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New Arrivals - Biography

"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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