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"
In You'll Grow Out of It, Jessi Klein offers - through an incisive collection of real-life stories - a relentlessly funny yet poignant take on a variety of topics she has experienced along her strange journey to womanhood and beyond. These include her "transformation from Pippi Longstocking-esque tomboy to are-you-a-lesbian-or-what tom man", attempting to find watchable porn, and identifying the difference between being called "ma'am" and "miss" ("miss sounds like you weigh 99 pounds").
"I like this woman so much!"
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 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"
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....
In this brutally honest and humorous debut, musician and artist George Watsky chronicles the small triumphs over humiliation that make life bearable and how he has come to accept defeat as necessary to personal progress. The essays range from the absurd (how he became an international ivory smuggler) to the comical (his middle-school rap battle dominance) to the revelatory (his experiences with epilepsy), yet all are delivered with the type of linguistic dexterity and self-awareness that has won Watsky more than 765,000 YouTube subscribers.
"Poetic writings of personal experiences"
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!"
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.
Bobby Brown has been one of the most compelling American artists of the past 30 years, a magnetic and talented figure who successfully crossed over many musical genres, including R&B and hip-hop as well as the mainstream. In the late 1980s, the former front man of New Edition had a wildly successful solo career - especially with the launch of Don't Be Cruel - garnering multiple hits on the Billboard top 10 list as well as several Grammy, American Music, and Soul Train awards.
Critics have called her “sweet, adorable, and vicious.” But there is so much more to be said about Samantha Bee. For one, she’s Canadian - whatever that means. And now, she opens up for the very first time about her checkered Canadian past. With charming candor, she admits to her Lennie from Of Mice and Men-style love of baby animals, her teenage crime spree as one-half of a car-thieving couple, and the fact that strangers seem compelled to show her their genitals.
In this family history interwoven with recipes, Kathleen Flinn returns listeners to the mix of food and memoir beloved by fanss of her best-selling The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry. Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good explores the very beginnings of her love affair with food and its connection to home. It is the story of her Midwestern childhood, its memorable home cooks, and the delicious recipes she grew up with.
"Loved this!!! Refreshing!"
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"
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."
From the author of the blockbuster best seller The Game: a shockingly personal, surprisingly relatable, brutally honest memoir in which the celebrated dating expert confronts the greatest challenge he has ever faced: monogamy and fidelity.
"It Gets Better as you go along "
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."
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.
"Growing up with Billy Crystal"
Growing up poor in Mountain Pine, Arkansas, with a young, addicted mom, Bobby Estell fell in love with country music. Abandoned by his father at the age of five, Bobby saw the radio as his way out - a dream that came true in college when he went on air at the Henderson State University campus station broadcasting as Bobby Bones while simultaneously starting The Bobby Bones Show at 105.9 KLAZ.
"All I can say is AMAZING!!"
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.
"Nothing else like this one"
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"
Before Carrie Brownstein became a music icon, she was a young girl growing up in the Pacific Northwest just as it was becoming the setting for one the most important movements in rock history. Seeking a sense of home and identity, she would discover both while moving from spectator to creator in experiencing the power and mystery of a live performance.
"Such a wonderful, honest, and deliberate memoir"
The stars of Jago & Litefoot, Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter, prove immensely endearing raconteurs as they chat with Nicholas Briggs about their long and varied careers, covering their first appearance as Jago & Litefoot in Doctor Who: 'The Talons of Weng-Chiang' and a rich tapestry of other tales from their lives....
Prince was an icon. A man who defined an era of music and changed the shape of popular culture forever. There is no doubt that he was one of the most talented and influential artists of all time - and one of the most mysterious. On 21 April 2016, the world lost its Prince; it was the day the music died.
This is the only authorized biography of the charismatic superstar, Frank Sinatra. Told by his daughter, Nancy Sinatra, with unabashed love and surprising candor, this memoir captures the understanding and depth of feeling that could only come from someone so closely linked. Accounts of her father's rise to fame as a hit singer, movie star, and international celebrity are as detailed as the stories of scandalous divorces, her brother's kidnapping, the false rumors of Mafia connections, and more.
When we think of poetry and writing, a few names come to mind. Shakespeare, of course. Robert Frost, certainly. Emily Dickinson, without a doubt. Oh, and let's not forget Edgar Allan Poe. However, it is impossible to think of this pantheon of talent without bringing up the name Maya Angelou. Come on, we have all heard her name. If you have ever taken a writing or English class in your life, Maya Angelou's work has floated around your classroom and from the mouths of your teachers and professors.
This memoir of a professional biographer's life tells the inside story of how he became interested in his subjects and reveals the mechanics of the trade: how to assemble proposals for publishers, conduct interviews and archival research, and joust with editors, subjects, and their literary estates. Other biographers have described their process but remained discrete, not wishing to offend their sources and supporters. This author has forgone such caution.
A self-professed "comprehensive anticipatory design scientist", the inventor Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was undoubtedly a visionary. Fuller's creations often bordered on the realm of science fiction, ranging from the freestanding geodesic dome to the three-wheel Dymaxion car to a bathroom requiring neither plumbing nor sewage. Yet in spite of his brilliant mind and lifelong devotion to serving mankind, Fuller's expansive ideas were often dismissed, and have faded from public memory since his death.
Buddy Baker was Disney music. Mostly known as the composer of the Haunted Mansion song and score, he was also a composer of films (Wicked Woman, The Fox and the Hound), television shows (the original Mickey Mouse Club), and numerous theme park attractions (World of Motion, Wonders of China, Kitchen Kaberet, Impressions de France) around the globe.
Many people have no idea how hard life was at times for Willie Nelson as a poor farm boy growing up in rural Texas during the Depression of the 30s, being raised by his grandparents because his mother and father had insatiable wanderlust. Unlike many other successful celebrities, Willie Nelson gives a no-holds-barred account of his life. In his frankly spoken, country way, he relates his experiences in a refreshingly honest way. Through the listening of his story, you can almost feel as though he is there with you.
Kanye West is an American hip hop recording artist, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. Raised in Chicago, West briefly attended art school before becoming known as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records in the early 2000s, producing hit singles for artists such as Jay Z and Alicia Keys. Intent on pursuing a solo career as a rapper, West released his debut album The College Dropout in 2004 to widespread critical and commercial success.
Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian polymath whose areas of interest included invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography. He has been variously called the father of paleontology, ichnology, and architecture, and is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time. Sometimes credited with the inventions of the parachute, helicopter and tank, he epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal.
New York's Chelsea Hotel may no longer be home to its most famous denizens - Andy Warhol, Leonard Cohen, and Patti Smith, to name a few - but the eccentric spirit of the Chelsea is alive and well. Meet the family Rips: father Michael, a lawyer turned journalist with a penchant for fine tailoring; mother Sheila, a former model and world-renowned artist who matches her welding outfits with couture; and daughter Nicolaia, a precocious high school junior at work on a record of her peculiar "youth".
Despite lacking pitch, rhythm, or tone, Florence Foster Jenkins became one of America's best-known sopranos, celebrated for her unique recordings and her sell-out concert at Carnegie Hall. Born in 1868 to wealthy Pennsylvanian parents, Florence was a talented young pianist, but her life was thrown into turmoil when she eloped with Frank Jenkins, a man twice her age. The marriage proved a disaster, and, in order to survive, Florence was forced to abandon her dreams of a musical career and teach the piano.
In the early 17th century, a crippled, graying, almost toothless veteran of Spain's wars against the Ottoman Empire published a novel. It was the story of a poor nobleman, his brain addled from studying too many novels of chivalry, who deludes himself that he is a knight errant and sets off on hilarious adventures. That story, Don Quixote, went on to sell more copies than any other book beside the Bible, making its author, Miguel de Cervantes, the single most-read author in human history.
Marcel Proust was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental novel à la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time; earlier translated as Remembrance of Things Past), published in seven parts between 1913 and 1927. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest authors of all time.
Penguin presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of Turner by Franny Moyle, read by John Sackville. J. M. W. Turner is Britain's most famous landscape painter. Yet beyond his artistic achievements, little is known of the man himself and the events of his life: the tragic committal of his mother to a lunatic asylum, the personal sacrifices he made to effect his stratospheric rise and the bizarre double life he chose to lead in the last years of his life.
Set against the rainy, muddy back drop known as the Woodstock '94 Music & Art Fair, Peace, Love n' Mud tells the not-so-classic story about a young boy, who despite hailing from a damaged family, must overcome the insurmountable odds stacked against him.
J. K. Rowling is a British novelist, screenwriter, and film producer best known as the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series. The books have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, and sold more than 400 million copies. They have become the best-selling book series in history and been the basis for a series of films which is the second highest-grossing film series in history.
Taylor Swift is an American singer-songwriter. Raised in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 14 to pursue a career in country music. She signed with the independent label Big Machine Records and became the youngest songwriter ever signed by the Sony/ATV Music publishing house. The release of Swift's eponymous debut album in 2006 marked the start of her career as a country music singer.
Oscar Wilde was an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. He is remembered for his epigrams, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, his plays, as well as the circumstances of his imprisonment and early death.
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.
In this definitive biography of one of Hollywood's most beloved stars, Michael Munn reveals the truth behind the diffident, earnest and kindly persona of Jimmy Stewart. Drawn from the author's formal interviews and informal meetings with the star and his friendship with Stewart's wife, Gloria, is this portrait of a man who came from the Presbyterian traditions of Pennsylvania to become one of the silver screen's enduring legends.
"Entertaining and very informative"
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"
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!"
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..."
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.
"Entertaining, but with long pedantic sections"
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.
On the eve of WWII, the foreign-controlled port of Shanghai was the rendezvous for the 20th century's most outlandish adventurers, all under the watchful eye of the fabulously wealthy Sir Victor Sassoon. Emily Hahn was a legendary New Yorker writer who would cover China for nearly 50 years, and play an integral part in opening Asia up to the West. But at the height of the Depression, "Mickey" Hahn, had just arrived in Shanghai nursing a broken heart after a disappointing affair.
"Unfocused Book Doesn't Come to Life"
In the tradition of John Richardson's Picasso, a commanding new biography of the Italian master's tumultuous life and mysterious death. For four hundred years Caravaggio's (1571-1610) staggering artistic achievements have thrilled viewers, yet his volatile personal trajectory - the murder of Ranuccio Tomasini, the doubt surrounding Caravaggio's sexuality, the chain of events that began with his imprisonment on Malta and ended with his premature death - has long confounded historians.
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"
Down the Highway is an essential biography for Bob Dylan fans and all music enthusiasts, delivering the full, fascinating story of the life and work of this great artist. Author Howard Sounes interviewed more than 250 key people in Dylan’s circle, and gained access to previously unseen documents, to create a fresh and compelling book that takes the reader on a journey from Dylan’s childhood in a Minnesota mining town, through his rise to fame in the 1960s, to his current status as the senior figure in popular music.
"The fascinating story of a real life troubadour"
Since bursting onto the scene in the mid '70s, the pop duo Captain and Tennille have long defined the sparkling, optimistic idea of everlasting love, both in their music and through their image as a happy and, seemingly, unbreakable couple. They were an irresistible pair to millions of fans all over the world, further underscored by the rousing "yes, we can!" gospel of their biggest hit, "Love Will Keep Us Together". But underneath the image was an entirely different story that the fans never saw.
In The Violet Hour, Katie Roiphe takes an unexpected and liberating approach to the most unavoidable of subjects. She investigates the last days of six great thinkers, writers, and artists as they come to terms with the reality of approaching death, or what T. S. Eliot called "the evening hour that strives Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea".
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"
The life story of Gary Gygax, godfather of all fantasy adventure games, has been told only in bits and pieces. Michael Witwer has written a dynamic, dramatized biography of Gygax from his childhood in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, to his untimely death in 2008. Gygax's magnum opus, Dungeons & Dragons, would explode in popularity throughout the 1970s and '80s and irreversibly alter the world of gaming. D&D is the best-known, best-selling role-playing game of all time, and it boasts an elite class of alumni.
"The Man Who Created Worlds"
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"
John Eliot Gardiner grew up passing one of the only two authentic portraits of Bach every morning and evening on the stairs of his parents’ house, where it hung for safety during World War II. He has been studying and performing Bach ever since, and is now regarded as one of the composer's greatest living interpreters. The fruits of this lifetime's immersion are distilled in this remarkable book, grounded in the most recent Bach scholarship but moving far beyond it.
"Brilliant book badly presented"
Poet and prodigy Arthur Rimbaud led a life that was startlingly short, but just as dramatically eventful and accomplished. Even today, over a century after his death in 1891, his visionary poetry has continued to influence everyone from Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan to Patti Smith. His long poem A Season in Hell (1873) and his collection Illuminations (1886) are essential to the modern canon, marked by a hallucinatory and hypnotic style that defined the Symbolist movement in poetry.