2014: A Year in Review
Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus, ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, and A Christmas Carol
Micah Nathan is the author of the collection Jack the Bastard and Other Stories, along with the internationally bestselling novel Gods of Aberdeen (Simon & Schuster) and the novel Losing Graceland (Crown). He was the 2010 recipient of Boston University’s Saul Bellow Prize for Fiction, has received an Associated Press Award, and was a finalist for the Tobias Wolff Award and the Innovative Fiction Award.
When America entered World War II in 1941, we faced an enemy that had banned and burned over 100 million books and caused fearful citizens to hide or destroy many more. Outraged librarians launched a campaign to send free books to American troops and gathered 20 million hardcover donations. In 1943, the War Department and the publishing industry stepped in with an extraordinary program: 120 million small, lightweight paperbacks, for troops to carry in their pockets and their rucksacks, in every theater of war. Comprising 1,200 different titles of every imaginable type, these paperbacks were beloved by the troops and are still fondly remembered today. Soldiers read them while waiting to land at Normandy; in hellish trenches in the midst of battles in the Pacific; in field hospitals; and on long bombing flights. They wrote to the authors, many of whom responded to every letter. They helped rescue The Great Gatsby from obscurity. They made Betty Smith, author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, into a national icon. When Books Went to War is an inspiring story for history buffs and book lovers alike.
The United States military currently views cyberspace as the “fifth domain” of warfare (alongside land, air, sea, and space), and the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, and the CIA all field teams of hackers who can, and do, launch computer virus strikes against enemy targets. In fact, as @WAR shows, U.S. hackers were crucial to our victory in Iraq. Shane Harris delves into the frontlines of America’s new cyber war. As recent revelations have shown, government agencies are joining with tech giants like Google and Facebook to collect vast amounts of information. The military has also formed a new alliance with tech and finance companies to patrol cyberspace, and Harris offers a deeper glimpse into this partnership than we have ever seen before. Finally, Harris explains what the new cybersecurity regime means for all of us, who spend our daily lives bound to the Internet — and are vulnerable to its dangers.
From the Olympics to the NBA Finals, from the World Series to the Tour de France, from high-tech labs in Canberra and Colorado Springs to converted warehouses in Santa Monica, even in neighborhood gyms and on city sidewalks, there is a revolution taking place.
Obstacle course races and mud runs such as Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, Warrior Dash, Rugged Maniac, and Muddy Buddy are all waiting for you to get Down and Dirty. Author Matt B. Davis offers an overview of the most popular races before tackling the most important concerns for any racer: preparation and training. Each obstacle-focused chapter will feature a leading obstacle race athlete who will offer expert advice on how to get prepared for your next race--whether it's your first or you're a recent devotee who wants to try them all. Because each race is different, this book will supply training advice for a variety of obstacles and races.
Bad Paper is a riveting exposé, a moving story of an unlikely friendship, and a gritty narrative of how scrappy entrepreneurs profit from our debts. Jake Halpern introduces us to a former banking executive and a former armed robber who become partners and go in quest of "paper" - the uncollected debts that are sold off by banks for pennies on the dollar. 
Derrick Bowman's sophomore year is a grind. He's been looking forward to the basketball season all summer, but his girlfriend Jasmine leaves him for putting too much focus on basketball. The promise his Marion East basketball team showed at the end of last season isn't materializing. And the sweet jumper D-Bow worked on all summer just isn't falling. When Derrick's father has a heart attack, Derrick is faced with a new reality where basketball can't be his only priority.
If only her father weren’t addicted to meth. If only she wasn’t such a bad girl (according to her mother). If only she didn’t like beef jerky so much. It’s her senior year of high school and Gabi needs to figure things out before she goes off to college. That’s IF she’s accepted to any schools at all.
In 1938, nineteen-year-old ranch hand Bud Frazer sets out for Hollywood with his sights set on becoming a stunt rider in the movies–and hoping to rub shoulders with the great screen cowboys of his youth. On the long bus ride south, Bud meets Lily Shaw, a bold, outspoken young woman with her heart set on becoming a screenwriter. The two form an unlikely friendship that will carry them through their tumultuous days in Hollywood–and as it happens, for the rest of their lives.
A small town girl leaves her troubled family and starts stripping—which introduces her to a community that keeps her sober and saves her life—but a roller-coaster lifestyle ensues. She gets drugged, does enema shows, and unionizes the club. When she tries to quit and go to graduate school, her mother is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Broke and broken, she returns to sex work, which leads to her arrest and a new resilience. Spent is a memoir about a woman’s journey through the sex industry, but it’s also a story of family, community, and the constant struggle against loneliness.
With stories by Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, L. Frank Baum, Edith Wharton, Stephen Crane, and Jack London, The Best American Mystery Stories of the Nineteenth Century is an essential anthology of American letters. It’s a unique blend of beloved writers who contributed to the genre and forgotten names that pioneered the form, such as Anna Katharine Green, the godmother of mystery fiction, and the African-American writer Charles W. Chesnutt. Of course, Penzler includes “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” recognized as the first detective story, and with thirty-three stories spanning the years 1824–1899, nowhere else can readers find such a surprising, comprehensive take on the evolution of the American mystery story.
Adolescence now lasts longer than ever before. And as world-renowned expert on adolescent psychology Dr. Laurence Steinberg argues, this makes these years the key period in determining individuals’ life outcomes, demanding that we change the way we parent, educate, and understand young people.
This week on Book Talk we address a very sobering topic that seems to be everywhere in the news right now: Domestic Violence. October is officially noted as “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” and BreakThru Radio gets all readers prepared by suggesting three top American Fiction novels that address such a troubling issue in our country.
Young art curator Ernst Vogler travels to Italy on what is supposed to be a brief assignment: escorting the famous Discus Thrower statue to Munich, where it has been purchased, controversially, by the German government. But from the first morning, when Vogler arrives at the museum too late to write his initial report, to a change in plans that requires transporting the ancient statue by road instead of by train, everything goes wrong.
Kate Maruyama - Harrowgate... Michael should be overjoyed by the birth of his son, but his wife, Sarah won't let him touch the baby or allow anyone to visit.
 Greta, an intrusive, sinister doula has wormed her way into their lives, driving a wedge between Michael and his family. Every time he leaves the Harrowgate, he returns to find his beloved wife and baby altered. He feels his family slipping away and, as a malevolent force begins to creep in, Michael does what any new father would do—he fights to keep his family together.
Serena is a Bermudian jazz singer whose mental health problems lead her to abandon her daughter “Artie.” Artie’s anger and curiosity eventually drive her to seek out Serena’s younger lover, Jamie L’Heureux, a jazz superstar. The spirit of Charles Mingus thrums throughout the story as these two women tangle in the complicated mess that is a mother-daughter relationship.
Photo Week with Jonathan & Danielle Leder, Tom Rupolo, and Lyle Owerko
When is the work of two people together greater than what either could do on their own? As long as we’ve been interested in creativity, we’ve been preoccupied by the myth of the lone genius. Shenk busts this fantasy apart and draws on new scientific research to show how the pair is the embodiment of ingenuity. Shenk explains how synergy created the magic of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the hilarity of Trey Parker and Matt Stone – and the startup savvy of Sheryl Sandberg & Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin & Larry Page, Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak and the genius of scores of others in the fields of writing, music, dance, science, technology, social activism, and business. When it comes to creative success, Shenk persuasively argues that two is the magic number – and understanding why changes everything we thought we knew about creativity.
Four Corners is a bare-knuckled debut novel by Wally Rudolph, written in the style of Daniel Woodrell, Barry Hannah, and Charles Bowden. Both a savage, mean-streets thriller and a heartbreaking story of unfortunate love, Four Corners is carved from the rich, distinct voices and landscapes of the American Southwest.
Wendy C. Ortiz was an only child and a bookish, insecure girl living with alcoholic parents in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Her relationship with a charming and deeply flawed private school teacher fifteen years her senior appeared to give her the kind of power teenagers wish for, regardless of consequences. Her teacher—now a registered sex offender—continually encouraged her passion for writing while making her promise she was not leaving any written record about their dangerous sexual relationship. This conflicted relationship with her teacher may have been just five years long, but would imprint itself on her and her later relationships, queer and straight, for the rest of her life.
Everybody’s fighting in Maximilian’s world: a couple of cranky tías who, like lucha libre rudos, will stop at nothing to triumph in the church’s lotería game; his masked uncles going for the tag-team title of the world, and a green-eyed vixen named Paloma who challenges his love for Cecilia Cantú. Will good triumph over evil? Max sure hopes so!
The Amado Women is the story of four very different women, linked by birth struggling to reconnect.
While on assignment in Greece, journalist James Nestor witnessed something that confounded him: a man diving 300 feet below the ocean’s surface on a single breath of air and returning four minutes later, unharmed and smiling.
The story of the dramatic transformation of Detroit from "Motortown" to the "arsenal of democracy," featuring Edsel Ford, who rebelled against his pacifist father, Henry Ford, to build the industrial miracle Willow Run, a manufacturing complex capable of producing B-24 Liberator bombers at a rate of one per hour—a crucial component in winning the war.
In times of change, American novelists return to old themes. In Cold Type—as in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman—a son and his father struggle to hold onto what they think is right. It's mid-1990s; and "cold type" technology, a.k.a. computerized typesetting, wreaks havoc among workers in the newspaper industry. A fabulously wealthy Briton buys the New York City Trib and immediately refuses to negotiate with the truck drivers' union. In solidarity, all the other blue-collar unions take to the streets. Jamie Kramer is a reporter for the Trib. His father is a hardcore shop steward (unusual for a Jew in Irish-dominated unions) from the old day of "hot type," but who has become a typographer in a world he doesn't understand. His father expects Jamie not to cross the picket line. It would be an act of supreme disrespect. But that's not so easy for Jamie. His marriage has fallen apart, he desperately needs his paycheck for child support, and he needs to make his own life outside the shadow of his father.
When Penny's flaky, ghost-hunting mother sends her to a "friend's" inn in Maine for Christmas break, Penny doesn't believe in ghosts…or love…or family. That may all be about to change as Penny confronts her own supernatural gift, an alluring guy, and staggering family secrets. But will she lose her first love, her only parent, or her life in the process?
Born in Sweetwater, West Virginia, with a mop of flaming red hair and a map of the world rendered in port-wine stains on every surface of her body, Garnet Ferrari is used to being an outcast. With her sharp tongue, she has always known how to defend herself against bullies and aggressors, but she finds she is less adept at fending off the pilgrims who have set up a veritable tent city outside her hilltop home, convinced that she is Saint Garnet, healer of skin ailments and maker of miracles.
What’s red, round, and dirty when it’s brand new? Would you believe . . . a major league baseball? You might think it’s white, right? That’s just one of the things you’ll learn in this completely engaging book about the object our national pastime is named after: The Baseball: Stunts, Scandals, and Secrets Beneath the Stitches.
George Cameron Grant is the internationally produced author of 10 full-length plays, over 20 one acts, and countless monologues. His latest full-length play, Fortune: A work for the stage inspired by the life of Miss Rose Fortune a person of character, is a timeless tale of courage, character and conviction against all odds.
It’s June. And that means we are already half way through 2014. Pretty scary, isn’t it. This week on Book talk I look back at 4 of my favorite interviews so far this year and remind you of episodes you hopefully loved, show you books you may have missed, and recall the stories these great authors have to tell.
Breaking Up is a journey toward self-discovery around the break-up of a relationship. The book takes the reader from this discovery to actually going through the initial emotions of the break-up and the chaos it entails. After going through the emotional ride, you will move onto the acceptance and will begin to let go of the hurt; only then can lessons truly be learned to help you move on with life. Finally after letting go, it is now time to discover who you are and accept the person you are, flaws and all. Each chapter asks questions and provides personal stories and insight on the subject matter being discussed. Breaking Up is a journey in which the author and a few of her close friends have taken and they no longer bring the baggage from the past to the present or future.
Conventional wisdom dictates that our genetic destiny is fixed at conception. But Dr. Moalem's groundbreaking book shows us that the human genome is far more fluid and fascinating than your ninth grade biology teacher ever imagined. By bringing us to the bedside of his unique and complex patients, he masterfully demonstrates what rare genetic conditions can teach us all about our own health and well-being.
No one sees the world as Jason Padgett does. Water pours from the faucet in crystalline patterns, numbers call to mind distinct geometric shapes, and intricate fractal patterns emerge from the movement of tree branches, revealing the intrinsic mathematical designs hidden in the objects around us. Yet Padgett wasn’t born this way. Twelve years ago, he had never made it past pre-algebra. But a violent mugging forever altered the way his brain works, giving him unique gifts. His ability to understand math and physics skyrocketed, and he developed the astonishing ability to draw the complex geometric shapes he saw everywhere. His stunning, mathematically precise artwork illustrates his intuitive understanding of complex mathematics.
Following author Barry Reeves’ move from his native Ireland to New York City, A Shot in the Dark chronicles his bartending experiences in Hell’s Kitchen from 1999 all the way through 2012. From hookers, pimps, gangsters, and transvestites, to policemen, firemen, celebrities, and priests-oh, and don’t forget the drunken’ wankers-Reeves provides his inside take on NYC and packs an arsenal of witty and highly entertaining stories on his interactions with all walks of life. One-night stands, fights, swingers, and joy rides in cop cars run rampant in this explosive and side-splitting memoir: The funniest book written since The Bible.
“The Blonde, buff Couperthwaite is a simple feast for the eyes (one can just sense Tennessee smiling down from Thespis’ heaven) and brings a dangerous sexual power and searing vulnerability to Claude which evoke no less that that ultimate conduit, Marlon Brando, in his devastating youth. This guy is a star in the making, believe it!” - David Noh, American Film Journal
Wonderland is a look into the life of a 40-something female rock star and that moment when she decides whether to go all-in or give up on her dreams. It’s about Anna Brundage, a one-time indie-sensation who disappeared from the spotlight – and walked off the scene for seven years. Without a record deal or clamoring fans, she sells a piece of her famous father’s art to finance just one more album and a European comeback tour. Wonderland examines the life of a woman on an unconventional path, wondering what happens next and what her passions might have cost her.
Tracy Beckerman writes the syndicated humor column, LOST IN SUBURBIA which is carried weekly by the NJN Publishing Group, the North Jersey Media Group, The Mahopac News, and the Gatehouse Media chain.  In total, her column is carried by over 400 newspapers and more than 250 websites and reaches an audience of nearly 10 million readers in 25 states.
Man versus Ball follows Hart's adventures around the country as he undertakes new missions, often with unexpected results.
Drawing Autism by Jill Mullin Over the last decade autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has become an international topic of conversation, knowing no racial, ethnic, or social barriers. Behavior analyst and educator Jill Mullin has assembled a staggering array of work from established artists like Gregory Blackstock and Jessica Park, to the unknown but no less talented. Their creations, coupled with artist interviews, comprise a fascinating and compelling book that serves to educate and inspire anyone who knows someone diagnosed with ASD. Mullin’s introduction and the foreword by best-selling author Temple Grandin provide an overview of autism and advocate for nurturing the talents, artistic and otherwise, of autistic individuals. Using artwork created by individuals diagnosed with ASD, Drawing Autism celebrates their artistry and self-expression while also serving as an accessible point of entry into understanding how ASD manifests in individuals. Autism is known as a “spectrum disorder” because no two diagnoses are exactly the same; however, there are characteristic traits of ASD. Through their art, the contributors exhibit unique perspectives on how they see the world and their places in it. 00:00 Book Talk Intro – Kory French 02:50 “Red Eyes” – The War On Drugs 07:34 Interview with Jill Mullin Part 1 20:19 “Eyes to the Wind” – The War On Drugs 25:48 Interview with Jill Mullin Part 2 39:11 “Under the Pressure” – The War On Drugs 47:35 Book Talk Outro – Kory French 49:08 “Suffering” – The War On Drugs 55:00 Finish The War On Drugs Upcoming Shows: Mar 22 – Altar – Pittsburgh, PA Mar 23 – Metro – Chicago, IL Mar 26 – Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO Mar 28 – Neptune – Seattle, WA Mar 29 – Biltmore Cabaret – Vancouver, BC Mar 30 – Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR
Perhaps the most collaborative of all the literature movements was the one know famously known as the Beat Generation. In honor of the BreakThru Radio theme of “co-operation,” Book Talk takes a look at the importance of joining forces to move a generation through words. High school teacher, surfer, poet and student of the Beats, Wade “Sal” Ells will be joining in the studio from Medford Beach, Nova Scotia to read from some of his own work and discuss the importance of collaborative writing.
From backyards to boardrooms, instead of feeling powerless there is something you can do. After each poem are suggestions, ideas, and links in 6 categories. The essay, interwoven throughout, provides an informative, insightful, and, perhaps to some, startling look at the machinations of empire and society, along with ideas for how to connect with one’s original nature which is connected with both Mother Nature and Spirit Worlds.
Today Kory interviews author Michael McKinley.
The hour has come to speak of troubled times. It is time we spoke of Skullyville." Thus begins Rose Goode's story of her growing up in Indian Territory in pre-statehood Oklahoma. Skullyville, a once-thriving Choctaw community, was destroyed by land-grabbers...
Thank you for visiting HighBrowse, a catalogue of free published writing from around the web. Welcome.
This week on Book Talk, we take a look at 2014’s column Briefly Noted in search for some of the hottest new prints this year.
Taken to a mental hospital by the police, MacLean then started to hallucinate so severely he had to be tied down. Soon he could remember song lyrics, but not his family, his friends, or the woman he was told he loved. All of these symptoms, it turned out, were the result of the commonly prescribed malarial medication he had been taking. Upon his return to the States, he struggled to piece together the fragments of his former life in a harrowing, absurd, and unforgettable journey back to himself.
At birth, Peter Huang is given the Chinese name Juan Chuan, “powerful king.” To his parents, newly settled in small-town Ontario, he is the exalted only son in a sea of daughters, the one who will finally fulfill his immigrant father’s dreams of Western masculinity.
If we’re obsessed with being thin more so than ever before, why are Americans stricken with chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, as much as we were 30 years ago?
This story came to me in a flash during one of my darkest moments. It was a cold, dark, and rainy evening in December.
Dave Crenshaw is the master of helping business owners triumph over chaos.