"The Cost of Hope: A Memoir" by Amanda Bennett
Bennett was a young Wall Street Journal reporter in China when she first met the eccentric Chinese historian Terence Foley. Her memoir chronicles their passionate and complex relationship through twenty years of working, marriage, the birth of two beloved children, and Foley’s tragic battle with kidney cancer. After her husband’s death, and with her children’s blessing, Bennett uses her considerable investigative skills to measure the cost—some $618,616—of doing everything they could to keep him alive. That it is hard to put a price on hope may be this Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist’s greatest insight as she navigates the American health care system on behalf of her husband. “One thing I know is that I don’t envy the policymakers.”
"James Joyce: A New Biography" by Gordon Bowker
The first important biography of the great Irish writer in fifty years, this new work by the learned biographer of George Orwell, Malcolm Lowry and Lawrence Durrell claims to integrate Joyce’s life and work to reveal in greater depth the origins of his monumental contributions to literature. Perhaps one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, his works the very foundation of literary modernism, Joyce possessed an inner landscape full of contradictions, humor, religion, and ambiguity. Bowker exposes and dissects the writer’s life in the context of his works and leads the reader straight back to the pages of Ulysses et al. with delicious anticipation. The Sunday Times proclaims, “There have only ever been three important biographies of Joyce, including the present volume.”
"Amy, My Daughter" by Mitch Winehouse
In 2011, after her outrageous and very public struggles with drugs and alcohol, the soulful singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse drank herself to death. She was only 27 years old. Winehouse’s father Mitch has written what he hopes will be a definitive account of his lost daughter’s life, recounting a mischievous childhood and her musical coming-of-age as well as the ugly reality of her addictions and the toll they took on her family and friends. “I feel that I need to write this book to tell the true story of Amy and to help with my personal recovery.” All proceeds from the book benefit the Amy Winehouse Foundation, an organization that aids young people facing drug-addled adversity.
"Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock ‘n’ Roll" by Marc Dolan
“The Boss” began his musical career as a kid with a guitar from a working-class Jersey neighborhood who became the voice of a nation grappling with the larger issues of war, class, and prejudice. Scholar Marc Dolan examines Springsteen’s oeuvre, harvesting unreleased studio recordings and bootlegs of live performances to glean the stories behind the poetic lyrics and gritty tunes that lent folk-rock dignity to the struggles of the working man. This appreciative appraisal will be welcomed by avid Springsteen fans, who recognize not only that America shaped Springsteen, but how, indeed, Springsteen shaped the America of his time.
"A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver" by Mark Shriver
Founder of the Peace Corps, architect of LBJ’s war on poverty, creator of Head Start, and one-time candidate for both president and vice president, Sargent Shriver was an iconic American political figure. His son, Mark Shriver, while proud of his public successes, sets out in this tender memoir to discover and document the source of his father's inner strength. He finds answers in his simple and poignant gestures: devotion to his wife and family, a deep Catholic faith, and a firm belief in the efficacy of good works. Though “Sarge” succumbed to Alzheimer’s at the end of his life, the younger Shriver concentrates on telling the story of how a great man could also be a good man. “Mark’s poignant tribute captures the idealism and exuberance that made us all love Sarge, and reminds us to find pleasure in the simple act of living.” -- President Bill Clinton