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New Arrivals - Biography

In 2010, a nineteen-year-old super-fan rushed the stage during a Lamb of God concert in Prague. To protect himself, singer Randy Blythe pushed the fan away. Unbeknownst to Blythe, the young man hit his head on the floor when he fell and later died from the injury. Blythe was promptly incarcerated on charges carrying a prison term of five to ten years. Thirty-seven days later, he was released on bail to await trial. Although legal experts told him not to return to the Czech Republic to face the charges, Blythe explained that he "could not run away from this problem while the grieving family of a dead young man searched hopelessly for answers that [he] might help provide." After a five-day trial, he was acquitted on March 5, 2013.

"Girl in the Woods is Aspen Matis's exhilarating true-life adventure of hiking from Mexico to Canada-- a coming of age story, a survival story, and a triumphant story of overcoming emotional devastation. On her second night of college, Aspen was raped by a fellow student. Overprotected by her parents who discouraged her from telling of the attack, Aspen was confused and ashamed. Dealing with a problem that has sadly become all too common on college campuses around the country, she stumbled through her first semester - a challenging time made even harder by the coldness of her college's "conflict mediation" process. Her desperation growing, she made a bold decision: She would seek healing in the freedom of the wild, on the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail leading from Mexico to Canada. In this inspiring memoir, Aspen chronicles her journey, a five-month trek that was ambitious, dangerous, and transformative. A nineteen-year-old girl alone and lost, she conquered desolate mountain passes and met rattlesnakes, bears, and fellow desert pilgrims. Exhausted after each thirty-mile day, at times on the verge of starvation, Aspen was forced to confront her numbness, coming to terms with the sexual assault and her parents' disappointing reaction. On the trail and on her own, she found that survival is predicated on persistent self-reliance. She found her strength. After a thousand miles of solitude, she found a man who helped her learn to love and trust again - and heal. Told with elegance and suspense, Girl in the Woods is a beautifully rendered story of eroding emotional and physical boundaries to reveal the truths that lie beyond the edges of the map"--provided by publisher.

In her revelatory and redemptive memoir, Beverly Johnson, the first African American supermodel to grace the cover of Vogue, recounts her career in her own passionate and deeply honest voice. She chronicles her childhood as a studious, and sometimes bullied, bookworm during the sixties. She left college to pursue modeling and a successful three-decade career followed. Amid glamorous tales of the hard partying of the 1970s and Hollywood during the eighties, she details her many encounters and friendships with the likes of Jackie Kennedy, Halston, Calvin Klein, Andy Warhol, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson, Eddie Murphy, Jack Nicholson, Keith Richards, and Warren Beatty. But she also reveals the demons she wrestled with--her struggles with racism, drug addiction, and an abusive marriage followed by divorce proceedings which tested her fortitude and sanity. She shares for the first time intimate details surrounding her love affair with the late tennis icon Arthur Ashe, and pays homage to her mentor, the late Naomi Sims, while lifting the veil off the complicated and often tense relationships among models. Familiar names from the catwalk, such as Pat Cleveland and Iman, illustrate how each had to fight not just the system, but each other, in order to survive. More than five hundred magazine covers later, Johnson is now a successful businesswoman, actress, women's advocate, and philanthropist. This no-holds-barred look at the lives of the rich, fabulous, and famous is also a story of failure and success in the upper echelons of the fashion world, and how Beverly Johnson emerged from her struggles smarter, happier, and stronger than ever.

The name Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. (1867--1932) is synonymous with the decadent revues that the legendary impresario produced at the turn of the twentieth century. These extravagant performances were filled with catchy tunes, high-kicking chorus girls, striking costumes, and talented stars such as Eddie Cantor, Fanny Brice, Marilyn Miller, W. C. Fields, and Will Rogers. After the success of his Follies, Ziegfeld revolutionized theater performance with the musical Show Boat (1927) and continued making Broadway hits -- including Sally (1920), Rio Rita (1927), and The Three Musketeers (1928) -- several of which were adapted for the silver screen. In this definitive biography, authors Cynthia Brideson and Sara Brideson offer a comprehensive look at both the life and legacy of the famous producer. Drawing on a wide range of sources -- including Ziegfield's previously unpublished letters to his second wife, Billie Burke (who later played Glinda the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz ), and to his daughter Patricia -- the Bridesons shed new light on this enigmatic man. They provide a lively and well-rounded account of Ziegfeld as a father, a husband, a son, a friend, a lover, and an alternately ruthless and benevolent employer. Lavishly illustrated with over seventy-five images, this meticulously researched book presents an intimate and in-depth portrait of a figure who profoundly changed American entertainment.

"a collection of humorous, autobiographical essays from Kunal Nayyar, best known as Raj on CBS?s #1 hit comedy The Big Bang Theory"--Amazon.com

"At once incendiary and icy, mischievous, and provocative, celebratory and elegiac, a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, and American culture through the prism of the author's rarefied upbringing and education among a black elite concerned to distance itself from whites and the black generality, while tirelessly measuring itself against both. Born in upper-crust black Chicago--her father was for years head of pediatrics at Provident, at the time the nation's oldest black hospital; her mother was a socialite--Margo Jefferson has spent most of her life among (call them what you will) the colored aristocracy, the colored elite, the blue-vein society. Since the nineteenth century they have stood apart, these inhabitants of Negroland, "a small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a certain amount of privilege and plenty." Reckoning with the strictures and demands of Negroland at crucial historical moments--the civil rights movement, the dawn of feminism, the fallacy of post-racial America--Jefferson brilliantly charts the twists and turns of a life informed by psychological and moral contradictions"-- Provided by publisher.

Missouri's first female senator recounts her coming-of-age in a political family at a time when women were held back from their ambitions, describing her failed first marriage, her unconventional choices in office, and her relationships with fellow politicians.

"In Furiously Happy, bestselling author Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. But terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

"From the author of a lot of emails and several Facebook posts, a laugh-out-loud, true story of how a quarter-life crisis led to adventure, freedom, and love on a tiny island in the Pacific. In his mid-twenties, Alex Sheshunoff had his own internet start-up and had made national news. But he was also burned-out. So he bought a one-way ticket to the island of Yap, giving up everything he was supposed to want in search of all the things he never knew he needed. Along the way, he answered some important questions and some less essential ones too, such as: 1. How much, per pound, should you expect to pay a priest to fly you to the outer islands of Yap? 2. If you could have just one movie on a remote Pacific island, what would it definitely not be? 3. How do you blend fruity drinks without a blender? 4. Is a free one-hour class from Home Depot on 'flower box construction' sufficient training to build a house? While in the Pacific, Alex learned a lot. About making big choices and big changes. About the parts of Paradise that don't make it into the brochures. About the locals and expats he encountered, offended, and befriended. And, most of all, about focusing on what you actually care about. Now Alex shares his incredible story in a book that will surprise you, make you laugh, take you to such unforgettable islands as Angaur and Pig, and perhaps inspire you to find your own little place in the sun"-- Provided by publisher.

"A portrait in her own words of the female Lawrence of Arabia. One of the great woman adventurers of the twentieth century and the chief architect of British policy in the Middle East after World War I, Gertrude Bell turned her back on Victorian society to study at Oxford and travel the world. Mountaineer, archaeologist, Arabist, writer, poet, linguist, and spy, she dedicated her life to championing the Arab cause and was instrumental in drawing the borders that define today's Middle East. As she wrote in one of her letters, "It's a bore being a woman when you are in Arabia." Forthright and spirited, opinionated and playful, and deeply instructive about the Arab world, this volume brings together Bell's letters, military dispatches, diary entries, and travel writings to offer an intimate look at a woman who shaped nations"--Back cover.

A chronicle of the author's hardscrabble childhood in rural western New York State describes the family members, first friendships, and early experiences with death that shaped her literary career.

"In this heart-wrenching memoir, former NFL star Kermit Alexander tells the devastating true story of the horrific massacre of his family and his subsequent years of despair, followed by a spiritual renewal that showed him a way to rebuild his family and reclaim his life. On the morning of August 31, 1984, in the South Central section of Los Angeles, three armed men broke into a house, brutally murdering two women and two young boys. The victims were Ebora Alexander, Dietra Alexander, Damani Garner, and Damon Bonner - the mother, sister, and nephews of retired All-Pro cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers Kermit Alexander. In his own words, Kermit Alexander finally shares the full story of what happened to his loved ones and the aftermath of that tragic day. He recounts the hours leading up to the massacre, and how afterward he lost himself in the LA underworld, pleading, bribing, and threatening in a search for answers. He describes his journey through the "wilderness" of despair - the years of isolation living out of his car, broke, depressed, and sick. We also learn about his coming-of-age in 1950s LA, the following decade he spent in the NFL, the events leading up to that fateful August day, and finally the shocking truth behind the murders. Kermit opens up about his darkest hours, but also what it took to turn his life around, rebuild his family, and ultimately find peace. Ominous and intense, powerful and uplifting, tragic and triumphant, The Valley of the Shadow of Death is more than a rendering of one man's adversity; it's testament to the value of family and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming loss"--Provided from publisher.

A memoir from online entertainment mogul, actress, and queen of the geeks Felicia Day, who explores her unusual upbringing, her rise to Internet-stardom, and embracing her individuality to find success in Hollywood.

Follows the true story of a young Jewish woman who vanished into the city and lived under an assumed identity, relying on safe houses, foreign workers, and communists in order to survive in World War II Berlin.

A former Olympic athlete and high-end escort reveals her struggles with manic depression, exploring how mental illness both drove her competitively and painfully challenged her personal life.

"The life and times of the wealthiest man who ever lived--Jacob Fugger--the Renaissance banker who revolutionized the art of making money and established the radical idea of pursuing wealth for its own sake. Jacob Fugger lived in Germany at the turn of the sixteenth century, the grandson of a peasant. By the time he died, his fortune amounted to nearly two percent of European GDP. Not even John D. Rockefeller had that kind of wealth. Most people become rich by spotting opportunities, pioneering new technologies, or besting opponents in negotiations. Fugger did all that, but he had an extra quality that allowed him to rise even higher: nerve. In an era when kings had unlimited power, Fugger had the nerve to stare down heads of state and ask them to pay back their loans--with interest. It was this coolness and self-assurance, along with his inexhaustible ambition, that made him not only the richest man ever, but a force of history as well. Before Fugger came along it was illegal under church law to charge interest on loans, but he got the Pope to change that. He also helped trigger the Reformation and likely funded Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe. His creation of a news service, which gave him an information edge over his rivals and customers, earned Fugger a footnote in the history of journalism. And he took Austria's Habsburg family from being second-tier sovereigns to rulers of the first empire where the sun never set. The ultimate untold story, The Richest Man Who Ever Lived is more than a tale about the richest and most influential businessman of all time. It is a story about palace intrigue, knights in battle, family tragedy and triumph, and a violent clash between the 1 percent and everybody else. To understand our financial system and how we got it, it pays to understand Jacob Fugger"-- Provided by publisher.

"It's 1933 and Prohibition has given rise to the American gangster--now infamous names like Bonnie and Clyde and John Dillinger. Bank robberies at gunpoint are commonplace and kidnapping for ransom is the scourge of a lawless nation. With local cops unauthorized to cross state lines in pursuit and no national police force, safety for kidnappers is just a short trip on back roads they know well from their bootlegging days. Gangster George "Machine Gun" Kelly and his wife, Kathryn, are some of the most celebrated criminals of the Great Depression. With gin-running operations facing extinction and bank vaults with dwindling stores of cash, Kelly sets his sights on the easy-money racket of kidnapping. His target: rich oilman, Charles Urschel.Enter J. Edgar Hoover, a desperate Justice Department bureaucrat who badly needs a successful prosecution to impress the new administration and save his job. Hoover's agents are given the sole authority to chase kidnappers across state lines and when Kelly bungles the snatch job, Hoover senses his big opportunity. What follows is a thrilling 20,000 mile chase over the back roads of Depression-era America, crossing 16 state lines, and generating headlines across America along the way--a historical mystery/thriller for the ages.Joe Urschel's The Year of Fear is a thrilling true crime story of gangsters and lawmen and how an obscure federal bureaucrat used this now legendary kidnapping case to launch the FBI"-- Provided by publisher.

He's the sort of actor who can do Hamlet and Charlie's Angels in the same year. He shuns managers and agents and once agreed to voice the part of Garfield because he mistakenly believed it was a Coen brothers film. Bill Murray's extraordinary career is rich with fascinating anecdotes, contradictions, and mystery, from his early success on Saturday Night Live and the biggest blockbusters of the 1980s (Caddyshack, Stripes, Tootsie, Ghostbusters) to his reinvention as a hipster icon in the early 21st century (in films like Lost in Translation and Moonrise Kingdom). And now you can get your fill of Bill: part biography, part critical appreciation, part love letter, and all fun,The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray chronicles every single Murray performance in loving detail, relating all the milestones, yarns, and controversy in the life of this beloved but enigmatic performer. These pages are packed with color film stills, extraordinary fan art, and behind-the-scenes photography.

Octavio Paz es uno de los escritores más importantes de la literatura mexicana y un poeta de fama mundial. Polémico y lúcido, revelador y profundo, su obra fue reconocida con múltiples premios y coronada con el Nobel de Literatura. Uno de los escritores más cercanos a Paz, como colaborador y estudioso de su trabajo, Christopher Domínguez, elabora una biografía intelectual en la que repasa las obsesiones de Paz, sus opiniones políticas y su visión de la historia, el arte, las sociedades y la cultura de nuestro tiempo. A cien años del nacimiento de Octavio Paz, el libro de Christopher Domínguez entrega un rostro nuevo, desconocido del hombre, del poeta y del escritor apasionado.

"When Linda Gray, iconic star of Dallas, was twenty years old, a magazine editor coldly rejected her as a model, writing that, perhaps one day, ?you might shape into something.? Since then, Linda has been evolving and growing, and has shaped into a role model for women of every age in her grace, beauty, generosity, and wisdom. She?s been through more pain and tragedy than her longtime fans realize, having suffered paralyzing polio as a child, growing up with an alcoholic mother, landing in a emotionally abusive marriage at twenty-two and living by her husband?s rules for sixteen years before she openly rebelled against him to take an acting class. At thirty-eight, Linda got her big break, as Larry Hagman?s wife on Dallas. With fame came a bitter, public divorce, trouble at home with her two kids, and the loss of her beloved sister to breast cancer. Linda got through it all--the challenges of sexism in Hollywood and the pressures of being a single working mom--with a relentlessly positive attitude that kept her cruising, with a few speed bumps, to the place of serenity she thrives in now. To celebrate her seventy-fifth birthday, Linda is opening up about her life for the first time. Inside this book, she tells deeply personal stories with wit, humor, and candor, and reveals how she?s learned to love every day as the blessing it is and to treat herself with the kindness she bestows on friends and strangers alike"--Publisher's description.

An account of the intertwined lives of the first two women to be appointed to the Supreme Court examines their respective religious and political beliefs while sharing insights into how they have influenced interpretations of the Constitution to promote equal rights for women.

"Novelist and critic Dale Peck's latest work--part memoir, part extended essay--is a foray into what the author calls "the second half of the first half of the AIDS epidemic," i.e., the period between 1987, when the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) was founded, and 1996, when the advent of combination therapy transformed AIDS from a virtual death sentence into a chronic manageable illness. Reminiscent of Joan Didion's The White Album and Kurt Vonnegut's Palm Sunday, Visions and Revisions has been assembled from over a dozen essays and articles that have been extensively rewritten and recombined to form a sweeping, collage-style portrait of a tumultuous era. Moving seamlessly from the lyrical to the analytical to the reportorial, Peck's story takes readers from the serial killings of gay men in New York, London, and Milwaukee, through Peck's first loves upon coming out of the closet, to the transformation of LGBT people from marginal, idealistic fighters to their present place in a world of widespread, if fraught, mainstream acceptance. The narrative pays particular attention the words and deeds of AIDS activists, offering a street-level portrait of ACT UP with considerations of AIDS-centered fiction and criticism of the era, as well as intimate, sometimes elegiac portraits of artists, activists, and HIV-positive people Peck knew. Peck's fiery rhetoric against a government that sat on its hands for the first several years of the epidemic is tinged with the idealism of a young gay man discovering his political, artistic, and sexual identity. The result is a visionary and indispensable work from one of America's most brilliant and controversial authors"-- Provided by publisher.

When Jewel's first album, Pieces of You, topped the charts in 1995, her emotional voice and vulnerable performance were groundbreaking. Drawing comparisons to Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell, a singer-songwriter of her kind had not emerged in decades. Now, with more than thirty million albums sold worldwide, Jewel tells the story of her life, and the lessons learned from her experience and her music.

"One doctor's passionate and profound memoir of his experience grappling with race, bias, and the unique health problems of black Americans. When Damon Tweedy begins medical school,he envisions a bright future where his segregated, working-class background will become largely irrelevant. Instead, he finds that he has joined a new world where race is front and center. The recipient of a scholarship designed to increase black student enrollment, Tweedy soon meets a professor who bluntly questions whether he belongs in medical school, a moment that crystallizes the challenges he will face throughout his career. Making matters worse, in lecture after lecture the common refrain for numerous diseases resounds, "More common in blacks than whites." Black Man in a White Coat examines the complex ways in which both black doctors and patients must navigate the difficult and often contradictory terrain of race and medicine. As Tweedy transforms from student to practicing physician, he discovers how often race influences his encounters with patients. Through their stories, he illustrates the complex social, cultural, and economic factors at the root of most health problems in the black community. These issues take on greater meaning when Tweedy is himself diagnosed with a chronic disease far more common among black people. In this powerful, moving, and deeply empathic book, Tweedy explores the challenges confronting black doctors, and the disproportionate health burdens faced by black patients, ultimately seeking a way forward to better treatment and more compassionate care"-- Provided by publisher.

"The author of the acclaimed City Poet returns with a searing memoir of life in 1980s New York City--a colorful and atmospheric tale of wild bohemians, glamorous celebrity, and complicated passions--with cameo appearances by Madonna, Robert Mapplethorpe, William Burroughs, and a host of other legendary artists. Brad Gooch arrived in New York in the late 1970s, yearning for artistic and personal freedom. Smash Cut is his bold and intimate memoir of this exhilarating time and place. At its center is his love affair with film director Howard Brookner, pieced together from fragments of memory and fueled by a panoply of emotions, from blazing ecstasy to bleakest despair. As both men try to reconcile love and fidelity with the irresistible desire to enjoy the freedom of the age, they live together and apart. Gooch works briefly as a model in Milan, then returns to the city and discovers his vocation as an artist. Brookner falls ill with a mysterious virus that soon has a terrifying name: AIDS. And the story, and life in the city, is suddenly overshadowed by this new demon plague that will ravage a generation and transform the creative world. Gooch charts the progress of Brookner through his illness, and writes unforgettably about endings: of a great talent, a passionate love affair, and an incandescent era" -- Provided by publisher.