertaining look at the couple's career and personal life.
Petula Clark's career began at the age of nine. She got her start on BBC radio during World War II, and in the years to follow, she would perform hundreds of times for the troops and become known as "Britain's Shirley Temple". Clark sat down with host Wink Martindale to discuss her exciting musical journey, which spanned more than seven decades and included radio, film, television, and music. Martindale gives listeners an intimate look at the singer's personal life, family, and career.
Herb Alpert's career began under the name Dore Alpert. When his first few releases with RCA Records failed to gain traction, he was dropped from the label. That's when Alpert joined forces with his friend Jerry Moss to form an independent label. Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass grew to great success by the mid-60s, with pre-orders for their album numbering in the millions. Host Wink Martindale sat down with Alpert and takes listeners on an exciting journey from those earliest days to the heights of Alpert's career.
Lou Rawls got his start as a church choir boy. He performed a wide variety of musical styles, including gospel; soul; R&B; and jazz and blues for movies, TV shows, commercials, and numerous successful albums. In an interview with host Wink Martindale, Rawls discusses the many changes in the way music was created and performed throughout his career, his plentiful awards and accolades, and his early life growing up in Chicago.
Nat King Cole's musical journey began as a teenager receiving classical piano training, which he later abandoned to pursue jazz with the Nat King Cole Trio. His career continued to evolve as he found success as a singer with hits including "Nature Boy", "Mona Lisa", and "Too Young". Narrator Wink Martindale takes listeners on a captivating journey with producers, songwriters, and other colleagues, sharing stories of Cole's exceptional career. His wife Maria Cole provides an intimate look at the legendary musician.
Vic Damone quit school as a teenager to work at the Paramount Theater to help support his family after his father was injured. During this time he was exposed to a host of accomplished singers, both on the stage and behind the scenes. While operating the backstage elevator for Perry Como, Damone asked if he could sing for him to see if he had any talent. He stopped the elevator between floors and after he finished, Como told him he should keep it up.
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."
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"
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.
In this remarkable dual memoir, film legend Martin Sheen and accomplished actor/filmmaker Emilio Estevez recount their lives as father and son. In alternating chapters—and in voices that are as eloquent as they are different—they narrate stories spanning more than 50 years of family history, and reflect on their journeys into two different kinds of faith.
"Hartwarming and Captivating but Fix the Audio!"
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."
Tori Spelling is the first to admit that the "reality" behind her popular television show, Tori & Dean, isn't always real. Not even Star magazine could invent the true chaos that happens behind the scenes. Luckily, Tori is famously honest and self-deprecatingly funny when it comes to her personal life - she's always "Spelling it like it is". Tori here shares her stories, her biggest challenges, and more with the usual humor, candor, and down-to-earth charm that her fans love.
Over fifteen years of dirty secrets, shocking reveals, and all of the celebrity gossip that’s unfit to print . . . but we’re going to anyway. When Jay Z defended himself against unfair charges that he slapped a woman, when Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez got tagged by an escort agency madam, when Bill O’Reilly dissed Muslim women, and when Ruth Madoff discovered her scam artist husband, Bernie, had also been cheating on her, it all came out in the pages of Rush & Molloy.
One of America's most intriguing show-business luminaries and true rebels, Dennis Hopper's amazing life was a roller-coaster series of triumphs and failures. Always intent on proving his genius and leaving a legacy, the Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated Hopper acted in more than 115 movies and four TV series, directed seven films, and passionately pursued an artist's life as a photographer and creator and collector of modern art.
"Sex, Drugs, & Hollywood Money"
In this deeply moving and resourceful memoir, beloved actor-director and New York Times best-selling author Joe Pantoliano takes aim at the stigma attached to what he calls “brain dis-ease” by writing candidly and humorously about his own journey through clinical depression and addiction.
"The Perfect Sequel"
The star of television's The Golden Girls recounts the tale of Dinah, a seeing eye dog who, no longer able to work for her blind master after going blind herself, was adopted by White.
In 1960, she was a 17-year-old Brooklyn kid with plenty of talent but no connections and certainly no money; her mother brought her soup to make sure she stayed fed as she took acting classes and scraped out a living. Just four years later, Barbra Streisand was the top-selling female recording artist in America and the star of one of Broadway’s biggest hits. Now the acclaimed Hollywood biographer William Mann chronicles that dizzying ascent, telling the riveting behind-the-scenes story of how Streisand and her team transformed her from an unknown dreamer into a worldwide superstar.
"Needs New Narrator"
Growing up in a Philadelphia suburb in the 1970s was an easy life. Well, easy as long as you didn't have dyslexia or ADD, or were a Jew. And once you added gay into the mix, life became more difficult. So Todd Glass decided to hide the gay part, no matter how comic, tragic, or comically tragic the results. Now, Todd has written an open, honest, and hilarious memoir in an effort to help everyone - young and old, gay and straight - breathe a little more freely.
Acclaimed biographer William Mann follows Elizabeth Taylor publicly as she makes her ascent at MGM, falls into (and out of) marriages, wins Oscars, fights studio feuds, and combats America's conservative values with her decidedly modern love affairs. But he also shines a light on Elizabeth's rich private life, revealing a love for her craft and a loyalty to the underdog that fueled her lifelong battle against the studio system.
"A Specialized Biography"
Movie stars establish themselves as brands - and Taylor's brand, in its most memorable outings, repeatedly introduced a broad audience to feminist ideas. Drawing on unpublished letters and scripts as well as interviews with Kate Burton, Gore Vidal, Austin Pendleton, Kevin McCarthy, Liz Smith, and others, The Accidental Feminist will surprise Taylor and film fans with its originality and will add a startling dimension to the star's enduring mystique.
Michael Jackson, Inc. reveals the incredible rise, fall, and rise again of Michael Jackson's fortune - driven by the unmatched perfectionism of the King of Pop. Forbes senior editor Zack O'Malley Greenburg uncovers never-before-told stories from interviews with more than 100 people, including music industry veterans Berry Gordy, John Branca, and Walter Yetnikoff; artists 50 Cent, Sheryl Crow, and Jon Bon Jovi; and members of the Jackson family.
"Solid listen for MJ fans."
James Gandolfini: The Real Life of the Man Who Made Tony Soprano is the first biography of the actor, who died in June 2013 at age 51, widely recognized as one of the best - and most defining - actors of his generation. The audiobook, as performed by Gandolfini's Sopranos co-star John Ventimiglia (Artie Bucco), is informed by fresh interviews with Sopranos actors, HBO executives, the star’s acting teachers and coaches, his childhood friends, buddies from his days as a nightclub bouncer, and Hollywood figures including the directors of his posthumously released films.
"The Moving Story of a Man Who Touched Our Lives"
Executive producer Mark Burnett has revolutionized television. Phrases from his smash-hit reality shows - "The tribe has spoken" and "You’re fired" - have become part of our cultural lexicon. So how did a British immigrant with very little cash and absolutely no connections become his own entertainment empire? The answers can be found in Jump In!, Burnett’s astounding personal saga. Burnett knows better than anyone that jumping into life with both feet first isn’t always easy...
In this sensitive, provocative portrait of Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Steinem reveals the woman behind the myth - the child Norma Jean - and the forces in America that shaped her into the fantasy and icon that has never died.
"It has been told before, but this is a"