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Biography and Memoir June 2014
"In Hollywood, brides keep the bouquets and throw away the groom."
~ Groucho Marx (1890-1977), American humorist
New and Recently Released!
The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames - by Kai Bird
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 05/20/2014
Share The Good Spy%3a The Life and Death of Robert Ames ISBN-13: 9780307889751
ISBN-10: 0307889750
In The Good Spy, author Kai Bird builds a comprehensive profile of CIA intelligence officer Robert Ames, who died in 1983 when the American Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, was bombed. Ames specialized in Arabic language and Arab history and politics, becoming a recognized expert who served as a key policy advisor to U.S. decision makers. Committed to finding solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other sources of unrest in the Middle East, Ames emphasized fact-finding and rational policy analysis despite American partisan political pressures and decreasing stability in Lebanon and Iran. This absorbing portrait of a family man and dedicated professional also offers a compelling account of the region's history up to 1983.
Postcards from Cookie: A Memoir of Motherhood, Miracles, and a Whole Lot of Mail - by Caroline Clarke
Publisher: HarperCollins
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/15/2014
Share Postcards from Cookie%3a A Memoir of Motherhood, Miracles, and a Whole Lot of Mail ISBN-13: 9780062103178
ISBN-10: 0062103172
Business journalist Caroline Clarke grew up in a happy, supportive family as the adopted daughter of educators with large extended families. As an adult, Caroline needed details about her genetic background for medical reasons, so she requested information about her origins from the adoption agency. In Postcards from Cookie, Caroline relates the series of surprising discoveries that led her to her birth mother, Cookie, Nat King Cole's adopted daughter. This "captivating memoir" (Kirkus Reviews) also details the family history that pressured Cookie to give up her daughter for adoption and the unexpectedly passionate relationship that developed between birth mother and daughter.
I Don't Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star - by Judy Greer
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/08/2014
Share I Don ISBN-13: 9780385537889
ISBN-10: 0385537883
A successful actress with numerous television and motion picture roles to her credit, Judy Greer grew up in Michigan, where her supportive parents encouraged her acting and ballet ambitions. In this entertaining memoir, Greer provides glimpses into her childhood and youth, her Hollywood career, and other aspects of her life in a series of engaging essays. With humor and humility, she describes interactions with fans and various surprising, disappointing, and joyful experiences -- such as her Academy Awards appearance for The Descendants, when her dress unraveled. Leaving out the celebrity secrets often found in showbiz memoirs, I Don't Know What You Know Me From provides an engaging self-portrait of a working woman's life.
Supreme Commander: MacArthur's Triumph in Japan - by Seymour Morris
Publisher: HarperCollins
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/15/2014
Share Supreme Commander%3a MacArthur ISBN-13: 9780062287939
ISBN-10: 0062287931
General Douglas MacArthur commanded the U.S. forces in the Pacific during World War II. At the end of the war, President Harry Truman appointed MacArthur to oversee the U.S. occupation of Japan; MacArthur directed changes that induced Emperor Hirohito to help his country move away from its militant culture to a more peaceful and egalitarian society. Supreme Commander examines MacArthur's postwar accomplishments in managing war crimes trials, rehabilitating Japan's starving civilian population, defending the country against Russian advances, and rewriting the Japanese constitution. For another recent book on MacArthur, read Mark Perry's The Most Dangerous Man in America, which covers his whole career.
Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel - by Jason Padgett and Maureen Ann Seaberg
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/22/2014
Share Struck by Genius%3a How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel ISBN-13: 9780544045606
ISBN-10: 0544045602
Before he was violently mugged outside a bar in Tacoma, Washington, salesman Jason Padgett was devoted to body-building and partying. He had no interest in mathematics. After the traumatic brain injury (TBI) inflicted during the mugging, he experienced pain, confusion, and a desire for solitude -- and discovered that he had both synesthesia and savant-like mathematical abilities. Determined to understand his condition, he studied medical literature about the brain as well as drawing the amazing geometric forms he saw in his surroundings. Eventually, it became clear that his TBI had caused neurological changes. This enthralling memoir provides intriguing evidence that "we all possess an inherent type of genius" (Publishers Weekly).
Focus on: Hollywood
The Guttenberg Bible: A Memoir - by Steve Guttenberg
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 05/08/2012
Share The Guttenberg Bible%3a A Memoir ISBN-13: 9780312383459
ISBN-10: 0312383452
Film star Steve Guttenberg opens this memoir of the first decade of his career by describing how he sneaked onto the Paramount Studios lot and rigged up an illicit private office, complete with telephone, giving him access to the world of Hollywood. He also recounts his early rejection by an agent, which was followed by winning minor parts, then working his way up to significant roles in box-office hits such as Cocoon and Three Men and a Baby. Whether you're a fan of Hollywood biographies or someone who enjoys humorous, good-natured memoirs, you'll find this an entertaining and informative book.
Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark - by Brian Kellow
Publisher: Penguin Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 10/30/2012
Share Pauline Kael%3a A Life in the Dark ISBN-13: 9780143122203
ISBN-10: 0143122207
For over two decades, from the 1960s to the early 1990s, Pauline Kael handed down the definitive word on Hollywood films through her reviews in The New Yorker. Biographer Brian Kellow relates how Kael developed a love for movies, learned the art of criticism, and eventually achieved the distinction of writing critiques that were both eagerly anticipated by moviegoers and feared by film producers. Sometimes controversial and always incisive, Kael was a masterful writer. Kellow takes advantage of her skill by quoting extensively from her best-known reviews (including those of Bonnie and Clyde, Jaws, and Star Wars) while identifying the major influences and inspirations in her career. Kirkus Reviews says, "this bio is a page-turner."
Hollywood: A Third Memoir - by Larry McMurtry
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 08/16/2011
Share Hollywood%3a A Third Memoir ISBN-13: 9781439159965
ISBN-10: 1439159963
From Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and screenwriter Larry McMurtry comes this memoir about his experiences in the film industry, including winning an Oscar for the screenplay he co-wrote of Brokeback Mountain. Hollywood includes stories of McMurtry's interactions with celebrities past and present, but it also incorporates more unusual reflections on the role of a writer in Hollywood. Fans of both McMurtry and Tinseltown will appreciate their intersection in this unique memoir from one of America's most renowned writers. This is the 3rd in McMurtry's trilogy of memoirs; though the first two don't discuss his film-related writing, you might want to pick up Books and Literary Life.
Stuntman! My Car-Crashing, Plane-Jumping, Bone-Breaking, Death-Defying Hollywood Life - by Hal Needham
Publisher: Little, Brown
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/09/2011
Share Stuntman! My Car-Crashing, Plane-Jumping, Bone-Breaking, Death-Defying Hollywood Life ISBN-13: 9780316078993
ISBN-10: 0316078999
Hollywood stuntman Hal Needham -- whose 40 years of stuntwork earned him 56 broken bones -- was also one of the most financially successful directors in the 1970s and early '80s. He's been married three times, worked with stampeding horses, fast cars, and stars like John Wayne, and is close friends with Burt Reynolds. From his years bootlegging alcohol to using voodoo as a PR stunt to anecdotes about working on Smokey and the Bandit (his directorial debut and first box-office hit), this is a man who has tales to share, and share them he does, "like a guy telling stories at a bar" (Publishers Weekly).
Possessed: The Life of Joan Crawford - by Donald Spoto
Publisher: HarperCollins
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 06/28/2011
Share Possessed%3a The Life of Joan Crawford ISBN-13: 9780061856013
ISBN-10: 0061856010
In this "balanced and readable account" (Library Journal) of a sometimes maligned film star, celebrity biographer Donald Spoto explores the life of Joan Crawford. Drawing on her personal papers, as well as previous biographical works, Spoto endeavors to rehabilitate her reputation (damaged by her daughter Christina Crawford's exposé in Mommie Dearest) and highlight her professional and business achievements. From her impoverished childhood to a dancing career on Broadway to Hollywood, Crawford worked incredibly hard -- but also made a name for herself as a self-absorbed diva. Bringing together different views of Crawford, Possessed delivers a thoroughly researched appraisal of her life and career, including her relationships with other film stars.
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