by Susan Branch
About the book: Travel writing at its best by Susan Branch, New York Times best selling author, in a A Fine Romance, Falling in Love with the English Countryside. This charming book is part love story, part travel guide ~ a hand-written and watercolored diary/journal of Branch's six-day transatlantic crossing on board the Queen Mary 2 and two-month ramble through the backroads of rural England. There are over three hundred photos, countless watercolor illustrations, wonderful quotes, recipes, a book list, a movie list, hand-drawn maps and so much more. Travel with Susan as she makes her way through wildflower hedgerows to visit the homes and gardens of her literary and artistic heroes including Beatrix Potter and Jane Austen. It's a travel guide that will help you plan a trip of your own, lovely for the armchair traveler because Susan really does take you there, and perfect for all Downton Abbey anglophiles. When you are finished, go to Susan's website where there is an interactive Appendix to the book .... you can experience driving across the Dales with Susan's own videos and find links to everything she writes about, the cottages and gardens you will want to see yourself. A Fine Romance is book three of a Susan Branch trilogy. Book One is The Fairy Tale Girl, followed by Martha's Vineyard, Isle of Dreams, and then A Fine Romance, Falling in Love with the English Countryside. All three are hand-lettered, watercolored, filled with photos, recipes and quotes and, as Susan says, "as much magic as I could possibly stuff between two covers." Bon Voyage!
by Felicia Day
About the book: The instant New York Times bestseller from “queen of the geeks” Felicia Day, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is a “relentlessly funny and surprisingly inspirational” (Forbes.com) memoir about her unusual upbringing, her rise to internet stardom, and embracing her weirdness to find her place in the world.When Felicia Day was a girl, all she wanted was to connect with other kids (desperately). Growing up in the Deep South, where she was “home-schooled for hippie reasons,” she looked online to find her tribe. The Internet was in its infancy and she became an early adopter at every stage of its growth—finding joy and unlikely friendships in the emerging digital world. Her relative isolation meant that she could pursue passions like gaming, calculus, and 1930’s detective novels without shame. Because she had no idea how “uncool” she really was. But if it hadn’t been for her strange background—the awkwardness continued when she started college at sixteen, with Mom driving her to campus every day—she might never have had the naïve confidence to forge her own path. Like when she graduated as valedictorian with a math degree and then headed to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting despite having zero contacts. Or when she tired of being typecast as the crazy cat-lady secretary and decided to create her own web series before people in show business understood that online video could be more than just cats chasing laser pointers. Felicia’s rags-to-riches rise to Internet fame launched her career as one of the most influential creators in new media. Ever candid, she opens up about the rough patches along the way, recounting battles with writer’s block, a full-blown gaming addiction, severe anxiety, and depression—and how she reinvented herself when overachieving became overwhelming. Showcasing Felicia’s “engaging and often hilarious voice” (USA TODAY), You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is proof that everyone should celebrate what makes them different and be brave enough to share it with the world, because anything is possible now—even for a digital misfit.
by Galadrielle Allman
About the book: A deeply personal, revealing, and lyrical portrait of Duane Allman, founder of the legendary Allman Brothers Band, written by his daughter In 1969, Duane Allman had a vision for a band with two drummers, two guitarists, and a bass player, anchored by his brother’s soulful lead vocals—and the Allman Brothers Band was born. Their fiery, mesmerizing performances tore down barriers and changed the landscape of American music forever, and the tragedies that beset the Brothers turned them into legends. In this remarkable, intimate book, Duane’s daughter, Galadrielle, tells the story of how the band came together, their influences and passions, their rivalries and incomparable musical vision. She introduces us to the artists, women, engineers, and roadies who were a part of the family. From Daytona Beach to the Fillmore East, this is both Duane’s story and the band’s, told with clarity, passion, yearning, and soul.Praise for Please Be with Me “Duane Allman was my big brother, my partner, my best friend. I thought I knew everything there was to know about him, but Galadrielle’s deep and insightful book came as a revelation to me, as it will to everyone who reads it.”—Gregg Allman“Poignant and illuminating . . . brings Duane Allman to life in a way that no other biography will ever be able to do.”—BookPage “Galadrielle Allman offers a moving and poetic portrait of her late father.”—Rolling Stone “[Allman’s] descriptions and scenes are vivid, even cinematic. . . . The pleasure of reading Please Be With Me lies as much in its lyrical prose as in its insider anecdotes.”—Newsweek “An elegantly written, heartfelt account.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution “Evokes a wistful, elegiac atmosphere; fans of the ’70s music scene may find it indispensable.”—San Jose Mercury News “A compelling and intimate portrait of Duane.”—The Hollywood Reporter “Illuminating.”—Kirkus Reviews “Frequently touching . . . Readers will come away feeling more connected to the man and his music.”—Publishers Weekly“The most moving music biography I’ve ever read. Better than that, Galadrielle has uncovered the heart and motivations, the desolation and saving graces, of the man, and lays it plain in a born-to-write southern voice. She has looked into absence, and from it she has salvaged two hearts: her father’s and her own.”—Mikal Gilmore, author of Shot in the Heart
by Alvin Townley
About the book: Winner of the Georgia Author of the Year Award in HistoryDuring the Vietnam War, hundreds of American prisoners-of-war faced years of brutal conditions and horrific torture at the hands of North Vietnamese guards and interrogators who ruthlessly plied them for military intelligence and propaganda. Determined to maintain their Code of Conduct, the POWs developed a powerful underground resistance. To quash it, their captors singled out its eleven leaders, Vietnam's own "dirty dozen," and banished them to an isolated jail that would become known as Alcatraz. None would leave its solitary cells and interrogation rooms unscathed; one would never return.As these eleven men suffered in Hanoi, their wives at home launched an extraordinary campaign that would ultimately spark the nationwide POW/MIA movement. The members of these military families banded together and showed the courage not only to endure years of doubt about the fate of their husbands and fathers, but to bravely fight for their safe return. When the survivors of Alcatraz finally came home, one veteran would go on to receive the Medal of Honor, another would become a U.S. Senator, and a third still serves in the U.S. Congress.A powerful story of survival and triumph, Alvin Townley's Defiant will inspire anyone wondering how courage, faith, and brotherhood can endure even in the darkest of situations.
by Jaime Primak Sullivan
About the book: Jaime Primak Sullivan, outspoken star of Bravo TV’s Jersey Belle, offers no-nonsense Southern-spun advice for navigating life and love with her signature charismatic Jersey charm in this winning fish-out-of-water tale.Jamie Primak Sullivan, a Jersey-bred, tough-as-nails PR maven—and unlikely transplant in an upscale suburb of Birmingham, Alabama—has spent her entire life crossing the line: whether she’s pushing the boundaries of what proper Southern ladies consider to be “polite behavior” or literally traversing the Mason-Dixon line in the name of love. She isn’t afraid to say what everyone is thinking when it comes to love, sex, friendship, and many other topics that are all-too-often sugar-coated in polite Southern company. But when a meet-cute scenario right out of a Nora Ephron movie upends her life, Jaime finds herself a reluctant “knish out of water,” smack-dab in the Deep South starting a life with her new husband, the perfect Southern gentleman. In The Southern Education of a Jersey Girl, Jaime shares hard-learned lessons on Southern etiquette, deep-fried foods, college football, and matters of the heart while living in the heart of Dixie, with her quintessential ball-busting, bullsh*t free, and side-splitting Jersey twist.
by Lauren Graham
About the book: NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again. In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”). In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her. Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”). Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.
by Anna Kendrick
About the book: THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER An “honest, effortlessly funny, and alternatively relatable” (Harper’s Bazaar) collection of autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air, Pitch Perfect, and Trolls, “Scrappy Little Nobody lets readers feel like they have spent an afternoon chatting with their closest friend” (Booklist).Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.” At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations. With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.” Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).
by Gabrielle Douglas,Michelle Burford
About the book: In the 2012 London Olympics, US gymnast Gabrielle Douglas stole hearts and flew high as the All-Around Gold Medal winner, as well as acting as a critical member of the US gold-medal-winning women gymnastics team. In this personal autobiography, Gabrielle tells her story of faith, perseverance, and determination, demonstrating you can reach your dreams if you let yourself soar.