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").
"Everything you are thinking said out loud!!!"
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"
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"
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.
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....
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!"
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"
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!!"
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."
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"
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.
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 "
When 12-year-old Jensen Karp got his first taste of rapping for crowds at his friend's bar mitzvah in 1991, little did he know that he was taking his first step on a crazy journey - one that would end with a failed million-dollar recording and publishing deal with Interscope Records when he was only 19. Now, in Kanye West Owes Me $300, Karp finally tells the true story of his wild ride as "Hot Karl", the most famous white rapper you've never heard of.
"Great listen to a great story!"
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"
Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven't been burned as witches since 1727, life isn't exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant talk about babies? And do men secretly hate them? Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women's lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother.
"Hysterical manual for the 21st century woman"
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.
As lead singer and songwriter for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis has lived life on the razor's edge. Much has been written about him, but until now we've only had his songs as clues to his experience from the inside. In Scar Tissue, Kiedis proves himself to be as compelling a memoirist as he is a lyricist, giving us a searingly honest account of the life from which his music has evolved.
"The Sexcapades of Anthony Kedis"
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this surprising and moving memoir, the legendary rap star and cofounder of Run DMC keeps it a hundred percent, speaking out about his battle with depression and overcoming suicidal thoughts - one of the most devastating yet little known health issues plaguing the black community today.
Born to one of Verona's leading families, Catullus spent most of his young adulthood in Rome, mingling with the likes of Caesar and Cicero and chronicling his life through his poetry. Famed for his lyrical and subversive voice, his poems about his friends were jocular, often obscenely funny, while those who crossed him found themselves skewered in raunchy verse, sudden objects of hilarity and ridicule. These bawdy poems were disseminated widely throughout Rome.
Keith Emerson was an English musician and composer. He played keyboards in a number of bands before he found his first commercial success with the Nice, formerly P. P. Arnold's backing band, in the late 1960s. He became internationally famous for his work with the Nice, which included writing rock arrangements of classical music. After leaving the Nice in 1970, he was a founding member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP), one of the early progressive rock supergroups.
Reed joined the New York Times in 1965 and was quickly thrust into the chaos of the Selma, Alabama protest movement and the historical interracial march to Montgomery. His story then moves from days of racial violence to the political combat of Washington. Reed covered the Johnson White House and the early days of the Nixon administration as it wrestled with the competing demands of black voters and southern resistance to a new world.
Innovative. Pioneering. Brave. Until his death in January 2016, David Bowie created art that not only pushed boundaries but helped fans understand themselves and view the world from fantastic new perspectives. When the shocking news of his death on January 10, 2016, broke, the outpouring of grief and adulation was immediate and ongoing. Fans around the world and across generations paid homage to this brilliant, innovate, ever evolving artist who both shaped and embodied our times.
"Loving And Lovely"
In the early '60s, Calvin Trillin got his start as a journalist covering the Civil Rights Movement in the South. Over the next five decades of reporting, he often returned to scenes of racial tension. Now, for the first time, the best of Trillin's pieces on race in America have been collected in one volume.
A glass-eyed Jazz Age artist bounces between pre-talkies Hollywood and sinful New York City, dealing with nudes and demons while in pursuit of the perfect model - who had killed herself. This historical novel takes a rollicking ride through one-eyed Mahlon Blaine's adventures and experiences as an early 20th-Century illustrator. Exploring his friendships with the famous and infamous in bohemian San Francisco, pre-talkies Hollywood and other-worldly New York City, this (self) portrait paints the struggles and triumphs of an artist truly committed to his unique singular vision.
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"
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"
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.
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"
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.
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"
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"
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!"
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 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"
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"
Following in the tradition of Ghost Rider and Traveling Music, Rush drummer Neil Peart relates nearly four years of band tours, road trips, and personal discoveries in this introspective travelogue. From the ups and downs of a professional artist to the birth of a child, this revealing narrative recounts 22 adventures from rock's foremost drummer, biker enthusiast, husband, and father.
Long before Oliver Sacks became a distinguished neurologist and best-selling writer, he was a small English boy fascinated by metals - also by chemical reactions (the louder and smellier the better), photography, squids and cuttlefish, H.G. Wells, and the periodic table. In this endlessly charming and eloquent memoir, the he chronicles his love affair with science and the magnificently odd and sometimes harrowing childhood in which that love affair unfolded.
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"
The Fall of the House of Wilde for the first time places Oscar Wilde as a member of one of the most dazzling Anglo-Irish families of Victorian times and in the broader social, political and religious context. A remarkable and perceptive account, this is a major repositioning of our first modern celebrity, a man whose own fall from grace in a trial as public as his father's marked the end of fin de siècle decadence.
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 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.