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  • BN Editors 1:00 pm on 2019/11/08 Permalink
    Tags: ali wong, books to treasure, dear girls, debbie harry, demi moore, elbow grease vs. motozilla, face it, Holiday 2019, , inside out, john cena, jonathan van ness, mike rowe, , over the top, , , signed editions, sisters first, , , the tyrant's tomb, the way i heard it,   

    A Signed Book Is the Perfect Gift for Every Reader on Your List 

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    Books make the best presents (we may be bit biased here), and for fans of a particular author or series, a signed edition makes for an even more meaningful gift.

    To simplify your holiday shopping and to help you surprise and delight the bookworms in your life this year, we’re gathering together dozens of gifty signed editions, from picture books and YA right up through adult memoirs. There’s something on the list for every reader! Below are just a few highlights—get an early look at all of our signed editions here.

    The books will be available online and in stores on November 16, in limited quantities and only while supplies last.

    Inside Out: A Memoir, by Demi Moore
    She earned fame for her iconic movie roles (St. Elmo’s FireGhostIndecent Proposal, etc.), broke barriers in pay for actresses in Hollywood, and led a personal life highlighted by tabloid-ready marriages to Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher. Throughout all of this, just under the surface of her glamorous Hollywood life, Demi Moore battled life-long insecurities, barely concealed childhood trauma, and addiction. In her new memoir, she lays it all on the line, from her complicated relationship with her mother, to the ins-and-outs of her acting career, to the challenges of raising a family under the watchful gaze of the paparazzi. It’s potent reminder that even the biggest celebrities are people too—and with Moore’s signature inside, the connection feels all that much more personal.

    Dear Girls: Intimate Tales Untold, Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life, by Ali Wong
    Actress, writer, and comedian Ali Wong has had an incredible 2019, co-writing and starring in the breakout Netflix hit romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe with Randall Park and Keanu Reeves and releasing this, her first book. Dear Girls is a hilarious memoir-meets-guide to life, filled with stories that feature Wong’s penchant for egoless oversharing about everything from sex to personal grooming. But it also fills in all the gaps in her “overnight success” story, from her time spent studying abroad in her mother’s native Vietnam (an experience with broadened her cultural and culinary horizons) to her early days as a struggling comedian, trudging from one open-mic night to the next. Intimate, confessional, and gut-bustingly funny, a signed edition makes a perfect gift for anyone in you life seeking inspiration, or a few laughs.

    Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love, by Jonathan Van Ness
    The current Netflix run of Queer Eye has gone well beyond a makeover show for the fashionably clueless, layering in heartwarming and poignant stories of overcoming prejudice that are inspired by a cast that’s not afraid to get to the heart of the issues in the lives of the show’s subjects. That’s certainly the case for grooming and self-care expert Jonathan Van Ness, whose message has been that taking care of yourself comes from the inside out. During his childhood in a small Midwestern town, he was misunderstood by just about everyone—over-the-top and very gay even as a child, he was an easy target for the ridicule and judgement of his peers. Those early experiences shaped his unapologetic positivity and compassion, and he shares that journey in this personal and raw account of the journey to self-acceptance.

    The Way I Heard It, by Mike Rowe
    On his hit TV shows Dirty Jobs and Somebody’s Got to Do It, Mike Rowe explores the lives and day-to-day jobs—from the unusual to the downright messy—of people from all walks of life. But for this book, based on his popular podcast of the same name, his subjects are much more well known: each episode of the show tells you things you don’t know about a person who you’ve definitely heard of, from movie stars, to presidents, to infamous villains, and the book collects the best stories from the series so far. In sharing these unknown details, Rowe reveals something about himself too, whether an event in his personal life or a chapter of his stories career. After spending countless hours watching his TV shows and listening to his podcast, his fans feel like they know him—and they’ll certainly appreciate a signed edition of his latest work.

    Face It: A Memoir, by Debbie Harry
    Few rock harder than punk icon Debbie Harry, who led the band Blondie, a fusion of rock, punk, disco, and hip-hop incarnate. The deeply private artist’s new memoir revisits the gritty music scene in 1970s New York, an era when some of the greatest bands of all time were on the verge of becoming legends. Through drug addiction, heartbreaks, and breakups, Harry evolved from rock star to activist to icon, busting down barriers and making great music all the while. The Blondie obsessed won’t want to miss out on their chance to get a signed copy of this iconic rocker’s very personal story.

    Elbow Grease vs. Motozilla, by John Cena and Howard McWilliam
    Elbow Grease, the little monster truck with a big heart (and family!), is back in the second book in John Cena’s hilarious series. This time Elbow Grease must face off against giant monster truck Motozilla, and it feels like the odds are against him. Fortunately his four big brothers have got his back, and they’re ready to show Elbow Grease (and their huge foe) that teamwork conquers all! Fans who love Elbow Grease (as well as multitalented actor, pro wrestler, television host and now author John Cena) will love having an author-signed copy of this sweet, funny story.

    Sisters First, by Jenna Bush Hager, Barbara Pierce Bush, and Ramona Kaulitzki
    An earnest young girl wishes fervently for a little sister, but once the baby arrives, the tiny little bundle isn’t much fun (a story that’s all-too-familiar to older sibs—and parents—everywhere). Once she’s a little older though, the adventures start, and the magic doesn’t stop! This loving tribute to sisterhood, unconditional love, and the close bonds of friendship that siblings form will treasure a copy that has been signed by former first daughters (and twins!) Jenna and Barbara Bush.

    The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo Series #4), by Rick Riordan
    In Rick Riordan’s popular The Trials of Apollo series, Zeus has cast down his son Apollo to earth to punish him, forcing Apollo to live as an awkward human teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to reclaim his godly existence, Lester has to restore five Oracles that have gone dark. He’s three down with two to go in this fourth exciting book in the series, and this time, he’s off to Camp Jupiter in San Francisco where the Roman demigods are preparing to take on the evil Triumvirate of Roman emperors. Can Apollo help them survive the battle and restore the fourth oracle? Bonus: This Barnes & Noble–exclusive edition includes a full-color poster of a scene from the book and diary entries of a Camp Jupiter “probatio.” It goes without saying that a Rick Riordan fan, whether they’re Team Trials of Apollo, a Percy Jackson devotee, or a die-hard Magnus Chase aficionado, will adore a signed edition of one of his voicey, adventure-packed novels.

    The Queen of Nothing, by Holly Black
    The final installment of Holly Black’s Folk of the Air trilogyThe Queen of Nothing brings us back to the world of the high fae—or, in Jude’s current state of affairs, the mortal world. Exiled immediately after being crowned Queen of Faerie, Jude is killing time, waiting for the opportunity to return to her court and take back everything that Cardan stole from her. When her twin sister, Taryn, seeks her out in need of a favor, Jude finally gets the chance to reunite with her king and reclaim her power. Author Holly Black is a titan of YA fantasy, and receiving a signed edition of the conclusion of her spellbinding series will make any fan’s holiday memorable.

    Wayward Son, by Rainbow Rowell
    The lovable Simon Snow (who was first introduced in quirky love letter to fanfiction Fangirl and was given a story all his own in the delicious fantasy Carry On) is back in a tale that dares to ask, “What happens after you’ve saved the world, proven your Chosen One bonafides, and kissed your vampiric roommate?” For Simon, life post-battle is not what he hoped or expected. It’s less HEA, and more ennui. Luckily, Penny and Baz are on top of the problem. Perhaps a trip across the pond to the U.S. for an epic road trip will pull Simon from his slump? Rainbow Rowell is one of those authors whom fans are certain they’d become besties with if they could only manage to meet her; receiving a signed edition of one of her books isn’t exactly the same thing, but it’s still a nice to have.

    The Toll (Arc of a Scythe Series #3), by Neal Shusterman
    The third and final book in Shusterman’s bestselling series has arrived just in time for the holidays, and when it opens, things are looking grim. We find Citra and Rowan awaking three years after the events of the last book, and on the run from Scythe Goddard’s allies and everyone who would see Rowan burn for the destruction of Endura. The Thunderhead is still in charge, but won’t communicate with anyone other than Greyson Tolliver, a.k.a. the Toll. Will our heroes defeat him? And will an edition of this beauty signed by Shusterman himself be the perfect gift for a die-hard fan? We’re betting the answer to both questions will be yes.

    Check out the complete list of signed editions available at Barnes & Noble this holiday season. The books will be available starting November 16.

    The post A Signed Book Is the Perfect Gift for Every Reader on Your List appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Ross Johnson 1:00 pm on 2019/10/23 Permalink
    Tags: , carly simon, debbie harry, , face it: a memoir, home work: a memoir of my hollywood years, , , , , songs of life, , touched by sam: my friendship with jackie   

    Your Guide to a Star-Studded Season of Music Memoir and Biography 

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    A oft-repeated aphorism, frequently misquoted or mistakenly attributed, tells us that “writing about music is like dancing about architecture,” the implication being that attempting either is a fruitless endeavor. But if that were truly the case, there would be little use for the nine fascinating books below—first person memoirs and rigorously researched biographies exploring the lives, minds, and, yes, music of some of the most iconic musicians of the past 50 years, all newly arriving in bookstores this fall.

    Me, by Elton John
    It’s  hard to believe Sir Elton has never produced an autobiography until now. With a career that spans more than a half century, the one-time Reginald Dwight has plenty of stories to tell—some relating to the excesses and pitfalls that have plagued so many rockers, many others having to do with his run-ins with some of the most significant figures of our time, including Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth. The suburban kid from Pinner grew up to be one of the most shocking and outrageous figures in glam rock, and soared to the heights of respectability as an icon, and also a father. This is the story of a living legend, told in his own words.

    The Beautiful Ones, by Prince
    Another equally significant, but very different musical visionary has a new memoir out this month, this one a bit more poignant. The autobiography begun prior to Prince’s death in 2016 is the first-person account of a Minnesota kid who created some of the most visionary pop and funk ever recorded, cultivating a mystique very different from what his upbringing would have suggested. Prince’s own recollections of his childhood and early growth as an artist make up the first part of the book, while writing and candid photographs fill in the major events from the rest of his storied career. Finally, the Artist’s own handwritten treatment for “Purple Rain” is included in its entirety. Though sadly truncated, this is an essential portrait of The Artist: Prince sought to retell his own story as a mythic and funky adventure, and succeeded.

    Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, by Julie Andrews with Emma Walton Hamilton
    Her first memoir, Home, chronicled Julie Andrews’ difficult childhood and emergence as a singer and stage performer, while this follow-up discusses her Hollywood career from its earliest days and offers insights into her biggest successes in her own words. Co-writing with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, Andrews not only dives into the stories behind roles in films like Mary PoppinsThe Sound of Music, and Victor/Victoria, but deals with her own transition into worldwide superstardom, and the effect it had on her marriages and children. For an accounting of Andrews’ earlier years, you’ll want to read Home Work alongside her previous book Home: A Memoir of my Early Years.

    Horror Stories, by Liz Phair
    The title alone reveals that this book to be a musical memoir of a different order: like Liz Phair’s emotionally candid music, her book traces some of the most difficult moments of her life and career, stretching back to the release of her groundbreaking debut album Exile in Guyville, analyzing critical junctures, reconsidering poor choices, and poring over the seemingly mundane moments she’s been unable to leave behind. Her point isn’t to wallow in the dark times; Phair is aiming for something more universal—a confessional work revealing that even a rock star experiences moments of self-delusion and shame. In exploring her own horror stories, Liz Phair explores the ways in which we all cope with regret, and how we might reclaim our power over our darkest moments.

    Rhianna, by Rihanna
    Considering she is one of the biggest musical mega-stars of our time, there’s really no better title for this book than simply Rihanna; the name says it all. This impressive and hefty art book serves as a visual autobiography of the singer, designer, actress, and businesswoman. Taken together, the collection of photos showcase every facet of her extraordinary life and career—1,050 full-color images spread across over 500 pages, many of them never published before, and representing her experiences in stagecraft, design sketches, fashion, and music. The book also includes several fold-out images, as well as a removable poster, making it not only a unique look at Rihanna’s life from her own perspective, but a very impressive package, highly giftable item for fans (and who isn’t?).

    Touched by the Sun: My Friendship with Jackie, by Carly Simon
    Another book from a musical legend, this one less about Carly Simon’s music than about her relationship with another American icon: following a chance encounter at a party in Martha’s Vineyard,  Simon and Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis developed a relationship somewhere between that of best pals and a mother and daughter. When Simon write children’s books in the 1980s and ’90s, it dovetailed with Jackie’s late-career move into the publishing world, and she became Simon’s editor. The friendship lasted right up until Jackie’s death in 1994. Here, Simon shares the intimate story of their unique bond.

    Janis: Her Life and Music, by Holly George-Warren
    Each generation seems fated to rediscover Janis Joplin for itself, with this new (and already acclaimed) biography from George-Warren representing a new opportunity to take a fresh look at the singer-songwriter/queen of rock and roll. Growing up in the 1940s and ’50s in a conservative oil town, Joplin refused to play by the rules of gender and sexuality, and developed the racially progressive views that lead her to approach and appreciate the blues music of black Americans. Though the tragedy of her struggle with addiction and her eventual death color our view of her life and career, the author makes clear that Joplin was a complex person, and worth much more than the sum of her demons: she was sensitive, a perfectionist, and a true romantic, and she changed music forever. Writing with unprecedented access to archives and interview subjects, George-Warren has created a definitive portrait of a legendary figure.

    Sweat the Technique: Revelations on Creativity from the Lyrical Genius, by Rakim
    During rap’s golden age in the 1980s, when the form was just coming into its own in the mainstream, Rakim was at the forefront among MCs proving that there was art to be found in hip hop. His complex lyrics and layered rhymes changed the way things were done—are still being done—earning him a reputation as the Thelonious Monk of rap. Even in this new memoir he breaks with convention: yes, he offers a rare glimpse into his private life, from his childhood on Long Island to his rise to the top of the music scene, but first and foremost it is an exploration of his process—a guide, perhaps, for those looking to be better writers, and an exploration of the craft for everyone else. Rakim’s masterful mingling of words, music, and rhyme to create and tell stories can impart lessons useful for any artist, or anyone who’s ever tried to tell a great story.

    Face It: A Memoir, by Debbie Harry
    It’s obviously a huge season for musical memoirs, and it’s impossible to overstate the importance of each of the talents with books out this fall, but none of them rocks harder than punk icon Debbie Harry, who led the band Blondie, a fusion of rock, punk, disco, and hip-hop incarnate. The deeply private artist’s new memoir revisits the gritty music scene in 1970s New York, an era when some of the greatest bands of all time were on the verge of becoming legends. Through drug addiction, heartbreaks, and breakups, Harry evolved from rock star to activist to icon, busting down barriers and making great music all the while.

    What’s your favorite musical memoir or biography ever?

    The post Your Guide to a Star-Studded Season of Music Memoir and Biography appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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