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Biography / Autobiography

Writing Out Loud

Writing Out Loud

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You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll write.

She's never taught a class in her life. But when the City of Chicago calls on blind writer Beth Finke to teach a memoir-writing class for older adults, she reluctantly agrees. What she learns about her students, their stories, and herself will move and inspire you.

Written the way Beth hears life, you will come to know and love Minerva, Wanda, Hannelore, and the whole colorful cast of characters who build a community around Beth's classes.

Generously sprinkled with excerpts in her students' own voices, Beth's book will convince you to get your own stories down on paper while there's still time.

Honest, lyrical, and funny ... a beautifully-felt and deeply moving tribute to the ways sharing life stories can connect us with others, and sometimes, with ourselves.

-Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D.
Bestselling author of Strong Women Stay Young

Writing Places: The Life Journey of a Writer and Teacher

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"William Zinsser turns his zest, warmth and curiosity--his sharp but forgiving eye--on his own story. The result is lively, funny and moving, especially for anyone who cares about art and the business of writing well."
--Evan Thomas, Newsweek In Writing Places, William Zinsser--the author of On Writing Well, the bestseller that has inspired two generations of writers, journalists, and students--recalls the many colorful and instructive places where he has worked and taught. Gay Talese, author of A Writer's Life, calls Writing Places, "Wonderful," while the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette praises this unique memoir for possessing "all the qualities that Zinsser believes matter most in good writing--clarity, brevity, simplicity and humanity."
Wuhan Diary

Wuhan Diary

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From one of China's most acclaimed and decorated writers comes a powerful first-person account of life in Wuhan during the COVID-19 outbreak.

On January 25, 2020, after the central government imposed a lockdown in Wuhan, acclaimed Chinese writer Fang Fang began publishing an online diary. In the days and weeks that followed, Fang Fang's nightly postings gave voice to the fears, frustrations, anger, and hope of millions of her fellow citizens, reflecting on the psychological impact of forced isolation, the role of the internet as both community lifeline and source of misinformation, and most tragically, the lives of neighbors and friends taken by the deadly virus.

A fascinating eyewitness account of events as they unfold, Wuhan Diary captures the challenges of daily life and the changing moods and emotions of being quarantined without reliable information. Fang Fang finds solace in small domestic comforts and is inspired by the courage of friends, health professionals and volunteers, as well as the resilience and perseverance of Wuhan's nine million residents. But, by claiming the writer´s duty to record she also speaks out against social injustice, abuse of power, and other problems which impeded the response to the epidemic and gets herself embroiled in online controversies because of it.

As Fang Fang documents the beginning of the global health crisis in real time, we are able to identify patterns and mistakes that many of the countries dealing with the novel coronavirus have later repeated. She reminds us that, in the face of the new virus, the plight of the citizens of Wuhan is also that of citizens everywhere. As Fang Fang writes: "The virus is the common enemy of humankind; that is a lesson for all humanity. The only way we can conquer this virus and free ourselves from its grip is for all members of humankind to work together."

Blending the intimate and the epic, the profound and the quotidian, Wuhan Diary is a remarkable record of an extraordinary time.

Translated from the Chinese by Michael Berry

Yakuza Moon: Memoirs of a Gangster's Daughter

Yakuza Moon: Memoirs of a Gangster's Daughter

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Born to a wealthy and powerful yakuza boss, Shoko Tendo lived the early years of her life in luxury. However, when she was six, everything changed: her father was jailed, and the family fell into debt. Bullied by her classmates because of her father's activities, and terrorized at home by her father, who became a drunken, violent monster after his release from prison, Tendo rebelled. As a teenager she became a drug addict and a member of a girl gang. At the age of 15 she spent eight months in a juvenile detention center after getting into a fight with another gang.

During Japan's bubble economy of the eighties, Tendo worked as a bar hostess, attracting many rich and loyal customers, and earning money to help her family out of debt. But there were also abusive clients, one of whom beat her so badly that her face was left permanently scarred. Her mother died, plunging Tendo into a depression so deep that she tried to commit suicide.

Somehow, Tendo overcame these tough times. A turning point was getting a full-body tattoo with a design centered on a geisha with a dagger in her mouth, an act that empowered her to change her life. She quit her job as a hostess. On her last day at work, she looked up at the full moon, which became a symbol of her struggle to become whole, and the title of the book she wrote as an epitaph for herself and her family.

The paperback edition of Yakuza Moon features 16-pages of never-before-seen photos of Tendos youth, family, and tattoos, as well as a new foreword by the author, describing her life since the book was first published four years ago.

"Emotionally complex and thoroughly heart-rending, this book is recommended for anyone searching for a more thorough and personal understanding of Japanese society. Publishers Weekly


Yakuza Moon: Memoirs of a Gangster's Daughter

Yakuza Moon: Memoirs of a Gangster's Daughter

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Yakuza Moon is the shocking, yet intensely moving memoir of 37-year-old Shoko Tendo, who grew up the daughter of a yakuza boss. Tendo lived her life in luxury until the age of six, when her father was sent to prison and her family fell into terrible debt. Bullied by classmates and terrorized at home by a father who became a drunken, violent monster after his release from prison, Tendo rebelled. A regular visitor to nightclubs at the age of 12, she soon became a drug addict and a member of a girl gang. At 15 she was sentenced to eight months in a juvenile detention center.
Adulthood brought big bucks and glamour when Tendo started working as a bar hostess during Japan's booming bubble economy of the nineteen-eighties. But among her many rich and loyal patrons there were also abusive clients, one of whom beat her so badly that her face was left permanently scarred. When her mother died, Tendo plunged into such a deep depression that she tried to commit suicide twice.
Tendo takes us through the bad times with warmth and candor, and gives a moving and inspiring account of how she overcame a lifetime of discrimination and hardship. Getting tattooed, from the base of her neck to the tips of her toes, with a design centered on a geisha with a dagger in her mouth, was an act that empowered her to start making changes in her life. She quit her job as a hostess. On her last day at the bar she looked up at the full moon, a sight she never forgot. The moon became a symbol of her struggle to become whole, and the title of the book she wrote as an epitaph for herself and her family.
Yank memoir of a World War II soldier

Yank memoir of a World War II soldier

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Ted Ellsworth was a young Dartmouth grad in 1941. In the years before the U.S. joined the Second World War effort, American men who wished to fight against Hitler were granted permission from President Roosevelt and the U.S. Congress to join the British army. In normal circumstance, fighting for another nation's army would be an automatic forfeiture of U.S. citizenship (as noted on U.S. passports). Yank begins with goodbyes to Ellworth's young wife and family. It covers his crossing to Britain, initial stay in London, assignment to a North African tank regiment and the campaign there, participation in the invasion of Italy and the second wave of D-Day, accounts of fierce battles, being taken prisoner by the Germans and shipped to a POW camp, the camp deprivations, liberation by the Russians, and finally, the year Ellsworth spent wandering eastern Europe with no dog-tags, after the war had ended, trying to reach a city from which he could ship back home. Ellsworth had been officially MIA for over two years, and everyone assumed he was dead. The final pages detail Ellsworth's homecoming when his wife hand-delivers the beautiful and intimate note that she'd written him when he was first reported missing.

Yankee for Life: My 40-Year Jouney in Pinstripes

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A former Yankees great remembers his years in pinstripes and talks candidly about his courageous battle with brain cancer.

As he stepped to the plate at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day in 1966, Bobby Murcer carried with him the hopes and expectations of Yankees fans looking for the next Mickey Mantle.

Like Mantle, Murcer was a phenom from Oklahoma. Like Mantle, he came up to the majors as a shortstop, but was later converted to a centerfielder. And like Mantle, his first at-bat in Yankee Stadium was at the tender age of 19.

Bobby wasn't the Mick, but he became one of the most beloved Yankees of all time.

Yankee for Life is the story of Murcer's stellar career as both a player and as an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster. With self-effacing humor and down-home charm, he shares fascinating, illuminating, and never-before-told anecdotes about former teammates and bosses, including Mantle, Phil Rizzuto, Lou Piniella--and George Steinbrenner.

But no relationship was more significant and poignant than his friendship with Yankees captain Thurman Munson, who died in a plane crash in 1979. On the morning of Munson's funeral, Murcer delivered the eulogy for his friend in Ohio; he ended the day by driving in all five runs in an extra-inning 5-4 victory at Yankee Stadium to honor his captain's memory.

Following his career, Murcer became a revered figure in the Yankees broadcast booth. From the best seat in the House That Ruth Built, he has watched the latest generation of Yankee superstars--Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Mariano Rivera--grow up.

No one is more qualified--or brave enough--to choose his own personal Pinstripe All-Star Team of the last 40 years.

Murcer is no stranger to courage. On Christmas Eve 2006, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Five days later, after surgery to remove it, he learned that the cancer was terminal. In an uplifting, honest, and even humorous exploration of his battle with illness, Murcer explains how the love of his wife and his family, a deep religious faith, and the passionate support of fans have seen him through his ordeal.

Bobby Murcer may not have become the next Mickey Mantle, but he became someone he always wanted to be--a Yankee for life.

Yarn: Remembering the Way Home

Yarn: Remembering the Way Home

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A memoir of crossing cultures, losing love and finding home by a New York Times Notable author in her prime. "Kyoko Mori writes about loss so quietly and wisely, and in a way no other memoirist I've read has ever managed." - Suzanne Berne, The Ghost at the Table, A Perfect Arrangement, A Crime in the Neighbourhood (Orange Prize for Fiction), and Lucile: My Grandmother in History, and Vice Versa. "Sit with Kyoko Mori as she artfully takes in hand needles and fiber, and also the realities of her life story, to knit this gorgeous memoir of loss, emigration, grief, identity and the work of her hands." - Suzanne Strempek Shea, Sundays in America: A Year-Long Roadtrip in Search of Christian Faith "Kyoko Mori's books are like red dragonflies at sunset. Afterwards, I'm not sure if I really experienced them or if it was a dream." - Henri Cole, Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize author of Middle Earth and Blackbird and Wolf As steadily and quietly as her marriage falls apart, so Kyoko Mori's understanding of knitting deepens. From the flawed school mittens made in her native Japan, where needlework is used as a way to prepare women for marriage and silence, to the beautiful unmatched patterns of cardigans, hats and shawls made in the American Midwest, Kyoko draws the connection between knitting and the new life she tried to establish in the United States. From the suicide of her mother to the last empty days of her marriage, Kyoko finds a way to begin again on her own terms. Interspersed with fact and history about knitting throughout, the narrative touchingly contemplates the nature of love, loss and what holds a marriage together. In the tradition of M. F. K. Fisher's The Gastronomical Me and Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire, Kyoko Mori examines a particular subject to understand human nature―when to unravel, when to begin again, when to drop the stitch, and when to declare...it's finished.
Year In The Life Of William Shakespeare

Year In The Life Of William Shakespeare

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What accounts for Shakespeare's transformation from talented poet and playwright to one of the greatest writers who ever lived? In this gripping account, James Shapiro sets out to answer this question, succeed[ing] where others have fallen short. (Boston Globe)

1599 was an epochal year for Shakespeare and England. During that year, Shakespeare wrote four of his most famous plays: Henry the Fifth, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and, most remarkably, Hamlet; Elizabethans sent off an army to crush an Irish rebellion, weathered an Armada threat from Spain, gambled on a fledgling East India Company, and waited to see who would succeed their aging and childless queen.

James Shapiro illuminates both Shakespeare's staggering achievement and what Elizabethans experienced in the course of 1599, bringing together the news and the intrigue of the times with a wonderful evocation of how Shakespeare worked as an actor, businessman, and playwright. The result is an exceptionally immediate and gripping account of an inspiring moment in history.

Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

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What accounts for Shakespeare's transformation from talented poet and playwright to one of the greatest writers who ever lived? In this gripping account, James Shapiro sets out to answer this question, succeed[ing] where others have fallen short. (Boston Globe)

1599 was an epochal year for Shakespeare and England. During that year, Shakespeare wrote four of his most famous plays: Henry the Fifth, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and, most remarkably, Hamlet; Elizabethans sent off an army to crush an Irish rebellion, weathered an Armada threat from Spain, gambled on a fledgling East India Company, and waited to see who would succeed their aging and childless queen.

James Shapiro illuminates both Shakespeare's staggering achievement and what Elizabethans experienced in the course of 1599, bringing together the news and the intrigue of the times with a wonderful evocation of how Shakespeare worked as an actor, businessman, and playwright. The result is an exceptionally immediate and gripping account of an inspiring moment in history.

Year in Van Nuys

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With four hardcover printings, appearances at the top of the Los Angeles Times bestseller list, and rave reviews, this charmingly irreverent, laugh-out-loud send-up of A Year in Provence by popular NPR voice Sandra Tsing Loh is now available in paperback.

An acclaimed author, performer, radio personality, and comedienne, Loh celebrates the smart-ass machinations of her own "diseased mind" and takes us on a Valley Girl tour through the tattered L.A. suburb (consistently rated among the worst places to live in America) she calls home. A Year in Van Nuys is a deliciously neurotic romp through a quintessential slice of contemporary Americana -- and early mid-life crisis.

Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606

Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606

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Preeminent Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro, author of Shakespeare in a Divided America, shows how the tumultuous events in 1606 influenced three of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies written that year--King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra. "The Year of Lear is irresistible--a banquet of wisdom" (The New York Times Book Review).

In the years leading up to 1606, Shakespeare's great productivity had ebbed. But that year, at age forty-two, he found his footing again, finishing a play he had begun the previous autumn--King Lear--then writing two other great tragedies, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra.

It was a memorable year in England as well--a terrorist plot conceived by a small group of Catholic gentry had been uncovered at the last hour. The foiled Gunpowder Plot would have blown up the king and royal family along with the nation's political and religious leadership. The aborted plot renewed anti-Catholic sentiment and laid bare divisions in the kingdom.

It was against this background that Shakespeare finished Lear, a play about a divided kingdom, then wrote a tragedy that turned on the murder of a Scottish king, Macbeth. He ended this astonishing year with a third masterpiece no less steeped in current events and concerns: Antony and Cleopatra.

"Exciting and sometimes revelatory, in The Year of Lear, James Shapiro takes a closer look at the political and social turmoil that contributed to the creation of three supreme masterpieces" (The Washington Post). He places them in the context of their times, while also allowing us greater insight into how Shakespeare was personally touched by such events as a terrible outbreak of plague and growing religious divisions. "His great gift is to make the plays seem at once more comprehensible and more staggering" (The New York Review of Books). For anyone interested in Shakespeare, this is an indispensable book.

Year of Magical Thinking

Year of Magical Thinking

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National Bestseller

From one of America's iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion that explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage--and a life, in good times and bad--that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.

Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill with what seemed at first flu, then pneumonia, then complete septic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later--the night before New Year's Eve--the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John Gregory Dunne suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of forty years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LAX, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Center to relieve a massive hematoma.

This powerful book is Didion' s attempt to make sense of the "weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness . . . about marriage and children and memory . . . about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself."

Year of No Sugar: A Memoir

Year of No Sugar: A Memoir

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For fans of the New York Times bestseller I Quit Sugar or Katie Couric's controversial food industry documentary Fed Up, A Year of No Sugar is a "delightfully readable account of how [one family] survived a yearlong sugar-free diet and lived to tell the tale...A funny, intelligent, and informative memoir." --Kirkus

It's dinnertime. Do you know where your sugar is coming from? Most likely everywhere. Sure, it's in ice cream and cookies, but what scared Eve O. Schaub was the secret world of sugar--hidden in bacon, crackers, salad dressing, pasta sauce, chicken broth, and baby food.

With her eyes opened by the work of obesity expert Dr. Robert Lustig and others, Eve challenged her husband and two school-age daughters to join her on a quest to quit sugar for an entire year.

Along the way, Eve uncovered the real costs of our sugar-heavy American diet--including diabetes, obesity, and increased incidences of health problems such as heart disease and cancer. The stories, tips, and recipes she shares throw fresh light on questionable nutritional advice we've been following for years and show that it is possible to eat at restaurants and go grocery shopping--with less and even no added sugar.

Year of No Sugar is what the conversation about "kicking the sugar addiction" looks like for a real American family--a roller coaster of unexpected discoveries and challenges.

"As an outspoken advocate for healthy eating, I found Schaub's book to shine a much-needed spotlight on an aspect of American culture that is making us sick, fat, and unhappy, and it does so with wit and warmth."--Suvir Sara, author of Indian Home Cooking

"Delicious and compelling, her book is just about the best sugar substitute I've ever encountered."--Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Powers

Year of the Monkey

Year of the Monkey

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Riveting, elegant, humorous--and illustrated by Smith's signature Polaroids--New York Times bestseller Year of the Monkey is a moving and original work, a touchstone for our turbulent times.

"A picaresque voyage through Patti Smith's dreams and life, blending fiction and reality, conjured characters and actual ones"--The New York Times

Following a run of new year's concerts at San Francisco's legendary Fillmore, Patti Smith finds herself tramping the coast of Santa Cruz, about to embark on a year of solitary wandering. Unfettered by logic or time, she draws us into her private wonderland, in which she debates intellectual grifters and spars with the likes of a postmodern Cheshire Cat. Then, in February 2016, a surreal lunar year begins, bringing unexpected turns, heightened mischief, and inescapable sorrow. For Smith--inveterately curious, always exploring, always writing--this becomes a year of reckoning with the changes in life's gyre: with loss, aging, and a dramatic shift in the political landscape of America.

Taking us from California to the Arizona desert, from a Kentucky farm to the hospital room of a valued mentor, Smith melds the western landscape with her own dreamscape in a haunting, poetic blend of fact and fiction. As a stranger tells her, "Anything is possible. After all, it's the Year of the Monkey." But as Smith heads toward a new decade in her own life, she offers this balm to the reader: her wisdom, wit, gimlet eye, and above all, a rugged hope for a better world.

Named one of NPR's Best Books of the Year--now including a new chapter, Epilogue of an Epilogue, and ten new photos--Year of the Monkey "reminds us that despair and possibility often spring from the same source" (Los Angeles Times).


Year Of Yes

Year Of Yes

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Like many young people everywhere, playwright Maria Headley had had her fill of terrible dates. Discouraged and looking for love, she decided the time had come for her to eliminate her own (clearly not adequately discriminating) taste from the equation. Instead-as she vowed to her roommates one frustrated morning-she would date every person who asked her out for an entire year, regardless of circumstances. It would be her Year of Yes.Leaving her judgment and predispositions at the door, our heroine ventured into a world suddenly brimming with opportunity and found herself saying yes to: l-The Microsoft Millionaire who still lived with his mom.l-An actor she had previously sworn off as gay.l-And finally the significantly older man, divorced with kids, who she never would have looked at twice before the Year of Yes-and to whom she is now happily married.Hilariously funny and ultimately inspirational, The Year of Yes will appeal to every person who has turned down a date for the wrong reason.

Yearbook

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Yearbook

Yearbook

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#2 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* - "Rogen's candid collection of sidesplitting essays . . . thrives at both explaining and encapsulating a generational comedic voice."--The Washington Post

A collection of funny personal essays from one of the writers of Superbad and Pineapple Express and one of the producers of The Disaster Artist, Neighbors, and The Boys. (All of these words have been added to help this book show up in people's searches

using the wonders of algorithmic technology. Thanks for bearing with us!)

Hi! I'm Seth! I was asked to describe my book, Yearbook, for the inside flap (which is a gross phrase) and for websites and shit like that, so... here it goes!!!

Yearbook is a collection of true stories that I desperately hope are just funny at worst, and life-changingly amazing at best. (I understand that it's likely the former, which is a fancy "book" way of saying "the first one.")

I talk about my grandparents, doing stand-up comedy as a teenager, bar mitzvahs, and Jewish summer camp, and tell way more stories about doing drugs than my mother would like. I also talk about some of my adventures in Los Angeles, and surely say things about other famous people that will create a wildly awkward conversation for me at a party one day.

I hope you enjoy the book should you buy it, and if you don't enjoy it, I'm sorry. If you ever see me on the street and explain the situation, I'll do my best to make it up to you.

*I was beaten by Bill O'Reilly, which really sucks.