Love and Other Ways of Dying

Essays
Author: Michael Paterniti
Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperbacks
ISBN: 0385337035
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 464
View: 633
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LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS * In this moving, lyrical, and ultimately uplifting collection of essays, Michael Paterniti turns a keen eye on the full range of human experience, introducing us to an unforgettable cast of everyday people. Michael Paterniti is one of the most original and empathic storytellers working today. His writing has been described as "humane, devastating, and beautiful" by Elizabeth Gilbert, "spellbinding" by Anthony Doerr, and "expansive and joyful" by George Saunders. In the seventeen wide-ranging essays collected for the first time in Love and Other Ways of Dying, he brings his full literary powers to bear, pondering happiness and grief, memory and the redemptive power of human connection. In the remote Ukranian countryside, Paterniti picks apples (and faces mortality) with a real-life giant; in Nanjing, China, he confronts a distraught jumper on a suicide brid≥ in Dodge City, Kansas, he takes up residence at a roadside hotel and sees, firsthand, the ways in which the racial divide turns neighbor against neighbor. In each instance, Paterniti illuminates the full spectrum of human experience, introducing us to unforgettable everyday people and bygone legends, exploring the big ideas and emotions that move us. Paterniti reenacts Fran�ois Mitterrand's last meal in a rustic dining room in France and drives across America with Albert Einstein's brain in the trunk of his rental car, floating in a Tupperware container. He delves with heartbreaking detail into the aftermath of a plane crash off the coast of Nova Scotia, an earthquake in Haiti, and a tsunami in Japan--and, in searing swirls of language, unearths the complicated, hidden truths these moments of extremity teach us about our ability to endure, and to love. Michael Paterniti has spent the past two decades grappling with some of our most powerful subjects and incomprehensible events, taking an unflinching point of view that seeks to edify as it resists easy answers. At every turn, his work attempts to make sense of both love and loss, and leaves us with a profound sense of what it means to be human. As he writes in the Introduction to this book, "The more we examine the grooves and scars of this life, the more free and complete we become." Praise for Michael Paterniti and Love and Other Ways of Dying "One of the best books I've read all year . . . These pieces are exceptional artifacts of literary journalism."--Mark O'Connell, Slate "These pieces are extraordinary. . . . Journalism elevated beyond its ordinary capacities, well into the realm of literature."--Columbia Journalism Review "A fearless, spellbinding collection of inquiries by a brilliant, globally minded essayist whose writing is magic and whose worldview brims with compassion . . . The size of Michael Paterniti's curiosity is matched only by the size of his heart."--Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See "Michael Paterniti is a genius."--Elizabeth Gilbert, author of The Signature of All Things "One of the best living practitioners of the art of literary journalism, able to fully elucidate and humanize the everyday and the epic."--Dave Eggers, author of The Circle "In each of these essays, Michael Paterniti unveils life for us, the beauty and heartbreak of it, as we would never see it ourselves but now can never forget it. Paterniti is brilliant--a rare master--and one of my favorite authors on earth."--Lily King, author of Euphoria From the Hardcover edition.

Neck Deep and Other Predicaments

Essays
Author: Ander Monson
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1555974597
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 191
View: 5902
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In an ecclectic compilation of essays, the author of Other Electricities utilizes unexpectedly nonliterary forms to explore such diverse topics as the history of mining in northern Michigan, disc golf, topology, car washes, snow, and more. Original.

The Telling Room

A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese
Author: Michael Paterniti
Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperbacks
ISBN: 0385337019
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 349
View: 3954
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The author of the best-selling Driving Mr. Albert recounts his visit to the medieval Castilian village of Guzman as part of a decade-long effort to taste the world's finest cheese, an encounter that involved him in long-held regional secrets and the story of a heartbroken genius cheesemaker.

Driving Mr. Albert

A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain
Author: Michael Paterniti
Publisher: Dial Press
ISBN: 0307765350
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 224
View: 5289
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Albert Einstein's brain floats in a Tupperware bowl in a gray duffel bag in the trunk of a Buick Skylark barreling across America. Driving the car is journalist Michael Paterniti. Sitting next to him is an eighty-four-year-old pathologist named Thomas Harvey, who performed the autopsy on Einstein in 1955 -- then simply removed the brain and took it home. And kept it for over forty years. On a cold February day, the two men and the brain leave New Jersey and light out on I-70 for sunny California, where Einstein's perplexed granddaughter, Evelyn, awaits. And riding along as the imaginary fourth passenger is Einstein himself, an id-driven genius, the original galactic slacker with his head in the stars. Part travelogue, part memoir, part history, part biography, and part meditation, Driving Mr. Albert is one of the most unique road trips in modern literature.

Book of Days

Personal Essays
Author: Emily Fox Gordon
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
ISBN: 0679604014
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 320
View: 756
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The sexual politics of a faculty wives dinner. The psychological gamesmanship of an inappropriate therapist. The emotional minefield of an extended family wedding . . . Whatever the subject, Emily Fox Gordon’s disarmingly personal essays are an art form unto themselves—reflecting and revealing, like mirrors in a maze, the seemingly endless ways a woman can lose herself in the modern world. With piercing humor and merciless precision, Gordon zigzags her way through “the unevolved paradise” of academia, with its dying breeds of bohemians, adulterers, and flirts, then stumbles through the perils and pleasures of psychotherapy, hoping to find a narrative for her life. Along the way, she encounters textbook feminists, partying philosophers, perfectionist moms, and an unlikely kinship with Kafka—in a brilliant collection of essays that challenge our sacred institutions, defy our expectations, and define our lives. From the Trade Paperback edition.

I Was Told There'd Be Cake


Author: Sloane Crosley
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101147474
Category: Humor
Page: 240
View: 9184
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Hailed by David Sedaris as "perfectly, relentlessly funny" and by Colson Whitehead as "sardonic without being cruel, tender without being sentimental," from the author of the new collection Look Alive Out There. Wry, hilarious, and profoundly genuine, this debut collection of literary essays is a celebration of fallibility and haplessness in all their glory. From despoiling an exhibit at the Natural History Museum to provoking the ire of her first boss to siccing the cops on her mysterious neighbor, Crosley can do no right despite the best of intentions -- or perhaps because of them. Together, these essays create a startlingly funny and revealing portrait of a complex and utterly recognizable character who aims for the stars but hits the ceiling, and the inimitable city that has helped shape who she is. I Was Told There'd Be Cake introduces a strikingly original voice, chronicling the struggles and unexpected beauty of modern urban life.

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage


Author: Ann Patchett
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1408842408
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 320
View: 9033
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This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage is an irresistible blend of literature and memoir revealing the big experiences and little moments that shaped Ann Patchett as a daughter, wife, friend and writer. Here, Ann Patchett shares entertaining and moving stories about her tumultuous childhood, her painful early divorce, the excitement of selling her first book, driving a Winnebago from Montana to Yellowstone Park, her joyous discovery of opera, scaling a six-foot wall in order to join the Los Angeles Police Department, the gradual loss of her beloved grandmother, starting her own bookshop in Nashville, her love for her very special dog and, of course, her eventual happy marriage. This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage is a memoir both wide ranging and deeply personal, overflowing with close observation and emotional wisdom, told with wit, honesty and irresistible warmth.

Essays After Eighty


Author: Donald Hall
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0544287045
Category: Literary Collections
Page: 134
View: 2972
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From a former Poet Laureate, a new collection of essays delivering a gloriously unexpected view from the vantage point of very old age Donald Hall has lived a remarkable life of letters, a career capped by a National Medal of the Arts, awarded by the president. Now, in the “unknown, unanticipated galaxy” of very old age, he is writing searching essays that startle, move, and delight. In the transgressive and horrifyingly funny “No Smoking,” he looks back over his lifetime, and several of his ancestors’ lifetimes, of smoking unfiltered cigarettes, packs of them every day. Hall paints his past: “Decades followed each other — thirty was terrifying, forty I never noticed because I was drunk, fifty was best with a total change of life, sixty extended the bliss of fifty . . .” And, poignantly, often joyfully, he limns his present: “When I turned eighty and rubbed testosterone on my chest, my beard roared like a lion and gained four inches.” Most memorably, Hall writes about his enduring love affair with his ancestral Eagle Pond Farm and with the writing life that sustains him, every day: “Yesterday my first nap was at 9:30 a.m., but when I awoke I wrote again.”

Notes on the Death of Culture

Essays on Spectacle and Society
Author: Mario Vargas Llosa
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374710317
Category: Social Science
Page: 240
View: 380
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A provocative essay collection that finds the Nobel laureate taking on the decline of intellectual life In the past, culture was a kind of vital consciousness that constantly rejuvenated and revivified everyday reality. Now it is largely a mechanism of distraction and entertainment. Notes on the Death of Culture is an examination and indictment of this transformation—penned by none other than Mario Vargas Llosa, who is not only one of our finest novelists but one of the keenest social critics at work today. Taking his cues from T. S. Eliot—whose essay "Notes Toward a Definition of Culture" is a touchstone precisely because the culture Eliot aimed to describe has since vanished—Vargas Llosa traces a decline whose ill effects have only just begun to be felt. He mourns, in particular, the figure of the intellectual: for most of the twentieth century, men and women of letters drove political, aesthetic, and moral conversations; today they have all but disappeared from public debate. But Vargas Llosa stubbornly refuses to fade into the background. He is not content to merely sign a petition; he will not bite his tongue. A necessary gadfly, the Nobel laureate Vargas Llosa, here vividly translated by John King, provides a tough but essential critique of our time and culture.

The Unspeakable

And Other Subjects of Discussion
Author: Meghan Daum
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374710066
Category: Literary Collections
Page: 256
View: 413
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"Daum is her generation's Joan Didion." —Nylon Nearly fifteen years after her debut collection, My Misspent Youth, captured the ambitions and anxieties of a generation, Meghan Daum returns to the personal essay with The Unspeakable, a masterful collection of ten new works. Her old encounters with overdrawn bank accounts and oversized ambitions in the big city have given way to a new set of challenges. The first essay, "Matricide," opens without flinching: People who weren't there like to say that my mother died at home surrounded by loving family. This is technically true, though it was just my brother and me and he was looking at Facebook and I was reading a profile of Hillary Clinton in the December 2009 issue of Vogue. Elsewhere, she carefully weighs the decision to have children—"I simply felt no calling to be a parent. As a role, as my role, it felt inauthentic and inorganic"—and finds a more fulfilling path as a court-appointed advocate for foster children. In other essays, she skewers the marriage-industrial complex and recounts a harrowing near-death experience following a sudden illness. Throughout, Daum pushes back against the false sentimentality and shrink-wrapped platitudes that surround so much of contemporary American experience and considers the unspeakable thoughts many of us harbor—that we might not love our parents enough, that "life's pleasures" sometimes feel more like chores, that life's ultimate lesson may be that we often learn nothing. But Daum also operates in a comic register. With perfect precision, she reveals the absurdities of the New Age search for the "Best Possible Experience," champions the merits of cream-of mushroom-soup casserole, and gleefully recounts a quintessential "only-in-L.A." story of playing charades at a famous person's home. Combining the piercing insight of Joan Didion with humor reminiscent of Nora Ephron's, Daum dissects our culture's most dangerous illusions, blind spots, and sentimentalities while retaining her own joy and compassion. Through it all, she dramatizes the search for an authentic self in a world where achieving an identity is never simple and never complete.

How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America


Author: Kiese Laymon
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1408868180
Category: Literary Collections
Page: 160
View: 7331
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'I was stunned into stillness' Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist 'I've had guns pulled on me by four people under Central Mississippi skies ? once by a white undercover cop, once by a young brother trying to rob me for the left-overs of a weak work-study check, once by my mother and twice by myself. Not sure how or if I've helped many folks say yes to life, but I've definitely aided in a few folks dying slowly in America, all without the aid of a gun' Kiese Laymon grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. That was where he started to write and where he began to seek to create an honest account of living in the US, a country striving to declare itself multi-cultural, post-racial and mostly innocent. This is that account. Drawing on his own personal experiences, these essays are Laymon's attempt to deal with many issues occupying America today, from race, identity and writing to music, celebrity and violence. Through letters between his own disparate family members, pleas to performers whose voices will never be heard again, recollections of his own failure to become a world-famous emcee, analysis of the growing culture of fear in the media and detailed accounts of his clashes with an education system that has both advanced and failed the generation he grew up in, Laymon gets closer not only to the truth behind himself, but to the promises behind the promised land. Searing and passionate, this timely collection of essays introduces a vibrant new voice in US literature and offers a unique insight into the forces that are tearing America apart today.

Gratitude


Author: Oliver Sacks
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 045149296X
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 64
View: 9933
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“My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.” —Oliver Sacks No writer has succeeded in capturing the medical and human drama of illness as honestly and as eloquently as Oliver Sacks. During the last few months of his life, he wrote a set of essays in which he movingly explored his feelings about completing a life and coming to terms with his own death. “It is the fate of every human being,” Sacks writes, “to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.” Together, these four essays form an ode to the uniqueness of each human being and to gratitude for the gift of life. “Oliver Sacks was like no other clinician, or writer. He was drawn to the homes of the sick, the institutions of the most frail and disabled, the company of the unusual and the ‘abnormal.’ He wanted to see humanity in its many variants and to do so in his own, almost anachronistic way—face to face, over time, away from our burgeoning apparatus of computers and algorithms. And, through his writing, he showed us what he saw.” —Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal

Arguably

Selected Essays
Author: Christopher Hitchens
Publisher: Signal
ISBN: 0771041462
Category: Social Science
Page: 816
View: 4431
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From one of the most admired public intellectuals of our time, and a multi-award winning and #1 bestselling author, comes a collection of his most important and controversial essays on the theme of culture and politics and how the two relate. From the Hardcover edition.

Scattered at Sea


Author: Amy Gerstler
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0698183304
Category: Poetry
Page: 96
View: 1820
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A dazzling new collection from an award-winning poet--longlisted for the 2015 National Book Award for Poetry" Amy Gerstler has won acclaim for sly, sophisticated, and subversive poems that find meaning in unexpected places. The title of her new collection, Scattered at Sea, evokes notions of dispersion, diaspora, sowing one’s wild oats, having one’s mind expanded or blown, losing one’s wits, and mortality. Making use of dramatic monologue, elegy, humor, and collage, these poems explore hedonism, gender, ancestry, reincarnation, bereavement, and the nature of prayer. Groping for an inclusive, imaginative, postmodern spirituality, they draw from an array of sources, including the philosophy of the ancient Stoics, diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s disease, 1950s recipes, the Babylonian Talmud, and Walter Benjamin’s writing on his drug experiences. From the Trade Paperback edition.

So Sad Today

Personal Essays
Author: Melissa Broder
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
ISBN: 1455562718
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 224
View: 774
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From acclaimed poet and creator of the popular twitter account @SoSadToday comes the darkly funny and brutally honest collection of essays that Roxane Gay called "sad and uncomfortable and their own kind of gorgeous." Melissa Broder always struggled with anxiety. In the fall of 2012, she went through a harrowing cycle of panic attacks and dread that wouldn't abate for months. So she began @sosadtoday, an anonymous Twitter feed that allowed her to express her darkest feelings, and which quickly gained a dedicated following. In SO SAD TODAY, Broder delves deeper into the existential themes she explores on Twitter, grappling with sex, death, love low self-esteem, addiction, and the drama of waiting for the universe to text you back. With insights as sharp as her humor, Broder explores--in prose that is both ballsy and beautiful, aggressively colloquial and achingly poetic--questions most of us are afraid to even acknowledge, let alone answer, in order to discover what it really means to be a person in this modern world.

Sustainability

A Love Story
Author: Nicole Walker
Publisher: Mad Creek Books
ISBN: 9780814254851
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 288
View: 9498
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Personal essays examining what it means to live and love sustainably while still being able to have Internet and eat bacon.

The Best of Us

A Memoir
Author: Joyce Maynard
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1635570360
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 448
View: 2317
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The San Francisco Chronicle's Best of the Year List Indie Next Pick "For Reading Groups" From New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard, a memoir about discovering strength in the midst of great loss--"heart wrenching, inspiring, full of joy and tears and life." (Anne Lamott) In 2011, when she was in her late fifties, beloved author and journalist Joyce Maynard met the first true partner she had ever known. Jim wore a rakish hat over a good head of hair; he asked real questions and gave real answers; he loved to see Joyce shine, both in and out of the spotlight; and he didn't mind the mess she made in the kitchen. He was not the husband Joyce imagined, but he quickly became the partner she had always dreamed of. Before they met, both had believed they were done with marriage, and even after they married, Joyce resolved that no one could alter her course of determined independence. Then, just after their one-year wedding anniversary, her new husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. During the nineteen months that followed, as they battled his illness together, she discovered for the first time what it really meant to be a couple--to be a true partner and to have one. This is their story. Charting the course through their whirlwind romance, a marriage cut short by tragedy, and Joyce's return to singleness on new terms, The Best of Us is a heart-wrenching, ultimately life-affirming reflection on coming to understand true love through the experience of great loss.

Dying: A Memoir


Author: Cory Taylor
Publisher: Tin House Books
ISBN: 1941040713
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 152
View: 1057
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"Bracing and beautiful . . . Every human should read it." —The New York Times A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice At the age of sixty, Cory Taylor is dying of melanoma-related brain cancer. Her illness is no longer treatable: she now weighs less than her neighbor’s retriever. As her body weakens, she describes the experience—the vulnerability and strength, the courage and humility, the anger and acceptance—of knowing she will soon die. Written in the space of a few weeks, in a tremendous creative surge, this powerful and beautiful memoir is a clear-eyed account of what dying teaches: Taylor describes the tangle of her feelings, remembers the lives and deaths of her parents, and examines why she would like to be able to choose the circumstances of her death. Taylor’s last words offer a vocabulary for readers to speak about the most difficult thing any of us will face. And while Dying: A Memoir is a deeply affecting meditation on death, it is also a funny and wise tribute to life.

Tiny Beautiful Things

Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
Author: Cheryl Strayed
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307949338
Category: Self-Help
Page: 353
View: 4208
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Collects top-selected postings on life and relationships from The Rumpus' popular "Dear Sugar" online column, sharing recommendations on everything from infidelity and grief to marital boredom and financial hardships. Original. 40,000 first printing.

Mothers of Sparta

A Memoir in Pieces
Author: Dawn Davies
Publisher: Flatiron Books
ISBN: 1250133718
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 272
View: 9664
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“Davies' collection of essays soars.... It's a memoir that locates the profound within the ordinary.” —Entertainment Weekly If you’re looking for a typical parenting book, this is not it. This is not a treatise on how to be a mother. This is a book about a young girl who moves to a new town every couple of years; a misfit teenager who finds solace in a local music scene; an adrift twenty-something who drops out of college to pursue her dream of making cheesecake on a stick a successful business franchise (ah, the ideals of youth). Alone in a new city, she summons her inner strength as she holds the hand of a dying stranger. Davies is a woman who finds humor in difficult pregnancies and post-partum depression (after reading “Pie” you might never eat Thanksgiving dessert the same way). She is a divorcee who unexpectedly finds second love. She is a happily married suburban wife who nevertheless makes a mental list of all the men she would have slept with. And she is a parent who finds herself tested in ways she could never imagine. In stories that cut to the quick, Davies explores passion, loss, illness, pain, and joy, told from her singular, gimlet-eyed, hilarious perspective. Mothers of Sparta is not a blow-by-blow of Davies’ life but rather an examination of the exquisite and often painful moments of a life, the moments we look back on and say, That one, that one mattered. Straddling the fence between humor and, well...not humor, Davies has written a book about what it’s like to try to carve a place for oneself in the world, no matter how unyielding the rock can be.