Not yet finished though.
1000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz
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Not yet finished though.
1000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz
Hammer of the Gods by Stephen Davis
There may be more accurate portrayals of Led Zeppelin out there, but I daresay none are as entertaining. The group have criticized Hammer for exaggerating some of the facts, but this work has stood the test of time. The lurid details (including the infamous "shark episode" involving a groupie) add to the group's mystique as hedonistic rock stars, and I must confess, actually help make this an interesting read. Much of it is really, really amusing. Fortunately, Davis isn't distracted from the fact that the members of Led Zeppelin were fantastic musicians, and he devotes as much space to their musicianship, starting with their influences in the blues and then analyzing their development over the years. The fact is, Led Zeppelin rocked hard and played hard (in Bonzo Bonham's case, a little too hard...), and Hammer of the Gods doesn't flinch from portraying the band that way.
copyright translation 2003
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A GEISHA - SAYO MASUDA
translated by G.G. ROWLEY
The glamorous world of big-city geisha is familiar to many readers, but little has been written of the life of hardship and pain led by the hot-springs-resort geisha. Indentured to geisha houses by families in desperate poverty, deprived of freedom and identity, these young women lived in a world of sex for sale, unadorned by the trappings of wealth and celebrity
Sayo Masuda has written the first full-length autobiography of a former hot-springs-resort geisha. Masuda was sent to work as a nursemaid at the age of six and then was sold to a geisha house at the age of twelve. In keeping with tradition, she first worked as a servant while training in the arts of dance, song, shamisen, and drum. In 1940, at the age of sixteen, she made her debut as a geisha."
Autobiography of a Geisha chronicles the harsh life in the geisha house in which Masuda and her "sisters" worked. They were routinely expected to engage in sex for payment, and Masuda's memoir contains a grim account of a "sister" geisha's slow death from untreated venereal disease. Upon completion of their indenture, geisha could be left with no means of making a living. Marriage sometimes meant rescue, but the best that most geisha could hope for was to become a man's mistress.
Masuda also tells of her life after leaving the geisha house, painting a vivid panorama of the grinding poverty of the rural poor in wartime Japan. As she eked out an existence on the margins of Japanese society, earning money in odd jobs and hard labor - even falling in with Korean gangsters - Masuda experienced firsthand the anguish and the fortitude of prostitutes, gangster mistresses, black-market traders, and abandoned mothers struggling to survive in postwar Japan.
Happiness was always short-lived for Masuda, but she remained compassionate and did what she could to help others' indeed, in sharing her story, she hoped that others might not suffer as she had. Although barely able to write, her years of training in the arts of entertaining made her an accomplished storyteller. and Autobiography of a Geisha is as remarkable for its wit and humor as for its unromantic candor. It is the superbly told tale of a woman whom fortune never favored yet never defeated.
The Genuis Factory
It is a story of a sperm bank of previous NOBEL PRIZE winners and Genuises. Its intention was to create an intelligent breed of generation. It closed in 1990 when its founder died.
The author tracked the children and parents to find out what happened to the 'Nobel" babies..
THE STORY OF A LIFE: ST. THERESE OF LISIEUX - GUY GAUCHER, O.C.D
The premier biography of one of the world's best-loved Catholic saints, presented by the priest who has devoted his life to telling her story.
GEISHA, A LIFE - MINEKO IWASAKI
GEISHA, A LIFE
"No woman in the three-hundred year history of the karyukai has ever come forward in public to tell her story. We have been constrained by unwritten rules not to do so, by the robes of tradition and by the sanctity of our exclusive callin .... But I feel it is time to speak out."
Celebrated as the most successful geisha of her generation. Minkeo Iwasaki was only five years old when she left her parents' home for the world of the geisha. For the next twenty-five years, she would live a life filled with extraordinary professional demands and rich rewards. She would learn the formal customs and language of the geisha, and study the ancient arts of Japanese dance and music. she would enchant kings and princes, captains of industry, and titans of the entertainment world, some of whom would become her dearest friends. Through great pride and determination, she would be hailed as one of the most prized geishas in Japan's history, and one of the last great practitioners of this now fading art form.
In Geisha, a Life, Mineko Iwasaki tells her story, form her warm early childhood, to her intense yet privileged upbringing in the Iwasaki okiya (household), to her years as a renowned geisha, and finally, to her decision at the age of twenty-nine to retire and marry, a move that would mirror the demise of geisha culture. Mineko brings to life the beauty and wonder of Gion Kobu, a place that "existed in a world apart, a special realm whose mission and identity depended on preserving the time-honored traditions of the past." She illustrates how it coexisted within post-World War II Japan at a time when the country was undergoing its radical transformation from a post-feudal society to a modern one.
There is much mystery and misunderstanding about what it means to be a geisha. I hope this story will help explain what it is really like and also serve as a record of this unique component of Japan's cultural history," writes Mineko Iwasaki. Geisha, a Life is the first of its kind, as it delicately unfolds the fabric of a geisha's development. Told with great wisdom and sensitivity, it is a true story of beauty and heroism, and of a time and culture rarely revealed to the Western World.
SAINT THERESE OF LISIEUX - KATHRYN HARRISON
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, who lived in obscurity in a Carmelite convent until her death at the age of twenty-four, became --- through her posthumously published autobiography --- one of the world's most influential religious figures. In Saint Therese of Lisieux, bestselling novelist and memoirist Kathryn Harrison. whose depictions of women have been called "powerful" The New York Times Book Review) and "luminously intelligent" The Boston Sunday Globe),brings to the saint's life her storytelling gift and deep insight as she reveals the hopes and fears of the young girl behind the religious icon.
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux shows us the pampered daughter of successful and deeply religious tradespeople who - through a personal appeal to the pope - entered a convent at the early age of fifteen. There, Thérèse embraced sacrifice and self-renunciation in a single-minded pursuit of the "nothingness" she felt would bring her closer to God. With feeling, Harrison shows us the sensitive four-year-old whose mother's death haunted her forever and contributed to the ascetic spirituality that strengthened her to embrace even the deadly throes of tuberculosis. Tellingly placed in the context of late-nineteenth-century French social and religious practices, this is a powerful story of a life lived with enormous passion and a searing, triumphant voyage of the spirit.
THE ACCIDENTAL BILLIONAIRES - BEN MEZRICH
The high-energy tale of how two socially awkward Ivy Leaguers, trying to increase their chances with the opposite sex, ended up creating FACEBOOK.
Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg were Harvard undergraduates and best friends --- outsiders at a school filled with polisehd prerp-school grads and long-time legacies. They shared both academic brilliance in math and a less-than-smooth approach with the female population.
Eduardo figured their ticket to social acceptance --- and sexual success --- was getting invited to join one of the university's Final Clubs, a constellation of elite societies that had groomed generations of the most powerful men in the world and ranked on top of the inflexible hierarchy at Harvard. Mark, with less of an interest in what the campus alpha males thought of him, happened to be a computer genius of the first order, which he used to find a more direct route to social stardom. One lonely night, Mark hacked into the university's computer system, creating a ratable database of all the female students on campus --- and subsequently crashing the university's servers and nearly getting himself kicked out of school. In what moment, in his Harvard dorm room, the framework for Facebook was born.
What followed --- a real-life adventure filled with slick venture capitalists, stunning women, and six-foot-five-inch identical twin Olympic rowers --- makes for one of the most entertaining and compelling books of the year. Before long, Eduardo's and Mark's different ideas about Facebook created in their relationship, faitn cracks which soon ruptured. The collegiate exuberance that marked their collaboration fell prey to the adult world of lawyers and money. The great irony is that while Facebook succeeded by bringing people together, its very success tore tow best friends apart.
The Accidental Billionaires is a compulsively readable story of innocence lost --- and of the unusual creation of a company that has revolutionized the way hundreds of millions of people relate to one another.
MOVIE TRAILER :
The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
The Life You Can Save by Peter Singer
NOT. YET. DONE. Hay.
SON OF HAMAS - MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF
BEFORE THE AGE OF TWENTY-ONE, MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF SAW THINGS NO ONE SHOULD EVER SEE: ABJECT POVERTY, ABUSE OF POWER, TORTURE, AND DEATH.
He witnessed the behind-the-scenes dealings of top Middle Eastern leaders who make headlines around the world. He was trusted at the highest levels of Hamas and participated in the Intifada. He was help captive deep inside Israel's most feared prison facility. his dangerous choices and unlikely journey through dark places made him a traitor in the eyes of people he loves -- and gave him access to extraordinary secrets. On the pages of this book, he exposes events and processes that to this point have been known only by a handful of individuals....
ME - RICKY MARTIN
"Now that I have taken this extraordinary step, I realize what it means to be truly happy ... This is the life I have been meant to live. "
Throughout a career spanning nearly three decades, Ricky Martin drew a clear line between the person within and the one he shared with the world, choosing to keep his deepest emotions to himself. Not the very private Martin opens up for the first time about where life has brought him and the remarkable journey it took to get there.
In Me, Martin shares defining memories of his early childhood, his family's sacrifices to support his dreams, and coming-of-age experiences in the famed boy band Menudo --- what it cost him and what it taught him. He explores his struggles with his identity during the "Livin' La Vida Loca" phenomenon, reflects on accepting his sexuality, and admits to the sometimes oppressive consequences of denial and of fame. He also recounts some of this most profound milestones, like the travels to India that led to his founding the People for Children project and the realization of the greatest blessing of his life --- his children. Ricky Martin's story is about his enlightening life lessons, the relationships that allowed him to embrace love, and the crucial decisions he has made on the path to becoming the man -- and the father -- he is today.
Me is an intimate memoir about the liberating and spiritual passage that turned a young boy named Enrique Martin Morales into far more than just one of the most iconic pope stars of our time.
PRISONER OF TEHRAN: A MEMOIR - MARINA NEMAT
What would you give up to protect your loved ones? Your life?
In her breathtaking, triumphant, and elegantly written memoir, Prisoner of Tehran, Marina Nemat tells the heart-pounding story of her life as a young girl in Iran during the early days of Ayatollah Khomeini's brutal Islamic Revolution.
In January 1982, Marina Nemat, then just sixteen years old, was arrested, tortured, and sentenced to death for political crimes. Until then, her life in Tehran had centered around school, summer parties at the lake, and her crush on Andrew, the young man she had met at church. But when math and history were subordinated to the study of the Koran and political propaganda, Marina protested. Her teacher replied, "If you don't like it, leave." She did, and, to her surprise, other students followed.
Soon she was arrested with hundreds of other youths who had dared to speak out, and they were taken to the notorious Evin prison in Tehran. Tow guards interrogated her. One beat her into unconsciousness; the other, Ali, fell in love with her.
Sentenced to death for refusing to give up the name of her friends, she was minutes from being executed when Ali, using his family connections to Ayatollah Khomeini,plucked her from the firing squad and had her sentenced reduced to life in prison. But he exacted a shocking price for saving her life --- with a dizzying combination of terror and tenderness, he asked her to marry him and abandon her Christian faith for Islam. If she didn't he would see to it that her family was harmed. She spent the next two years as a prisoner of the state, and of the man who held her life, and her family's lives, in his hands.
Lyrical, passionate, and suffused throughout with grace and sensitivity, Marina Nemat's memoir is like no other. Her search for emotional redemption envelops her jailers, her husband and his family, and the country of her birth --- each of whom she grants the greatest gift of all: forgiveness.