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New Arrivals - Biography

January 1988. Martin Pistorius, aged twelve, fell inexplicably sick. First he lost his voice and stopped eating. Then he slept constantly and shunned human contact. Doctors were mystified. Within eighteen months he was mute and wheelchair-bound. Martin's parents were told an unknown degenerative disease left him with the mind of a baby and less than two years to live. Martin was moved to care centers for severely disabled children. The stress and heartache shook his parents' marriage and their family to the core. Their boy was gone. Or so they thought. "Ghost Boy "is the heart-wrenching story of one boy's return to life through the power of love and faith. In these pages, readers see a parent's resilience, the consequences of misdiagnosis, abuse at the hands of cruel caretakers, and the unthinkable duration of Martin's mental alertness betrayed by his lifeless body. We also see a life reclaimed, a business created, and a new love kindled.

In the midst of World War II, the Yorkshire veterinarian muses on past adventures through the Yorkshire dales, visiting with old friends and introducing scores of new characters--both human and animal.

"On his 53rd birthday, Kevin Sessums woke up in his L.A. hotel room wondering how he would get through his scheduled interview with Hugh Jackman. For years he had interviewed the bright lights: Madonna, Courtney Love, Jessica Lange, and all the other usual suspects, but Kevin knew that his rapidly unraveling life was as shallow as the hotel's hip furniture and he was hanging on by his fingertips. In I Left It on the Mountain, Sessums chronicles his early days in NY as an actor, his years working for AndyWarhol at Interview and Tina Brown at Vanity Fair, countless nights of anonymous sex, his HIV Positive diagnosis and his descent into addiction. It's also the chronicle of one man's spiritual redemption found while climbing to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro,walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostelo and trudging across the cold, lonely winter beaches of Provincetown. Peopled with the famous like Daniel Radcliffe and Diane Sawyer as well as anonymous companions corporeal and otherwise whom he met while mountain climbing and hiking, I Left It on the Mountain is the story of one man's fall and rebirth, the next moving chapter in Kevin Sessums' extraordinary life that takes him from the high to the low and back again. For readers who loved Mississippi Sissy and want to know what happened to that tenacious little boy with the baseball mitt, I Left It On the Mountain is the sometimes very dark, but ultimately hopeful answer"-- Provided by publisher.

The author pieces together the story of her absent father's life, beginning with his advancements in isolating the biochemical root of manic depression, which he then began to suffer from himself, leading to years of institutionalization and confinement.

The bestselling follow-up to Hawking's phenomenal million-copy hardcover bestseller A Brief History of Time is now available in trade paperback. These 14 pieces reveal Hawking variously as the scientist, the man, the concerned world citizen, and--always--the rigorous and imaginative thinker. Readers worldwide have come to know the work of Stephen Hawking through his phenomenal million-copy hardcover best-seller A Brief History of Time. Bantam is proud to present the paperback edition of Dr. Hawking's first new book since that event, a collection of fascinating and illuminating essays, and a remarkable interview broadcast by the BBC on Christmas Day, 1992. Hawking's wit, directness of style, and absence of pomp characterize all of them, whether he is remembering his first experience at nursery school; calling for adequate education in science that will enable the public to play its part in making informed decisions on matters such as nuclear disarmament; exploring the origins of the future of the universe; or reflecting on the history of A Brief History of Time. Black Holes and Baby Universes is an important work from one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century.

Between 1800 and 1920, an extraordinary cast of bold innovators and entrepreneurs--individuals such as Cyrus McCormick, Brigham Young, Henry Wells and James Fargo, Fred Harvey, Levi Strauss, Adolph Coors, J. P. Morgan, and Buffalo Bill Cody--helped lay the groundwork for what we now call the American West. They were people of imagination and courage, adept at maneuvering the rapids of change, alert to opportunity, persistent in their missions. They had big ideas they were not afraid to test. They stitched the country together with the first transcontinental railroad, invented the Model A and built the roads it traveled on, raised cities and supplied them with water and electricity, established banks for immigrant populations, entertained the world with film and showmanship, and created a new form of western hospitality for early travelers. Not all were ideal role models. Most, however, once they had made their fortunes, shared them in the form of cultural institutions, charities, libraries, parks, and other amenities that continue to enrich lives in the West today. Out Where the West Begins profiles some fifty of these individuals, tracing the arcs of their lives, exploring their backgrounds and motivations, identifying their contributions, and analyzing the strategies they developed to succeed in their chosen fields. Working with western scholars William J. Convery and Thomas J. Noel, Anschutz has brought a unique perspective to his subject in this engaging book of essays--Tattered Cover Bookstore summary, edited from book jacket.

The prize-winning author of Fire Season recounts the years he spent dealing with the aftermath of his brother's shocking death as he, paying tribute to the dead, unconsciously wills himself into all the wrong places.

In October 1969, William Albracht, the youngest Green Beret captain in Vietnam, took command of a remote hilltop outpost called Fire Base Kate, held by only 27 American soldiers and 150 Montagnard militiamen. He found their defenses woefully unprepared. At dawn the next morning, three North Vietnamese Army regiments crossed the Cambodian border and attacked. Outnumbered three dozen to one, Albracht's men held off repeated ground assaults by communist forces with fierce hand-to-hand fighting, air support and a dangerously close B-52 strike. Refusing to allow his men to surrender, Albracht led his troops, including many wounded, off the hill and on a daring night march through enemy lines.

"The first and only diary written by a still-imprisoned Guantánamo detainee. Since 2002, Mohamedou Slahi has been imprisoned at the detainee camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. In all these years, the United States has never charged him with a crime. Although he was ordered released by a federal judge, the U.S. government fought that decision, and there is no sign that the United States plans to let him go. Three years into his captivity Slahi began a diary, recounting his life before he disappeared into U.S. custody and daily life as a detainee"-- Provided by publisher.

"For readers of Three Cups of Tea; Eat, Pray, Love; and Wild comes the inspiring story of an ordinary American family that embarks on an extraordinary journey. Wide-Open World follows the Marshall family as they volunteer their way around the globe, living in a monkey sanctuary in Costa Rica, teaching English in rural Thailand, and caring for orphans in India. There's a name for this kind of endeavor--voluntourism--and it might just be the future of travel. Oppressive heat, grueling bus rides, backbreaking work, and one vicious spider monkey. Best family vacation ever! John Marshall needed a change. His twenty-year marriage was falling apart, his seventeen-year-old son was about to leave home, and his fourteen-year-old daughter was lost in cyberspace. Desperate to get out of a rut and reconnect with his family, John dreamed of a trip around the world, a chance to leave behind, if only just for a while, routines and responsibilities. He didn't have the money for resorts or luxury tours, but he did have an idea that would make traveling the globe more affordable and more meaningful than he'd ever imagined: The family would volunteer their time and energy to others in far-flung locales. Wide-Open World is the inspiring true story of the six months that changed the Marshall family forever. Once they'd made the pivotal decision to go, John and his wife, Traca, quit their jobs, pulled their kids out of school, and embarked on a journey that would take them far off the beaten path, and far out of their comfort zones. Here is the totally engaging, bluntly honest chronicle of the Marshalls' life-altering adventure from Central America to East Asia. It was no fairy tale. The trip offered little rest, even less relaxation, and virtually no certainty of what was to come. But it did give the Marshalls something far more valuable: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to conquer personal fears, strengthen family bonds, and find their true selves by helping those in need. In the end, as John discovered, he and his family did not change the world. It was the world that changed them. Advance praise for Wide-Open World "For anyone who has ever imagined what it would be like to pack up, unplug, pull the kids out of school, and travel around the world, this volunteer adventure is your ticket. Wide-Open World will move, engage, and inspire you, even if you never leave the couch."--Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train "John Marshall has done it, written a big, honest, charming memoir about the dream--and reality--of escaping it all, on a round-the-globe boondoggle with your family. In Wide-Open World, the pleasures are deep, the sentiments revelatory, and the voice true and funny. And best of all, you won't have to leave your armchair, or upend your life, to know what it feels like to make your way, with kids, out there in the beautiful, churning world."--Michael Paterniti, author of Love and Other Ways of Dying "Volunteering may not change the world--but as we learn in Wide-Open World, it will change you and your family. Let this heartwarming, hilarious, poignant book be your inspiration: Dare to follow in the Marshall family's footsteps, and give more of your time, effort, and heart than you ever thought possible--and watch the blessings flow!"--Sy Montgomery, author of The Good Good Pig "Compelling, richly detailed, and often laugh-out-loud funny."--Gwen Cooper, author of Homer's Odyssey"-- Provided by publisher.

"From the acclaimed author of A CASE OF CURIOSITIES, Allen Kurzweil's stranger-than-fiction "investigative memoir", detailing his 40-year-search for his boarding school bully who tied him up at the age of twelve and whipped him to the soundtrack of Jesus Christ Superstar, and who went on to lead a mad-cap life of international crime and financial fraud"-- Provided by publisher.

"Robbie Rogers knows better than most that keeping secrets can crush you. But for much of his life Robbie lived in paralyzing fear that sharing his big secret would cost him the love of his family and his career as a professional soccer player. So he never told anyone what was destroying his soul, both on and off the field. While the world around Robbie was changing with breathtaking speed, he knew that for a gay man playing a professional team sport it might as well be 1958. He could be a professional soccer player. Or he could be an out gay man. He couldn't do both. Then last year, at the age of twenty-five and after nearly stepping away from a brilliant career--one that included an NCAA Championship, winning the MLS Cup, and competing in the Olympics--he chose to tell the truth. But instead of facing the rejection he feared, he was embraced--by his family, by his teammates, and his fans. In Coming Out to Play, Robbie takes readers on his incredible journey from terrified teenager to a trailblazing out and proud professional soccer player for the L.A. Galaxy, who has embraced his new identity as a role model and champion for those still struggling with the secrets that keep them from living their dreams." -- Publisher's description.

"Between 1995 and 1999, Patton Oswalt lived with an unshakable addiction. It wasn't drugs, alcohol or sex: it was film. After moving to L.A., Oswalt became a huge film buff (or as he calls it, a sprocket fiend), absorbing classics, cult hits, and new releases at the New Beverly Cinema. Silver screen celluloid became Patton's life schoolbook, informing his notion of acting, writing, comedy, and relationships. Set in the nascent days of L.A.'s alternative comedy scene, Oswalt's memoir chronicles his journey from fledgling stand-up comedian to self-assured sitcom actor, with the colorful New Beverly collective and a cast of now-notable young comedians supporting him all along the way"--Provided by publisher.

Dancing With the Stars sensation Amy Purdy reveals the story of how losing her legs led her to find a spiritual path. When the Las Vegas native was just nineteen, she contracted bacterial meningitis and was given less than a two percent chance of survival. In a near-death experience, she saw three figures who told her: "You can come with us, or you can stay. No matter what happens in your life, it's all going to make sense in the end." In that moment, Amy chose to live.

Every autumn, Kenny Porpora would watch his mother scribble heartbroken messages on balloons, one for each family member they'd lost to addiction, and release them into the sky above Long Island. As the number of balloons grew, his mother fell deeper into alcoholism and depression, with daytime television her only respite from the sadness around them. When their house was foreclosed upon, Kenny's mother fled with him, his brother, and their beloved dog to the Arizona desert. There, they joined up with his drug-addicted uncle in his quixotic search for a better life, always seemingly one step away from the lucky break that would lift them out of poverty. What followed instead was an outlaw adolescence of constant upheaval, leaving young Kenny to outrun his family's tragic past. In the wake of unspeakable loss, Kenny turned to the mentors, writers, and poets he found to rebuild the family he lost, and eventually graduated from the Ivy League with a new life.

The lead singer of The Dresden Dolls reveals how she has used the power of social networking to meet basic survival needs, make friends, and strengthen communities by raising awareness and funds.

Focusing on a little-known event in American history that has long been kept quiet, a dramatic account exposes a secret FDR-approved American internment camp in Texas during World War II where hundreds of prisoners were exchanged for other Americans behind enemy lines in Japan and Germany.

"In The Man Who Would Not Be Washington, former White House speechwriter Jonathan Horn reveals how the officer most associated with Washington went to war against the union that Washington had forged. This extensively researched biography follows Lee through married life, military glory, and misfortune. The story that emerges is more complicated, more tragic, and more illuminating than the familiar tale. More complicated because the unresolved question of slavery--the driver of disunion--was among the personal legacies that Lee inherited from Washington. More tragic because the Civil War destroyed the people and places connecting Lee to Washington in agonizing and astonishing ways. More illuminating because the battle for Washington?s legacy shaped the nation that America is today. As Washington was the man who would not be king, Lee was the man who would not be Washington. The choice was Lee?s. The story is America?s"-- Publisher summary.

"The author of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight traces her post-divorce confrontation of an upbringing in Africa that was overshadowed by the Rhodesian wars, her complicated parents and her courtship with her ex-husband"--Publisher's description.

The legendary strategist, the mastermind behind Barack Obama's historic election campaigns, shares a wealth of stories from his forty-year journey through the inner workings of American democracy.

"This inspirational book from ABC News correspondent Mara Schiavocampo takes you on her journey of weight loss--and helps you shed pounds and find peace, health, and happiness in the process"--Amazon.com.

"No one spent more time with Barack Obama during his historic first campaign and term than 'body man' Reggie Love, whose professional coming-of-age story--from team captain of Coach K's 2001 NCAA title team through junior Senator Obama's mailroom to becoming the President's confidant, friend, and Chief of Stuff--is like no other"-- Provided by publisher.

A haunting memoir of teaching English to the sons of North Korea's ruling class during the last six months of Kim Jong-il's reign. Every day, three times a day, the students march in two straight lines, singing praises to Kim Jong-il and North Korea: Without you, there is no motherland. Without you, there is no us. It is a chilling scene, but gradually Suki Kim, too, learns the tune and, without noticing, begins to hum it. It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, the students sent to construction fields?except for the 270 students at the all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), a walled compound where portraits of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il look on impassively from the walls of every room, and where Suki has accepted a job teaching English. Over the next six months, she will eat three meals a day with her young charges and struggle to teach them to write, all under the watchful eye of the regime. Life at PUST is lonely and claustrophobic, especially for Suki, whose letters are read by censors and who must hide her notes and photographs not only from her minders but from her colleagues?evangelical Christian missionaries who don't know or choose to ignore that Suki doesn't share their faith. As the weeks pass, she is mystified by how easily her students lie, unnerved by their obedience to the regime. At the same time, they offer Suki tantalizing glimpses of their private selves?their boyish enthusiasm, their eagerness to please, the flashes of curiosity that have not yet been extinguished. She in turn begins to hint at the existence of a world beyond their own?at such exotic activities as surfing the Internet or traveling freely and, more dangerously, at electoral democracy and other ideas forbidden in a country where defectors risk torture and execution. But when Kim Jong-il dies, and the boys she has come to love appear devastated, she wonders whether the gulf between her world and theirs can ever be bridged. Without You, There Is No Us offers a moving and incalculably rare glimpse of life in the world's most unknowable country, and at the privileged young men she calls "soldiers and slaves."

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