Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Bestseller Biographies have hit the shelves @ your library

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

In her debut book, comedian Poehler credits her approach to work to Carol Burnett, who was "funny and versatile and up for anything" and "a benevolent captain" on her eponymous variety show. The author's successful career proves that collaboration, good manners and gratitude are assets in both business and life. She has written a happy, angst-free memoir with stories told without regret or shame… The author conveys the ethos of this project in pithy statements and reassurances sprinkled throughout the book in large type—e.g., "If It's Not Funny, You Don't Have To Laugh" and "Everybody Is Scared Most Of The Time." This is not a treacly self-help book or spiritual guide but rather motivation from a hilarious and kindhearted champion. A wise and winning—and polite—memoir and manifesto.

Not My Father's Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming

The award-winning actor uncovers his family's darkest secret. Instead of writing a showbiz memoir with stories of his eclectic career, Cumming—who has won countless acting awards, including a Tony for his role in Cabaret—anchors his book with his discovery of the truth about his grandfather's premature death (at age 35) and a recognition of the "dual family narrative" of shame and secrecy. He came to understand that both he and his grandfather Tommy Darling suffered combat stress: Darling as a decorated World War II soldier and the author at the hands of his father. …. He details the physical and psychological violence his father mercilessly heaped upon him, including a beating so ferocious he wanted to die, having his hair brutally shorn against his will with rusty clippers used on sheep, and hearing countless times that he was pathetic and useless. … From discovering the truth about his grandfather's mysterious death to attempting to understand his father's sadistic nature, Cumming explains that it is important to be candid and forthright, that "there is never shame in being open and honest." A raw, revealing memoir from a courageous actor and writer.

Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan

Most love stories are complex affairs, and the author’s torrid relationship with pizza and bacon and everything else that is bad for you—but also so darn tasty—is no exception. In his latest book, Gaffigan waxes downright poetic about beef, barbecue, Chinese takeout and a smorgasbord of other gastronomic delights that no overweight man his age and girth can resist.

The author’s passion for deliciously trashy food manifests itself in a mouthwatering map of the United States that gleefully replaces red and blue states with much more representational porterhouse steaks and ribs. …For as many dishes as he professes to adore, there appears to be an equal number of food items that he despises. His culinary no-fly list runs the gamut from seafood to American cheese. “What’s the difference between anchovies and a sweaty eyebrow?” Gaffigan wonders. … The author seasons each carton of comedy goodness with all the right seasonings: a dash of domesticity here and a pinch of zesty dialogue there. In freely exploring his ardor for all things fried, baked and sugary, Gaffigan somehow manages to work “clean” without ever becoming sickeningly saccharine.

Laughs served up just right on every page.

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes and Joe Layden

With the assistance of Layden (The Ghost Horse: A True Story of Love, Death,
and Redemption, 2013, etc.), Elwes shares tales of the making of the 1987 film The Princess Bride, in which he starred in the role of Westley.

… Elwes gives a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie and theorizes on how an infamously unproducible script became a cult classic. The book is driven by the author's thoughts and memories but is complemented by rich quotes featured in pop-out text boxes from Reiner, Scheinman, Goldman and other stars of the film, including Christopher Guest, Robin Wright and Billy Crystal. … the book is intended less for film aficionados than simply for lovers of this specific movie. … the film has endured because it was made with a lot of heart—is made persuasively enough that readers will entertain the sentiment even if they aren't totally convinced by it.

Jeter Unfiltered by Derek Jeter

Jeter Unfiltered is a powerful collection of never-before-published images taken over the course of Derek’s final season. Fans will have unprecedented access to “The Captain,” as the famously private baseball legend takes us behind the scenes—inside his home, the stadium, the gym, at his Turn 2 Foundation events, fortieth birthday party, and more—as he looks back with candor and gratitude on his baseball career. The result is an intimate portrait bursting with personality, professionalism, and pride.

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