How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America
Clint Smith - 2021
It is the story of the Monticello Plantation in Virginia, the estate where Thomas Jefferson wrote letters espousing the urgent need for liberty while enslaving over 400 people on the premises. It is the story of the Whitney Plantation, one of the only former plantations devoted to preserving the experience of the enslaved people whose lives and work sustained it. It is the story of Angola Prison in Louisiana, a former plantation named for the country from which most of its enslaved people arrived and which has since become one of the most gruesome maximum-security prisons in the world. And it is the story of Blandford Cemetery, the final resting place of tens of thousands of Confederate soldiers. In a deeply researched and transporting exploration of the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American history, How the Word Is Passed illustrates how some of our country's most essential stories are hidden in plain view-whether in places we might drive by on our way to work, holidays such as Juneteenth, or entire neighborhoods—like downtown Manhattan—on which the brutal history of the trade in enslaved men, women and children has been deeply imprinted. Informed by scholarship and brought alive by the story of people living today, Clint Smith’s debut work of nonfiction is a landmark work of reflection and insight that offers a new understanding of the hopeful role that memory and history can play in understanding our country.
The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together
Heather McGhee - 2021
From the financial crisis to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a common root problem: racism. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy and constitutive of the spiritual and moral crises that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out?McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Maine to Mississippi to California, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm--the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she meets white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams, and their shot at better jobs to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in this country--from parks and pools to functioning schools--have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world's advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare.But in unlikely places of worship and work, McGhee finds proof of what she calls the Solidarity Dividend: gains that come when people come together across race, to accomplish what we simply can't do on our own.McGhee marshals economic and sociological research to paint a story of racism's costs, but at the heart of the book are the humble stories of people yearning to be part of a better America, including white supremacy's collateral victims: white people themselves. With startling empathy, this heartfelt message from a Black woman to a multiracial America leaves us with a new vision for a future in which we finally realize that life can be more than a zero-sum game.
Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival, and Hope in an American City
Andrea Elliott - 2021
Born at the turn of a new century, Dasani is named for the bottled water that comes to symbolize Brooklyn’s gentrification and the shared aspirations of a divided city. As Dasani grows up, moving with her tight-knit family from shelter to shelter, this story goes back to trace the passage of Dasani’s ancestors from slavery to the Great Migration north. By the time Dasani comes of age, New York City’s homeless crisis is exploding as the chasm deepens between rich and poor. In the shadows of this new Gilded Age, Dasani must lead her seven siblings through a thicket of problems: hunger, parental drug addiction, violence, housing instability, segregated schools, and the constant monitoring of the child-protection system. When, at age thirteen, Dasani enrolls at a boarding school in Pennsylvania, her loyalties are tested like never before. As she learns to “code switch” between the culture she left behind and the norms of her new town, Dasani starts to feel like a stranger in both places. Ultimately, she faces an impossible question: What if leaving poverty means abandoning the family you love? By turns heartbreaking and revelatory, provocative and inspiring, Invisible Child tells an astonishing story about the power of resilience, the importance of family, and the cost of inequality. Based on nearly a decade of reporting, this book vividly illuminates some of the most critical issues in contemporary America through the life of one remarkable girl.
Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty
Patrick Radden KeefePatrick Radden Keefe - 2021
The Sackler name adorns 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 sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing OxyContin, a blockbuster painkiller that was a catalyst for the opioid crisis.Empire of Pain is a masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, exhaustively documented and ferociously compelling.
Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement
Tarana Burke - 2021
How could she help these girls if she couldn't even be honest with herself and face her own demons? A fitful night led to pages and pages of scribbled notes with two clear words at the top: Me too.Tarana Burke is the founder and activist behind the largest social movement of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the me too movement, but first she had to find the strength to say me too herself. Unbound is the story of how she came to those two words, after a childhood growing up in the Bronx with a loving mother that took a terrible turn when she was sexual assaulted. She became withdrawn and her self split: there was the Tarana that was a good student, model kid, and eager to please young girl, and then there was the Tarana that she hid from everyone else, the one she believed to be bad. The one that would take all the love in her life away if she revealed.Tarana's debut memoir explores how to piece back together our fractured selves. How to not just bring the me too movement back to empathy, but how to empathize with our past selves, with out bad selves, and how to begin to love ourselves unabashedly. Healing starts with empowerment, and to Tarana empowerment starts with empathy. This is her story of finding that for herself, and then spreading it to an entire world.
We Do This 'til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice
Mariame Kaba - 2021
It is thinking through a vision, a strategy, and then figuring out who your targets are, always being concerned about power, always being concerned about how you're going to actually build power in order to be able to push your issues, in order to be able to get the target to actually move in the way that you want to."What if social transformation and liberation isn't about waiting for someone else to come along and save us? What if ordinary people have the power to collectively free ourselves? In this timely collection of essays and interviews, Mariame Kaba reflects on the deep work of abolition and transformative political struggle.With chapters on seeking justice beyond the punishment system, transforming how we deal with harm and accountability, and finding hope in collective struggle for abolition, Kaba's work is deeply rooted in the relentless belief that we can fundamentally change the world. As Kaba writes, "Nothing that we do that is worthwhile is done alone."
Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019
Ibram X. Kendi - 2021
Kendi, author of the number one bestseller How To Be an Antiracist, and fellow historian Keisha N. Blain, Four Hundred Souls begins with the arrival of twenty enslaved Ndongo people on the shores of the British colony in mainland America in 1619, the year before the arrival of the Mayflower. In eighty chronological chapters, the book charts the tragic and triumphant four-hundred-year history of Black American experience in a choral work of exceptional power and beauty. Contributors include some of the best-known scholars, writers, historians, journalists, lawyers, poets and activists of contemporary America who together bring to vivid life countless new facets to the drama of slavery and resistance, segregation and survival, migration and self-discovery, cultural oppression and world-changing artistic, literary and musical creativity. In these pages are dozens of extraordinary lives and personalities, rescued from the archives and restored to their rightful place in America's narrative, as well as the ghosts of millions more.Four Hundred Souls is an essential work of story-telling and reclamation that redefines America and changes our notion of how history is written.
Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: The Story of Schitt's Creek
Daniel LevyDustin Milligan - 2021
This beautifully produced, keepsake coffee-table book is the ultimate celebration of the series, the town, the characters, and the state of mind that is Schitt's Creek. Capturing the essence and alchemy of all six seasons of what is now considered to be one of the most groundbreaking comedy television series of the last decade, Best Wishes, Warmest Regards is a gift to fans everywhere who have made the show their own.Included are character profiles from the cast of Johnny, Moira, David, and Alexis, and all of the characters that populate the town, major moments from Moira's endorsement of Herb Ertlinger Winery, to Patrick and David's first kiss, to Cabaret and the Rose Family Christmas episode. Also included are special features, such as the complete, illustrated catalogs of David's knits and Moira's wigs, Moira's vocabulary, Alexis's adventures, and behind-the-scenes moments from Dan and Eugene Levy and the cast of Schitt's Creek.
A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance
Hanif Abdurraqib - 2021
But in her speech she was in a mood to consider her life, her legacy, her departure from the country she was now triumphantly returning to. “I was a devil in other countries, and I was a little devil in America, too,” she told the crowd. Inspired by these few words, Hanif Abdurraqib has written a profound and lasting reflection on how Black performance is inextricably woven into the fabric of American culture. Each moment in every performance he examines—whether it’s the twenty-seven seconds in “Gimme Shelter” in which Merry Clayton wails the words “rape, murder,” a schoolyard fistfight, a dance marathon, or the instant in a game of spades right after the cards are dealt—has layers of resonance in Black and white cultures, the politics of American empire, and Abdurraqib’s own personal history of love, grief, and performance.Abdurraqib writes prose brimming with jubilation and pain, infused with the lyricism and rhythm of the musicians he loves. With care and generosity, he explains the poignancy of performances big and small, each one feeling intensely familiar and vital, both timeless and desperately urgent. Filled with sharp insight, humor, and heart, A Little Devil in America exalts the Black performance that unfolds in specific moments in time and space—from midcentury Paris to the moon, and back down again to a cramped living room in Columbus, Ohio.
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life
George SaundersGeorge Saunders - 2021
In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, he shares a version of that class with us, offering some of what he and his students have discovered together over the years. Paired with iconic short stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, the seven essays in this book are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it’s more relevant than ever in these turbulent times.In his introduction, Saunders writes, “We’re going to enter seven fastidiously constructed scale models of the world, made for a specific purpose that our time maybe doesn’t fully endorse but that these writers accepted implicitly as the aim of art—namely, to ask the big questions, questions like, How are we supposed to be living down here? What were we put here to accomplish? What should we value? What is truth, anyway, and how might we recognize it?” He approaches the stories technically yet accessibly, and through them explains how narrative functions; why we stay immersed in a story and why we resist it; and the bedrock virtues a writer must foster. The process of writing, Saunders reminds us, is a technical craft, but also a way of training oneself to see the world with new openness and curiosity.A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is a deep exploration not just of how great writing works but of how the mind itself works while reading, and of how the reading and writing of stories make genuine connection possible.
The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music
Dave Grohl - 2021
The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I've recorded and can't wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or even hearing my voice bounce between the Kiss posters on my wall as a child. This certainly doesn't mean that I'm quitting my day job, but it does give me a place to shed a little light on what it's like to be a kid from Springfield, Virginia, walking through life while living out the crazy dreams I had as young musician. From hitting the road with Scream at 18 years old, to my time in Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, jamming with Iggy Pop or playing at the Academy Awards or dancing with AC/DC and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, drumming for Tom Petty or meeting Sir Paul McCartney at Royal Albert Hall, bedtime stories with Joan Jett or a chance meeting with Little Richard, to flying halfway around the world for one epic night with my daughters…the list goes on. I look forward to focusing the lens through which I see these memories a little sharper for you with much excitement.
These Precious Days: Essays
Ann Patchett - 2021
Life, however, often takes turns we do not see coming. Patchett ponders this truth in these wise essays that afford a fresh and intimate look into her mind and heart. At the center of These Precious Days is the title essay, a suprising and moving meditation on an unexpected friendship that explores “what it means to be seen, to find someone with whom you can be your best and most complete self.” When Patchett chose an early galley of actor and producer Tom Hanks’ short story collection to read one night before bed, she had no idea that this single choice would be life changing. It would introduce her to a remarkable woman—Tom’s brilliant assistant Sooki—with whom she would form a profound bond that held monumental consequences for them both. A literary alchemist, Patchett plumbs the depths of her experiences to create gold: engaging and moving pieces that are both self-portrait and landscape, each vibrant with emotion and rich in insight. Turning her writer’s eye on her own experiences, she transforms the private into the universal, providing us all a way to look at our own worlds anew, and reminds how fleeting and enigmatic life can be. From the enchantments of Kate di Camilo’s children’s books to youthful memories of Paris; the cherished life gifts given by her three fathers to the unexpected influence of Charles Schultz’s Snoopy; the expansive vision of Eudora Welty to the importance of knitting, Patchett connects life and art as she illuminates what matters most. Infused with the author’s grace, wit, and warmth, the pieces in These Precious Days resonate deep in the soul, leaving an indelible mark—and demonstrate why Ann Patchett is one of the most celebrated writers of our time.
Immune: a Journey into the Mysterious System that Keeps You Alive
Philipp Dettmer - 2021
Your head hurts. You're mildly annoyed as you get the kids ready for school and dress for work yourself. Meanwhile, an epic war is being fought, just below your skin. Millions are fighting and dying for you to be able to complain as you head out the door.So what, exactly, is your immune system?Second only to the human brain in its complexity, it is one of the oldest and most critical facets of life on Earth. Without it, you would die within days. In Immune, Philipp Dettmer, the brains behind the most popular science channel on YouTube, takes readers on a journey through the fortress of the human body and its defenses. There is a constant battle of staggering scale raging within us, full of stories of invasion, strategy, defeat, and noble self-sacrifice. In fact, in the time you've been reading this, your immune system has probably identified and eradicated a cancer cell that started to grow in your body.Each chapter delves into an element of the immune system, including defenses like antibodies and inflammation as well as threats like bacteria, allergies, and cancer, as Dettmer reveals why boosting your immune system is actually nonsense, how parasites sneak their way past your body's defenses, how viruses work, and what goes on in your wounds when you cut yourself.Enlivened by engaging graphics and immersive descriptions, Immune turns one of the most intricate, interconnected, and confusing subjects—immunology—into a gripping adventure through an astonishing alien landscape. Immune is a vital and remarkably fun crash course in what is arguably, and increasingly, the most important system in the body.
What Happened To You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing
Bruce D. Perry - 2021
It is, in other words, the key to reshaping our very lives.”―Oprah WinfreyThis book is going to change the way you see your life.Have you ever wondered "Why did I do that?" or "Why can't I just control my behavior?" Others may judge our reactions and think, "What's wrong with that person?" When questioning our emotions, it's easy to place the blame on ourselves; holding ourselves and those around us to an impossible standard. It's time we started asking a different question.Through deeply personal conversations, Oprah Winfrey and renowned brain and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry offer a groundbreaking and profound shift from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” Our earliest experiences shape our lives far down the road, and What Happened to You? provides powerful scientific and emotional insights into the behavioral patterns so many of us struggle to understand.Here, Winfrey shares stories from her own past, understanding through experience the vulnerability that comes from facing trauma and adversity at a young age. Joining forces with Dr. Perry, one of the world’s leading experts on childhood and brain development, Winfrey and Dr. Perry marry the power of storytelling with science to better understand and overcome the effects of our pasts.In conversation throughout the book, the two focus on understanding people, behavior, and ourselves. It’s a subtle but profound shift in our approach to trauma, and it’s one that allows us to understand our pasts in order to clear a path to our future―opening the door to resilience and healing in a proven, powerful way.
You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience
Tarana Burke - 2021
Brené Brown bring together a dynamic group of Black writers, organizers, artists, academics, and cultural figures to discuss the topics the two have dedicated their lives to understanding and teaching: vulnerability and shame resilience.Contributions by Kiese Laymon, Imani Perry, Laverne Cox, Jason Reynolds, Austin Channing Brown, and moreIt started as a text between two friends.Tarana Burke, founder of the 'me too.' Movement, texted researcher and writer Brené Brown to see if she was free to jump on a call. Brené assumed that Tarana wanted to talk about wallpaper. They had been trading home decorating inspiration boards in their last text conversation so Brené started scrolling to find her latest Pinterest pictures when the phone rang.But it was immediately clear to Brené that the conversation wasn't going to be about wallpaper. Tarana's hello was serious and she hesitated for a bit before saying, "Brené, you know your work affected me so deeply, but as a Black woman, I've sometimes had to feel like I have to contort myself to fit into some of your words. The core of it rings so true for me, but the application has been harder."Brené replied, "I'm so glad we're talking about this. It makes sense to me. Especially in terms of vulnerability. How do you take the armor off in a country where you're not physically or emotionally safe?"Long pause."That's why I'm calling," said Tarana. "What do you think about working together on a book about the Black experience with vulnerability and shame resilience?"There was no hesitation.Burke and Brown are the perfect pair to usher in this stark, potent collection of essays on Black shame and healing. Along with the anthology contributors, they create a space to recognize and process the trauma of white supremacy, a space to be vulnerable and affirm the fullness of Black love and Black life.
Just as I Am
Cicely Tyson - 2021
It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside. Here, I am indeed Cicely, the actress who has been blessed to grace the stage and screen for six decades. Yet I am also the church girl who once rarely spoke a word. I am the teenager who sought solace in the verses of the old hymn for which this book is named. I am a daughter and mother, a sister, and a friend. I am an observer of human nature and the dreamer of audacious dreams. I am a woman who has hurt as immeasurably as I have loved, a child of God divinely guided by His hand. And here in my ninth decade, I am a woman who, at long last, has something meaningful to say.
The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. - 2021
Anthony Fauci is a hero. He is anything but. As director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr. Anthony Fauci dispenses $6.1 billion in annual taxpayer-provided funding for scientific research, allowing him to dictate the subject, content, and outcome of scientific health research across the globe. Fauci uses the financial clout at his disposal to wield extraordinary influence over hospitals, universities, journals, and thousands of influential doctors and scientists—whose careers and institutions he has the power to ruin, advance, or reward. During more than a year of painstaking and meticulous research, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. unearthed a shocking story that obliterates media spin on Dr. Fauci . . . and that will alarm every American—Democrat or Republican—who cares about democracy, our Constitution, and the future of our children’s health. The Real Anthony Fauci reveals how “America’s Doctor” launched his career during the early AIDS crisis by partnering with pharmaceutical companies to sabotage safe and effective off-patent therapeutic treatments for AIDS. Fauci orchestrated fraudulent studies, and then pressured US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulators into approving a deadly chemotherapy treatment he had good reason to know was worthless against AIDS. Fauci repeatedly violated federal laws to allow his Pharma partners to use impoverished and dark-skinned children as lab rats in deadly experiments with toxic AIDS and cancer chemotherapies. In early 2000, Fauci shook hands with Bill Gates in the library of Gates’ $147 million Seattle mansion, cementing a partnership that would aim to control an increasingly profitable $60 billion global vaccine enterprise with unlimited growth potential. Through funding leverage and carefully cultivated personal relationships with heads of state and leading media and social media institutions, the Pharma-Fauci-Gates alliance exercises dominion over global health policy. The Real Anthony Fauci details how Fauci, Gates, and their cohorts use their control of media outlets, scientific journals, key government and quasi-governmental agencies, global intelligence agencies, and influential scientists and physicians to flood the public with fearful propaganda about COVID-19 virulence and pathogenesis, and to muzzle debate and ruthlessly censor dissent.
Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II
Daniel James Brown - 2021
Their parents taught them to embrace both their Japanese heritage and the ways of their American homeland. They faced bigotry, yet they believed in their bright futures as American citizens. But within days of Pearl Harbor, the FBI was ransacking their houses and locking up their fathers. And within months many would themselves be living behind barbed wire.Facing the Mountain is an unforgettable chronicle of war-time America and the battlefields of Europe. Based on Daniel James Brown's extensive interviews with the families of the protagonists as well as deep archival research, it portrays the kaleidoscopic journey of four Japanese-American families and their sons, who volunteered for 442nd Regimental Combat Team and were deployed to France, Germany, and Italy, where they were asked to do the near impossible.But this is more than a war story. Brown also tells the story of these soldiers' parents, immigrants who were forced to shutter the businesses, surrender their homes, and submit to life in concentration camps on U.S. soil. Woven throughout is the chronicle of a brave young man, one of a cadre of patriotic resisters who stood up against their government in defense of their own rights. Whether fighting on battlefields or in courtrooms, these were Americans under unprecedented strain, doing what Americans do best--striving, resisting, pushing back, rising up, standing on principle, laying down their lives, and enduring.
Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could
Adam Schiff - 2021
Trump, the vital inside account of American democracy in its darkest hour, and a warning that the forces of autocracy unleashed by Trump remain as potent as ever.In the years leading up to the election of Donald Trump, Congressman Adam Schiff had already been sounding the alarm over the resurgence of autocracy around the world, and the threat this posed to the United States. But as he led the probe into Donald Trump’s Russia and Ukraine-related abuses of presidential power, Schiff came to the terrible conclusion that the principal threat to American democracy now came from within.In Midnight in Washington, Schiff argues that the Trump presidency has so weakened our institutions and compromised the Republican Party that the peril will last for years, requiring unprecedented vigilance against the growing and dangerous appeal of authoritarianism. The congressman chronicles step by step just how our democracy was put at such risk, and traces his own path to meeting the crisis - from serious prosecutor, to congressman with an expertise in national security and a reputation for bipartisanship, to liberal lightning rod, scourge of the right, and archenemy of a president. Schiff takes us inside his team of impeachment managers and their desperate defense of the constitution amid the rise of a distinctly American brand of autocracy.Deepening our understanding of prominent public moments, Schiff reveals the private struggles, the internal conflicts, and the triumphs of courage that came with defending the republic against a lawless president - but also the slow surrender of people that he had worked with and admired to the dangerous immorality of a president engaged in an historic betrayal of his office. Schiff’s fight for democracy is one of the great dramas of our time, told by the man who became the president’s principal antagonist. It is a story that began with Trump but does not end with him, taking us through the disastrous culmination of the presidency and Schiff’s account of January 6, 2021, and how the anti-democratic forces Trump unleashed continue to define his party, making the future of democracy in America more uncertain than ever.
Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted
Suleika Jaouad - 2021
She had fallen in love and moved to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a war correspondent. The real world she found, however, would take her into a very different kind of conflict zone.It started with an itch—first on her feet, then up her legs, like a thousand invisible mosquito bites. Next came the exhaustion, and the six-hour naps that only deepened her fatigue. Then a trip to the doctor and, a few weeks shy of her twenty-third birthday, a diagnosis: leukemia, with a 35 percent chance of survival. Just like that, the life she had imagined for herself had gone up in flames. By the time Jaouad flew home to New York, she had lost her job, her apartment, and her independence. She would spend much of the next four years in a hospital bed, fighting for her life and chronicling the saga in a column for The New York Times.When Jaouad finally walked out of the cancer ward—after three and a half years of chemo, a clinical trial, and a bone marrow transplant—she was, according to the doctors, cured. But as she would soon learn, a cure is not where the work of healing ends; it’s where it begins. She had spent the past 1,500 days in desperate pursuit of one goal—to survive. And now that she’d done so, she realized that she had no idea how to live.How would she reenter the world and live again? How could she reclaim what had been lost? Jaouad embarked—with her new best friend, Oscar, a scruffy terrier mutt—on a 100-day, 15,000-mile road trip across the country. She set out to meet some of the strangers who had written to her during her years in the hospital: a teenage girl in Florida also recovering from cancer; a teacher in California grieving the death of her son; a death-row inmate in Texas who’d spent his own years confined to a room. What she learned on this trip is that the divide between sick and well is porous, that the vast majority of us will travel back and forth between these realms throughout our lives. Between Two Kingdoms is a profound chronicle of survivorship and a fierce, tender, and inspiring exploration of what it means to begin again.
Will Smith - 2021
Along the way, Will tells the story in full of one of the most amazing rides through the worlds of music and film that anyone has ever had.Will Smith’s transformation from a fearful child in a tense West Philadelphia home to one of the biggest rap stars of his era and then one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood history, with a string of box office successes that will likely never be broken, is an epic tale of inner transformation and outer triumph, and Will tells it astonishingly well. But it's only half the story. Will Smith thought, with good reason, that he had won at life: not only was his own success unparalleled, his whole family was at the pinnacle of the entertainment world. Only they didn't see it that way: they felt more like star performers in his circus, a seven-days-a-week job they hadn't signed up for. It turned out Will Smith's education wasn't nearly over. This memoir is the product of a profound journey of self-knowledge, a reckoning with all that your will can get you and all that it can leave behind. Written with the help of Mark Manson, author of the multi-million-copy bestseller The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Will is the story of how one person mastered his own emotions, written in a way that can help everyone else do the same. Few of us will know the pressure of performing on the world's biggest stages for the highest of stakes, but we can all understand that the fuel that works for one stage of our journey might have to be changed if we want to make it all the way home. The combination of genuine wisdom of universal value and a life story that is preposterously entertaining, even astonishing, puts Will the book, like its author, in a category by itself. “It’s easy to maneuver the material world once you have conquered your own mind. I believe that. Once you've learned the terrain of your own mind, every experience, every emotion, every circumstance, whether positive or negative, simply propels you forward, to greater growth and greater experience. That is true will. To move forward in spite of anything. And to move forward in a way that brings others with you, rather than leave them behind.” —Will Smith
The Great Sex Rescue: The Lies You've Been Taught and How to Recover What God Intended
Sheila Wray Gregoire - 2021
Generations of women have grown up with messages about sex that make them feel dirty, used, or invisible, while men have been sold such a cheapened version of sex, they don't know what they're missing. The Great Sex Rescue hopes to turn all of that around, developing a truly biblical view of sex where mutuality, intimacy, and passion reign.The Great Sex Rescue pulls back the curtain on what is happening in Christian bedrooms and exposes the problematic teachings that wreck sex for so many couples--and the good teachings that leave others breathless. In the #metoo and #churchtoo era, not only is this book a long overdue corrective to church culture, it is poised to free thousands of couples from repressive and dissatisfying sex lives so that they can experience the kind of intimacy and wholeness God intended.
The Anthropocene Reviewed
John GreenJohn Green - 2021
In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his ground-breaking, critically acclaimed podcast, John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet - from the QWERTY keyboard and Halley's Comet to Penguins of Madagascar - on a five-star scale.Complex and rich with detail, the Anthropocene's reviews have been praised as 'observations that double as exercises in memoiristic empathy', with over 10 million lifetime downloads. John Green's gift for storytelling shines throughout this artfully curated collection about the shared human experience; it includes beloved essays along with six all-new pieces exclusive to the book.
The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting: The Tragedy and The Glory of Growing Up (A Memoir)
Evanna Lynch - 2021
. . While those around me tried to expedite it, simulate it, exacerbate it, I tried to strangle it.Evanna Lynch has long been viewed as a role model for people recovering from anorexia, as the story of her casting as Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films grew to almost mythic proportions--a tale of how she faced disordered eating as a young girl, found solace in a beloved book series, and several years later landed the part of her favorite character. But that is not the whole story.Even after recovery, there remains a conflict at the very core of her being: a bitter struggle between the familiar, anesthetizing pursuit of perfection and the desire to fully and fearlessly embrace her creativity. In her book, Evanna confronts all the complexities and contradictions within herself and reveals how she began to conquer her self-hate while facing her fear of leaving the neatness and safety of girlhood for the unpredictable journey of being a woman. Revealing a startlingly accomplished voice, Evanna delves into the very heart of a woman's relationship with her own body. Unwilling to let the darkness of her eating disorder eclipse her dreams, Evanna explores the pivotal moments and choices in her life that led her down the path of creativity. Taking the reader through her personal journey, she reveals how by channeling her fears of the messy, uncharted future into joyful, ambitious endeavors, she reaches toward acceptance of the wild, sensual, and unpredictable reality of womanhood.Honest, electrifying, and inspiring, this is a story of the tragedy and the glory of growing up, of mourning girlhood and stepping into the unknown, and how that act of courage is the most liberating thing a woman can do.
The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice
Shon Faye - 2021
Despite making up less than 1% of the country's population, they are the subjects of a toxic and increasingly polarised 'debate', which generates reliable controversy for newspapers and talk shows. This media frenzy conceals a simple fact: that we are having the wrong conversation, a conversation in which trans people themselves are reduced to a talking point and denied a meaningful voice.In this powerful new book, Shon Faye reclaims the idea of the 'transgender issue' to uncover the reality of what it means to be trans in a transphobic society. In doing so, she provides a compelling, wide-ranging analysis of trans lives from youth to old age, exploring work, family, housing, healthcare, the prison system, and trans participation in the LGBTQ+ and feminist communities, in contemporary Britain and beyond.The Transgender Issue is a landmark work that signals the beginning of a new, healthier conversation about trans life. It is a manifesto for change, and a call for justice and solidarity between all marginalised people and minorities. Trans liberation, as Faye sees it, goes to the root of what our society is and what it could be; it offers the possibility of a more just, free and joyful world for all of us.
You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism
Amber Ruffin - 2021
Now a writer and performer on Late Night with Seth Meyers and host of The Amber Ruffin Show, Amber Ruffin lives in New York, where she is no one's First Black Friend and everyone is, as she puts it, "stark raving normal." But Amber's sister Lacey? She's still living in their home state of Nebraska, and trust us, you'll never believe what happened to Lacey.From racist donut shops to strangers putting their whole hand in her hair, from being mistaken for a prostitute to being mistaken for Harriet Tubman, Lacey is a lightning rod for hilariously ridiculous yet all-too-real anecdotes. She's the perfect mix of polite, beautiful, petite, and Black that apparently makes people think "I can say whatever I want to this woman." And now, Amber and Lacey share these entertainingly horrifying stories through their laugh-out-loud sisterly banter. Painfully relatable or shockingly eye-opening (depending on how often you have personally been followed by security at department stores), this book tackles modern-day racism with the perfect balance of levity and gravity.
The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth
Beth Allison Barr - 2021
From choices about careers to roles in local churches to relationship dynamics, this belief shapes the everyday lives of evangelical women. Yet biblical womanhood isn't biblical, says Baylor University historian Beth Allison Barr. It arose from a series of clearly definable historical moments.This book moves the conversation about biblical womanhood beyond Greek grammar and into the realm of church history--ancient, medieval, and modern--to show that this belief is not divinely ordained but a product of human civilization that continues to creep into the church. Barr's historical insights provide context for contemporary teachings about women's roles in the church and help move the conversation forward.Interweaving her story as a Baptist pastor's wife, Barr sheds light on the #ChurchToo movement and abuse scandals in Southern Baptist circles and the broader evangelical world, helping readers understand why biblical womanhood is more about human power structures than the message of Christ.
Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution
Mike Duncan - 2021
Over fifty incredible years at the heart of the Age of Revolution, he fought courageously on both sides of the Atlantic. He was a soldier, statesman, idealist, philanthropist, and abolitionist. As a teenager, Lafayette ran away from France to join the American Revolution. Returning home a national hero, he helped launch the French Revolution, eventually spending five years locked in dungeon prisons. After his release, Lafayette sparred with Napoleon, joined an underground conspiracy to overthrow King Louis XVIII, and became an international symbol of liberty. Finally, as a revered elder statesman, he was instrumental in the overthrow of the Bourbon Dynasty in the Revolution of 1830. From enthusiastic youth to world-weary old age, from the pinnacle of glory to the depths of despair, Lafayette never stopped fighting for the rights of all mankind. His remarkable life is the story of where we come from, and an inspiration to defend the ideals he held dear.
Liftoff: Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX
Eric Berger - 2021
Less than 20 years after its founding, it boasts the largest constellation of commercial satellites in orbit, has pioneered reusable rockets, and in 2020 became the first private company to launch human beings into orbit. Half a century after the space race it is private companies, led by SpaceX, standing alongside NASA pushing forward into the cosmos, and laying the foundation for our exploration of other worlds.But before it became one of the most powerful players in the aerospace industry, SpaceX was a fledgling startup, scrambling to develop a single workable rocket before the money ran dry. The engineering challenge was immense; numerous other private companies had failed similar attempts. And even if SpaceX succeeded, they would then have to compete for government contracts with titans such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing, who had tens of thousands of employees and tens of billions of dollars in annual revenue. SpaceX had fewer than 200 employees and the relative pittance of $100 million in the bank.In Liftoff, Eric Berger, senior space editor at Ars Technica, takes readers inside the wild early days that made SpaceX. Focusing on the company’s first four launches of the Falcon 1 rocket, he charts the bumpy journey from scrappy underdog to aerospace pioneer. We travel from company headquarters in El Segundo, to the isolated Texas ranchland where they performed engine tests, to Kwajalein, the tiny atoll in the Pacific where SpaceX launched the Falcon 1. Berger has reported on SpaceX for more than a decade, enjoying unparalleled journalistic access to the company’s inner workings. Liftoff is the culmination of these efforts, drawing upon exclusive interviews with dozens of former and current engineers, designers, mechanics, and executives, including Elon Musk. The enigmatic Musk, who founded the company with the dream of one day settling Mars, is the fuel that propels the book, with his daring vision for the future of space.Filled with never-before-told stories of SpaceX’s turbulent beginning, Liftoff is a saga of cosmic proportions.
Every Day Is a Gift: A Memoir
Tammy Duckworth - 2021
In November of 2004, an Iraqi RPG blew through the cockpit of Tammy Duckworth's U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter. The explosion, which destroyed her legs and mangled her right arm, was a turning point in her life. But as Duckworth shows in Every Day Is a Gift, that moment was just one in a lifetime of extraordinary turns.The biracial daughter of an American father and a Thai-Chinese mother, Duckworth faced discrimination, poverty, and the horrors of war—all before the age of 16. As a child, she dodged bullets as her family fled war-torn Phnom Penh. As a teenager, she sold roses by the side of the road to save her family from hunger and homelessness in Hawaii. Through these experiences, she developed a fierce resilience that would prove invaluable in the years to come.Duckworth joined the Army, becoming one of a handful of female helicopter pilots at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She served eight months in Iraq before an insurgent's RPG shot down her helicopter, an attack that took her legs—and nearly took her life. She then spent thirteen months recovering at Walter Reed, learning to walk again on prosthetic legs and planning her return to the cockpit. But Duckworth found a new mission after meeting her state's senators, Barack Obama and Dick Durbin. After winning two terms as a U.S. Representative, she won election to the U.S. Senate in 2016. And she and her husband Bryan fulfilled another dream when she gave birth to two daughters, becoming the first sitting senator to give birth.From childhood to motherhood and beyond, Every Day Is a Gift is the remarkable story of one of America's most dedicated public servants.
I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year
Carol Leonnig - 2021
What was really going on around the president, as the government failed to contain the coronavirus and over half a million Americans perished? Who was influencing Trump after he refused to concede an election he had clearly lost and spread lies about election fraud? To answer these questions, Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig reveal a dysfunctional and bumbling presidency’s inner workings in unprecedented, stunning detail. Focused on Trump and the key players around him—the doctors, generals, senior advisers, and Trump family members— Rucker and Leonnig provide a forensic account of the most devastating year in a presidency like no other. Their sources were in the room as time and time again Trump put his personal gain ahead of the good of the country. These witnesses to history tell the story of him longing to deploy the military to the streets of American cities to crush the protest movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, all to bolster his image of strength ahead of the election. These sources saw firsthand his refusal to take the threat of the coronavirus seriously—even to the point of allowing himself and those around him to be infected. This is a story of a nation sabotaged—economically, medically, and politically—by its own leader, culminating with a groundbreaking, minute-by-minute account of exactly what went on in the Capitol building on January 6, as Trump’s supporters so easily breached the most sacred halls of American democracy, and how the president reacted. With unparalleled access, Rucker and Leonnig explain and expose exactly who enabled—and who foiled—Trump as he sought desperately to cling to power. A classic and heart-racing work of investigative reporting, this book is destined to be read and studied by citizens and historians alike for decades to come.
Rachel Held Evans - 2021
With the help of her close friend and author Jeff Chu, that work-in-progress has been woven together with some of her other unpublished writings into a rich collection of essays that ask candid questions about the stories we’ve been told—and the stories we tell—about our faith, our selves, and our world.This book is for the doubter and the dreamer, the seeker and the sojourner, those who long for a sense of spiritual wholeness as well as those who have been hurt by the Church but can’t seem to let go of the story of Jesus. Through theological reflection and personal recollection, Rachel wrestles with God’s grace and love, looks unsparingly at what the Church is and does, and explores universal human questions about becoming and belonging. An unforgettable, moving, and intimate book.
Windswept & Interesting: My Autobiography
Billy Connolly - 2021
Later he became a folk musician - a 'rambling man' - with a genuine talent for playing the banjo. But it was his ability to spin stories, tell jokes and hold an audience in the palm of his hand that truly set him apart. As a young comedian Billy broke all the rules. He was fearless and outspoken - willing to call out hypocrisy wherever he saw it. But his stand-up was full of warmth, humility and silliness too. His startling, hairy 'glam-rock' stage appearance - wearing leotards, scissor suits and banana boots - only added to his appeal.It was an appearance on Michael Parkinson's chat show in 1975 - and one outrageous story in particular - that catapulted Billy from cult hero to national star. TV shows, documentaries, international fame and award-winning Hollywood movies followed. Billy's pitch-perfect stand-up comedy kept coming too - for over 50 years, in fact - until a double diagnosis of cancer and Parkinson's Disease brought his remarkable live performances to an end. Since then he has continued making TV shows, creating extraordinary drawings... and writing.Windswept and Interesting is Billy's story in his own words. It is joyfully funny - stuffed full of hard-earned wisdom as well as countless digressions on fishing, farting and the joys of dancing naked. It is an unforgettable, life-affirming story of a true comedy legend.'I didn't know I was Windswept and Interesting until somebody told me. It was a friend who was startlingly exotic himself. He'd just come back from Kashmir and was all billowy shirt and Indian beads. I had long hair and a beard and was swishing around in electric blue flairs.He said: "Look at you - all windswept and interesting!"I just said: "Exactly!"After that, I simply had to maintain my reputation...'
Crossroads: My Story of Tragedy and Resilience as a Humboldt Bronco
Kaleb Dahlgren - 2021
The tragedy moved millions of people to leave hockey sticks by their front door to show sympathy and support for the Broncos. People from more than eighty countries pledged millions of dollars to families whose relatives had been directly involved in the accident.Crossroads is the story of Kaleb Dahlgren, a young man who survived the bus crash and faced life after the tragedy with resiliency and positivity. In this chronicle of his time with the Broncos and the loving community of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Dahlgren takes a hard look at his experience of unprecedented loss, but also revels in the overwhelming response and outpouring of love from across Canada and around the world. But this book also goes much deeper, revealing the adversity Dahlgren faced long before his time in Humboldt and his inspiring journey since the accident. From a childhood spent learning to live with type 1 diabetes to his remarkable recovery from severe brain trauma that astounded medical professionals, Dahlgren documents a life of perseverance, gratitude and hope in the wake of enormous obstacles and life-altering tragedy. The author will donate a portion of his proceeds from this book to STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service).
Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show
Jonathan Karl - 2021
As the reporter who has known Donald Trump longer than any other White House correspondent, Karl told the story of Trump's rise in the New York Times bestseller Front Row at the Trump Show. Now he tells the story of Trump's downfall, complete with riveting behind-the-scenes accounts of some of the darkest days in the history of the American presidency and packed with original reporting and on-the-record interviews with central figures in this drama who are telling their stories for the first time.This is a definitive account of what was really going on during the final weeks and months of the Trump presidency and what it means for the future of the Republican Party, by a reporter who was there for it all. He has been taunted, praised, and vilified by Donald Trump, and now Jonathan Karl finds himself in a singular position to deliver the truth.
Bob Mortimer - 2021
The episode unnerved him, but forced him to reflect on his life so far. This is the framework for his hilarious and moving memoir, And Away...Although his childhood in Middlesbrough was normal on the surface, it was tinged by the loss of his dad, and his own various misadventures (now infamous from his appearances on Would I Lie to You?), from burning down the family home to starting a short-lived punk band called Dog Dirt. As an adult, he trained as a solicitor and moved to London. Though he was doing pretty well (the South London Press once crowned him 'The Cockroach King' after a successful verdict), a chance encounter in a pub in the 1980s with a young comedian going by the name Vic Reeves set his life on a different track. And now, six years on, the heart condition that once threatened his career has instead led to new success on BBC2's Gone Fishing.Warm, profound, and irrepressibly funny, And Away... is Bob's full life story (with a few lies thrown in for good measure).
The Puma Years: A Memoir of Love and Transformation in the Bolivian Jungle
Laura Coleman - 2021
Fate landed her at a wildlife sanctuary on the edge of the Amazon jungle where she was assigned to a beautiful and complex puma named Wayra. Wide-eyed, inexperienced, and comically terrified, Laura made the scrappy, make-do camp her home. And in Wayra, she made a friend for life.They weren’t alone, not with over a hundred quirky animals to care for, each lost and hurt in its own way: a pair of suicidal, bra-stealing monkeys, a frustrated parrot desperate to fly, and a pig with a wicked sense of humor. The humans, too, were cause for laughter and tears. There were animal whisperers, committed staff, wildly devoted volunteers, handsome heartbreakers, and a machete-wielding prom queen who carried Laura through. Most of all, there were the jungle—lyrical and alive—and Wayra, who would ultimately teach Laura so much about love, healing, and the person she was capable of becoming.Set against a turbulent and poignant backdrop of deforestation, the illegal pet trade, and forest fires, The Puma Years explores what happens when two desperate creatures in need of rescue find one another.
Pastoral Song: A Farmer’s Journey
James Rebanks - 2021
Their family farm in the Lake District hills was part of an ancient agricultural landscape: a patchwork of crops and meadows, of pastures grazed with livestock, and hedgerows teeming with wildlife. And yet, by the time James inherited the farm, it was barely recognizable. The men and women had vanished from the fields; the old stone barns had crumbled; the skies had emptied of birds and their wind-blown song.Pastoral Song is the story of an inheritance: one that affects us all. It tells of how rural landscapes around the world were brought close to collapse, and the age-old rhythms of work, weather, community and wild things were lost. And yet this elegy from the northern fells is also a song of hope: of how, guided by the past, one farmer began to salvage a tiny corner of England that was now his, doing his best to restore the life that had vanished and to leave a legacy for the future.This is a book about what it means to have love and pride in a place, and how, against all the odds, it may still be possible to build a new pastoral: not a utopia, but somewhere decent for us all.
The Premonition: A Pandemic Story
Michael Lewis - 2021
But the president insisted there was nothing to worry about.Fortunately, we are still a nation of skeptics. Fortunately, there are those among us who study pandemics and are willing to look unflinchingly at worst-case scenarios. Michael Lewis’s taut and brilliant nonfiction thriller pits a band of medical visionaries against the wall of ignorance that was the official response of the Trump administration to the outbreak of COVID-19.The characters you will meet in these pages are as fascinating as they are unexpected. A thirteen-year-old girl’s science project on transmission of an airborne pathogen develops into a very grown-up model of disease control. A local public-health officer uses her worm’s-eye view to see what the CDC misses, and reveals great truths about American society. A secret team of dissenting doctors, nicknamed the Wolverines, has everything necessary to fight the pandemic: brilliant backgrounds, world-class labs, prior experience with the pandemic scares of bird flu and swine flu…everything, that is, except official permission to implement their work.Michael Lewis is not shy about calling these people heroes for their refusal to follow directives that they know to be based on misinformation and bad science. Even the internet, as crucial as it is to their exchange of ideas, poses a risk to them. They never know for sure who else might be listening in.
Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience
Brené Brown - 2021
As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances—a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection. Over the past two decades, Brown’s extensive research into the experiences that make us who we are has shaped the cultural conversation and helped define what it means to be courageous with our lives. Atlas of the Heart draws on this research, as well as on Brown’s singular skills as a storyteller, to show us how accurately naming an experience doesn’t give the experience more power, it gives us the power of understanding, meaning, and choice. Brown shares, “I want this book to be an atlas for all of us, because I believe that, with an adventurous heart and the right maps, we can travel anywhere and never fear losing ourselves.”
Miracle and Wonder: Conversations with Paul Simon
Malcolm Gladwell - 2021
Recorded over a series of 30 hours of conversation between Simon, Gladwell, and Gladwell’s oldest friend and co-writer, journalist and Broken Record podcast co-host Bruce Headlam, the conversation flows from Simon’s music, to his childhood in Queens, NY, to his frequent collaborators including Art Garfunkel and the nature of creativity itself. Gladwell and Headlam traveled from the mountains of Hawaii to Simon’s own backyard studio to record an artist they’ve idolized since childhood. Woven throughout the audiobook is distinctive commentary about Simon’s songwriting alongside archival audio footage and never-before-heard live studio versions and original recordings of beloved hits including “The Boxer", “The Sound of Silence", and “Graceland”. Between conversations, Gladwell deploys his signature blend of historical research and social science in an attempt to understand how a boy from 1940s Queens conjured near-perfect songs over an incredible 65-year career. Along the way, he gathers reflections on Simon’s particular genius from the likes of Sting, Herbie Hancock, Renee Fleming, Jeff Tweedy, Aaron Lindsey, and Roseanne Cash.The result is an intimate audio biography of one of America’s most popular songwriters. Brimming with music and conversation, Miracle and Wonder is a window into Simon’s legendary career, what it means to be alive as an artist, and how to create work that endures.
Unprotected: A Memoir
Billy Porter - 2021
But growing up Black and gay in America has never been easy. Before Billy Porter was slaying red carpets and giving an iconic Emmy-winning performance in the celebrated TV show Pose; before he was the groundbreaking Tony and Grammy Award-winning star of Broadway’s Kinky Boots; and before he was an acclaimed recording artist, actor, playwright, director, and all-around legend, Porter was a young boy in Pittsburgh who was seen as different, who didn’t fit in. At five years old, Porter was sent to therapy to “fix” his effeminacy. He was endlessly bullied at school, sexually abused by his stepfather, and criticized at his church. Porter came of age in a world where simply being himself was a constant struggle.Billy Porter’s Unprotected is the life story of a singular artist and survivor in his own words. It is the story of a boy whose talent and courage opened doors for him, but only a crack. It is the story of a teenager discovering himself, learning his voice and his craft amidst deep trauma. And it is the story of a young man whose unbreakable determination led him through countless hard times to where he is now; a proud icon who refuses to back down or hide. Porter is a multitalented, multifaceted treasure at the top of his game, and Unprotected is a resonant, inspirational story of trauma and healing, shot through with his singular voice.
Mike Nichols: A Life
Mark Harris - 2021
Next he directed four consecutive hit plays, won back-to-back Tonys, ushered in a new era of Hollywood moviemaking with Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and followed it with The Graduate, which won him an Oscar and became the third-highest-grossing movie ever. At thirty-five, he lived in a three-story Central Park West penthouse, drove a Rolls-Royce, collected Arabian horses, and counted Jacqueline Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, Leonard Bernstein, and Richard Avedon as friends.Where he arrived is even more astonishing given where he had begun: born Igor Peschkowsky to a Jewish couple in Berlin in 1931, he and his younger brother were sent to America on a ship in 1939. The young immigrant boy caught very few breaks. He was bullied and ostracized--an allergic reaction had rendered him permanently hairless--and his father died when he was just twelve, leaving his mother alone and overwhelmed.The gulf between these two sets of facts explains a great deal about Nichols's transformation from lonely outsider to the center of more than one cultural universe--the acute powers of observation that first made him famous; the nourishment he drew from his creative partnerships, most enduringly with May; his unquenchable drive; his hunger for security and status; and the depressions and self-medications that brought him to terrible lows. It would take decades for him to come to grips with his demons. In an incomparable portrait that follows Nichols from Berlin to New York to Chicago to Hollywood, Mark Harris explores, with brilliantly vivid detail and insight, the life, work, struggle, and passion of an artist and man in constant motion. Among the 250 people Harris interviewed: Elaine May, Meryl Streep, Stephen Sondheim, Robert Redford, Glenn Close, Tom Hanks, Candice Bergen, Emma Thompson, Annette Bening, Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, Lorne Michaels, and Gloria Steinem.Mark Harris gives an intimate and evenhanded accounting of success and failure alike; the portrait is not always flattering, but its ultimate impact is to present the full story of one of the most richly interesting, complicated, and consequential figures the worlds of theater and motion pictures have ever seen. It is a triumph of the biographer's art.
The Speckled Beauty: A Dog and His People
Rick Bragg - 2021
He is a terrible boy, a defiant, self-destructive, often malodorous boy, a grave robber and screen door moocher who spends his days playing chicken with the Fed Ex man, picking fights with thousand-pound livestock, and rolling in donkey manure, and his nights howling at the moon. He has been that way since the moment he appeared on the ridgeline behind Rick Bragg's house, a starved and half-dead creature, seventy-six pounds of wet hair and poor decisions.Speck arrived in Rick's life at a moment of looming uncertainty. A cancer diagnosis, chemo, kidney failure, and recurring pneumonia had left Rick lethargic and melancholy. Speck helped, and he is helping, still, when he is not peeing on the rose of Sharon. Written with Bragg's inimitable blend of tenderness and sorrow, humor and grit, The Speckled Beauty captures the extraordinary, sustaining devotion between two damaged creatures who need each other to heal.
Call Me Indian: From the Trauma of Residential School to Becoming the NHL's First Treaty Indigenous Player
Fred Sasakamoose - 2021
This page turner will have you cheering for 'Fast Freddy' as he faces off against huge challenges both on and off the ice--a great gift to every proud hockey fan, Canadian, and Indigenous person.--Wab Kinew, Leader of the Manitoba NDP and author of The Reason You WalkTrailblazer. Residential school Survivor. First Treaty Indigenous player in the NHL. All of these descriptions are true--but none of them tell the whole story.Fred Sasakamoose, torn from his home at the age of seven, endured the horrors of residential school for a decade before becoming one of 120 players in the most elite hockey league in the world. He has been heralded as the first Indigenous player with Treaty status in the NHL, making his official debut as a 1954 Chicago Black Hawks player on Hockey Night in Canada and teaching Foster Hewitt how to pronounce his name. Sasakamoose played against such legends as Gordie Howe, Jean Beliveau, and Maurice Richard. After twelve games, he returned home.When people tell Sasakamoose's story, this is usually where they end it. They say he left the NHL to return to the family and culture that the Canadian government had ripped away from him. That returning to his family and home was more important to him than an NHL career. But there was much more to his decision than that. Understanding Sasakamoose's choice means acknowledging the dislocation and treatment of generations of Indigenous peoples. It means considering how a man who spent his childhood as a ward of the government would hear those supposedly golden words: You are Black Hawks property.Sasakamoose's story was far from over once his NHL days concluded. He continued to play for another decade in leagues around Western Canada. He became a band councillor, served as Chief, and established athletic programs for kids. He paved a way for youth to find solace and meaning in sports for generations to come. Yet, threaded through these impressive accomplishments were periods of heartbreak and unimaginable tragedy--as well moments of passion and great joy.This isn't just a hockey story; Sasakamoose's groundbreaking memoir sheds piercing light on Canadian history and Indigenous politics, and follows this extraordinary man's journey to reclaim pride in an identity and a heritage that had previously been used against him.
Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself
Nedra Glover Tawwab - 2021
We all know we should have them--in order to achieve work/life balance, cope with toxic people, and enjoy rewarding relationships with partners, friends, and family. But what do healthy boundaries really mean--and how can we successfully express our needs, say no, and be assertive without offending others?Licensed counselor, sought-after relationship expert, and one of the most influential therapists on Instagram Nedra Glover Tawwab demystifies this complex topic for today's world. In a relatable and inclusive tone, Set Boundaries, Find Peace presents simple-yet-powerful ways to establish healthy boundaries in all aspects of life. Rooted in the latest research and best practices used in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), these techniques help us identify and express our needs clearly and without apology--and unravel a root problem behind codependency, power struggles, anxiety, depression, burnout, and more.
Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood
Danny Trejo - 2021
He’s been shot, stabbed, hanged, chopped up, squished by an elevator, and once, was even melted into a bloody goo. Off screen, he’s a hero beloved by recovery communities and obsessed fans alike. But the real Danny Trejo is much more complicated than the legend.Raised in an abusive home, Danny struggled with heroin addiction and stints in some of the country’s most notorious state prisons, including San Quentin and Folsom, from an early age, before starring in such modern classics as Heat, From Dusk till Dawn, and Machete. Now, in this funny, painful, and suspenseful memoir, Danny takes us through the incredible ups and downs of his life, including meeting one of the world’s most notorious serial killers in prison and working with legends like Charles Bronson and Robert De Niro.In honest, unflinching detail, Danny recounts how he managed the horrors of prison, rebuilt himself after finding sobriety and spirituality in solitary confinement, and draws inspiration from the adrenaline-fueled robbing heists of his past for the film roles that made him a household name. He also shares the painful contradictions in his personal life. Although he speaks everywhere from prison yards to NPR about his past to inspire countless others on their own road to recovery and redemption, he struggles to help his children with their personal battles with addiction, and to build relationships that last.Redemptive and painful, poignant and real, Trejo is a portrait of a magnificent life and an unforgettable and exceptional journey through tragedy, pain, and, finally, success that will transfix and inspire.
Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause
Ty Seidule - 2021
Lee and Me challenges the myths and lies of the Confederate legacy—and explores why some of this country’s oldest wounds have never healed.Ty Seidule grew up revering Robert E. Lee. From his southern childhood to his service in the U.S. Army, every part of his life reinforced the Lost Cause myth: that Lee was the greatest man who ever lived, and that the Confederates were underdogs who lost the Civil War with honor. Now, as a retired brigadier general and Professor Emeritus of History at West Point, his view has radically changed. From a soldier, a scholar, and a southerner, Ty Seidule believes that American history demands a reckoning.In a unique blend of history and reflection, Seidule deconstructs the truth about the Confederacy—that its undisputed primary goal was the subjugation and enslavement of Black Americans—and directly challenges the idea of honoring those who labored to preserve that system and committed treason in their failed attempt to achieve it. Through the arc of Seidule’s own life, as well as the culture that formed him, he seeks a path to understanding why the facts of the Civil War have remained buried beneath layers of myth and even outright lies—and how they embody a cultural gulf that separates millions of Americans to this day.Part history lecture, part meditation on the Civil War and its fallout, and part memoir, Robert E. Lee and Me challenges the deeply-held legends and myths of the Confederacy—and provides a surprising interpretation of essential truths that our country still has a difficult time articulating and accepting.
Many Different Kinds of Love: A story of life, death and the NHS
Michael Rosen - 2021
Soon he was struggling to breathe, and then he was admitted to hospital, suffering from coronavirus as the nation teetered on the edge of a global pandemic. What followed was months on the wards: six weeks in an induced coma, and many more weeks of rehab and recovery as the NHS saved Michael's life, and then got him back on his feet. Throughout Michael's stay in intensive care, a notebook lay at the end of his bed, where the nurses who cared for him wrote letters of hope and support. Embarking on the long road to recovery, Michael was soon ready to start writing about his near-death experience.Combining stunning new prose poems by one of Britain's best loved poets and the moving coronavirus diaries of his nurses, doctors and wife Emma-Louise Williams, this is a beautiful book about love, life and the NHS. Featuring original illustrations by Chris Riddell, each page celebrates the power of community, the importance of kind gestures in dark times, and the indomitable spirits of the people who keep us well.
How Stella Learned to Talk: The Groundbreaking Story of the World's First Talking Dog
Christina Hunger - 2021
During the day, she worked with toddlers with significant delays in language development and used Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices to help them communicate. At night, she wondered: If dogs can understand words we say to them, shouldn't they be able to say words to us? Can dogs use AAC to communicate with humans?Christina decided to put her theory to the test with Stella and started using a paw-sized button programmed with her voice to say the word "outside" when clicked, whenever she took Stella out of the house. A few years later, Stella now has a bank of more than thirty word buttons, and uses them daily either individually or together to create near-complete sentences.How Stella Learned to Talk is part memoir and part how-to guide. It chronicles the journey Christina and Stella have taken together, from the day they met, to the day Stella "spoke" her first word, and the other breakthroughs they've had since. It also reveals the techniques Christina used to teach Stella, broken down into simple stages and actionable steps any dog owner can use to start communicating with their pets.Filled with conversations that Stella and Christina have had, as well as the attention to developmental detail that only a speech-language pathologist could know, How Stella Learned to Talk will be the indispensable dog book for the new decade.
Soundtracks: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking
Jon Acuff - 2021
It's the sneakiest form of fear. It steals time, creativity, and goals. It's the most expensive, least productive thing companies invest in without even knowing it. And it's an epidemic. When New York Times bestselling author Jon Acuff changed his life by transforming his overthinking, he wondered if other people might benefit from what he discovered. He commissioned a research study to ask 10,000 people if they struggle with overthinking too, and 99.5 percent said, "Yes!" The good news is that in Soundtracks, Acuff offers a proven plan to change overthinking from a super problem into a superpower. When we don't control our thoughts, our thoughts control us. If our days are full of broken soundtracks, thoughts are our worst enemy, holding us back from the things we really want. But the solution to overthinking isn't to stop thinking. The solution is running our brains with better soundtracks. Once we learn how to choose our soundtracks, thoughts become our best friend, propelling us toward our goals. If you want to tap into the surprising power of overthinking and give your dreams more time and creativity, learn how to DJ the soundtracks that define you. If you can worry, you can wonder. If you can doubt, you can dominate. If you can spin, you can soar.
Crying in H Mart
Michelle ZaunerMichelle Zauner - 2021
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.
Crying in H Mart
Michelle ZaunerMichelle Zauner - 2021
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.
Crying in H Mart
Michelle ZaunerMichelle Zauner - 2021
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.
The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort to Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self
Michael Easter - 2021
But could our sheltered, temperature-controlled, overfed, underchallenged lives actually be the leading cause of many our most urgent physical and mental health issues? In this gripping investigation, award-winning journalist Michael Easter seeks out off-the-grid visionaries, disruptive genius researchers, and mind-body conditioning trailblazers who are unlocking the life-enhancing secrets of a counterintuitive solution: discomfort. Easter’s journey to understand our evolutionary need to be challenged takes him to meet the NBA’s top exercise scientist, who uses an ancient Japanese practice to build championship athletes; to the mystical country of Bhutan, where an Oxford economist and Buddhist leader are showing the world what death can teach us about happiness; to the outdoor lab of a young neuroscientist who’s found that nature tests our physical and mental endurance in ways that expand creativity while taming burnout and anxiety; to the remote Alaskan backcountry on a demanding thirty-three-day hunting expedition to experience the rewilding secrets of one of the last rugged places on Earth; and more. Along the way, Easter uncovers a blueprint for leveraging the power of discomfort that will dramatically improve our health and happiness, and perhaps even help us understand what it means to be human. The Comfort Crisis is a bold call to break out of your comfort zone and explore the wild within yourself.
Feeding the Soul (Because It's My Business): Finding Our Way to Joy, Love, and Freedom
Tabitha Brown - 2021
For years she pursued acting while raising a family and dealing with undiagnosed chronic autoimmune pain. Before she became vegan, her condition made her believe she wouldn’t live to see forty. Now she’s one of the most popular personalities in the world, with millions of followers on social media whom she inspires to live and eat well with her blend of homespun wisdom and delicious home cooking. With her relatable personality and health struggles, approachable and nonjudgmental take on plant-based living, and warm voice reflecting her Southern upbringing, Tabitha connects with readers with a good story and gentle hand. The most important lesson Tabitha shares with readers is how to make a life for themselves that is rooted in kindness and love, both for themselves and for others.Tabitha doesn't just spout inspirational platitudes. She roots her lessons in stories about her own life, career, faith, and family in this down-to-earth book, all structured around Tab’s catchphrases that her fans know and love, including:Hello There!: Introduction, and why hope, joy, and clarity are so very neededThat’s Your Business: Defining yourself, and being okay with thatHave the Most Amazing Day…: Choosing joy and living with intentionBut Don’t Go Messin' Up No One Else's: Learning to walk in kindness even when the world doesn’t feel kindLike So, Like That: Living life without measurementVery Good: Living in peace and creating good from the badRich with personal stories and inspirational quotes, and sprinkled with a few easy vegan recipes, Feeding the Soul will be eagerly embraced by Tabitha’s legion of adoring fans. Readers will return to this comforting book whenever they want to feel seen, loved, and heard—and they’ll share it with family and friends, too.
The Baseball 100
Joe Posnanski - 2021
The entire story of baseball rings through a countdown of 100 greatest players in history, with a foreword by George Will and published in partnership with The Athletic.An instant classic of baseball literature and a must-read for any fan, The Baseball 100 is a one-of-a-kind work by award-winning sportswriter Joe Posnanski that tells the story of the game through the remarkable lives of its 100 greatest players. In the book’s foreword, Pulitzer Prize–winning commentator George Will marvels, “Posnanski must already have lived more than two hundred years. How else could he have acquired such a stock of illuminating facts and entertaining stories about the rich history of this endlessly fascinating sport?” Baseball’s legends come alive in these pages, which are not merely rankings but vibrant profiles of the game’s all-time greats. Posnanski dives into the biographies of iconic Hall of Famers, stars of the Negro Leagues, forgotten heroes, talents of today, and more. He doesn’t just rely on records and statistics—he lovingly retraces players’ origins, illuminates their characters, and places their accomplishments in the context of baseball’s past and present. Just how good a pitcher is Clayton Kershaw in the twenty-first-century game relative to Greg Maddux dueling the juiced hitters of the nineties? How does the career and influence of Hank Aaron compare to Babe Ruth? Which player in the top ten most deserves to be resurrected from history? Engrossing, surprising, and heartfelt, The Baseball 100 is a magisterial tribute to the game of baseball and the stars who played it.
Lily's Promise: How I Survived Auschwitz and Found the Strength to Live
Lily Ebert - 2021
And when her great-grandson, Dov, decided to use social media to track down the family of the GI, 96-year-old Lily found herself making headlines round the world. Lily had promised herself that if she survived Auschwitz she would tell everyone the truth about the camp. Now was her chance.In Lily’s Promise she writes movingly about her happy childhood in Hungary, the death of her mother and two youngest siblings on their arrival at Auschwitz in 1944 and her determination to keep her two other sisters safe. She describes the inhumanity of the camp and the small acts of defiance that gave her strength. From there she and her sisters became slave labour in a munitions factory, and then faced a death march that they barely survived.Lily lost so much, but she built a new life for herself and her family, first in Israel and then in London. It wasn’t easy; the pain of her past was always with her, but this extraordinary woman found the strength to speak out in the hope that such evil would never happen again.
People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present
Dara Horn - 2021
Often asked by major publications to write on subjects related to Jewish culture—and increasingly in response to a recent wave of deadly antisemitic attacks—Horn was troubled to realize what all of these assignments had in common: she was being asked to write about dead Jews, never about living ones. In these essays, Horn reflects on subjects as far-flung as the international veneration of Anne Frank, the mythology that Jewish family names were changed at Ellis Island, the blockbuster traveling exhibition Auschwitz, the marketing of the Jewish history of Harbin, China, and the little-known life of the "righteous Gentile" Varian Fry. Throughout, she challenges us to confront the reasons why there might be so much fascination with Jewish deaths, and so little respect for Jewish lives unfolding in the present.Horn draws upon her travels, her research, and also her own family life—trying to explain Shakespeare’s Shylock to a curious ten-year-old, her anger when swastikas are drawn on desks in her children’s school, the profound perspective offered by traditional religious practice and study—to assert the vitality, complexity, and depth of Jewish life against an antisemitism that, far from being disarmed by the mantra of "Never forget," is on the rise. As Horn explores the (not so) shocking attacks on the American Jewish community in recent years, she reveals the subtler dehumanization built into the public piety that surrounds the Jewish past—making the radical argument that the benign reverence we give to past horrors is itself a profound affront to human dignity.
A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal
Sarah Bessey - 2021
Unsurprisingly, this fact is as old as time--and that's why we see so many prayer circles within a multitude of church traditions. These gatherings are a trusted space where people seek help, hope, and peace, energized by God and one another.This book, curated by acclaimed author Sarah Bessey, celebrates and honors that prayerful tradition in a literary form. A companion for daily inspiration, this collection gives women permission to recognize the weight of all they carry, while also offering a broadened imagination of hope--of what can be restored and made new. Each prayer is an original piece of writing, with a short introduction from Bessey sharing exactly why she loves and looks up to the writer.This book is a literary hug, an invitation for respite, and a chance for readers to pause and celebrate who they are, beyond what they do.
Dear White Peacemakers: Dismantling Racism with Grit and Grace
Osheta Moore - 2021
Race is one of the hardest topics to discuss in America. Many white Christians avoid talking about it altogether. But a commitment to peacemaking requires white people to step out of their comfort and privilege and into the work of anti-racism. Dear White Peacemakers is an invitation to white Christians to come to the table and join this hard work and holy calling. Rooted in the life, ministry, and teachings of Jesus, this book is a challenging call to transform white shame, fragility, saviorism, and privilege, in order to work together to build the Beloved Community as anti-racism peacemakers. Written in the wake of George Floyd’s death, Dear White Peacemakers draws on the Sermon on the Mount, Spirituals, and personal stories from author Osheta Moore’s work as a pastor in St. Paul, Minnesota. Enter into this story of shalom and join in the urgent work of anti-racism peacemaking.
Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping
Matthew Salesses - 2021
The traditional writing workshop was established with white male writers in mind; what we call craft is informed by their cultural values. In this bold and original examination of elements of writing—including plot, character, conflict, structure, and believability—and aspects of workshop—including the silenced writer and the imagined reader—Matthew Salesses asks questions to invigorate these familiar concepts. He upends Western notions of how a story must progress. How can we rethink craft, and the teaching of it, to better reach writers with diverse backgrounds? How can we invite diverse storytelling traditions into literary spaces?Drawing from examples including One Thousand and One Nights, Curious George, Ursula K. Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea, and the Asian American classic No-No Boy, Salesses asks us to reimagine craft and the workshop. In the pages of exercises included here, teachers will find suggestions for building syllabi, grading, and introducing new methods to the classroom; students will find revision and editing guidance, as well as a new lens for reading their work. Salesses shows that we need to interrogate the lack of diversity at the core of published fiction: how we teach and write it. After all, as he reminds us, "When we write fiction, we write the world."
The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race
Walter Isaacson - 2021
As she sped through the pages, she became enthralled by the intense drama behind the competition to discover the code of life. Even though her high school counselor told her girls didn’t become scientists, she decided she would.Driven by a passion to understand how nature works and to turn discoveries into inventions, she would help to make what the book’s author, James Watson, told her was the most important biological advance since his co-discovery of the structure of DNA. She and her collaborators turned a curiosity of nature into an invention that will transform the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA. Known as CRISPR, it opened a brave new world of medical miracles and moral questions. The development of CRISPR and the race to create vaccines for coronavirus will hasten our transition to the next great innovation revolution. The past half-century has been a digital age, based on the microchip, computer, and internet. Now we are entering a life-science revolution. Children who study digital coding will be joined by those who study genetic code. Should we use our new evolution-hacking powers to make us less susceptible to viruses? What a wonderful boon that would be! And what about preventing depression? Hmmm…Should we allow parents, if they can afford it, to enhance the height or muscles or IQ of their kids? After helping to discover CRISPR, Doudna became a leader in wrestling with these moral issues and, with her collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier, won the Nobel Prize in 2020.
What White People Can Do Next: From Allyship to Coalition
Emma Dabiri - 2021
In this affecting and inspiring collection of essays, Emma Dabiri draws on both academic discipline and lived experience to probe the ways many of us are complacent and complicit—and can therefore combat—white supremacy. She outlines the actions we must take, including:Stop the DenialInterrogate WhitenessAbandon GuiltRedistribute ResourcesRealize this shit is killing you too . . . To move forward, we must begin to evaluate our prejudices, our social systems, and the ways in which white supremacy harms us all. Illuminating and practical, What White People Can Do Next is essential for everyone who wants to go beyond their current understanding and affect real—and lasting—change.
Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark
Cassandra Peterson - 2021
Third-degree burns covered 35% of her body, and the prognosis wasn't good. But she survived. Burned and scarred, the impact stayed with her and became an obstacle she was determined to overcome. Feeling like a misfit led to her love of horror. While her sisters played with Barbie dolls, Cassandra built model kits of Frankenstein and Dracula, and idolized Vincent Price.Due to a complicated relationship with her mother, Cassandra left home at 14, and by age 17 she was performing at the famed Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas. Run-ins with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Tom Jones helped her grow up fast. Then a chance encounter with her idol Elvis Presley, changed the course of her life forever, and led her to Europe where she worked in film and traveled Italy as lead singer of an Italian pop band. She eventually made her way to Los Angeles, where she joined the famed comedy improv group, The Groundlings, and worked alongside Phil Hartman and Paul "Pee-wee" Reubens, honing her comedic skills.Nearing age 30, a struggling actress considered past her prime, she auditioned at local LA channel KHJ as hostess for the late night vintage horror movies. Cassandra improvised, made the role her own, and got the job on the spot. Yours Cruelly, Elvira is an unforgettably wild memoir. Cassandra doesn't shy away from revealing exactly who she is and how she overcame seemingly insurmountable odds. Always original and sometimes outrageous, her story is loaded with twists, travails, revelry, and downright shocking experiences. It is the candid, often funny, and sometimes heart-breaking tale of a Midwest farm girl's long strange trip to become the world's sexiest, sassiest Halloween icon.
This Beautiful Truth: How God's Goodness Breaks Into Our Darkness
Sarah Clarkson - 2021
Amid the daily realities of sickness and isolation, disappointment and pain, it can be profoundly difficult to grasp the real goodness of God. But this is where God breaks into our darkness with beauty. In the wonder of creation, in art or film, story or song, in the kindness of his people and the good they create, God breaks into our pain in a tangible way, teaching us to trust his kindness and hope for his healing. Beauty is a voice singing into our suffering, beckoning us toward restoration.In This Beautiful Truth, Sarah Clarkson shares her own encounters with beauty in the midst of her decade-long struggle with mental illness, depression, and doubt. In a voice both vulnerable and reflective, she paints a compelling picture of the God who reaches out to us in a real and powerful way through the "taste and see" goodness of what he has made and what he continues to create amid our darkness. "To recognize and trust God's gift in pain," she writes, "empowers us to create and love as powerful witnesses to God's healing love in a hopeless world."If you want to renew your capacity to recognize and encounter God's beauty in your life, this hope-filled book will show you the way.
This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race
Nicole Perlroth - 2021
One of the most coveted tools in a spy's arsenal, a zero day has the power to silently spy on your iPhone, dismantle the safety controls at a chemical plant, alter an election, and shut down the electric grid (just ask Ukraine).For decades, under cover of classification levels and non-disclosure agreements, the United States government became the world's dominant hoarder of zero days. U.S. government agents paid top dollar-first thousands, and later millions of dollars- to hackers willing to sell their lock-picking code and their silence. Then the United States lost control of its hoard and the market. Now those zero days are in the hands of hostile nations and mercenaries who do not care if your vote goes missing, your clean water is contaminated, or our nuclear plants melt down.Filled with spies, hackers, arms dealers, and a few unsung heroes, written like a thriller and a reference, This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends is an astonishing feat of journalism. Based on years of reporting and hundreds of interviews, The New York Times reporter Nicole Perlroth lifts the curtain on a market in shadow, revealing the urgent threat faced by us all if we cannot bring the global cyber arms race to heel.
Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals
Oliver Burkeman - 2021
Assuming you live to be eighty, you have just over four thousand weeks.Nobody needs telling there isn’t enough time. We’re obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, work-life balance, and the ceaseless battle against distraction; and we’re deluged with advice on becoming more productive and efficient, and “life hacks” to optimize our days. But such techniques often end up making things worse. The sense of anxious hurry grows more intense, and still the most meaningful parts of life seem to lie just beyond the horizon. Still, we rarely make the connection between our daily struggles with time and the ultimate time management problem: the challenge of how best to use our four thousand weeks.Drawing on the insights of both ancient and contemporary philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual teachers, Oliver Burkeman delivers an entertaining, humorous, practical, and ultimately profound guide to time and time management. Rejecting the futile modern fixation on “getting everything done,” Four Thousand Weeks introduces readers to tools for constructing a meaningful life by embracing finitude, showing how many of the unhelpful ways we’ve come to think about time aren’t inescapable, unchanging truths, but choices we’ve made as individuals and as a society—and that we could do things differently.
The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear
Kate Moore - 2021
The enemy sits across the table and sleeps in the next room. Her husband of twenty-one years is plotting against her because he feels increasingly threatened - by Elizabeth's intellect, independence, and unwillingness to stifle her own thoughts. So Theophilus makes a plan to put his wife back in her place. One summer morning, he has her committed to an insane asylum.The horrific conditions inside the Illinois State Hospital in Jacksonville, Illinois, are overseen by Dr. Andrew McFarland, a man who will prove to be even more dangerous to Elizabeth than her traitorous husband. But most disturbing is that Elizabeth is not the only sane woman confined to the institution. There are many rational women on her ward who tell the same story: they've been committed not because they need medical treatment, but to keep them in line - conveniently labeled "crazy" so their voices are ignored.No one is willing to fight for their freedom and, disenfranchised both by gender and the stigma of their supposed madness, they cannot possibly fight for themselves. But Elizabeth is about to discover that the merit of losing everything is that you then have nothing to lose...
The Copenhagen Trilogy: Childhood; Youth; Dependency
Tove Ditlevsen - 2021
Childhood tells the story of a misfit child's single-minded determination to become a poet; Youth describes her early experiences of sex, work, and independence. Dependency picks up the story as the narrator embarks on the first of her four marriages and goes on to describe her horrible descent into drug addiction, enabled by her sinister, gaslighting doctor-husband.Throughout, the narrator grapples with the tension between her vocation as a writer and her competing roles as daughter, wife, mother, and drug addict, and she writes about female experience and identity in a way that feels very fresh and pertinent to today's discussions around feminism. Ditlevsen's trilogy is remarkable for its intensity and its immersive depiction of a world of complex female friendships, family and growing up--in this sense, it's Copenhagen's answer to Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels. She can also be seen as a spiritual forerunner of confessional writers like Karl Ove Knausgaard, Annie Ernaux, Rachel Cusk and Deborah Levy. Her trilogy is drawn from her own experiences but reads like the most compelling kind of fiction.Born in a working-class neighborhood in Copenhagen in 1917, Ditlevsen became famous for her poetry while still a teenager, and went on to write novels, stories and memoirs before committing suicide in 1976. Having been dismissed by the critical establishment in her lifetime as a working-class, female writer, she is now being rediscovered and championed as one of Denmark's most important modern authors, with Tove fever gripping readers.
Trent Dalton - 2021
A divorced mother has a secret love affair with a travelling priest. A widower miraculously finds a three-minute video recorded by his wife before she died. A tree lopper's heart falls in a forest. A working mum contemplates taking the photographs of her late husband down from the fridge. A girl writes her last letter to the man she loves, then sets it on fire. An ageing gigolo regrets the one that got away. A palliative care nurse helps a dying woman converse with the angel at the end of her bed. A renowned 100-year-old scientist ponders the one great earthly puzzle he was never able to solve: 'What is love?'Endless stories. Human stories. Love stories.Inspired by a personal moment of profound love and generosity, bestselling author – and one of Australia's finest journalists – Trent Dalton spent two months in 2021 pounding city pavements, speaking to Australians from all walks of life and asking them one simple and direct question: 'Can you please tell me a love story?' For two straight weeks he sat at a desk with a sky-blue 1960s Olivetti typewriter, on the bustling corner of Adelaide and Albert streets, Brisbane, with a sign saying, 'Sentimental writer collecting love stories. Do you have one to share?'The result is Love Stories – a warm, wise, poignant, funny and moving book about love in all its guises, including stories, observations and reflections on lovers in parks; people in cemeteries, hospital wards, pubs and bingo halls; and newlyweds walking out of registry offices. There will be stories of people falling into love, falling out of love, and never letting go of the loved ones in their hearts. And woven through it all will be remembrances of Trent's own special moments, and of the people whose love stories have made him the man and writer he is today.A heartfelt, deep, funny, wise and tingly tribute to the greatest thing we will never understand and the only thing we will ever really need: love.
How to Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey Toward Racial Justice
Jemar Tisby - 2021
How to Fight Racism introduces a simple framework—the A.R.C. Of Racial Justice—that teaches readers to consistently interrogate their own actions and maintain a consistent posture of anti-racist behavior.The A.R.C. Of Racial Justice is a clear model for how to think about race in productive ways:Awareness: educate yourself by studying history, exploring your personal narrative, and grasping what God says about the dignity of the human person.Relationships: understand the spiritual dimension of race relations and how authentic connections make reconciliation real and motivate you to act.Commitment: consistently fight systemic racism and work for racial justice by orienting your life to it.Tisby offers practical tools for following this model and suggests that by applying these principles, we can help dismantle a social hierarchy long stratified by skin color. He encourages rejection passivity and active participation in the struggle for human dignity. There is hope for transforming our nation and the world, and you can be part of the solution.
Jews Don't Count
David Baddiel - 2021
People fighting the good fight against homophobia, disablism, transphobia and, particularly, racism. People, possibly, like you.It is the comedian and writer David Baddiel’s contention that one type of racism has been left out of this fight. In his unique combination of reasoning, polemic, personal experience and jokes, Baddiel argues that those who think of themselves as on the right side of history have often ignored the history of anti-Semitism. He outlines why and how, in a time of intensely heightened awareness of minorities, Jews don’t count as a real minority.
Crossing the Line: A Fearless Team of Brothers and the Sport That Changed Their Lives Forever
Kareem Rosser - 2021
Riding their bicycles through Philly’s Fairmount Park, Kareem’s brothers discover a barn full of horses. Noticing the brothers’ fascination with her misfit animals, Lezlie Hiner, founder of The Work to Ride stables, offers them their escape: an after school job in exchange for riding lessons.What starts as an accidental discovery turns into a love for horseback riding that leads the Rossers to discovering their passion for polo. Pursuing the sport with determination and discipline, Kareem earns his place among the typically exclusive players in college, becoming part of the first all-Black national interscholastic polo championship team—all while struggling to keep his family together.
Yumiko Kadota - 2021
A self-confessed workaholic, she regularly put 'knife before life', knowing it was all going to be worth it because it would lead to her longed-for career.But if the punishing hours in surgery weren't hard enough, she also faced challenges as a young female surgeon navigating a male-dominated specialty. She was regularly left to carry out complex procedures without senior surgeons' oversight; she was called all sorts of things, from 'emotional' to 'too confident'; and she was expected to work a relentless on-call roster - sometimes seventy hours a week or more - to prove herself.Eventually it was too much and Yumiko quit.Emotional Female is her account of what it was like to train in the Australian public hospital system, and what made her walk away.Yumiko Kadota is a voice for her generation when it comes to burnout and finding the resilience to rebuild after suffering a physical, emotional and existential breakdown. This is a brave, honest and unflinching work from a major new talent.
The Power of Hope
Kate Garraway - 2021
Initially, Kate was told that he would not survive. A year later he was still in hospital. Now at home but requiring round-the-clock care, he is thought to be the UK's longest-fighting Covid-19 patient.In this intimate book, Kate shares her deeply personal story. As well as recounting how the illness took hold of their lives, she writes about how she is coping with the uncertainty of their future, how she's supporting her children through this traumatic time, how she has found strength in community and how she strives to hold on to hope even at the darkest of times. Covid-19 has affected everyone across the country in so many ways and Kate hopes that by revealing her own personal experience, it will give comfort to others. By sharing the lessons she has learnt along the way, it will help us all begin to try to re-build our lives.Kate's exceptional courage, positivity and warmth shine through on every page, making The Power of Hope a truly inspiring read that will resonate with all of us whose lives continue to be touched by the virus.
On Full Automatic: Surviving 13 Months in Vietnam
William V. Taylor Jr. - 2021
Taylor Jr. and his brother Marines are assembled into a new reaction force that is immediately tested in the fire of a bloody conflict known as Operation Beaver Cage. After a traumatic first fight, they push through back-to-back operations with little time to rest or reflect. Those who survive will return home ensnared by everlasting memories of a real, but entirely surreal nightmare. Now after more than fifty years of holding everything in, Taylor shares his experience in explicit and often horrific detail and with a reverent honor for those Marines who did not live to tell the tale.Taylor reveals what it truly means to walk the path of a warrior, to sacrifice, and to live a lifetime with the memories of a war—seeking answers to the question, “Was it worth it?"
Killer Triggers: Murder Comes Down to Sex, Drugs, or Money
Joe Kenda - 2021
This isn't an exact science, of course. Any given murder can have multiple triggers. Sex and revenge seem to be common partners in crime. Rage, money, and revenge make for a dangerous trifecta of triggers, as well.This book offers my memories of homicide cases that I investigated or oversaw. In each case, I examine the trigger that led to death. I chose this theme for the book because even though the why of a murder case may not be critical in an investigation, it can sometimes lead us to the killer.And even if we solve a case without knowing the trigger, the why still intrigues us, disrupting our dreams and lingering in our minds, perhaps because each of us fears the demons that lie within our own psyche-the triggers waiting to be pulled.
Powers and Thrones: A New History of the Middle Ages
Dan Jones - 2021
In a gripping narrative bursting with big names--from St Augustine and Attila the Hun to the Prophet Muhammad and Eleanor of Aquitaine--Dan Jones charges through the history of the Middle Ages. Powers and Thrones takes readers on a journey through an emerging Europe, the great capitals of late Antiquity, as well as the influential cities of the Islamic West, and culminates in the first contact between the old and new worlds in the sixteenth century.The medieval world was forged by the big forces that still occupy us today: climate change, pandemic disease, mass migration, and technological revolutions. This was the time when the great European nationalities were formed; when our basic Western systems of law and governance were codified; when the Christian Churches matured as both powerful institutions and the regulators of Western public morality; and when art, architecture, philosophical inquiry and scientific invention went through periods of massive, revolutionary change. At each stage in this story, successive western powers thrived by attracting--or stealing--the most valuable resources, ideas, and people from the rest of the world.The West was rebuilt on the ruins of an empire and emerged from a state of crisis and collapse to dominate the region and the world. Every sphere of human life and activity was transformed in the thousand years of Powers and Thrones. As we face a critical turning point in our own millennium, the legacy and lessons of how we got here matter more than ever.
The Mother Wound
Amani Haydar - 2021
There is a raging anger here, and a deep sorrow, but at the core Haydar gives us truths about love. This is one of the most important books I've ever read.' Bri Lee'I am from a family of strong women.'Amani Haydar suffered the unimaginable when she lost her mother in a brutal act of domestic violence perpetrated by her father. Five months pregnant at the time, her own perception of how she wanted to mother (and how she had been mothered) was shaped by this devastating murder.After her mother's death, Amani began reassessing everything she knew of her parents' relationship. They had been unhappy for so long - should she have known that it would end like this? A lawyer by profession, she also saw the holes in the justice system for addressing and combating emotional abuse and coercive control.Amani also had to reckon with the weight of familial and cultural context. Her parents were brought together in an arranged marriage, her mother thirteen years her father's junior. Her grandmother was brutally killed in the 2006 war in Lebanon, adding complex layers of intergenerational trauma.Writing with grace and beauty, Amani has drawn from this a story of female resilience and the role of motherhood in the home and in the world. In The Mother Wound, she uses her own strength to help other survivors find their voices.WINNER OF THE 2021 SYDNEY MUSIC, ARTS & CULTURE (SMAC) AWARDSWINNER OF THE VICTORIAN PREMIER'S LITERARY AWARD FOR NON-FICTION 2022LONGLISTED FOR THE WALKLEY BOOK AWARD 2021Praise for The Mother Wound'Shattering, unforgettable, beautifully told.' Randa Abdel-Fattah'Gripping, transcendent, tender and, at times, infuriating. With a daughter's heart and a lawyer's mind, Amani Haydar maps the territory that connects the wars we fight abroad to the wars we endure in our homes.' Jess Hill
The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family
Ron Howard - 2021
Join award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard and audience-favorite actor Clint Howard as they frankly and fondly share their unusual family story of navigating and surviving life as sibling child actors.“What was it like to grow up on TV?” Ron Howard has been asked this question throughout his adult life. In The Boys, he and his younger brother, Clint, examine their childhoods in detail for the first time. For Ron, playing Opie on The Andy Griffith Show and Richie Cunningham on Happy Days offered fame, joy, and opportunity—but also invited stress and bullying. For Clint, a fast start on such programs as Gentle Ben and Star Trek petered out in adolescence, with some tough consequences and lessons.With the perspective of time and success—Ron as a filmmaker, producer, and Hollywood A-lister, Clint as a busy character actor—the Howard brothers delve deep into an upbringing that seemed normal to them yet was anything but. Their Midwestern parents, Rance and Jean, moved to California to pursue their own showbiz dreams. But it was their young sons who found steady employment as actors. Rance put aside his ego and ambition to become Ron and Clint’s teacher, sage, and moral compass. Jean became their loving protector—sometimes over-protector—from the snares and traps of Hollywood.By turns confessional, nostalgic, heartwarming, and harrowing, The Boys is a dual narrative that lifts the lid on the Howard brothers’ closely held lives. It’s the journey of a tight four-person family unit that held fast in an unforgiving business and of two brothers who survived “child-actor syndrome” to become fulfilled adults.
Tunnel 29: The True Story of an Extraordinary Escape Beneath the Berlin Wall
Helena Merriman - 2021
Waiting on the other side in East Berlin - dozens of men, women and children; all willing to risk everything to escape.From the award-winning creator of the acclaimed BBC Radio 4 podcast, Tunnel 29 is the true story of the most remarkable escape tunnel dug under the Berlin Wall. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews with the survivors, and thousands of pages of Stasi documents, Helena Merriman brilliantly reveals the stranger-than-fiction story of the ingenious group of student-diggers, the glamorous red-haired messenger, the American News network which films the escape, and the Stasi spy who betrays it. For what Joachim doesn't know as he burrows closer to East Germany, is that the escape operation has been infiltrated. As the escapees prepare to crawl through the cold, wet darkness, above them, the Stasi are closing in.Tunnel 29 is about what happens when people lose their freedom - and how some will do anything to win it back.Acclaim for the TUNNEL 29 podcast:'Combining the fun of a thriller that we know will end happily with grim perspective on history and tyranny... stunning' New Yorker'Reminiscent of a savvy Netflix block buster series' Evening Standard'A truly exciting yarn... creates a sense for the listener of being right there in the tunnel, experiencing the dangers.' Observer
Conversations on Love
Natasha Lunn - 2021
A celebration of love in all its forms, featuring conversations with: Philippa Perry on falling in love slowly * Candice Carty-Williams on friendship * Alain de Botton on the psychology of being alone * Dolly Alderton on vulnerability * Emily Nagoski on the science of sex * Diana Evans on parenthood * Lisa Taddeo on the loneliness of loss * Esther Perel on unrealistic expectations * Stephen Grosz on accepting change * Roxane Gay on redefining romance * and many more
The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present
Paul McCartney - 2021
Spanning two alphabetically arranged volumes, these commentaries reveal how the songs came to be and the people who inspired them: his devoted parents, Mary and Jim; his songwriting partner, John Lennon; his “Golden Earth Girl,” Linda Eastman; his wife, Nancy McCartney; and even Queen Elizabeth, among many others. Here are the origins of “Let It Be,” “Lovely Rita,” “Yesterday,” and “Mull of Kintyre,” as well as McCartney’s literary influences, including Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, and Alan Durband, his high-school English teacher.With images from McCartney’s personal archives—handwritten texts, paintings, and photographs, hundreds previously unseen—The Lyrics, spanning sixty-four years, becomes the definitive literary and visual record of one of the greatest songwriters of all time.
To Rescue the Republic: Ulysses S. Grant, the Fragile Union, and the Crisis of 1876
Bret Baier - 2021
Grant, arguing that the great Civil War commander’s battle to save the Union continued to the very end of his presidency when a crisis threatened to fracture the still fragile nation once again.In this follow-up to his acclaimed “Three Days” trilogy, Bret Baier’s To Rescue the Republic dramatically illuminates the life of one of America’s most consequential yet misunderstood leaders, Ulysses S. Grant, whose actions both as general and as president played an unparalleled role in preserving the United States.Born a tanner’s son in rugged Ohio in 1822 and battle-tested by the Mexican American War, Grant met his destiny on the bloody fields of the Civil War. His daring and resolve as a general gained the attention of President Lincoln, then desperate for bold leadership. Lincoln appointed Grant as Lieutenant General of the Union Army in March 1864. Within a year, Grant’s forces had seized Richmond and forced Robert E. Lee to surrender.Four years later, the reunified nation faced another leadership void after Lincoln’s assassination and an unworthy successor completed his term. Again, Grant answered the call. At stake once more was the future of the Union, for though the Southern states had been defeated, it remained to be seen if the former Confederacy could be reintegrated into the country—and if the Union could ensure the rights and welfare of African Americans in the South. Grant met the challenge by boldly advancing an agenda of Reconstruction and aggressively countering the Ku Klux Klan. In his final weeks in the White House, however, Grant faced a crisis that threatened to undo his life’s work. The contested presidential election of 1876 produced no clear victory for either Republican Rutherford B. Hayes or Democrat Samuel Tilden, who carried most of the former Confederacy. Soon Southern states vowed to revolt if Tilden was not declared the victor. Grant was determined to use his influence to preserve the Union, establishing an electoral commission to peaceably settle the issue. Grant brokered a grand bargain: the installation of Republican Hayes to the presidency, with concessions to the Democrats that effectively ended Reconstruction. This painful compromise saved the nation, but tragically condemned the South to another century of civil-rights oppression.Deep with contemporary resonance and brimming with fresh detail that takes readers from the battlefields of the Civil War to the corridors of power where men decided the fate of the nation in back rooms, To Rescue the Republic reveals Grant, for all his complexity, to be among the first rank of American heroes.
Hear Me Out
Sarah Harding - 2021
It's really the only way I know. I want to show people the real me. Or perhaps remind them. Because, somewhere - amongst the nightclubs, the frocks and hairdos, the big chart hits, and the glamour of being a popstar - the other Sarah Harding got utterly lost. She's the one who's been forgotten. And all I want is for you to hear her out.'Sarah Harding is best known as the wild member of Girls Aloud, whose reputation for partying, drinking and dating made her a tabloid favourite. But where does the celebrity Sarah Harding end and the real Sarah begin? Faced with a devastating cancer diagnosis that turned her life upside down, Sarah has decided that now is the time to write her story. Her truth.This is Sarah Harding in her own words.
Sarah Gilbert - 2021
Within two weeks, she and her team had designed a vaccine against a pathogen that no one had ever seen before. Less than 12 months later, vaccination was rolled out across the world to save millions of lives from Covid-19.In Vaxxers, we hear directly from Professor Gilbert and her colleague Dr Catherine Green as they reveal the inside story of making the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine and the cutting-edge science and sheer hard work behind it. This is their story of fighting a pandemic as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Sarah and Cath share the heart-stopping moments in the eye of the storm; they separate fact from fiction; they explain how they made a highly effective vaccine in record time with the eyes of the world watching; and they give us hope for the future.Vaxxers invites us into the lab to find out how science will save us from this pandemic, and how we can prepare for the inevitable next one.
Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds
Huma Abedin - 2021
Both/And grapples with family, legacy, identity, faith, marriage, motherhood—and work—with wisdom, sophistication, and clarity. Abedin launched full steam into a college internship in the office of the First Lady in 1996, never imagining that her work at the White House would blossom into a career in public service, nor that her career would become an all-consuming way of life. She thrived in rooms with diplomats and sovereigns, entrepreneurs and artists, philanthropists and activists, and witnessed many crucial moments in 21st-century American history—Camp David for urgent efforts at Middle East peace in the waning months of the Clinton administration, Ground Zero in the days after the 9/11 attacks, the inauguration of the first African American president of the United States, the convention floor when America nominated its first female presidential candidate. Abedin’s relationship with Hillary Clinton has seen both women through extraordinary personal and professional highs, as well as unimaginable lows. Here, for the first time, is a deeply personal account of Clinton as mentor, confidante, and role model. Abedin cuts through caricature, rumor, and misinformation to reveal a crystal clear portrait of Clinton as a brilliant and caring leader, a steadfast friend, generous, funny, hardworking, and dedicated. Both/And is a candid and heartbreaking chronicle of Abedin’s marriage to Anthony Weiner, what drew her to him, how much she wanted to believe in him, the devastation wrought by his betrayals—and their shared love for their son. It is also a timeless story of a young woman with aspirations and ideals coming into her own in high-pressure jobs and a testament to the potential for women in leadership to blaze a path forward while supporting those who follow in their footsteps. Abedin’s journey through the opportunities and obstacles, the trials and triumphs, of a full and complex life is a testament to her profound belief that in an increasingly either/or world, she can be both/and. Abedin’s compassion and courage, her resilience and grace, her work ethic and mission are an inspiration to people of all ages.
Live Your Life: My Story of Loving and Losing Nick Cordero
Amanda Kloots - 2021
Entering Cedars-Sinai, there was no indication that Nick—a young man in the prime of life with no pre-existing conditions—would never return home. Diagnosed with Covid-19, this rising star—who only a few days earlier was the picture of health—soon deteriorated. Suffering a series of complications – minor heart attacks, an amputation, sepsis—he was kept alive for weeks, hooked to a ventilator, bypass machines, dialysis, and a specialized heart-lung bypass machine. Staying strong for Nick and their infant son, Elvis, Amanda shared their journey on social media, documenting Nick’s condition and the risks of Covid-19 for all ages. Her updates quickly made an impact, inspiring millions of followers around the globe who offered positive thoughts and virtual prayers, and danced each day to Nick’s hit song Live Your Life. When Nick passed away after 94 grueling days in the ICU, the world grieved for Amanda and her family’s devastating loss.Live Your Life is her and Nick’s story: of their love and fairy-tale marriage, of the disease that quickly upended it, of the fight for Nick’s survival—those sudden tragic months that permanently changed her world and ours—of her grief and how she came to terms with his death, of keeping Nick’s memory alive for Elvis and the world. Offering courage and inspiration to anyone coping with overwhelming loss and written with her sister Anna Kloots who was with her every step of this journey, Amanda’s story is a thoughtful and poignant reflection on love, hope, motherhood, and the power of community in times of hardship. In sharing her experience, she shows us that, through positivity and community, even the most impossible circumstances can be endured. Live Your Life includes 16 pages of color photos exclusive to the book.
The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel
Kati Marton - 2021
A pastor’s daughter raised in Soviet-controlled East Germany, she spent her twenties working as a research chemist, entering politics only after the fall of the Berlin Wall. And yet within fifteen years, she had become chancellor of Germany and, before long, the unofficial leader of the West. In this “masterpiece of discernment and insight” (The New York Times Book Review), acclaimed biographer Kati Marton sets out to pierce the mystery of Merkel’s unlikely ascent. With unparalleled access to the chancellor’s inner circle and a trove of records only recently come to light, she teases out the unique political genius that had been the secret to Merkel’s success. No modern leader so ably confronted Russian aggression, enacted daring social policies, and calmly unified an entire continent in an era when countries are becoming more divided. Again and again, she cleverly outmaneuvered strongmen like Putin and Trump, and weathered surprisingly complicated relationships with allies like Obama and Macron. Famously private, the woman who emerges from this “impressively researched” (The Wall Street Journal) account is a role model for anyone interested in gaining and keeping power while staying true to one’s moral convictions. At once a “riveting” (Los Angeles Review of Books) political biography, an intimate human portrait, and a revelatory look at successful leadership in action, The Chancellor brings forth one of the most extraordinary women of our time.
Unreconciled: Family, Truth, and Indigenous Resistance
Jesse Wente - 2021
He was playing softball as a child when the opposing team began to war-whoop when he was at bat. It was just one of many incidents that formed Wente's understanding of what it means to be a modern Indigenous person in a society still overwhelmingly colonial in its attitudes and institutions.As the child of an American father and an Anishinaabe mother, Wente grew up in Toronto with frequent visits to the reserve where his maternal relations lived. By exploring his family's history, including his grandmother's experience in residential school, and citing his own frequent incidents of racial profiling by police who'd stop him on the streets, Wente unpacks the discrepancies between his personal identity and how non-Indigenous people view him.Wente analyzes and gives voice to the differences between Hollywood portrayals of Indigenous peoples and lived culture. Through the lens of art, pop culture, and personal stories, and with disarming humour, he links his love of baseball and movies to such issues as cultural appropriation, Indigenous representation and identity, and Indigenous narrative sovereignty. Indeed, he argues that storytelling in all its forms is one of Indigenous peoples' best weapons in the fight to reclaim their rightful place.Wente explores and exposes the lies that Canada tells itself, unravels "the two founding nations" myth, and insists that the notion of "reconciliation" is not a realistic path forward. Peace between First Nations and the state of Canada can't be recovered through reconciliation--because no such relationship ever existed.
Sellout: The Major-Label Feeding Frenzy That Swept Punk, Emo, and Hardcore (1994–2007)
Dan Ozzi - 2021
After indie favorite Nirvana catapulted into the mainstream with its unexpected phenomenon, Nevermind, rebellion was suddenly en vogue. Looking to replicate the band’s success, major record labels set their sights on the underground, and began courting punk’s rising stars. But the DIY punk scene, which had long prided itself on its trademark authenticity and anti-establishment ethos, wasn’t quite ready to let their homegrown acts go without a fight. The result was a schism: those who accepted the cash flow of the majors, and those who defiantly clung to their indie cred. In Sellout, seasoned music writer Dan Ozzi chronicles this embattled era in punk. Focusing on eleven prominent bands who made the jump from indie to major, Sellout charts the twists and turns of the last “gold rush” of the music industry, where some groups “sold out” and rose to surprise super stardom, while others buckled under mounting pressures. Sellout is both a gripping history of the music industry’s evolution, and a punk rock lover’s guide to the chaotic darlings of the post-grunge era, featuring original interviews and personal stories from members of modern punk’s most (in)famous bands:Green DayJawbreakerJimmy Eat WorldBlink-182At the Drive-InThe DonnasThursdayThe DistillersMy Chemical RomanceRise AgainstAgainst Me!
In the Heights: Finding Home
Lin-Manuel Miranda - 2021
The show’s vibrant mix of Latin music and hip-hop captured life in Washington Heights, the Latino neighborhood in upper Manhattan. It won four Tony Awards and became an international hit, delighting audiences around the world. For the film version, director Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) brought the story home, filming its spectacular dance numbers on location in Washington Heights. That’s where Usnavi, Nina, and their neighbors chase their dreams and ask a universal question: Where do I belong? In the Heights: Finding Home reunites Miranda with Jeremy McCarter, co-author of Hamilton: The Revolution, and Quiara Alegría Hudes, the Pulitzer Prize–winning librettist of the Broadway musical and screenwriter of the film. They do more than trace the making of an unlikely Broadway smash and a major motion picture: They give readers an intimate look at the decades-long creative life of In the Heights. Like Hamilton: The Revolution, the book offers untold stories, perceptive essays, and the lyrics to Miranda’s songs—complete with his funny, heartfelt annotations. It also features newly commissioned portraits and never-before-seen photos from backstage, the movie set, and productions around the world. This is the story of characters who search for a home—and the artists who created one.
Three Pianos: A Memoir
Andrew McMahon - 2021
From beloved indie musician Andrew McMahon comes a searingly honest and beautifully written memoir about the challenges and triumphs of his childhood and career, as seen through the lens of his personal connection to three pianos.
American Baby: A Mother, a Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption
Gabrielle Glaser - 2021
In 1960s America, premarital sex was not uncommon, but birth control was hard to get and abortion was illegal. In 1961, sixteen-year-old Margaret Erle became pregnant. Her unsympathetic family sent her to a maternity home. In the hospital, nurses would not even allow her to hold her own newborn. After she was finally badgered into signing away her rights, her son vanished into an adoption agency's hold.Claiming to be acting in the best interests of all, the adoption business was founded on secrecy and lies. American Baby lays out how a lucrative and exploitative industry removed children from their birth mothers and place them with families, fabricating stories about infants' origins and destinations, then closing the door firmly between the parties forever. They struck shady deals with doctors and researchers for pseudoscientific "assessments," and shamed millions of young women into surrendering their children.Gabrielle Glaser dramatically demonstrates the expectations and institutions that Margaret was up against. Though Margaret went on to marry and raise a large family with David's father, she never stopped longing for and worrying about her firstborn. She didn't know he spent the first years of his life living just a few blocks away from her, wondering often about where he came from and why he was given up. Their tale--one they share with millions of Americans--is one of loss, love, and the search for identity.Adoption's closed records are being legally challenged in states nationwide. Open adoption is the rule today, but the identities of many who were adopted or who surrendered a child in the decades this book covers are locked in sealed files. American Baby both illuminates a dark time in our history and shows a path to justice, honesty and reunion that can help heal the wounds inflicted by years of shame and secrecy.