The Year of Magical Thinking The Play

The Year of Magical Thinking  The Play
Author: Joan Didion
Pages: 80
ISBN: 9780307498915
Available:
Release: 2009-04-02
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In this dramatic adaptation of her award-winning, bestselling memoir, Joan Didion transforms the story of the sudden and unexpected loss of her husband and their only daughter into a stunning and powerful one-woman play. “This happened on December 30, 2003. That may seem a while ago but it won’t when it happens to you . . .” Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times called the memoir that was the basis for the play, “an indelible portrait of loss and grief . . . a haunting portrait of a four-decade-long marriage." The first theatrical production of The Year of Magical Thinking opened at the Booth Theatre on March 29, 2007, starring Vanessa Redgrave and directed by David Hare.

The Year of Magical Thinking

The Year of Magical Thinking
Author: Joan Didion
Pages: 227
ISBN: 0739469673
Available:
Release: 2005
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

[In this book, the author] explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage - and a life, in good times and bad - that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child. Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill with what seemed at first flu, then pneumonia, then complete septic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later - the night before New Year's Eve - the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John Gregory Dunne suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of forty years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LAX, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Center to relieve a massive hematoma. This ... book is Didion's attempt to make sense of the "weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness ... about marriage and children and memory ... about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself."--Jacket.

Blue Nights Enhanced Edition

Blue Nights  Enhanced Edition
Author: Joan Didion
Pages: 210
ISBN: 9780307961372
Available:
Release: 2012-01-17
Editor: Knopf
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This enhanced eBook edition of Blue Nights includes three short films directed by Griffin Dunne and starring Joan Didion. Each film blends Didion's incisive prose with images and mementos from her daughter's life. From one of our most powerful writers, Blue Nights is a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter. Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old. Blue Nights opens on July 26, 2010, as Didion thinks back to Quintana’s wedding in New York seven years before. Today would be her wedding anniversary. This fact triggers vivid snapshots of Quintana’s childhood—in Malibu, in Brentwood, at school in Holmby Hills. Reflecting on her daughter but also on her role as a parent, Didion asks the candid questions any parent might about how she feels she failed either because cues were not taken or perhaps displaced. “How could I have missed what was clearly there to be seen?” Finally, perhaps we all remain unknown to each other. Seamlessly woven in are incidents Didion sees as underscoring her own age, something she finds hard to acknowledge, much less accept. Blue Nights—the long, light evening hours that signal the summer solstice, “the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but also its warning”—like The Year of Magical Thinking before it, is an iconic book of incisive and electric honesty, haunting and profoundly moving.

The 100 Best Nonfiction Books of All Time

The 100 Best Nonfiction Books of All Time
Author: Robert McCrum
Pages: 287
ISBN: 1903385830
Available:
Release: 2018
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

100 Best Non Fiction Books has its origins in the recent 2 year-long Observer serial which every week featured a work of non fiction). It is also a companion volume to McCrum's very successful 100 Best Novels published by Galileo in 2015. The list of books starts in 1611 with the King James Bible and ends in 2014 with Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction. And in between, on this extraordinary voyage through the written treasures of our culture we meet Pepys' Diaries, Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species, Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time and a whole host of additional works.

Political Fictions

Political Fictions
Author: Joan Didion
Pages: 338
ISBN: 9780375718908
Available:
Release: 2002
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An incisive compilation of political essays, originally written for The New York Review of Books from 1988 to 2000, explores the nature of American politics and political figures and the role of the media in transforming the American political landscape. Reprint. 35,000 first printing.

A Cool Customer

A Cool Customer
Author: Jacob Bacharach
Pages: 156
ISBN: 0989961583
Available:
Release: 2018-02-20
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Literary Nonfiction. Essay. Reading Joan Didion's iconic memoir The Year of Magical Thinking, Jacob Bacharach's thoughts are never far from his brother, Nate, who died of an opioid addiction. Although he tries to be a "a cool customer" like Didion, he finds Nate's story breaking through the text, stirring memories of their tight-knit childhood and defying his attempts to find "the truth" about a tragic death. In A COOL CUSTOMER, Bacharach turns The Year of Magical Thinking into a blueprint for grief and self-discovery that anyone can follow. This book is part of a new series from Fiction Advocate called Afterwords.

After Henry

After Henry
Author: Joan Didion
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781504045698
Available:
Release: 2017-05-09
Editor: Open Road Media
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Incisive essays on Patty Hearst and Reagan, the Central Park jogger and the Santa Ana winds, from the New York Times–bestselling author of South and West. In these eleven essays covering the national scene from Washington, DC; California; and New York, the acclaimed author of Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The White Album “capture[s] the mood of America” and confirms her reputation as one of our sharpest and most trustworthy cultural observers (The New York Times). Whether dissecting the 1988 presidential campaign, exploring the commercialization of a Hollywood murder, or reporting on the “sideshows” of foreign wars, Joan Didion proves that she is one of the premier essayists of the twentieth century, “an articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time” (Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review). Highlights include “In the Realm of the Fisher King,” a portrait of the White House under the stewardship of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, two “actors on location;” and “Girl of the Golden West,” a meditation on the Patty Hearst case that draws an unexpected and insightful parallel between the kidnapped heiress and the emigrants who settled California. “Sentimental Journeys” is a deeply felt study of New York media coverage of the brutal rape of a white investment banker in Central Park, a notorious crime that exposed the city’s racial and class fault lines. Dedicated to Henry Robbins, Didion’s friend and editor from 1966 until his death in 1979, After Henry is an indispensable collection of “superior reporting and criticism” from a writer on whom we have relied for more than fifty years “to get the story straight” (Los Angeles Times).

Inheritance

Inheritance
Author: Dani Shapiro
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9780525434030
Available:
Release: 2020-01-28
Editor: Anchor
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An Instant NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A LOS ANGELES TIMES, BOSTON GLOBE, WALL STREET JOURNAL, and NATIONAL INDIE BESTSELLER Named A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by *Elle * Real Simple * Kirkus Reviews * BookPage * "Memoir gold: a profound and exquisitely rendered exploration of identity and the true meaning of family." --People Magazine "Beautifully written and deeply moving--it brought me to tears more than once."--Ruth Franklin, The New York Times Book Review From the acclaimed, best-selling memoirist, novelist and host of the hit podcast Family Secrets, comes a memoir about the staggering family secret uncovered by a genealogy test: an exploration of the urgent ethical questions surrounding fertility treatments and DNA testing, and a profound inquiry of paternity, identity, and love. In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had casually submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her beloved deceased father was not her biological father. Over the course of a single day, her entire history--the life she had lived--crumbled beneath her. Inheritance is a book about secrets. It is the story of a woman's urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that had been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in, a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover. Dani Shapiro's memoir unfolds at a breakneck pace--part mystery, part real-time investigation, part rumination on the ineffable combination of memory, history, biology, and experience that makes us who we are. Inheritance is a devastating and haunting interrogation of the meaning of kinship and identity, written with stunning intensity and precision.

Where I Was From

Where I Was From
Author: Joan Didion
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780307787958
Available:
Release: 2012-01-27
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In this moving and unexpected book, Joan Didion reassesses parts of her life, her work, her history, and ours. Where I Was From, in Didion’s words, “represents an exploration into my own confusions about the place and the way in which I grew up, confusions as much about America as about California, misapprehensions and misunderstandings so much a part of who I became that I can still to this day confront them only obliquely.” The book is a haunting narrative of how her own family moved west with the frontier from the birth of her great-great-great-great-great-grandmother in Virginia in 1766 to the death of her mother on the edge of the Pacific in 2001; of how the wagon-train stories of hardship and abandonment and endurance created a culture in which survival would seem the sole virtue. In Where I Was From, Didion turns what John Leonard has called “her sonar ear, her radar eye” onto her own work, as well as that of such California writers as Frank Norris and Jack London and Henry George, to examine how the folly and recklessness in the very grain of the California settlement led to the California we know today–a state mortgaged first to the railroad, then to the aerospace industry, and overwhelmingly to the federal government, a dependent colony of those political and corporate owners who fly in for the annual encampment of the Bohemian Club. Here is the one writer we always want to read on California showing us the startling contradictions in its–and in America’s–core values. Joan Didion’s unerring sense of America and its spirit, her acute interpretation of its institutions and literature, and her incisive questioning of the stories it tells itself make this fiercely intelligent book a provocative and important tour de force from one of our greatest writers. From the Hardcover edition.

Salvador

Salvador
Author: Joan Didion
Pages: 108
ISBN: 9780679751830
Available:
Release: 1994
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The author recounts her 1982 visit to El Salvador and describes the terror, fear and political repression that permeated the country

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
Author: David Wroblewski
Pages: 576
ISBN: 9780307371898
Available:
Release: 2009-03-19
Editor: Bond Street Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A riveting family saga, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle explores the deep and ancient alliance between humans and dogs, and the power of fate through one boy’s epic journey into the wild. Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose thoughtful companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong companion. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar's uncle, turmoil consumes the Sawtelle's once-peaceful home. When Edgar's father dies suddenly, Claude insinuates himself into the life of the farm – and into Edgar's mother’s affections. Grief-stricken and bewildered, Edgar tries to prove Claude played a role in his father's death, but his plan backfires, spectacularly. Edgar flees into the vast wilderness lying beyond the farm. He comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him. But his need to face his father’s murderer, and his devotion to the Sawtelle dogs, turn Edgar ever homeward. Wroblewski is a master storyteller, and his breathtaking scenes – the elemental north woods, the sweep of seasons, an iconic American barn, a ghost made of falling rain – create a family saga that is at once a brilliantly inventive retelling of Hamlet, an exploration of the limits of language, and a compulsively readable modern classic.

My Years of Magical Thinking

My Years of Magical Thinking
Author: Lionel Snell
Pages: 308
ISBN: 0904311295
Available:
Release: 2018-12
Editor: Mouse That Spins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Magical thinking is on the rise. In a post-truth world it is vital to understand why - and what it means. Alan Moore: ..".the most lucid, coherent and insightful intellect to emerge from British occultism for some several decades... his most considered and powerfully reasoned work to date... Highly recommended."

Dutch Shea Jr

Dutch Shea  Jr
Author: John Gregory Dunne
Pages: 329
ISBN: 9781939126207
Available:
Release: 2013-12-12
Editor: Zola Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“Dunne’s bravura plotting asserts an exhilarating mastery.” —The New York Times Book Review. In John Gregory Dunne’s celebrated third novel, Los Angeles-based criminal defense attorney Dutch Shea, Jr. struggles to keep from falling apart after an act of terrorist violence strikes his family, the loss pushing him towards a confrontation with his past and into a mystery involving the death of his father, a felon who died in prison. Set in L.A. and Dunne’s hometown of Hartford, Connecticut, the novel follows Shea into a labyrinth of deception, corruption, and criminal malice. Fighting to keep a host of disturbing memories tamped down, Shea plunges into his legal work, one embedding him in a world of scammers and burglars, pimps and prostitutes, corrupt cops and shady private eyes. With unrivaled detail and pitch-black humor, Dunne takes us into police precincts and criminal courtrooms, judge’s chambers and city morgues. The novel’s deft noir touches will remind readers of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, while Dunne’s command of legal dynamics and police procedures anticipates fiction by Scott Turow, John Grisham and Michael Connelly. Introducing a sweeping cast of two dozen vivid characters, including Shea’s sometime girlfriend, a judge who packs a pistol under her robe, Dutch Shea, Jr. - a Zola e-book exclusive - is a gripping, bleakly funny exploration of a fallen world through which its past-haunted hero weaves, beset from within and without, for a series of fraught days.

Let Me Tell You What I Mean

Let Me Tell You What I Mean
Author: Joan Didion
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9780593318492
Available:
Release: 2021-01-26
Editor: Knopf
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

*A New York Times Best Seller* From one of our most iconic and influential writers: a timeless collection of mostly early pieces that reveal what would become Joan Didion's subjects, including the press, politics, California robber barons, women, and her own self-doubt. A Most Anticipated Book of 2021 from Vogue, TIME, Bustle, The New York Times and many more. These twelve pieces from 1968 to 2000, never before gathered together, offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary figure. They showcase Joan Didion's incisive reporting, her empathetic gaze, and her role as "an articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time" (The New York Times Book Review). Here, Didion touches on topics ranging from newspapers ("the problem is not so much whether one trusts the news as to whether one finds it"), to the fantasy of San Simeon, to not getting into Stanford. In "Why I Write," Didion ponders the act of writing: "I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means." From her admiration for Hemingway's sentences to her acknowledgment that Martha Stewart's story is one "that has historically encouraged women in this country, even as it has threatened men," these essays are acutely and brilliantly observed. Each piece is classic Didion: incisive, bemused, and stunningly prescient.

We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live

We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live
Author: Joan Didion
Pages: 1122
ISBN: 9780307264879
Available:
Release: 2006
Editor: Everyman's Library
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A definitive compilation of essays and nonfiction writings spanning more than forty years includes the author's reflections on politics, lifestyle, place, and cultural figures, including her studies of Haight-Ashbury, the Manson family, the Black Panthers, California earthquakes, Bill Clinton and Kenneth Starr, and much more.

South and West

South and West
Author: Joan Didion
Pages: 144
ISBN: 9781524732806
Available:
Release: 2017-03-07
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

National Bestseller Joan Didion has always kept notebooks—of overheard dialogue, interviews, drafts of essays, copies of articles. Here are two extended excerpts from notebooks she kept in the 1970s; read together, they form a piercing view of the American political and cultural landscape. *One of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, Harper's Bazaar* “Notes on the South” traces a road trip that she and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, took through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Her acute observations about the small towns they pass through, her interviews with local figures, and their preoccupation with race, class, and heritage suggest a South largely unchanged today. “California Notes” began as an assignment from Rolling Stone on the Patty Hearst trial. Though Didion never wrote the piece, the time she spent watching the trial in San Francisco triggered thoughts about the West and her own upbringing in Sacramento. Here we not only see Didion’s signature irony and imagination in play, we’re also granted an illuminating glimpse into her mind and process.

Democracy

Democracy
Author: Joan Didion
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780307787378
Available:
Release: 2011-02-16
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Moving deftly between romance, farce, and tragedy, from Honolulu to Jakarta, Democracy is a tour de force from a writer who can dissect an entire society with a single phrase. Inez Victor knows that the major casualty of the political life is memory. But the people around Inez have made careers out of losing track. Her senator husband wants to forget the failure of his last bid for the presidency. Her husband's handler would like the press to forget that Inez's father is a murderer. And, in 1975, the year in which much of this bitterly funny novel is set, America is doing its best to lose track of its one-time client, the lethally hemorrhaging republic of South Vietnam. As conceived by Joan Didion, these personages and events constitute the terminal fallout of democracy, a fallout that also includes fact-finding junkets, senatorial groupies, the international arms market, and the Orwellian newspeak of the political class.

Is the Moon Upside Down

Is the Moon Upside Down
Author: Greg Quicke
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781760895068
Available:
Release: 2020-09-29
Editor: Random House Australia
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Australia's 'Space Gandalf' answers all the questions you never knew you wanted to ask about the night sky. During his younger days working as a bush mechanic and pearl diver in remote WA, Greg Quicke spent countless nights lying in a swag and staring at the stars. That daily distraction grew into a passion that has seen him become one of Australia's best known and most engaging astronomers. In recent years Greg – aka 'Space Gandalf' – has taken on cult status among audiences via his appearances alongside Professor Brian Cox in the hit TV series Stargazing Live. Greg's practical explanations of the complexities of space have also earned him respect from astronomers around the world. Is The Moon Upside Down? is an absorbing guided tour of the cosmos as seen through Greg's eyes. Unlike many of his peers who studied at university he offers a unique and refreshing perspective on astronomy that was instead forged on cliff tops outside Alice Springs, in the endless expanse of the Great Sandy Desert, on the floor of the Indian Ocean and in his own front yard in Broome. No matter what mysteries you've pondered about Earth's astral dance with the Sun, planets, Moon and the stars, it's guaranteed Greg has thought about them too, and the answers can be found in the pages of this book.

I Found My Tribe

I Found My Tribe
Author: Ruth Fitzmaurice
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781635571592
Available:
Release: 2018-03-06
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A transformative, euphoric memoir about finding solace in the unexpected for readers of H is for Hawk, It's Not Yet Dark, and When Breath Becomes Air. Ruth's tribe are her lively children and her filmmaker and author husband Simon Fitzmaurice who has ALS and can only communicate with his eyes. Ruth's other "tribe" are the friends who gather at the cove in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, and regularly throw themselves into the freezing cold water, just for kicks. The Tragic Wives' Swimming Club, as they jokingly call themselves, meet to cope with the extreme challenges life puts in their way, not to mention the monster waves rolling over the horizon. Swimming is just one of the daily coping strategies as Ruth fights to preserve the strong but now silent connection with her husband. As she tells the story of their marriage, from diagnosis to their long-standing precarious situation, Ruth also charts her passion for swimming in the wild Irish Sea--culminating in a midnight swim under the full moon on her wedding anniversary. An invocation to all of us to love as hard as we can, and live even harder, I Found My Tribe is an urgent and uplifting letter to a husband, family, friends, the natural world, and the brightness of life.

Jade City

Jade City
Author: Fonda Lee
Pages: 600
ISBN: 9780316440899
Available:
Release: 2017-11-07
Editor: Orbit
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In this World Fantasy Award-winning novel of magic and kungfu, four siblings battle rival clans for honor and power in an Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis. *Named one of TIME's Top 100 Fantasy Books Of All Time ​* World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, winner Jade is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. It has been mined, traded, stolen, and killed for -- and for centuries, honorable Green Bone warriors like the Kaul family have used it to enhance their magical abilities and defend the island from foreign invasion. Now, the war is over and a new generation of Kauls vies for control of Kekon's bustling capital city. They care about nothing but protecting their own, cornering the jade market, and defending the districts under their protection. Ancient tradition has little place in this rapidly changing nation. When a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone -- even foreigners -- wield jade, the simmering tension between the Kauls and the rival Ayt family erupts into open violence. The outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones -- and of Kekon itself. Praise for Jade City: "An epic drama reminiscent of the best classic Hong Kong gangster films but set in a fantasy metropolis so gritty and well-imagined that you'll forget you're reading a book." --Ken Liu, Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning author "A beautifully realized setting, a great cast of characters, and dramatic action scenes. What a fun, gripping read!" --Ann Leckie, Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author "An instantly absorbing tale of blood, honor, family and magic, spiced with unexpectedly tender character beats." --NPR The Green Bone Saga Jade City Jade War Jade Legacy