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Biography & Autobiography

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  1. 8.7 hrs • 3/21/2017 • Unabridged

    “A riveting memoir that takes readers on a roller coaster ride from the depths of hell to triumphant success.”—Dave Pelzer, author of A Child Called “It”Michelle Stevens has a photo of the exact moment her childhood was stolen from her: She’s only eight years old, posing for her mother’s boyfriend, Gary Lundquist—an elementary school teacher, neighborhood stalwart, and brutal pedophile. Later that night, Gary locks Michelle in a cage, tortures her repeatedly, and uses her to quench his voracious and deviant sexual whims. Little does she know that this will become her new reality for the next six years.Michelle can also pinpoint the moment she reconstituted the splintered pieces of her life: She’s in cap and gown, receiving her PhD in psychology—and the university’s award for best dissertation.The distance between these two points is the improbable journey from torture, loss, and mental illness to healing, recovery, and triumph that is Michelle’s powerful memoir, Scared Selfless.Michelle suffered from post‐traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression, and made multiple suicide attempts. She also developed multiple personalities. There was “Chelsey,” the rebellious teenager; “Viscous,” a tween with homicidal rage; and “Sarah,” a sweet little girl who brought her teddy bear on a first date.In this harrowing tale, Michelle, who was inspired to help others heal by becoming a psychotherapist, sheds light on the all-too-real threat of child sexual abuse, its subsequent psychological effects, and the best methods for victims to overcome their ordeals and, ultimately, thrive. Scared Selfless is both an examination of the extraordinary feats of the mind that are possible in the face of horrific trauma as well as Michelle’s courageous testament to their power.

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    Scared Selfless

    8.7 hrs • 3/21/17 • Unabridged
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  2. 9.7 hrs • 3/21/2017 • Unabridged

    Based on rare one-on-one interviews with the flamboyant rock ’n’ roll icon, this is the first book to trace Elton John’s meteoric rise from obscurity to worldwide celebrity in the wildest, weirdest decade of the twentieth century. In August 1970, Elton John achieved overnight fame with a rousing performance at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Over the next five years, the artist formerly known as Reginald Dwight went from unheard of to unstoppable, scoring seven consecutive #1 albums and sixteen Top Ten singles in America. By the middle of the decade, he was solely responsible for 2 percent of global record sales. One in fifty albums sold in the world bore his name. Elton John’s live shows became raucous theatrical extravaganzas, attended by all the glitterati of the era. But beneath the spangled bodysuits and oversized eyeglasses, Elton was a desperately shy man, conflicted about his success, his sexuality, and his narcotic indulgences. In 1975, at the height of his fame, he attempted suicide. After coming out as bisexual in a controversial Rolling Stone interview that nearly wrecked his career, and announcing his retirement from live performance in 1977 at the age of thirty, he gradually found his way back to the thing he cared about most: the music. Captain Fantastic gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the rise, fall, and return to glory of one of the world’s most mercurial performers. Rock journalist Tom Doyle’s insider account of the Rocket Man’s turbulent ascent is based on a series of one-pn-one interviews in which Elton laid bare many previously unrevealed details of his early career. Here is an intimate exploration of Elton’s working relationship with songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, whose lyrics often chronicled the ups and downs of their life together in the spotlight. Through these pages pass a parade of legends whose paths crossed with Elton’s during the decade—including John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Groucho Marx, Katharine Hepburn, Princess Margaret, Elvis Presley, and an acid-damaged Brian Wilson. A fascinating portrait of the artist at the apex of his celebrity, Captain Fantastic takes us on a rollicking fame-and-drug-fueled ride aboard Elton John’s rocket ship to superstardom.

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    Captain Fantastic

    9.7 hrs • 3/21/17 • Unabridged
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  3. 14.8 hrs • 3/21/2017 • Unabridged

    Frederick Russell Burnham’s amazing story resembles a newsreel fused with a Saturday matinee thriller. One of the few people who could turn his garrulous friend Theodore Roosevelt into a listener, Burnham was once world-famous as “the American scout.” His expertise in woodcraft, learned from frontiersmen and Indians, helped inspire another friend, Robert Baden-Powell, to found the Boy Scouts. His adventures encompassed Apache wars and range feuds, booms and busts in mining camps around the globe, explorations in remote regions of Africa, and death-defying military feats that brought him renown and high honors. His skills led to his unusual appointment, as an American, to be Chief of Scouts for the British during the Boer War, where his daring exploits earned him the Distinguished Service Order from King Edward VII. After a lifetime pursuing golden prospects from the deserts of Mexico and Africa to the tundra of the Klondike, Burnham found wealth, in his sixties, near his childhood home in southern California. Other men of his era had a few such adventures, but Burnham had them all. His friend H. Rider Haggard, author of many bestselling exotic tales, remarked, “In real life he is more interesting than any of my heroes of romance.” Among other well-known individuals who figure in Burnham’s story are Cecil Rhodes and William Howard Taft, as well as some of the wealthiest men of the day, including John Hays Hammond, E. H. Harriman, Harry Payne Whitney, and the Guggenheim brothers. Failure and tragedy streaked his life as well, but he was endlessly willing to set off into the unknown, where the future felt up for grabs and values worth dying for were at stake. Steve Kemper brings a quintessential American story to vivid life in this gripping biography.

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    A Splendid Savage by Steve Kemper

    A Splendid Savage

    14.8 hrs • 3/21/17 • Unabridged
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  4. 7.2 hrs • 3/21/2017 • Unabridged

    “The Jon Stewart of the Arabic World”—the creator of The Program, the most popular television show in Egypt’s history—chronicles his transformation from heart surgeon to political satirist, and offers crucial insight into the Arab Spring, the Egyptian Revolution, and the turmoil roiling the modern Middle East. Bassem Youssef’s incendiary satirical news program, Al-Bernameg (The Program), chronicled the events of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, and the rise of Mubarak’s successor, Mohamed Morsi. Youssef not only captured his nation’s dissent but stamped it with his own brand of humorous political criticism, in which the Egyptian government became the prime laughing stock. So potent were Youssef’s skits, jokes, and commentary, the authoritarian government accused him of insulting the Egyptian presidency and Islam. After a six-hour long police interrogation, Youssef was released. While his case was eventually dismissed, his television show was terminated, and Youssef, fearful for his safety, fled his homeland. In Revolution for Dummies, Youssef recounts his life and offers hysterical riffs on the hypocrisy, instability, and corruption that has long animated Egyptian politics. From the attempted cover-up of the violent clashes in Tahrir Square to the government’s announcement that it had created the world’s first “AIDS cure” machine, to the conviction of officials that Youssef was a CIA operative—recruited by Jon Stewart—to bring down the country through sarcasm. There’s much more—and it’s all insanely true. Interweaving the dramatic and inspiring stories of the development of his popular television show and his rise as the most contentious funny-man in Egypt, Youssef’s humorous, fast-paced takes on dictatorship, revolution, and the unforeseeable destiny of democracy in the Modern Middle East offers much needed hope and more than a few healing laughs.

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    Revolution for Dummies by Bassem Youssef

    Revolution for Dummies

    7.2 hrs • 3/21/17 • Unabridged
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  5. 8.4 hrs • 3/21/2017 • Unabridged

    From the Emmy-winning writer and creator of All My Children, One Life to Live, and Loving, a memoir of her trailblazing rise to the top of the television industry, including behind-the-scenes stories from some of the most beloved soaps of all time  Before there was Erica Kane, Adam Chandler, or Victoria Lord, there was Agnes Nixon, a young girl who dreamed up stories for paper dolls. Those tales she imagined--ones filled with ambitions, rivalries, and romances--would soon echo her own path to success. In a memoir filled with as much drama as the soaps she penned, Nixon shares her journey as daughter of a broken marriage, who fought back against her father's wish that she take over the family burial garments business, overcame the heartbreak of losing her fiancé in WWII, and later became one of the most successful names in the TV industry.Fans of Nixon's greatest creations, All My Children and One Life to Live, will delight at Nixon's own incredible life, as well as the behind-the-scenes insight she lends to daytime's most popular programs. Nixon will share the inspiration behind and casting of the iconic character Erica Kane, played by Susan Lucci; the story bible for All My Children, and how it became lost, and then locked away in a drawer for many years; and how Nixon positioned ABC to become the media giant it is today, despite pushback from her male counterparts. This candid glimpse behind the curtain of the soap opera industry will charm soap fans and story lovers alike.With a foreword written and read by Carol Burnett.

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    My Life to Live

    Foreword by Carol Burnett
    8.4 hrs • 3/21/17 • Unabridged
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  6. 10.9 hrs • 3/21/2017 • Unabridged

    From her film debut as the sultry schemer in Body Heat to her award-winning role as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, actress Kathleen Turner’s unique blend of beauty, intelligence, and raw sexuality has driven her personal and professional life. Now, in this gutsy memoir, the screen icon tells us of the risks she’s taken and the lessons she’s learned—sometimes the hard way. For the first time, Turner shares her childhood challenges—a life lived in countries around the world until her father, a State Department official whom she so admired, died suddenly when she was a teenager. She talks about her twenty year marriage, and why she and her husband recently separated, her close relationship with her daughter, her commitment to service, and how activism in controversial causes has bolstered her beliefs. And Turner reveals the pain and heartbreak of her struggle with rheumatoid arthritis, and how, in spite of it, she made a daring decision: to take a break from the movies and relaunch her stage career. Along the way, Turner describes what it’s like to work with legends like Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas, William Hurt, Steve Martin, Francis Ford Coppola, John Huston, John Waters, Edward Albee … and, with characteristic irreverent humor, shares her behind-the-screen stories of dealing with all types of creative, intimidating, and inspiring characters. Kathleen Turner has always known that she would play the lead in the story of her life. It’s impossible not to take her lessons on living, love, and leading roles to heart. And it won’t be long until you’ll be sending yourself roses!

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    Send Yourself Roses

    By Kathleen Turner, with Gloria Feldt
    10.9 hrs • 3/21/17 • Unabridged
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  7. 7.8 hrs • 3/21/2017 • Unabridged

    Joi-Marie almost has it all; a thriving career, a supportive family, great friends, and an apartment in Manhattan. What she doesn’t have is a husband. Ambitious, confident, and successful, Joi-Marie believes she has it all figured out. At 28 years old, she has an enviable job as a producer, covering entertainment in New York City. Her close-knit family is loving and encouraging, and her boyfriend, Adam, is as close to perfect as you can get — except for the fact that he won’t propose. Like most women, Joi-Marie has a checklist of what the perfect life looks like. She has the career, the friends, the apartment, and the lifestyle she has always wanted. But, when the husband she wants doesn’t fall into place, she decides to play the game-the engagement game-in order to get Adam to drop down on one knee. After receiving a laundry list of advice on how to secure a proposal—even researching how to cook “engagement chicken”— Joi-Marie realizes that, in the process of trying to attain her perfect life, she has slowly become a person she doesn’t recognize. With this discovery, she must make a decision: pretend to be someone she’s not in order to have the life she envisioned…or have the courage to be herself and find her happily ever after in a way she never expected.

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    The Engagement Game

    7.8 hrs • 3/21/17 • Unabridged
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  8. 6.0 hrs • 3/21/2017 • Unabridged

    If your funny older sister were the former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, her behind-the-scenes political memoir would look something like this. Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? is an intimate and admiring portrait of a president, a candid book of advice for young women, and a promising debut from a savvy political star.

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    Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?

    By Alyssa Mastromonaco with Lauren Oyler
    6.0 hrs • 3/21/17 • Unabridged
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  9. 6.1 hrs • 3/20/2017 • Unabridged

    In 1997 Tiger Woods was already among the most-watched and closely examined athletes in history. But it wasn’t until the Masters Tournament that his career would definitively change forever. Woods, then only twenty-one, won the Masters by a historic twelve shots, which remains the widest margin of victory in the tournament’s history, making it an iconic moment for him and for sports. Now, twenty years later, Woods is ready to explore his history with the game, how it has changed over the years, and what it was like winning such an important event. With never-before-heard stories, this book will provide keen insight from one of the game’s all-time greats.

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    The 1997 Masters

    By Tiger Woods, with Lorne Rubenstein
    Forward read by Tiger Woods
    6.1 hrs • 3/20/17 • Unabridged
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  10. 4.1 hrs • 3/15/2017 • Unabridged

    "The real war will never get in the books," Walt Whitman wrote in this diary he kept during the Civil War. Whitman chronicled his visits to Washington, D.C. hospitals where he comforted wounded men and assisted nurses and doctors. This journal, written by one of America's greatest poets and writers, captures the details and ironies of war.

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    Memoranda During the War

    4.1 hrs • 3/15/17 • Unabridged
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  11. 10.4 hrs • 3/15/2017 • Unabridged

    En esta memoria sobre una niña, dos culturas y una lucha por la libertad, la periodista Mirta Ojito, ganadora del Premio Pulitzer, vuelve al evento en su adolescencia que cambió su vida para siempre: el éxodo en el 1980 de más de 125.000 cubanos, mejor conocido como el puente marítimo del Mariel. Con perseverancia y mucho corazón, Ojito logra localizar en Cuba y Estados Unidos a los individuos –ya olvidados por la historia– cuyas acciones desencadenaron los sucesos que impactaron su vida y la de otros miles de cubanos a ambos lados del Estrecho de la Florida. Su libro es un relato conmovedor de cómo una niña creció desgarrada entre las críticas contra el gobierno que reinaban en su casa y el arrastre de una revolución que exigía lealtad absoluta. El Mañana ofrece una mirada inolvidable dentro del corazón de una valiente refugiada adolescente.

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    El mañana

    10.4 hrs • 3/15/17 • Unabridged
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  12. 1.2 hrs • 3/15/2017 • Unabridged

    Publicado el mismo día en que el autor cumple sus 84 años, Memoria y esperanza entrega un mensaje claro y contundente a los jóvenes que hoy se abren camino en este mundo globalizado, en donde la lucha es día a día contra el consumismo y el conformismo. Benedetti nos deja un legado de esperanza y de rebeldía, de lucha y de cambio, elementos vitales para vencer el derrotismo y mantener con vida la esperanza.

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    Memoria y Esperanza

    1.2 hrs • 3/15/17 • Unabridged
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  13. 10.9 hrs • 3/14/2017 • Unabridged

    Hida Viloria was raised as a girl but discovered early on that he/r body was different. Unlike most people who are born intersex in the first world—meaning they have genitals, reproductive organs, hormones, and/or chromosomal patterns that do not fit standard definitions of male or female—Hida had the freedom to explore the person s/he was born to be because he/r parents did not agree to have he/r sex characteristics surgically altered at birth. It wasn’t until s/he was twenty-six and encountered the term intersex in a San Francisco newspaper that s/he finally had a name for he/r difference. That’s when s/he began to explore what it means to live in the space between genders—to be both and neither. As s/he began to reach out to others like he/r, however, Hida discovered that most intersex people had been scarred, both physically and psychologically, by infant surgeries and hormone treatments meant to “correct” their bodies. Eager to help end this practice, Hida came out as intersex at a national and then international level. By answering the question “Are you a boy or a girl?” with “I’m both,” Hida’s helped blaze a trail for people—particularly intersex and genderqueer/non-binary people—to celebrate the middle space where male and female are not separate and opposite but entwined. Born Both is an intimate and powerful account of Hida’s search for authentic identity and love in a world that insists on categorizing people into either/or.

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    Born Both

    10.9 hrs • 3/14/17 • Unabridged
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  14. 7.2 hrs • 3/14/2017 • Unabridged

    A girl, a laptop, and a waddle of penguins. In this witty and genre-defying memoir, a young writer can travel anywhere she wants to finally finish her novel—and ends up on a frozen island at the bottom of the world.  Twenty-seven-year-old Nell Stevens was determined to write a novel, but life kept getting in the way. Then came a game-changing opportunity: she won a fellowship that would let her live, all expenses paid, anywhere in the world to research and write a book. Would she choose a glittering metropolis, a romantic village, an exotic paradise? Not exactly. Nell picked Bleaker Island, a snowy, windswept pile of rock in the Falklands. There, in a guesthouse where she would be the only guest, she could finally rid herself of distractions and write. Before the spring thaw, surely she’d have a novel.     And indeed, other than sheep, penguins, paranoia, and the weather, there aren’t many distractions on Bleaker. Nell gets to work on a charming Dickensian fiction she calls Bleaker House—only to discover that total isolation and 1,085 calories a day are far from ideal conditions for literary production. With deft humor, the memoir traces Nell’s island days and slowly reveals details of the life and people she has left behind in pursuit of her writing. They pop up in her novel, too, and in other fictional pieces that dot the book. It seems that there is nowhere Nell can run—an island or the pages of her notebook—to escape the big questions of love, art and ambition.      Terrifically smart, full of wry writing advice, and with a clever puzzle of a structure, Bleaker House marks the arrival of a fresh new voice in creative nonfiction.

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    Bleaker House

    7.2 hrs • 3/14/17 • Unabridged
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  15. 7.5 hrs • 3/14/2017 • Unabridged

    Cheech Marin came of age at an interesting time in America and became a self-made counterculture legend with his other half, Tommy Chong. This insightful memoir delves into how Cheech dodged the draft, formed one of the most successful comedy duos of all time, became the face of the recreational drug movement with the film Up in Smoke, forged a successful solo career with roles in The Lion King and, more recently, Jane the Virgin, and became the owner of the largest private collection of Chicano art in the world. Written in Cheech’s uniquely hilarious voice, this memoir will take you to new highs.

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    Cheech Is Not My Real Name

    7.5 hrs • 3/14/17 • Unabridged
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  16. 9.8 hrs • 3/14/2017 • Unabridged

    Do you have strong feelings about the word “irregardless”? Have you ever tried to define the word “is”? Brimming with intelligence and personality, this vastly entertaining account of how dictionaries are made is a must-read for word mavens. Many of us take dictionaries for granted, and few may realize that the process of writing dictionaries is, in fact, as lively and dynamic as language itself. With sharp wit and irreverence, Kory Stamper cracks open the complex, obsessive world of lexicography, from the agonizing decisions about what to define and how to do it, to the knotty questions of usage in an ever-changing language. She explains why small words are the most difficult to define, how it can take nine months to define a single word, and how our biases about language and pronunciation can have tremendous social influence. And along the way, she reveals little-known surprises—for example, the fact that “OMG” was first used in a letter to Winston Churchill in 1917. Word by Word brings to life the hallowed halls (and highly idiosyncratic cubicles) of Merriam-Webster, a startlingly rich world inhabited by quirky and erudite individuals who quietly shape the way we communicate. Certain to be a delight for all lovers of words, Stamper’s debut will make you laugh as much as it makes you appreciate the wonderful complexities and eccentricities of the English language.

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    Word by Word

    9.8 hrs • 3/14/17 • Unabridged
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