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The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash: My Life, My Beats

by David Ritz Grandmaster Flash

A no-holds-barred memoir from the primary architect of hip hop and one of the culture's most revered music icons--both the tale of his life and legacy and a testament to dogged determination. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five fomented the musical revolution known as hip hop. Theirs was a groundbreaking union between one DJ and five rapping MCs. One of the first hip hop posses, they were responsible for such masterpieces as "The Message" and "Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel. " In the 1970s Grandmaster Flash pioneered the art of break-beat DJing--the process of remixing and thereby creating a new piece of music by playing vinyl records and turntables as musical instruments. Disco-era DJs spun records so that people could dance. The original turntablist, Flash took it a step further by cutting, rubbing, backspinning, and mixing records, focusing on "breaks"--what Flash described as "the short, climactic parts of the records that really grabbed me"--as a way of heightening musical excitement and creating something new. Now the man who paved the way for such artists as Jay-Z, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, and 50 Cent tells all--from his early days on the mean streets of the South Bronx, to the heights of hip hop stardom, losing millions at the hands of his record label, his downward spiral into cocaine addiction, and his ultimate redemption with the help and love of his family and friends. In this powerful memoir, Flash recounts how music from the streets, much like rock 'n' roll a generation before, became the sound of an era and swept a nation with its funk, flavor, and beat.

Balance

by David Ritz Nik Wallenda

Nik Wallenda, "King of the High Wire," doesn't know fear. As a seventh generation of the legendary Wallenda family, he grew up performing, entertaining, and pushing the boundaries of gravity and balance. When Nik was four years old, he watched a video from 1978 of his great grandfather, Karl Wallenda, walking between the towers of the Condado Plaza Hotel in Puerto Rico, stumbling, and falling to his death because of improper rigging. When Nik heard his father quote his great-grandfather-"Life is on the wire, everything else is just waiting"-the words resonated deep within his soul and he vowed to be a hero like Karl Wallenda. Balance is the theme of Nik's life: between his work and family, his faith in God and artistry, his body and soul. It resonates from him when performing and when no one is looking. When walking across Niagara Falls, he prayed aloud the entire time, and to keep his lust for glory and fame in check, Nik returned to the site of his performance the next day and spent three hours cleaning up trash left by the crowd. Nik Wallenda is an entertainer who wants to not only thrill hearts, but to change hearts for Christ. Christ is the balance pole that keeps him from falling.Nik Wallenda is an entertainer who wants to not only thrill hearts, but to change hearts for Christ. Christ is the balance pole that keeps him from falling.

Brother Ray: Ray Charles' Own Story

by Ray Charles David Ritz

Ray Charles (1930-2004) led one of the most extraordinary lives of any popular musician. In Brother Ray, he tells his story in an inimitable and unsparing voice, from the chronicle of his musical development to his heroin addiction to his tangled romantic life. Overcoming poverty, blindness, the loss of his parents, and the pervasive racism of the era, Ray Charles was acclaimed worldwide as a genius by the age of thirty-two. By combining the influences of gospel, jazz, blues, and country music, he invented, almost single-handedly, what became known as soul. And throughout a career spanning more than a half century, Ray Charles remained in complete control of his life and his music, allowing nobody to tell him what he could and couldn't do. As theChicago Sun-Timesput it,Brother Rayis "candid, explicit, sometimes embarrassing, often hilarious, always warm, touching and deeply human-just like his music. "

Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye

by David Ritz

In this intimate biography of the Prince of Soul, David Ritz provides a candid look at a star and a friend. Ritz had been working on Gaye's story for several years before the singer's tragic death, and had conducted a series of extraordinary interviews in which Gaye discussed his deepest secrets. Drawing from these interviews, Gaye's life is recounted in his own words and the words of those who knew him best: his family, friends, and colleagues. What emerges is a full-scale portrait of a charming but tortured artist, a brilliant singer with a divided soul. Here is Marvin's story, from his early years as an abused child in the slums of Washington, D. C. , through his rise to the top of the Motown industry, his fall from grace, and his comeback, to his death at the hands of his own father. But it is also the story of his music, and the music of Black America over the past four decades-from gospel to doo-wop to soul to funk. The result is an epic tale whose cast of characters includes Diana Ross, Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, and Stevie Wonder, among others. The definitive biography of an enormously gifted and sensitive man, Divided Soul takes us deep into the life and music of one of America's most soulful-and most troubled-singers.

Equilibrio

by David Ritz Nik Wallenda

Nik Wallenda, "King of the High Wire," doesn't know fear. As a seventh generation of the legendary Wallenda family, he grew up performing, entertaining, and pushing the boundaries of gravity and balance. When Nik was four years old, he watched a video from 1978 of his great grandfather, Karl Wallenda, walking between the towers of the Condado Plaza Hotel in Puerto Rico, stumbling, and falling to his death because of improper rigging. When Nik heard his father quote his great-grandfather-"Life is on the wire, everything else is just waiting"-the words resonated deep within his soul and he vowed to be a hero like Karl Wallenda. Balance is the theme of Nik's life: between his work and family, his faith in God and artistry, his body and soul. It resonates from him when performing and when no one is looking. When walking across Niagara Falls, he prayed aloud the entire time, and to keep his lust for glory and fame in check, Nik returned to the site of his performance the next day and spent three hours cleaning up trash left by the crowd. Nik Wallenda is an entertainer who wants to not only thrill hearts, but to change hearts for Christ. Christ is the balance pole that keeps him from falling.Nik Wallenda is an entertainer who wants to not only thrill hearts, but to change hearts for Christ. Christ is the balance pole that keeps him from falling.

Grace After Midnight: A Memoir

by David Ritz Felicia Pearson

While Felicia is a brilliant actor in a truly chilling role, what's most remarkable about "Snoop" is what she has overcome in her life. Snoop was born a three-pound cross-eyed crack baby in East Baltimore. Those streets are among the toughest in the world, but Snoop was tougher. The runt of the ghetto showed an early aptitude for drug slinging and violence and thrived as a baby gangsta until she landed in Jessup state penitentiary after killing a woman in self-defense. There she rebelled violently against the system, and it was only through the cosmic intervention of her mentor, Uncle Loney, that she turned her life around. A couple of years ago, Snoop was discovered in a nightclub by one of The Wire's cast members and quickly recruited to be one of television's most frightening and intriguing villains.

Hound Dog: The Leiber & Stoller Autobiography

by David Ritz Mike Stoller Jerry Leiber

In 1950 a couple of rhythm and blues-loving teenagers named Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller met for the first time. Leiber was looking for someone to help compose music for lyrics he'd written, and a friend recommended a piano player named Mike Stoller. They discovered their mutual affection for R&B, and, as Jerry and Mike put it in this fascinating autobiography, it was the beginning of an argument that has been going on for more than fifty years with no resolution in sight.

Howling at the Moon: The Odyssey of a Monstrous Music Mogul in an Age of Excess

by Walter Yetnikoff David Ritz

The music industry's most outspoken, outrageous, and phenomenally successful executive delivers a rollicking memoir of pop music's heyday. During the 1970s and '80s the music business was dominated by a few major labels and artists such as Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Barbra Streisand and James Taylor. They were all under contract to CBS Records, making it the most successful label of the era. And, as the company's president, Walter Yetnikoff was the ruling monarch. He was also the most flamboyant, volatile and controversial personality to emerge from an industry and era defined by sex, drugs and debauchery. Having risen from working-class Brooklyn and the legal department of CBS, Yetnikoff, who freely admitted to being tone deaf, was an unlikely label head. But he had an uncanny knack for fostering talent and intimidating rivals with his appalling behavior--usually fueled by an explosive combination of cocaine and alcohol. His tantrums, appetite for mind-altering substances and sexual exploits were legendary. In Japan to meet the Sony executives who acquired CBS during his tenure, Walter was assigned a minder who confined him to a hotel room. True to form, Walter raided the minibar, got blasted and, seeing no other means of escape, opened a hotel window and vented his rage by literally howling at the moon. In Howling at the Moon, Yetnikoff traces his journey as he climbed the corporate mountain, danced on its summit and crashed and burned. We see how Walter became the father-confessor to Michael Jackson as the King of Pop reconstructed his face and agonized over his image while constructing Thriller (and how, after it won seven Grammies, Jackson made the preposterous demand that Walter take producer Quincy Jones's name off the album); we see Walter, in maniacal pursuit of a contract, chase the Rolling Stones around the world and nearly come to blows with Mick Jagger in the process; we get the tale of how Walter and Marvin Gaye--fresh from the success of "Sexual Healing"--share the same woman, and of how Walter bonds with Bob Dylan because of their mutual Jewishness. At the same time we witness Yetnikoff's clashes with Barry Diller, David Geffen, Tommy Mottola, Allen Grubman and a host of others. Seemingly, the more Yetnikoff feeds his cravings for power, sex, liquor and cocaine, the more profitable CBS becomes--from $485 million to well over $2 billion--until he finally succumbs, ironically, not to substances, but to a corporate coup. Reflecting on the sinister cycle that left his career in tatters and CBS flush with cash, Yetnikoff emerges with a hunger for redemption and a new reverence for his working-class Brooklyn roots. Ruthlessly candid, uproariously hilarious and compulsively readable, Howling at the Moon is a blistering You'll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again of the music industry.

I Was Born This Way

by Carl Bean David Ritz

In I Was Born This Way, Carl Bean, former Motown recording artist, noted AIDS activist, and founder of the Unity Fellowship of Christ Church in Los Angeles, shares his extraordinary personal journey from Baltimore foster homes to the stage of the Apollo Theater and beyond.CARL BEAN has been crossing boundaries all his life and helping others do the same. He's never been stopped by his race or orientation, never fit or stayed in the boxes people have wanted to put him in. He left his foster home in Baltimore at seventeen and took the bus to New York City, where he quickly found the rich culture of the Harlem churches. As a singer, first with the gospel Alex Bradford Singers and later as a Motown recording artist, Bean was a sensation. When Berry Gordy signed him to record "I Was Born This Way," it was a first: the biggest black-owned record company broadcasting a statement on gender identity. The #1 song, recorded with the Sweet Inspirations, was the first gay liberation dance club hit.Whether making records, educating the black community about HIV and AIDS, or preaching to his growing congregation, Archbishop Bean has never wanted to minister to just one group. He's worked on AIDS issues with C. Everett Koop and Elizabeth Taylor and on civil rights issues with Maxine Waters, Julian Bond, and Reverend Joseph Lowery. At the height of his recording career, he worked with Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, Miles Davis, and Sammy Davis Jr. He's brought South Central Los Angeles gang members into his church, which now has 25,000 members in twelve cities nationwide; those same Crips and Bloods have shown up at the Gay Pride parades Bean has organized with U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters. And he has courageously devoted his time and energy to spurring black civil rights leaders to address the AIDS health crisis within the African American community--an issue on which they had been silent.Preaching an all-embracing progressive theology, he is an outspoken practitioner of brotherly love, a dynamic preacher, and a social activist. The Unity Fellowship message is grace: "God is love, and God is for everyone"; "God is gay, God is straight, God is black, God is white." I Was Born This Way is the rare personal history of one of black gospel's biggest stars and a frank, powerful, and warmhearted testament to how one man found his calling.

Journey of a Thousand Miles: My Story

by Lang Lang David Ritz

Journey of a Thousand Miles tells the remarkable story of a boy who sacrificed almost everything -- family, financial security, childhood, his reputation in China's insular classical music world -- to fulfil his promise as a classical pianist. Lang Lang was born in Shenyang in north-eastern China just after the end of the Cultural Revolution. He began piano lessons at three and by ten had been awarded a place at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. In order to continue his studies he moved thousands of miles from home, living with his exacting father in a cramped, shared apartment, while his mother stayed at home to earn the money to pay his fees. Lang Lang reveals that his father's ruthless discipline reflects a national obsession with winning at all costs. At fifteen he moved to the United States to take up a scholarship at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia; by nineteen he was selling out Carnegie Hall. His tutor and mentor Daniel Barenboim has described him as 'extraordinarily talented'. Now twenty-six, Lang Lang tours relentlessly, delighting sell-out audiences with his trademark flamboyance and showmanship. His inspiring story demonstrates the courage and self-sacrifice required to achieve artistic greatness.

Lady Sings the Blues the 50th Anniversary Edition

by David Ritz Billie Holiday William Dufty

With photosOriginally released by Doubleday in 1956, Harlem Moon Classics celebrates the publication with the fiftieth-anniversary edition of Billie Holiday's unforgettable and timeless memoir. Updated with an insightful introduction and a revised discography, both written by celebrated music writer David Ritz.Lady Sings the Blues is the fiercely honest, no-holds-barred autobiography of Billie Holiday, the legendary jazz, swing, and standards singing sensation. Taking the reader on a fast-moving journey from Holiday's rough-and-tumble Baltimore childhood (where she ran errands at a whorehouse in exchange for the chance to listen to Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith albums), to her emergence on Harlem's club scene, to sold-out performances with the Count Basie Orchestra and with Artie Shaw and his band, this revelatory memoir is notable for its trenchant observations on the racism that darkened Billie's life and the heroin addiction that ended it too soon. We are with her during the mesmerizing debut of "Strange Fruit"; with her as she rubs shoulders with the biggest movie stars and musicians of the day (Bob Hope, Lana Turner, Clark Gable, Benny Goodman, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, and more); and with her through the scrapes with Jim Crow, spats with Sarah Vaughan, ignominious jailings, and tragic decline. All of this is told in Holiday's tart, streetwise style and hip patois that makes it read as if it were written yesterday.

Love Brought Me Back: A Journey of Loss and Gain

by David Ritz Natalie Cole

IN THIS LUMINOUS MEMOIR, LEGENDARY SINGER AND ACTRESS NATALIE COLE TELLS A REMARKABLE STORY OF LIFE-THREATENING ILLNESS AND RECOVERY, AND THE STORY OF A DEATH THAT BROUGHT NEW LIFE. In 2009 Natalie Cole was on dialysis, her kidneys failing. Without a kidney transplant, her future was uncertain. Throughout Natalie's illness one of her biggest supporters was her beloved sister Cooke. But then Cooke herself became ill, with cancer. Astonishingly, as Cooke lay dying in a hospital, Natalie received a call that a kidney was available, but the surgery had to be performed immediately. Natalie couldn't leave her sister's side--but neither could she refuse the kidney that would save her own life. This is a story of sisters, Natalie and Cooke, but also of the sisters who made the transplant possible, Patty and Jessica. It was Jessica's death that gave new life to Natalie, even as Natalie experienced the devastating loss of Cooke. Patty, too, suffered her own terrible loss, but when she met Natalie, she found that her sister's spirit still lived. Through the gift of life, Natalie and Patty became sisters in spirit. Love Brought Me Back is a story of loss and recovery, sorrow and joy, success and despair--and, finally, success again. It will touch you as few memoirs ever have.

Love Tornado

by Mable John David Ritz

Pastor Albertina Merci, the former blues singer turned minister, juggles rap, romance, family, and faith in the third book in this delightful series. The unexpected arrival of fifteen-year-old rapper J Love hits Pastor Merci with the force of a whirlwind. When J's mother is killed in a tragic bus accident, Albertina is named his legal guardian. The situation quickly complicates her budding romance with Mario, the owner of a thriving L. A. café. As Albertina struggles to keep things on an even keel, J embarks on a dangerous journey of his own. Seduced by Bishop Henry Gold's daughter Damitra, J abandons his career as a gospel rapper and joins the flashy, materialistic world of gangsta rap. Pastor Merci must draw on every ounce of faith she has to bring everyone's voyage to a happy ending.

A Moment in Time

by Ralph Branca David Ritz

RALPH BRANCA is best known for throwing the pitch that resulted in Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World," the historic home run that capped an incredible comeback and won the pennant for the New York Giants in 1951. Branca was on the losing end of what many consider to be baseball's most thrilling moment, but that notoriety belies a profoundly successful life and career. A Moment in Time details the remarkable story of a man who could have been destroyed by a supreme professional embarrassment--but wasn't. Branca came up as a young phenom, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers during their heyday. He was a staple of the Dodgers' teams in the late 1940s, dominating the National League. It's no stretch to say that New York baseball was the center of the sporting universe and that the players were part of the fabric of the neighborhoods, of the city itself. A Moment in Time offers a rare first-person perspective on the golden era of baseball, opening a window on an amazing world populated by legendary characters such as Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges, Leo Durocher, Branch Rickey, and Walter O'Malley. Ralph Branca sits us down and tells us an entertaining, deeply inspiring, classic baseball tale. ***I LOVE BASEBALL. "Baseball is the reason I am writing this book, the reason I've led a life worth reexamining and dissecting. Baseball is the passion that carried me from childhood to manhood. It is how I fought my way from the working class to the middle class. Were it not for baseball, I would not have met Ann, my wife, the mother of our daughters, and my dearest friend for the past sixty years. Baseball has excited my mind, stirred my soul, and brought out the best in me. I look at baseball deeply. Most of us whose lives have been defined by baseball do. Of course, it's principally a sport--a beautiful sport based on a poetic geometry. It is a game played outside of time. You play it not until the clock runs out, but until there is a clear winner. That takes as long as it takes. It is a pastoral game usually set inside a city. You play in a pasture--an urban pasture--where an expanse of grass calls you to the competition. Of course, you can also play on the dirt field of a farm, a sandlot, or a concrete street. Wherever you play, though, time is suspended. Like millions of other kids, I lost track of time whenever I played--playing through breakfast, lunch, dinner; playing until the very last rays of daylight disappeared; playing under the glow of a street lamp or a full moon; playing with the hope that the game would never stop and that real time--any time but baseball time--would never resume. The dream was to turn life into a baseball game." --from the Introduction

Not Dead & Not for Sale

by David Ritz Scott Weiland

In the early 1990s, Stone Temple Pilots--not U2, not Nirvana, not Pearl Jam-- was the hottest band in the world. STP toppled such mega-bands as Aerosmith and Guns N' Roses on MTV and the Billboard charts. Lead singer Scott Weiland became an iconic front man in the tradition of Mick Jagger, David Bowie, and Robert Plant. Then, when STP imploded, it was Weiland who emerged as the emblem of rock star excess, with his well-publicized drug busts and trips to rehab. Weiland has since made a series of stunning comebacks, fronting the supergroup Velvet Revolver, releasing solo work, and, most recently, reuniting with Stone Temple Pilots. He still struggles with the bottle, but he has prevailed as a loving, dedicated father, as well as a business-savvy artist whose well of creativity is far from empty. These earthling papers explore Weiland's early years as an altar boy right along with his first experiences with sex and drugs. Weiland discusses his complex relationships with his parents, stepfather, siblings, and the love of his life, Mary Forsberg Weiland. Readers learn the fascinating stories behind his most well-known songs and what it was like to be there at the beginning of the grunge phenomenon, as Rolling Stone proclaimed on its cover: "the year punk broke." Not Dead & Not for Sale is a hard rock memoir to be reckoned with--a passionate, insightful, and at times humorous book that reads with extraordinary narrative force.

Power & Beauty

by Tip "T.I." Harris David Ritz

Hip-hop artist Tip "T.I." Harris has received every acclaim the music world has to offer. Now, working with bestselling celebrity collaborator David Ritz, T.I. applies all his talent and experience to the world of fiction by creating the epic love story of Power and Beauty. After the death of his mother, Charlotte, Paul "Power" Clay allows himself to be guided by Slim, a local businessman. Slim always has the best of everything, and Power is sure that if he learns Slim's ways, he'll make something of himself--and perhaps be worthy of Tanya "Beauty" Long. From Chicago to Miami to New York, through drugs, women, and violence, Power makes the difficult transition from boy to man and, in doing so, begins to question if those who have taught him--including Slim--truly have his best interests at heart. Beauty has always known that the only person she can rely on is herself. After her mother died when she was eleven years old, she was adopted by close family friend Charlotte Clay. But with Charlotte's death, Beauty knows she's no longer safe and protected--especially as Power gets sucked into a new kind of life. As soon as she can, she turns her back on Atlanta--and the growing love she feels for Power--for a chance to make it in the Big Apple. With a successful fashion career on the horizon, Beauty takes New York by storm with her wit, business savvy, and breathtaking good looks. But she's never forgotten those she left behind. And when it becomes clear that Power needs her, Beauty will risk everything to save the man she loves.

Queen Pin

by David Ritz Jemeker Thompson-Hairston

Jemeker Thompson-Hairston paid a heavy price for her involvement in the drug game. Learning from her sources of a federal investigation, Jemeker went on the run. It was love for her young son that brought her back to Los Angeles, even though she knew she would be arrested. A subsequent 15-year sentence would cost her not only her legitimate business and the fortune she'd amassed through the drug trade, but the most precious thing of all: time with her child. But not all was lost. Fortunately, while Thompson-Hairston was serving out the fifteen-year sentence, one pivotal moment helped her turn her life around, setting her on a path to help and inspire others like her. Now, in QUEEN PIN, written with New York Times bestselling author David Ritz, she reveals in gripping detail her journey of redemption that readers won't soon forget.

Rickles' Book

by Don Rickles David Ritz

Why you need to buy RICKLES' Book immediately: RICKLES' BOOK will help you win friends and influence people. RICKLES' BOOK will introduce you to all of his famous friends, from Frank Sinatra to Johnny Carson. RICKLES' BOOK will help you lose weight. RICKLES' BOOK will help you gain weight. RICKLES' BOOK will improve your love life. RICKLES' BOOK will make you cry. (If your love life doesn't improve.) RICKLES' BOOK will make you laugh. (If your love life does improve.) RICKLES' BOOK will make you love one of the great Americans of our time, Don Rickles. RICKLES' BOOK will give you something to talk about at parties. (If you're ever invited to parties.) RICKLES' BOOK, along with the Bible and War and Peace, will grace your bookshelf and upgrade your literary status. RICKLES' BOOK will keep you up at night. RICKLES' BOOK will put you to sleep at night. RICKLES' BOOK will make you rich. (If you treasure great humor.)

Rickles' Letters

by Don Rickles David Ritz

Along with collected letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Jefferson and Wendell Willkie, Rickles' Letters illustrates the power of eloquent correspondence and offers universal wisdom for the ages. For example: RICKLES TO MRS. LINCOLN: "Sorry you had problems at Ford's Theatre last night, but could you get me a couple of aisle tickets for the Saturday matinee?" RICKLES TO ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER: "Lose the cigar. It's hard enough to understand you without it." RICKLES TO CLINT EASTWOOD: "How many guys could do a movie about Iwo Jima from the Japanese point of view? I got nervous; I thought you were going to let them win!" RICKLES TO SANTA CLAUS: "Kiss my jingle bells." RICKLES TO PRESIDENT CARTER: "Forget your hammers and nails and Habitat House and read my book." RICKLES TO QUEEN ELIZABETH: "Is it true your husband has a day job working at a sword factory?" RICKLES TO BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: "Cousin Herbie was doing great selling candles until you came up with the stupid idea of flying a kite." RICKLES TO MAYOR BLOOMBERG: "What do I have to do to get a cab around here?"

Sanctified Blues

by Mable John David Ritz

Albertina Merci, a talented R&B singer, toured with Ray Charles, James Brown, and Wilson Pickett--until the fateful night her voice gave out in front of a sold-out crowd. Encouraged by her fans, she offered a little speech in praise of Jesus instead of a song. Her spontaneous words became the seed of "Sanctified Blues," a song that soon captured the hearts of millions and gave Albertina the financial security to follow her true calling as an evangelist--sharing the Gospel with those in need of spiritual comfort. Sanctified Bluesis the story of Albertina's encounter with Maggie Clay, the biracial beauty who is TV's reigning diva. A sudden mystery surrounding Maggie has the entire country wondering: Is Maggie having a nervous breakdown, and if so, why? What caused it? And who can save the star from self-destruction?Sanctified Bluesintroduces a heroine in the vein of Jessica Fletcher ofMurder, She Wroteand Precious Ramotswe, head of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Her quiet but determined mission to solve spiritual mysteries and dilemmas will endear Albertina to both secular and Christian readers.

Stay Out of the Kitchen!

by Mable John David Ritz

Albertina Merci is back in this delightful second book featuring everyone's favorite blues singer turned evangelist! After Albertina's dear friend Mr. Mario, the owner of Mr. Mario's Downhome Café, has a heart attack and then loses his wife to diabetes, he decides that his lifetime love of soul food is over for good. Mr. Mario vows to go healthy, both personally and professionally, and tries to get Albertina on board, but it quickly becomes clear that he may be looking for more than pastoral support...

Trouble & Triumph (Power & Beauty #2)

by David Ritz Tip "T.I." Harris

When his mother, Charlotte, was killed, Paul "Power" Clay and his closest friend, Tanya "Beauty" Long, fell under the spell of a savvy and ruthless Atlanta businessman named Slim, who promised to protect them. Wise beyond her years, Beauty always knew that the only person she could rely on was herself. It didn't take long for the levelheaded young woman to recognize the simmering violence beneath Slim's street charm. But getting away from him wasn't easy, and it came at a heartbreaking price: turning her back on Power. Escaping to the glamorous catwalks of the Big Apple, she's worked her breathtaking good looks and quick wit to build a thriving fashion business. Despite her success, she's still haunted by the pain of leaving Power behind. Money and new men cannot erase the memory of the true love she denied. To Power, Slim's world held everything he thought he wanted: women, wealth, power, authority. He discovered too late that Slim Simmons isn't just a businessman--he's a ruthless killer who will turn on anyone he thinks is getting in his way. He is the monster who murdered Charlotte. Now, he controls the fate of her only son. But neither Slim nor Power count on Beauty. Like Slim, she is a master who will manipulate, seduce, and sacrifice to get what she wants. She's never let anything stop her from fulfilling her desires, and she will broker a dangerous bargain to save the only man she's ever loved. But is saving Power worth sacrificing herself--body and soul? Will his youthful ambitions lead him to redemption--or deeper into the darkness? Will they both become everything they swore they'd never be?

True You

by Janet Jackson David Ritz

I'm just Janet. I have strengths, weaknesses, fears, happiness, sadness. I experience joy and I experience pain. I'm highly emotional. I'm very vulnerable. And, as anyone who knows me will testify, I'm extremely sensitive. I have lifelong patterns of behaviour that have caused me difficulty - patterns tough to break. Like everyone, I have talents, but with those talents have come challenges. This book is about meeting the challenges that face all of us. For more than three decades, I've struggled with yo-yo dieting. Some of my battles with weight have been very public. But most of it has been internal. Even at my thinnest, when my body was being praised, I wasn't happy with what I saw or how I felt about myself. Infused with stories from fans and friends, Janet offers a candid look into the causes and circumstances behind some of her well-documented weight issues. Far more than a celebrity fitness manifesto, this book is a searingly honest account of the most tumultuous times of her life - from being taunted as a young girl to her internal battles with her beauty and femininity and her desire to fit in. It has taken Janet most of her adult life to come to terms with who she is. True You illuminates the path Janet took in learning how to love herself and finally break free of the attitudes that brought her down.

True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself

by Janet Jackson David Ritz

ONE OF THE GREATEST ENTERTAINERS OF OUR TIME CANDIDLY REVEALS HER VERY PERSONAL STRUGGLE WITH AN ISSUE SO MANY OF US FACE EVERY DAY: SELF-ESTEEM. Janet Jackson emerged from the shadows of an already famous family to become one of the most beloved, recognizable, and influential performers in the world. But at what cost? From the age of ten, when she made her acting debut on Good Times, Janet was told by Hollywood that she needed to slim down. Her well-meaning brothers, especially fun-loving Michael, teased her relentlessly until she began to believe that who she was wasn't good enough. It was an idea that no amount of critical acclaim in television and film or, later, international platinum success in music could change. Janet turned to food for comfort and escape. She developed a self-destructive pattern familiar to so many of us: fear and uncertainty led to bad feelings about herself and ultimately depression. The depression led to overeating. And her yo-yoing weight was painfully obvious in the bright lights of the entertainment world. It has taken Janet most of her adult life to come to terms with who she is. But she has finally broken free of the attitudes that brought her down and has embraced realistic goals that help her eat better, exercise better, feel better, and ultimately be better. This book is about meeting those challenges that face all of us. With candor and courage, Janet shares her painful journey to loving herself. She addresses the crazy rumors that have swirled around her for most of her life, shines an intimate light on her family, and pulls us behind the velvet rope into her unforgettable career. She also shares lessons she has learned through contact with friends and fans and reveals the fitness secrets she has learned from her trainer. Finally, her nutritionist, David Allen, unveils the wholesome, delicious recipes and lifestyle-changing tips that helped Janet get in shape--mind and spirit, heart and soul. True You is a call to tune in to your own fundamental wisdom, to let go of the ugly comparisons, and to understand that who you are, the true you, is more than enough. "I'm loved, I'm valued, and I'm capable of achieving balance in my life. I can learn to eat well. I can exercise. I can express gratitude for the simple act of being able to breathe in and breathe out. I can move away from darkness and depression to light and hope. I can be happy with who I am, not what I should be, or what I might have been, or what someone tells me I must be. I am me, the true me; you are you, the true you--and that's good. That's beautiful. That's enough." --JANET JACKSON

We'll Be Here for the Rest of Our Lives: A Swingin' Show-Biz Saga

by Paul Shaffer David Ritz

From Shaffer, lifelong music junkie, hipster, and longtime leader of David Letterman's band, comes a candid, endearing, hilarious, and star-studded memoir of a life in--and a love of--show business.

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Select your download format based upon: 1) how you want to read your book, and 2) compatibility with your reading tool. For more details, visit the Formats page under the Getting Started tab.

See and hear words read aloud
  • DAISY Text - See words on the screen and hear words being read aloud with the text-to-speech voice installed on your reading tool. Navigate by page, chapter, section, and more. Can also be used in audio-only mode. Compatible with many reading tools, including Bookshare’s free reading tools.
  • DAISY Text with Images - Similar to DAISY Text with the addition of images within the Text. Your reading tool must support images.
  • Read Now with Bookshare Web Reader - Read and see images directly from your Internet browser without downloading! Text-to-speech voicing and word highlighting are available on Google Chrome (extension installation required). Other browsers can be used with limited features. Learn more
Listen to books with audio only
  • DAISY Audio - Listen to books in audio-only mode with the high-quality Kendra voice by Ivona pre-installed. Navigate by page, chapter, section, and more. Must be used with a DAISY Audio compatible reading tool.
  • MP3 - Listen to books in audio-only mode with the high-quality Kendra voice by Ivona pre-installed. Navigate using tracks. Can be used with any MP3 player.
Read in Braille
  • BRF (Braille Ready Format) - Read with any BRF compatible refreshable braille display; navigate using the search or find feature.
  • DAISY Text - Read with any DAISY 3.0 compatible refreshable braille display, navigate by page, chapter, section, and more.
  • Embossed Braille - Use Bookshare’s DAISY Text or BRF formats to generate embossed braille.