Friday, May 9, 2014

True Tales Of Real People
“I have a good poker face because I am half dead inside.” 
So begins the hilarious and unexpectedly moving adventures of an amateur player who lucked into a seat at the biggest card game in town—the World Series of Poker.

In 2011 Grantland magazine sent award-winning novelist Colson Whitehead to brave the harrowing, seven-day gauntlet of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. It was the assignment of a lifetime, except for one hitch—he’d never played in a casino tournament before.

With just six weeks to train, our humble narrator plunged into the gritty subculture of high-stakes Texas Hold’em. There’s poker here, sure, which means joy and heartbreak, grizzled cowboys from the game’s golden age, and teenage hotshots weaned on internet gambling. Not to mention the overlooked problem of coordinating Atlantic City bus schedules with your kid’s drop-off and pick-up at school.

And then there’s Vegas.

In a world full of long shots and short odds, The Noble Hustle is a sure bet, a raucously funny social satire whose main target is the author himself. Whether you’ve been playing cards your whole life or have never picked up a hand, you’re sure to agree that this book contains some of the best writing about beef jerky ever put to paper.
In this funny, frank, and tender new memoir, the author of the New York Times bestseller A Homemade Life and the blog Orangette recounts how opening a restaurant sparked the first crisis of her young marriage.
When Molly Wizenberg married Brandon Pettit, he was a trained composer with a handful of offbeat interests: espresso machines, wooden boats, violin-building, and ice cream-making. So when Brandon decided to open a pizza restaurant, Molly was supportive--not because she wanted him to do it, but because the idea was so far-fetched that she didn't think he would. Before she knew it, he'd signed a lease on a space. The restaurant, Delancey, was going to be a reality, and all of Molly's assumptions about her marriage were about to change.
Together they built Delancey: gutting and renovating the space on a cobbled-together budget, developing a menu, hiring staff, and passing inspections. Delancey became a success, and Molly tried to convince herself that she was happy in their new life until--in the heat and pressure of the restaurant kitchen--she realized that she hadn't been honest with herself or Brandon.
With evocative photos by Molly and twenty new recipes for the kind of simple, delicious food that chefs eat at home, Delancey is a moving and honest account of two young people learning to give in and let go in order to grow together.
An unforgettable ode to American car culture, award-winning author Earl Swift's wise, funny, and captivating narrative follows an outlaw-genius motorhead as he attempts to restore an iconic 1957 Chevy from rusted-out wreck to gleaming, chromed work of American art—before the FBI closes in

A classic '57 Chevy, in wretched shape: Its surviving paint is sun-bleached, salt-pocked, and cracked like a dry lakebed. Its engine hasn't turned over in years. Slumped among hundreds of other rusting hulks on a windswept patch of eastern North Carolina, the Chevy evokes none of the Jet Age optimism that made it the most beloved and instantly recognizable car to ever roll off an assembly line.

But for its unlikely rescuer—a felon arrested seventy-odd times, and a man who's been written off as a ruin himself—the Chevy isn't junk, it's a fossil of the twentieth-century American experience, of a people devoted to and forever changed by the automobile. For Tommy Arney, it's a piece of history, especially so because its decrepit skin conceals a rare asset: a complete provenance, stretching back more than fifty years through twelve previous owners. So, hassled by banks and the FBI, the Chevy's thirteenth owner embarks on a mission to save the car and preserve the long record of human experience it carries with it—before his own volatile demons doom him and the car.

Written for both gearheads and Sunday drivers, Earl Swift's fifth book of narrative nonfiction charts the shifting hopes and fortunes of the people who’ve gripped the car's steering wheel, throwing a light on the sturdy resilience of the American Dream and our abiding relationship with the automobile through the most iconic model in history and an improbable, unforgettable hero.      

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