For more than 10 years, Becky Corwin-Adams has been a freelance writer and columnist for The Farmland News in Archbold, Ohio. Her columns have appeared under the title "The Empty Nest". These columns address topics such as humorous takes on life, heartfelt dog rescue pieces, and stories about major storms.
Stairway to Nowhere is the true story of late 1970s, Birmingham, UK, band Fàshiön. In the brief spotlight of their 15 minutes of fame, Fàshiön toured both the USA and UK as an opening band for The Police, did a UK club tour with a then-unknown band from Ireland called U2, opened for The B-52s on their first-ever UK tour, and had a new band called Duran Duran open shows for them.
In 1964, girls all across the United States filled venues, almost literally screamed their heads off, and fainted en masse. Almost from the second they played the first note, The Beatles would be hit with the resounding screams which made it impossible for them to even hear themselves sing.
In Paris' Pre-Lachaise cemetery, Jim Morrison's graffiti-scrawled tombstone is a place of pilgrimage for local devotees, adolescent hedonists, and wayward backpackers alike. Found dead in his bathtub aged only 27, having achieved worldwide stardom as lead singer of The Doors, Morrison was quickly immortalized amongt the rock and roll deities such as Hendrix and Joplin. In death, however, this debauched "rock poet" remained more stubbornly enigmatic than ever.
A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history's most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees?
One of Britain’s most successful, controversial columnists looks back on his childhood and how we got from there to here. Richard Littlejohn was born in Ilford, Essex, in 1954. It wasn't just another century; it was another country. Wartime rationing was still in force. Children who grew up in the '50s and '60s ran free and wild. They were always outdoors and played in cornfields, on building sites, and in air-raid shelters.
Heartfelt and honest, Poster Girl is the inspirational memoir of a strong woman who epitomises the authentic spirit of country music and of Australia. "The truth is, all I've ever wanted is to be onstage and present my songs and stories.... If they come to see me, I'm giving them something to see." (Beccy Cole) Known for her hugely entertaining live shows and songs that are beloved by people of all ages, Beccy Cole has won nine Golden Guitars and seven songwriting awards, amongst other accolades.
Many people argue that Confucius is the most influential person of all time, and if having a significant effect on the greatest number of people is the criterion, he may very well be. China is one of the largest and oldest civilizations on earth, and Confucius has been influential there from almost the beginning: the first Chinese dynasty was founded around 1600 BCE, and Confucius lived from 551-479 BCE.
Ayn Rand was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, to Jewish parents on February 2, 1905, as Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum, and she lived through the turbulence and transformation of early 20th-century Russia. Her first exposure to reading came after she taught herself how to read at age six, and she decided at nine years old to become a writer after a chance encounter with the books of Victor Hugo, the writer she admired most.
It might be fair to say that everyone's thinking has been influenced at one point or another by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, or at least someone who was influenced in turn by Nietzsche. Nietzsche (1844-1900) was one of the most influential men of the 19th century, a German philosopher, poet, and composer who wrote at length about everything from religion to science. In addition to the importance of his work, he was a deft writer and polemic, ensuring his continuing popularity among readers.
Edgar Allan Poe was one of America's first native-born professional authors, but he nevertheless embodied the now-common archetype of the artist - dark, tortured, brilliant and tragic. Born into troubled conditions, Poe's life hardly improved over the years, and when it did, his happiness or triumph was always brief. His work was lauded during his lifetime, but his lifestyle never came close to matching the legacy that would swell in the decades following his death.
"A long time ago, when all the grandfathers and grandmothers of today were little boys and little girls or very small babies, or perhaps not even born, Pa and Ma and Mary and Laura and Baby Carrie left their little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin." So begins the first of a series of primarily autobiographical books for children that would give 20th century America a look at what it was like when the country was still young and the West was a largely empty, untamed wilderness.
"an overview only"
Tavis Smiley and Maya Angelou met in 1986, when he was 21 and she was 58. For the next 28 years, Angelou was a teacher and a maternal figure to Smiley, and they talked often of art, politics, history, music, religion, and race. In My Journey with Maya, Smiley beautifully recounts a friendship filled with conversation that began when he, a recent college graduate and a poor kid from a big family in the Midwest, accompanied the revered writer on a sojourn to Ghana.
Marlon Brando. Few names in the acting profession evoke such a strong, almost visceral reaction. Over the course of his long, prolific career, he was considered perhaps the greatest actor of the 20th century, as well as one of the most complicated and misunderstood. Uniquely able to be both emotionally charged and technically constrained in the same performance, he single-handedly changed the direction of not only the American style of acting.
A world-renowned composer of symphonies, operas, and film scores, Philip Glass has, almost single-handedly, crafted the dominant sound of late 20th-century classical music. Yet here in Words Without Music, he creates an entirely new and unexpected voice: that of a born storyteller and an acutely insightful chronicler, whose behind-the-scenes recollections allow listeners to experience those moments of creative fusion when life so magically merged with art.
By the time Willie Hughes Nelson was born in 1933, several of the genres he would later cover and dominate had already passed through an entire generation of pioneering artists. The tradition of authentic country music was handed down by such groups as the Carter family, and the boundaries of style and sound were well set by the time Nelson picked up his first guitar.
Considering that her film career lasted just six years, it would seem as though the reputation of Grace Kelly far outweighs her actual output. From the time of her arrival in Hollywood in 1951, through her final film, High Society, in 1956, Kelly acted in just 11 films. Viewers were left to wonder whether Kelly was still in the beginning of her career, or whether High Society was a proper culmination to an extraordinarily brief stay in the film industry.
This intimate story of Lynyrd Skynyrd tells how a band of lost souls and self-destructive misfits, with uncertain artistic objectives, clawed their way to the top of the rock 'n' roll world. It also offers a greater appreciation for a band whose legacy, in the aftermath of their last plane ride, has since descended into self-caricature.
"Wow! What a Ride!! Great Audiobook!!"
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""
Drawing on a vast amount of new material that has surfaced in the last decade, critically acclaimed jazz writer John Szwed considers how her life inflected her art, her influences, her uncanny voice and rhythmic genius, a number of her signature songs, and her legacy.
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?”
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"
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!"
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"
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.
"Good book, Bad narrator"
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."
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.
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.
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"
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!"
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....
Nineteen-year-old Greg Sestero met Tommy Wiseau at an acting school in San Francisco. Wiseau's scenes were rivetingly wrong, yet Sestero, hypnotized by such uninhibited acting, thought, "I have to do a scene with this guy." That impulse changed both of their lives. The Disaster Artist is Greg Sestero's laugh-out-loud funny account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and friendship to make "the Citizen Kane of bad movies" (Entertainment Weekly), which is now an international phenomenon.
"It Starts coming Together"
"My name is 'J' and I'm awkward--and black. Someone once told me those were the two worst things anyone could be. That someone was right. Where do I start?" Being an introvert in a world that glorifies cool isn't easy. But when Issa Rae, the creator of the Shorty Award-winning hit series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, is that introvert--whether she's navigating love, work, friendships, or rapping--it sure is entertaining.
"I love Issa Rae"
As her marriage collapses, the author of the international best-seller Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight relearns the fearless ways of her father to find her own true north. Standing in the wreckage of her marriage, in her adopted country America, Alexandra Fuller revisits the continent she loves and finds in her father's harsh, simple, and uncompromising ways the key to her salvation.
A Blink of the Screen charts the course of Pratchett's long writing career: from his schooldays through to his first writing job on the Bucks Free Press and the origins of his debut novel, The Carpet People, and on again to the dizzy mastery of the phenomenally successful Discworld series.
"I still miss him"
Over the course of his 60 years, Christopher Hitchens has been a citizen of both the United States and the United Kingdom. He has been both a socialist opposed to the war in Vietnam and a supporter of the U.S. war against Islamic extremism in Iraq. He has been both a foreign correspondent in some of the world's most dangerous places and a legendary bon vivant with an unquenchable thirst for alcohol and literature.
"Truth, the whole truth and nothing but."
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"
A sensational disappearance that made headlines around the world. A quest for truth that leads to death, madness or disappearance for those who seek to solve it. The Lost City of Z is a blockbuster adventure narrative about what lies beneath the impenetrable jungle canopy of the Amazon. After stumbling upon a hidden trove of diaries, acclaimed New Yorker writer David Grann set out to find out what happened to the British explorer Percy Fawcett and his quest for the Lost City of Z.
"A Worthy Read for Armchair Explorers"
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.
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.
"Everybody Remembers Their First Didion!"
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"
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"
A Place to Stand is Jimmy Santiago Baca's memoir of childhood on the small farms of New Mexico, his adolescence spent in orphanages and detention centers, his years as a drug dealer in San Diego and Arizona, and his extraordinary personal transformation under the harrowing conditions behind bars. Life in prison was often brutal, and Baca describes the extreme measures he had to take to survive, which endowed him with an indomitable will to resist the dehumanization of prison life. The act of writing offered a powerful means of transcending his surroundings.
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.."
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!"
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.
"I know why this won the grammy"
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"
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 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.
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"
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.
The recording sessions for Let It Be actually began as rehearsals for a proposed return to live stage work for the Beatles, to be inaugurated in a concert at a Roman amphitheatre in Tunisia. In this thoroughly researched book, Steve Matteo delves deep into the complex history of these sessions. He talks to a number of people who were in the studio with the Beatles, recording the sights and sounds of the band at work - bringing to life a period in the Beatles' career that was creative and chaotic in equal measure.
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.
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"
The definitive account of Louis Armstrong - his life and legacy - during the most creative period of his career. Thomas Brothers picks up where he left off with the acclaimed Louis Armstrong's New Orleans, following the story of the great jazz musician into his most creatively fertile years in the 1920s and early 1930s, when Armstrong created not one but two modern musical styles. Brothers wields tremendous skill in making the connections between history and music accessible to everyone.
"Enjoyable and informative, but where is part one?"
"I intend to do everything...I shall anticipate pleasure everywhere and find it too, for it is everywhere! I shall involve myself wholly...everything matters!" This first selection from Susan Sontag's diaries (from 1947-1963) takes us from early adolescence through to when Sontag was in her early 30s. It is an astonishingly affecting and honest self-portrait which is also a fascinating, revealing account of an artist and critic being born. We see Sontag honing her skills and fashioning herself, by a supreme act of will, into an intellectual force.