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Queen of the Oddballs : And Other True Stories from a Life Unaccording to Plan
Hillary Carlip
0060878835
May 1, 2006
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Carlip's fresh, funny memoir of growing up at celebrity's edge in Hollywood, accompanied by photos and highlights of current events from the 1960s through 2004, is at once hilarious and heartbreaking. Even before her childhood appearance on Art Linkletter's TV program House Party, Carlip had been bitten by the showbiz bug. With shameless determination, in her teens she pursued friendships with celebrities such as Carly Simon and Carole King, and created her own minor celebrity as a juggler on The Gong Show, an extra in films like Xanadu, and the star of her own rock band. Carlip also turns the lens on her love life and the experience of growing up gay in Los Angeles. Ending the book with an anticlimactic flashback to her appearance on Oprah for her collection of writings by teenage girls, 1995's Girl Power, the...


Funny, Peculiar
Mark Lewisohn
0283063696
June 2002
Hardcover
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Book Description
A major biography of one of the world's most popular comedians, published on the 10th anniversary of his death, is the first objective and full account of Benny Hill's life and works. Tenaciously researched yet sensitively reported, it charts the highs, lows, and many paradoxes of a decent man whose strengths-observation, impression, and mime-brought him unimagined success, and whose weakness-especially an inability to change-fashioned his ultimate downfall. The author is a leading radio & TV historian, as well as the world's foremost authority on the Beatles.


My Life So Far
Jane Fonda
0812975766
April 2006
Paperback
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Book Review
One of the most recognizable women of our time, America knows Jane Fonda as actress, activist, feminist, wife, and workout guru. In her extraordinary memoir, Fonda divides her life into three acts: her childhood, early films, and first marriage make up act one; her growing career in film, marriage to Ted Turner, and involvement in the Vietnam War belong to act two; and the third act belongs to the future, in which she hopes to "begin living consciously," and inspire others who can learn from her experiences. Fonda reveals intimate details and universal truths that she hopes "can provide a lens through which others can see their lives and how they can live them a little differently." Exclusive Letter from Jane Fonda
Stay in Shape: The Jane Fonda Collection
New Workouts
The Complete...


Selected from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Heart of a Woman
Maya Angelou
0929631048
Jan 1989
Paperback
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Ava Gardner: "Love Is Nothing"
Lee Server
0312312091
April 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
At the ripe old age of 32, having collected three ex-husbands-Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra-Ava Gardner waxed introspective: "I still believe the most important thing in life is to be loved." Server's (Baby, I Don't Care) deliciously entertaining tome bursts with Hollywood dish and Oscar-worthy dialogue and is written in a crackling style that reads like great pulp. "Love became her terrible habit," he writes, "something hopeless to resist, impossible to get right." A Tobacco Road urchin turned "statue of Venus sprung to succulent life," Gardner ditched her secretarial aspirations and started at MGM in the early '40s as a contract actress earning $50 a week. She became an international star, drawing huge crowds on both sides of the Atlantic. But life wasn't always sweet for the gorgeous star of Show...


The Autobiography of Will Rogers
Will Rogers
1560005262
Nov 1998
Large Print Hardcover
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Double Exposure, Take Two: A Gallery of the Celebrated With Commentary by the Equally Celebrated
Roddy McDowall
0688084648


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Oprah Winfrey: A Biography
Helen S. Garson
0313323399
August 2004
Hardcover
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Book Description
The name and the face of Oprah Winfrey are instantly recognizable to just about every person in the United States. To millions of people around the world, Oprah is the embodiment of American spirit and entrepreneurial success; hers is a rags-to-riches story come to life. This biography takes readers past all the hype and hyperbole and presents a candid, balanced portrait of the flesh-and-blood woman herself. This well-researched personal profile presents a realistic yet intimate portrait of Oprah that neither canonizes nor demonizes her. The dramatic events in her life, both the struggles and the successes, are detailed with factual accounts that guide readers through the complex, and sometimes controversial, course of Oprah's life from her childhood in Mississippi, to her current position of extraordinary success....


Out on a Limb
Shirley Maclaine
0553050354
May 1, 1983
Hardcover
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From Library Journal
In Going Within, MacLaine asks tough questions of and gives good advice to the spiritual seeker. She has suffered, felt sorrow and anger, stress, fear, and anxiety, yet she has never allowed herself to be defined by her negative emotions. Instead she asks, "If we are not in harmony with ourselves, how can we possibly be in harmony with anyone else, much less the world that we inhabit?" MacLaine celebrates the independence that comes with the recognition of all emotions, both negative and positive. MacLaine has created many memorable roles as an actress but ironically younger adults may be more familiar with her work as a memoirist and spiritual seeker. In Out on a Limb, MacLaine reveals an intense and secretive loving relationship with a prominent politician, which sparked her quest for self-discovery. Fans of the...


"I Can Do Anything"
William Schoell
1888105615
Mar 2004
Paperback
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From School Library Journal
Grade 6 Up–Schoell is clearly a great admirer of Davis's talent and seeks to share that admiration with readers. At the same time, it appears that he wants to provide readers with a view of Davis the man. The result is a biography that is light on specific dates, has no clear focus or theme, and provides little in the way of real interpretation. Written in a clear but dry style, the book fails to grapple fully with the inner turmoil that shaped Davis's life. Racism dogged his every step, and he often responded to it in bizarre, self-destructive ways. Schoell glosses over that aspect of Davis's personality by briefly detailing his alcohol and drug abuse; yet, this may be the very issue that teens need to read about. Like the text, the few photos do little to enhance readers' understanding of the...


The King
Jim Piazza
1579124623
November 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The life of Elvis Presley is chronicled in a giant (15"×17") tome with 600 color and b&w pictures unearthed from such sources as AP, Photofest and the Getty Archives. Piazza, a former script analyst for Columbia, Fox and Paramount, adds an informative text to the innovative design by Platinum Design's Matthew Bouloutian and Andy Taray. Opening on Presley's Mississippi childhood, an extensive parade of images begins. The volume romps through the decades, highlighting Elvis events with a chronological time line floating at the top of each page, while amusing anecdotes punctuate a striking selection of magazine covers, paintings, photos, posters and other entertaining ephemera, from cinema curiosities to Elvis imitators. Paging through, readers encounter an explosion of sidebars with...


The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou (Modern Library)
Maya Angelou
0679643257
September 21, 2004
Hardcover
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Review
"This testimony from a black sister marks the beginning of a new era in the minds and hearts of all black men and women... I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, liberates the reader into life simply because Maya Angelou confronts her own life with such a moving wonder, such a luminous dignity. I have no words for this achievement, but I know that not since the days of my childhood, when the people in books were more real than the people one saw every day, have I found myself so moved... Her portrait is a biblical study in life in the midst of death." -- James Baldwin

"Simultaneously touching and comic" -- The New York Times

"It is a heroic and beautiful book." -- Clevland Plain Dealer

"Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written and exceptional...


Dean and Me: A Love Story
Jerry Lewis
0767920864
October 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Over the course of their 10-year partnership, Lewis and Dean Martin made 16 wildly popular movies (they were the world's number one box office earners from 1950 to 1956), but their real strength was their performances in nightclubs, theaters and on television. Audiences found their mixture of music and ad-libbed, irreverent comedic pandemonium intoxicating. The duo's fascinating kinship—Lewis idolized his partner, while Martin was aloof—has been chronicled in Shawn Levy's King of Comedy and Nick Tosches's Dino, but Lewis wants to give his late partner the credit he feels critics missed by always praising the "the monkey" rather than the straight man. Untangling the complicated union, Lewis doesn't spare himself, admitting that when the team's relationship unraveled (they weren't speaking between scenes on their last...


Strip City : A Stripper's Farewell Journey Across America
Lily Burana
0786886757
February 19, 2003
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Facing imminent marriage, Burana, a journalist who has written for the New York Times Book Review, the Village Voice and Spin, decides to make a yearlong "bachelorette odyssey" to revisit her former career as a stripper. She's exorcising some commitment panic, but also trying to reclaim some dignity for this devalued work. The sex trades may be the world's oldest professions, but where's their history, the "floozerati"? Burana wants to know. A self-proclaimed "sex-positive" feminist, she sees stripping as a choice, not just something women do because there's no other way to earn a buck. True, she herself first went to Peepland to make her rent money, but it also provided a "reprieve from rabid self-actualization" (e.g., studying and trying to get decent jobs). In her return to the "tiprail," she rediscovers the...


Marilyn Monroe: The Biography
Donald Spoto
0815411839
September 2001
Paperback
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Book Description
Based on more than 150 interviews, this in-depth biography casts new light on every aspect of Marilyn Monroe's thirty-six years: her mysterious childhood and adolescence; her complex marriages; her personal and professional relationships; and the truth about her death.


Rat Pack Confidential: Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey, and the Last Great Showbiz Party
Shawn Levy
0385495765
July 1999
Paperback
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Book Review
If you're not inclined to read individual biographies of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr., Shawn Levy's Rat Pack Confidential is a perfect one-stop resource. Less a group biography than a series of impressionistic snapshots, the book is loaded with can't-miss material--the dirt on the making of Ocean's Eleven, information about Sinatra's wild stint as a casino owner, deep background on Peter Lawford's habit of introducing Jack Kennedy to glamorous starlets, wiretap transcripts of mobsters Sam Giancana and Johnny Formosa discussiong Dean Martin's lack of respect.

Levy, whose previous book, King of Comedy, is a serious consideration of Jerry Lewis's life and career, offers similarly well considered insights into the members of the Rat Pack. He covers Davis's lifelong struggle against racism and the...



The Colonel and Little Missie : Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, and the Beginnings of Superstardom in America
Larry McMurtry
0743271718
May 31, 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
As is McMurtry's wont in works of nonfiction (e.g., Crazy Horse), this dual bio reads more like an extended elegy than biography. Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley, the demigods of western mythology, hold particular personal appeal for McMurtry. In a diner in his hometown of Archer City, Tex., McMurtry writes, "[T]here is a Cody poster that I sometimes study if I happen to land in the right booth," and as a child he heard his uncles recollect having seen Cody perform. This personal attachment doesn't obscure the quality of McMurtry's observations, and the book's aim, to separate fact from folklore, is beautifully accomplished. The Wild West show—and all of its mytho-historical components, such as riding the Pony Express, hunting bison, killing Tall Bull, scalping Yellow Hair—both distorted and...


Live Your Best Life: A Treasury of Wisdom, Wit, Advice, Interviews, and Inspiration from O, The Oprah Magazine
The Editors of O The Oprah Magazine (Editor)
0848731050
September 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
Few people other than Oprah can count Bono, Alicia Keys, Sen. Barack Obama, and award-winning authors Amy Bloom and Ann Patchett among her buddies. Oprah's rightfully tapped these friendships over the years for contributions to O, The Oprah Magazine, for Q & A's and ruminations that cover such topics as love, friendship, the creative process, and how to cultivate joy. In Live Your Best Life, the past several years' worth of articles have been own pared down into a collection of the most "rip and save-worthy" ones. A bit surprisingly, some of the more stick-in-your-head essays and profiles are by and about people who are far from household names, but who are putting their souls into work that's bettering themselves and world. Like Susan Buckley, who lost 75 pounds and kept it off for 11 years; or "everyday hero"...


Learned Pigs & Fireproof Women
Ricky Jay
0374525706


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From Publishers Weekly
A magician himself, the author offers a history of magicians and other performers, including animals trained to do arithmetic and limbless people able to play musical instruments. PW stated the dozens of illustrations alone "are worth the price of the book." Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From School Library Journal
YA A historical compendium of the world's most bizarre and outrageous entertainers by one of the world's great sleight-of-hand artists. Reaching back into history as early as the 16th Century, Jay introduces readers to daredevils, mind readers, talented animals and their trainers, sword swallowers, and other wonders of the past. Some have been geniuses, others charlatans, but all have...


Esquire The Meaning of Life : Wit, Wisdom, and Wonder from 65 Extraordinary People
The Editors of Esquire Magazine
1588162613
October 1, 2004
Hardcover
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Book Description
Every month in Esquire, the captains of industry (Jack Welch) and the pop culture icons (Gene Simmons, Loretta Lynn), the leaders (Rudolph Giuliani) and the loudmouths (Don Rickles), reveal their philosophy of life in the What I’ve Learned column. Ten entertaining years’ worth of their often-humorous, always thoughtful advice, along with stunning portrait photography, is gathered in this sharply designed compilation. The contributors include Muhammad Ali, Bill O’Reilly, Faye Dunaway, former Secretary of State Robert McNamara, Hugh Hefner, Elvis Costello, Lou Reed, Suge Knight, and Julia Child.


My Life So Far
Jane Fonda
0375507108
April 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
One of the most recognizable women of our time, America knows Jane Fonda as actress, activist, feminist, wife, and workout guru. In her extraordinary memoir, Fonda divides her life into three acts: her childhood, early films, and first marriage make up act one; her growing career in film, marriage to Ted Turner, and involvement in the Vietnam War belong to act two; and the third act belongs to the future, in which she hopes to "begin living consciously," and inspire others who can learn from her experiences. Fonda reveals intimate details and universal truths that she hopes "can provide a lens through which others can see their lives and how they can live them a little differently." Exclusive Letter from Jane Fonda
Stay in Shape: The Jane Fonda Collection
New Workouts
The Complete...


Buried Alive: The Biography of Janis Joplin
Myra Friedman
0517586509
September 1992
Paperback
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Review
"One of the best books about a rock figure thus far...Buried Alive is unquestionably an accomplishment and it may well be the best portrait we'll have of Janis -- and past even that, it seems a study of the motivations of stardom as true as one is likely to achieve....I'd take Buried Alive over Norman Mailer's metaphysical Marilyn any day!" -- Rolling Stone

"Brilliant, marvelous, emotionally devastating...I don't think there's anything about Janis the book leaves untouched....I can almost hear her speak and, more relevantly, hear her laugh." -- New York Daily News

"Written with a sympathetic intelligence, at times fiercely lyrical, Buried Alive is an honest book about Joplin the idol....This is the best book yet about rock...."

Review
"One of...


Autobiography of a Geisha
Sayo Masuda, G. G. Rowley (Translator)
0231129505
May 15, 2003
Hardcover
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Book Review
Sayo Masuda’s Autobiography of a Geisha offers a story of unremitting hardship faced by a hot-springs geisha, a virtual indentured sex-slave in pre-World War II Japan.

Born in 1925, Masuda began work as a nursemaid at age 5 and suffered a childhood of emotional and material poverty. She was then sold to the Takenoya geisha house in Upper Suwa at age 12. While her food and clothing were provided for by Takenoya, she was subject to constant verbal abuse as an apprentice. At one point, she was heaved down the stairs by her "Mother" (the name she uses for the proprietor of the geisha house) and nearly lost a leg. During her recovery, she attempted suicide and further injured herself.

Eventually, Masuda mastered the art of seduction as a geisha. The middle portion of the narrative is taken up with stories of her...


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