“He was unbearable, vain, proud, brutal, inconsistent, human. Without him, I would have rotted to death… He was my guardian devil.” As the descendant of two prominent French families and director of one of the world’s most celebrated champagne houses, Philippe Pozzo di Borgo was not someone in the habit of asking for help. Then, in 1993, right on the heels of his wife being diagnosed with a terminal illness, a paragliding accident left him a quadriplegic. Passing his days hidden behind the high walls of his Paris townhouse, Philippe found himself the modern equivalent of an “untouchable”-unable to reach out to others, as others were afraid to reach out to him. The only person who seemed unaffected by Philippe’s condition was someone who had been marginalized his entire life – Abdel, the unemployed, uninhibited Algerian immigrant who would become his unlikely caretaker. In between dramas and jokes, he sustained Philippe’s life for the next ten years. A Second Wind, the basis for the major motion picture The Intouchables, is the inspiring true story of two men who refused to ask for help, and then wound up helping each other.
Margaux Fragoso - Tiger, Tiger
I still think about Peter, the man I loved most in the world, all the time. At two in the afternoon, when he would come and pick me up and take me for rides; at five, when I would read to him, head on his chest; in the despair at seven p.m., when he would hold me and rub my belly for an hour; in the despair again at nine p.m. when we would go for a night ride, down to the Royal Cliffs Diner in Englewood Cliffs where I would buy a cup of coffee with precisely seven sugars and a lot of cream. We were friends, soul mates and lovers. I was seven. He was fifty-one.
Stephen Fried - Thing of beauty
At age seventeen, Gia Carangi was working the counter at her father's Philadelphia luncheonette, Hoagie City. Within a year, Gia was one of the top models of the late 1970's, gracing the covers of Cosmopolitan and Vogue, partying at New York's Studio 54 and the Mudd Club, and redefining the industry's standard of beauty. She was the darling of moguls and movie stars, royalty and rockers. Gia was also a girl in pain, desperate for her mother's approval—and a drug addict on a tragic slide toward oblivion, who started going directly from $10,000-a-day fashion shoots to the heroin shooting galleries on New York's Lower East Side. Finally blackballed from modeling, Gia entered a vastly different world on the streets of New york and Atlantic City, and later in a rehab clinic. At twenty-six, she became one of the first women in America to die of AIDS, a hospital welfare case visited only by rehab friends and what remained of her family. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with Gia's gamily, lovers, friends, and colleagues, Thing of Beauty creates a poignant portrait of an unforgettable character—and a powerful narrative about beauty and sexuality, fame and objectification, mothers and daughters, love and death.
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer - A Promise is a Promise
Eduarda Oberra has been in a diabetic coma for 26 years. Her mother works around the clock caring for her daughter, feeding her every two hours and giving her insulin every four hours. Dr. Dyer read a story about Eduarda and made a commitment to help these women. The recording of this audio not only shares their incredible story with the world but also raises money for Eduarda's care.
Delphine de Vigan - Nothing Holds Back the Night
Only a teenager when Delphine was born, Lucile raised two daughters largely alone. She was a former child model from a Bohemian family, younger and more glamorous than the other mothers: always in lipstick, wayward and wonderful. But as Delphine grew up, Lucile’s occasional sadness gave way to overwhelming despair and delusion. She became convinced she was telepathic and in control of the Paris metro system; she gave away all her money; she was hospitalized, medicated, and released in a kind of trance. Young Delphine was left to wonder: What changed her, or what shaped her all along? In this brilliant investigation into her own family history, Delphine de Vigan attempts to “write her mother,” seeking out something essential as she interviews aging relatives, listens to recordings, and reads Lucile’s own writings. It is a history of luminous beauty and rambunctious joy, of dark secrets and silences. There are untimely deaths and failures of memory. There are revelations and there is the ultimately unknowable. And in the face of the unknowable, personal history becomes fiction: De Vigan must choose from differing accounts and fill in important gaps, using her writer’s imagination to reconstruct a life. De Vigan writes her most expansive novel yet with acute self-awareness and marvelous sympathy. Nothing Holds Back the Night is a remarkable work, universally recognizable and singularly heartbreaking.
Csalog Zsolt - M. Lajos, 42 éves / Lajos M., aged 42
Csalog először a hősének a munkahelyéről való elbocsátásáról ír (négy pokrócot tulajdonított el), majd megemlíti, hogy ismeretségük korábbi keletű. Az író úgy fogalmaz: "42 éves volt, amikor élményeit elmesélte, s amikor történetét első változatban megírtam". A Csalog műveiből ismert technika szerint a "hős" monológja ez is, a szerző leleménye ismét a narrátor kiválasztásában, beszéltetésében és a minden beépített kommentár nélküli jellemábrázolásban áll. A Don-kanyarnál hadifogságba esettek egyikéről kapunk portrét, akit tizenhárom évre Szibériai lágerbe küldenek. Hetvenüket fogták el, és hárman jutottak el Szibériáig; a táborban tizenhatezren voltak, "abbul maradt háromszáz". Életformájukat a "kátorzsnaja rabóta" határozta meg, éhezés és agyondolgoztatás. Rémes, megdöbbentő tényeket sorol fel a narrátor: "Emberhúsevés, az előfordult". "Embert én is ettem" - a visszaélő szakácsot megfőzik egy hatalmas kondérban és megeszik. Előfordulnak erőszakolási jelenetek és más atrocitások ábrázolásai is. Tizenhárom évet töltött Szibériában M. Lajos, itthon is büntették gyanakvásból, előítéletből. A végszó a tragikus élet végén jelentkező rezignált idillé: "semmire se panaszkodok. Mer legalább itthon vagyok..." A szöveg, főleg szókincse, a nyerseségig durva, de (talán éppen emiatt) megrázó és fölrázó. - Nemcsak politikai - irodalmi szenzáció is, a legdöbbenetesebb lágertörténetek egyike.
Dragan Todorović - Diary of Interrupted Days
On April 22, 1999, one month into the NATO offensive against Serbia, Boris Bulie stands on the last barely functioning bridge over the Danube into Belgrade, watching bombs fall on the city he used to call home. His hired car has broken down on the bridge, and though his instincts command him to run to one side of the river or the other to escape the NATO jets, he stands transfixed by the surreal power of the scene. He is also transfixed by the waves of painful and bittersweet memories that brought him to his current impasse. Many novels would quickly wilt under the load of such a dramatically symbolic opening, but debut novelist Dragan Todorovic (author of the non-fiction work The Book of Revenge) wisely returns the action to a more human scale, moving the story back in time to the first of several interconnecting narratives that will, by the novel’s equally powerful ending, return the reader to Boris’s vigil above the Danube. The second chapter opens in 1992. Serbian nationalist Slobodan Milosevic has seized power in a still-united Yugoslavia, but the cracks in the federation are growing every day. Provinces are threatening to become republics, ethnic borders are being drawn down the middle of ancient villages, and the Serbian-dominated army is propping up local militias, ostensibly to protect ethnic Serbians in Croatia and Bosnia. Belgrade, a city that has survived hundreds of wars and rebellions and clampdowns, is still, as Boris’s friend Sara reflects, “smart, lazy, informed, misguided Belgrade. Gossipy, benevolent, slow-rocking city.” But at a peace rally/concert in the city’s core, Boris, an artist whose work viciously parodies the excesses of the Milosevic regime, is attacked by Serbian nationalist skinheads, escaping with a few cuts and bruises and the certainty that he is living in a country “crossbreeding xenophobia with paranoia.” Headlining the concert is the enigmatic and wildly popular singer-songwriter Johnny, Sara’s longtime lover and Boris’s best friend. Johnny’s anti-war songs have attracted the attention of Milosevic’s secret police, who threaten to jail Johnny, Sara, and Boris on drug charges if the singer refuses a short tour of duty in the reserve army – strictly for propaganda purposes, he is assured. Johnny will do his time in the reserves, tell the local press that the Serbian forces are not the monsters the world media has made them out to be, and then return to his life of touring and songwriting. Johnny’s reluctant assent lands him behind the lines in Croatia fighting side by side with a private Serbian militia commanded by a sociopathic gangster known as The Candyman. The trauma and geographical distances of war splinter Johnny’s connections to Sara and Boris, who emigrate to Toronto to escape the violence. Impatient readers may initially be put off by the novel’s time shifts and deliberately fractured narrative structure, but Todorovic is after something more intriguing than the typical dramatic arc of war, dislocation, and memory. Like a postmodern visual artist, he uses a collage technique to deconstruct – without resorting to the distancing effects of deconstructivism – the linear narratives that we use to define and understand political and military conflicts, narratives that too often leave out the idiosyncracies and personal associations of the combatants and civilians on the ground. Diary of Interrupted Days bristles with the energy of those too-human personality tics, subjective reactions, and interpretations. The characters engage in erotically charged intimacies with tenderness and droll black humour before retreating into the protectionist postures of the traumatized. All of the novel’s multiple characters are delineated with the same degree of insight and sympathy, even The Candyman, who, while holding a pistol to Johnny’s head, is described as possessing an “oddly gentle face, as if the gun belonged to another person, someone who happened to share the same hands.” Todorovic laces the characters’ revolving narratives with surreal imagery, as when he describes the imploding air vacuum that proceeds an explosion: “The explosive burns the oxygen in the air, creating a strong vacuum that … draws everything towards the centre of the explosion. The bomb kills then hugs.” There are also passages of unexpected beauty. As Boris looks down on the Danube from the damaged bridge, he reflects, “Small rivers are leafy-green, and bigger ones turn grayish. This river had the steely surface of power.” Here the unmistakable rhythms of poetry create a resonant series of images that do not break ranks with the precision of prose. Todorovic’s fiction debut deserves the same acclaim as Rawi Hage’s De Niro’s Game, a novel that took readers on an equally compelling descent into a war zone.
Jeremy Reed - Altered Balance
Altered Balance, a collaboration between the award-winning poet and novelist, Jeremy Reed, and the photographer, Karolina Urbaniak, is the first book devoted to Coil's founding member, John Balance, who tragically died of a fall on 13 November 2004. Reed's close personal friendship with Balance is explored in an acutely detailed and moving sequence of poems, in a prose memoir recollecting his frequent visits to Chiswick and Weston Super Mare, and in the facsimile reproduction of a selection of highly idiosyncratic hand written letters of Balance's that comprised a part of their regularly sustained correspondence over a period of eight years. The book is complemented throughout by Karolina Urbaniak's highly empathetic, mood-sensitive photos that resonate with Reed's charged imaginative writing.
Hozleiter Fanny - Te döntesz
Mivel töltenék ki egy napot, ha nem lennék kerekesszékben? Sosem feküdnék le, nehogy véget érjen az a csodanap! Fogócskáznék, dögös magas sarkúkban sétálgatnék, fára másznék és rengeteget táncolnék. Az összes számomra fontos ember nyakába beleugranék. Sétálgatnék a Duna-parton és a Városligetben, angyalkát rajzolnék a hóba vagy az avarba. És egyvalamit biztosan kipróbálnék nemcsak állva, de fejen állva is… Sokáig kerestem a miértekre a választ. Vajon miért lettem beteg? Miért küzdjek tovább? Mára azonban már tudom. Azért, hogy megmutassam a világnak: nincs lehetetlen!
Chastity Bono - Michele Kort - The End of Innocence
For the first time, Chastity Bono shares the moving story of her early adulthood: how her traumatic tabloid outing as the openly gay daughter of Sonny and Cher threatened her burgeoning musical career, and how her first true love was taken from her by cancer. At an early age, Chastity survived challenges many of us never face. A story of love won and lost, of dreams fulfilled and destroyed, The End of Innocence is a coming-of-age story that provides a deeply personal look into the private struggles of a very public and courageous woman.
Susan Spencer-Wendel - Bret Witter - Until I Say Good-Bye
What would you do with one last year? Susan Spencer-Wendel was determined to laugh instead of cry. In June 2011, Susan Spencer-Wendel learned she had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - Lou Gehrig's disease - an irreversible condition that systematically destroys the nerves that power the muscles. She was 44-years-old, with three young children, and she had only one year of health remaining. She decided to live that year with joy. She left her job as a journalist and spent time with her family. She built a meeting place for friends in her backyard. And she took seven trips with the seven most important people in her life. As her health declined, Susan journeyed to the Yukon, Hungary, the Bahamas, and Cyprus. She went to the beach with her sons and to Kleinfeld's bridal shop in New York City with her teenage daughter, Marina, for a glimpse of the wedding she will never attend. She also wrote this book. No longer able to walk or even lift her arms, she tapped it out letter by letter on her iPhone using only her right thumb, the last finger still working. And yet Until I Say Good-Bye is not angry or bitter. It is sad in parts - how could it not be? - but it is filled with Susan's optimism, joie de vivre and sens of humour. It is a book that, like Susan, will make everyone smile. From a hilarious family Christmas disaster to the decrepit monastery in eastern Cyprus where she rediscovered her heritage, Until I Say Good-Bye is Susan Spencer-Wendel's unforgettable gift to her loved ones and to us: a record of their final experiences together and a reminder that every day is better when it is lived with joy.
Cathy Glass - Another Forgotten Child
A new memoir from Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author Cathy Glass. Eight-year-old Aimee was on the child protection register at birth. Her five older siblings were taken into care many years ago. So no one can understand why she was left at home to suffer for so long. It seems Aimee was forgotten. The social services are looking for a very experienced foster carer to look after Aimee and, when she reads the referral, Cathy understands why. Despite her reservations, Cathy agrees to Aimee on – there is something about her that reminds Cathy of Jodie (the subject of ‘Damaged’ and the most disturbed child Cathy has cared for), and reading the report instantly tugs at her heart strings. When she arrives, Aimee is angry. And she has every right to be. She has spent the first eight years of her life living with her drug-dependent mother in a flat that the social worker described as ‘not fit for human habitation’. Aimee is so grateful as she snuggles into her bed at Cathy’s house on the first night that it brings Cathy to tears. Aimee’s aggressive mother is constantly causing trouble at contact, and makes sweeping allegations against Cathy and her family in front of her daughter as well. It is a trying time for Cathy, and it makes it difficult for Aimee to settle. But as Aimee begins to trust Cathy, she starts to open up. And the more Cathy learns about Aimee’s life before she came into care, the more horrified she becomes. It’s clear that Aimee should have been rescued much sooner and as her journey seems to be coming to a happy end, Cathy can’t help but reflect on all the other ‘forgotten children’ that are still suffering…
Arthur Golden - Memoirs of a Geisha
A seductive and evocative epic on an intimate scale, that tells the extraordinary story of a geisha girl. Summoning up more than twenty years of Japan's most dramatic history, it uncovers a hidden world of eroticism and enchantment, exploitation and degradation. From a small fishing village in 1929, the tale moves to the glamorous and decadent heart of Kyoto in the 1930s, where a young peasant girl is sold as servant and apprentice to a renowned geisha house. She tells her story many years later from the Waldorf Astoria in New York; it exquisitely evokes another culture, a different time and the details of an extraordinary way of life. It conjures up the perfection and the ugliness of life behind rice-paper screens, where young girls learn the arts of geisha - dancing and singing, how to wind the kimono, how to walk and pour tea, and how to beguile the most powerful men.
Eric Metaxas - Amazing Grace
Amazing Grace tells the story of the remarkable life of the British abolitionist William Wilberforce (1759-1833). This accessible biography chronicles Wilberforce's extraordinary role as a human rights activist, cultural reformer, and member of Parliament. At the center of this heroic life was a passionate twenty-year fight to abolish the British slave trade, a battle Wilberforce won in 1807, as well as efforts to abolish slavery itself in the British colonies, a victory achieved just three days before his death in 1833. Metaxas discovers in this unsung hero a man of whom it can truly be said: he changed the world. Before Wilberforce, few thought slavery was wrong. After Wilberforce, most societies in the world came to see it as a great moral wrong. To mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the British slave trade, HarperSanFrancisco and Bristol Bay Productions have joined together to commemorate the life of William Wilberforce with the feature-length film Amazing Grace and this companion biography, which provides a fuller account of the amazing life of this great man than can be captured on film. This account of Wilberforce's life will help many become acquainted with an exceptional man who was a hero to Abraham Lincoln and an inspiration to the anti-slavery movement in America.
Philip Roth - Patrimony
Patrimony, a true story, touches the emotions as strongly as anything Philip Roth has ever written. Roth watches as his eighty-six-year-old father-- famous for his vigor, charm, and his repertoire of Newark recollections-- battles with the brain tumor that will kill him. The son, full of love, anxiety, and dread, accompanies his father through each fearful stage of his final ordeal, and, as he does so, discloses the survivalist tenacity that has distinguished his father's long, stubborn engagement with life.
Dannii Minogue - My Story
Dannii Minogue first appeared on television aged seven. She signed her first record deal at the age of seventeen and ever since she has been wowing audiences around the world with her charm and her charisma. The daughter of a dancer mother, Dannii found the spotlight early and discovered a passion for entertaining that has never faded. After early soap opera appearances, including Home and Away, a string of chart hits in the early 90s (Love And Kisses, Success, Jump To The Beat, Baby Love, This Is It ...) launched Dannii as an established pop singer before she then re-invented herself as one of the world's most popular female dance acts. Most recently, she has found a new army of loving fans as a judge on The X Factor, where she has charmed audiences with her sincerity, compassion and warmth. Her recent emotional Pier's Morgan interview was watched by a record-breaking six million viewers. In this very personal and uplifting autobiography, Dannii talks openly for the first time about the highs and lows of her 30 year career; her marriage and subsequent divorce to Julian McMahon; the trials and tribulations of her role as an X Factor judge; her relationship with sister Kylie and, of course, becoming a mother. Explosively revealing, Dannii Minogue: My Story is set to be the autobiography of the year.
Anthony Burgess - Shakespeare
Burgess used Shakespeare as a character in his 1964 novel Nothing Like the Sun but turned a more critical eye to the bard's life in this 1970 outing. The book is at once the story of Shakespeare the writer as well as the Elizabethan stage and the times in which he lived and worked. Burgess's obvious ardor for Shakespeare shines through in this short but worthy biography.
Waris Dirie - Cathleen Miller - Desert Flower
Waris Dirie (the name means desert flower) lives a double life - by day she is a famous model and UN spokeswoman on women's rights in Africa, at night she dreams of her native Somalia. Waris, one of 12 children, was born into a traditional family of desert nomads in East Africa. She remembers her early childhood as carefree- racing camels and moving on with her family to the next grazing spot - until it came her turn to meet the old woman who administered the ancient custom imposed on most Somalian girls: circumcision. Waris suffered this torture when she was just five years old. Then, aged 12, when her father attempted to arrange a marriage with a 60 year old stranger in exchange for five camels - she took flight. After an extraordinary escape through the dangerous desert she made her way to London and worked as a maid for the Somalian ambassador until that family returned home. Penniless and speaking little English, she became a janitor in Mc Donalds where she was famously discovered by a fashion photographer. Her story is a truly inspirational and extraordinary self-portrait of a remarkable woman whose spirit is as breathtaking as her beauty.
Alison Weir - Elizabeth the Queen
In her highly praised The Six Wives of Henry VIII and its sequel, Children of England, Alison Weir examined the private lives of the early Tudor kings and queens, and chronicled the childhood and youth of Elizabeth I. This book begins as the young Elizabeth ascends the throne in the wake of her sister Mary’s disastrous reign. Elizabeth is portrayed as both a woman and a queen, an extraordinary phenomenon in a patriarchal age. Alison Weir writes of Elizabeth’s intriguing, long-standing affair with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester; of her dealings — sometimes comical, sometimes poignant — with her many suitors; of her rivalry with Mary, Queen of Scots; and of her bizarre relationship with the Earl of Essex, thirty years her junior. Rich in detail, vivid and colourful, this book comes as close as we shall ever get to knowing what Elizabeth I was like as a person.
Keegan Allen - life.love.beauty
Keegan Allen is the international breakout star of ABC Family’s hit television series, Pretty Little Liars. A gifted photographer and writer—and a dazzling film, television, and stage actor now counting millions of fans across the globe—Keegan Allen brings tremendous talent and energy to his first publishing project. Keegan tells a unique story with his photographs. On one hand, the book is a beautifully candid view into the glamour and timelessness of Hollywood, a mysterious yet wildly alluring place. One the other hand, it is a blissfully unassuming portrait of ordinary life—the unknown young woman gazing dreamily from the balcony of her hotel room, or the old woman who walks the same street every morning in her pink bathrobe, just to stop and talk to a passerby. Through his own stunning photography and captivating prose and poetry, _life. love. beauty._ chronicles the author’s life growing up just off the Sunset Strip, coming into his own as a young aspiring actor, looking for love and understanding, negotiating the seductions and disappointments of Hollywood, landing a plum role in a hit television series, encountering and embracing his fans, traveling the globe to promote his work, and striving to stay connected to his closest friends and loved ones.