I, Justine: An Analog Memoir [EPUB]
02 July 2015, 05:44
2015 | EPUB | 13.02MB
A one-woman media phenomenon and a leading YouTube influencer takes readers behind the camera, and deep inside her world.
Justine Ezarik has been tech-obsessed since unboxing her family's first Apple computer. By sixth grade she had built her first website. A decade later, she became one of the Internet's first—and most popular—"lifecasters," inviting people around the world to watch her every move, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. But it was a one-minute video about an itemized AT&T bill that gave Justine her first taste of viral success: Within ten days of release, her "300-page iPhone bill" had garnered more than 3 million views and international media attention.
These days, iJustine is a one-woman new media phenomenon: The popular techie, gamer, vlogger, and digital influencer has an army of nearly 3.5 million subscribers across multiple YouTube channels, with total views approaching half a billion.
Now, Justine is giving friends and fans a look behind the scenes, sharing never-before-told stories about the hilarious (and sometimes heartbreaking) reality of sharing your life online. With her trademark wit and delightfully weird sense of humor, Justine delivers an inspirational message in support of creativity, entrepreneurship, and the power of staying true to yourself, while reminding readers that the Internet is a very small world—you just never know who you're going to meet.
Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva [EPUB]
01 July 2015, 07:13
2015 | EPUB | 2.67MB
The award-winning author of Villa Air-Bel returns with a painstakingly researched, revelatory biography of Svetlana Stalin, a woman fated to live her life in the shadow of one of history’s most monstrous dictators—her father, Josef Stalin.
Born in the early years of the Soviet Union, Svetlana Stalin spent her youth inside the walls of the Kremlin. Communist Party privilege protected her from the mass starvation and purges that haunted Russia, but she did not escape tragedy—the loss of everyone she loved, including her mother, two brothers, aunts and uncles, and a lover twice her age, deliberately exiled to Siberia by her father.
As she gradually learned about the extent of her father’s brutality after his death, Svetlana could no longer keep quiet and in 1967 shocked the world by defecting to the United States—leaving her two children behind. But although she was never a part of her father’s regime, she could not escape his legacy. Her life in America was fractured; she moved frequently, married disastrously, shunned other Russian exiles, and ultimately died in poverty in Wisconsin.
With access to KGB, CIA, and Soviet government archives, as well as the close cooperation of Svetlana’s daughter, Rosemary Sullivan pieces together Svetlana’s incredible life in a masterful account of unprecedented intimacy. Epic in scope, it’s a revolutionary biography of a woman doomed to be a political prisoner of her father’s name. Sullivan explores a complicated character in her broader context without ever losing sight of her powerfully human story, in the process opening a closed, brutal world that continues to fascinate us.
Alcatraz: The Hardest Years 1934-1938 [EPUB]
11 March 2015, 05:19
2008 | EPUB | 1.51MB
The author's remembrance of growing up on the Rock, circa 1934-1938. Dad was a Federal Prison Guard and was still alive at time of writing to help with the details. Find out what it was really like!
The author and his family moved to Alcatraz Island when he was 8 years old and his father was hired to staff the new federal penitentiary, designed to house the troublemakers, the prisoners no other prison could handle.
He watched as the first prisoners, including Al Capone, shuffled off the boat in leg irons, surrounded by FBI agents.
The Chandler family lived, worked and played on "The Rock" from 1934 to 1938, the prison's first years, the hardest years.
This is the true story of life inside Alcatraz, the recollections of a guard and a his young son who lived among America's most notorious bank robbers and murderers.
Love Becomes a Funeral Pyre [EPUB]
11 March 2015, 03:08
2014 | EPUB | 1.7MB
Think you know how Jim Morrison died?
Think you know who wrote all their hits?
Think you know why Morrison fled to Paris, never to return?
Well now you will with the definitive biography, Love Becomes a Funeral Pyre, of the legendary rock band and their iconic frontman Jim Morrison, written by Mick Wall, one of our most revered music writers and one of the last journalists to interview Ray Manzarek.
The Doors have sold over 100 million albums. Inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, they received a lifetime achievement at the 2007 Grammy Awards, and were the first American band to accumulate eight consecutive gold LPs. Yet the story of The Doors ended as badly as did the 1960s: a startling decade the music and story of The Doors both defined and helped vilify. Along with evoking the cultural milieu of Los Angeles, in Love Becomes A Funeral Pyre Mick Wall captures the true spirit of that tarnished age with a brilliantly penetrating and contemporary investigation into the real story of The Doors.
Jim Morrison: Friends Gathered Together [EPUB]
11 March 2015, 03:04
2014 | EPUB | 2.87MB
Jim Morrison… We know the stories, but does anyone know the real man? If you don’t know where the truth ends and the fiction begins, you’re not alone. Lies, myths, rumors and tall tales spread by people who didn’t know him have masked Jim Morrison and clouded what he accomplished.
Fearing that the original, actual real Jim would become hopelessly lost, Frank Lisciandro, Jim’s friend and film collaborator, gathered together more than a dozen of Morrison’s friends for a series of conversations and interviews. In the transcripts of these talks Jim Morrison is candidly brought to light by the people who knew him, who were his pals, colleagues, mentors and lovers. Jim Morrison: Friends Gathered Together confronts and sweeps away the fantasy to illuminate an extraordinary man and gifted creative artist.
The Reluctant Psychic [EPUB]
23 February 2015, 17:05
2015 | EPUB | 0.6/0.8MB
We all, as children, saw imaginary friends and heard monsters in the closet. But for Suzan Saxman, those friends and monsters didn’t go away—and they weren’t imaginary. They were the dead who came to her from the time she was a little girl with urgent messages for the living. Raised in a house filled with secrets, she saw and spoke the truth as soon as she could talk, alarming the nuns in her convent school with her revelations and terrifying her own mother with her strange visions. Each night she woke to see a man with no eyes watching her, and each day she kept watch by the window while her father was at work and Steve, her real father, a swarthy drifter, rendezvoused with her mother. It was the 1960s in suburban Staten Island and she tried to hide it all, and be a daughter her mother could love.
Always skeptical of her tremendous gift, she struggled to come to terms with her calling even as she revealed the destinies of everyone, from housewives to hit men, stockbrokers to rock-and-rollers. She could witness everyone’s future—everyone’s but her own. Why was she visited by angels and demons? Could she ever escape this strange fate? Where was her own soul mate?
Now Suzan tells the story of her journey and tries to make sense of her family’s buried secrets. Through powerful readings of others’ destinies interwoven with compelling narrative, a reluctant psychic emerges from the shadows.
Screening Room: Family Pictures [EPUB]
10 February 2015, 22:50
2015 | EPUB | 4.23MB
From the acclaimed author of the international best seller Einstein’s Dreams, here is a stunning, lyrical memoir of Memphis from the 1930s through the 1960s that includes the early days of the movies and a powerful grandfather whose ghost remains an ever-present force in the lives of his descendants.
Alan Lightman’s grandfather M.A. Lightman was the family’s undisputed patriarch: it was his movie theater empire that catapulted the Lightmans to prominence in the South, his fearless success that both galvanized and paralyzed his children and grandchildren. In this moving, impressionistic memoir, the author chronicles his return to Memphis in an attempt to understand the origins he so eagerly left behind forty years earlier. As aging uncles and aunts begin telling family stories, Lightman rediscovers his southern roots and slowly recognizes the errors in his perceptions of both his grandfather and his father, who was himself crushed by M.A. The result is an unforgettable family saga that extends from 1880 to the present, set against a throbbing century of Memphis—the rhythm and blues, the barbecue and pecan pie, the segregated society—and including personal encounters with Elvis, Martin Luther King Jr., and E. H. “Boss” Crump. At the heart of it all is a family haunted by the memory of its domineering patriarch and the author’s struggle to understand his conflicted loyalties.
American Jezebel [EPUB]
10 February 2015, 12:21
2004 | EPUB | 0.9MB
Anne Hutchinson, a forty-six- year-old midwife who was pregnant with her sixteenth child, stood before forty male judges of the Massachusetts General Court, charged with heresy and sedition. In a time when women could not vote, hold public office, or teach outside the home, the charismatic Hutchinson wielded remarkable political power. Her unconventional ideas had attracted a following of prominent citizens eager for social reform. Hutchinson defended herself brilliantly, but the judges, faced with a perceived threat to public order, banished her for behaving in a manner "not comely for [her] sex."
Until now, Hutchinson has been a polarizing figure in American history and letters, attracting either disdain or exaltation. Nathaniel Hawthorne, who was haunted by the "sainted" Hutchinson, used her as a model for Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter. Much of the praise for her, however, is muted by a wish to domesticate the heroine: the bronze statue of Hutchinson at the Massachusetts State House depicts a prayerful mother -- eyes raised to heaven, a child at her side -- rather than a woman of power standing alone before humanity and God. Her detractors, starting with her neighbor John Winthrop, first governor of Massachusetts, referred to her as "the instrument of Satan," the new Eve, the "disturber of Israel," a witch, "more bold than a man," and Jezebel -- the ancient Israeli queen who, on account of her tremendous political power, was "the most evil woman" in the Bible.
Written by one of Hutchinson's direct descendants, American Jezebel brings both balance and perspective to Hutchinson's story. It captures this American heroine's life in all its complexity, presenting her not as a religious fanatic, a cardboard feminist, or a raging crank -- as some have portrayed her -- but as a flesh-and-blood wife, mother, theologian, and political leader.
Opening in a colonial courtroom, American Jezebel moves back in time to Hutchinson's childhood in Elizabethan England, exploring intimate details of her marriage and family life. The book narrates her dramatic expulsion from Massachusetts, after which her judges, still threatened by her challenges, promptly built Harvard College to enforce religious and social orthodoxies -- making her midwife to the nation's first college. In exile, she settled Rhode Island (which later merged with Roger Williams's Providence Plantation), becoming the only woman ever to co-found an American colony.
The seeds of the American struggle for women's and human rights can be found in the story of this one woman's courageous life. American Jezebel illuminates the origins of our modern concepts of religious freedom, equal rights, and free speech, and showcases an extraordinary woman whose achievements are astonishing by the standards of any era.
Billion Dollar Painter [EPUB]
09 February 2015, 23:21
2014 | EPUB | 3.27MB
The unbelievable true story of artist Thomas Kinkade, self-described “Painter of Light,” and the dramatic rise —and fall—of his billion-dollar gallery and licensing business.
He was just one man, but Thomas Kinkade ultimately made more money from his art than every other artist in the history of the world combined. His sentimental paintings of babbling brooks, rural churches surrounded by brilliant fall foliage, and idyllic countryside cottages were so popular in the 1990s that one out of every twenty homes in America owned one of his prints. With the help of two partners—a former vacuum-cleaner salesman and an ambitious junior accountant who fancied himself a businessman—Kinkade turned his art into a billion-dollar gallery and licensing business that traded on the NYSE before it collapsed in 2006 amid fraud accusations.
One part a fascinating business story about the rise, and demise, of a financial empire born out of divine inspiration, one part a dramatic biography, Billion Dollar Painter is the account of three nobodies who made it big. One of them was a man who, despite being a devout Christian who believed his artwork was a spiritual force that could cure the sick and comfort the poor in spirit, could not save his art empire, or himself.
Eric Kuskey, former colleague of Thomas Kinkade's and close friend until the artist’s death in 2012, tells Kinkade’s story for the first time—from his art’s humble beginnings on a sidewalk in Carmel, California, to his five-house compound in Monte Sereno. It’s a tale of addiction and grief, of losing control, and ultimately, of the price of our dreams.
Power Forward: My Presidential Education [EPUB]
09 February 2015, 23:16
2015 | EPUB | 1011.26KB
Reggie Love is a unique witness to history, whose introduction to Washington was working in Junior Senator Barack Obama’s mailroom. As “body man” to Obama during his first presidential campaign, Love’s job was to stay one step behind the candidate, but think and act three steps ahead during a typical eighteen-hour workday. As President Obama’s personal aide during that momentous first term, Love sat yards from the Oval Office and often spent more time with the President than anyone else. While his experiences were unique, the lessons he learned during his tenure with the President are universal. Persistence. Responsibility. Passion for a cause greater than yourself. In short, maturity.
Love has been singularly lucky in his mentors. At Duke University, where he was a walk-on and a captain of its fabled basketball team, Love learned from Coach Krzyzewski that sports builds character—from President Obama, Love learned that how you conduct your life defines your character.
Accountability and serving with honor were learned during unsought moments: co-coaching with Malia Obama’s and Sasha Obama’s basketball team with the President; lending Obama his tie ahead of a presidential debate; managing a personal life when no hour is truly your own. From his first interview with Senator Obama, to his near-decision not to follow the President-elect to the White House, Love drew on Coach K’s teachings as he learned to navigate Washington. But it was while owning up to (temporarily) losing the President’s briefcase, playing pick-up games in New Hampshire to secure votes, babysitting the children of visiting heads of state, and keeping the President company at every major turning point of his historic first campaign and administration, that Love learned how persistence and passion can lead not only to success, but to a broader concept of adulthood.