Avid Reader

Author: Robert Gottlieb
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9780374713904
Release Date: 2016-09-13
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A spirited and revealing memoir by the most celebrated editor of his time After editing The Columbia Review, staging plays at Cambridge, and a stint in the greeting-card department of Macy's, Robert Gottlieb stumbled into a job at Simon and Schuster. By the time he left to run Alfred A. Knopf a dozen years later, he was the editor in chief, having discovered and edited Catch-22 and The American Way of Death, among other bestsellers. At Knopf, Gottlieb edited an astonishing list of authors, including Toni Morrison, John Cheever, Doris Lessing, John le Carré, Michael Crichton, Lauren Bacall, Katharine Graham, Robert Caro, Nora Ephron, and Bill Clinton--not to mention Bruno Bettelheim and Miss Piggy. In Avid Reader, Gottlieb writes with wit and candor about succeeding William Shawn as the editor of The New Yorker, and the challenges and satisfactions of running America's preeminent magazine. Sixty years after joining Simon and Schuster, Gottlieb is still at it--editing, anthologizing, and, to his surprise, writing. But this account of a life founded upon reading is about more than the arc of a singular career--one that also includes a lifelong involvement with the world of dance. It's about transcendent friendships and collaborations, "elective affinities" and family, psychoanalysis and Bakelite purses, the alchemical relationship between writer and editor, the glory days of publishing, and--always--the sheer exhilaration of work. Photograph of Bob Gottlieb © by Jill Krementz

Lives and Letters

Author: Robert Gottlieb
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429961066
Release Date: 2011-04-26
Genre: Literary Collections

The product of a lifetime immersed in the literary, performing arts, and entertainment worlds, Lives and Letters spotlights the work, careers, intimate lives, and lasting achievements of a vast array of celebrated writers and performers in film, theater, and dance, and some of the more curious iconic public figures of our times. From the world of literature, Charles Dickens, James Thurber, Judith Krantz, John Steinbeck, and Rudyard Kipling; the controversies surrounding Bruno Bettelheim and Elia Kazan; and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and her editor, Maxwell Perkins. From dance and theater, Isadora Duncan and Margot Fonteyn, Serge Diaghilev and George Balanchine, Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse. In Hollywood, Bing Crosby and Judy Garland, Douglas Fairbanks and Lillian Gish, Tallulah Bankhead and Katharine Hepburn, Mae West and Anna May Wong. In New York, Diana Vreeland, the Trumps, and Gottlieb's own take on the contretemps that followed his replacing William Shawn at The New Yorker. And so much more . . .

Finale

Author: Thomas Mallon
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9781101872550
Release Date: 2016-08
Genre: Fiction

"Adding to a fiction chronicle that has already spanned American history from the Lincoln assassination to the Watergate scandal, Thomas Mallon now brings to life the tumultuous administration of the most consequential and enigmatic president in modern times. Finalecaptures the crusading ideologies, blunders, and glamour of the still-hotly-debated Reagan years, taking readers to the political gridiron of Washington, the wealthiest enclaves of Southern California, and the volcanic landscape of Iceland, where the president engages in two almost apocalyptic days of negotiation with Mikhail Gorbachev. Along with Soviet dissidents, illegal-arms traders, and antinuclear activists, the novel's memorable characters include Margaret Thatcher, Jimmy Carter, Pamela Harriman, John W. Hinckley, Jr. (Reagan's would-be assassin), and even Bette Davis, with whom the president had long ago appeared onscreen. Several figures-including a humbled, crafty Richard Nixon; the young, brilliantly acerbic Christopher Hitchens; and an anxious, astrology-dependent Nancy Reagan (on the verge of a terrible realization)-become the eyes through which readers see the last convulsions of the Cold War, the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, and a political revolution. At the center of it all-but forever out of reach-is Ronald Reagan himself, whose genial remoteness confounds his subordinates, his children, and the citizens who elected him. Finaleis the book that Thomas Mallon's work has been building toward for years. It is the most entertaining and panoramic novel about American politics since Advise and Consent,more than a half century ago."

Death of an Avid Reader

Author: Frances Brody
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9781250067395
Release Date: 2016-09-13
Genre: Fiction

The search for a daughter.Lady Coulton gave up the baby that would have ruined her marriage, born when Lord Coulton was abroad. Now that her husband is dying, she asks Kate to find Sophia.A haunted library.It is forty years since the ghost of a dead librarian haunted the old library, yet the stories have begun again. Kate does not believe in ghosts but obligingly takes part in a ceremony to expel the restless spirit. Shockingly, there is a body in the basement, strangled, and covered in dusty volumes from a fallen bookcase. It is Dr. Potter, a mathematician.A killer on the loose.Dr Potter's body is taken away. The police find a sick man sheltering in the basement. He is an Italian, Umberto, an organ grinder and owner of a lively Capuchin monkey. Umberto becomes the prime suspect and will be charged with murder. Kate goes with Umberto to the infirmary. But he is too weak to be a suspect. And now Kate must set out to find the real culprit . . .

How Not to Read

Author: Dan Wilbur
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101611418
Release Date: 2012-09-04
Genre: Humor

The Last Stupid Book You’ll Ever Need to Read Don’t want to slog through lengthy old books like A Tale of Two Cities or The Giving Tree? Sick of being judged by your avid-reader “friends” who talk about books you’ve never heard of? Want to sound smarter without the strain of actually bettering yourself? Never fear. In How Not to Read, you’ll find techniques to fake your way through literature so you never have to read another book—ever! Inside, you’ll find: •Tips for getting through anything you have to read by reading faster: Just read every third word. (One Hundred Years of Solitude becomes “Many as the Colonel was, that when him ice.” Wow! It’s like a Gertrude Stein poem only more comprehensible!) •Entire genres summed up in a single page: Historical fiction becomes “Guess who else had sex: Hitler!” •Literary insults to make yourself seem smarter: “The only thing sadder than you is a Joycean epiphany!” “You’re as weak as a passive sentence written in negative form. And probably not considered by anyone to be worth more than an adverb.” It’s time to stop fearing those people who keep bringing up Ayn Rand. How Not to Read is here to liberate the world from ever needing to read a book again.

Dispatches from the Sweet Life

Author: William Powers
Publisher: New World Library
ISBN: 9781608685653
Release Date: 2018-08-01
Genre: Nature

Many fantasize about dramatically changing their lives — living in accordance with their ideals rather than the exigencies of job, bills, and possessions. William Powers actually does it. In his book Twelve by Twelve, Powers lived in an off-grid tiny house in rural North Carolina. In New Slow City, he and his wife, Melissa, inhabited a Manhattan micro-apartment in search of slow in the fastest city in the world. Here, the couple, with baby in tow, search for balance, community, and happiness in a small town in Bolivia. They build an adobe house, plant a prolific orchard and organic garden, and weave their life into a community of permaculturists, bio-builders, artists, and creative businesspeople. Can this Transition Town succeed in the face of encroaching North American capitalism, and can Powers and the other settlers find the balance they’re seeking? Dispatches from the Sweet Life is compelling, sobering, thought-provoking, and, no matter the outcome, inspiring.

The Uncommon Reader

Author: Alan Bennett
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429934530
Release Date: 2007-09-18
Genre: Fiction

From one of England's most celebrated writers, a funny and superbly observed novella about the Queen of England and the subversive power of reading When her corgis stray into a mobile library parked near Buckingham Palace, the Queen feels duty-bound to borrow a book. Discovering the joy of reading widely (from J. R. Ackerley, Jean Genet, and Ivy Compton-Burnett to the classics) and intelligently, she finds that her view of the world changes dramatically. Abetted in her newfound obsession by Norman, a young man from the royal kitchens, the Queen comes to question the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with the routines of her role as monarch. Her new passion for reading initially alarms the palace staff and soon leads to surprising and very funny consequences for the country at large. With the poignant and mischievous wit of The History Boys, England's best loved author revels in the power of literature to change even the most uncommon reader's life.

The Saint of Wolves and Butchers

Author: Alex Grecian
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780698407275
Release Date: 2018-04-17
Genre: Fiction

From the bestselling author of The Yard comes a chilling contemporary thriller about an enigmatic hunter on the trail of a Nazi who has secretly continued his devilish work here in America. Travis Roan and his dog, Bear, are hunters: They travel the world pursuing evildoers in order to bring them to justice. They have now come to Kansas on the trail of Rudolph Bormann, a Nazi doctor and concentration camp administrator who snuck into the U.S. under the name Rudy Goodman in the 1950s and has at last been identified. Travis quickly learns that Goodman has powerful friends who will go to any length to protect the Nazi; what he doesn't know is that Goodman has furtively continued his diabolical work, amassing a congregation of followers who believe he possesses Godlike powers. Caught between these men is Kansas State Trooper Skottie Foster, an African American woman and a good cop who must find a way to keep peace in her district--until she realizes the struggle between Roan and Bormann will put her and her family in grave peril.

The Robot Book

Author: Heather Brown
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN: 9780740797255
Release Date: 2010-10-26
Genre: Fiction

Introduces robots, in a text that has movable cardboard bolts and gears designed to show how robots work.

The Pigeon Tunnel

Author: John le Carré
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780735220799
Release Date: 2016-09-06
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

“Recounted with the storytelling élan of a master raconteur — by turns dramatic and funny, charming, tart and melancholy.” -Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times The New York Times bestselling memoir from John le Carré, the legendary author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; The Spy Who Came in from the Cold; and The Night Manager, now an Emmy-nominated television series starring Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie. John le Carré’s new novel, A Legacy of Spies, is now available. From his years serving in British Intelligence during the Cold War, to a career as a writer that took him from war-torn Cambodia to Beirut on the cusp of the 1982 Israeli invasion to Russia before and after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, le Carré has always written from the heart of modern times. In this, his first memoir, le Carré is as funny as he is incisive, reading into the events he witnesses the same moral ambiguity with which he imbues his novels. Whether he's writing about the parrot at a Beirut hotel that could perfectly mimic machine gun fire or the opening bars of Beethoven’s Fifth; visiting Rwanda’s museums of the unburied dead in the aftermath of the genocide; celebrating New Year’s Eve 1982 with Yasser Arafat and his high command; interviewing a German woman terrorist in her desert prison in the Negev; listening to the wisdoms of the great physicist, dissident, and Nobel Prize winner Andrei Sakharov; meeting with two former heads of the KGB; watching Alec Guinness prepare for his role as George Smiley in the legendary BBC TV adaptations of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley’s People; or describing the female aid worker who inspired the main character in The Constant Gardener, le Carré endows each happening with vividness and humor, now making us laugh out loud, now inviting us to think anew about events and people we believed we understood. Best of all, le Carré gives us a glimpse of a writer’s journey over more than six decades, and his own hunt for the human spark that has given so much life and heart to his fictional characters.

How Reading Changed My Life

Author: Anna Quindlen
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780307763525
Release Date: 2010-12-22
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

THE LIBRARY OF CONTEMPORARY THOUGHT is a groundbreaking series where America's finest writers and most brilliant minds tackle today's most provocative, fascinating, and relevant issues. Striking and daring, creative and important, these original voices on matters political, social, economic, and cultural, will enlighten, comfort, entertain, enrage, and ignite healthy debate across the country. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The American Way of Death Revisited

Author: Jessica Mitford
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307809391
Release Date: 2011-11-23
Genre: Social Science

Only the scathing wit and searching intelligence of Jessica Mitford could turn an exposé of the American funeral industry into a book that is at once deadly serious and side-splittingly funny. When first published in 1963, this landmark of investigative journalism became a runaway bestseller and resulted in legislation to protect grieving families from the unscrupulous sales practices of those in "the dismal trade." Just before her death in 1996, Mitford thoroughly revised and updated her classic study. The American Way of Death Revisited confronts new trends, including the success of the profession's lobbyists in Washington, inflated cremation costs, the telemarketing of pay-in-advance graves, and the effects of monopolies in a death-care industry now dominated by multinational corporations. With its hard-nosed consumer activism and a satiric vision out of Evelyn Waugh's novel The Loved One, The American Way of Death Revisited will not fail to inform, delight, and disturb. "Brilliant--hilarious. . . . A must-read for anyone planning to throw a funeral in their lifetime."--New York Post "Witty and penetrating--it speaks the truth."--The Washington Post

George Balanchine

Author: Robert Gottlieb
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062008657
Release Date: 2010-04-20
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

The foremost contemporary choreographer in the history of ballet, George Balanchine extended the art form into radical new paths that came to seem inevitable under his direction. He transformed movement and dance in classical and modern ballet, on the Broadway stage, and in the cinema. George Balanchine chronicles the life and achievements of this visionary artist from his early, almost accidental career in Russia, where his lifelong collaboration with Igor Stravinsky was forged, to his extraordinary accomplishments in America. The editor and writer Robert Gottlieb, one of the most knowledgeable dance critics in America, offers a superb and loving portrait of a genius who, though married many times to many ballerinas, remained truest to his greatest love, Terpischore, the Greek Muse of dance.

This Lovely Life

Author: Vicki Forman
Publisher: HMH
ISBN: 9780547394404
Release Date: 2009-07-23
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

One woman’s true story of raising a child born three months premature—“propulsive, startling, and vivid, like motherhood itself” (Meg Wolitzer, New York Times–bestselling author of The Female Persuasion). Vicki Forman gave birth to Evan and Ellie, weighing only one pound each, at twenty-three weeks’ gestation. During the delivery she begged the doctors to “let her babies go”—knowing all too well that at their early stage of development they would likely die and, if they survived, would have a high risk of permanent disabilities. However, California law demanded resuscitation. Her daughter died just four days later; her son survived and was indeed multiply disabled: blind, nonverbal, and dependent on a feeding tube. This Lovely Life tells, with brilliant intensity, of what became of the Forman family after the birth of the twins—the harrowing medical interventions and ethical considerations involving the sanctity of life and death. In the end, the long-delayed first steps of a five-year-old child will seem like the fist-pumping stuff of a triumph narrative. Forman’s intelligent voice gives a sensitive, nuanced rendering of her guilt, her anger, and her eventual acceptance in this portrait of a mother’s fierce love for her children. “Intimate, compelling, and hopeful—an absolutely important book.” —Rachel Simon, author of Riding the Bus with My Sister

Get a Life

Author: Vivienne Westwood
Publisher: Serpent's Tail
ISBN: 9781782831822
Release Date: 2016-10-13
Genre: Design

Vivienne Westwood began Get A Life, her online diary, in 2010 with an impassioned post about Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Since then, she has written two or three entries each month, discussing her life in fashion and her involvement with art, politics and the environment. Reading Vivienne's thoughts, in her own words, is as fascinating and provocative as you would expect from Britain's punk dame - a woman who always says exactly what she believes. And what a life! One week, you might find Vivienne up the Amazon, highlighting tribal communities' struggles to maintain the rainforest; another might see her visiting Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy, or driving up to David Cameron's house in the Cotswolds in a full-on tank. Then again, Vivienne might be hanging out with her friend Pamela Anderson, or in India for Naomi Campbell's birthday party, or watching Black Sabbath in Hyde Park with Sharon Osbourne. The beauty of Vivienne Westwood's diary is that it is so fresh and unpredictable. In book form, generously illustrated with her own selection of images, it is irresistible.