Surprisingly interesting, varied, and enjoyable approach. A little less speculation dressed as fact would have been appreciated. Great read. Recommended even for non-Leonardo admirers.
Bestselling author Leonard Shlain explores the life, art, and mind of Leonardo da Vinci, seeking to explain his singularity by looking at his achievements in art, science, psychology, and military strategy (yes), and then employing state of the art left-right brain scientific research to explain his universal genius. Shlain shows that no other person in human history has excelled in so many different areas as Da Vinci and he peels back the layers to explore the how and the why.
"Varied Approach with Surprising Results"
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.
Beethoven's father began teaching him music with a sternness and brutality that marked him throughout his life. Neighbours would gossip about the small boy who wept while he played the clavier, with his father beating him for each mistake. He studied the violin and clavier with his father, but almost every day he was flogged, locked in the cellar, and deprived of sleep.
In the mid-19th century, Romantic literature was still in full bloom across the West, but some American authors began producing literature that, while still Romantic, was unique enough to be considered a different genre. This new genre, Transcendentalism, focused on the spirituality of the self and nature, not rejecting religion outright but concentrating on pragmatism and the importance of individuals as the spiritual center of the cosmos.
'I grew up on the world's largest island.' This apparently simple fact is the starting point for Tim Winton's beautiful, evocative and sometimes provocative memoir of how this unique landscape has shaped him and his writing. For over 30 years, Winton has written novels in which the natural world is as much a living presence as any character.
This book not only covers the highlights of Lou Reed's career but explores lesser-known facets of his work, such as his first recordings with doo-wop group the Jades, his key literary influences, the impact of Judaism upon his work, and his engagement with the LGBT movement.
A handful of clay from a Chinese hillside carries a promise: that mixed with the right materials, it might survive the fire of the kiln and fuse into porcelain - translucent, luminous, white. Acclaimed writer and potter Edmund de Waal sets out on a quest - a journey that begins in the dusty city of Jingdezhen in China and travels on to Venice, Versailles, Dublin, Dresden, the Appalachian Mountains of South Carolina and the hills of Cornwall to tell the history of porcelain.
A magisterial life of Ted Hughes - identified recently as the only English poet since the First World War with a claim to true greatness and one of Britain's most important writers - to be published on National Poetry Day by prize-winning biographer Jonathan Bate. Ted Hughes, Poet Laureate, was one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. He is one of Britain's most important poets, a poet of claws and cages: Jaguar, Hawk and Crow. Event and animal are turned to myth in his work.
This audiobook profiles Laura Lippman. Best known for the Tess Monaghan novels, Lippman became well known after publishing her 2003 novel, Every Secret Thing. Find out how she became a writer and how her career has developed.
This audiobook profiles Lilian Jackson Braun. Best known as the author of the Cat Who, a series of mystery novels, Braun continued writing until her death in 2011.
An early architect of punk rock's sound, style, and fury, whose lip-curling sneer and fist-pumping persona vaulted him into pop's mainstream as one of MTV's first megastars, Billy Idol remains, to this day, a true rock 'n' roll icon. Now, in his long-awaited autobiography, Dancing with Myself, Idol delivers an electric, searingly honest account of his journey to fame - from his early days as front man of the pioneering UK punk band Generation X to the decadent life atop the dance-rock kingdom he ruled.
"no one could tell it better than Billy himself "
In the fall of 2009, the food world was rocked when Gourmet magazine was abruptly shuttered by its parent company. No one was more stunned by this unexpected turn of events than its beloved editor in chief, Ruth Reichl, who suddenly faced an uncertain professional future. As she struggled to process what had seemed unthinkable, Reichl turned to the one place that had always provided sanctuary. "I did what I always do when I'm confused, lonely, or frightened," she writes. "I disappeared into the kitchen."
The daughter of political philosopher William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley had an unconventional childhood populated with the most talented and eccentric personalities of the time. After losing her mother at an early age, she finds herself in constant conflict with a resentful stepmother and a jealous stepsister. When she meets the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, she falls deeply in love, and they elope with disastrous consequences.
Set in Dodge City, Kansas, in the 1870s, Gunsmoke aired on CBS Radio until June 1961. William Conrad starred as U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon, and he was joined by three other regulars: Howard McNear as "Doc" Charles Adams; Georgia Ellis as Kitty Russell; and Parley Baer as Chester Proudfoot. This collection features six episodes: Sweet and Sour, Snake Bite, Annie Oakley, Belle's Back, and Thick 'n' Thin, and Box O' Rocks.
This is an excerpt from the Military Veterans in Creative Careers book. It includes only the sections on writing books and screenwriting.
This is an excerpt from the Military Veterans in Creative Careers book. It includes only the section on writing books and video games, and interviews with veterans in video games.
This modern classic of nature writing by the author of The Once and Future King was an inspiration for and featured in Helen Macdonald's prize-winning H Is for Hawk. "No hawk can be a pet. There is no sentimentality. In a way, it is the psychiatrist's art. One is matching one's mind against another mind with deadly reason and interest. One desires no transference of affection, demands no ignoble homage or gratitude. It is a tonic for the less forthright savagery of the human heart."
In June 1989 Paul Du Noyer was contacted by Paul McCartney's office in London and asked to interview the star, as they had met once before and enjoyed a good rapport. In the years that followed, Paul Du Noyer continued to meet, interview and work for Paul McCartney on a regular basis, producing magazine articles, tour programmes, album liner notes, press materials and website editorial.
"A good chat-up with Sir Paul"
Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Special Deluxe, written and read by Neil Young. Quirky and wonderfully candid, Neil Young's new book of reminiscences is as compelling as his first book. He returns with more unforgettable stories about his six decades in the music business - but this is not your average rock biography.
This audiobook profiles Lionel Shriver. Over a long writing career, Shriver has gradually increased in stature as a novelist.
This audiobook profiles Brandon Sanderson. As one of the world's leading fantasy authors, Sanderson received a major boost when Robert Jordan's widow asked him to continue the Wheel of Time series.
"Alcatraz versus the Evil Libertarians?"
Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....
"Tina Fey broke my new SUV"
Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”
"If you like Mindy, you'll enjoy this listen."
New York Times best-selling poet and multiplatinum singer-songwriter Jewel explores her unconventional upbringing and extraordinary life in an inspirational memoir that covers her childhood, rise to fame, marriage, and motherhood. She writes beautifully about growing up amid the natural wonders of Alaska, about pain and childhood trauma, and about discovering her own identity years after the entire world had discovered the beauty of her songs.
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 unique perspective of David Sedaris comes a new collection of essays taking his listeners on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences.
"Devout Fan Disappointed"
Now at last Keith Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only to find themselves challenged by authorities everywhere....
"Ins and outs"
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!"
At the end of her best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship who'd been living in Indonesia when they met. Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other, but also swore to never, ever, under any circumstances get legally married. But providence intervened one day in the form of the United States government....
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.
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."
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....
M Train begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Smith goes every morning for black coffee, ruminates on the world as it is and the world as it was, and writes in her notebook. Through prose that shifts fluidly between dreams and reality, past and present, and across a landscape of creative aspirations and inspirations, we travel to Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul in Mexico; to a meeting of an Arctic explorer's society in Berlin; and to the graves of Genet, Plath, Rimbaud, and Mishima.
Chrissie Hynde, the songwriter and front woman of The Pretenders in its various incarnations, has for 35 years been one of the most admired and adored and imitated figures in rock. This long-awaited memoir tells her life story in full and utterly fascinating detail, from her all-American Ohio '50s childhood to her classic baby-boomer seduction by the rock of the '60s to her sojourn in the crucible of punk that was '70s London to her instant emergence with her band, The Pretenders, in 1980 into stardom as a frontwoman and songwriter.
"Reckless: My Life as a Pretender"
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"
With refreshing candor, Sounds Like Me reveals Sara Bareilles - the artist and the woman - and her take on songwriting, soul searching, and what's discovered along the way. She shares the joys and the struggles that come with creating great work, all while staying true to herself. Imbued with humor and marked by Sara's confessional writing style, this collection tells the inside story behind some of her most popular songs.
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"
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."
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"
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!"
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..."
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 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.
"Jimmy Stewart had a great life !"
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.
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"
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 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"
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!"
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"
This is the story of a close, loving family splintered by the violent ideologies of Europe between the wars. Jessica was a Communist; Debo became the Duchess of Devonshire; Nancy was one of the best-selling novelists of her day; the ethereally beautiful Diana was the most hated woman in England; and Unity Valkyrie, born in Swastika, Alaska, would become obsessed with Adolf Hitler.
"Great story, terrible reader"
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.."
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"
In her moving and insightful new book, Joan Didion reassesses parts of her life, her work, her history and ours. A native Californian, Didion applies her scalpel-like intelligence to the state’s ethic of ruthless self-sufficiency in order to examine that ethic’s often tenuous relationship to reality. Combining history and reportage, memoir and literary criticism, Where I Was From explores California’s romances with land and water; its unacknowledged debts to railroads, aerospace, and big government; the disjunction between its code of individualism and its fetish for prisons.
"Wonderful California Listen"
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"
Richard Ellmann has revised and expanded his definitive work on Joyce's life to include newly discovered primary material, including details of a failed love affair, a limerick about Samuel Beckett, a dream notebook, previously unknown letters, and much more.
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.
In this book novelist Colm Tóibín offers a deeply personal introduction to the work and life of one of his most important literary influences - the American poet Elizabeth Bishop. Ranging across her poetry, prose, letters, and biography, Tóibín creates a vivid picture of Bishop while also revealing how her work has helped shape his sensibility as a novelist and how her experiences of loss and exile resonate with his own.
The American pianist Jonathan Biss is known to audiences throughout the world for his artistry, musical intelligence and deeply felt interpretations. What is less known until now is that Jonathan Biss writes about music in a most compelling and engaging way. For anyone who has ever enjoyed a Beethoven concert or a Beethoven recording or one of the many films about Beethoven, this audiobook is an inspiring listening experience. For those of you who have heard Beethoven in concert or listened to a Beethoven recording, Jonathan Biss takes you behind the scenes of those performances.
"An insightful performer's review of Beethoven"