New York Times correspondent Rod Nordland’s The Lovers: Afghanistan’s Romeo and Juliet, the True Story of How They Defied Their Families and Escaped an Honor Killing reveals the highlights of this tale in its lengthy subtitle. We know the end before we know the beginning (the young couple doesn't die a tragic death with love unfulfilled), just as we know that this is a story of young lovers who, like Shakespeare's classic couple, must defy their parents and their culture to be together at any cost.
No relationship is more fraught than the one between father and son; the son is always trying to please his father, and the father is feeling guilty about whether he loves his son enough. Now imagine that your dad is a gonzo journalist who has famously hung out with Hell’s Angels and loved his booze, drugs and guns. In Stories I Tell Myself: Growing Up with Hunter S. Thompson, Juan F. Thompson lucidly and longingly tells us just what it was like being the only child of the notorious writer.
“His name was Salvador and he arrived with bloody feet.” From the opening sentence of Jonathan Franklin’s 438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea, this riveting adventure has us in its grip, spellbound and eager to know more about the mysterious Salvador Alvarenga.
The lives of musical greats continue to fascinate us, and this fall once again features biographies and memoirs of key players, from the producer credited with inventing rock ’n’ roll to a woman at the forefront of feminist rock.
There’s a famous ethical dilemma that philosophy professors often pose to their students. If three people are drowning, and one is your mother and two are strangers, whom do you save? Clearly some people would be compelled to save the person dearest to them, in this case, their mother. Others would feel compelled to do as much good as they could in the world and are not moved by a sense of belonging; these people would save the strangers.
Stuart Stevens grew up going to Ole Miss games with his father. In 1962, in the midst of tumultuous battles over civil rights on campus, Stevens and his father cheered the Rebels to a perfect season and a national championship. More than 50 years later, having just finished leading an exhausting and unsuccessful presidential campaign for Mitt Romney, Stevens “wakes up” and realizes that what he wants most in the world is one more season, “with my father and football and the Ole Miss Rebels.”
Rambunctious and poignant, Blaine Lourd’s moseying coming-of-age memoir, Born on the Bayou, takes readers to the swampy, misty marshes of his youth in New Iberia, Louisiana.
In 1993, Mardi Jo Link was a 31-year-old wife and mother of two and a bar waitress with a college degree. Just before sunrise on an October Michigan morning, Link and three friends set off on what would become an annual get-the-hell-out-of-Dodge adventure to the isolated refuge of Drummond Island on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In 1993, Link was the newest member of the sorority, but she eventually became the chronicler of the highs and lows of the annual island weekend.
The day the music died wasn’t when Buddy Holly went down in that now infamous plane crash; the music stopped flowing on December 10, 1967, when Otis Redding died in a plane crash in the icy waters of a Wisconsin lake. During his short career, Redding built the reputation of a small Southern studio, Stax, generating a funky and distinct sound whose energy fueled the music of Rufus and Carla Thomas, Wilson Pickett, Isaac Hayes, Booker T. and the MGs, and Sam and Dave, among others.
Willie Nelson was born to be a rambling man, but he was also born to be a gifted songwriter and storyteller. In his rambunctious and meandering memoir, It’s a Long Story, Nelson regales readers with stories of his life, from his childhood in Abbott, Texas, to his now-famous run-in with the IRS over back taxes in the 1990s.