Monday, August 15, 2011

Bestselling Biographies Beats the Blues

I'm Over All That: And Other Confessions by Shirley MacLaine

Publishers Weekly

In this breezy new volume, the 76-year-old actress catalogues some of what she can no longer tolerate. MacLaine (Sage-ing While Age-ing) is not concerned with what she should not do, for instance, and has a distaste for the hassles of airport travel and government. "I am over everything that involves politics. What happens to me spiritually is far more important to me now." She has stopped being polite to boring people, and she's over fame for fame's sake. "Fame is a false god. Talent and hard work are not." Flipping the switch, MacLaine also documents many of the things she cannot get over. She still likes good journalists, appreciates her own personal history, and notes performers with whom she has worked in decades past, recalling experiences with Alfred Hitch

cock, Dean Martin, Jack Lemmon, Jack Nicholson, and others. These stories of Hollywood's past are among the most engaging. When the topic turns inevitably to metaphysics and religion, previous lives and reincarnation, the book's appeal narrows. Those who like MacLaine no matter what she believes in will find nothing wrong; less fascinated fans won't be so easily won over.

Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-Founder of Microsoft by Paul Allen

Kirkus Reviews

The highly anticipated, eyebrow-raising memoir of the other founding partner of the Microsoft Corporation.

Even at 58 and one of the wealthiest people in the world, Allen admits that writing his life story was "one of the hardest things I've ever done." The result is surprisingly profound and refreshingly frank. Inspired by an oral-history project he'd initiated in 2000 to commemorate his early years with Microsoft, the author begins and ends his chronicle with nods to his friendship with "partner in crime" Bill Gates—from their beginnings driven by an all-consuming enthusiasm for computers to Gates' regular appearances at Allen's bedside as he defeated aggressive cancer. Yet it's the often-turbulent years sandwiched in between that form the indulgent crux of this heavily jargonized narrative. Allen amiably retraces his Seattle roots raised by staunch booklovers as he dabbled in circuitry and

mechanics. He honed rudimentary computer-programming skills while enrolled at a private school where he met Gates, who, at 13, was already competitive and scheming of wild successes. Lofty ambitions cut Allen's collegiate career short, and, following many years of hard work, Microsoft was born in 1975, helmed by himself and increasingly tyrannical "taskmaster" Gates. Allen writes extensively of locking horns with his partner soon after the company became profitable, and, with the same heft used to praise the successes of a company that made him rich, he skewers his co-founder for his "mercenary opportunism" when conspired to dilute Allen's Microsoft equity after he developed cancer. His disillusionment with the company, he writes, was "like a failed romance." Allen spends the closing chapters elucidating his critically scrutinized interests in commercial space travel, the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, neuroscience and, more recently, artificial intelligence.

A diligently crafted scrapbook of gratitude, accusation and excess, guaranteed to entertain and even ruffle a few feathers.

Through My Eyes by Tim Tebow

From Publisher –

Over the last five years, Tim Tebow has established himself as one of the greatest college football quarterbacks in history and a top prospect in the NFL. During that time he’s won two BCS national championships with the University of Florida, become the first sophomore in NCAA history to win the Heisman Trophy, and, in the face of public scrutiny, been selected in the first round of the NFL draft by the Denver Broncos.

Now Tebow reveals how his faith, his family values, and his drive to succeed have made him the person and the athlete he is today. The son of Christian missionaries, Tebow details his life both on the field and off, taking you from his birth in the Philippines, to his homeschooled upbringing, to his record-setting college career and his rookie season in Denver. What emerges is a captivating portrait of a man whose passions demand the best from teammates, whose words inspire faith in others, and whose heart leaves nothing on the field.

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