Biography and Memoir Ebook Best Sellers

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Here's the Deal - Kellyanne Conway Cover Art

Here's the Deal

Here's the Deal A Memoir by Kellyanne Conway

Among the Trump era’s savviest insiders, one name stands especially tall: Kellyanne. As a highly respected pollster for corporate and Republican clients and a frequent television talk show guest, Kellyanne Conway had already established herself as one of the brightest lights on the national political scene when Donald Trump asked her to run his presidential campaign. She agreed, delivering him to the White House, becoming the first woman in American history to manage a winning presidential campaign, and changing the American landscape forever. Who she is, how she did it, and who tried to stop her is a fascinating story of personal triumph and political intrigue that has never been told…until now. In Here’s The Deal, Kellyanne takes you on a journey all the way to the White House and beyond with her trademark sharp wit, raw honesty, and level eye. It’s all here: what it’s like to be dissected on national television. How to outsmart the media mob. How to outclass the crazy critics. How to survive and succeed male-dominated industries. What happens when the perils of social media really hit home. And what happens when the divisions across the country start playing out in one’s own family. In this open and vulnerable account, Kellyanne turns the camera on herself. What she has to share—about our politics, about the media, about her time in the White House, and about her personal journey—is an astonishing glimpse of visibility and vulnerability, of professional and personal highs and lows, and ultimately, of triumph.

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Mary Queen Of Scots (tie-In) - John Guy Cover Art

Mary Queen Of Scots (tie-In)

Mary Queen Of Scots (tie-In) The True Life of Mary Stuart by John Guy

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie. A biography "as enthralling as a detective story," of the woman who reigned over sixteenth-century Scotland (New York Times Book Review). In Mary Queen of Scots, John Guy creates an intimate and absorbing portrait of one of history’s most famous women, depicting her world and her place in the sweep of history with stunning immediacy. Bringing together all surviving documents and uncovering a trove of new sources for the first time, Guy dispels the popular image of Mary Stuart as a romantic leading lady—achieving her ends through feminine wiles—and establishes her as the intellectual and political equal of Elizabeth I. Through Guy’s pioneering research and superbly readable prose, we come to see Mary as a skillful diplomat, maneuvering ingeniously among a dizzying array of factions that sought to control or dethrone her. It is an enthralling, myth-shattering look at a complex woman and ruler and her time. “The definitive biography . . . gripping . . . a pure pleasure to read.”—Washington Post Book World First published in 2004 as Queen of Scots

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Aloysius X. L. Pendergast - Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child Cover Art

Aloysius X. L. Pendergast

Aloysius X. L. Pendergast A Mysterious Profile by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

#1 New York Times –bestselling authors: Get to know the ruthless, mysterious FBI agent, “one of thrillerdom’s most exciting and intriguing series leads” ( Booklist ).   Acclaimed as “a modern-day Sherlock Holmes” (Associated Press) with a brilliant mind, a cultured manner, and a dark edge, Special Agent Aloysius X. L. Pendergast has calmly looked evil in the face throughout the long-running series that includes such novels as The Cabinet of Curiosities —named one of NPR’s 100 Best Thrillers Ever—and Crooked River . In this essay, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child discuss how the character came to be created, his enigmatic backstory, and the history of their own wildly successful writing partnership.   “The most charming, intelligent, cool, and creepy agent ever written.” — Suspense Magazine   “Every bit the modern equivalent of Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot.”― Providence Journal

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The Palace Papers - Tina Brown Cover Art

The Palace Papers

The Palace Papers Inside the House of Windsor--the Truth and the Turmoil by Tina Brown

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The “addictively readable” ( The Washington Post ) inside story of the British royal family’s battle to overcome the dramas of the Diana years—only to confront new, twenty-first-century crises   “Brown is a deft and wily royal chronicler, marshaling a heavy arsenal of details into a wickedly edible narrative.”— Los Angeles Times “Never again” became Queen Elizabeth II’s mantra shortly after Princess Diana’s tragic death. More specif­ically, there could never be “another Diana”—a mem­ber of the family whose global popularity upstaged, outshone, and posed an existential threat to the Brit­ish monarchy. Picking up where Tina Brown’s masterful The Diana Chronicles left off, The Palace Papers reveals how the royal family reinvented itself after the trau­matic years when Diana’s blazing celebrity ripped through the House of Windsor like a comet. Brown takes readers on a tour de force journey through the scandals, love affairs, power plays, and betrayals that have buffeted the monarchy over the last twenty-five years. We see the Queen’s stoic re­solve after the passing of Princess Margaret, the Queen Mother, and Prince Philip, her partner for seven decades, and how she triumphs in her Jubilee years even as family troubles rage around her. Brown explores Prince Charles’s determination to make Camilla Parker Bowles his wife, the tension between William and Harry on “different paths,” the ascend­ance of Kate Middleton, the downfall of Prince An­drew, and Harry and Meghan’s stunning decision to step back as senior royals. Despite the fragile monar­chy’s best efforts, “never again” seems fast approaching. Tina Brown has been observing and chronicling the British monarchy for three decades, and her sweeping account is full of powerful revelations, newly reported details, and searing insight gleaned from remarkable access to royal insiders. Stylish, witty, and erudite, The Palace Papers will irrevoca­bly change how the world perceives and under­stands the royal family.

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Mrs. Kennedy and Me - Clint Hill Cover Art

Mrs. Kennedy and Me

Mrs. Kennedy and Me An Intimate Memoir by Clint Hill

The #1 New York Times bestselling memoir by Clint Hill that Kirkus Reviews called “clear and honest prose free from salaciousness and gossip,” Jackie Kennedy’s personal Secret Service agent details his very close relationship with the First Lady during the four years leading up to and following President John F. Kennedy’s tragic assassination. In those four years, Hill was by Mrs. Kennedy’s side for some of the happiest moments as well as the darkest. He was there for the birth of John, Jr. on November 25, 1960, as well as for the birth and sudden death of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy on August 8, 1963. Three and a half months later, the unthinkable happened. Forty-seven years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the one vivid image that never leaves Clint Hill’s mind is that of President Kennedy’s head lying on Mrs. Kennedy’s lap in the back seat of the limousine, his eyes fixed, blood splattered all over the back of the car, Mrs. Kennedy, and Hill as well. Sprawled on the trunk of the car as it sped away from Dealey Plaza, Hill clung to the sides of the car, his feet wedged in so his body was as high as possible. Clint Hill jumped on the car too late to save the president, but all he knew after that first shot was that if more shots were coming, the bullets had to hit him instead of the First Lady. Mrs. Kennedy’s strength, class, and dignity over those tragic four days in November 1963 held the country together. This is the story, told for the first time, of the man who perhaps held her together.

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Can't Hurt Me - David Goggins Cover Art

Can't Hurt Me

Can't Hurt Me Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins

New York Times Bestseller Over 3 million copies sold For David Goggins, childhood was a nightmare - poverty, prejudice, and physical abuse colored his days and haunted his nights. But through self-discipline, mental toughness, and hard work, Goggins transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man with no future into a U.S. Armed Forces icon and one of the world's top endurance athletes. The only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller, he went on to set records in numerous endurance events, inspiring Outside magazine to name him The Fittest (Real) Man in America. In Can't Hurt Me, he shares his astonishing life story and reveals that most of us tap into only 40% of our capabilities. Goggins calls this The 40% Rule, and his story illuminates a path that anyone can follow to push past pain, demolish fear, and reach their full potential.

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James Baldwin - David Leeming Cover Art

James Baldwin

James Baldwin A Biography by David Leeming

James Baldwin was one of the great writers of the last century. In works that have become part of the American canon— Go Tell It on a Mountain , Giovanni’s Room , Another Country , The Fire Next Time , and The Evidence of Things Not Seen —he explored issues of race and racism in America, class distinction, and sexual difference. A gay, African American writer who was born in Harlem, he found the freedom to express himself living in exile in Paris. When he returned to America to cover the Civil Rights movement, he became an activist and controversial spokesman for the movement, writing books that became bestsellers and made him a celebrity, landing him on the cover of Time . In this biography, which Library Journal called “indispensable,” David Leeming creates an intimate portrait of a complex, troubled, driven, and brilliant man. He plumbs every aspect of Baldwin’s life: his relationships with the unknown and the famous, including painter Beauford Delaney, Richard Wright, Lorraine Hansberry, Marlon Brando, Harry Belafonte, Lena Horne, and childhood friend Richard Avedon; his expatriate years in France and Turkey; his gift for compassion and love; the public pressures that overwhelmed his quest for happiness, and his passionate battle for black identity, racial justice, and to “end the racial nightmare and achieve our country.” Skyhorse Publishing, along with our Arcade, Good Books, Sports Publishing, and Yucca imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. Our list includes biographies on well-known historical figures like Benjamin Franklin, Nelson Mandela, and Alexander Graham Bell, as well as villains from history, such as Heinrich Himmler, John Wayne Gacy, and O. J. Simpson. We have also published survivor stories of World War II, memoirs about overcoming adversity, first-hand tales of adventure, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

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Goering - Roger Manvell & Heinrich Fraenkel Cover Art

Goering

Goering The Rise and Fall of the Notorious Nazi Leader by Roger Manvell & Heinrich Fraenkel

A penetrating biography of one of the most infamous members of the Nazi high command.   In Goering , Roger Manvell and Heinrich Fraenkel use firsthand testimonies and a variety of historical documents to tell the story of a monster lurking in Hitler’s shadows. After rising through the ranks of the German army, Hermann Goering became Hitler’s right hand man and was hand-picked to head the Luftwaffe, one of history’s most feared fighting forces. As he rose in power, though, Goering became disillusioned and was eventually shunned from Hitler’s inner circle. Alone at the end, he faced justice at the Nuremberg trials and was convicted of war crimes and crime against humanity. He committed suicide in prison before he could be hanged. Within these pages, Manvell and Fraenkel bring to life one of history’s most complicated and hated characters.   “Manvell and Fraenkel have produced . . . biographies of Goebbels, Goering, Himmler, and the men who tried to kill Hitler in 1944. . . . To the best of my knowledge there are no better biographies in existence.” — The New York Review of Books

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Mean Baby - Selma Blair Cover Art

Mean Baby

Mean Baby A Memoir of Growing Up by Selma Blair

Selma Blair has played many roles: Ingenue in Cruel Intentions . Preppy ice queen in Legally Blonde . Muse to Karl Lagerfeld. Advocate for the multiple sclerosis community. But before all of that, Selma was known best as … a mean baby. In a memoir that is as wildly funny as it is emotionally shattering, Blair tells the captivating story of growing up and finding her truth.                "Blair is a rebel, an artist, and it turns out: a writer." —Glennon Doyle, Author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller Untamed and Founder of Together Rising The first story Selma Blair Beitner ever heard about herself is that she was a mean, mean baby. With her mouth pulled in a perpetual snarl and a head so furry it had to be rubbed to make way for her forehead, Selma spent years living up to her terrible reputation: biting her sisters, lying spontaneously, getting drunk from Passover wine at the age of seven, and behaving dramatically so that she would be the center of attention.   Although Selma went on to become a celebrated Hollywood actress and model, she could never quite shake the periods of darkness that overtook her, the certainty that there was a great mystery at the heart of her life. She often felt like her arms might be on fire, a sensation not unlike electric shocks, and she secretly drank to escape.   Over the course of this beautiful and, at times, devasting memoir, Selma lays bare her addiction to alcohol, her devotion to her brilliant and complicated mother, and the moments she flirted with death. There is brutal violence, passionate love, true friendship, the gift of motherhood, and, finally, the surprising salvation of a multiple sclerosis diagnosis.   In a voice that is powerfully original, fiercely intelligent, and full of hard-won wisdom, Selma Blair’s Mean Baby is a deeply human memoir and a true literary achievement. 

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Finding Me - Viola Davis Cover Art

Finding Me

Finding Me A Memoir by Viola Davis

OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • A HARPERS BAZAAR BEST BOOK OF 2022 • A PARADE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK • A MARIE CLAIRE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK “It’s clear from the first page that Davis is going to serve a more intimate, unpolished account than is typical of the average (often ghost-written) celebrity memoir; Finding Me reads like Davis is sitting you down for a one-on-one conversation about her life, warts and all.”—USA Today “[A] fulfilling narrative of struggle and success….Her gorgeous storytelling will inspire anyone wishing to shed old labels.”—Los Angeles Times In my book, you will meet a little girl named Viola who ran from her past until she made a life-changing decision to stop running forever. This is my story, from a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to the stage in New York City, and beyond. This is the path I took to finding my purpose but also my voice in a world that didn’t always see me. As I wrote Finding Me, my eyes were open to the truth of how our stories are often not given close examination. We are forced to reinvent them to fit into a crazy, competitive, judgmental world. So I wrote this for anyone running through life untethered, desperate and clawing their way through murky memories, trying to get to some form of self-love. For anyone who needs reminding that a life worth living can only be born from radical honesty and the courage to shed facades and be . . . you. Finding Me is a deep reflection, a promise, and a love letter of sorts to self. My hope is that my story will inspire you to light up your own life with creative expression and rediscover who you were before the world put a label on you.

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Freezing Order - Bill Browder Cover Art

Freezing Order

Freezing Order A True Story of Money Laundering, Murder, and Surviving Vladimir Putin's Wrath by Bill Browder

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Following his explosive New York Times bestseller Red Notice, Bill Browder returns with another gripping thriller chronicling how he became Vladimir Putin’s number one enemy by exposing Putin’s campaign to steal and launder hundreds of billions of dollars and kill anyone who stands in his way. When Bill Browder’s young Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, was beaten to death in a Moscow jail, Browder made it his life’s mission to go after his killers and make sure they faced justice. The first step of that mission was to uncover who was behind the $230 million tax refund scheme that Magnitsky was killed over. As Browder and his team tracked the money as it flowed out of Russia through the Baltics and Cyprus and on to Western Europe and the Americas, they were shocked to discover that Vladimir Putin himself was a beneficiary of the crime. As law enforcement agencies began freezing the money, Putin retaliated. He and his cronies set up honey traps, hired process servers to chase Browder through cities, murdered more of his Russian allies, and enlisted some of the top lawyers and politicians in America to bring him down. Putin will stop at nothing to protect his money. As Freezing Order reveals, it was Browder’s campaign to expose Putin’s corruption that prompted Russia’s intervention in the 2016 US presidential election. At once a financial caper, an international adventure, and a passionate plea for justice , Freezing Order is a stirring morality tale about how one man can take on one of the most ruthless villains in the world—and win.

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Swing and a Hit - Paul O'Neill & Jack Curry Cover Art

Swing and a Hit

Swing and a Hit Nine Innings of What Baseball Taught Me by Paul O'Neill & Jack Curry

The fun and fiery memoir of All Star Yankee and five-time World Champion, Paul O’Neill. In SWING AND A HIT, O’Neill elaborates on his most important hitting principles, lessons, and memories—exploring those elements across ten chapters (to align with the nine innings of a baseball game and one extra inning). Here, O’Neill, with his intense temperament, describes what he did as a hitter, how he adjusted to pitchers, how he boosted his confidence, how he battled with umpires (and water coolers), and what advice he would give to current hitters.   O’Neill has always been a tough out at the plate. Recalling how he started to swing at bat as a two-year-old and kept swinging it professionally until he was thirty-eight, O’Neill provides constant insights into the beauty and frustration of playing baseball. The legendary Ted Williams said using a round bat to hit a round ball is the most difficult thing to do in sports. Naturally, O’Neill, who once received a surprise call from Williams that was filled with hitting advice, agrees.   SWING AND A HIT features O’Neill’s most thoughtful revelations and offers clubhouse stories from some of the biggest names in Major League Baseball—hitters, managers, and teammates like Joe Torre, Derek Jeter, Don Mattingly, Pete Rose, and Bernie Williams.   Remember, O’Neill, ever the perfectionist, was the type of hitter who believed that pitchers didn’t ever get him out. For that incredible reason and so many others, SWING AND A HIT is essential reading for any baseball fan.

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Out of the Corner - Jennifer Grey Cover Art

Out of the Corner

Out of the Corner A Memoir by Jennifer Grey

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A deeply candid and refreshingly spirited memoir of identity lost and found from the star of the iconic film Dirty Dancing “Jennifer Grey peels back all the artifice, denial, obfuscation, and myriad assumptions and exposes a gorgeous, human portrait of her life.”—Jamie Lee Curtis   “We all know Jennifer Grey as a talented actress, but Out of the Corner introduces us to a gifted writer.”—Michael J. Fox In this beautiful, close-to-the bone account, Jennifer Grey takes readers on a vivid tour of the experiences that have shaped her, from her childhood as the daughter of Broadway and film legend Joel Grey, to the surprise hit with Patrick Swayze that made her America’s sweetheart, to her inspiring season eleven win on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars . Throughout this intimate narrative, Grey richly evokes places and times that were defining for a generation—from her preteen days in 1970s Malibu and wild child nights in New York’s club scene, to her roles in quintessential movies of the 1980s, including The Cotton Club, Red Dawn, and her breakout performance in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off . With self-deprecating humor and frankness, she looks back on her unbridled, romantic adventures in Hollywood. And with enormous bravery, she shares the devastating fallout from a plastic surgery procedure that caused the sudden and stunning loss of her professional identity and career. Grey inspires with her hard-won battle back, reclaiming her sense of self from a culture and business that can impose a narrow and unforgiving definition of female worth. She finds, at last, her own true north and starts a family of her own, just in the nick of time. Distinctive, moving, and powerful, told with generosity and pluck, Out of the Corner is a memoir about a never-ending personal evolution, a coming-of-age story for women of every age.

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The Lost Boys of Montauk - Amanda M. Fairbanks Cover Art

The Lost Boys of Montauk

The Lost Boys of Montauk The True Story of the Wind Blown, Four Men Who Vanished at Sea, and the Survivors They Left Behind by Amanda M. Fairbanks

An immersive account of a tragedy at sea whose repercussions haunt its survivors to this day, lauded by New York Times bestselling author Ron Suskind as “an honest and touching book, and a hell of a story.” In March of 1984, the commercial fishing boat Wind Blown left Montauk Harbor on what should have been a routine offshore voyage. Its captain, a married father of three young boys, was the boat’s owner and leader of the four-man crew, which included two locals and the blue-blooded son of a well-to-do summer family. After a week at sea, the weather suddenly turned, and the foursome collided with a nor’easter. They soon found themselves in the fight of their lives. Tragically, it was a fight they lost. Neither the boat nor the bodies of the men were ever recovered. The downing of the Wind Blown has since become interwoven with the local folklore of the East End’s year-round population. Its tragic fate will never be forgotten. In this “riveting man-vs.-nature story and compelling tribute to those who perished” ( Kirkus Reviews , starred review), journalist Amanda M. Fairbanks seeks out the reasons why an event more than three decades old remains so startlingly vivid in people’s minds. She explores the ways in which deep, lasting grief can alter people’s memories. And she shines a light on the powerful and sometimes painful dynamics between fathers and sons, as well as the secrets that can haunt families from beyond the grave.

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Just Tyrus - Tyrus Cover Art

Just Tyrus

Just Tyrus A Memoir by Tyrus

New York Times  and  Wall Street Journal  Bestseller! Pro wrestler and political commentator Tyrus goes deep into his wild but triumphant life story, from his painfully dysfunctional upbringing to bodyguarding for Snoop Dogg, to becoming a wrestling icon and one of the most provocative on-air voices today. “I loved Just Tyrus . I read it in one day and cheered for him when I got to the end. Tyrus has written a book that is at once raw, tender, intelligent, candid, and hilarious. Tyrus took a very rough start to his life and used perseverance, confident humility, and accountability to land firmly on his feet. What a triumph!” —Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary to George W. Bush and Fox News anchor and host The product of a 1970s mixed marriage, George Murdoch learned to fight early in life, fending off both race-baiting bullies and the demons of a dysfunctional home. Couch surfing all through high school and most of college, the quick-witted, sharp-tongued giant played football, ran drugs, and bounced at clubs to try to survive. After a false start with the WWE, he eventually became Snoop Dogg’s bodyguard and traveled the world with the hip hop legend, biding his time and honing his rap. When the WWE urged him to return, George became “Brodus Clay” and, for the next several years, reinvented himself numerous times under the watchful mentorship of the legendary Dusty Rhodes, “the American Dream.” He was eventually christened “Tyrus,” and shortly after, a chance social media encounter with Greg Gutfeld at Fox News resulted in Tyrus finding a new skill: sage social commentator. Ferociously funny, blunt, and tenacious, Just Tyrus traces his unlikely and spectacular rise. As always with Tyrus, it’s in-your-face and offers no apologies. “George aka Tyrus aka the realest most blunt human being on the face of planet earth. Never had a problem telling you what was on his mind or how he felt, good or bad. Tough exterior but a heart of gold. Front liner, great friend, and excellent coach for my youth football team. His work ethic is obvious, taking him from football to bodyguard to pro wrestler to a superb personality on Fox News. I’ve seen him climb the ladder of success, and I’m happy that I was along for the journey.” —Snoop Dogg

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Sea People - Christina Thompson Cover Art

Sea People

Sea People The Puzzle of Polynesia by Christina Thompson

A blend of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel and Simon Winchester’s Pacific, a thrilling intellectual detective story that looks deep into the past to uncover who first settled the islands of the remote Pacific, where they came from, how they got there, and how we know. For more than a millennium, Polynesians have occupied the remotest islands in the Pacific Ocean, a vast triangle stretching from Hawaii to New Zealand to Easter Island. Until the arrival of European explorers they were the only people to have ever lived there. Both the most closely related and the most widely dispersed people in the world before the era of mass migration, Polynesians can trace their roots to a group of epic voyagers who ventured out into the unknown in one of the greatest adventures in human history. How did the earliest Polynesians find and colonize these far-flung islands? How did a people without writing or metal tools conquer the largest ocean in the world? This conundrum, which came to be known as the Problem of Polynesian Origins, emerged in the eighteenth century as one of the great geographical mysteries of mankind. For Christina Thompson, this mystery is personal: her Maori husband and their sons descend directly from these ancient navigators. In Sea People, Thompson explores the fascinating story of these ancestors, as well as those of the many sailors, linguists, archaeologists, folklorists, biologists, and geographers who have puzzled over this history for three hundred years. A masterful mix of history, geography, anthropology, and the science of navigation, Sea People combines the thrill of exploration with the drama of discovery in a vivid tour of one of the most captivating regions in the world. Sea People includes an 8-page photo insert, illustrations throughout, and 2 endpaper maps.

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I Left My Homework in the Hamptons - Blythe Grossberg Cover Art

I Left My Homework in the Hamptons

I Left My Homework in the Hamptons What I Learned Teaching the Children of the 1% by Blythe Grossberg

A captivating memoir about tutoring for Manhattan’s elite, revealing how a life of extreme wealth both helps and harms the children of the one percent. Ben orders daily room service while living in a five-star hotel. Olivia collects luxury brand sneakers worn by celebrities. Dakota jets off to Rome when she needs to avoid drama at school. Welcome to the inner circle of New York’s richest families, where academia is an obsession, wealth does nothing to soothe status anxiety and parents will try just about anything to gain a competitive edge in the college admissions rat race. When Blythe Grossberg first started as a tutor and learning specialist, she had no idea what awaited her inside the high-end apartments of Fifth Avenue. Children are expected to be as efficient and driven as CEOs, starting their days with 5:00 a.m. squash practice and ending them with late-night tutoring sessions. Meanwhile, their powerful parents will do anything to secure one of the precious few spots at the Ivy Leagues, whatever the cost to them or their kids. Through stories of the children she tutors that are both funny and shocking, Grossberg shows us the privileged world of America’s wealthiest families and the systems in place that help them stay on top.

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A Sacred Oath - Mark T. Esper Cover Art

A Sacred Oath

A Sacred Oath Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense During Extraordinary Times by Mark T. Esper

Former Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper reveals the shocking details of his tumultuous tenure while serving in the Trump administration. From June of 2019 until his firing by President Trump after the November 2020 election, Secretary Mark T. Esper led the Department of Defense through an unprecedented time in history—a period marked by growing threats and conflict abroad, a global pandemic unseen in a century, the greatest domestic unrest in two generations, and a White House seemingly bent on breaking accepted norms and conventions for political advantage. A Sacred Oath is Secretary Esper’s unvarnished and candid memoir of those extraordinary and dangerous times, and includes events and moments never before told.

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Educated - Tara Westover Cover Art

Educated

Educated A Memoir by Tara Westover

#1 NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER • One of the most acclaimed books of our time: an unforgettable memoir about a young woman who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University   “Extraordinary . . . an act of courage and self-invention.”— The New York Times   NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW • ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR • BILL GATES’S HOLIDAY READING LIST • FINALIST: National Book Critics Circle’s Award In Autobiography and John Leonard Prize For Best First Book • PEN/Jean Stein Book Award • Los Angeles Times Book Prize   Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.   “Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”— Vogue NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • O: The Oprah Magazine • Time • NPR • Good Morning America • San Francisco Chronicle • The Guardian • The Economist • Financial Times • Newsday • New York Post • theSkimm • Refinery29 • Bloomberg • Self • Real Simple • Town & Country • Bustle • Paste • Publishers Weekly • Library Journal • LibraryReads • Book Riot • Pamela Paul, KQED • New York Public Library

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Anna - Amy Odell Cover Art

Anna

Anna The Biography by Amy Odell

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Bloomberg ’s 10 Most Compelling Books to Put on Your Reading List This Spring This definitive biography of Anna Wintour follows the steep climb of an ambitious young woman who would—with singular and legendary focus—become one of the most powerful people in media. As a child, Anna Wintour was a tomboy with no apparent interest in clothing but, seduced by the miniskirts and bob haircuts of swinging 1960s London, she grew into a fashion-obsessed teenager. Her father, an influential newspaper editor, loomed large in her life, and once he decided she should become editor-in-chief of Vogue , she never looked back. Impatient to start her career, she left high school and got a job at a trendy boutique in London—an experience that would be the first of many defeats. Undeterred, she found work in the competitive world of magazines, eventually embarking on a journey to New York and a battle to ascend, no matter who or what stood in her way. Once she was crowned editor-in-chief of Vogue —in one of the stormiest transitions in fashion magazine history—she continued the fight to retain her enviable position, ultimately rising to dominate all of Condé Nast. Based on extensive interviews with Anna Wintour’s closest friends and collaborators, including some of the biggest names in fashion, journalist Amy Odell has crafted the most revealing portrait of Wintour ever published. Weaving Anna’s personal story into a larger narrative about the hierarchical dynamics of the fashion industry and the complex world of Condé Nast, Anna charts the relentless ambition of the woman who would become an icon.

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After Steve - Tripp Mickle Cover Art

After Steve

After Steve How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul by Tripp Mickle

From the New York Times' Tripp Mickle, the dramatic, untold story inside Apple after the passing of Steve Jobs by following his top lieutenants—Jony Ive, the Chief Design Officer, and Tim Cook, the COO-turned-CEO—and how the fading of the former and the rise of the latter led to Apple losing its soul. Steve Jobs called Jony Ive his “spiritual partner at Apple.” The London-born genius was the second-most powerful person at Apple and the creative force who most embodies Jobs’s spirit, the man who designed the products adopted by hundreds of millions the world over: the iPod, iPad, MacBook Air, the iMac G3, and the iPhone. In the wake of his close collaborator’s death, the chief designer wrestled with grief and initially threw himself into his work designing the new Apple headquarters and the Watch before losing his motivation in a company increasingly devoted more to margins than to inspiration. In many ways, Cook was Ive’s opposite. The product of a small Alabama town, he had risen through the ranks from the supply side of the company. His gift was not the creation of new products. Instead, he had invented countless ways to maximize a margin, squeezing some suppliers, persuading others to build factories the size of cities to churn out more units. He considered inventory evil. He knew how to make subordinates sweat with withering questions. Jobs selected Cook as his successor, and Cook oversaw a period of tremendous revenue growth that has lifted Apple’s valuation to $2 trillion. He built a commanding business in China and rapidly distinguished himself as a master politician who could forge global alliances and send the world’s stock market into freefall with a single sentence. Author Tripp Mickle spoke with more than 200 current and former Apple executives, as well as figures key to this period of Apple’s history, including Trump administration officials and fashion luminaries such as Anna Wintour while writing After Steve. His research shows the company’s success came at a cost. Apple lost its innovative spirit and has not designed a new category of device in years. Ive’s departure in 2019 marked a culmination in Apple’s shift from a company of innovation to one of operational excellence, and the price is a company that has lost its soul.

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River of Time - Naomi Judd & Marcia Wilkie Cover Art

River of Time

River of Time My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope by Naomi Judd & Marcia Wilkie

Naomi Judd's life as a country music superstar has been nonstop success. But offstage, she has battled incredible adversity. Struggling through a childhood of harsh family secrets, the death of a young sibling, and absent emotional support, Naomi found herself reluctantly married and an expectant mother at age seventeen. Four years later, she was a single mom of two, who survived being beaten and raped, and was abandoned without any financial support and nowhere to turn in Hollywood, CA. Naomi has always been a survivor: She put herself through nursing school to support her young daughters, then took a courageous chance by moving to Nashville to pursue their fantastic dream of careers in country music. Her leap of faith paid off, and Naomi and her daughter Wynonna became The Judds, soon ranking with country music's biggest stars, selling more than 20 million records and winning six Grammys. At the height of the singing duo's popularity, Naomi was given three years to live after being diagnosed with the previously incurable Hepatitis C. Miraculously, she overcame that too and was pronounced completely cured five years later. But Naomi was still to face her most desperate fight yet. After finishing a tour with Wynonna in 2011, she began a three-year battle with Severe Treatment Resistant Depression and anxiety. She suffered through frustrating and dangerous roller-coaster effects with antidepressants and other drugs, often terrifying therapies and, at her absolute lowest points, thoughts of suicide. But Naomi persevered once again. RIVER OF TIME is her poignant message of hope to anyone whose life has been scarred by trauma.

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The Dirt - Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx & Mick Mars Cover Art

The Dirt

The Dirt Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx & Mick Mars

NOW A NETFLIX ORIGINAL MOVIE STARRING MACHINE GUN KELLY, DANIEL WEBBER, DOUGLAS BOOTH, AND IWAN RHEON, DIRECTED BY JEFF TREMAINE. Celebrate thirty years of the world's most notorious rock band with the deluxe collectors' edition of The Dirt—the outrageous, legendary, no-holds-barred autobiography of Mötley Crüe. Fans have gotten glimpses into the band's crazy world of backstage scandals, celebrity love affairs, rollercoaster drug addictions, and immortal music in Mötley Crüe books like Tommyland and The Heroin Diaries, but now the full spectrum of sin and success by Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx, Vince Neil, and Mick Mars is an open book in The Dirt. Even fans already familiar with earlier editions of the bestselling exposé will treasure this gorgeous deluxe edition. Joe Levy at Rolling Stone calls The Dirt "without a doubt . . . the most detailed account of the awesome pleasures and perils of rock & roll stardom I have ever read. It is completely compelling and utterly revolting."

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The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X - Les Payne & Tamara Payne Cover Art

The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X

The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne & Tamara Payne

An epic, award-winning biography of Malcolm X that draws on hundreds of hours of personal interviews and rewrites much of the known narrative. Les Payne, the renowned Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist, embarked in 1990 on a nearly thirty-year-long quest to create an unprecedented portrait of Malcolm X, one that would separate fact from fiction. The result is this historic, National Book Award–winning biography, which interweaves previously unknown details of Malcolm X’s life—from harrowing Depression-era vignettes to a moment-by-moment retelling of the 1965 assassination—into an extraordinary account that contextualizes Malcolm X’s life against the wider currents of American history. Bookended by essays from Tamara Payne, Payne’s daughter and primary researcher, who heroically completed the biography after her father’s death in 2018, The Dead Are Arising affirms the centrality of Malcolm X to the African American freedom struggle.

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Born a Crime - Trevor Noah Cover Art

Born a Crime

Born a Crime Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • More than one million copies sold! A “brilliant” (Lupita Nyong’o, Time ), “poignant” ( Entertainment Weekly ), “soul-nourishing” ( USA Today ) memoir about coming of age during the twilight of apartheid   “Noah’s childhood stories are told with all the hilarity and intellect that characterizes his comedy, while illuminating a dark and brutal period in South Africa’s history that must never be forgotten.”— Esquire   Winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor and an NAACP Image Award • Named one of the best books of the year by The New York Time, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Esquire, Newsday, and Booklist Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle. Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

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Girl, Interrupted - Susanna Kaysen Cover Art

Girl, Interrupted

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she'd never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. Her memoir of the next two years is a "poignant, honest ... triumphantly funny ... and heartbreaking story" ( The New York Times Book Review ). The ward for teenage girls in the McLean psychiatric hospital was as renowned for its famous clientele—Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles—as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary. Kaysen's memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers. It is a brilliant evocation of a "parallel universe" set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the late sixties. Girl, Interrupted is a clear-sighted, unflinching document that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of sane and insane, mental illness and recovery.

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Madame Chiang Kai-shek - Laura Tyson Li Cover Art

Madame Chiang Kai-shek

Madame Chiang Kai-shek China's Eternal First Lady by Laura Tyson Li

The first biography of one of the most controversial and fascinating women of the twentieth century.   Beautiful, brilliant, and captivating, Madame Chiang Kai-shek seized unprecedented power during China’s long and violent civil war. She passionately argued against Chinese Communism in the international arena and influenced decades of Sino-American relations and modern Chinese history. Raised in one of China’s most powerful families and educated at Wellesley College, Soong Mayling went on to become wife, chief adviser, interpreter, and propagandist to Nationalist leader Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. She sparred with international leaders like Churchill and Roosevelt, and impressed Westerners and Chinese alike with her acumen, charm, and glamour. But she was also decried as a manipulative Dragon Lady,” and despised for living in American-style splendor while Chinese citizens suffered under her husband’s brutal oppression. The result of years of extensive research in the United States and abroad, and written with access to previously classified CIA and diplomatic files,  Madame Chiang Kai-shek  objectively evaluates one of the most powerful and fascinating women of the twentieth century.   “Li brilliantly analyzes a fearless and profoundly conflicted woman of extraordinary force.” — Booklist

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Red Notice - Bill Browder Cover Art

Red Notice

Red Notice A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice by Bill Browder

Freezing Order , the follow-up to Red Notice , is available now! “[ Red Notice ] does for investing in Russia and the former Soviet Union what Liar’s Poker did for our understanding of Salomon Brothers, Wall Street, and the mortgage-backed securities business in the 1980s. Browder’s business saga meshes well with the story of corruption and murder in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, making Red Notice an early candidate for any list of the year’s best books” ( Fortune ). “Part John Grisham-like thriller, part business and political memoir.” — The New York Times This is a story about an accidental activist. Bill Browder started out his adult life as the Wall Street maverick whose instincts led him to Russia just after the breakup of the Soviet Union, where he made his fortune. Along the way he exposed corruption, and when he did, he barely escaped with his life. His Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky wasn’t so lucky: he ended up in jail, where he was tortured to death. That changed Browder forever. He saw the murderous heart of the Putin regime and has spent the last half decade on a campaign to expose it. Because of that, he became Putin’s number one enemy, especially after Browder succeeded in having a law passed in the United States—The Magnitsky Act—that punishes a list of Russians implicated in the lawyer’s murder. Putin famously retaliated with a law that bans Americans from adopting Russian orphans. A financial caper, a crime thriller, and a political crusade, Red Notice is the story of one man taking on overpowering odds to change the world, and also the story of how, without intending to, he found meaning in his life.

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The Next Everest - Jim Davidson Cover Art

The Next Everest

The Next Everest Surviving the Mountain's Deadliest Day and Finding the Resilience to Climb Again by Jim Davidson

A dramatic account of the deadly avalanche on Everest—and a return to reach the summit. On April 25, 2015, Jim Davidson was climbing Mount Everest when a 7.8-magnitude earthquake released avalanches all around him and his team, destroying their only escape route and trapping them at nearly 20,000 feet. It was the largest earthquake in Nepal in eighty-one years and killed nearly 8,900 people. That day also became the deadliest in the history of Everest, with eighteen people losing their lives on the mountain. After spending two unsettling days stranded on Everest, Davidson's team was rescued by helicopter. The experience left him shaken, and despite his thirty-three years of climbing and serving as an expedition leader, he wasn’t sure that he would ever go back. But in the face of risk and uncertainty, he returned in 2017 and finally achieved his dream of reaching the summit. Suspenseful and engrossing, The Next Everest portrays the experience of living through the biggest disaster to ever hit the mountain. Davidson's background in geology and environmental science makes him uniquely qualified to explain why the seismic threats lurking beneath Nepal are even greater today. But this story is not about “conquering” the world’s highest peak. Instead, it reveals how embracing change, challenge, and uncertainty prepares anyone to face their next “Everest” in life.

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Crying in H Mart - Michelle Zauner Cover Art

Crying in H Mart

Crying in H Mart A Memoir by Michelle Zauner

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR • NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • From the indie rockstar of Japanese Breakfast fame, and author of the viral 2018 New Yorker essay that shares the title of this book, an unflinching, powerful memoir about growing up Korean American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity. In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humor and heart, she tells of growing up one of the few Asian American kids at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother's particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence; of treasured months spent in her grandmother's tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food. As she grew up, moving to the East Coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, and performing gigs with her fledgling band--and meeting the man who would become her husband--her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother's diagnosis of terminal cancer, when Michelle was twenty-five, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her. Vivacious and plainspoken, lyrical and honest, Zauner's voice is as radiantly alive on the page as it is onstage. Rich with intimate anecdotes that will resonate widely, and complete with family photos, Crying in H Mart is a book to cherish, share, and reread.

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Fly Girl: A Memoir - Ann Hood Cover Art

Fly Girl: A Memoir

Fly Girl: A Memoir by Ann Hood

An entertaining and fascinating memoir of “gifted storyteller” (People) Ann Hood’s adventurous years as a TWA flight attendant. In 1978, in the tailwind of the golden age of air travel, flight attendants were the epitome of glamor and sophistication. Fresh out of college and hungry to experience the world—and maybe, one day, write about it—Ann Hood joined their ranks. After a grueling job search, Hood survived TWA’s rigorous Breech Training Academy and learned to evacuate seven kinds of aircraft, deliver a baby, mix proper cocktails, administer oxygen, and stay calm no matter what the situation. In the air, Hood found both the adventure she’d dreamt of and the unexpected realities of life on the job. She carved chateaubriand in the first-class cabin and dined in front of the pyramids in Cairo, fended off passengers’ advances and found romance on layovers in London and Lisbon, and walked more than a million miles in high heels. She flew through the start of deregulation, an oil crisis, massive furloughs, and a labor strike. As the airline industry changed around her, Hood began to write—even drafting snatches of her first novel from the jump-seat. She reveals how the job empowered her, despite its roots in sexist standards. Packed with funny, moving, and shocking stories of life as a flight attendant, Fly Girl captures the nostalgia and magic of air travel at its height, and the thrill that remains with every takeoff.

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Greenlights - Matthew McConaughey Cover Art

Greenlights

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Discover the life-changing memoir that has inspired millions of readers through the Academy Award®–winning actor’s unflinching honesty, unconventional wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE GUARDIAN “McConaughey’s book invites us to grapple with the lessons of his life as he did—and to see that the point was never to win, but to understand.”—Mark Manson, author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck I’ve been in this life for fifty years, been trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last thirty-five. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me.   Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries. I found stories I experienced, lessons I learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know how, and when, to deal with life’s challenges—how to get relative with the inevitable —you can enjoy a state of success I call “catching greenlights.”   So I took a one-way ticket to the desert and wrote this book: an album, a record, a story of my life so far. This is fifty years of my sights and seens, felts and figured-outs, cools and shamefuls. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caughts, and getting wets while trying to dance between the raindrops.   Hopefully, it’s medicine that tastes good, a couple of aspirin instead of the infirmary, a spaceship to Mars without needing your pilot’s license, going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears.   It’s a love letter. To life.   It’s also a guide to catching more greenlights—and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green too.   Good luck.

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Left on Tenth - Delia Ephron Cover Art

Left on Tenth

Left on Tenth A Second Chance at Life: A Memoir by Delia Ephron

The bestselling, beloved writer of romantic comedies like You've Got Mail tells her own late-in-life love story in her "resplendent memoir," complete with a tragic second act and joyous resolution (Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of The Good Left Undone ). Delia Ephron had struggled through several years of heartbreak. She’d lost her sister, Nora, and then her husband, Jerry, both to cancer. Several months after Jerry’s death, she decided to make one small change in her life—she shut down his landline, which crashed her internet. She ended up in Verizon hell.   She channeled her grief the best way she knew: by writing a New York Times op-ed. The piece caught the attention of Peter, a Bay Area psychiatrist, who emailed her to commiserate. Recently widowed himself, he reminded her that they had shared a few dates fifty-four years before, set up by Nora. Delia did not remember him, but after several weeks of exchanging emails and sixties folk songs, he flew east to see her. They were crazy, utterly, in love.   But this was not a rom-com: four months later she was diagnosed with AML, a fierce leukemia.   In Left on Tenth , Delia Ephron enchants as she seesaws us between tears and laughter, navigating the suicidal lows of enduring cutting-edge treatment and the giddy highs of a second chance at love. With Peter and her close girlfriends by her side, with startling clarity, warmth, and honesty about facing death, Ephron invites us to join her team of warriors and become believers ourselves. A "Most Anticipated Book of 2022" by  TIME ,  Bustle ,  Parade ,  Publishers Weekly ,  Boston.com A "Best Memoir of 2022" by Marie Claire A "Best Memoir of April" by Vanity Fair  

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Women in White Coats - Olivia Campbell Cover Art

Women in White Coats

Women in White Coats How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine by Olivia Campbell

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! For fans of Hidden Figures and Radium Girls comes the remarkable story of three Victorian women who broke down barriers in the medical field to become the first women doctors, revolutionizing the way women receive health care. In the early 1800s, women were dying in large numbers from treatable diseases because they avoided receiving medical care. Examinations performed by male doctors were often demeaning and even painful. In addition, women faced stigma from illness—a diagnosis could greatly limit their ability to find husbands, jobs or be received in polite society. Motivated by personal loss and frustration over inadequate medical care, Elizabeth Blackwell, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Sophia Jex-Blake fought for a woman’s place in the male-dominated medical field. For the first time ever, Women in White Coats tells the complete history of these three pioneering women who, despite countless obstacles, earned medical degrees and paved the way for other women to do the same. Though very different in personality and circumstance, together these women built women-run hospitals and teaching colleges—creating for the first time medical care for women by women. With gripping storytelling based on extensive research and access to archival documents, Women in White Coats tells the courageous history these women made by becoming doctors, detailing the boundaries they broke of gender and science to reshape how we receive medical care today.

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The American Duchess - Anna Pasternak Cover Art

The American Duchess

The American Duchess The Real Wallis Simpson by Anna Pasternak

Wallis Simpson is known as the woman at the center of the most scandalous love affair of the 20th century, but in this “unputdownable…lively and detailed” ( The Times , London) biography, discover a woman wronged by history with new information revealed by the latest research and those who were close to the couple. The story that has been told repeatedly is this: The handsome, charismatic, and popular Prince Edward was expected to marry a well-bred virgin who would one day become Queen of England when he ascended the throne. But when the prince was nearly forty, he fell in love with a divorced American woman—Wallis Simpson. No one thought the relationship would last, and when the prince did become king, everyone assumed that was the end of the affair. But to the shock of the British establishment, the new king announced his intention to marry the American divorcée. Overnight, Wallis was accused of entrapping the prince in a seductive web in order to achieve her audacious ambition to be queen. After declaring that he could not rule without the woman he loved, the king abdicated, and his family banished him and his new wife from the country. The couple spent the rest of their days in exile, but happy in their devoted love for each other. Now, Anna Pasternak’s The American Dutchess tells a different story: that Wallis was the victim of the abdication, not the villain. Warm, well-mannered, and witty, Wallis was flattered by Prince Edward’s attention, but like everyone else, she never expected his infatuation to last. She never anticipated his jealous, possessive nature—and his absolute refusal to let her go. Edward’s true dark nature, however, was no secret to the royal family, the church, or the Parliament; everyone close to Edward knew that beyond his charming façade, he was utterly unfit to rule. Caught in Edward’s fierce obsession, she became the perfect scapegoat for those who wished to dethrone the troubled king. With profound insight and evenhanded research, Pasternak pulls back the curtain on one of the darkest fairy tales in recent memory and effortlessly reveals “a host of intriguing insights into a misunderstood woman” ( Kirkus Reviews ).

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Mission - Robert Matzen & Leonard Maltin Cover Art

Mission

Mission Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe by Robert Matzen & Leonard Maltin

When he left Hollywood in March 1941, Jimmy Stewart was America's boy next door movie star and a recent Academy Award winner. He left all that behind to join the United States Army Air Corps and fulfill his family mission to serve his country—only to face obstacle after obstacle from both Hollywood and Washington. Finally he made his way to the European Theater, where several near-death experiences and the loss of men under his command took away his youthful good looks. The war finally won, he returned home with millions of other veterans to face an uncertain future, suffering what we now know as PTSD. For the next half century, Stewart refused to discuss his combat experiences and took the story of his service to the grave. Mission presents the first in-depth look at Stewart's life as a Squadron Commander in the skies over Germany, from takeoff to landing and every key moment in between. Author Robert Matzen sifted through thousands of Air Force combat reports and the Stewart personnel files; interviewed surviving aviators who flew with Stewart; visited the James Stewart Papers at Brigham Young University; flew in the cockpits of the B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator; and walked the earth of air bases in England used by Stewart in his combat missions of 1943-45. What emerges in Mission is the story of a Jimmy Stewart you never knew until now, a story more fantastic than any he brought to the screen.

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The Hangman and His Wife - Nancy Dougherty Cover Art

The Hangman and His Wife

The Hangman and His Wife The Life and Death of Reinhard Heydrich by Nancy Dougherty

An astonishing journey into the heart of Nazi evil: a portrait of one of the darkest figures of Hitler’s Nazi elite—Reinhard Heydrich, the designer and executor of the Holocaust, chief of the Reich Main Security, including the Gestapo—interwoven with commentary by his wife, Lina, from the author's in-depth interviews. He was called the Hangman of the Gestapo, the "butcher of Prague," with a reputation as a ruthlessly efficient killer. He was the head of the SS, and the Gestapo, second in command to Heinrich Himmler. His orders set in motion the Kristallnacht pogrom of 1938 and, as the lead planner of Hitler's Final Solution, he chaired the Wannsee Conference, at which details of the murder of millions of Jews across Nazi-occupied Europe were toasted with cognac.   In The Hangman and His Wife, Nancy Dougherty, and, following her death, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, masterfully explore who Heydrich was and how he came to be, and how he came to do what he did. We see Heydrich from his rarefied musical family origins and his ugly-duckling childhood and adolescence, to his sudden flameout as a promising Naval officer (he was forced to resign his Naval commission after dishonoring the office corps by having sex with the unmarried daughter of a shipyard director and refusing to marry her).   Dougherty writes of his seemingly hopeless job prospects as an untrained civilian during Germany’s hyperinflation and unemployment, and his joining the Nazi party through the attraction to Nazism of his fiancée, Lina von Osten, and her father, along with the rumor shadowing him of a strain of Jewishness inherited from his father’s side. And we follow Heydrich’s meteoric rise through the Nazi high command—from SS major, to colonel to brigadier general, before he was thirty, deputy to Heinrich Himmler, expanding the SS, the Gestapo, and developing the Reich's plans for "the Jewish solution."   And throughout, we hear the voice of Lina Heydrich, who was by his side until his death at the age of thirty-eight, living inside the Nazi inner circles as she waltzed with Rudolf Hess, feuded with Hermann Göring, and drank vintage wine with Albert Speer.

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My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward - Mark Lukach Cover Art

My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward

My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward A Memoir by Mark Lukach

International Bestseller A heart-wrenching, yet hopeful, memoir of a young marriage that is redefined by mental illness and affirms the power of love. Mark and Giulia’s life together began as a storybook romance. They fell in love at eighteen, married at twenty-four, and were living their dream life in San Francisco. When Giulia was twenty-seven, she suffered a terrifying and unexpected psychotic break that landed her in the psych ward for nearly a month. One day she was vibrant and well-adjusted; the next she was delusional and suicidal, convinced that her loved ones were not safe. Eventually, Giulia fully recovered, and the couple had a son. But, soon after Jonas was born, Giulia had another breakdown, and then a third a few years after that. Pushed to the edge of the abyss, everything the couple had once taken for granted was upended. A story of the fragility of the mind, and the tenacity of the human spirit, My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward is, above all, a love story that raises profound questions: How do we care for the people we love? What and who do we live for? Breathtaking in its candor, radiant with compassion, and written with dazzling lyricism, Lukach’s is an intensely personal odyssey through the harrowing years of his wife’s mental illness, anchored by an abiding devotion to family that will affirm readers’ faith in the power of love.

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Hello, Molly! - Molly Shannon & Sean Wilsey Cover Art

Hello, Molly!

Hello, Molly! A Memoir by Molly Shannon & Sean Wilsey

A New York Times bestseller A candid, compulsively readable, hilarious, and heartbreaking memoir of resilience and redemption by comedic genius Molly Shannon At age four, Molly Shannon’s world was shattered when she lost her mother, baby sister, and cousin in a car accident with her father at the wheel. Held together by her tender and complicated relationship with her grieving father, Molly was raised in a permissive household where her gift for improvising and role-playing blossomed alongside the fearlessness that would lead her to become a celebrated actress. From there, Molly ventured into the wider world of New York and Los Angeles show business, where she created her own opportunities and developed her daring and empathetic comedy. Filled with behind-the-scenes stories involving everyone from Whitney Houston to Adam Sandler to Monica Lewinsky, many told for the first time here, Hello, Molly! spans Molly’s time on Saturday Night Live—where she starred alongside Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Cheri Oteri, Tracy Morgan, and Jimmy Fallon, among many others. At the same time, it explores with humor and candor her struggle to come to terms with the legacy of her father, a man who both fostered her gifts and drive and was left with the impossible task of raising his kids alone after the loss of her mother. Witty, winning, and told with tremendous energy and heart, Hello, Molly!, written with Sean Wilsey, sheds new and revelatory light on the life and work of one of our most talented and free-spirited performers.

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We Were Dreamers - Simu Liu Cover Art

We Were Dreamers

We Were Dreamers An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story by Simu Liu

The star of Marvel’s first Asian superhero film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, tells his own origin story of being a Chinese immigrant, his battles with cultural stereotypes and his own identity, becoming a TV star, and landing the role of a lifetime. In this honest, inspiring and relatable memoir, newly-minted superhero Simu Liu chronicles his family's journey from China to the bright lights of Hollywood with razor-sharp wit and humor. Simu's parents left him in the care of his grandparents, then brought him to Canada when he was four. Life as a Canuck, however, is not all that it was cracked up to be; Simu's new guardians lack the gentle touch of his grandparents, resulting in harsh words and hurt feelings. His parents, on the other hand, find their new son emotionally distant and difficult to relate to - although they are related by blood, they are separated by culture, language, and values.  As Simu grows up, he plays the part of the pious child flawlessly - he gets straight A's, crushes national math competitions and makes his parents proud. But as time passes, he grows increasingly disillusioned with the path that has been laid out for him. Less than a year out of college, at the tender age of 22, his life hits rock bottom when he is laid off from his first job as an accountant. Left to his own devices, and with nothing left to lose, Simu embarks on a journey that will take him far outside of his comfort zone into the world of show business.  Through a swath of rejection and comical mishaps, Simu's determination to carve out a path for himself leads him to not only succeed as an actor, but also to open the door to reconciling with his parents. We Were Dreamers is more than a celebrity memoir - it's a story about growing up between cultures, finding your family, and becoming the master of your own extraordinary circumstance.

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Shoe Dog - Phil Knight Cover Art

Shoe Dog

Shoe Dog A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight

In this instant and tenacious New York Times bestseller, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight “offers a rare and revealing look at the notoriously media-shy man behind the swoosh” ( Booklist , starred review), illuminating his company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands. Bill Gates named Shoe Dog one of his five favorite books of 2016 and called it “an amazing tale, a refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like. It’s a messy, perilous, and chaotic journey, riddled with mistakes, endless struggles, and sacrifice. Phil Knight opens up in ways few CEOs are willing to do.” Fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed fifty dollars from his father and launched a company with one simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost running shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his car in 1963, Knight grossed eight thousand dollars that first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In this age of start-ups, Knight’s Nike is the gold standard, and its swoosh is one of the few icons instantly recognized in every corner of the world. But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always been a mystery. In Shoe Dog , he tells his story at last. At twenty-four, Knight decides that rather than work for a big corporation, he will create something all his own, new, dynamic, different. He details the many risks he encountered, the crushing setbacks, the ruthless competitors and hostile bankers—as well as his many thrilling triumphs. Above all, he recalls the relationships that formed the heart and soul of Nike, with his former track coach, the irascible and charismatic Bill Bowerman, and with his first employees, a ragtag group of misfits and savants who quickly became a band of swoosh-crazed brothers. Together, harnessing the electrifying power of a bold vision and a shared belief in the transformative power of sports, they created a brand—and a culture—that changed everything.

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The Diary of Anne Frank (The Definitive Edition) - Anne Frank Cover Art

The Diary of Anne Frank (The Definitive Edition)

The Diary of Anne Frank (The Definitive Edition) by Anne Frank

Among the most powerful accounts of the Nazi occupation, "The Diary of Anne Frank" chronicles the life of Anne Frank, a thirteen-year old girl fleeing her home in Amsterdam to go into hiding. Anne reveals the relationships between eight people living under miserable conditions: facing hunger, threat of discovery and the worst horrors the modern world had seen. In these pages, she grows up to be a young woman and a wise observer of human nature. She shares an unparalleled bond with her diary, which holds a detailed account of Anne's close relationship with her father, the lack of daughterly love for her mother, admiration for her sister's intelligence and closeness with her friend Peter. Anne Frank's account offers a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman who turns thoughtful and learns of the many terrors of the world.

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Dancing with the Octopus - Debora Harding Cover Art

Dancing with the Octopus

Dancing with the Octopus A Memoir of a Crime by Debora Harding

For readers of Educated and The Glass Castle, a harrowing, redemptive and profoundly inspiring memoir of childhood trauma and its long reach into adulthood, named one of the Best True Crime Books by Marie Claire. One Omaha winter day in November 1978, when Debora Harding was just fourteen, she was abducted at knifepoint from a church parking lot. She was thrown into a van, assaulted, held for ransom, and then left to die as an ice storm descended over the city. Debora survived. She identified her attacker to the police and then returned to her teenage life in a dysfunctional home where she was expected to simply move on. Denial became the family coping strategy offered by her fun-loving, conflicted father and her cruelly resentful mother. It wasn't until decades later - when beset by the symptoms of PTSD- that Debora undertook a radical project: she met her childhood attacker face-to-face in prison and began to reconsider and reimagine his complex story. This was a quest for the truth that would threaten the lie at the heart of her family and with it the sacred bond that once saved her. Dexterously shifting between the past and present, Debora Harding untangles the incident of her kidnapping and escape from unexpected angles, offering a vivid, intimate portrait of one family's disintegration in the 1970s Midwest. Written with dark humor and the pacing of a thriller, Dancing with the Octopus is a literary tour de force and a groundbreaking narrative of reckoning, recovery, and the inexhaustible strength it takes to survive.

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Untamed - Glennon Doyle Cover Art

Untamed

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Over two million copies sold! “Packed with incredible insight about what it means to be a woman today.”—Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club Pick) In her most revealing and powerful memoir yet, the activist, speaker, bestselling author, and “patron saint of female empowerment” ( People ) explores the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet others’ expectations and start trusting the voice deep within us. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • Cosmopolitan • Marie Claire • Bloomberg • Parade • “ Untamed will liberate women—emotionally, spiritually, and physically. It is phenomenal. ”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of City of Girls and Eat Pray Love This is how you find yourself. There is a voice of longing inside each woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good partners, daughters, mothers, employees, and friends. We hope all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? We quickly silence that question, telling ourselves to be grateful, hiding our discontent—even from ourselves. For many years, Glennon Doyle denied her own discontent. Then, while speaking at a conference, she looked at a woman across the room and fell instantly in love. Three words flooded her mind: There She Is . At first, Glennon assumed these words came to her from on high. But she soon realized they had come to her from within. This was her own voice—the one she had buried beneath decades of numbing addictions, cultural conditioning, and institutional allegiances. This was the voice of the girl she had been before the world told her who to be. Glennon decided to quit abandoning herself and to instead abandon the world’s expectations of her. She quit being good so she could be free. She quit pleasing and started living. Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It is the story of how one woman learned that a responsible mother is not one who slowly dies for her children, but one who shows them how to fully live. It is the story of navigating divorce, forming a new blended family, and discovering that the brokenness or wholeness of a family depends not on its structure but on each member’s ability to bring her full self to the table. And it is the story of how each of us can begin to trust ourselves enough to set boundaries, make peace with our bodies, honor our anger and heartbreak, and unleash our truest, wildest instincts so that we become women who can finally look at ourselves and say: There She Is . Untamed shows us how to be brave. As Glennon insists: The braver we are, the luckier we get.

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Alabama v. King - Dan Abrams & Fred D. Gray Cover Art

Alabama v. King

Alabama v. King Martin Luther King Jr. and the Criminal Trial That Launched the Civil Rights Movement by Dan Abrams & Fred D. Gray

"Poignant, sometimes harrowing." –Wall Street Journal The defense lawyer for Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, the Selma marchers, and other civil rights heroes reveals the true story of the historic trial that made Dr. King a national hero.   Fred D. Gray was just twenty-four years old when he became the defense lawyer for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a young minister who had become the face of the bus boycott that had rocked the city of in Montgomery, Alabama. In this incredible history, Gray takes us behind the scenes of that landmark case, including such unforgettable moments as:   *Martin Luther King's courageous response to a bomb threat on his own home *Poignant, searing testimony that exposed the South's racist systems to an worldwide audience *The conspiracy to destroy Gray's career and draft him into the Vietnam War *The unforgettable moment when a Supreme Court ruling brought the courtroom to a halt   Alabama v. King captures a pivotal moment in the fight for equality, from the eyes of the lawyer who Dr. King called "the brilliant young leader who later became the chief counsel for the protest movement."  

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Empire of Pain - Patrick Radden Keefe Cover Art

Empire of Pain

Empire of Pain The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE NOMINEE • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR • NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • A grand, devastating portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, famed for their philanthropy, whose fortune was built by Valium and whose reputation was destroyed by OxyContin. From the prize-winning and bestselling author of Say Nothing The history of the Sackler dynasty is rife with drama—baroque personal lives; bitter disputes over estates; fistfights in boardrooms; glittering art collections; Machiavellian courtroom maneuvers; and the calculated use of money to burnish reputations and crush the less powerful. The Sackler name has adorned the walls of many storied institutions—Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford, the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations to the arts and the sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing a blockbuster painkiller that was the catalyst for the opioid crisis. Empire of Pain begins with the story of three doctor brothers, Raymond, Mortimer and the incalculably energetic Arthur, who weathered the poverty of the Great Depression and appalling anti-Semitism. Working at a barbaric mental institution, Arthur saw a better way and conducted groundbreaking research into drug treatments. He also had a genius for marketing, especially for pharmaceuticals, and bought a small ad firm. Arthur devised the marketing for Valium, and built the first great Sackler fortune. He purchased a drug manufacturer, Purdue Frederick, which would be run by Raymond and Mortimer. The brothers began collecting art, and wives, and grand residences in exotic locales. Their children and grandchildren grew up in luxury. Forty years later, Raymond’s son Richard ran the family-owned Purdue. The template Arthur Sackler created to sell Valium—co-opting doctors, influencing the FDA, downplaying the drug’s addictiveness—was employed to launch a far more potent product: OxyContin. The drug went on to generate some thirty-five billion dollars in revenue, and to launch a public health crisis in which hundreds of thousands would die. This is the saga of three generations of a single family and the mark they would leave on the world, a tale that moves from the bustling streets of early twentieth-century Brooklyn to the seaside palaces of Greenwich, Connecticut, and Cap d’Antibes to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C.  Empire of Pain chronicles the multiple investigations of the Sacklers and their company, and the scorched-earth legal tactics that the family has used to evade accountability.  Empire of Pain is a masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, exhaustively documented and ferociously compelling. It is a portrait of the excesses of America’s second Gilded Age, a study of impunity among the super elite and a relentless investigation of the naked greed and indifference to human suffering that built one of the world’s great fortunes.

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By Chance Alone - Max Eisen Cover Art

By Chance Alone

By Chance Alone A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz by Max Eisen

An award-winning, internationally bestselling Holocaust memoir in the tradition of Elie Wiesel’s Night and Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz In the spring of 1944, gendarmes forcibly removed Tibor “Max” Eisen and his family from their home, brought them to a brickyard and eventually loaded them onto crowded cattle cars bound for Auschwitz-Birkenau. At fifteen years of age, Eisen survived the selection process and was inducted into the camp as a slave laborer. More than seventy years after the Nazi camps were liberated by the Allies, By Chance Alone details Eisen’s story of survival: the backbreaking slave labor in Auschwitz I, the infamous death march in January 1945, the painful aftermath of liberation and Eisen’s journey of physical and psychological healing. Ultimately, the book offers a message of hope as the author finds his way to a new life.

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Empty Mansions - Bill Dedman & Paul Clark Newell, Jr. Cover Art

Empty Mansions

Empty Mansions The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman & Paul Clark Newell, Jr.

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Janet Maslin, The New York Times • St. Louis Post-Dispatch When Pulitzer Prize – winning journalist Bill Dedman noticed in 2009 a grand home for sale, unoccupied for nearly sixty years, he stumbled through a surprising portal into American history. Empty Mansions is a rich mystery of wealth and loss, connecting the Gilded Age opulence of the nineteenth century with a twenty-first-century battle over a $300 million inheritance. At its heart is a reclusive heiress named Huguette Clark, a woman so secretive that, at the time of her death at age 104, no new photograph of her had been seen in decades. Though she owned palatial homes in California, New York, and Connecticut, why had she lived for twenty years in a simple hospital room, despite being in excellent health? Why were her valuables being sold off? Was she in control of her fortune, or controlled by those managing her money? Dedman has collaborated with Huguette Clark’s cousin, Paul Clark Newell, Jr., one of the few relatives to have frequent conversations with her. Dedman and Newell tell a fairy tale in reverse: the bright, talented daughter, born into a family of extreme wealth and privilege, who secrets herself away from the outside world. Huguette was the daughter of self-made copper industrialist W. A. Clark, nearly as rich as Rockefeller in his day, a controversial senator, railroad builder, and founder of Las Vegas. She grew up in the largest house in New York City, a remarkable dwelling with 121 rooms for a family of four. She owned paintings by Degas and Renoir, a world-renowned Stradivarius violin, a vast collection of antique dolls. But wanting more than treasures, she devoted her wealth to buying gifts for friends and strangers alike, to quietly pursuing her own work as an artist, and to guarding the privacy she valued above all else. The Clark family story spans nearly all of American history in three generations, from a log cabin in Pennsylvania to mining camps in the Montana gold rush, from backdoor politics in Washington to a distress call from an elegant Fifth Avenue apartment. The same Huguette who was touched by the terror attacks of 9/11 held a ticket nine decades earlier for a first-class stateroom on the second voyage of the Titanic . Empty Mansions reveals a complex portrait of the mysterious Huguette and her intimate circle. We meet her extravagant father, her publicity-shy mother, her star-crossed sister, her French boyfriend, her nurse who received more than $30 million in gifts, and the relatives fighting to inherit Huguette’s copper fortune. Richly illustrated with more than seventy photographs, Empty Mansions is an enthralling story of an eccentric of the highest order, a last jewel of the Gilded Age who lived life on her own terms.

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Riverman - Ben McGrath Cover Art

Riverman

Riverman An American Odyssey by Ben McGrath

“This quietly profound book belongs on the shelf next to Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild .” — The New York Times   The riveting true story of Dick Conant, an American folk hero who, over the course of more than twenty years, canoed solo thousands of miles of American rivers—and then disappeared near the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This book “contains everything: adventure, mystery, travelogue, and unforgettable characters” (David Grann, best-selling author of Killers of the Flower Moon ). For decades, Dick Conant paddled the rivers of America, covering the Mississippi, Yellowstone, Ohio, Hudson, as well as innumerable smaller tributaries. These solo excursions were epic feats of planning, perseverance, and physical courage. At the same time, Conant collected people wherever he went, creating a vast network of friends and acquaintances who would forever remember this brilliant and charming man even after a single meeting. Ben McGrath, a staff writer at The New Yorker, was one of those people. In 2014 he met Conant by chance just north of New York City as Conant paddled down the Hudson, headed for Florida. McGrath wrote a widely read article about their encounter, and when Conant's canoe washed up a few months later, without any sign of his body, McGrath set out to find the people whose lives Conant had touched--to capture a remarkable life lived far outside the staid confines of modern existence.   Riverman is a moving portrait of a complex and fascinating man who was as troubled as he was charismatic, who struggled with mental illness and self-doubt, and was ultimately unable to fashion a stable life for himself; who traveled alone and yet thrived on connection and brought countless people together in his wake. It is also a portrait of an America we rarely see: a nation of unconventional characters, small river towns, and long-forgotten waterways.  

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Being Elvis: A Lonely Life - Ray Connolly Cover Art

Being Elvis: A Lonely Life

Being Elvis: A Lonely Life by Ray Connolly

A “sympathetic and exceptionally well-written account” (USA Today), Ray Connolly’s biography of the King soars with “spontaneity and electricity” (Preston Lauterbach). Elvis Presley is a giant figure in American popular culture, a man whose talent and fame were matched only by his later excesses and tragic end. A godlike entity in the history of rock and roll, this twentieth-century icon with a dazzling voice blended gospel and traditionally black rhythm and blues with country to create a completely new kind of music and new way of expressing male sexuality, which simply blew the doors off a staid and repressed 1950s America. In Being Elvis veteran rock journalist Ray Connolly takes a fresh look at the career of the world’s most loved singer, placing him, forty years after his death, not exhaustively in the garish neon lights of Las Vegas but back in his mid-twentieth-century, distinctly southern world. For new and seasoned fans alike, Connolly, who interviewed Elvis in 1969, re-creates a man who sprang from poverty in Tupelo, Mississippi, to unprecedented overnight fame, eclipsing Frank Sinatra and then inspiring the Beatles along the way. Juxtaposing the music, the songs, and the incendiary live concerts with a personal life that would later careen wildly out of control, Connolly demonstrates that Elvis’s amphetamine use began as early as his touring days of hysteria in the late 1950s, and that the financial needs that drove him in the beginning would return to plague him at the very end. With a narrative informed by interviews over many years with John Lennon, Bob Dylan, B. B. King, Sam Phillips, and Roy Orbison, among many others, Connolly creates one of the most nuanced and mature portraits of this cultural phenomenon to date. What distinguishes Being Elvis beyond the narrative itself is Connolly’s more subtle examinations of white poverty, class aspirations, and the prison that is extreme fame. As we reach the end of this poignant account, Elvis’s death at forty-two takes on the hue of a profoundly American tragedy. The creator of an American sound that resonates today, Elvis remains frozen in time, an enduring American icon who could “seamlessly soar into a falsetto of pleading and yearning” and capture an inner emotion, perhaps of eternal yearning, to which all of us can still relate. Intimate and unsparing, Being Elvis explores the extravagance and irrationality inherent in the Elvis mythology, ultimately offering a thoughtful celebration of an immortal life.

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