Readers of Wil Wheaton’s website know that he is a masterful teller of elegant stories about his life. Building on the critical success of Dancing Barefoot and Just A Geek, he has collected more of his own favorite stories in his third book, The Happiest Days of Our Lives. These are the stories Wil loves to tell, because they are the closest to his heart: stories about being a huge geek, passing his geeky hobbies and values along to his own children, and vividly painting what it meant to grow up in the ’70s and come of age in the ’80s as part of the video game/D&D/BBS/Star Wars figures generation.
Within the pages of The Happiest Days of Our Lives, you will find:
- “The Butterfly Tree”: how one Back to School night continues to shape Wil’s sense of social justice, thirty years later;
- “Blue Light Special”: the greatest challenge a ten year-old could face in 1982: save his allowance, or buy Star Wars figures?
- “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Geek”: why fantasy role-playing games are such an important part of Wil’s past—and his present
- “The Big Goodbye”: a visit to Paramount gives Wheaton a second chance to say farewell to Star Trek . . . properly, this time
- “Let Go”: a moving eulogy for a beloved friend
In all of these tales, Wheaton brings the reader into the raw heart of the story, holding nothing back, and you are invited to join him on a journey through The Happiest Days of Our Lives.
Belle De Jour - The Further Adventures of a London Call Girl
Belle de Jour is the story of a high-class call girl working in London. The anonymous blog - Diary of a London call girl was so well written that it started gathering speculation about the identity of the writer and whether the blog was even real. The daily post by Belle de Jour were fresh, easy to read, amusing at times and was not short of a good sense of humor: all this in a profession that could be dangerous, emotionally stressful and is most certainly socially looked down upon. It simple captured the readers' imagination and awakened the innermost repressed fantasies of a regular day-to-day person.
Peter Kay - The Sound Of Laughter
Peter Kay's unerring gift for observing the absurdities and eccentricities of family life has earned himself a widespread, everyman appeal. These vivid observations coupled with a kind of nostalgia that never fails to grab his audience's shared understanding, have earned him comparisons with Alan Bennett and Ronnie Barker. In his award winning TV series' he creates worlds populated by degenerate, bitter, useless, endearing and always recognisable characters which have attracted a huge and loyal following. In many ways he's an old fashioned kind of comedian and the scope and enormity of his fanbase reflects this. He doesn't tell jokes about politics or sex, but rather rejoices in the far funnier areas of life: elderly relatives and answering machines, dads dancing badly at weddings, garlic bread and cheesecake, your mum's HRT... His autobiography is full of this kind of humour and nostalgia, beginning with Kay's first ever driving lesson, taking him back through his Bolton childhood, the numerous jobs he held after school and leading up until the time he passed his driving test and found fame.
Louis Two Ravens Irwin - Robert Liebert - Two Ravens
“Louie was a longtime friend, comrade, spiritual advisor, and brother. He inspired me every day, helped me to survive in this nightmare place just by being my friend and advisor. I hope that his example can be a lesson learned by our People, especially our young. Those of us in the prisons, participating in the sweat lodges, pray for him and speak of how we miss his company. I have been blessed simply by being given the chance to know him.” --Leonard Peltier, Native American activist, Leavenworth Penitentiary “Two Ravens is an inspiring view of a contemporary Native American warrior. Louie was a builder of understanding between Native and non-Native Americans. To Two Ravens: it was an honor and a pleasure.” --Valerian Three Irons, Sun Dance Chief This is the life story of a remarkable Native American who learned to unite the paths of warrior and healer. Louis Two Ravens Irwin was taught the traditional healing ways of his Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arickara people by his grandfather, knowledge that served him well in his dealings with the hostile white society he later encountered. After years of experiencing rampant discrimination and fighting in a white man’s war, he became a warrior in the fight for the rights of his people, working with the American Indian Movement (AIM) from its inception and taking part in the two-month siege at Wounded Knee. He joined the efforts of Leonard Peltier, Russell Means, Leonard Crow Dog, and many other prominent leaders to ensure that his people might live in peace and with respect. Considered an outlaw by the government and even by many of his own people, Two Ravens also struggled against alcoholism and despair and with his own bitterness toward the white race. To find balance, Two Ravens had to walk the difficult road back to the Old Ways, to the teachings of the sweat lodge and the Sun Dance, which show the sacred relationship between all creatures. In doing so, he learned to heal his pain and anger and discovered ways to share his new sense of inner peace. In the years before his death, Two Ravens worked as a substance abuse counselor and spiritual advisor, helping others integrate Native American traditions into their lives in contemporary America. LOUIS TWO RAVENS IRWIN (1933-1995) was Robert Liebert’s mentor for more than eight years. A writer and herbalist, Liebert is also the author of Osage Life and Legends. He lives in Ava, Missouri.
Mary Summer Rain - Soul Sounds
Why Mary Summer Rain wrote and published Soul Sounds: "I wanted to have a personal record to review when I became very old and too forgetful of mind to remember. . .I've been advised by reasons spoken and unspoken, to have this very private diary published. This idea was not sanctioned by me until the last possible moment, because I'd thought no one else was going to be reading my words, and I'd written as honestly and outspokenly as I could throughout the journal pages. I'd recorded my personal thoughts, memories, and even confessions. In essence, this journal does indeed turn me inside out, with respect to revealing my true thoughts and inner self to the public. But, as always, I abide by how I am guided; whether I will end up being chastised, ridiculed, embarrassed, or exposed because of the publication of this book is not important anymore."
Kathleen Meyer - Barefoot-Hearted
"The Wyoming Centennial Wagon Train ended in Cody in a dismal, torn-down drive-in movie theater. Before setting up the corral, we were forced to clear away shards of glass, bent nails, broken lumber. My prairie skirt and petticoats hung ragged and clay-caked, and under a droopy Stetson my frizzled hair appeared at once greased and starched beyond human recognition. A cloud, a sort of vaporousness, redolent with fresh acrid sweat on top of powerful stale sweat, hung thickly about me. Laced, as it was, with a woman's sweet musky secretions, and all gone past ripe, oddly it was a pungency I savored. Such goaty piquance, though, was cause to be shunned in any town setting. The look of my world had changed. Gone were the high-dollar designer clothes and the zipping around fabled Marin County in a candy-apple-red 1966 Mustang convertible. It was true that I unfailingly sought the ironies in life and, with a kind of dual personality, shifted easily through incongruencies such as town strolls in high heels and backcountry hiking in bare feet; the bucket seats of a classic automobile and the broken-down bench of a beater truck. It was only during the years that Iíd worn white overalls, taped drywall, and come home every night much like Charles Schulz's Pig Pen, flaking a cloud of dried white mud bits onto the rug, that I'd felt moved to keep my fingernails painted red. Now I was to slip farther than ever planned toward one end of my seesaw and then, incredibly, by conscious design, inch out even farther." --from Barefoot-Hearted With more than 1.5 million copies in print, Kathleen Meyer's groundbreaking international bestseller, How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art, has been widely embraced by the outdoor community and has found its way into myriad places: national parks, outdoor leadership schools and scout-troop headquarters, the camp tents of those who have discovered that it is amusing out-loud reading, and the bathroom-literature baskets of households around the world. Now, from the Rocky Mountain West, Meyer brings us Barefoot-Hearted: A Wild Life Among Wildlife, a coming-into-the-country story told with the frank, dry humor and sharp research of her first book. The country, in this case, is Montana's tall, reaching landscape with its ever underfoot wild critters; the on-tenterhooks territory of a new romantic relationship; and the pressure cooker that is our precarious global imbalance. Meyer finds herself in midlife standing out under yawning skies, surrounded by sagebrush and cactus, having fallen for the Irish charm of itinerant farrier Patrick McCarron. As partners, they travel across three mountain states with draft horses and a covered wagon and then set up housekeeping in a seventy-five-year-old dairy barn. In this primitive structure, the author rapidly discovers she's living with troops of mice, a nursery colony of seventy-five bats, sexually fired-up skunks, and more flies than in a pig shed. She tells of a freakish season that or-phaned seventy-seven bear cubs, an unusual fly-fishing trip on a famed blue-ribbon trout stream, the visitations of moose, and the discovery of a den of wolves. Meyer's prose is original and inspired, playful yet provocative. She carries us vividly back to the settlers' old West while pondering modern-day dilemmas, those of fitting into this fast hurtling world, of determining amid the earth's rising extinctions of species, whose planet it is, and of managing to stay empowered residing with a man who "stands six feet six and beats steel on an anvil for a living." A personal chronicle of conscience and a love story of rare and quirky dimension, Barefoot-Hearted catapults readers into new realms of thought, deftly guided there by Meyer's sense of the ironic, the randy, and the humorous.
Amy Wallace - Sorcerer's Apprentice
Amy Wallace's memoir of her complex relationship with Carlos Castaneda plunges readers deep into the reality of the Castaneda cult and the psychological terrors it perpetrated. With the skill of a master storyteller, Wallace recounts early meetings with Castaneda, shares previously unpublished material straight from the Nagual, and explores the aftermath of Castaneda's death and the long term effects of his legacy. Insightful and unwaveringly honest, Sorcerer's Apprentice is simultaneously a love story, a cautionary tale about the dangers of giving one's power to another, and a joyous account of healing and self-affirmation.
Diphallic Dude - Double Header
He was featured on the front pages of _RollingStone.com_, _Jezebel.com_ and was covered by _The Huffington Post_. Both Conan O'Brien and Jay Leno featured him in their opening monologues. Countless news agencies around the world broke the story when he went on Reddit and did an Ask Me Anything (AMA). Ranking as the 4th most popular Reddit AMA of all time (beating out the likes of Peter Dinklage, Bill Murray, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Harrison Ford), DoubleDickDude spent 48 hours discussing his life with a genetic condition known as diphallia. Only 1 in 5.5 million males worldwide are born with two penises. However very few (if any) are born with two working, and by all accounts, attractive penises. After having managed to stay under the radar for over 20 years DoubleDickDude (or DDD for short) amassed thousands of followers on Twitter and Tumblr in a matter of hours. In fact Twitter (temporarily) suspended his account for replying to his followers too many times! For the past year he has taken to writing a more lengthy and detailed account of his life so far. Very little could be detailed during a frenzy of questions from thousands on Reddit. DDD goes from discussing his childhood, and explains how he knew he was special at an early age. His parents support grounded him in his early youth. We find out how he lost his virginity and was exposed to his peers. From there he discusses his wild streak of sexual adventures fresh out of high school. Recapping his favorite questions and answers, discussing sexuality and acceptance, DDD covers the gamut. Don't worry, all the saucy and steamy stories he hinted at in his AMA are covered and then some. Like that 7-way orgy he briefly detailed amid the torrent of questions during his AMA. Not to mention the hunky straight gym jock who "went gay" and the poor girl who... shall we say, her lady place was a wreck after one time with DDD. It's all in there and more! Written from first person perspective the narrative is raw, honest and often times gritty. Details are not spared and readers beware, naughty moments are revealed! The next time you see a man on the street with more than an adequate bulge in his jeans, it might just be DDD.
Don Trent Jacobs - Primal Awareness
The remarkable story of one man's rediscovery of his primordial mandate and of the strange journey that took him there • Explores the innate knowledge that exists within us all, a "primal awareness," that can help us to live in harmony with our world • Shows how we can rediscover this unseeable realm In 1983, caught in a violent rainstorm while kayaking the Rio Urique in Mexico's Copper Canyon, Don Trent Jacobs was swept into an impassable catacomb of underwater tunnels toward what he believed was certain death. But instead of panic, Jacobs found himself filled with a strange consciousness that left him feeling at peace and invigorated with a confidence he had never before known. Moments later he was spit from the tunnel alive--not at the end of his journey, but only at its beginning. Primal Awareness tells the story of Don Trent Jacobs's remarkable vision of the human mind and heart and the compelling spiritual quest that brought him to it. Through his experiences with the Raramuri people of Mexico and his research of other indigenous societies, Jacobs identifies what he calls our "primal awareness," an innate knowledge that exists within us all. Jacobs shows how we can rediscover this primordial mandate that unites all things and that helps us to find our own inner strength an harmony.
Janet Adler - Arching Backward
Arching Backward is the story of an American woman who found herself suddenly and violently immersed in a mystical initiation for which she was not consciously prepared. For four years, Janet Adler's life was dominated by the transforming experience of a primal energy and the visions that were created by it. She was not seeking spiritual experience, nor was she a student of any particular mystical tradition. But the visions brought her into the realm of the sacred, transforming her body into a conduit for spiritual energy. The writings collected here record her visions and describe the way this contemporary woman dealt with the impact of this energy on her physical body, her work, and her relationships. Her story offers a guide for others on this journey and provides a powerful affirmation of women's experience of the spirit.
Emma Woolf - The Ministry of Thin
Losing weight has become the modern woman's holy grail… everything will be better when we're thin. We're obsessed with weight, we dislike our bodies, we worry about the food we eat, we feel guilty, we diet… Too many of us are locked into a war with our own bodies which we'll never win, and which will never make us happy. The Ministry of Thin takes a controversial, unflinching look at how the modern obsession with weight loss, youth, beauty and perfection got out of control. Emma Woolf, author of An Apple a Day, explores how we might all be able to stop hating and start liking our own bodies again. And she dares to ask: if losing weight is the answer, what is the question?
Christopher Golden - Kurt Sutter - The Life and Death of SAM CROW
The first ever _Sons of Anarchy_ novel that ties directly into the smash hit FX TV show (now heading into its sixth season) about a group of everybody’s favorite American outlaw motorcycle gang. The story follows the Teller-Morrow family of Charming, California, and the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original (SAMCRO), which protects Charming from rival clubs and gangs that threaten the town. Series creator Kurt Sutter tells the continuing story of Jax Teller, the current president of the club, as he navigates the fraught world of alliances and betrayals within SAMCRO and within the town of Charming itself. Shocking secrets and devastating twists that tie in to the show will be revealed in this officially authorized companion novel.
Lawrence Durrell - Bitter Lemons
In Bitter Lemons, Durrell tells the perceptive, often humorous, story of his experiences on Cyprus between 1953 and 1956-first as a visitor, then as a householder and teacher, and finally as Press Advisor to a government coping with armed rebellion. Here are unforgettable pictures of the sunlit villages and people, the ancient buildings, mountains and sea-and the somber political tragedy that finally engulfed the island.
Eleni Kounalakis - Madam Ambassador
A helicopter ride to visit troops in the Afghanistan war zone, a tense meeting with the newly elected Prime Minister, and...a wild boar hunt! Eleni Kounalakis was forty-three and a land developer in Sacramento, California, when she was tapped by President Barack Obama to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Hungary under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. During her tenure, from 2010 to 2013, Hungary was a key ally in the U.S. military surge, held elections in which a center-right candidate gained a two-thirds supermajority and rewrote the country's constitution, and grappled with the rise of Hungarian nationalism and anti-semitism. The first Greek-American woman ever to serve as a U.S. ambassador, Kounalakis recounts her training at the State Department's "charm school" and her three years of diplomatic life in Budapest--from protocols about seating, salutations, and embassy security to what to do when the deposed King of Greece hands you a small chocolate crown (eat it, of course!). A cross between a foreign policy memoir and an inspiring personal family story--her immigrant Greek father went from agricultural day laborer to land developer and major Democratic party activist--"Madam Ambassador" draws back the curtain on what it is like to represent the U.S. government abroad as well as how American embassies around the world function.
H. G. Bissinger - Friday night lights
Odessa, Texas isn’t known to be a place big on dreams, but the Permian Panthers help keep the hopes and dreams of this dusty town going. Socially and racially divided, its fragile economy follows the treacherous boom and bust of the oil business. In bad times, the unemployment rate barrels out of control; in good times, its murder rate skyrockets. But every Friday Night from September to December, when the Permian high school Panthers play football, this West Texas town becomes a place where dreams can come true.
Zsuzsanna Emese Budapest - My Dark Sordid Past As A Heterosexual
Wise, whimsical, witty and spiced with a touch of the deviously wicked. America’s favorite witch stirs up a cauldron from her past in this autobiographical look in the mirror. Z Budapest has written her first tell-all autobiography filled with touching moments of reflection, some amazing moments of courage and tales of self-survival. Z has lead a charmed life of Forest Gump moments and until you read this book, you won't really get the magic that is America’s favorite and most talked about witch. An enjoyable read from front to back, My Dark Sordid Past As A Heterosexual is focused on Z Budapest’s first destiny in life. Graced by the Fates, she definitely walks to her own inner-drummer.
Julian Barnes - Nothing to be Frightened of
'I don’t believe in God, but I miss him.’ Julian Barnes’ new book is, among many things, a family memoir, an exchange with his brother (a philosopher), a meditation on mortality and the fear of death, a celebration of art, an argument with and about God, and a homage to the French writer Jules Renard. Though he warns us that ‘this is not my autobiography’, the result is like a tour of the mind of one of our most brilliant writers.
Boy George - Take it Like a Man
“Where else but in Boy George’s autobiography would there be an index with these sorts of headings: Heroin; Michael, George; Hair, Dyeing. . . . Now that’s entertainment.” —Rolling Stone Boy George—the iconic leader of the eighties’ pop and new wave band Culture Club—offers a candid look at his life, including his relationship with drummer Jon Moss, his addiction to heroin and difficult road to sobriety, his famous cross-dressing, and his fluctuating fame.
Paul Auster - Collected Prose
An updated edition with six new essays, including "An Evening at Shea" and "Remembering Beckett," as well as two long interviews from "one of America's greats" ("Time Out Chicago") The celebrated author of "Invisible," "The New York Trilogy," and "The Book of Illusions "presents a highly personal collection of essays, prefaces, true stories, autobiographical writings (including the seminal work "The Invention of Solitude"), and collaborations with artists, as well as occasional pieces written for magazines and newspapers. Ranging in subject from Sir Walter Raleigh to Kafka, Nathaniel Hawthorne to the high-wire artist Philippe Petit, conceptual artist Sophie Calle to Auster's own typewriter, the World Trade Center catastrophe to his beloved New York City itself, "Collected Prose" records the passions and insights of a writer who "will be remembered as one of the great writers of our time" ("San Francisco Chronicle").
M. K. Gandhi - An Autobiography
Gandhi succeeded in uniting India in a national movement and did as much in the first half of the twentieth century as any other single individual to change the course of history, In this classic autobiography, first published under the title The Story of My Experiments with Truth, he recounts the story of his life from boyhood and childmarriage, through the first stirrings of non-violent protest in South Africa to the early phase of his part in India's fight for independence. Gandhi's aim was not to write a conventional autobiography but to relate his numerous experiments in his search for Absolute Truth - the sovereign principle behind his struggle against racism, violence and colonialism. Powerful and inspirational, it reveals the heart and mind of one of the world's outstanding political and spiritual leaders.
Dubravka Ugrešić - The Museum Of Unconditional Surrender
An unusual beautifully written East European novel in the tradition of Kundera and Borges. This is a deeply East European novel in flavour reminiscent of Kundera and Borges. Through weaving together fragments, stories and diaries Dubravka Ugresic, a prize winning novelist in the former Yugoslavia, captures the world group of characters living in Berlin and Lisbon. Even though this is a novel with little plot, there is something extremely compelling and memorable about Ugresic's beautifully crafted writing. She convincingly brings to life a world and characters preoccupied by questions of exile, nationalism, angels, parables, the Berlin zoo, the layers of meaning in 1's past and future frozen by the camera. Underpinned by a calm note of tragedy, The museum of unconditional Surrender is a beautifully written novel, both bitter and funny in tone.