Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy MartinIn Rest in Power, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, Trayvon Martin's parents, chronicle their reactions to their son's death as they recount the details of his final days, the trial of the man who killed him, and subsequent events. They build a loving portrait of their son as they relate the memories of family and friends. Telling Trayvon's story in alternating chapters, they provide information that's missing from news reports and offer food for thought in the national controversy that followed this death and the subsequent deaths in Ferguson, MO, Charleston, SC, and other places. This is a "brave, heart-rending narrative," says Kirkus Reviews in a starred review.
Steven Spielberg: A Life in Films by Molly HaskellIn this biography of award-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg, acclaimed critic Molly Haskell relates his films' content to his Jewish background, his childhood, and his development as a director. An entry in the Yale University Press Jewish Lives series, this work highlights Judaism's impact on the director's work but emphasizes the films themselves, their impact on movie audiences, and Spielberg's mastery as a director. Whether you're a Spielberg fan, a movie buff, or just curious about the man behind Jaws, E.T., and Schindler's List, don't miss this up-to-date profile of an American cultural icon.
The Perpetual Now: A Story of Amnesia, Memory, and Love by Michael D. LemonickLonni Sue Johnson was a well-known artist, a musician, and a pilot, but encephalitis left her with total amnesia and the inability to retain new memories for longer than a few minutes. In The Perpetual Now, science journalist Michael Lemonick depicts Johnson before her illness and describes her present life -- she engages in word games and still plays the viola and draws. He also explores the brain science that explains her amnesia, which is similar to that of Patient H.M. (portrayed in Luke Dittrich's book by that name). This insightful narrative presents Johnson as a vibrant, interesting human being; Oliver Sacks' fans may appreciate Lemonick's humane approach to science.
Six Encounters with Lincoln: A President Confronts Democracy and Its Demons by Elizabeth Brown PryorIn this thoroughly researched examination of incidents in Abraham Lincoln's presidency, historian Elizabeth Brown Pryor depicts six seldom-discussed events that demonstrate how he handled faux-pas and confronted political dilemmas. Drawn from the participants' reports recorded soon after the incidents, these anecdotes are unaffected by the hagiographic recollections of Lincoln after his assassination. Pryor uses them as lenses through which to view him as a complex, flawed human being, as well as tools for interpreting the conflicts arising from democracy itself. There may be more written about Lincoln than any other American figure, but Pryor presents new insights through these fascinating vignettes.
Truffle Boy: My Unexpected Journey Through the Exotic Food Underground by Ian Purkayastha with Kevin WestAt age 15, Ian Purkayastha tasted his first wild morel while learning to forage mushrooms in the woods of his native Arkansas. Then he experienced truffle-stuffed ravioli, and he's never looked back. Starting a supply business reselling Italian truffles while still in high school, he then moved to New York with dreams of reaping huge profits. Though unscrupulous partners and competitors robbed him, he managed to buy back control of his company and now (at age 23) sells truffles and other wild-foraged edibles to high-end NYC restaurants. This "compelling, moving, and memorable" (Booklist) coming-of-age memoir informatively depicts a niche business, and it's enriched with recipes related to episodes in Purkayastha's life.
Who Is That Man? In Search of the Real Bob Dylan by David DaltonThe chimerical and reclusive folk and rock icon Bob Dylan has impressed and influenced musicians and music lovers for decades, most recently winning the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. In Who Is That Man?, journalist and Rolling Stone founding editor David Dalton draws on interviews with Dylan's friends and colleagues and looks closely at Dylan's lyrics to answer that question. In "even-handed, never-boring fashion" (Kirkus Reviews), Dalton analyzes Dylan's many personae and lays some myths to rest. For an assessment based on just three major crossroads in Dylan's life, try Andrew McCarron's recent Light Come Shining.
Words Without Music: A Memoir by Philip GlassAs a young man, while striving to achieve recognition for his musical works, award-winning composer Philip Glass installed drywall, moved furniture, drove a New York City cab, and even taught himself plumbing. Glass eventually became known for his innovative approach to composition, which incorporates multicultural musical, literary, and philosophical influences. He reveals himself in Words Without Music as an engaging storyteller, creating a colloquial, vivid, and unpretentious self-portrait that will appeal to any reader -- not just classical music fans.
Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin by David RitzAretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, started her career as a child prodigy in gospel music, leaving her native Detroit for New York while still a teenager. Now, at age 75, she's regarded as one of the all-time musical greats. Acclaimed music critic David Ritz chronicles her life in Respect, starting with her Detroit roots and continuing through her early career, rise to fame, and waning popularity after disco took over the charts. Ritz also examines her personal struggles with insecurity, her weight, and alcohol, as well as the vicissitudes of the music business, while praising her support of social causes. This is a realistic and respectful assessment of a complex and immensely talented woman.
Prince: Inside the Music and the Masks by Ronin RoPrince Rogers Nelson was born in 1958 to two jazz musicians, whose limited professional success was astronomically surpassed by Prince's career. His untimely death last year at age 57 took away an iconic popular figure whose innovative productions outstripped other performers' on the Billboard charts. In this detailed biography, entertainment journalist Ronin Ro traces not only Prince's revolutionary musical career, but his phenomenal ability to win recording contracts while still a teenager and his relationships with his backup band and with younger musicians he mentored. Ro's vigorous narrative offers a vivid snapshot of the musical era that was defined by Prince's magic.
Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir by Linda RonstadtSinger Linda Ronstadt has led an amazingly normal life for someone so talented and successful. Recalling her childhood in Arizona and her family's musical heritage, her early singing work, her award-winning solo career, and her collaboration and friendships with such musicians as Rubén Fuentes, Dolly Parton, and Emmylou Harris, Simple Dreams focuses on music and what it means to Ronstadt. She discusses her reasons for choosing different paths, some of which her friends considered too risky, but most of which brought her personal satisfaction and popular and critical acclaim. This engaging and illuminating memoir will please fans of Ronstadt and readers interested in contemporary musical history.
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