A gorgeous, moving memoir of how one of America's most innovative and respected journalists found his voice by coming to terms with a painful past. New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow mines the compelling poetry of the out-of-time African-American Louisiana town where he grew up - a place where slavery's legacy was felt astonishingly close, reverberating in the elders' stories and in the near-constant wash of violence.
"Best books of 2014 -this is on the short list"
Why do otherwise intelligent individuals form seething masses of idiocy when they engage in collective action? We may think that the Great Crash of 1929, junk bonds of the '80s, and over-valued high-tech stocks of the '90s are peculiarly 20th century aberrations, but Mackay's classic - first published in 1841 - shows that the madness and confusion of crowds knows no limits, and has no temporal bounds.
When it comes to the entertainment world and movie business, few names are as recognizable as Walt Disney, a versatile writer, producer, director, artist, and voice actor who literally turned his name into a billion-dollar business. Whether it was through the creation of iconic cartoons like Mickey Mouse or America's favorite theme parks, Disney and his assorted businesses have entertained countless numbers of people across the globe, particularly young kids.
Joan of Arc is one of the most famous women in history: a French folk legend, a Catholic saint, and a military heroine. Yet almost nothing is truly known about the Maid of Orleans besides her ultimate fate - being burned at the stake when she was still a teenager. Claiming God instructed her to save France from England, she convinced the uncrowned Charles to send her to the siege of Orleans, and she subsequently led the French army to a string of important victories that made it possible for Charles VII to be coronated as the king of France.
When Charlie McDowell began sharing his open letters to his noisy upstairs neighbors - two impossibly ditzy female roommates in their mid-twenties - on Twitter, his feed quickly went viral. His followers multiplied and he got the attention of everyone from celebrities to production studios to major media outlets such as Time and Glamour.
Now Dear Girls breaks out of the 140-character limit as Charlie imagines what would happen if he put the wisdom of the girls to the test.
"An Enjoyable Listen"
Among them was green young Lieutenant Pat Caruso who became de facto company commander when the five officers ranking him were killed or wounded. He led his rapidly diminishing force steadily forward for the next few days, when a day's gains were measured in yards. Caruso was eventually wounded himself and was evacuated. Realizing that the heroism of his comrades would be lost by the decimation of his unit, Caruso latched onto any paper he could find and filled every blank space with his memory of the fighting.
"History In the Making"
Mark Antony (83-50 B.C.) is one of the most unique and best known figures of antiquity, a man whose relationships with some of history's giants ensured his own legacy. A protégé of Julius Caesar's, a lover of Cleopatra's, a sworn enemy of Cicero's, and a foil for Octavian, Antony has long been remembered for the role he played in others' lives more than for his own accomplishments. Fittingly and ironically, Antony might be best remembered today for the words Shakespeare put in his mouth for Caesar's eulogy.
In the 1970s, against the backdrop of the explosive Watergate scandal, Charles Colson revealed the story of his own search for meaning during the tumultuous investigations that led to the collapse of the Nixon administration. A convicted former special counsel to the president, Colson paradoxically found new life - not with success and power, but while in national disgrace and serving a prison sentence.
Among the New Age Movement and modern spiritualists, one name stands above the rest: Helena Petrovna (H.P.) Blavatsky. Blavatsky is best known today for co-founding the Theosophical School, a religious school of thought that she labeled "the archaic Wisdom-Religion, the esoteric doctrine once known in every ancient country having claims to civilization", and nobody was more qualified than Blavatsky to forge such a creation.
Award-winning journalist Jeff Guinn's highly acclaimed Manson has won rave reviews and is a top-pick on must-read lists everywhere. This superb biography answers lingering questions about the Manson Family murders, while delivering stunning revelations about the life of America's most notorious psychopath.
"Charles Manson: Even worse than you imagined"
Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, known to the world as Che, has led two lives. In the first of these lives, the Argentine-born revolutionary was a remarkable and flawed doctor-turned-guerilla who left behind a highly controversial political legacy. In the second, he was - and is - first and foremost an image. Specifically, he is one particular image in which he appears as a wavy-haired, bearded young man with a beret and an intense gaze.
Everyone loves a transformation story. Rags to riches. Plain to beautiful. Weak to strong. Esther's story is that, but it is much more. It is the account of God working mightily in one life and how godly attributes like courage, dignity, wisdom, and strength can thwart evil and replace terror with joy. Chuck Swindoll celebrates the story of Esther and reveals how every Christian can live a transformation story.
"Too Choppy and Opinionated"
Experience the logic of one of America's most prolific evangelists, brilliant lawyer-turned-preacher Charles Finney (1792-1875). This audio includes performances of two of his famous sermons: "How to Change Your Heart," and "God Cannot Please Sinners."
"Great words of wisdom"
The Renaissance spawned the use of the label "Renaissance man" to describe a person who is extremely talented in multiple fields, and no discussion of the Renaissance is complete without the original Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci. Indeed, if 100 people are asked to describe Leonardo in one word, they might give 100 answers.
Charles Dickens needs no formal introduction, having been the most popular English writer of the 19th century and still one of the most popular writers in history today. Dickens' upbringing was a mixture of happy times and sad. These qualities eventually helped forge him into a man many regard as the greatest Victorian era novelist, perhaps in the world, and the author of some of the most remarkable fictional characters who retain tremendous staying power to this day.
"The golden age of piracy" generally refers to the era when history's most famous pirates roamed the seas of the West Indies from 1670-1720.
"Kind of a ripoff"
Few actresses have ever gotten the kind of career start that Natalie Wood did during the 1950s. After appearing in film and on TV as a child, Wood broke out by appearing in the classic Rebel Without a Cause alongside James Dean in 1955, despite the fact she was still just 15 years old. She earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for that role, one of three Academy Award nominations she would rack up before the age of 25. Altogether, she was in over 50 films.
This is a story of the most well documented, most commented on love affair of our times. Yet the personalities behind the facade remain elusive and the nature of their relationship is an enigma. This is the first major biography of Charles and Camilla, two people who have battled against the curious lot that fate has thrown their way. Gyles Brandreth returns to the same ground as his last book, the bestselling "Philip and Elizabeth"; "Portrait of a Marriage".
"Enjoyable but not "juicy""
Since the Battle of Little Bighorn, George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876) has possessed one of the most unique places in American history. Although he was a capable cavalry officer who served honorably during the Civil War, he remains one of the most instantly identifiable and famous military men in American history due to the fact he was killed during one of the country's most ignominious defeats, the Battle of Little Bighorn.
Charles Dickens: A Life gives full measure to Dickens's heroic stature - his huge virtues both as a writer and as a human being - while observing his failings in both respects with an unblinking eye. Renowned literary biographer Claire Tomalin crafts a story worthy of Dickens's own pen, a comedy that turns to tragedy as the very qualities that made him great - his indomitable energy, boldness, imagination, and showmanship - finally destroyed him.
"A great biography brilliantly read"