By Robin Lane Fox
Saint Augustine is one of the most influential figures in all of Christianity, yet his path to sainthood was by no means assured. Born in AD 354 to a pagan father and a Christian mother, Augustine spent the first thirty years of his life struggling to understand the nature of God and his world. He learned about Christianity as a child but was never baptized, choosing instead to immerse himself in the study of rhetoric, Manicheanism, and then Neoplatonism,all the while indulging in a life of lust and greed. In Augustine , the acclaimed historian Robin Lane Fox re-creates Augustine's early life with unparalleled insight, showing how Augustine's quest for knowledge and faith finally brought him to Christianity and a life of celibacy. Augustine's Confessions , a vivid description of his journey toward conversion and baptism, still serves as a model of spirituality for Christians around the world. Magisterial and beautifully written, Augustine will be the definitive biography of this colossal figure for decades to come.
By John Oller
Had People magazine been around during the Civil War and after, Kate Chase would have made its Most Beautiful" and Most Intriguing" lists every year. The charismatic daughter of Salmon P. Chase, Lincoln's treasury secretary, Kate Chase enjoyed unprecedented political power for a woman. As her widowed father's hostess, she set up a rival court" against Mary Lincoln in hopes of making her father president and herself his First Lady. To facilitate that goal, she married one of the richest men in the country, the handsome boy governor" of Rhode Island, in the social event of the Civil War. She moved easily between the worlds of high fashion, adorning herself in the most regal Parisian gowns, and politics, managing her father's presidential campaigns. "No Queen has ever reigned under the Stars and Stripes," one newspaper would write, "but this remarkable woman came closer to being a Queen than any American woman has."But when William Sprague turned out to be less of a prince as a husband, Kate found comfort in the arms of a powerful married senator. The ensuing sex scandal ended her virtual royalty after the marriage crumbled and the money disappeared, she was left only with her children and her ever-proud bearing. She became a social outcast and died in poverty, yet in her final years she would find both greater authenticity and the inner peace that had always eluded her.Kate Chase's dramatic story is one of ambition and tragedy, set against the seductive allure of the Civil War and Gilded Age, involving some of the most famous personalities in American history. In this beautifully written and meticulously researched biography, drawing on much unpublished material, John Oller captures the extraordinary life of a woman who was a century ahead of her time.
Ain't It Time We Said Goodbye
By Robert Greenfield
Although they did not know it then, when the Rolling Stones embarked on their farewell tour of Great Britain in March 1971 after having announced they were about to go into tax exile in the south of France, it was the end of an era. For the Stones, nothing would ever be the same again.For ten days on that tour, the Rolling Stones traveled by train and bus to play two shows a night in many of the same small town halls and theatres where they had begun their career. Performing brand new songs like "Bitch," "Brown Sugar," "Wild Horses," and "Can't You Hear Me Knockin'" from their as-yet-unreleased album Sticky Fingers live on stage for the very first time, they also played classics like "Midnight Rambler," "Honky Tonk Women," "Satisfaction," "Street Fighting Man," and Chuck Berry's "Little Queenie" and "Let It Rock."Because only one journalist,Robert Greenfield,was allowed to accompany the Stones on this tour, there has never before been a full-length account of the landmark event that marked the end of the first chapter of the Rolling Stones' extraordinary career.In a larger sense, Ain't It Time We Said Goodbye is the story of two artists on the precipice. For Mick Jagger and Ketih Richards, as well as those who traveled with them, the Rolling Stones' farewell tour of England was the end of the innocence. No laminates. No backstage passes. No security. No sound checks and no rehearsals. Just the Rolling Stones on the road playing rock'n' roll the way it was truly meant to be seen and heard.Based on Greenfield's first-hand account as well as new interviews with many of the key players, Ain't It Time We Said Goodbye is a vibrant and thrilling look at the way it once was and would never be again in the world according to the Rolling Stones.
By Yoko Ono
"It's nearly 50 years ago that my book of conceptual instructions Grapefruit was first published. In these pages I'm picking up where I left off. After each day of sharing the instructions you should feel free to question, discuss, and/or report what your mind tells you. I'm just planting the seeds. Have fun." - Yoko OnoLegendary avant-garde icon Yoko Ono has inspired generations of artists and performers. In Acorn, she offers enchanting and thought-provoking exercises that open our eyes-and all of our senses - to more creative and mindful ways of relating to ourselves, each other, and the planet we cohabit. Throughout this beautifully designed book are 100 black-and-white line drawings by Yoko. Like this legendary woman herself, the book is wildly original, stimulating, and hard to label: call it purposeful play, call it brain poetry, call it guided motivation, call it Zen-like incantations, call it whatever you want. But read it. Acorn may change the way you experience the world.
Another Insane Devotion
By Peter Trachtenberg
From a genuine American Dostoevsky" ( The Washington Post ): a dazzling, funny, bittersweet exploration of the mysteries of relationship, both human and animal. When his favourite cat Biscuit goes missing, Peter Trachtenberg sets out to find her. The journey takes him 700 miles and many years into his past- into the history of his relationships with cats and the history of his relationship with his wife F., who may herself be on the verge of disappearing. What ensues is a work that recalls travel narratives from The Incredible Journey to W. G. Sebald's The Rings of Saturn. Trachtenberg ponders the mysteries of feline intelligence (why do cats score worse on some tests than pigeons?), the origins of their domestication, their terrible treatment during the Middle Ages. He also looks at the riddle of why any of us loves whom we love and all the unforeseen places to which that devotion leads us.
Almost a Woman
By Esmeralda Santiago
Following the enchanting story recounted in When I Was Puerto Rican of the author's emergence from the barrios of Brooklyn to the prestigious Performing Arts High School in Manhattan, Esmeralda Santiago delivers the tale of her young adulthood, where she continually strives to find a balance between becoming American and staying Puerto Rican. While translating for her mother Mami at the welfare office in the morning, starring as Cleopatra at New York's prestigious Performing Arts High School in the afternoons, and dancing salsa all night, she begins to defy her mother's protective rules, only to find that independence brings new dangers and dilemmas.
An Improvised Life
By Alan Arkin
Alan Arkin knew he was going to be an actor from the age of five: "Every film I saw, every play, every piece of music fed an unquenchable need to turn myself into something other than what I was." An Improvised Life is the Oscar winner's wise and unpretentious recollection of the process- artistic and personal- of becoming an actor, and a revealing look into the creative mind of one of the best practitioners on stage or screen. In a manner that is direct, down-to-earth, accessible, and articulate, Arkin reveals insights not only about himself (and his audience and students), but also truths for the rest of us about work, relationships, and sense of self.
All Things at Once
By Mika Brzezinski, Perseus
As the co-host of MSNBC's popular show Morning Joe , Mika Brzezinski has established herself as a leading political news journalist and beloved television personality. But success hasn't always come easy for Mika. Growing up the only daughter of former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, she struggled to find an identity in a family of overachievers. She worked her way up the ranks of network television to surpass even her own ambitions, reaching the very top of the ladder, only to get canned less than a year later. After an unsuccessful stint as a stay-at-home mom, Mika went back to the workplace with encouragement from her eight-year-old daughter. She decided to start all over again with a beginner's job at age forty, a step back that proved to be a brilliant career move. Mika stumbled into Morning Joe and the rest is history. Now, in a time when many women are losing their jobs or struggling to find the perfect balance between work and home, Mika guides women of all ages to a place where they can find peace and fulfillment in their lives. In the tradition of Gail Sheehy's classic Passages , this illuminating book shows women how to reach their full potential in all areas of life and at every stage of their journey. Blending the personal with the prescriptive, Brzezinski's book will address the perpetual question of how to have it all" when it comes to work and family the importance of remaining equally humble in the face of great success and seemingly devastating setbacks as well as the necessity of knowing and embracing our limitations so that we may transcend them.
After The Fire
By Robin Gaby Fisher
On January 19, 2000, a fire raged through Seton Hall University's freshman dormitory, killing three students and injuring 58 others. Among the victims were Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos, roommates from poor neighbourhoods who made their families proud by getting into college. They managed to escape, but both were burned terribly. AFTER THE FIRE is the story of these young men and their courageous fight to recover from the worst damage the burn unit at Saint Barnabas hospital had ever seen. It is the story of the extraordinary doctors and nurses who work with the burned. It is the story of mothers and fathers, of faith and family and the invisible ties that bind us to each other. It is the story of the search for the arsonists--and the elaborate cover-up that nearly obscured the truth. And it is the story of the women who came to love these men, who knew that real beauty is a thing not seen in mirrors.
Alice In The Looking Glass
By Jo Kingsley, Alice Kingsley
Alice in the Looking Glass is a moving memoir written by a mother and her anorexic daughter, Alice. In the first part of the book Jo Kingsley writes with raw intensity about Alice's illness and what she hopes is her recovery. At ten, Alice was an easy-going, free-spirited child. At eleven, she started to develop her 'rigmaroles' - little rituals which grew into severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - and then, at fourteen, turned into anorexia. Jo describes her journey through 'Planet Anorexia', recognising the amazing support she received and telling of the long periods of despair, guilt, anger and, as the mother of a much-loved child, sheer terror. By writing this book her wish is to pass on her experiences as, to share all her doubts, failures, anxieties and eventually some successes in the hope of supporting other families going through the same trauma. In the second part of the book Alice, now eighteen and on the road to recovery, also looks back over the past eight years. She writes vividly and honestly about herself, her illness, her treatment and recovery. Finally, Jo brings the story up to date and offers guidance and hope to others who love and care for an anorexic child.
By Karl French
In April 1974, 500 million television viewers across Europe witnessed the bizarrely thrilling sight of four garishly-dressed unknowns from Sweden storm their way to victory in the Eurovision Song Contest. The song was 'Waterloo'. Abba had arrived.Over the next three decades, the band moved on through an almost unbroken succession of hit albums and singles. Abba have sold some 400 million records around the world, and their songs inspired a musical which since opening in October 2001 has been seen by more than 10 million people. In Abba: Unplugged, Karl French, a journalist and author specialising in popular culture, brings his inimitable wry perception to bear on the band's whole story. Born in Sweden, and raised in England, he comes to the subject as someone with first-hand knowledge of the very particular social and political climate from which Abba emerged. He has been a fan - although not necessarily an uncritical one - for three decades.
By Martin Gottfried
Arthur Miller has been delivering powerful drama to the stage for decades with such masterpieces as Death of a Salesman , The Crucible , and A View from the Bridge . But, remarkably, no one has yet told the full story of Miller's own extraordinary life-a rich life, much of it shrouded from public view. To achieve this ground-breaking portrait of the artist and the man, the award-winning drama critic and biographer Martin Gottfried masterfully draws on his interviews, on Miller's voluminous lifelong correspondence, and on the annotated scripts and notebooks that reveal Miller's creative process in stunning detail. From Miller's childhood and adolescence in Depression-era New York City to the 1947 play All My Sons that established him as a voice to be reckoned with...from his heroic defiance of the House Un-American Activities Committee during the McCarthy years to his most unlikely pairing with Marilyn Monroe: Here is a highly acclaimed book that is "compulsively readable" ( Booklist , starred review).
An Irish Childhood
By Peter Somerville-Large
Peter Somerville-Large grew up with his brother Phil in a nursery world at the top of a smart house in Dublin from which they could watch Fitzwilliam Place far below, with the horse drawn delivery vans, the animals being driven to market and their father's patients arriving to visit the consulting rooms on the ground floor. The family had houses in the country too, with livestock and vegetable gardens and a bevy of eccentric relations, among them Edith Somerville (of Somerville and Ross fame). When Peter was five, his father bought an island - 80 bare rocky acres on the north shore of the Kenmare River in County Kerry - which he saw as paradise. There were parties, sailing trips and fishing expeditions. This biography takes the reader back to the sensations and excitements of children, and paints a picture of a world at once so recent and yet now vanished.
Assuming the Position
By Rick Whitaker
Rick Whitaker divulges the complex reasons that drove him to prostitution and reflects on the cost of a life of half-truths and emotional lies. With an unsentimental eye, Whitaker chronicles his descent and eventual resolution.
By Judith Cornell
Amma is the biography of an extraordinary woman, an internationally revered spiritual leader and a powerful force for good. Her official name is Mata Amritandamayi, meaning Mother of Immortal Bliss. She is more commonly know as Ammachi or Amma, Mother. Considered as a living saint and sage by millions in her own country of India, Amma travels the world and her followers number hundreds of thousands. Judith Cornell first met Amma in 1987 and has followed her progress ever since. She writes about her subject with insight, warmth and clarity: Tells the story of Amma's birth, her harrowing childhood and her divine calling to alleviate the sufferings of humanity; Highlights her rise to prominence as a respected, international religious leader and great humanitarian who has founded schools, orphanages, ashrams, a hospital, has set up pensions for destitute women and is now building 25,000 free homes for the poor; Includes touching stories of the many miracles Amma has performed and the people whose lives she has transformed; Reveals the gruelling daily life of this modern saint and arduous world tours she undertakes
The Autobiography of Abbie Hoffman
By Abbie Hoffman, Howard Zinn, Norman Mailer
The Autobiography of Abbie Hoffman tells the story of one of America's most influential and imaginative dissidents, a major figure in the 1960s counterculture and anti-war movement who remained a dedicated political organizer right up until his death in 1989. With his unique brand of humour, wit, and energetic narrative, Abbie Hoffman describes the history of his times and provides a first-hand account of such memorable actions as the "levitation" of the Pentagon, the dropping of dollar bills onto the New York Stock Exchange floor, and the Chicago 8 Trial, which followed the demonstrations at the 1968 Democratic Convention, as well as his friendships with Jerry Rubin, Bobby Seale, Allen Ginsberg, and many others. Originally published in 1980 as Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture, this memoir has been out of print for nearly 10 years. This edition includes a new selection of photographs chosen by his widow, Johanna Lawrenson, as well as a new afterword by Howard Zinn celebrating Hoffman's enduring activist legacy.
By Ken Gormley
By October 1973 special prosecutor Archibald Cox was tracing the Watergate cover-up to the Oval Office. President Nixon demanded that he stop. In the Saturday Night Massacre" two heads of the Justice Department quit before Nixon found a subordinate (Robert Bork) willing to fire Cox. Immediately public opinion swung against the president and turned Cox into a hero,seemingly Washington's last honest man.Cox's life was distinguished well before that Saturday night. He had been a clerk for the legendary judge Learned Hand, a distinguished professor at Harvard Law School, and the Solicitor General, arguing many Supreme Court cases. He exemplified what we want lawyers to be. At its core Archibald Cox is the story of a Yankee who went to Washington but refused to leave his principles behind.
By Sissela Bok
Alva Myrdal (1902-1986), diplomat, feminist, and one of the founders of the Swedish welfare state, exemplifies in her extraordinary life the joys, the sorrows, and the achievements of women in our time. Her daughter shows us with unflinching candour how Myrdal struggled to attain in her private life the freedom and opportunity which she won for millions of other women.