Monday, May 21, 2012

New true life stories are found @ your library

Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good by Kevin Smith

Overview –

Profane, honest, and totally real advice from comedian and director Kevin Smith - one of America's most original voices

Take one look at Kevin Smith: He's a balding fatty who wears a size XXL hockey jersey, shorts, and slippers year-round. Not a likely source for life advice. But take a second look at Kevin Smith: He changed filmmaking forever when he was twenty-four with the release of Clerks, and since then has gone on to make nine more profitable movies, runs his own production company, wrote a bestselling graphic novel, and has a beautiful wife and kids. So he must be doing something right.

As Kevin's millions of Twitter followers and millions of podcast listeners know, he's the first one to admit his flaws and the last one to care about them. In early 2011, he began using his platform to answer big questions from fans-like "What should I do with my life?"- and he discovered that he had a lot to say. Tough Sh*t distills his four decades of breaking all the rules down to direct and brutally honest advice, including:

Why he has accepted Ferris Bueller as his personal savior, and what the Tenets of Buellerism can teach about hiding in plain sight and lip-syncing in the face of danger

Why it's really fun to eat but not so fun to be fat

What to do about people who don't like your policies (for starters, tell them to pucker up and smooch your big ol' butt)

What Kevin's idol Wayne Gretzky can teach us about creativity and direction

For anyone who's out of a job, out of luck, or just out of sugary snack foods, Tough Sh*t is an unabashedly honest guide to getting the most out of doing the least.

House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East by Anthony Shadid

Kirkus Reviews –

A nostalgic, bittersweet journey back to the Lebanese homestead. As a war correspondent for the Washington Postcovering the Israeli attack in Lebanon in 2006, Pulitzer winner Shadid (Night Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War, 2005, etc.), the child of Lebanese Americans who grew up in America, painfully encountered the home of his Lebanese ancestors in the town of Marjayoun. It was a once-fine house that had been long abandoned and was hit by an Israeli rocket. The author then resolved to take a furlough from his newspaper and reconstruct the house, which had belonged to his great-grandfather and where his grandmother had spent her first 12 years before the family migrated to America. Shadid traces the two sides of his family that converged at the end of the 19th century in Marjayoun, the Samaras and the Shadids, whose subsequent migrations reflect the strife among the Syrian Lebanese Shiite community with the breakup of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. Suffering from his own divorce and separation from his small daughter, Shadid was often overcome by the "history of departures" witnessed by the house, the ruptures caused by loss and discord among the community of Christians, Muslims and Jews, and the tightly knit customs and rituals that kept things running. Shadid's year became occupied with finding permission to build, securing willing contractors and artisans and befriending sympathetic characters among the often hostile, suspicious townspeople. Much of the narrative is a gentle unfolding of observation and insight, as the author reacquaints himself with the Arabic rhythms, "absorbing beauties, and documenting what was no more." A complicated, elegiac, beautiful attempt to reconcile the physical bayt (home) and the spiritual.

Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars by Scotty Bowers

Overview –

Newly discharged from the Marines after World War II, Scotty Bowers arrived in Hollywood in 1946. Young, charismatic, and strikingly handsome, he quickly caught the eye of many of the town’s stars and starlets. He began sleeping with some himself, and connecting others with his coterie of young, attractive, and sexually free-spirited friends. His own lovers included Edith Piaf, Spencer Tracy, Vivien Leigh, Cary Grant, and the abdicated King of England Edward VIII, and he arranged tricks or otherwise crossed paths with Tennessee Williams, Charles Laughton, Vincent Price, Katharine Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, Errol Flynn, Gloria Swanson, Noël Coward, Mae West, James Dean, Rock Hudson and J. Edgar Hoover, to name but a few.

Full Service is not only a fascinating chronicle of Hollywood’s sexual underground, but also exposes the hypocrisy of the major studios, who used actors to propagate a myth of a conformist, sexually innocent America knowing full well that their stars’ personal lives differed dramatically from this family-friendly mold. As revelation-filled as Hollywood Babylon, Full Service provides a lost chapter in the history of the sexual revolution and is a testament to a man who provided sex, support, and affection to countless people.

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