New Biographies

Lights on, rats out : a memoir

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:45
by LeFavour, Cree,
Publisher Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, 2017. ©2017
First edition.
312 pages ; 22 cm
Books
Call Number 616.8582 LEF
Summary "Describes a [self-harming] woman's charged attachment to a mental health professional and the dangerous compulsion to keep him in her life at all costs"--Amazon.com. "As a young college graduate a year into treatment with a psychiatrist, Cree LeFavour began to organize her days around the cruel, compulsive logic of self-harm: with each newly lit cigarette, the world would drop away as her focus narrowed on the blooming release of pleasure-pain as the burning tip was applied to an unblemished patch of skin. Her body was a canvas of cruelty; each scar a mark of pride and shame. In sharp and shocking language, Lights On, Rats Out brings us closely into these years. We see the world as Cree did--turned upside down, the richness of life muted and dulled, its pleasures perverted. The heady thrill of meeting with her psychiatrist, Dr. Adam N. Kohl--whose relationship with Cree is at once sustaining and paralyzing--comes to be the only bright spot in her days. Lights On, Rats Out describes a fiercely smart and independent woman's charged attachment to a mental health professional and the dangerous compulsion to keep him in her life at all costs."--Jacket.

Man of the hour : James B. Conant, warrior scientist

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:45
by Conant, Jennet,
Publisher Simon & Schuster, 2017.
First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
x, 587 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number 370.92 CON
Summary "The remarkable life of one of the most influential men of the greatest generation, James B. Conant--a savvy architect of the nuclear age and the Cold War--told by his granddaughter, New York Times bestselling author Jennet Conant. James Bryant Conant was a towering figure. He was at the center of the mammoth threats and challenges of the twentieth century. As a young eminent chemist, he supervised the production of poison gas in WWI. As a controversial president of Harvard University, he was a champion of meritocracy and open admissions. As an advisor to FDR, he led the interventionist cause for US entrance in WWII. During that war, Conant was the administrative director of the Manhattan Project, oversaw the development of the atomic bomb and argued that it be used against the industrial city of Hiroshima in Japan. Later, he urged the Atomic Energy Commission to reject the hydrogen bomb, and devoted the rest of his life to campaigning for international control of atomic weapons. As Eisenhower's high commissioner to Germany, he helped to plan German recovery and was an architect of the United States' Cold War policy. Now New York Times bestselling author Jennet Conant recreates the cataclysmic events of the twentieth century as her grandfather James experienced them. She describes the guilt, fears, and sometimes regret of those who invented and deployed the bombs and the personal toll it took. From the White House to Los Alamos to Harvard University, Man of the Hour is based on hundreds of documents and diaries, interviews with Manhattan Projects scientists, Harvard colleagues, and Conant's friends and family, including her father, James B. Conant's son. This is a very intimate, up-close look at some of the most argued cases of modern times--among them the use of chemical weapons, the decision to drop the bomb, Oppenheimer's fate, the politics of post-war Germany and the Cold War--the repercussions of which are still affecting our world today"-- "The remarkable life of one of the most influential men of the greatest generation, James B. Conant--a savvy architect of the nuclear age and the Cold War--told by his granddaughter, New York Times bestselling author Jennet Conant. James Bryant Conant was a towering figure. He was at the center of the mammoth threats and challenges of the twentieth century. As a young eminent chemist, he supervised the production of poison gas in WWI. As a controversial president of Harvard University, he was a champion of meritocracy and open admissions. As an advisor to FDR, he led the interventionist cause for US entrance in WWII. During that war, Conant was the administrative director of the Manhattan Project, oversaw the development of the atomic bomb and argued that it be used against the industrial city of Hiroshima in Japan. Later, he urged the Atomic Energy Commission to reject the hydrogen bomb, and devoted the rest of his life to campaigning for international control of atomic weapons. Now New York Times bestselling author Jennet Conant recreates the cataclysmic events of the twentieth century as her grandfather James experienced them. She describes the guilt, fears, and sometimes regret of those who invented and deployed the bombs and the personal toll it took. From the White House to Los Alamos to Harvard University, Man of the Hour is based on hundreds of documents and diaries, interviews with Manhattan Projects scientists, Harvard colleagues, and Conant's friends and family, including her father, James B. Conant's son. This is a very intimate, up-close look at some of the most argued cases of modern times, the repercussions of which are still affecting our world today"--

Memoirs of a muhindi : fleeing East Africa for the West

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:45
by Ladha, Mansoor,
Publisher University of Regina Press, [2017] ©2017
xvi, 252 pages ; 18 cm
Books
Call Number BIO LADHA, MANSOOR
Summary "In Memoirs of a Muhindi, Mansoor Ladha bears witness to what happens when nations turn against entire religious and ethnic groups. When Ugandan president Idi Amin expelled Africans of Indian descent from the country in 1972, he unleashed an intolerance that set off an exodus from the entire region. In Tanzania and Kenya, businesses were nationalized, properties taken, people harassed, and livelihoods upended. Mansoor Ladha, who was living in Nairobi at the time, had to decide whether to stay or go. Canada became his new home--where he found considerable success, as did the rest of the Ismaili community--while East Africa never recovered from its fit of bigotry. A newspaper columnist and award-winning journalist, Mansoor Ladha is the author of A Portrait in Pluralism: Aga Khan's Shia Ismaili Muslims. He lives in Calgary, Alberta."--

Memory's last breath : field notes on my dementia

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:45
by Saunders, Gerda,
Publisher Hachette Books, 2017.
First edition.
xi, 272 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Books
Call Number 616.831 SAU
Summary Based on the "field notes" she keeps in her journal, Memory's Last Breath is Saunders' astonishing window into a life distorted by dementia. She writes about shopping trips cut short by unintentional shoplifting, car journeys derailed when she loses her bearings, and the embarrassment of forgetting what she has just said to a room of colleagues. Coping with the complications of losing short-term memory, Saunders nonetheless embarks on a personal investigation of the brain and its mysteries, examining science and literature, and immersing herself in vivid memories of her childhood in South Africa.

My glory was I had such friends : a memoir

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:45
by Silverstein, Amy,
Publisher Harper Wave, [2017]
First edition.
331 pages ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number 617.412 SIL
Summary Memoirist Amy Silverstein tells the story of an extraordinary group of women who surrounded and supported her through the long, emotional fight to stay alive as she waited for her second heart transplant in twenty-five years.

Note to self

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:45
by Franta, Connor, 1992-
Publisher Keywords Press/Atria, 2017. ©2017
First Keywords Press/Atria books edition.
xi, 308 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 22 cm
Books
Call Number 818.6 FRA
Summary In his first memoir, A Work in Progress, Connor Franta shared his journey from small-town Midwestern boy to full-fledged Internet sensation. Now, two years later, Connor is ready to bring to light a side of himself he has rarely shown on or off camera. In this diary-like look at his life since A Work in Progress, Connor talks about his battles with clinical depression, social anxiety, self-love, and acceptance; his desire to maintain an authentic self in a world that values shares and likes over true connections; his struggles with love and loss; and his renewed efforts to be in the moment -- with others and himself. Told through short essays, letters to his past and future selves, poetry, and original photography, Note to Self is a raw, in-the-moment look at the interior life of a young creator turning inward in order to move forward.

Queen of bebop : the musical lives of Sarah Vaughan

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:45
by Hayes, Elaine M.,
Publisher Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017] ©2017
First edition.
x, 419 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number B Vaughan, Sarah
Summary "Queen of Bebop brilliantly chronicles the life of jazz singer Sarah Vaughan, one of the most influential and innovative musicians of the twentieth century and a pioneer of women's and civil rights. Sarah Vaughan, a pivotal figure in the formation of bebop, influenced a broad array of singers who followed in her wake, yet the breadth and depth of her impact--not just as an artist, but also as an African-American woman--remain overlooked. Drawing from a wealth of sources as well as from exclusive interviews with Vaughan's friends and former colleagues, Queen of Bebop unravels the many myths and misunderstandings that have surrounded Vaughan while offering insights into this notoriously private woman, her creative process, and, ultimately, her genius. Hayes deftly traces the influence that Vaughan's singing had on the perception and appreciation of vocalists--and not to mention women--in jazz. She reveals how, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Vaughan helped desegregate American airwaves, opening doors for future African-American artists seeking mainstream success, while also setting the stage for the civil rights activism of the 1960s and 1970s. Hayes follows Vaughan from her hometown of Newark and her first performances at the Apollo, to the Waldorf Astoria and on to the world stage, breathing life into a thrilling time in American music nearly lost to us today. Equal parts biography, criticism, and good old-fashioned American success story, Queen of Bebop is the definitive account of a hugely influential artist. This absorbing and sensitive treatment of a singular personality updates and corrects the historical record on Vaughan and elevates her status as a jazz great."--Jacket.

Rise : how a house built a family

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:45
by Brookins, Cara,
Publisher St. Martin's Press, 2017.
First edition.
viii, 310, pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 22 cm
Books
Call Number BIO BROOKINS, CARA
Summary "After escaping an abusive marriage, Cara Brookins had four children to provide for and no one to turn to but herself. In desperate need of a home but without the means to buy one, she did something incredible. Equipped only with YouTube instructional videos, a small bank loan and a mile-wide stubborn streak, Cara built her own house from the foundation up with a work crew made up of her four children. It would be the hardest thing she had ever done. With no experience nailing together anything bigger than a bookshelf, she and her kids poured concrete, framed the walls and laid bricks for their two story, five bedroom house. She had convinced herself that if they could build a house, they could rebuild their broken family"--Provided by publisher.

Sam Shepard : a life

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:45
by Winters, John J.,
Publisher Counterpoint, [2017] 2017
xv, 432 pages , 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number B SHEPARD
Summary "With more than 55 plays to his credit, including the 1979 Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child, Sam Shepard's impact on American theater ranks with the greatest playwrights of the past half-century. Critics have enthused that he "forged a whole new kind of American play," while younger playwrights venerate him -- Suzan Lori Parks, herself a Pulitzer winner, calls Shepard her "gorgeous north star." As an actor who's appeared in more than 50 feature films, Shepard possesses an onscreen persona that's been aptly summed up as "Gary Cooper in denim." He earned an Oscar nod for his portrayal of Chuck Yeager in the 1983 film The Right Stuff, and his screenplay for Paris, Texas helped that now-classic film sweep the top prizes at the Cannes Film Festival. Despite these accomplishments and more -- five collections of prose, writing songs with Bob Dylan, making films with Robert Frank and Michelangelo Antonioni, as well as romantic relationships with rocker Patti Smith and actress Jessica Lange -- Shepard seems anything but satisfied. Sam Shepard: A Life details his lifelong bouts of insecurity and anxiety, and delves deeply into his relationship with his alcoholic father and his own battle with the bottle. Also examined for the first time in-depth are Shepard's tumultuous relationship with Lange, and his decades-long adherence to the teachings of Russian spiritualist G.I. Gurdjieff. Throughout this new biography, John J. Winters gets to the heart of the enigma that is Sam Shepard, presenting an honest and comprehensive account of his life and work"--

Soul survivor : a biography of Al Green

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:45
by McDonough, Jimmy,
Publisher Da Capo Press, 2017.
First edition.
vii, 403 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number B GREEN

Surpassing certainty : what my twenties taught me

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:45
by Mock, Janet, 1983-
Publisher Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2017.
First Atria Books hardcover edition.
xxi, 224 pages ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number 306.768 MOC
Summary "Riveting, rousing, and utterly real, Surpassing Certainty is a portrait of a young woman searching for her purpose and place in the world--without a road map to guide her. The journey begins a few months before her twentieth birthday. Janet Mock is adjusting to her days as a first-generation college student at the University of Hawaii and her nights as a dancer at a strip club. Finally content in her body, she vacillates between flaunting and concealing herself as she navigates dating and disclosure, sex and intimacy, and most important, letting herself be truly seen. Under the neon lights of Club Nu, Janet meets Troy, a yeoman stationed at Pearl Harbor naval base, who becomes her first. The pleasures and perils of their union serve as a backdrop for Janet's progression through her early twenties with all the universal growing pains--falling in and out of love, living away from home, and figuring out what she wants to do with her life. Despite her disadvantages, fueled by her dreams and inimitable drive, Janet makes her way through New York City while holding her truth close. She builds a career in the highly competitive world of magazine publishing--within the unique context of being trans, a woman, and a person of color. Long before she became one of the world's most respected media figures and lauded leaders for equality and justice, Janet was a girl taking the time she needed to just be--to learn how to advocate for herself before becoming an advocate for others. As you witness Janet's slow-won success and painful failures, Surpassing Certainty will embolden you, shift the way you see others, and affirm your journey in search of self"--Provided by publisher.

The choice : embrace the possible

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:45
by Eger, Edith Eva,
Publisher Scribner, 2017. ©2017
First Scribner hardcover edition.
xiii, 288 pages ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number 940.5318 EGE
Summary "A powerful, moving memoir--and a practical guide to healing--written by Dr. Edith Eva Eger, an eminent psychologist whose own experiences as a Holocaust survivor help her treat patients and allow them to escape the prisons of their own minds. Edith Eger was sixteen years old when the Nazis came to her hometown in Hungary and took her Jewish family to an internment center and then to Auschwitz. Her parents were sent to the gas chamber by Joseph Mengele soon after they arrived at the camp. Hours later Mengele demanded that Edie dance a waltz to 'The Blue Danube' and rewarded her with a loaf of bread that she shared with her fellow prisoners. These women later helped save Edie's life. Edie and her sister survived Auschwitz, were transferred to the Mauthausen and Gunskirchen camps in Austria, and managed to live until the American troops liberated the camps in 1945 and found Edie in a pile of dying bodies. One of the few living Holocaust survivors to remember the horrors of the camps, Edie has chosen to forgive her captors and find joy in her life every day. Years after she was liberated from the concentration camps Edie went back to college to study psychology. She combines her clinical knowledge and her own experiences with trauma to help others who have experienced painful events large and small. Dr. Eger has counseled veterans suffering from PTSD, women who were abused, and many others who learned that they too, can choose to forgive, find resilience, and move forward. She lectures frequently on the power of love and healing. The Choice weaves Eger's personal story with case studies from her work as a psychologist. Her patients and their stories illustrate different phases of healing and show how people can choose to escape the prisons they construct in their minds and find freedom, regardless of circumstance. Eger's story is an inspiration for everyone. And her message is powerful and important: 'Your pain matters and is worth healing: you can choose to be joyful and free.' She is eighty-nine years old and still dancing"--

The Kardashians : an American drama

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:45
by Oppenheimer, Jerry,
Publisher St. Martin's Press, [2017] ©2017
xxii, 313 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Books
Call Number 791.45028 OPP
Summary "A blockbuster unauthorized biography of one of the most famous and ubiquitous family dynasties in contemporary culture. Secrets and scandals of the Kardashians, so closely held that not even hard core fans have heard about them, are finally exposed in ... author Jerry Oppenheimer's forensic dissection of the infamous reality TV clan. From the curious life of patriarch Robert Kardashian, whose family meatpacking business was tainted by scandal, to 'momager' Kris Jenner's top-secret plan for the future, The Kardashians reveals the untold, definitive story based on two years of investigative reporting and scores of candid, on-the-record interviews, ranging from childhood friends to powerful business associates, who break their silence for the first time. In the decade since the Kardashians first appeared on the scene, millions of speculative words have been written about their drama-filled lives. But most has been tabloid hype and gossip column fantasy. Until now. Oppenheimer has written revelatory books on such international icons as the Clintons, the Kennedys, the Hiltons and more, and now comes The Kardashians, the true story that will make headlines and shock even the most loyal fans."--Jacket.

The shadow in the garden : a biographer's tale

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:45
by Atlas, James,
Publisher Pantheon, [2017]
First edition.
388 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Books
Call Number 809.93592 ATL
Summary "The biographer's autobiography: a funny, endearing tale of how writers' lives get documented. The biographer--so often in the shadows, kibbitzing, casting doubt, proving facts--here comes to the stage. James Atlas takes us back to his childhood in suburban Chicago, where he fell in love with literature and, early on, found in himself the impulse to study writers' lives. We meet Richard Ellmann, the great biographer of James Joyce and Atlas's professor during a transformative year at Oxford. We get to know the author's first subject, the "self-doomed" poet Delmore Schwartz; a bygone cast of intellectuals such as Edmund Wilson and Dwight Macdonald (the "tall trees," as Mary McCarthy described them, cut down now, Atlas writes, by the "merciless pruning of mortality"); and, of course, the elusive Bellow, "a metaphysician of the ordinary." Atlas revisits the lives and work of the classical biographers: the Renaissance writers of what were then called "lives," Samuel Johnson and the "meshugenah" Boswell, among them. And in what amounts to a pocket history of his own literary generation, Atlas celebrates the luminaries of contemporary literature and the labor of those who hope to catch a glimpse of one of them--"as fleeting as a familiar face swallowed up in a crowd""--

The world of Laura Ingalls Wilder : the frontier landscapes that inspired the Little House books

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:45
by McDowell, Marta,
Publisher Timber Press, 2017.
First edition.
396 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number BIO WILDER, LAURA INGALLS
Summary "This lushly illustrated book from bestselling author Marta McDowell examines Laura Ingalls Wilder's relationship to the landscape and illuminates how it inspired the beloved Little House Books" --

What Is It All But Luminous: Notes from an Underground Man

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:45
by Garfunkel, Art
Publisher Knopf Publishing Group 20170926
Books
Call Number B GARFUNKEL ART

Writer, sailor, soldier, spy : Ernest Hemingway's secret adventures, 1935-1961

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:45
by Reynolds, Nicholas E.,
Publisher William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017] ©2017
First edition.
xxi, 357 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number BIO HEMINGWAY, ERNEST
Summary A former CIA officer and curator of the CIA Museum reveals the untold story of Ernest Hemingway's secret life as a spy for both the Americans and Soviets before and during World War II, and explores how his espionage activities influenced his literary work.

Young and damned and fair : the life of Catherine Howard, fifth wife of King Henry VIII

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 04:45
by Russell, Gareth,
Publisher Simon & Schuster, 2017. ©2016
First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
xxiv, 436 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color), map ; 25 cm
Books
Call Number BIO CATHERINE HOWARD
Summary "Written with narrative flair and historical authority, this biography of the tragic life of Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, breaks new ground in our understanding of the young, doomed woman who became queen at a time of unprecedented social and political tension. On the morning of July 28, 1540, as King Henry VIII's former confidant Thomas Cromwell was being led to his execution, a teenager named Catherine Howard began her reign as queen of a country simmering with rebellion and terrifying uncertainty. Nineteen months later, she was on the scaffold, accused of adultery and high treason. Until now, Catherine 's story has been incomplete. Unlike previous accounts of her life, which portray her as a naive victim of an ambitious family, this compelling and authoritative biography reexamines her motives and social milieu, including both fellow aristocrats and the servants who eventually conspired against her. By illuminating Catherine's entwined upstairs/downstairs worlds and societal tensions beyond the palace walls, Gareth Russell offers a fascinating portrait of court life and the forces that led to Catherine 's execution--from diplomatic pressure and international politics to the long-festering resentments against the queen's household at court. Including a forgotten text of Catherine 's confession, Young and Damned and Fair changes our understanding of one of history's most famous women while telling the compelling and very human story of complex individuals attempting to survive in a dangerous age."--Jacket.

Einstein's greatest mistake : a biography

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 22:42
by Bodanis, David,
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016. ©2016
xiv, 280 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number B EINSTEIN
Summary A portrait of Albert Einstein shares critical insights into both the genius and hubris of modern physics, linking Einstein's popular downfall through the final decades of his life to the same imagination and self-confidence that ignited his early successes.

Charlton Heston : Hollywood's last icon

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 10:27
by Eliot, Marc,
Publisher Dey St., [2017] ©2017
First edition.
xvi, 553 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number 791.4302 HES
Summary "The award-winning author of Walt Disney draws on firsthand diaries, letters and estate records in a portrait of the Hollywood icon, political activist and NRA president that explores Heston's storied career and role in Hollywood mythology,"--NoveList. "Charlton Heston starred in American movies for more than six decades, in roles that ranged from the Biblical leader Moses in The Ten Commandments to the title role in William Wyler's definitive Ben-Hur, to the heroic astronaut George Taylor in 1968's sci-fi classic Planet of the Apes, in addition to hundreds of other screen, theater, and television roles. He also served as president of the Screen Actors Guild, and more controversially, as the head of the National Rifle Association, which placed him at odds with Hollywood's then-prevalent left-leaning power elite. Bestselling author Marc Eliot's definitive biography, which benefits from extraordinary access to friends, family, and private papers, unravels the epic life story of one of America's most iconic actors, bringing to light Heston's greatest achievements as well as his greatest failures and regrets--culminating in an account that is informed, moving, artful, and honest. In it, Eliot lays bare the story of how a boy from the backwoods of Michigan went on to become Hollywood's go-to action and historical actor and left a legacy that helped define American movie heroes of the twentieth century. From Michigan to New York City to Hollywood, Eliot traces the footsteps of this extraordinary figure and sheds new light on one of America's greatest stars. In glistening detail, he examines and celebrates the lasting legacy of Charlton Heston, taking advantage of never-before-heard stories of Heston as husband, father, and unremitting actor whose stamp on Hollywood grows stronger every year."--Jacket.

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