Surprisingly interesting, varied, and enjoyable approach. A little less speculation dressed as fact would have been appreciated. Great read. Recommended even for non-Leonardo admirers.
Bestselling author Leonard Shlain explores the life, art, and mind of Leonardo da Vinci, seeking to explain his singularity by looking at his achievements in art, science, psychology, and military strategy (yes), and then employing state of the art left-right brain scientific research to explain his universal genius. Shlain shows that no other person in human history has excelled in so many different areas as Da Vinci and he peels back the layers to explore the how and the why.
"Varied Approach with Surprising Results"
This audiobook analyzes the themes and progression of the composers' most famous works, comparing and contrasting them to each other and other composers' great works.
The Sunday Times best seller. Frank Turner narrates a searingly honest and brilliantly written account of his journey from pub circuit to Wembley Arena.
The biography's new title emphasizes that Rebecca West was a prophet - one not always appreciated in her own day. As early as 1917, she understood where the world was headed and realized that the revolution in Russia held out false hope. Because she took this view as a socialist, those on the left scorned her as an apostate, whereas she understood that Communism would result in a disaster for the British left.
We all know that growing up is hard to do, and sometimes the only thing that makes it better are the reassuring words of someone who has walked that bumpy road just a few steps ahead of you and somehow ended up as a fully functioning adult. Carrie Hope Fletcher is that person. Thanks to her phenomenally popular YouTube videos, Carrie has become an honorary big sister to hundreds of thousands of young people who turn to her for advice and friendship....
This is a profile of Ben Mezrich. He's best known for writing The Accidental Billionaires, which was adapted into the critically acclaimed film The Social Network. But he has written several other popular nonfiction books about ambitious young people chasing their fortunes.
This is a profile of Anthony Doerr, an award-winning author who tackled the topic of World War II in his novel, All the Light We Cannot See.
This is a profile of Amy Poelher, who's best known for her work as a comedian and actress, and more recently, as the author of a successful book, Yes, Please!
This article profiles Arthur Hailey. His 11 published novels established him as a best-selling author. Find out how one flight led Hailey to his career as a novelist, and learn how his career developed.
This audiobook profiles Barbara Freethy. After years of traditional publishing, Freethy decided to try eBook publishing, and she has since sold millions of eBooks on Amazon. Find out how she became a writer, and how her career has changed.
Hannah Arendt, one of the most gifted and provocative voices of her era, was a polarizing cultural theorist - extolled by her peers as a visionary and denounced by others as a fraud. Born in Prussia to assimilated Jewish parents, she escaped from Hitler's Germany in 1933 and became best known for her critique of the world's response to the evils of World War II.
This article profiles Alex Hughes. Although many of her readers assume she is a man, Alexandra Hughes is one of the leading female authors of sci-fi paranormal novels today. Find out how she became a writer, and how her career has developed.
This article profiles Blake Crouch. Fox based its new Wayward Pines show on Crouch's series of novels. Find out how he became an author and how his career has developed.
John Lydon is an icon - one of the most recognizable and influential cultural figures of the last 40 years. As Johnny Rotten, he was the lead singer of the Sex Pistols, the world's most notorious band. The Pistols shot to fame in the mid-1970s with songs such as "Anarchy in the U.K." and "God Save the Queen". So incendiary was their impact at the time that in their native England, the Houses of Parliament questioned whether they violated the Traitors and Treasons Act.
Fans of Sinatra - old and new - will be able to delve into the private life and controversy of a musician whose career spans decades. From show business, struggles with depression, and his many romances to attaining the American dream, Sinatra's story delivers a captivating and humanizing portrait of the legend for a new age.
This article profiles Donna Leon. Best known for her Venetian detective, Guido Brunetti, Leon is an international best seller. Find out how she became a success and how her career has developed.
This article profiles A.G. Riddle. Best known for his Atlantis novels, Riddle is a new and upcoming author. Find out how he became a writer and how his career has developed.
An intimate portrait of the lives and writings of the Brontë sisters, drawn from the objects they possessed. In this unique and lovingly detailed biography of a literary family that has enthralled readers for nearly two centuries, Victorian literature scholar Deborah Lutz illuminates the complex and fascinating lives of the Brontës through the things they wore, stitched, wrote on, and inscribed.
Written during his time in Reading Gaol, De Profundis is Oscar Wilde's moving letter to Lord Alfred Douglas, whose relationship with Wilde led to the poet's imprisonment. Here Wilde repudiates Lord Alfred and reflects on his ordeal, acknowledging how the depths of his sorrow have helped liberate him toward a fuller, freer wisdom. Brimming with beautiful passages, De Profundis is a profound and inspiring treatise on the meaning of suffering.
Ask almost anyone their view on Aleister Crowley and opinions will polarize: he was a genius; a psychopath; a drug-riddled sex maniac; a champion of sexual freedom against the restrictions of Victorian prudery and hypocrisy; he was a secret agent; a lost-soul poet; a playboy with little better to do than dabble in magic; a lifestyle imitator of Oscar Wilde and Richard Burton; a drug addict; a narcissistic sadist; a visionary artist.
"Straight to the Point Biography of Crowley"
This article profiles Alexander McCall Smith. The versatile author has published more than 100 books. Find out how he became a writer and how his career has developed.
Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....
"Tina Fey broke my new SUV"
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."
Lynsey Addario is just finding her way as a young photographer when the events of September 11, 2001, change the world. One of the few photojournalists with experience in Afghanistan, she gets the call to return and cover the American invasion. She makes a decision she will often find herself making--not to stay home, not to lead a quiet or predictable life, but to set out across the world, face the chaos of crisis, and make a name for herself.
From the unique perspective of David Sedaris comes a new collection of essays taking his listeners on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences.
"Devout Fan Disappointed"
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"
Once again, David Sedaris brings together a collection of essays so uproariously funny and profoundly moving that his legions of fans will fall for him all over again. He tests the limits of love when Hugh lances a boil from his backside, and pushes the boundaries of laziness when, finding the water shut off in his house in Normandy, he looks to the water in a vase of fresh cut flowers to fill the coffee machine.
Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age - and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. But years later, she learns about love for herself and the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors.
"Really good book!"
In this exuberantly praised book - a collection of seven pieces on subjects ranging from television to tennis, from the Illinois State Fair to the films of David Lynch, from postmodern literary theory to the supposed fun of traveling aboard a Caribbean luxury cruiseliner - David Foster Wallace brings to nonfiction the same curiosity, hilarity, and exhilarating verbal facility that has delighted readers of his fiction.
"Overdramatic narrator for my taste"
In their first in-depth autobiography, pop sensations Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry, and Louis tell the story of their lives. From nervously auditioning for The X Factor and meeting one another for the first time, to filming their hit movie This Is Us and releasing their best-selling third album, Midnight Memories, it really has been one incredible journey.
"This book is so bomb!"
Billy Crystal is 65, and he's not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. In humorous chapters like ""Buying the Plot"" and ""Nodding Off,"" Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a road map to his 77 million fellow baby boomers who are arriving at this milestone age with him. He also looks back at the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, from entertaining his relatives as a kid in Long Beach, Long Island, and his years doing stand-up in the Village, up through his legendary stint at Saturday Night Live, When Harry Met Sally, and his long run as host of the Academy Awards. Listeners get a front-row seat to his one-day career with the New York Yankees (he was the first player to ever ""test positive for Maalox""), his love affair with Sophia Loren, and his enduring friendships with several of his idols, including Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He lends a light touch to more serious topics like religion (""the aging friends I know have turned to the Holy Trinity: Advil, bourbon, and Prozac""); grandparenting; and, of course, dentistry. As wise and poignant as they are funny, Crystal's reflections are an unforgettable look at an extraordinary life well lived.
"Falling out of love with Crystal"
In The 50th Law, hip hop and pop culture icon 50 Cent (aka Curtis Jackson) joins forces with Robert Greene, best-selling author of The 48 Laws of Power, to write a "bible" for success in life and work based on a single principle: fear nothing. With intimate stories from 50 Cent's life on the streets and in the boardroom as he rose to fame after the release of his album Get Rich or Die Tryin', as well as examples of others who have overcome adversity through understanding and practicing the 50th Law.
"A solid and well thought out book."
Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. It serves as a salute to New York City during the late 60s and 70s and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions. A true fable, it is a portrait of two young artists' ascent, a prelude to fame.
"Exceptional. Deeply honest and thoughtful."
The secret behind France's astonishingly well-behaved children is here. When American journalist Pamela Druckerman has a baby in Paris, she doesn't aspire to become a "French parent". French parenting isn't a known thing, like French fashion or French cheese. Even French parents themselves insist they aren't doing anything special. But French children are far better behaved and more in command of themselves than American kids....
Kafka is one of 161 inspired-and inspiring-minds, among them, novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians, who describe how they subtly maneuver the many (self-inflicted) obstacles and (self-imposed) daily rituals to get done the work they love to do, whether by waking early or staying up late; whether by self-medicating with doughnuts or bathing, drinking vast quantities of coffee, or taking long daily walks.
"Master your schedule."
Fat Girl Walking is a collection of stories from my life, my thoughts about the issues that I have faced as a woman, wife, mom, daughter, daughter-in-law, and Internet personality in regards to my weight. I have tried to be as honest as I possibly could - apologies in advance to my husband and parents, but hopefully any discomfort you feel is quickly replaced by laughter.
"One Woman's Body; One Woman's Story"
At once a powerful evocation of his early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice to both the individual and the body politic, James Baldwin galvanized the nation in the early days of the civil rights movement with this eloquent manifesto. The Fire Next Time stands as one of the essential works of our literature.
"Still as bold as ever"
For the first time ever - a comprehensive biography of one of the 20th century’s most innovative creative artists: the incomparable, irreplaceable Jim Henson He was a gentle dreamer whose genial bearded visage was recognized around the world, but most people got to know him only through the iconic characters born of his fertile imagination: Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie, Miss Piggy, Big Bird. The Muppets made Jim Henson a household name, but they were just part of his remarkable story.
The Greater Journey is the enthralling, inspiring—and until now, untold—story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work.
"Priceless! Best book I've read in years"
Collected here for the first time are the stories and speeches of David Foster Wallace as read by the author himself. Over the course of his career, David Foster Wallace recorded a variety of his work in diverse circumstances - from studio recordings to live performances - that are finally compiled in this unique collection.
In Catch a Wave, Peter Ames Carlin pulls back the curtain on Brian Wilson, one of popular music's most revered luminaries, as well as its biggest mystery. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and never-before heard studio recordings, Carlin follows the Beach Boys from their earliest days through Brian's deepening emotional problems to his triumphant re-emergence with the release of Smile, the legendarily unreleased album he had originally shelved.
"for fans, in depth research and good storytelling"
In less than a year, Neil Peart lost both his 19-year-old daughter, Selena, and his wife, Jackie. Faced with overwhelming sadness and isolated from the world in his home on the lake, Peart was left without direction. That lack of direction lead him on a 55,000 mile journey by motorcycle across much of North America, down through Mexico to Belize, and back again.
"Not happy, but fascinating"
First published in 1979, The White Album records indelibly the upheavals and aftermaths of the 1960s. Examining key events, figures, and trends of the era - including Charles Manson, the Black Panthers, and the shopping mall - through the lens of her own spiritual confusion, Joan Didion helped to define mass culture as we now understand it. Written with a commanding sureness of tone and linguistic precision, The White Album is a central example of American reportage and a classic of American autobiography.
"We tell ourselves stories in order to live..."
Speak, Memory, first published in 1951 as Conclusive Evidence and then assiduously revised in 1966, is an elegant and rich evocation of Nabokov’s life and times, even as it offers incisive insights into his major works, including Lolita, Pnin, Despair, The Gift, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, and The Luhzin Defense.
"this inspired me to read Nabokov's novels"
How to Be Like is a "character biography" series: biographies that also draw out important lessons from the life of their subjects. In this new book - by far the most exhaustive in the series - Pat Williams tackles one of the most influential people in recent history. While many recent biographies of Walt Disney have reveled in the negative, this audiobook takes an honest but positive look at the man behind the myth. For the first time, the book pulls together all the various strands of Disney's life into one straightforward, easy-to-listen-to tale.
"One of the best books I've heard yet!"
In 2010,Clive James was diagnosed with terminal leukemia. Deciding that "if you don't know the exact moment when the lights will go out, you might as well read until they do," James moved his library to his house in Cambridge, where he would "live, read, and perhaps even write". James is the award-winning author of dozens of works of literary criticism, poetry, and history, and this volume contains his reflections on what may well be his last reading list.
The Eagles are the bestselling, and arguably the tightest-lipped, American group ever. Now band member and guitarist Don Felder finally breaks the Eagles years of public silence to take fans behind the scenes. He shares every part of the bands wild ride, from the pressure-packed recording studios and trashed hotel rooms to the tension-filled courtrooms, and from the joy of writing powerful new songs to the magic of performing in huge arenas packed with roaring fans.
"Don Felder is an interesting dude"
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.
"Dont waste your money...........please"
The living embodiment of the Beatles, a musical juggernaut without parallel, Paul McCartney is undoubtedly the senior figure in pop music today. In this authoritative biography, journalist and acclaimed author Howard Sounes leaves no stone unturned in building the most accurate and extensive profile yet of music's greatest living legend. He is one of the biggest stars that has ever existed, the only key member left from the unquestioned 'biggest band of all time'.
"Quite Long But Good.."
Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of the most important figures in the history of American thought, religion, and literature. The vitality of his writings and the unsettling power of his example continue to influence us more than a hundred years after his death. Now Robert D. Richardson Jr. brings to life an Emerson very different from the old stereotype of the passionless Sage of Concord.
"Entertaining, erudite, engaging"
In a book that inspired the Amazon original series starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Malcolm McDowell, oboist Blair Tindall recounts her decades-long professional career as a classical musician, from the recitals and Broadway orchestra performances to the secret life of musicians who survive hand to mouth in the backbiting New York classical music scene, trading sexual favors for plum jobs and assignments in orchestras across the city.
"MITJ or "How I Slept My Way to the New York Phil""
The 1920s in Paris are the pivotal years in Hemingway's apprenticeship as a writer, whether sitting in cafés or at the feet of Gertrude Stein. These are the heady times of the Nick Adams short stories, Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, and the writing of The Sun Also Rises. These are also the years of Hemingway's first marriage to Hadley Richardson, the birth of his first son, and his discovery of the bullfights at Pamplona.
"Slow down narrator, slow down."
Audre Lorde pioneered "biomythography" in Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, originally published in 1982. In this extraordinary tale, Lorde weaves a narrative tapestry out of the threads of her own life - from her family's immigration to New York through her own coming of age - and the lives of the women who shaped her.
In her moving and insightful new book, Joan Didion reassesses parts of her life, her work, her history and ours. A native Californian, Didion applies her scalpel-like intelligence to the state’s ethic of ruthless self-sufficiency in order to examine that ethic’s often tenuous relationship to reality. Combining history and reportage, memoir and literary criticism, Where I Was From explores California’s romances with land and water; its unacknowledged debts to railroads, aerospace, and big government; the disjunction between its code of individualism and its fetish for prisons.
"Wonderful California Listen"
Fleetwood Mac's classic 1977 Rumours album topped the Billboard 200 for 31 weeks and won the Album of the Year Grammy. More recently, Rolling Stone named it the 25th greatest album of all time and the hit TV series Glee devoted an entire episode to songs from Rumours, introducing it to a new generation. Now, for the first time, Ken Caillat, the album's co-producer, tells the full story of what really went into making Rumours.
"Caillat Cursed With Perfect Memory"
Zelda Fitzgerald was the mythical American Dream Girl of the Roaring Twenties who became, in the words of her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald, "the first American flapper." Their romance transformed a symbol of glamour and spectacle of the Jazz Age. When Zelda cracked up, not long after the stock market crash of 1929, Scott remained loyal to her through a nightmare of later breakdowns and final madness.
For 30 years, drummer, author, and songwriter Neil Peart had wanted to write a book about "the biggest journey of all in my restless existence: the life of a touring musician." Finally, the right time, and the right tour. In the summer of 2004, after three decades, 20 gold albums, and thousands of performances spanning four continents, the band Rush embarked on a celebratory 30th Anniversary World Tour. The "R30" tour traveled to nine countries, where the band performed 57 shows in front of more than half a million fans. Uniquely, Peart chose to do his between-show traveling by motorcycle, riding 21,000 miles of back roads.
"Enjoyable, even for a non-fan of Rush"
From an early age, Margaret Fuller provoked and dazzled New England’s intellectual elite. Her famous Conversations changed women’s sense of how they could think and live; her editorship of the Transcendentalist literary journal the Dial shaped American Romanticism. Now, Megan Marshall, whose acclaimed The Peabody Sisters "discovered" three fascinating women, has done it again: No biography of Fuller has made her ideas so alive or her life so moving.
"Had to stop listening"
Early in 1495, Leonardo da Vinci began work in Milan on what would become one of history's most influential and beloved works of art - The Last Supper. After a dozen years at the court of Lodovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan, Leonardo was at a low point personally and professionally: at 43, in an era when he had almost reached the average life expectancy, he had failed, despite a number of prestigious commissions, to complete anything that truly fulfilled his astonishing promise.
"Informative yet creative"
This is the story of a close, loving family splintered by the violent ideologies of Europe between the wars. Jessica was a Communist; Debo became the Duchess of Devonshire; Nancy was one of the best-selling novelists of her day; the ethereally beautiful Diana was the most hated woman in England; and Unity Valkyrie, born in Swastika, Alaska, would become obsessed with Adolf Hitler.
"Great story, terrible reader"