Tuesday, November 05, 2013

'In Bed With Gore Vidal' (and Other Books on My Radar)

Happy pub day to Tim Teeman, whose juicy Gore Vidal biography -- "In Bed With Gore Vidal: Hustlers, Hollywood, and the Private World of an American Master" -- is available now HERE!
And here are a couple other books recently added to my reading list:

Only recently heard about "Maggie & Me," Times U.K. journalist Damian Barr's acclaimed memoir about coming out in 1980s Scotland. I hear it's a hoot!
On October 12, 1984, an IRA bomb blows apart the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England. Miraculously, Margaret Thatcher survives. Meanwhile, in small-town Scotland, eight-year-old Damian Barr watches in horror as his mother rips her wedding ring off and packs their bags. He knows he, too, must survive. Damian, his sister, and his Catholic mother move in with her sinister new boyfriend, while his Protestant dad shacks up with the glamorous “Mary the Canary.” Divided by sectarian suspicion, the community is held together by the sprawling Ravenscraig Steelworks. But darkness threatens as Thatcher takes hold: she snatches school milk, smashes the unions, and makes greed good. But Damian follows Maggie's advice, working hard and planning his escape. He discovers that stories can save your life, and — in spite of violence, strikes, and AIDS — manages to fall in love dancing to Madonna in Glasgow's only gay club. "Maggie & Me" is a touching and darkly witty memoir about surviving Thatcher's Britain. It’s about coming out the other side in spite of, and maybe because of, the Iron Lady. 
Order HERE.

Also picked up a copy of Susannah Cahalan's "Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness," about the young journalist's struggle to reclaim her identity after an unknown pathogen mysteriously "invaded her body and caused an autoimmune reaction that jump-started brain inflammation, paranoia, and seizures."
An award-winning memoir and instant New York Times bestseller that goes far beyond its riveting medical mystery, "Brain on Fire" is the powerful account of one woman’s struggle to recapture her identity. When twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak, she had no memory of how she’d gotten there. Days earlier, she had been on the threshold of a new, adult life: at the beginning of her first serious relationship and a promising career at a major New York newspaper. Now she was labeled violent, psychotic, a flight risk. What happened? In a swift and breathtaking narrative, Susannah tells the astonishing true story of her descent into madness, her family’s inspiring faith in her, and the lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen. 
Order HERE.

Tom Nissley's “A Reader’s Book of Days: True Tales from the Lives and Works of Writers for Every Day of the Year” sounds promising, and seems like such a perfect holiday gift.

The New Yorker writes:
To collect material for this quirky, calendrical approach to literary history, Nissley—a former editor at Amazon, where he founded the Omnivoracious book blog—scoured novels, biographies, literary journals, and authors’ correspondence for events and anecdotes connected to specific dates. The result is a compilation of literary miscellany for every day of the year, including writers’ births and deaths, snippets of major book reviews, and an entertaining range of stories and fun facts from the lives of both authors and their characters. (On this day in 1899, for instance, Freud published “The Interpretation of Dreams.”)
Order HERE.

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