By 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.
Death Need Not Be Fatal
By Malachy McCourt, Brian McDonald
In his book, DEATH NEED NOT BE FATAL, McCourt explores the role death has played and continues to play in his life and in the world. From the dead babies and starving children in the Limerick of his childhood, to Angela's famous ashes, to the deaths of McCourt's brothers Frank and Mike - and McCourt's own impending demise - the Grim Reaper has been a constant companion and reminder of what is important, and what's not.McCourt writes that, as he draws closer to death, his perception of death has become crystal clear. When it occurs, he does not plan to pass away, pass on, or cross over. He's not going to make the supreme sacrifice or come to an untidy end; he is not going to be laid to rest, meet his maker, or go to his eternal reward. He is not going to breath his last, bite the dust, kick the bucket, or buy the farm; he's not going to turn up his toes, join the silent majority, become a landowner, take a dirt nap, push up daisies, play a harp, take a taxi, give up his ghost, feed the worms, enter the sweet hereafter, or shuffle off the mortal coil. He plans to die.
By Lynn Vincent, Roger Hill
Two American war heroes find themselves on an unfamiliar battlefield--the courtroom--in this true story by the commander of Delta Company, 1/506th a.k.a. Dog Company. Captain Roger Hill is agonized over the death of two of his men; especially after realizing those responsible--12 Taliban spies--have been working on the American base. Under military regulations, Hill has 96 hours to transfer the 12 to higher authority, gain confessions, or set them free. When Hill can't get his superior to meet the deadline, he must intimidate the prisoners to confess--or risk another attack. Afterwards, Hill is charged with war crimes, making his next battle a personal one--for his honor--and for that of 1st Sergeant Tommy Scott, Hill's second in command. Combining the battle action of Band of Brothers with the courtroom drama of A Few Good Men, Hill's story will leave you impassioned, inspired and forever changed.
Digging Up Mother
By Doug Stanhope, Johnny Depp
Doug Stanhope is one of the most critically acclaimed and stridently unrepentant comedians of his generation. What will surprise some is that he owes so much of his dark and sometimes uncomfortably honest sense of humour to his mother, Bonnie. It was the cartoons in her Hustler magazine issues that moulded the beginnings of his comedic journey, long before he was old enough to know what to do with the actual pornography. It was Bonnie who recited Monty Python sketches with him, who introduced him to Richard Pryor at nine years old, and who rescued him from a psychologist when he brought that brand of humour to school. And it was Bonnie who took him along to all of her AA meetings, where Doug undoubtedly found inspiration for his own storytelling.Bonnie's own path from bartending to truck driving, massage therapy, elder abuse, stand-up comedy, and acting never stopped her from being Doug's genuine number one fan. So when her alcoholic, hoarding life finally came to an end many weird adventures later in rural Arizona, it was inevitable that Doug and Bonnie would be together for one last excursion. Digging Up Mother follows Doug's absurd, chaotic, and often obscene life as it intersects with that of his best friend, biggest fan, and love of his life,his mother. And it all starts with her death,one of the most memorable and amazing farewells you will ever read.
Death of a King
By Tavis Smiley, David Ritz
A revealing and dramatic chronicle of the twelve months leading up to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.Martin Luther King Jr. died in one of the most shocking assassinations the world has known, but little is remembered about the life he led in his final year. New York Times bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley recounts the final 365 days of King's life, revealing the minister's trials and tribulations - denunciations by the press, rejection from the president, dismissal by the country's black youth, assaults on his character, ideology, and political tactics, to name a few-all of which he had to rise above in order to lead and address the racism, poverty, and militarism that threatened to destroy our democracy.
Don't Give Up, Don't Give In
By Louis Zamperini, David Rensin
'IF YOU CAN TAKE IT, YOU CAN MAKE IT'Louis Zamperini lived one of the most amazing lives imaginable. As a young boy he was a troublemaker but his will to succeed drove him on to become an Olympian at the 1936 Games. With the outbreak of war, Louis volunteered for the army and was thrust into the violent combat of the Second World War as a B-24 bombardier. While on a rescue mission Louis's plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean, leaving him stranded and drifting 2000 miles in a small raft for 47 days. Against all the odds he survived. His struggle was just beginning: captured by the Japanese, Louis courageously endured torture in a series of prisoner-of-war camps for over two years. Not only did he survive this ordeal but he went on to spend the rest of his life helping others. Completed just days before Louis's death at age 97, Don't Give Up, Don't Give In contains a lifetime of wisdom and humour. Louis shares the wonderful lessons he has learned during his life, previously untold stories, and inspirational insights on how he overcame adversity and found the courage to never give up and never give in. Louis's story has touched millions and will forever be one of the most inspiring examples of the great resilience of the human spirit.
By Gerald Scarfe
This is a truly exceptional collection of drawings from one of our most revered cultural commentators. Gerald Scarfe began his career in the 60s working for PUNCH and PRIVATE EYE before taking a job as a political cartoonist for the DAILY MAIL. He then worked for TIME Magazine in New York before starting his long association with the SUNDAY TIMES that still exists today in the form of his weekly drawings. His varied career has seen him work with Pink Floyd (The Wall, Wish You Were Here), Roger Waters and Eric Clapton (The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking), Disney (Hercules), English National Ballet (The Nutcracker), Los Angeles Opera (Fantastic Mr Fox) as well as produce such iconic images as those for the titles of Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister. His work has featured in the New Yorker and various BBC TV films such as Scarfe on Sex and Scarfe on Class. Exhibitions of his paintings and drawings have appeared in the Tate Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. He is viewed by many as both a national treasure and a genius and this is the first collection of his work to appear for 20 years.
The Drummond Girls
By Mardi Jo Link
The eight Drummond Girls first met in 1991 at Peegeo's Food & Spirits in northern Michigan where, at the time, they were all waitresses, bartenders, or regular customers. When one of them got engaged, they celebrated with a trip to Drummond Island--their first trip together to the remote 36-mile chunk of rock, dive bars, dirt roads, and beautiful forests--and it's where they became bonded forever. They've made this voyage every year since then as a way to retain a piece of their wild youth, despite the taming influence of marriage, motherhood, and management. This year, their focus is Beverly, oldest of the Drummond Girls at 65, whose memory is beginning to lapse. Undaunted, the other women intend to help Beverly remember all they've shared--every campfire, every late night talk, every secret confided.
By D. Randall Blythe
Lamb of god vocalist D. Randall Blythe finally tells the whole incredible story of his arrest, incarceration, trial, and acquittal for manslaughter in the Czech Republic over the tragic and accidental death of a concertgoer in this riveting, gripping, biting, bold, and brave memoir.On June 27, 2012, the long-running, hard-touring, and world-renowned metal band lamb of god landed in Prague for their first concert there in two years. Vocalist D. Randall "Randy" Blythe was looking forward to a few hours off,a rare break from the touring grind,in which to explore the elegant, old city. However, a surreal scenario worthy of Kafka began to play out at the airport as Blythe was detained, arrested for manslaughter, and taken to Pankrác Prison,a notorious 123-year-old institution where the Nazis' torture units had set up camp during the German occupation of then-Czechoslovakia, and where today hundreds of prisoners are housed, awaiting trial and serving sentences in claustrophobic, sweltering, nightmare-inducing conditions.Two years prior, a 19-year-old fan died of injuries suffered at a lamb of god show in Prague, allegedly after being pushed off stage by Blythe, who had no vivid recollection of the incident. Stage-crashing and -diving being not uncommon occurrences, as any veteran of hard rock, metal, and punk shows knows, the concert that could have left him imprisoned for years was but a vague blur in Blythe's memory, just one of the hundreds of shows his band had performed over their decades-long career.At the time of his arrest Blythe had been sober for nearly two years, having finally gained the upper hand over the alcoholism that nearly killed him. But here he faced a new kind of challenge: jailed in a foreign land and facing a prison sentence of up to ten years. Worst of all, a young man was dead, and Blythe was devastated for him and his family, even as the reality of his own situation began to close in behind Pankrác Prison's glowering walls of crumbling concrete and razor wire.What transpired during Blythe's incarceration, trial, and eventual acquittal is a rock'n' roll road story unlike any other, one that runs the gamut from tragedy to despair to hope and finally to redemption. While never losing sight of the sad gravity of his situation, Blythe relates the tale of his ordeal with one eye fixed firmly on the absurd (and at times bizarrely hilarious) circumstances he encountered along the way. Blythe is a natural storyteller and his voice drips with cutting humour, endearing empathy, and soulful insight. Much more than a tour diary or a prison memoir, Dark Days is D. Randall Blythe's own story about what went down,before, during, and after,told only as he can.
By Lyndall Gordon
Lyndall Gordon was born in 1941 in Cape Town, a place from which `a ship takes fourteen days to reach anywhere that matters'. Born to a mother whose mysterious illness confined her for years to life indoors, Lyndall was her secret sharer, a child who grew to know life through books, story-telling and her mother's own writings. It was an exciting, precious world, pure and rich in dreams and imagination - untainted by the demands of reality. But a daughter grows up. Despite her own inability to leave home for long, Lyndall's mother believed in migration, a belief that became almost a necessity once the horrors of apartheid gripped their country. Lyndall loves the rocks, the sea, the light of Cape Town, but, struggling to achieve a life approved by her mother, she tries and makes a failure of living in Israel and then, back once again in her beloved South Africa she marries and moves with her husband to New York. It's in America in 1968 when suddenly Lyndall realises she cannot be, and does not want to be, the woman, the daughter and the mother her mother wants her to be. This is a wonderfully layered memoir about the expectations of love and duty between mother and daughter. The particular time and place, the people and the situation are Lyndall's, but the division between generations, the pain and the joy of being a daughter are everywoman's.
By Fionnbar Walsh
Donal Walsh first came to international attention in Ireland aged sixteen, when a letter he wrote speaking out against the suicide epidemic in young people was published in the Irish Sunday Independent. At the time Donal was dying of cancer having battled it since the age of twelve through invasive and painful chemo treatments and operations. Donal had no choice about dying - and he wanted others to see that death is not an answer. With only a few weeks to live, Donal went on television and again spoke about the importance of living and of finding help in times of trouble.A few short weeks later, on May 12th 2013, Donal lost his battle with cancer and passed away.In this sometimes heart-breaking but ultimately inspirational book we see the boy behind the illness and hear the story of how one young boy from County Kerry who, in dying, shows us how to live life.From the close bonds he had with his parents, his sister and young friends, to the unique and inspirational outlook he had on life we hear of how he came to terms with his illness and how he spent his last weeks making as much of a difference to other people's lives as he could.All Donal asked before he died was that his parents continue his legacy and the message of the importance of living life. This book is his legacy.
By Louise Mortimer
'Dearest Lumpy, I hope you are plump and well. Your mother bashed her car yesterday and chooses to believe it was not her fault...'Roger Mortimer's witty dressing-downs and affectionate advice were not only directed at his wayward son, Lupin. Though better behaved than her mischievous older brother, Louise (aka 'Lumpy') still caused her father to reach for his typewriter.The trials and tribulations of Louise's days at boarding school, her eventful wedding to Hot¬Hand-Henry and the birth of his grandchildren are all accompanied by a sometimes chiding, but always loving letter.Between these milestones, Roger gives updates on the family, pets and the local gossip, holds forth on the weather, road safety, and even suggests the best way to make a gravy soup, all in his own inimitable style.With the same unique charm and often snort-inducing humour that made Dear Lupin a bestseller, Roger Mortimer guides and supports his daughter through every scrape she found herself in. Hilarious and instantly familiar, Dear Lumpy is a perfect example of the glorious art of letter writing, and the timeless relationship between father and daughter.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
By Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Steven R. Weisman
When Daniel Patrick Moynihan died in 2003 the Economist described him as a philosopher-politician-diplomat who two centuries earlier would not have been out of place among the Founding Fathers." Though Moynihan never wrote an autobiography, he was a gifted author and voluminous correspondent, and in this selection from his letters Steven Weisman has compiled a vivid portrait of Moynihan's life, in the senator's own words. Before his four terms as Senator from New York, Moynihan served in key positions under Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford. His letters offer an extraordinary window into particular moments in history, from his feelings of loss at JFK's assassination, to his passionate pleas to Nixon not to make Vietnam a Nixon war, to his frustrations over healthcare and welfare reform during the Clinton era. This book showcases the unbridled range of Moynihan's intellect and interests, his appreciation for his constituents, his renowned wit, and his warmth even for those with whom he profoundly disagreed. Its publication is a significant literary event.
Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?
By Rhoda Janzen
What does it mean to give church a try when you haven't really tried since you were twelve? At the end of her bestselling memoir Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, Rhoda Janzen had reconnected with her family and her roots, though her future felt uncertain. But when she starts dating a churchgoer, this skeptic begins a surprising journey to faith and love.Rhoda doesn't slide back into the dignified simplicity of the Mennonite church. Instead she finds herself hanging with the Pentecostals, who really know how to get down with sparkler pom-poms. Amid the hand waving and hallelujahs Rhoda finds a faith richly practical for life--just in time for some impressive lady problems, an unexpected romance, and a quirky new family.Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? is for people who have a problem with organized religion, but can't quite dismiss the notion of God, and for those who secretly sing hymns in their cars, but prefer a nice mimosa brunch to church. This is the story of what it means to find joy in love, comfort in prayer, and--incredibly, surprisingly--faith in a big-hearted God.
David Lloyd George
By Roy Hattersley
A Welshman among the English, a nonconformist among Anglicans and a self-made man in the patrician corridors of power, David Lloyd George, the last Liberal Prime Minister of Great Britain, was the founding father of the Welfare State and was as great a peacetime leader as Churchill was in war. In this fascinating biography of an authentic radical, Roy Hattersley charts the great reforms - the first old age pension, sick pay and unemployment benefit - of which Lloyd George was architect, and also sheds light on the complexities of a man who was both a tireless champion of the poor, and a restless philanderer who was addicted to living dangerously.
The Death and Life of American Journalism
By John Nichols, Robert W McChesney
American journalism is collapsing as newspapers and magazines fail and scores of reporters are laid off across the country. Conventional wisdom says the Internet is to blame, but veteran journalists and media critics Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols disagree. The crisis of American journalism predates the Great Recession and digital media boom. What we are witnessing now is the end of the commercial news model and the opportune moment for the creation of a new system of independent journalism, one subsidized by the public and capable of safeguarding our democracy.
Drums on the Night Air
By Veronica Cecil
Veronica Cecil was twenty-five years old when her husband was offered a job at a large multi-national company in the Congo. Filled with enthusiasm for their new life, the couple and their eleven-month-old son set off for an African adventure.Very soon, however, Veronica began to realise that life in the Congo was not what she had imagined. Food shortages were an everyday occurrence; she felt like an outsider at the club in Léopoldville, which only the Belgians and other expats frequented; and flickers of violence were starting to erupt everywhere.Six months later Veronica and her family were sent to Elizabetha, a remote palm oil plantation on the banks of the Congo River. But even here paradise didn't last. Civil war broke out, and the rebels captured the neighbouring town of Stanleyville and took all the whites hostage. Despite the fact that Veronica was on the verge of giving birth, the situation was so dangerous that she and her toddler had to be evacuated. Leaving her husband and all their possessions behind, she and her son began on a two-day journey through the jungle. But on the plane back to Leopoldville, the first labour pains began...Praise for Letters From Abroad, written and read by Veronica Cecil, BBC Radio 4: '... absolutely enthralling' Daily Telegraph; 'Blending her personal memories with the wider picture, Miss Cecil effortlessly packs more into her quarter hour than many an hour long documentary...' Daily Mail.
Down Among the Dead Men
By Michelle Williams
Michelle Williams is young and attractive, she has close family ties as well as a busy social life - but she is far from usual. She is a mortuary technician and her job involves dealing with those things in life that many people do not wish to experience directly.Yet life in the mortuary is neither gruesome nor sad. Told with good humour and common sense, we are introduced to a host of characters - the pathologists, many of them eccentric, some downright mad; the undertakers, the hospital porters and the man from the coroner's office who sings to Michelle every morning.The incidents too ensure that no two days are ever the same. From the tragic to the hilarious they include: The fitness fanatic who was run over as he did pressups in the road on a dark night The decapitated motorcyclist The guide dog who led his owner on to the railway tracks - and left him there The forty stone man for whom an entire refrigerated lorry had to be hired because he wouldn't fit in the mortuary coolerOver the course of her first year Michelle has to deal with situations and emotions that few of us will ever experience, and does so while retaining a sense of humour and a sense of perspective.
A Different Life
By Jeff Himmelman, Quinn Bradlee
Ten percent of the population is affected by a learning disability, but few of us understand what being learning disabled (LD) is really like. When he was fourteen, Bradlee was diagnosed with Velo-Cardio-Facial-Syndrome (VCFS), a wide-spread, little-understood disorder that is expressed through a wide range of physical ailments and learning disabilities. In this funny, moving, and often irreverent book, Bradlee tells his own inspirational story of growing up as an LD kid,and of doing so as the child of larger-than-life, formidably accomplished parents: long-time Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee and bestselling author Sally Quinn. From his difficulties reading social cues, to his cringe-worthy loss of sexual innocence, Bradlee describes the challenges and joys of living a different life" with disarming candour and humour. By the end of A Different Life he will have become, if not your best friend, one of your favourite people.
By Sushila Anand
Daisy Warwick was an heiress in her own right and a renowned beauty when she married Lord Brooke, heir to the Earl of Warwick, in 1880 at the age of 18. But she soon embarked on a passionate affair with Lord Charles Beresford who subsequently brought her close to the Prince of Wales, with whom she had a very public liaison for eight years, and remained a lifelong friend.At the height of her wealth and fame, she suddenly converted to socialism and later even stood against Anthony Eden at the General Election of 1924.Sushilla Anand's colourful biography does full justice to the magnetic personality and glamorous life of Daisy Warwick.