Alejandro’s Much Ado About Books

alejandro

As I mentioned before, from time to time, I will dedicated the Literature Post for commenting on Biographies and Real Stories, so I am dedicating this week, for the third time, the post for this kind of books. As I have done it before, I try to expose 9 choices that they are varied in topics, famous personalities in different fields, as well as books that have come out a while ago, as recently printed books. I hope that among the options you can find a topic that is your interest, but if not, as I have always have tell, I impulse you to investigate on your own to find the right book you want to read. Rean. Any book. Just read.

01

Positive

In this astonishing memoir, Paige tells a story that is both deeply personal and completely universal—one that will resonate deeply with the thousands of children and adults whose lives have been touched by bullying.

Paige Rawl has been HIV positive since birth…but growing up, she never felt like her illness defined her. It never prevented her from entering beauty pageants or playing soccer or making the honor role.

On an unremarkable day in middle school, while attempting to console a friend, Paige disclosed her HIV-positive status—and within hours the bullying began. She was called “PAIDS,” first in whispers, then out in the open. Her soccer coach joked that she was an asset because opposing team members would be too afraid to touch her. Her guidance counselor told her to stop all the “drama,” and her principal said she couldn’t protect her. One night, desperate for escape, Paige swallowed fifteen sleeping pills—one for each year of her life to date. That could have been the end of her story. Instead, it was only the beginning.

The gripping first-person account of Paige’s life will pull in even the most reluctant readers of nonfiction, and her call to action to choose compassion over cruelty will stay with them long after they turn the last page.

02

The Kaiser’s Holocaust: Germany’s Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism

An unfortunate omission has caused a great injustice that has been forgotten by humankind.

Everyone knows about the Holocaust in World War II, about the cruelties carried out against the Jews, and thousands of books and movies have been produced about it.

But in the First World War, there was a holocaust, just the same as outrageous, and that it could well sow the roots for what would come in the Second War.

On 12th May 1883, the German flag was raised on the coast of South-West Africa, modern Namibia at the beginnings of Germany’s African Empire. As colonial forces moved in, their ruthless punitive raids became an open war of extermination. Thousands of the indigenous people were killed or driven out into the desert to die. By 1905, the survivors were interned in concentration camps, and systematically starved and worked to death. Years later, the people and ideas that drove the ethnic cleansing of German South West Africa would influence the formation of the Nazi party. The Kaiser’s Holocaust uncovers extraordinary links between the two regimes: their ideologies, personnel, even symbols and uniforms.

03

Lucky Man

The story of the life of Michael J. Fox told in his own words!

In September 1998, Michael J. Fox stunned the world by announcing he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease — a degenerative neurological condition. In fact, he had been secretly fighting it for seven years. The worldwide response was staggering. Fortunately, he had accepted the diagnosis and by the time the public started grieving for him, he had stopped grieving for himself. Now, with the same passion, humor, and energy that Fox has invested in his dozens of performances over the last 18 years, he tells the story of his life, his career, and his campaign to find a cure for Parkinson’s.

Combining his trademark ironic sensibility and keen sense of the absurd, he recounts his life — from his childhood in a small town in western Canada to his meteoric rise in film and television which made him a worldwide celebrity. Most importantly however, he writes of the last 10 years, during which — with the unswerving support of his wife, family, and friends — he has dealt with his illness. He talks about what Parkinson’s has given him: the chance to appreciate a wonderful life and career, and the opportunity to help search for a cure and spread public awareness of the disease. He is a very lucky man, indeed.

04

Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter

Karen was the instantly recognizable lead singer of the Carpenters. The top-selling American musical act of the 1970s, they delivered the love songs that defined a generation. Karen’s velvety voice on a string of 16 consecutive Top 20 hits from 1970 to 1976—including “Close to You,” “We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Rainy Days and Mondays”, “Superstar,” and “Hurting Each Other”—propelled the duo to worldwide stardom and record sales of more than 100 million. During their short musical career, the Carpenters released ten studio albums, toured more than 200 days a year, taped five television specials, and won three Grammys and an American Music Award.

But that’s only a part of Karen’s story. “Little Girl Blue” reveals Karen’s heartbreaking struggles with her mother, brother, and husband; the intimate disclosures she made to her closest friends; her love for playing drums and her frustrated quest for solo stardom; and the ups and downs of her treatment for anorexia nervosa. After her shocking death at 32 years of age in 1983, she became the proverbial poster child for that disorder; but the other causes of her decline are laid bare for the first time in this moving account.

05

The Closer: My Story

The story of the best relief pitcher of all time in the history of Baseball, told in his own words.

Mariano Rivera, the man who intimidated thousands of batters merely by opening a bullpen door, began his incredible journey as the son of a poor Panamanian fisherman. When first scouted by the Yankees, he didn’t even own his own glove. He thought he might make a good mechanic. When discovered, he had never flown in an airplane, had never heard of Babe Ruth, spoke no English, and couldn’t imagine Tampa, the city where he was headed to begin a career that would become one of baseball’s most iconic. What he did know: that he loved his family and his then girlfriend, Clara, that he could trust in the Lord to guide him, and that he could throw a baseball exactly where he wanted to, every time.

With astonishing candor, Rivera tells the story of the championships, the bosses (including The Boss), the rivalries, and the struggles of being a Latino baseball player in the United States and of maintaining Christian values in professional athletics. The thirteen-time All-Star discusses his drive to win; the secrets behind his legendary composure; the story of how he discovered his cut fastball; the untold, pitch-by-pitch account of the ninth inning of Game 7 in the 2001 World Series; and why the lowest moment of his career became one of his greatest blessings.

06

Among Chimpanzees

Unbeknownst to much of the public, chimps are in trouble: censuses show them to be extinct in four African countries and nearly so in ten others. A large percentage of the remaining populations live in unprotected, increasingly fragmented forests.

When Nancy Merrick learned these startling facts in 2009, she decided it was past time to discover the extent to which chimpanzees are at risk across Africa and what can be done. Merrick had begun working with primates in 1972 as a young field assistant in Jane Goodall’s famous Gombe camp. Like the rest of the world at the time, she was swept up in the excitement of discovering the remarkable world of chimpanzees—their ability to fashion tools, their dazzling intelligence, and their complex relationships and societies. From that moment on, her human-centered worldview shifted, and she became a devoted advocate for our closest genetic relatives.

When Merrick returns to Africa decades later, she’s alarmed by how much has changed. Human activity, such as agriculture and logging, has encroached on natural habitats throughout equatorial Africa, endangering chimpanzees, gorillas, and bonobos. In an effort to understand what we can do to save great apes, Merrick connects with primatologists and conservationists who are trying to protect the last great forests. Visits to some of Africa’s parks, sanctuaries, and expanding agricultural areas reveal the urgency of the problems and the inspiration of the people leading the search for solutions. Along the way, Merrick demonstrates that the best hope for chimps and other great apes lies in connecting conservation to humanitarian efforts, ensuring a healthy future for animals and humans alike.

07

Brilliant Blunders

Drawing on the lives of five renowned scientists, Mario Livio shows how even these geniuses made major mistakes and how their errors were an essential part of the process of achieving scientific breakthroughs. We all make mistakes. Nobody is perfect. And that includes five of the greatest scientists in history—Charles Darwin, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle, and Albert Einstein. But the mistakes that these great luminaries made helped advance science. Indeed, as Mario Livio explains, science thrives on error, advancing when erroneous ideas are disproven.

08

The Feud: The Hatfields and McCoys, The True Story

For more than a century, the enduring feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys has been American shorthand for passionate, unyielding, and even violent confrontation. Yet despite numerous articles, books, television shows, and feature films, nobody has ever told the in-depth true story of this legendarily fierce-and far-reaching-clash in the heart of Appalachia. Drawing upon years of original research, including the discovery of previously lost and ignored documents and interviews with relatives of both families, bestselling author Dean King finally gives us the full, unvarnished tale, one vastly more enthralling than the myth.

09

Film Art: An Introduction (9th Edition)

Film is an art form with a language and an aesthetic all its own. Since 1979, David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson’s Film Art has been the best-selling and widely respected introduction to the analysis of cinema, which it is already on its 9th revised edition.

Taking a skills-centered approach supported by a wide range of examples from various periods and countries, the authors strive to help students develop a core set of analytical skills that will deepen their understanding of any film, in any genre. Building on these strengths, the ninth edition adds coverage of new technologies and updated examples.

UNTIL NEXT WEEK HAPPY READING!
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