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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.

After the Dance

by David Ritz Jan Gaye

A searing memoir of love, drugs, sex, and old-school R&B, from the former wife of the legendary soul icon Marvin GayeStuck in a foster home with an abusive caregiver, Janis Hunter found solace in her dreams of an encounter with Marvin Gaye--the soulful prince of Motown, with the seductive liquid voice, whose chart-topping, socially conscious album What's Going On had recently made him a superstar.They met in February 1973. Despite a seventeen-year age difference and Marvin's marriage to the sister of Berry Gordy, Motown's founder, the enchanted teenager and the emotionally volatile singer began a scorching relationship. One moment Jan was a high school student, the next she was Marvin's soulmate. Their romance navigated the hippie high life of the seventies and took the couple from one adventure to another.But the distractions and burdens of fame, the chaos of dysfunctional families, and the irresistible temptation of drugs complicated the love they shared. Marvin and Jan hurt each other, and their relationship descended into a dark place, but the attraction was too magnetic and the love was too strong to let go. Largely silent since Marvin's tragic death in 1984, Jan has at last opened up, sharing the moving, passionate story of one of music history's most fabled relationships. Unsparing in its honesty and insight, After the Dance reveals what it's like to be in love with an artistic genius, a man whose words and music have touched the world and made him a legend.

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

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 the Chicago Sun-Times put it, Brother Ray is "candid, explicit, sometimes embarrassing, often hilarious, always warm, touching and deeply human-just like his music."

Brother Ray

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 the Chicago Sun-Times put it, Brother Ray is "candid, explicit, sometimes embarrassing, often hilarious, always warm, touching and deeply human-just like his music."

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. "

Death of a King

by David Ritz Tavis Smiley

A revealing and dramatic chronicle of the twelve months leading up to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassinationMartin Luther King, Jr. died in one of the most shocking assassinations the world has known, but little is remembered about the life he led in his final year. New York Times bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley recounts the final 365 days of King's life, revealing the minister's trials and tribulations -- denunciations by the press, rejection from the president, dismissal by the country's black middle class and militants, assaults on his character, ideology, and political tactics, to name a few -- all of which he had to rise above in order to lead and address the racism, poverty, and militarism that threatened to destroy our democracy.Smiley's DEATH OF A KING paints a portrait of a leader and visionary in a narrative different from all that have come before. Here is an exceptional glimpse into King's life -- one that adds both nuance and gravitas to his legacy as an American hero.

Divided Soul

by David Ritz

Drawing from interviews conducted before Marvin Gaye's death, acclaimed music writer David Ritz has created a full-scale portrait of the brilliant but tormented artist. With a cast of characters that includes Diana Ross, Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, and Stevie Wonder, this intimate biography is a definitive and enduring look at the man who embodied the very essence of the word soul.

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.

Faith In Time

by David Ritz

Born in Cleveland in 1925, "Little" Jimmy Scott lost his mother at age thirteen, the same year he was diagnosed with Kallman's syndrome. The disease stunted his growth and earned him his nickname, but it also left him with a haunting voice, a mesmerizing voice. He soon built a following as a singer touring with Lionel Hampton's great orchestra in the '40s, then performed with many of the stars of the '50s, from Lester Young to Charlie Parker to Dinah Washington, and was signed by Savoy Records. He thought he had his big break when, in 1962, Ray Charles produced what was by all accounts Jimmy's best work, Falling in Love Is Wonderful. But when it was forced off the shelves by contract disputes, Scott worked as an orderly and clerk in Cleveland for almost two decades. Fans thought he was dead-until songwriter Doc Pomus's funeral in March of 1991.As Pomus had instructed in his will, Jimmy sang over his friend's coffin. High-pitched and androgynous, his voice seemed to come out of thin air, transcending gender and age, evoking pure heartbreak. No one knew who he was-heads turned, celebrities conferred, record executives were reduced to tears-until finally Lou Reed turned around and whispered, "He's Jimmy Scott, the greatest jazz singer in the world." And so he was. By the next morning, he had a record deal with Sire that relaunched his career with the masterpiece All the Way, and he has been performing to packed clubs ever since. With full cooperation from Jimmy, his siblings, spouses, and colleagues from Ray Charles to Ruth Brown, Faith in Time is at once an intimate biography, an invaluable history of a life that spanned big band to bebop to pop, and the poignant story of a man whose voice will live forever.

The Filthy Truth

by David Ritz Andrew Dice Clay

From Andrew Dice Clay, the "Undisputed Heavyweight Comedy King," comes the unapologetic and uncensored autobiography fans have been waiting for.Andrew Dice Clay's raw stand-up delivery has shocked and entertained audiences for decades and continues to do so to this day. When he released his debut album, Dice, in 1989, the parental advisory label simply read "Warning: This album is offensive." His material stretched the boundaries of decency and good taste to their breaking point, and in turn he became the biggest stand-up comic in the world. In The Filthy Truth, Dice chronicles his remarkable rise, fall, and triumphant return. Brooklyn-born Andrew Clay Silverstein started out at Pips Comedy Club in Sheepshead Bay and eventually made a name for himself a decade later with a breakout appearance on the Rodney Dangerfield HBO special Nothing Goes Right. With that single TV appearance he became the new king of comedy, and Dicemania was born. He was the first and only comedian to sell out over three hundred sports arenas across the country to an audience of more than twelve million people. He was also the first comedian to sell out Madison Square Garden two nights in a row. But Dice's meteoric rise and spectacular fame brought on a furious backlash from the media and critics. Billboards for his album produced by Rick Rubin and for his movie The Adventures of Ford Fairlane were defaced and ripped down as fast as they were put up. By the mid-nineties, though still playing to packed audiences, the turmoil in his personal life, plus attacks from every activist group imaginable, led him to make the decision to step out of the spotlight and put the focus on raising his boys. The Diceman was knocked down, but not out. Taking inspiration from what Frank Sinatra once told him--"You work for your fans, not the media. The media gets their tickets for free"--Dice is now back with critically acclaimed roles in HBO's Entourage and Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, and is once again playing to sold-out audiences. Filled with no-holds-barred humor and honesty, The Filthy Truth sets the record straight and gives fans plenty of never-before-shared stories from his career and his friendships with Howard Stern, Sam Kinison, Mickey Rourke, Sylvester Stallone, Axl Rose, and countless others.

Glow

by David Ritz Rick James

Best known for his song "Super Freak," hitmaker, singer, innovator, producer, award-winning pioneer in the fusion of funk groove and rock, the late Rick James collaborated with music biographer David Ritz in this posthumously published, wildly entertaining, and profound expression of a rock star's life and soul.He was the nephew of Temptations singer Melvin Franklin; a boy who watched and listened, mesmerized from underneath cocktail tables at the shows of Etta James and Miles Davis. He was a vagrant hippie who wandered to Toronto, where he ended up playing with Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, and he became a household name in the 1980s with his hit song "Super Freak." Later in life, he was a bad boy who got caught up in drug smuggling and ended up in prison. But since his passing in August 2004, Rick James has remained a legendary icon whose name is nearly synonymous with funk music--and who popularized the genre, creating a lasting influence on pop artists from Prince to Jay-Z to Snoop Dogg, among countless others. In Glow, Rick James and acclaimed music biographer David Ritz collaborated to write a no-holds-barred memoir about the boy and the man who became a music superstar in America's disco age. It tells of James's upbringing and how his mother introduced him to musical geniuses of the time. And it reveals details on many universally revered artists, from Marvin Gaye and Prince to Nash, Teena Marie, and Berry Gordy. James himself said, "My journey has taken me through hell and back. It's all in my music--the parties, the pain, the oversized ego, the insane obsessions." But despite his bad boy behavior, James was a tremendous talent and a unique, unforgettable human being. His "glow" was an overriding quality that one of his mentors saw in him--and one that will stay with this legendary figure who left an indelible mark on American popular music.

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 Jerry Leiber Mike Stoller

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 David Ritz Walter Yetnikoff

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 David Ritz Carl Bean

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.

It's a Long Story

by David Ritz Willie Nelson

The definitive autobiography of Willie Nelson "Unvarnished. Funny. Leaving no stone unturned." . . . So say the publishers about this book I've written. What I say is that this is the story of my life, told as clear as a Texas sky and in the same rhythm that I lived it. It's a story of restlessness and the purity of the moment and living right. Of my childhood in Abbott, Texas, to the Pacific Northwest, from Nashville to Hawaii and all the way back again. Of selling vacuum cleaners and encyclopedias while hosting radio shows and writing song after song, hoping to strike gold. It's a story of true love, wild times, best friends, and barrooms, with a musical sound track ripping right through it. My life gets lived on the road, at home, and on the road again, tried and true, and I've written it all down from my heart to yours. Signed,Willie Nelson

Journey of a Thousand Miles: My Story

by David Ritz Lang Lang

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 David Ritz Mable John

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 David Ritz Ralph Branca

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

My Journey with Maya

by David Ritz Tavis Smiley

Tavis Smiley recounts the story of his friendship with Maya AngelouTavis Smiley and Maya Angelou met in 1986, when he was twenty-one and she was fifty-eight. For the next twenty-eight years, Angelou was a teacher and a maternal figure to Smiley, and they talked often of art, politics, history, music, religion, and race. In My Journey with Maya, Smiley beautifully recounts a friendship filled with conversation that began when he, a recent college graduate and a poor kid from a big family in the Midwest, accompanied the revered writer on a sojourn to Ghana. Smiley stumbled into a relationship with her that shaped his future and affected the man he became. Like a mother to him, she was generous, challenging, and inspirational--as she was to so many. Here he shares his portrait of Angelou--a highly complex individual who left an indelible imprint on American culture.

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.

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Select your format based upon: 1) how you want to read your book, and 2) compatibility with your reading tool. To learn more about using Bookshare with your device, visit the "Using Bookshare" page in the Help Center.

Here is an overview of the specialized formats that Bookshare offers its members with links that go to the Help Center for more information.

  • Bookshare Web Reader - a customized reading tool for Bookshare members offering all the features of DAISY with a single click of the "Read Now" link.
  • DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) - a digital book file format. DAISY books from Bookshare are DAISY 3.0 text files that work with just about every type of access technology that reads text. Books that contain images will have the download option of ‘DAISY Text with Images’.
  • BRF (Braille Refreshable Format) - digital Braille for use with refreshable Braille devices and Braille embossers.
  • MP3 (Mpeg audio layer 3) - Provides audio only with no text. These books are created with a text-to-speech engine and spoken by Kendra, a high quality synthetic voice from Ivona. Any device that supports MP3 playback is compatible.
  • DAISY Audio - Similar to the Daisy 3.0 option above; however, this option uses MP3 files created with our text-to-speech engine that utilizes Ivona's Kendra voice. This format will work with Daisy Audio compatible players such as Victor Reader Stream and Read2Go.