By Jimmy McDonough
With songs like "Love and Happiness," "I'm Still in Love with You," and "Tired of Being Alone," Al Green is considered by many to be the greatest soul singer of all time. He has sold more than 20 million records, been sampled by countless hip-hop artists, and even had President Obama singing his tunes. One of the most intricate and elusive figures in popular music, Green has never been scrutinized in print successfully-until now.Soul Survivor is the biography of a man whose life is the embodiment of the collision between the sacred and the profane, traversing the tortured road Green roamed from gospel to secular and back again. Readers bear witness to some of the greatest music ever recorded and the never-before-told story of Green's label, Hi Records.
Sober Stick Figure
By Amber Tozer
Sober Stick Figure is a memoir from stand-up comedian Amber Tozer, chronicling her life as an alcoholic and her eventual recovery, starting with her first drink at the age of seven,all told with the help of childlike stick figures. Amber writes and illustrates the crazy and harsh truths of being raised by alcoholics, becoming one herself, stagnating in denial for years, and finally getting sober. As a teenager, Amber is an overachieving student athlete who copes with her family's alcoholic tragedies by focusing on her achievements. It quickly takes a funny and dark turn when she starts to experiment with booze and ignores the warning signs of alcoholism. Through blackouts, cringe-worthy embarrassments, and pounding hangovers, she convinces herself that she just likes to party." She leaves her hometown of Pueblo, Colorado to follow her dreams, and ends up in New York City, spending lots of time binge drinking, passing out on trains, and telling jokes on stage. She then moves to Los Angeles, thinking sunshine and show business will save her. Eventually hitting rock bottom, she has a moment of clarity, and knows she has to stop drinking. It's now been seven years since that last drink, and she's ready to tell her story. Sober Stick Figure is adventurous, hilarious, sad, sweet, tragic,and ultimately inspiring.
Suck and Blow
By Dean Budnick, John Popper
Hailed by many as the world's greatest harmonica player, John Popper has redefined the instrument. As the lead singer and principal songwriter of Blues traveller, Popper has performed for more than 30 million people over 2,000 live dates and composed such radio staples as "Hook," "But Anyway," and "Run-Around," the longest-charting single in Billboard history. He has appeared with Eric Clapton and B. B. King at the White House, welcomed the Hungarian ambassador to the stage, and inducted Carlos Santana into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.In Suck and Blow , Popper shares a candid, spirited account of his life and career. A straight-F student at Princeton High School, Popper's life changed with one serendipitous harmonica solo that captured the attention of his mercurial band teacher (the same teacher whose life was later fictionalized in the Academy award-winning film Whiplash ). After befriending three fellow musicians with whom he would form Blues traveller, Popper's academic career nearly ended in twelfth grade, until a meeting with the Dean of the New School for Social Research in which Popper pulled out his trusty harp and played his way into college.Popper and Blues traveller soon became enmeshed in the lower Manhattan music scene of the late 1980s, eventually becoming the house band at the fabled Wetlands Preserve and embarking on a journey that would one day land the group at Madison Square Garden on New Year's Eve. Along the way, Popper and his cohorts commanded the attention of fans and bands alike, through inspired performances and riotous debauchery.Popper's unique perspective on the music business began under the tutelage of Blues traveller's mentor and manager Bill Graham. After the rock impresario's untimely passing, Popper applied many of Graham's lessons to the formation of the H.O.R.D.E. tour, which John co-owned and hosted over eight years, welcoming such artists as Neil Young, the Allman Brothers Band, Phish, Dave Matthews Band, Ziggy Marley, and his longtime friends the Spin Doctors.Popper also shares a forthright assessment of his longstanding battle with obesity. Plagued by weight problems since childhood, a motorcycle accident a few years into his career confined him to a wheelchair for two years while his weight ballooned to 436 pounds. Angioplasty, gastric bypass surgery, and a tattoo on his chest that reads "I Want to Be Brave" when viewed in the mirror are products of Popper's struggle, compounded by codependency issues and the untimely death of founding Blues traveller bassist Bobby Sheehan.Popper's personal identity is entwined with his political passions. A staunch supporter of gun rights, he has performed at the National Republican Convention, yet he also maintains liberal positions on social issues. He will reconcile these views and share his encounters with the Bush family, the Clintons, the Gores, and other politicos.The iconoclastic, self-described Johnny Appleharp also dishes on cutting contests, Twitter trolls, party fouls, and prostitutes.In Suck and Blow , John Popper does it all with his signature honesty, humility, and humour.
By Marion Grodin
Marion Grodin, daughter of funnyman Charles Grodin, knows firsthand that laughter is truly the best medicine, having not only survived breast cancer and divorce, but also, various addictions-including an inappropriate relationship with Haagen Dazs. Her hilarious riffs include; the story of growing large breasts that appeared seemingly overnight (Unfortunately this happened during the summer that she spent on the set of King Kong with her father and Jeff Bridges on whom she developed a huge crush); Her post divorce life, its slight weight gain and how she relied on her wise support group, her cats 'BabyFighter' Edmond and 'fashionably sporty, forensic expert' Snuggles. In this cleverly written memoir Marion integrates her diverse and challenging life experiences and unstoppable ability to make everything funny in a way that is both entertaining and helpful. She hopes that her book will send a message to those who feel they are misfits and to those locked in addiction: there is a way out - and life can be very good when you kick the habit.
By Jen Larsen
Jen Larsen always thought that if she could only lose some weight, she would be unstoppable. She was convinced that once she found a way to not be fat any more, she would have the perfect existence she'd always dreamed of. When diet after diet failed, she decided to try bariatric surgery, and it worked better than she ever could have dreamed: she lost 180 pounds. As the weight fell away, though, Larsen realized that getting skinny was not the magical cure she thought it would be,and suddenly, she wasn't sure who she was anymore. Stranger Here is the brutally honest, surprisingly hilarious story of one woman's journey from one extreme of the weight spectrum to the other, and of the unexpected emotional chaos it created. Insightful and unsparing in her self-examination, Larsen depicts the exhilarating highs and devastating lows she experienced as a result of her weight loss,the incredible joy of finally beginning to look like the image of herself she's always carried inside her head, and the crushing pain and confusion of feeling like a stranger in her own body after losing the weight that has always defined her.
Songs of Blood and Sword
By Fatima Bhutto
In September 1996, fourteen-year-old Fatima Bhutto shielded her baby brother while shots rang out outside the family home in Karachi. This was the evening that her father, Murtaza, was assassinated. It was the latest in a long line of tragedies for one of the world's best-known political dynasties. Songs of Blood and Sword tells the story of a family of feudal landlords who became power brokers in the newly created state of Pakistan. It is an epic tale of intrigue and the international political elite, the making of modern Pakistan, and, ultimately, tragedy. It is also a book about a daughter's love for her father and her search to uncover the truth of his life and death.
By Avis Cardella
Growing up, Avis Cardella devoured her mother's fashion magazines; the images seemed to promise a glamorous existence. In real life, her relationship with clothing and shopping grows into an obsession. Cardella shops to define herself and, paradoxically, to lose herself and before long, it becomes a dangerous addiction. She forgoes food for Prada. Credit card debt blooms like the ever-increasing pile of unworn shoes and clothing in the back of her closet. Life presents some hard lessons about money, men and the price of trying to keep up appearances. SPENT is Avis Cardella's timely, deeply personal and shockingly dramatic exploration of our cultural need to spend, and of what happens when someone is consumed by the desire to consume.
Surviving With Wolves
By Misha Defonseca
One of the most extraordinary and poignant survival stories to come out of World War II. Misha was only six years old when her Jewish parents were taken away from their home in Belgium by the Nazis. She was given a new name, a new home, and forced into a new religion. No one told her why her parents were no longer with her, only that they had gone East. So one day, equipped only with a tiny compass and a few provisions, she set out East to find them. Alone, Misha crossed Belgium, Germany and Poland on foot - hiding in woods, stealing scraps of food - until, close to starvation, she was adopted by a family of wolves. She ate and played with the wolf cubs, and was protected by their mother. Thanks to the wolves, she survived the war, and eventually found her way home via the Ukraine, Romania and Italy.
The Sea's Bitter Harvest
By Douglas A. Campbell
In the course of thirteen days in January 1999, four commercial clam boats sank in horrifying succession while working the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, taking the lives of ten men. Husbands, fathers, loners, and drug users, each man was lured to the nation's most dangerous trade by the lucrative wages offered to those who dared to reap the harvest of the ocean. In this compelling maritime tale of risk and danger, acclaimed journalist Douglas Campbell compassionately portrays the destinies of the men who lost their lives to the Atlantic and the lure of profits from clamming. From the tough and sometimes troubled young men on deck to their families on shore, and the courageous people who tried to rescue them, this narrative memorializes a way of life, and exposes the hazards of this dangerous trade.
Sarah Orne Jewett
By Paula Blanchard
Best known for her masterpiece, The Country of the Pointed Firs , Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) is a writer with enormous resonance for our time. Our fascination with place, with traditional values, and our yearning for a rural utopia all find fulfillment in Jewett's portrayal of the "grand and simple lives" of coastal Maine. In this delicious portrait, Paula Blanchard (biographer of Margaret Fuller and Emily Carr) plunges us into New England literary life in turn-of-the-century Boston, into the circles of Henry James, Lowell, Howell, Whittier, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. She delves into Jewett's close friendships with women, from the young Willa Cather and the flamboyant "Mrs. Jack" Gardner, and especially to Annie Fields, her partner in a sustaining "Boston marriage." Her enthralling and insightful glimpses into Jewett's fiction will send readers racing back to a writer of whose work Kipling said "it is the very life."
The Scottish 100
By Duncan A. Bruce
This compendium of biographical portraits includes names like Robert the Bruce, Andrew Carnegie, John Knox, John Marshall, Ulysses S. Grant, Edvard Grieg, Martha Graham, Jackson Pollock, and Thomas Edison, whose achievements have won national freedom, built empires, reformed religion, defined justice, become presidents, composed music, revolutionized dance, redefined art, made pictures move, and built engines run by steam,along with ninety more Scots worldwide who have altered the way all of us live our lives.
By Roy Wilkins, Tom Mathews
History will remember Roy Wilkins (1901-1981) as one of the great leaders of the twentieth century for his contributions to the advancement of civil rights in America. For nearly half a century,first as assistant secretary, also succeeding W. E. B. Dubois as editor of The Crisis , and finally succeeding Walter White as executive director,Roy Wilkins served and led the N.A.A.C.P. in their fight for justice for African Americans. Wilkins was a relentless pragmatist who advocated progressive change through legal action. He participated or led in the achievement of every major civil rights advance, working for the integration of the army, helping to plan and organize the historic march on Washington, and pushing every president from Franklin Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter to implement civil rights legislation. This is a dramatic story of one man's struggle for his people's rights, as well as a vivid recollection of the events and the people that have shaped modern black history.