David Sedaris - Santaland Diaries - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780349119755
    • Publication date:06 Jul 2006

Santaland Diaries

By David Sedaris

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*A collection of personal essays - surprising, disarming, heartbreakingly funny - from the No. 1 bestselling writer Time named America's Favorite Humorist.

Santaland Diaries collects six of David Sedaris's most profound Christmas stories into one slender volume perfect for use as a last-minute coaster or ice-scraper. This drinking man's companion can be enjoyed by the warmth of a raging fire, the glow of a brilliantly decorated tree, or even in the back seat of a police car. It should be read with your eyes, felt with your heart, and heard only when spoken to. It should, in short, behave much like a book. And oh, what a book it is!

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  • ISBN: 9780748123070
  • Publication date: 05 Aug 2010
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  • Imprint: Abacus
Little, Brown

Theft by Finding

David Sedaris
Authors:
David Sedaris

'He's like an American Alan Bennett, in that his own fastidiousness becomes the joke, as per the taxi encounter, or his diary entry about waiting interminably in a coffee-bar queue' Brian Logan, Guardian review of An Evening with David Sedaris. The point is to find out who you are and to be true to that person. Because so often you can't. Won't people turn away if they know the real me? you wonder. The me that hates my own child, that put my perfectly healthy dog to sleep? The me who thinks, deep down, that maybe The Wire was overrated?For nearly four decades, David Sedaris has faithfully kept a diary in which he records his thoughts and observations on the odd and funny events he witnesses. Anyone who has attended a live Sedaris event knows that his diary readings are often among the most joyful parts of the evening. But never before have they been available in print. Now, in Theft by Finding, Sedaris brings us his favorite entries. From the family home in Ralegh, North Carolina, we follow Sedaris as he sets out to make his way in the world. As an art student and then teacher in Chicago he works at a succession of very odd jobs, meeting even odder people, before moving to New York to pursue a career as a writer - where instead he very quickly lands a job in Macy's department store as an elf in Santaland... Tender, hilarious, illuminating, and endlessly captivating, Theft by Finding offers a rare look into the mind of one of our generation's greatest comic geniuses.

Little, Brown

Cast No Shadow

Mary S. Lovell
Authors:
Mary S. Lovell

The legend of Betty Pack is simple enough. She was a beautiful American spy recruited first by the British Secret lntelligence Service in 1938 and later by the American OSS. Her method of obtaining information was singular: seduction. In Cast No Shadow Mary Lovell, author of Straight On Till Morning, the internationally acclaimed and best-selling biography of Beryl Markham, gives us for the first time the complete story behind the legend of this modern-day Mata Hari, a story more astounding than the legend.Betty Pack's milieu was the aristocratic world of international diplomatic society The wife of a career British diplomat-the marriage for both partners had quickly become an arrangement of convenience, not passion - Betty would be witness to and participant in many of the most intense historic moments of the twentieth century: in civil war-torn Madrid, besieged Warsaw occupied Paris, wartime Washington. In each locale, Betty's entrée into diplomatic circles and her own penchant for seeking out men at the center of conflict made her a spy whose love of adventure was matched only by her talent for uncovering the enemy's secrets. Betty often knew what information her spymasters wanted; more important, she knew whom to approach and seduce in order to obtain it.Relying on top-secret and heretofore unrevealed documents from British Intelligence as well as on Betty's own memoir written shortly before her death, Mary Lovell offers a remarkable portrait of a woman whose adeptness for intrigue in affairs of espionage and passion is astonishing. Cast No Shadow is a story of subterfuge and romantic expediency the exposes the hidden human intrigue of World War II and the life of a woman whose contribution to the Allied effort was invaluable and unique.

Constable

Ludo and the Power of the Book

Richard Ingrams
Authors:
Richard Ingrams
Sphere

No Escape Zone

Nick Richardson
Authors:
Nick Richardson

On 16th April 1994, Nick Richardson was shot down over the beseiged Bosnian Muslim town of Gorazde, his plane hit by a surface-to-air missile. NO ESCAPE ZONE is the story of Richardson's journey to the Bosnian theatre of war and his descent into the hell of the war-torn Balkans. It recounts in graphic detail the rigorous training as his aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal steamed full tilt to the Adriatic, his missions over Bosnia and the dramatic shootdown itself. But that was merely the beginning. Picked up by Muslim forces, he rapidly learnt that nothing was what it seemed in the former Yugoslavia. When the Serbs stormed Gorazde, Richardson - now teamed with a crack SAS unit - found the Muslims turning against them. A dangerous escape became their only option, because capture meant almost certain death. An action-packed narrative in the bestselling tradition of Sabre Squadron and TORNADO DOWN, Nick Richardson's first-hand account of his breakout from the besieged town is one of the most gripping, untold escape stories of the modern era.

Constable

Homeward Bound

Peter Ames Carlin
Authors:
Peter Ames Carlin

To have been alive during the last sixty years is to have lived with the music of Paul Simon. The boy from Queens scored his first hit record in 1957, just months after Elvis Presley ignited the rock era. As the songwriting half of Simon & Garfunkel, his work helped define the youth movement of the '60s. On his own in the '70s, Simon made radio-dominating hits. He kicked off the '80s by reuniting with Garfunkel to perform for half a million New Yorkers in Central Park. Five years later, Simon's album "Graceland" sold millions and spurred an international political controversy. And it doesn't stop there.The grandchild of Jewish immigrants from Hungary, the nearly 75-year-old singer-songwriter has not only sold more than 100 million records, won 15 Grammy awards and been installed into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame twice, but has also animated the meaning?and flexibility?of personal and cultural identity in a rapidly shrinking world.Simon has also lived one of the most vibrant lives of modern times; a story replete with tales of Carrie Fisher, Leonard Bernstein, Bob Dylan, Woody Allen, Shelley Duvall, Nelson Mandela, the Grateful Dead, drugs, depression, marriage, divorce, and more. A life story with the scope and power of an epic novel, Carlin's Homeward Bound is the first major biography of one of the most influential popular artists in American history.

Virago

Darling Days

iO Tillett Wright
Authors:
iO Tillett Wright

I WAS BORN, SEPTEMBER 1985, IN THE VORTEX OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE OF NEW YORK: THERE WERE FEW RULES OF LIFE AND ZERO CONTRAINTS ON BEHAVIOUR. IF YOU WERE NOT ECCENTRIC, YOU WERE WEIRD.It was a tenement building at the centre of the drug-addled, punk-edged, permanent riot that was iO's corner of the Lower East Side of New York City in the '80s and 90's. There iO grew up - or rather scrabbled up - under the broken wing of a fiercely protective, yet wildly negligent mother.Rhonna was a showgirl, actress, dancer, poet. A widow by police murder, she was also an addict. She doted and obsessed over iO, yet lacked an understanding that a child needs food and sleep and safety.Unfolding in animated, crystalline prose, an emotionally raw, devastatingly powerful memoir of one young person's extraordinary coming of age - a tale of gender and identity, freedom and addiction, rebellion and survival in the 1980s and 1990s, when punk poverty, heroin and art collided in the urban bohemia of New York's Lower East Side.Darling Days is also a provocative examination of culture and identity, of the instincts that shape us and the norms that deform us, and of the courage and resilience of a child listening closely to their deepest self. When a group of boys refuse to let the six-year-old play ball, iO instantly adopts a new persona, becoming a boy named Ricky, a choice the parents support and celebrate. It is the start of a profound exploration of gender and identity through the tenderest years, and the beginning of a life invented and reinvented at every step.Alternating between the harrowing and the hilarious, Darling Days is the candid, tough, and stirring memoir of a young person in search of an authentic self as family and home life devolve into chaos until iO escapes to Germany and then England to become an amazingly talented, exciting, edgy artist and wonderful writer.

Abacus

Every Time a Friend Succeeds Something Inside Me Dies

Jay Parini
Authors:
Jay Parini

An intimate yet frank biography of Gore Vidal, one of the most accomplished, visible and controversial American novelists and cultural figures of the past century. The product of thirty years of friendship and conversation, Jay Parini's biography probes behind the glittering surface of Vidal's colourful life to reveal the complex emotional and sexual truth underlying his celebrity-strewn life. But there is plenty of glittering surface as well - a virtual Who's Who of the American Century, from Eleanor Roosevelt on down.The life of Gore Vidal was an amazingly full one; a life of colourful incident, famous people and lasting achievements that calls out for careful evocation and examination. Through Jay Parini's eyes and words comes an accessible, entertaining story that puts the life and times of one of the great American figures of the post-war era into context, that introduces the author to a generation who didn't know him before and looks behind-the-scenes at the man and his work in frank ways never possible before his death. Parini, provided with unique access to Vidal's life and his papers, excavates buried skeletons, but never loses sight of his deep respect for Vidal and his astounding gifts.

Hachette Audio

Meet David Sedaris: Series Five

David Sedaris
Authors:
David Sedaris
Abacus

Bigger Deal

Anthony Holden
Authors:
Anthony Holden

Fifteen years on from Anthony Holden's undisputed classic BIG DEAL, the poker world has changed beyond recognition. When Holden played in the 1988 World Series of Poker there were 167 entrants competing for a prize of $270,000. At the 2006 WSOP, where this book climaxes, there were 8773 players and a first prize of some $12 million - the richest in any sport. What happened in the years between BIG DEAL and BIGGER DEAL is simple: thanks to the Internet and television there has been a worldwide explosion in the popularity of poker. The game even has a new respectable image, much to the disgust of die-hard players. Gone are the seedy, smoky rooms of the Horseshoe, and celebrities now crowd the tables at huge Las Vegas tournaments: Martin Sheen, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are all dedicated players. In the UK, LATE NIGHT POKER draws some 2 million viewers (Holden was banned from the last series for doing too well). In BIGGER DEAL, Holden is your guide - and the only guide you'll need - to the world of new poker as he prepares to enter the WSOP once again. Will he win the title? Place your bets ...

Virago

What Language Do I Dream In?

Elena Lappin
Authors:
Elena Lappin

Elena Lappin's life could be described as 'five languages in search of an author'. She now lives in London, but she was born in Russia and has lived in Czechoslovakia, Germany, Israel, Canada, and the United States. As a multiple émigré, her decision to write in English was the unexpected result of many wanderings, and this memoir tells the story of finding a voice in a language that is not one's own. Russian, Czech, German, Hebrew, and finally English: how do they, and the family roots and cultures they represent define who she is, and how has adopting English allowed her to be a writer?The story of Lappin's identity is unexpectedly complicated by the discovery, in middle age, that her biological father was an American living in Russia. Their encounter introduces an element of mystery to the search for her roots, and a surprise: suddenly, English is more than the accidental 'home in exile' - it is the language she may have been close to from the very beginning.

Little, Brown Young Readers US

I Will Always Write Back

Caitlin Alifirenka, Martin Ganda
Authors:
Caitlin Alifirenka, Martin Ganda

It started as an assignment. Everyone in Caitlin's class wrote to an unknown student somewhere in a distant place. Martin was lucky to even receive a pen-pal letter. There were only ten, and forty kids in his class. But he was the top student, so he got the first one.That letter was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives. In this compelling dual memoir, Caitlin and Martin recount how they became best friends--and better people--through their long-distance exchange. Their story will inspire readers to look beyond their own lives and wonder about the world at large and their place in it.

Abacus

Gurkha

Colour-Sergeant Kailash Limbu
Authors:
Colour-Sergeant Kailash Limbu
Abacus

William Shakespeare

Anthony Holden
Authors:
Anthony Holden
Virago

Food And Loathing

Betsy Lerner
Authors:
Betsy Lerner

In FOOD AND LOATHING a bright, chubby girl believes that thinness is next to godliness and so attends one of the first meetings of Overeaters Anonymous in 1975. Her twenties are marked by yo-yo dieting, depressive episodes and a sadistic shrink. Then, just as her dream of being a writer is within reach, entering Columbia's prestigious MFA program, she spirals into a suicidal depression and lands for a six-month stay at New York State Psychiatric Institute. There a young resident helps her take her first steps towards selfhood, unravelling the self-loathing of an eating disorder coupled with a paralysing mood disorder. He also helps her confront a tragic family secret whose silence had enveloped an otherwise average Jewish middle-class family. FOOD AND LOATHING is a book about how people use food to narcotise, to love and to escape. It's about therapy - the good, the bad, and the down right destructive - and about every woman who spends too much of her life thinking about her weight and how she can forgive herself for living - and even learn to love.

Virago

True To Both My Selves

Katrin Fitzherbert
Authors:
Katrin Fitzherbert

TRUE TO BOTH MY SELVES is an extraordinary account of a childhood disjointed by country and by war. Curiously mirroring her English grandmother, who married a German hairdresser in London and was then expelled to Germany following the First World War, Katrin Fitzherbert was born in Germany in 1936 and lived under Hitler's regime until, at the age of eleven, she was suddenly 'repatriated' to an England she had never known. There she had to forget her German father and the German language. This is the story of three generations of remarkable women, and their struggle for survival and integrity as individuals in times divided by war.

Sphere

Rogue Trader

Nick Leeson
Authors:
Nick Leeson

When Leeson was arrested in 1995 for bringing Barings Bank to its knees, it initially seemed as if he had single-handedly crushed the company. Indeed, it was he alone who found himself in the dark confines of a Singapore jail, from where he wrote Rogue Trader. Now updated for the twentieth anniversary of the collapse of Barings, this is his story of a broken system; of a cast of characters blind to anything but profits - whatever the cost. Leeson's tale of boom and bust is an important reminder of the immense power the banking system held and, worryingly, still holds.

Little, Brown

Amazing Grace

Richard Tomlinson
Authors:
Richard Tomlinson
Sphere

Left For Dead

Beck Weathers
Authors:
Beck Weathers

Anyone who has read Jon Krakauer's famous account of the 1996 Everest disaster, INTO THIN AIR, will remember the story of Beck Weathers: the gregarious Texan climber who went snow-blind in the Death Zone below the summit and who spent a night out in the open during a blizzard that took the lives of a dozen colleagues and friends.Even as he staggered back into Camp 4 the next morning, Beck's condition was such that the other survivors assumed he would not make it back down the mountain. He was effectively left for dead, but drawing upon reserves of determination and courage he didn't know he had - as well as the extraordinary selflessness and bravery of a Nepalese helicopter pilot he'd never met - he finally made it to safety. Only then could a new battle begin: to rebuild his life with a family he'd taken for granted for too long.Heartstoppingly exciting and ultimately very moving, LEFT FOR DEAD is a terrific read.

Sphere

Born Survivors

Wendy Holden
Authors:
Wendy Holden
Virago

Nothing Sacred

Angela Carter
Authors:
Angela Carter

In the pursuit of magnificence, nothing is sacred,' says Angela Carter, and magnificence is indeed her own achievement. One of the most acclaimed novelists of her generation, her work as a journalist and critic was no less original. Long autobiographical pieces on her life in South Yorkshire and South London are followed by highly individual inspections of 'abroad'. Some of her most brilliant writing is devoted to Japan - exotically and erotically described here - so perfectly suited to the Carter pen. Domestically, Angela Carter used her mordant wit and accurate eye to inspect England and Englishness as it manifested itself throughout the land. Then she turns to her own craft, and her extraordinarily wide-ranging book reviews are masterpieces.