Thursday, November 13, 2014

Kate M. Is Recommending:
In the more than twenty years since the body of Chris McCandless was discovered in the wilds of Alaska, his spellbinding story has captivated millions who have either read Jon Krakauer's iconic Into the Wild or seen Sean Penn's acclaimed film of the same name.

And yet, only one person has truly understood what motivated Chris's unconventional decision to forsake his belongings, abandon his family, and embrace the harsh wilderness. In The Wild Truth, his beloved sister Carine McCandless finally provides a deeply personal account of the many misconceptions about Chris, revealing the truth behind his fateful journey while sharing the remarkable details of her own.

Exposing the dark reality that existed behind the McCandless's seemingly idyllic home in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Carine details a violent home life, one where both parents manipulated the truth about a second family--a deception that pushed Chris over the edge and set the stage for his willing departure into the wild. And though he cut off all family ties, Carine understood--through their indelible bond and some cryptic communication--what Chris was seeking.

This understanding, kept under wraps for years as Carine struggled to maintain a relationship with her parents, now comes to spectacular light in the pages of The Wild Truth. In the decades since Chris's death, Carine and her half-siblings have come together to find their own truth and build their own beauty in his absence. In each other, they've found absolution, just as Chris found absolution in the wild before he died.

Beautiful and haunting, told with candor and heartbreaking insight, The Wild Truth presents a man the world only thought they knew--and the sister who has finally found redemption in sharing the rest of their story.

Read an excerpt HERE.
Finding Life in Ruins

Jump into a battered Indiana Jones-style Jeep with the intrepid Marilyn Johnson and head down bone-rattling roads in search of those who dig up the past. Johnson, the author of two acclaimed books about quirky subcultures-The Dead Beat (about obituary writers) and This Book Is Overdue (about librarians)-brings her irrepressible wit and curiosity to bear on yet another strange world, that of archaeologists. Who chooses to work in ruins? What's the allure of sifting through layers of dirt under a hot sun? Why do archaeologists care so passionately about what's dead and buried-and why should we?

Johnson tracks archaeologists around the globe from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean, from Newport, Rhode Island to Machu Picchu. She digs alongside experts on an eighteenth-century sugar plantation and in a first-century temple to Apollo.

She hunts for bodies with forensics archaeologists in the vast and creepy Pine Barrens of New Jersey, drinks beer with an archaeologist of ancient beverages, and makes stone tools like a caveman. By turns amusing and profound, Lives in Ruins and its wild cast of characters find new ways to consider what is worth salvaging from our past.

Archaeologists are driven by the love of history and the race to secure its evidence ahead of floods and bombs, looters and thieves, and before the bulldozers move in. Why spend your life in ruins? To uncover our hidden stories before they disappear.

Read an excerpt HERE.
For nearly sixty years, Jerry Lee Lewis has been a monumental figure in American life. The wildest and most dangerous of the early rock and rollers, he electrified the world with hit records such as "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," "Great Balls of Fire," and "Breathless." His music was raucous, exuberant, slyly sexual; his wailing vocals were grounded by the locomotive force of his pumping piano. But his persona and performing style were what changed the world: whipping his long hair back, he would pound the keyboard like a coal-fired steam engine, then kick back the bench, climb atop the piano, and work the audience like the Pentecostal preacher he almost became. Poised to steal the crown from Elvis Presley, he seemed unstoppable--until news of his marriage to his thirteen-year-old cousin broke during his first British tour, nearly ending his career.

Now, for the first time, Lewis's story is told in full, as he shared it over two years with Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Rick Bragg. In a narrative rich with atmosphere and anecdote, we watch Jerry Lee emerge from the fields and levees of Depression-era Louisiana, blazing a path across Bible colleges and nightclubs en route to international fame. He shared bills with Johnny Cash and Chuck Berry, toured Australia with Buddy Holly and Paul Anka, and went Cadillac for Cadillac with Elvis on the streets of Memphis--even as both of them struggled with the conflict between their faith and their music. After a decade in the wilderness, he returned as the biggest star in country music, but his victory lap became a marathon of excess, a time of guns and pills and Calvert Extra. He crashed Rolls-Royces and Lincolns, including one he drove into the gates of Graceland; suffered the deaths of wives and loved ones; and nearly met his maker twice himself. Yet after six marriages, a long spell without a recording contract, and a bruising battle with the IRS, he overcame a crippling addiction, remarried, and scored his biggest hit records since the 1970s. Today, as he approaches his eightieth year, he continues to electrify audiences around the world.

The story of Jerry Lee Lewis has inspired songs and articles, books and films, but in these pages Rick Bragg restores a human complexity missing from other accounts. The result is a story of fire and faith and resilience, informed by Rick Bragg's deep understanding of the American spirit, and rich with Jerry Lee's own unforgettable voice.
Everyone has a cross to bear.Hers has her husband on it.

Welcome to The Adventures of Mrs. Jesus a wonderfully profane and inventive chronicle of the life of humankind's most tragically overlooked spouse.

To millions, Jesus is a teacher, a leader, and the savior of mankind. Finally, his long-suffering wife gets her turn in the spotlight. Meet the woman who woke up on the wrong side of history, as translated from the scrolls that killed the Dead Sea.

Read an excerpt HERE.
Written with the unprecedented cooperation of the Naval Special Warfare community, here is the definitive history of the U.S. Navy SEALs, a thrilling chronicle that reveals the inside story behind the greatest combat operations of our nation's most celebrated warriors. New York Times bestselling authors Dick Couch--former SEAL, Vietnam veteran, and highly respected military writer--and award-winning author William Doyle draw on exclusive interviews with more than 100 special operators (including multiple Medal of Honor recipients), as well as thousands of pages of declassified documents to create a vivid, unparalleled portrait of the SEALs in action.

Navy SEALs: Their Untold Story charts the dramatic evolution of the frogmen from their origins in World War II, when the daring Naval Combat Demolition Teams, Underwater Demolition Teams, Scouts and Raiders commando units, and OSS Operational Swimmers proved instrumental at D-Day, Okinawa, and many other critical campaigns. In the Korean War, the Navy UDTs cleared mines and scouted landing sites ahead of the main American forces. After their official founding in 1962 by order of President John F. Kennedy and early covert operations in Cuba, the SEALs came of age in the jungles of Vietnam, where they specialized in executing the most daring missions. Couch and Doyle trace their transformation in the 1980s and 1990s--when America's special operations teams were centralized under the U.S. Special Operations Command--including untold accounts from Panama, Grenada, Somalia, and the first Gulf War. Finally, we follow their rise to preeminence in Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11.

The SEALs and their forefathers have shaped the tides of history; from fighting Hitler to eliminating Osama bin Laden, the frogmen of the U.S. Navy are the spearhead of American military might: the toughest, most highly trained, best equipped--and most invisible--band of warriors. Now many of these quiet professionals, speaking for the first time, reveal what it's like to be the men living on the knife's edge. Navy SEALs: Their Untold Story gives these legendary warriors the epic chronicle they deserve.

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