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Like lots of college grads, Daniel Seddiqui was having a hard time finding a job. But despite more than forty rejections, he knew opportunities had to exist. So he set out on an extraordinary quest: fifty jobs in fifty states in fifty weeks. And not just any jobs--he chose professions that reflected the culture and economy of each state. Working as everything from a cheesemaker in Wisconsin, a border patrol agent in Arizona, and a meatpacker in Kansas to a lobsterman in Maine, a surfing instructor in Hawaii, and a football coach in Alabama, Daniel chronicles how he adapted to the wildly differing people, cultures, and environments. From one week to the next he had no idea exactly what his duties would be, where he'd be sleeping, what he'd be eating, or how he'd be received. He became a roving news item, appearing on CNN, Fox News, World News Tonight, MSNBC, and the Today show--which was good preparation for his stint as a television weatherman. Tackling challenge after challenge--overcoming anxiety about working four miles underground in a West Virginia coal mine, learning to walk on six-foot stilts (in a full Egyptian king costume) at a Florida amusement park, racing the clock as a pit-crew member at an Indiana racetrack--Daniel completed his journey a changed man. In this book he shares stories about the people he met, reveals the lessons he learned, and explains the five principles that kept him going.
Some of the best-loved saints of the Church are featured in a revised and updated edition of a classic collection. Wonderfully written biographies and illustrations of Saints Lucy, Monica, Augustine, Benedict, Francis Xavier, Edith Stein, Juan Diego, Katharine Drexel, and many others. Perfect for intermediate readers and school or church libraries.
Actor and comedian Billy Crystal has forged a highly successful career by portraying other people in movies like When Harry Met Sally...and City Slickers. But in 700 Sundays, a memoir based on his one-man Broadway play of the same name, Crystal tells his own story, dissecting an often complex relationship with his father and how that relationship resonated in other aspects of his life. His father, Jack Crystal was an influential jazz concert promoter and operated an influential jazz record label, affording his son an opportunity to tell stories of being taken to his first movie by Billie Holliday and seeing his grandmother suggest that Louis Armstrong simply "try coughing it up." But Jack died when his son was fifteen years old, soon after a forever-unresolved argument between the two, leaving Billy to cope with crushing grief while simultaneously and perhaps ironically trying to launch a career in comedy. This lends 700 Sundays much needed gravity in a volume that is packed with zingy one-liners and whimsical observations that serve to illustrate the comedy career Crystal forged, while also providing some decent laughs. Interestingly, there is very little reference to the better known accomplishments of Crystal's Hollywood career as the author chooses to focus instead on the seemingly mundane but highly entertaining aspects of his Long Island roots. Though 700 Sundays (the name comes from Crystal's estimation of how many Sundays he got to spend with his father) is packaged here in book form, it reads like a piece of theater and, more specifically, like a selection of memories about a father, lovingly and touchingly re-told by his loving son. --John Moe
A moving, funny, tongue-in-cheek, and deadly serious story about how one woman lost and found herself by going online. Nancy Makin weighed an astounding 703 pounds in May 2000. She was forty-five years old and had diabetes and heart disease. Thanks in equal parts to shame and logistics, she'd been homebound for a dozen years. But all that changed after a gift from her sister: a computer. A technophobe, Nancy ignored it for months, until finally boredom and curiosity pushed her into cyberspace. And there, in a chat room, she found the friendliness, the support, and even the love she'd been missing for so long. Nobody flinched when Nancy spoke up; people treated her with the same respect accorded to everybody else. Thanks to these emotional connections, Nancy's life was transformed. She followed no diet plan; no pills, potions or ab-crunching exercises played a part. There was no silver bullet, no magical, elusive ingredient-and yet today Nancy has lost more than 530 pounds. Nancy's tale is one of redemption, a story of reevaluating her worth and insisting she had value simply because she was human. It will show a growing America that life is sweet and always worth living.
This is the thrilling story behind "the Queen of the Skies"--the Boeing 747--as told by Joe Sutter, one of the most celebrated engineers of the twentieth century, who spearheaded its design and construction. Born in 1921 in Seattle, Sutter grew up on a hilltop overlooking the Boeing plant and flying field. It was a thrilling era of open cockpits, silk scarves, leather helmets, and goggles. After serving in World War 2, Sutter joined Boeing, then a small company, eager to build airplanes. In July 1965, he was asked to lead the large Boeing team designing the new 747. Pan Am wanted a new airliner as quickly as possible. This all-new transport had to be far bigger than anything in service or even on anybody's drawing board. To make it fly, Sutter and his team would have to push far beyond the technological boundaries of the late 1960s. Could it be done? Almost everything about the 747 would be unprecedented. Its cabin would be so wide that it would need two aisles. Its horizontal tail would be bigger than the wings of most airliners ever built. Jet engines big enough to lift it off the ground didn't yet exist. Runways at the world's airports couldn't handle it, and neither could Boeing's factories. They had to erect the world's largest building just to produce it. A truly mammoth undertaking, the 747 became one of the most successful airplane models ever. Sutter's vivid narrative takes us back to a time when American technology was cutting-edge--the 747, came on the market the same year that men first set foot on the moon--and jet travel was still glamorous and new. With wit and warmth, he gives an insider's sense of the larger-than-life-size personalities and the tensions in the aeronautical world. Ultimately, 747 is an inspiring story of grit and glory.
this is a touching correspondence between Helene Hanff and the employees at a book shop on Charing Cross Road in London. It spans many years. Short but satisfying, this little book will warm your heart.
9-1/2 Years Behind the Green Door, a Memoir: A Mitchell Brothers Stripper Remembers Her Lover Artie Mitchell, Hunter S. Thompson, and the Killing that Rocked San Franciscoby Simone Corday
Before the advent of AIDS, the theater and its steamy live shows are a countercultural venue for celebrities in entertainment and sports, and for San Francisco politicians and journalists. Simone Corday, who danced at the O'Farrell and was a girlfriend of the late Artie Mitchell, shares her unique story and her insights. As the only woman insider, she writes about this insular when she was close to the impulsive Mitchells, and a friend of the O'Farrell's honorary Night Manager, Hunter Thompson.
It was on the vast American prairie that people from around the world seized the opportunity for personal and economic freedom promised by free land. Traveling across oceans and continents, these hard-nosed, pragmatic people began arriving in the 1860s with shovels and ploughs, convinced they were part of something important. They were. Putting hand to plough and breaking the sod for their first crude homes, these hardy settlers left an indelible thumbprint on American history and on the country's character. Though many of their ventures ended in failure, their risks permanently enhanced the nation's diversity and its sense of independence and resourcefulness. 900 Miles from Nowhere is the heartfelt chronicle of the daily lives and personal struggles of Great Plains homesteaders, told in their own voices through many never-before-published letters, diaries, and photographs. Believing absolutely that they could control their own destiny, they bet everything they owned, even in the face of insurmountable obstacles. This is the remarkable and ever-inspiring story of life on the grasslands that stretch from Canada to Mexico.
The girlhood memoir of Harriet Lane Levy, friend and neighbor of Alice B. Toklas, provides an intimate and detailed glimpse into San Francisco's Victorian past.
What influences shape a fashionista? For Vogue editor-at-large Talley (born in 1949), the answer is simple: his grandmother Bennie Davis and empress of style Diana Vreeland. In his heartfelt, occasionally affected remembrance, the Southern-born African-American admits he had little experience with Vreeland's brand of luxury but enjoyed "an innate understanding of it," thanks to his grandmother's meticulous sense of propriety. Indeed, his memoir, an homage to two extraordinary women, is less an autobiography than a eulogy. The women's mutual love of polish is "evidence of a deeper philosophy-the primacy of home and the importance of spending time in its service." Talley is a keen observer, and his book salutes beauty and its practitioners from his grandmother to Karl Lagerfeld. He's at his best, however, when recalling his Durham, N.C., childhood, his devoted father and life in a segregated South. He renders tales of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, family reunions and life during the Civil Rights movement in sumptuous detail. Yet Talley is equally awed by Vreeland, Halston and Mica Ertegun, among his pantheon of fashion royalty, and he considers it a privilege just to sit at their tables. Vreeland, his mentor, enjoys a special place in his heart, and he waxes rhapsodic about her talent as fashion icon and director of the Met's Costume Institute. Between these personal salutes, he details a 30-year hitch in the chiffon trenches, from glam parties and unimagined opulence to the generosity of friends. If Talley has one message, it's "Style transcends race, class, and time." His memoir, though saccharine in spots, is sincere.
In this important new biography, Ronald C. White, Jr. offers a fresh and fascinating definition of Lincoln as a man of integrity--what today's commentators are calling "authenticity"--whose internal moral compass is the key to understanding his life. Through meticulous research, utilizing recently discovered Lincoln letters, legal papers, and photographs, White depicts Lincoln as a person of intellectual curiosity, comfortable with ambiguity, and capable of changing his mind. The reader is treated to an exploration of Lincoln's compelling words, his changing ideas on slavery, the shaping of the modern role of Commander-in-Chief, and his surprising religious odyssey. A. Lincoln, so titled for the way Lincoln signed his name, sheds an innovative and profound light on our nation's most beloved leader for a new generation of Americans. "Ronald C. White's A. LINCOLN is the best biography of Lincoln since David Donald's LINCOLN (1995)... Amid all the books on Lincoln that will be published during the coming year, this one will stand out as one of the best." - James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
The author details with rare journalistic insight, Randolph's meteoric rise from a young black radical and street orator in Harlem to a prominent member of the labor movement.
Biography of the African-American union leader.
This nonfiction book written by a reporter chronicles Alex Rodriguez's life in baseball from when he picked up a stick at three years old to being MVP to the steroid scandal of 2009.
Vishnu Maya, called Aama (Mother) by everyone in her tiny Nepalese village, was living high in the Himalayas when she befriended American Peace Corps worker Broughton Coburn in 1974. In 1988, Aama came to visit him--on a trip prescribed by village priests as a way for the eighty-four-year-old, four-foot-eight woman to earn merit by making a difficult journey late in life. Aama in America is a vivid chronicle of what became a twenty-five-state, coast-to-coast adventure. Guided by the perpetual curiosity and deeply spiritual orientation of their ingenious, unpredictable travel companion, Coburn and his fiancée gradually began to view their country from an entirely new perspective. "Beneath the uniform, commercial, man-made epidermis of our country," Coburn writes, "Aama found a culture and landscape that was alive and sacred, and she steered us toward it."Aama in America is on one level an offbeat American travelogue. But on another it is a profound exploration of beliefs, values, and lost spirituality, a rediscovery of the spiritual that lies beneath the surface of America, and a singular account of the meeting of two widely divergent cultures.
Definitive biography of Aaron Copland. Copious names, places & dates. Must have familiarity with 20th century art and music. A must read for Copland fans.
A biography of Abraham Lincoln, focusing on his childhood spent in poverty on the Midwestern frontier and chronicling his rise to the presidency and the highlights of his tenure.
Highlights the life and accomplishments of the wife of the second president of the United States, a dedicated wife and mother who spoke up against slavery and for women's rights.
ABIGAIL ADAMS First Lady and Patriot "Remember the ladies," Abigail Adams wrote. "If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion." This warning was given to Abigail's husband, John Adams, and other politicians who were working to create a new government for the colonies that would soon become the United States. Abigail Adams, a well-educated woman, was determined to make her voice--and the voices of fellow American women--heard as the nation was being formed. In Abigail Adams: First Lady and Patriot, author Pat McCarthy examines the life of the woman who is sometimes referred to as America's first feminist. From her youth in Massachusetts to her active role as advisor to John Adams, Abigail Adams showed future First Ladies how much of an influence a woman could have on the government of the United States.
When Abigail Adams was born, women were expected to be just wives and mothers. But Abigail turned out to be so much more. Read all about the fascinating life of our nation's second First Lady -- a woman who helped shape the early history of the United States. Level 3 Ready to Read, 48 pages, limited picture descriptions.
A biography focusing on the early years of the parson's daughter who became the wife of our second president.
This biography, written for teens but good for adults as well, tells the story of Abigail Adams, often using the letters she wrote to family and friends as resources. It reviews Abigail's growing up years, her courtship with John Adams and what she saw during the American Revolution, along with much more.
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