This fascinating biography reveals the untold story of the legendary New Yorker profile writer - author of Joe Gould's Secret and Up in the Old Hotel - and unravels the mystery behind one of literary history's greatest disappearing acts.
Jill Craigie - filmmaker, writer, pioneering feminist, and devoted wife to former Labour leader Michael Foot - led an extraordinary life. Strikingly attractive, fiercely independent, and politically radical, Craigie established a reputation as a filmmaker with her 1944 film Out of Chaos, becoming the first female director to gain national attention.
The Enlightenment is looked upon fondly, and it serves to reinforce the notion that the present is superior to the past, but things did not change as rapidly or as completely as many believe. In fact, some recent historians have challenged the belief that the Enlightenment was responsible for the French Revolution, which is a vital issue when it comes to Voltaire. After all, Voltaire, as his contemporaries and as most of his modern listeners know him, is widely regarded as the pinnacle of Enlightenment thought.
One of the towering figures of the age was Jean Jacques Rousseau, whose works were essential to the ideological developments of the 18th century. The prestige of French literature in the 18th century resides especially in its revolutionary character; while the writers of the previous century used to support the social order through their works and showed sympathy and even attempted to explain the political order of the time.
Traveling Heavy is a deeply moving, unconventional memoir by master storyteller and cultural anthropologist Ruth Behar. Through evocative stories she portrays her life as an immigrant child and later as an adult woman who loves to travel but is terrified of boarding a plane. With an open heart, she writes about her Yiddish-Sephardic-Cuban-American family as well as the strangers who show her kindness as she makes her way through the world.
Beatlemania had struck North America, creating a musical and pop culture phenomenon unlike anything the world had ever seen. At the center of it all was John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the principal songwriting duo who were instrumental in creating the soundtrack of the 1960s, while producing some of the world's most timeless classics. Together with George Harrison and Ringo Starr, Lennon and McCartney propelled The Beatles to unprecedented heights, experimenting with their sound in ways that revolutionized rock and inspired bands across various musical genres.
Allen Klein was like no one the music industry had seen before. The hard-nosed business manager became infamous for allegedly catalyzing the Beatles' breakup and robbing the Rolling Stones, but the truth is both more complex and more fascinating.
"The Beatles' & Rolling Stones' Big Bad Manager"
When a young student at a military academy mails some of his poetry to the great poet Rainer Maria Rilke, seeking advice, he initiates years of correspondence, during which Rilke expresses his most personal insights into the artist's relationship with life, the interior needs of the individual growing towards maturity, and how the impulse to artistic creation can and should be a source of abiding and developing happiness even for those who cannot become artists.
When people think of musicals, two of the first names that immediately spring to mind are Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire, two giants of one of Hollywood's most distinctive genres. Without question, both men played an instrumental role in popularizing and sustaining the musical from the 1930s through the 1950s, the final decades of Hollywood's Golden Age. Although they did collaborate on two occasions, in many ways Gene Kelly's rise to popularity in the 1940s amounted to a changing of the guard.
Notes to Boys: And Other Things I Shouldn't Share in Public is a "mortifying memoir" from best-selling author and tv/film writer Pamela Ribon. Miserably trapped in small-town Texas, with no invention of the Internet in sight, Ribon spent countless hours of her high school years writing letters to her (often unrequited) crushes. The big question is: Why did she always keep a copy for herself? You'll come for the incredibly bad poetry, you'll stay for the incredibly bad poetry about racism.
Jon Fine spent nearly 30 years performing and recording with bands that played various forms of aggressive and challenging underground rock music. And, as he writes in this memoir, at no point were any of those bands "ever threatened, even distantly, by actual fame". Yet when members of his first band, Bitch Magnet, reunited after 21 years to tour Europe, Asia, and America, diehard longtime fans traveled from far and wide to attend those shows.
It's a Long Story: My Life is country singer Willie Nelson's memoir. The book chronicles his life as a musician, songwriter, and social activist and delves into his turbulent personal life and internal emotional struggles.On April 29, 1933 in Abbott, Texas, Willie Nelson was born to Ira and Myrle Nelson, a fiddler and singer respectively, two years after his sister, Bobbie. Willie's parents divorced when Willie was six months old.
There may be no director in American film history who was better able to combine commercial appeal with art-house style than Stanley Kubrick. As his career progressed, his films grew increasingly challenging, with slow, methodical plots that made for running times that spanned upwards of three hours. No matter how much Kubrick may have broken away from the standard 90-minute Hollywood fare and threatened to alienate his audience, there is no denying the special place his films hold in pop culture.
On their 50th anniversary comes a groundbreaking rock-and-roll memoir by one of the founding members of the Grateful Dead. The Grateful Dead are perhaps the most legendary American rock band of all time. For 30 years, beginning in the hippie scene of San Francisco in 1965, they were a musical institution, the original jam band that broke new ground in so many ways.
When it comes to Hollywood and the entertainment industry, perhaps nobody catapulted to fame as quickly or as strangely as Orson Welles, but it would also be safe to say that few produced such critically acclaimed work either. Though he had worked on stage productions from an early age and seamlessly transitioned into radio, few were familiar with his work until a legendary 1938 radio broadcast of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, during which some people who heard Welles narrating the work truly believed that an alien invasion was underway.
Ironically, one of America's most famous comedy duos, and the performers of the country's most famous skit, came together in part because Lou Costello had already failed to cut it in the film industry. In fact, Costello had appeared in a Laurel and Hardy film in 1927 before meeting his partner, Bud Abbott, on the burlesque circuit in New York City. In fact, the two first performed together in 1935 only because Abbott filled in for Costello's usual partner, who happened to be ill one fateful day.
The 1920s in the United States were known as the "Roaring '20s" and the Jazz Age, a time in the nation that glorified hard and fast living. Nobody personified the age or wrote so descriptively about it better than F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), whose name became synonymous with the times after penning the epic The Great Gatsby.
One of the most famous Transcendentalists, and possibly its most ardent practitioner, and possibly its most ardent practitioner, was Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau took the values of the movement to heart and was particularly interested in the interconnection between man and nature, writing in Walden, "Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind."
The seven years between the birth of Etgar Keret's son and the death of his father were good years, though still full of reasons to worry. Lev is born in the midst of a terrorist attack. Etgar's father gets cancer. The threat of constant war looms over their home and permeates daily life.
Vera Brittain and the First World War tells the remarkable story of the author behind Testament of Youth while charting the book's ascent to become one of the most loved memoirs of the First World War period. Such interest is set to expand even more in this centenary year of the war's outbreak.
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"
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.
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."
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.
"As Funny As The Room, and Surprisingly Touching"
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 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.
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!"
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"
As the only African-American soloist dancing with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland has made history. But when she first placed her hands on the barre at an after-school community center, no one expected the undersized, anxious 13-year-old to become a groundbreaking ballerina. Life in Motion is a story of passion and grace for anyone who has dared to dream of a different life.
"Great Story, Terrible Narrator"
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"
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"
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 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 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"
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."
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"
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"
In the first of three essays included in this audiobook, Bill Bryson decides to move his wife and kids back to his homeland, the United States, after nearly two decades in Britain. But not before taking one last trip around Britain, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home. The result is a hilarious social commentary.
"A humorist in the Mark Twain tradition."
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"
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"
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"
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.
"Everybody Remembers Their First Didion!"
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"
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.
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.
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"
In this exquisite biography, John Gardner brings to life Geoffrey Chaucer, illuminating his writings and their inspiration like never before. Through exhaustive research and expert storytelling, Gardner takes readers through Chaucer’s varied career - from writing The Canterbury Tales to performing diplomatic work at the Parliament - and creates a fully realized portrait of an author whose work would remake the English language forever. Written with passion and insight, this a must-listen for those interested in Chaucer and the medieval time period.
"Good book, but quoted passages are in Old English"
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"
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"
Frederick Law Olmsted is arguably the most important historical figure that the average American knows the least about. Best remembered for his landscape architecture, from New York's Central Park to Boston's Emerald Necklace to Stanford University's campus, Olmsted was also an influential journalist, early voice for the environment, and abolitionist credited with helping dissuade England from joining the South in the Civil War. This momentous career was shadowed by a tragic personal life, also fully portrayed here.
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.
"A Deep History of Bach"
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"
Children of the Stone chronicles Ramzi's journey - from stone thrower to music student to school founder - and shows how through his love of music he created something lasting and beautiful in a land torn by violence and war. This is a story about the power of music, but also about freedom and conflict, determination and vision.
Rebel Souls is the first book ever written about the colorful group of artists - regulars at Pfaff's Saloon in Manhattan - rightly considered America's original Bohemians. Besides a young Whitman, the circle included actor Edwin Booth; trailblazing stand–up comic Artemus Ward; psychedelic drug pioneer and author Fitz Hugh Ludlow; and brazen performer Adah Menken, famous for her Naked Lady routine. Central to their times, the artists managed to forge connections with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain, and even Abraham Lincoln.
In Knitting Yarns, twenty-seven writers tell stories about how knitting healed, challenged, or helped them to grow. Poignant, funny, and moving, Knitting Yarns is sure to delight knitting enthusiasts and lovers of literature alike.
One of America's most intriguing show-business luminaries and true rebels, Dennis Hopper's amazing life was a roller-coaster series of triumphs and failures. Always intent on proving his genius and leaving a legacy, the Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated Hopper acted in more than 115 movies and four TV series, directed seven films, and passionately pursued an artist's life as a photographer and creator and collector of modern art.
"Sex, Drugs, & Hollywood Money"