Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First Chapter -- First Paragraph -- Tuesday Intros

Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea has started a fun new meme First Chapter, First Paragraph, Tuesday Intros. This week's intro is from Help! for Writers by Roy Peter Clark:

Writing is not magic. It is a craft, a process, a set of steps. As with any process, things sometimes break down. Even in a good story, the writer runs into problems. So the act of writing always includes problem solving. At times, things get so bad, writers feel as if they're drowning. Before going under, they reach for a lifeline.

This book offers that lifeline.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mailbox Monday -- September 26th

The reason why I love Mondays -- Mailbox Monday hosted this month by Amused by Books. Below are the books I received this week:

1) A Thousand Lives by Julia Scheeres. Publisher's Summary. I love socialism, and I'm willing to die to bring it about, but if I did, I'd take a thousand with me." —Jim Jones, September 6, 1975

In 1954, a pastor named Jim Jones opened a church in Indianapolis called Peoples Temple Full Gospel Church. He was a charismatic preacher with idealistic beliefs, and he quickly filled his pews with an audience eager to hear his sermons on social justice. After Jones moved his church to Northern California in 1965, he became a major player in Northern California politics; he provided vital support in electing friendly political candidates to office, and they in turn offered him a protective shield that kept stories of abuse and fraud out of the papers. Even as Jones's behavior became erratic and his message more ominous, his followers found it increasingly difficult to pull away from the church. By the time Jones relocated the Peoples Temple a final time to a remote jungle in Guyana and the U.S. Government decided to investigate allegations of abuse and false imprisonment in Jonestown, it was too late.

A Thousand Lives follows the experiences of five Peoples Temple members who went to Jonestown: a middle-class English teacher from Colorado, an elderly African American woman raised in Jim Crow Alabama, a troubled young black man from Oakland, and a working-class father and his teenage son. These people joined Jones's church for vastly different reasons. Some, such as eighteen-year-old Stanley Clayton, appreciated Jones's message of racial equality and empowering the dispossessed. Others, like Hyacinth Thrash and her sister Zipporah, were dazzled by his claims of being a faith healer—Hyacinth believed Jones had healed a cancerous tumor in her breast. Edith Roller, a well-educated white progressive, joined Peoples Temple because she wanted to help the less fortunate. Tommy Bogue, a teen, hated Jones's church, but was forced to attend services—and move to Jonestown—because his parents were members.

A Thousand Lives is the story of Jonestown as it has never been told before. New York Times bestselling author Julia Scheeres drew from thousands of recently declassified FBI documents and audiotapes, as well as rare videos and interviews, to piece together an unprecedented and compelling history of the doomed camp, focusing on the people who lived there. Her own experiences at an oppressive reform school in the Dominican Republic, detailed in her unforgettable debut memoir Jesus Land, gave her unusual insight into this story.

The people who built Jonestown wanted to forge a better life for themselves and their children. They sought to create a truly egalitarian society. In South America, however, they found themselves trapped in Jonestown and cut off from the outside world as their leader goaded them toward committing "revolutionary suicide" and deprived them of food, sleep, and hope. Yet even as Jones resorted to lies and psychological warfare, Jonestown residents fought for their community, struggling to maintain their gardens, their school, their families, and their grip on reality.

Vividly written and impossible to forget, A Thousand Lives is a story of blind loyalty and daring escapes, of corrupted ideals and senseless, haunting loss.

2) Angelina's Bachelor's by Brian O'Reilly. Publisher's Summary.
Sometimes the shortest distance between two people is the length of a kitchen table. . . .

Far too young to be a widow, Angelina D'Angelo suddenly finds herself facing a life without her beloved husband, Frank. Late one night shortly after the funeral, she makes her way down to the kitchen and pours all of her grief and anger into the only outlet she has left—her passion for cooking. In a frenzy of concentration and swift precision, she builds layer upon layer of thick, rich lasagna, braids loaves of yeasty bread, roasts plump herb-rubbed chicken; she makes so much food that she winds up delivering the spoils to the neighbors in her tight-knit Italian community in South Philadelphia.

Retiree Basil Cupertino, who has just moved in with his kindly sister across the street, is positively smitten with Angelina's food. In a stroke of good fortune, Basil offers Angelina (not only husbandless but unemployed) a job cooking for him—two meals a day, six days a week, in exchange for a handsome salary. Soon, word of her irresistible culinary prowess spreads and she finds herself cooking for seven bachelors—and in the process discovers the magical power of food to heal, to bring people together . . . and maybe even to provide a second chance at love.

Filled to the brim with homemade warmth, Angelina's Bachelors is a sweet tale of overcoming grief, redefining family, and following your heart—through food.

3) The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory. Publisher's Summary. Descended from Melusina, the river goddess, Jacquetta always has had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she met his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and saw her own power reflected in the young woman accused of witchcraft. They share the mystery of the tarot card of the wheel of fortune before Joan is taken to a horrific death at the hands of the English rulers of France. Jacquetta understands the danger for a woman who dares to dream.

Jacquetta is married to the Duke of Bedford, English regent of France, and he introduces her to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy. Her only friend in the great household is the duke's squire Richard Woodville, who is at her side when the duke's death leaves her a wealthy young widow. The two become lovers and marry in secret, returning to England to serve at the court of the young King Henry VI, where Jacquetta becomes a close and loyal friend to his new queen.

The Woodvilles soon achieve a place at the very heart of the Lancaster court, though Jacquetta can sense the growing threat from the people of England and the danger of royal rivals. Not even their courage and loyalty can keep the House of Lancaster on the throne. Henry the king slides into a mysterious sleep; Margaret the queen turns to untrustworthy favorites for help; and Richard, Duke of York, threatens to overturn the whole kingdom for his rival dynasty.

Jacquetta fights for her king, her queen, and for her daughter Elizabeth for whom Jacquetta can sense an extraordinary and unexpected future: a change of fortune, the throne of England, and the white rose of York.

A sweeping, powerful story rich in passion and legend and drawing on years of research, The Lady of the Rivers tells the story of the real-life mother of the white queen.

All thanks to Simon & Schuster!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Help for Writers Giveaway (ends 10/15)

Publisher's Summary. The craft of writing offers countless potential problems: The story is too long; the story's too short; revising presents a huge hurdle; writer's block is rearing its ugly head.

In HELP! FOR WRITERS, Roy Peter Clark presents an "owner's manual" for writers, outlining the seven steps of the writing process, and addressing the 21 most urgent problems that writers face. In his trademark engaging and entertaining style, Clark offers ten short solutions to each problem. Out of ideas? Read posters, billboards, and graffiti. Can't bear to edit yourself? Watch the deleted scenes feature of a DVD, and ask yourself why those scenes were left on the cutting-room floor. HELP! FOR WRITERS offers 210 strategies to guide writers to success.

Giveaway Rules. Giveaway Rules. Today I am giving away THREE copies of this informative book!

Entry: Comment with your email address in the body of the comment (you can list it as mary123 (at) yahoo(dot)com). If you do not list your email address your entry will not count.

Extra Entries: Sign up to follow my blog (or let me know that you are a current follower); follow me on twitter (DCMetroreader) and on Facebook (Metroreader). NOTE: These extra entries MUST be left in a separate comment or will not count.

The giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents only.
You must be 18 years of age or older.
NO P.O. Boxes for the winner’s mailing address.
Limit one winner per household regardless of the site won from.

Giveaway ends October 15th. Good Luck!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

First Chapter -- First Paragraph -- Tuesday Intros

Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea has started a fun new meme First Chapter, First Paragraph, Tuesday Intros. This week's intro is from Still Life with Brass Pole by Craig Machen:

Dean is driving the Porsche. In the passenger seat, I am drunk, coked to the gills, stoned and completely at ease. The car belongs to my dad, and so does Dean, figuratively speaking. He is Dad’s lover. Of course, I'm not supposed to know this, so I am having to listen to Dean's smoke screen of make-believe female conquests. And in a bizarre way, Dean's performance, sort of like Jim Jay Bullock doing a Don Johnson impersonation, is making it all that much more fun.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mailbox Monday -- September 19th

The reason why I love Mondays -- Mailbox Monday hosted this month by Amused by Books. Below are the books I received this week:

1) Help for Writers by Roy Peter Clark. Publisher's Summary. The craft of writing offers countless potential problems: The story is too long; the story's too short; revising presents a huge hurdle; writer's block is rearing its ugly head.

In HELP! FOR WRITERS, Roy Peter Clark presents an "owner's manual" for writers, outlining the seven steps of the writing process, and addressing the 21 most urgent problems that writers face. In his trademark engaging and entertaining style, Clark offers ten short solutions to each problem. Out of ideas? Read posters, billboards, and graffiti. Can't bear to edit yourself? Watch the deleted scenes feature of a DVD, and ask yourself why those scenes were left on the cutting-room floor. HELP! FOR WRITERS offers 210 strategies to guide writers to success.

2) Love and Capital by Mary Gabriel. Publisher's Summary. Brilliantly researched and wonderfully written, LOVE AND CAPITAL is a heartbreaking and dramatic saga of the family side of the man whose works would redefine the world after his death.

Drawing upon years of research, acclaimed biographer Mary Gabriel brings to light the story of Karl and Jenny Marx's marriage. We follow them as they roam Europe, on the run from governments amidst an age of revolution and a secret network of would-be revolutionaries, and see Karl not only as an intellectual, but as a protective father and loving husband, a revolutionary, a jokester, a man of tremendous passions, both political and personal.

In LOVE AND CAPITAL, Mary Gabriel has given us a vivid, resplendent, and truly human portrait of the Marxes-their desires, heartbreak and devotion to each other's ideals.

Both thanks to Hachette Book Group!

3) The Most Dangerous Thing by Laura Lippman. Publisher's Summary. Some secrets can’t be kept. . . .

The Most Dangerous Thing

Years ago, they were all the best of friends. But as time passed and circumstances changed, they grew apart, became adults with families of their own, and began to forget about the past—and the terrible lie they all shared. But now Gordon, the youngest and wildest of the five, has died and the others are thrown together for the first time in years.

And then the revelations start.

Could their long-ago lie be the reason for their troubles today? Is it more dangerous to admit to what they’ve done or is it the strain of keeping the secret that is beginning to wear on them and everyone close to them? Each one of these old friends has to wonder if their secret has been discovered—and if someone within the circle is out to destroy them.

Thanks to Harper Audio!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First Chapter -- First Paragraph -- Tuesday Intros

Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea has started a fun new meme First Chapter, First Paragraph, Tuesday Intros. This week's intro is from Here Comes Trouble by Michael Moore.

Wishes for my early demise seemed to be everywhere. They were certainly on the mind of CNN's Bill Hemmer one sunny July morning in 2004. He had heard something he wanted to run by me. And so, holding a microphone in front of my face, on the floor of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, live on CNN, he asked me what I thought about how American people were feeling about Michael Moore:

'I've heard people say they wish Michael Moore were dead.'

I tried to recall if I'd ever heard a journalist ask anyone that question before on live television. Dan Rather did not ask Saddam Hussein that question. I'm pretty sure Stone Phillips didn't ask serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahlmer, either. Perhaps, maybe, Larry King asked Liza once -- but I don't think so.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mailbox Monday -- September 12th

The reason why I love Mondays -- Mailbox Monday hosted this month by Amused by Books. Below are the books I received this week:

1) Coming Up for Air by Patti Callahan Henry. Publisher's Summary. Ellie Calvin is caught in a dying marriage, and she knows this. With her beloved daughter away at college and a growing gap between her and her husband – between her reality and the woman she wants to be – she doesn’t quite seem to fit into her own life.

But everything changes after her controlling mother, Lillian, passes away. Ellie’s world turns upside down when she sees her ex-boyfriend, Hutch, at her mother’s funeral and learns that he is in charge of a documentary that involved Lillian before her death. He wants answers to questions that Ellie’s not sure she can face, until, in the painful midst of going through her mother’s things, she discovers a hidden diary – and a window onto stories buried long ago.

As Ellie and Hutch start speaking for the first time in years, Ellie’s closed heart slowly begins to open. Fighting their feelings, they set out together to dig into Lillian’s history. Using both the diary and a trip to the Summer House, a mysterious and seductive bayside home, they gamble that they can work together and not fall in love again. But in piecing together a decades-old unrequited-love story, they just might uncover the secrets in their own hearts…

Thanks to St. Martin's Press!

2) Northwest Angle by William Kent Krueger. Publisher's Summary. With his family caught in the crosshairs of a group of brutal killers, detective Cork O'Connor must solve the murder of a young girl in the latest installment of William Kent Krueger's unforgettable New York Times bestselling series.

During a houseboat vacation on the remote Lake of the Woods, a violent gale sweeps through unexpectedly, stranding Cork and his daughter, Jenny, on a devastated island where the wind has ushered in a force far darker and more deadly than any storm.

Amid the wreckage, Cork and Jenny discover an old trapper's cabin where they find the body of a teenage girl. She wasn't killed by the storm, however; she'd been bound and tortured before she died. Whimpering sounds coming from outside the cabin lead them to a tangle of branches toppled by the vicious winds. Underneath the debris, they find a baby boy, hungry and dehydrated, but still very much alive. Powerful forces intent on securing the child pursue them to the isolated Northwest Angle, where it's impossible to tell who among the residents is in league with the devil. Cork understands that to save his family he must solve the puzzle of this mysterious child whom death follows like a shadow.

Thanks to Atria Books!

3) Bestiary for Business by Erika Schelby. Author's Summary. The BESTIARY FOR BUSINESS is a collection of fables that look at current economic conditions in an irreverent way. Looking into Aesop’s ancient mirror there to see current fads and follies fused to timeless fables? The BESTIARY FOR BUSINESS is doing just that.

Today, many of us are subjected to a flow of unpleasant news from Wall Street and the financial markets. And all of us are in business in one way or another: we are the captives, participants, cheer leaders, anti-heroes, or the economically injured people in a national and global game. If one listens carefully, one will hear that much of the fun and fairness has gone from economic activities. So if these fifty fables produce some smiles or even relief from annoyance, that would be great. The book deals with a variety of subjects and offers story titles such as “The Belt Tightening”, “Downsizing”, “Globalization”, “Insider Trading”, “MBA Delusion”, and “On Management Styles”. Each fable is seasoned and peppered with concluding quotations that enhance the content.

The players in the Bestiary are (innocent) animals with human characteristics. Now wouldn't it be wonderful if we as a species could advance to capitalism with a more likeable human face?

Thanks to the Author!

4) Taking Time to Live by Ron Fugere. Publisher's Summary. Taking the Time to Live (Bennett & Hastings Publishing, June 30, 2011) is the amusing and sometimes poignant story of sailing vessel Paso Feo’s 2006 voyage. Following the collapse of his 28-year marriage, Ron Fugere embarked on a solo journey without a firm destination or route, leaving navigation to chance, circumstance and whims.

His travels eventually carried him around British Columbia’s Vancouver Island, over a span of five months and 2,6000 nautical miles. In his travels, Captain Ron learned much about navigation and seamanship, but more importantly he gained insight into the power of dreams and discovered truths about matters of the heart.

Taking the Time to Live will warm your heart, tickle your funny-bone and arouse your sense of wanderlust.

Thanks to the Publisher!

5) Brothers Krimm by Cecile Wehrman. Amazon Product Description. On September 14, 2009, a serial bank bandit scores one of his biggest hauls ever in Williston, N.D. Jimmy Krimm has been robbing banks for most of his adult life, but the biggest crime he ever committed took place before he left his mother's Michigan home decades earlier. When police deliver the news that her oldest son is dead, Charlene Krimm is left pining for any children he may have fathered, and with the task of breaking the news to her younger son, Rob -- Jimmy's first victim. "The Brothers Krimm" examines the way childhood sexual abuse forms two men --turning one into a predator -- and the other into the kind of hero whose triumph is found in his will to rise above the past. In the wake of the events of September 14, 2009, a small town reporter is compelled to dig deeper into the mystery of Jimmy Krimm. Driven by the desire to help his family gain closure, Cecile Wehrman sets out to follow the trail of a serial bank robber -- a trail that leads, inexplicably, to her own doorstep – to the abuse in her own past, and to the very real possibility she could have been Jimmy’s next victim. From Chapter 1: "It's a story that will test all of my skills as a researcher. I will have to examine my ethics as a journalist. I will have to open old wounds, personal wounds. My faith will be shaken. Inconsequential things, something as simple as finding a penny, will take on new meaning...And it won't be until many months into it that my research will uncover an inexplicable connection to this robber -- this man who terrorized my neighborhood. It is a piece of evidence so startling it will literally knock me to the ground.” With the cooperation of the Krimm family, through prison documents, police records and even Jimmy’s own words and photos from the road during his final bank robbing spree, Wehrman chronicles the exploits of a modern day Jesse James – dispelling forever the notion of the dashing bank bandit and replacing it with the portrait of a homeless wanderer who took what he needed, no matter who it hurt.

Thanks to the Author!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

That Day in September

Publisher's Summary. We all have our stories to tell of where we were the morning of September 11, 2001. This is one of them. In "That Day In September" Artie Van Why gives an eyewitness account of that fateful morning. From the moment he heard "a loud boom" in his office across from the World Trade Center, to stepping out onto the street, Artie vividly transports the reader back to the day that changed our lives and our country forever. "That Day In September" takes you beyond the events of that morning. By sharing his thoughts, fears and hopes, Artie expresses what it was like to be in New York City in the weeks and months following. The reader comes away from "That Day In September" with not only a more intimate understanding of the events of that day but also with a personal glimpse of how one person's life was dramatically changed forever.

Review. Today is a day of remembering, reflection and mourning, for all who were lost and for the survivors who witnessed events that no one should ever see.

In That Day in September author Artie Van Why, who worked across the street from the World Trade Center, shares his personal eye witness account of that horrific day. From the initial puzzling moments after the first plane crash to watching victims leaping to their deaths to assisting a likely mortally injured man in the street, Van Why sees and describes events that are eerily familiar to anyone who was there or watched the events unfold on the news.

That Day in September cannot be described as an enjoyable or an entertaining read, but it is an important story. One that should be read and not only on memorable anniversaries like today, but on future days too.

September 11th is a story that we as Americans must never forget, today and everyday.

Review copy provided courtesy of the author.

Friday, September 9, 2011

An Accidental Mother

Publisher's Summary. After her divorce, Kate Kindred decided that she would live her life without children. But then she fell in love with Jim, a handsome, caring man who had custody of his two-year-old son, Michael. And she fell in love with the boy, too. During the six years they all lived together, Kate learned the deep joys of motherhood—that was the gift that Michael gave her. But when her relationship with Jim ended, he denied her any contact with Michael.

And her heart was broken.

An Accidental Mother beautifully describes the joys of mothering a young boy through complicated times. With sweet simple anecdotes and complex emotions, Kate Kindred marks every page with tears, including those that the most loving laughter can bring to any parent.

Review. Today side-by-side traditional nuclear families are a myriad of other “families.” In the memoir An Accidental Mother by Katherine Anne Kindred, the author shares her experiences as part of one such “nontraditional” family.

After forty-something Kindred’s second marriage dissolved, so did her dream of having a child. Life, however, had other plans for Kindred. When Kindred entered into a relationship with Jim she became a surrogate parent to his motherless, young son Michael. And for the next six years while Kindred cohabitated with Jim and Michael the trio morphed into a cohesive family unit. As Kindred confesses:

He [Michael] did not come from my belly, and we have no genetic link, but he has become my sun, my moon, my stars. And I have become his mother.

Sadly, this loving relationship was terminated by Jim when he and Kindred split.

An Accidental Mother is Kindred’s love letter to Michael. Interspersed between Kindred’s humorous (and not so humorous) recollections and Michael’s artwork, her love and devotion to Michael is apparent. From her daily “Good Morning Sunshine” greeting to rouse the slumbering little boy to the nightly dream stories she created while tucking him into bed, Michael is clearly Kindred’s sun, moon and stars!

Hopefully, someday Michael will have the chance to read this profoundly touching tribute from his "Mom."

Review copy provided courtesy of the publisher.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?

Publisher's Summary. "I've been mythicized, Mick-icized, eulogized and fooligized, I've been Cole-Portered and farmer's-daughtered, I've been Led Zepped and 12-stepped. I'm a rhyming fool and so cool that me, Fritz the Cat, and Mohair Sam are the baddest cats that am. I have so many outrageous stories, too many, and I'm gonna tell 'em all. All the unexpurgated, brain-jangling tales of debauchery, sex & drugs, transcendence & chemical dependence you will ever want to hear."

The son of a classical pianist straight out of the Bronx of old Archie comics, Steven Tyler was born to be a rock star. Weaned on Cole Porter, Nat King Cole, Mick—and his beloved Janis Joplin—Tyler began tearing up the streets and the stage as a teenager before finally meeting his "mutant twin" and legendary partner Joe Perry. In this addictively readable memoir, told in the playful, poetic voice that is uniquely his own, Tyler unabashedly recounts the meteoric rise, fall, and rise of Aerosmith over the last three decades and riffs on the music that gives it all meaning.

Tyler tells what it's like to be a living legend and the frontman of one of the world's most revered and infamous bands—the debauchery, the money, the notoriety, the fights, the motels and hotels, the elevators, limos, buses and jets, the rehab. He reveals the spiritual side that "gets lost behind the stereotype of the Sex Guy, the Drug Guy, the Demon of Screamin', the Terror of the Tropicana." And he talks about his epic romantic life and his relationship with his four children. As dazzling, bold, and out-on-the-edge as the man himself, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? is an all-access backstage pass into this extraordinary showman's life.

Draw up a chair and gather round because the Demon of Screamin,' Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler has a story to tell: 64 years of wild living. Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n Roll, as one would expect, are served up in lurid detail. Note: Does the Noise in My Head Bother You is NOT for minors or sensitive readers as Tyler seems unable to converse without using "colorful" terms. Also, some of the topics e.g. groupies and drug use are graphically discussed. Tales of debauchery and drug use, however, are not the only subject's covered. Tyler also shares his surprisingly softer self. He is spiritual and a nature lover. Tyler is also the product of a loving family who encouraged his creativity and is a devoted father and son.

Does the Noise in My Head Bother You is not the conventional memoir in that it does not unfold in a linear fashion. Rather it is told in a conversational freewheeling style -- jumping from topic to topic -- that seems natural although a bit chaotic at times. Additionally, as a listener of the audio version, I loved Tyler's rockin scat- rhymes that are sprinkled throughout the memoir. Narrator Jeremy Davidson does a superb job of conveying Tyler's attitude! The audio book version also includes a don't miss interview with Tyler at the end.

Does the Noise in My Head Bother You is a brash in-your-face memoir that will entertain longtime Aerosmith fans and newbies alike!

Review copy provided courtesy of the publisher.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Chapter -- First Paragraph -- Tuesday Intros

The I have power again edition (after 6 long days due to Hurricane Irene) of Tuesday Intro. Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea has started a fun new meme First Chapter, First Paragraph, Tuesday Intros. This week's intro is from That Day in September by Artie Van Why:

I want it to go away, I don't want it to have happened.
But it won't, and it did, and I was there.

I wanted to catch that falling man with the flailing arms and legs.
But I couldn't, and I didn't, though I was there.

I wanted to be a hero, doing more than I humanly could.
But I wasn't, and I didn't.

I wanted to stay there, in the street, not afraid.
But I didn't, and I was.

I wanted to be there through the end.
But I wasn't.

I wanted to stay and rescue.
But I didn't.

I wanted to be more injured, more dirty, more at risk.
But I wasn't.

I want to imagine being buried, being missing, being gone.
But I can't.

I want to know why I survived, and others didn't.
But I don't.

I want it never to have happened.
But it did.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Mailbox Monday -- September 5th

The reason why I love Mondays -- Mailbox Monday hosted this month by Amused by Books. Below are the books I received this week:

1) Upper Cut by Carrie White. Publisher's Summary. I was living a hairdresser's dream. I was making my mark in this all-male field. My appointment book was filled with more and more celebrities. And I was becoming competition for my heroes . . .

Behind the scenes of every Hollywood photo shoot, TV appearance, and party in the '60s, '70s, and '80s, there was Carrie White. As the "First Lady of Hairdressing," Carrie collaborated with Richard Avedon on shoots for Vogue, partied with Jim Morrison, styled Sharon Tate's hair before her wedding to Roman Polanski, and got high with Jimi Hendrix. She has counted Jennifer Jones, Betsy Bloomingdale, Elizabeth Taylor, Goldie Hawn, and Camille Cosby among her favorite clients.

But behind the glamorous facade, Carrie's world was in perpetual disarray and always had been. After her father abandoned the family when she was still a child, she was sexually abused by her domineering stepfather, and her alcoholic mother was unstable and unreliable. Carrie was sipping cocktails before her tenth birthday, and had had five children and three husbands before her twenty-eighth. She fueled the frenetic pace of her professional life with a steady diet of champagne and vodka, diet pills, cocaine, and heroin, until she eventually lost her home, her car, her career—and nearly her children. But she battled her way back, getting sober, rebuilding her relationships and her reputation as a hairdresser, and today, the name Carrie White is once again on the door of one of Beverly Hills's most respected salons. An unflinching portrayal of addiction and recovery, Upper Cut proves that even in Hollywood, sometimes you have to fight for a happy ending.

Thanks to Atria Books!

2) Pure Gold by Holli Pfau. Publisher's Summary. A two-hundred-word creative writing assignment describing her dogs, and her participation in the Parade of Rescue Dogs at the Golden Retriever National Specialty show in Snohomish, Washington, prompted Holli to start writing PURE GOLD: ADVENTURES WITH SIX RESCUED GOLDEN RETRIEVERS (October 1, 2011, Glad Dog Press).

It’s taken four years to complete, but the journey has been more than worth its weight in gold. Pure Gold moves from rollicking adventure to bedside vigils in hospitals, from confident, assured partnerships to disastrous outings in the show ring. Whenever she experienced writer’s block, Holli envisioned homeless, abandoned or sick goldens and was always inspired to push on, to help make their lives better. Her engaging story will provide reading pleasure for millions of dog lovers.

Thanks to the Publisher!

3) The Book of Life by Stuart Nadler. Publisher's Summary. Forced together on a trip from Manhattan to Rhode Island, a father and son attempt to renew their bond over lobster, cigarettes, and a buried secret. A pure-hearted artist finds his devotion cruelly tested, while his true love tries to repent for the biggest mistake of her life. Unwittingly thrust into an open marriage, a man struggles to reconnect with his newly devout son. And in the book's daring first story, an arrogant businessman begins a forbidden affair during the High Holidays. Written in clear, crystalline prose, The Book of Life comprises seven stunning tales about faith, family, grief, love, temptation, and redemption that signal the arrival of a bold and exciting new writer. ... more

Thanks to Hachette Book Group!

4) Shut Up & Dance by Jamie Rose.
Thanks to Penguin USA!

Saturday, September 3, 2011