Autobiography

//Autobiography

Middle East Affairs: War Adventures of Zahos Hadjifotiou in Tobruk, El Alamein and Rimini

“A World War II veteran recounts firsthand horrors on bloody battlefields and passionate liaisons in Middle Eastern nightclubs as a Grecian soldier.

Hadjifotiou’s (Games of Passion in Mykonos, 2015) life was interrupted by war, with Mussolini’s invasion of Greece spurring him to leave home and join the fight against the Axis powers. He enlisted in the British army and found himself in the port city of Tobruk, Libya. Here, he was one of history’s famous “Desert Rats”—men who spent eight months of hell under siege by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s troops: “Thirty-five thousand wounded and several thousand dead.” Hadjifotiou’s reputation as one of Tobruk’s heroes afforded him numerous promotions and military decorations. He was eventually assigned to pilot a crane named “Mac” to salvage Allied vehicles and save trapped soldiers. Between the siege and battles against German forces in both El Alamein, Egypt, and Rimini, Italy, he spent many of his nights with fellow soldiers acting out in the urbane nightclubs of Egypt, and later Beirut, seeking pleasure and luxury with alcohol and women. The author recalls his wartime adventures with a dry romanticism, never shying away from his experiences, be they vodka-fueled nights or hand-to-hand combat on the battlefield. Hadjifotiou is short-tempered and apolitical, prone to nostalgia in unexpected ways—the soldier recalls his crane with more sentimentality than his whirlwind marriage to a French general’s daughter. When reunited with his lost love, Yuki Russell, a Jewish-American singer he met early in the war, his enthusiasm will likely seem shocking to some, as he seemed to have all but forgotten her before. There’s no sugarcoating these oddities, no rationalizations made for these arrogant or reckless turns any more than for the heroic ones. The closest the book comes to indemnifying the actions of any—from womanizing to looting—is to maintain that those who were not there cannot know. The autobiography is remarkably concise, perhaps to its detriment—it’s unlikely readers will feel transported to nightclubs or war zones with its minimalist approach.

A pithy and unapologetic memoir, as much about the good times of war as the bad.”

— Kirkus Reviews

August 19, 2016

  • : Zahos Hadjifotiou
  • : Stergiou Limited
  • : 08/20/16
  • : 1910370827
  • : 9781910370827
  • : B01KR73B4C
  • : https://youtu.be/xSVIgehGWNE
  • : admin@stergioultd.com
  • : Film14
  • : http://www.film-14.com/

The Journal Keeper: A Memoir

Essayist Phyllis Theroux has long captivated readers with her pitch-perfect rendering of the inner lives of American women. The Journal Keeper is a memoir of six years in her life. A natural storyteller, Theroux slips her arm companionably into yours, like an old friend going for a stroll. But Theroux’s stride is long, her eye sharp, and she swings easily between subjects that occupy us all: love, loneliness, growing old, financial worries, spiritual growth, and watching her remarkable mother prepare for death. Theroux began to keep a journal when she was in distress. It saved her life by helping her to see circumstances more clearly. With nuggets of wisdom, The Journal Keeper is a rich feast from a writing life—with a surprising romantic twist. But it was not until Theroux sat down to edit her journals for publication did she realize, in her words, “that a hand much larger and more knowing than my own was guiding my life and pen across the page.” She makes a good case for this being true for us all.

  • : Phyllis Theroux
  • : Atlantic Monthly Press
  • : 02/23/10
  • : 0802118976
  • : 978-0802118974
  • : B008UX2ERQ
  • : https://youtu.be/zMVtAgMofz8
  • : ampkathy@gmail.com
  • : Abbott Media Productions
  • : http://abbottmediaproductions.com
2016-10-21T19:44:11+00:00 Autobiography, Staff Pick|0 Comments

Perking the Pansies, Jack and Liam move to Turkey

Just imagine the absurdity of two openly gay, recently ‘married’ middle aged, middle class men escaping the liberal sanctuary of anonymous London to relocate to a Muslim country.

2015-12-15T10:16:04+00:00 Autobiography, LGBT, Memoir, Travel|Comments Off on Perking the Pansies, Jack and Liam move to Turkey

Wallop! An Advertising Phenonemon called Rightford, Searle-Tripp & Makin

Ogilvy South Africa’s origins lie with a little hot shop in Cape Town founded by Bob Rightford, Brian Searle-Tripp and Roger Makin in 1976. They arrived on the South African advertising scene with an energy and passion that made them the industry’s hottest property.

At the time, South Africa was tearing itself apart, and many people were eager to embrace a new value system they could believe in – no bullshit, no lies, no apartheid, no company politics – RS-TM offered this, in their ads and also to their staff.

From the day Rightford Searle-Tripp & Makin opened they produced work that made people feel things, including:

• IBM’s ‘he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother’ ads featuring elephants in the desert;
• Lion matches’ box of friends;
• the Dunlop staffie;
• the iconic Volkswagen ads, like the ‘changes’ one featuring the song ‘Memories’ by André de Villiers and the ones starring David Kramer; and
• the Jungle Oats champion children.

This book conveys the energy and joy of the early years at the ‘Little Yellow Agency’, as it grew to become the jewel in the Ogilvy & Mather worldwide crown.

  • : Toni Younghusband
  • : Tafelberg
  • : 11/20/2014
  • : 0-624-06495-6
  • : 9780624064954
  • :
  • : chris.leroux@nb.co.za
2015-01-26T09:51:32+00:00 Autobiography|0 Comments

Bits: A Comedy Writer’s Screams of Consciousness

Anne Frank wrote her diary. A yawn. Alex Haley wrote about his roots. A snooze. The Bible. What a bore! But what do all these have in common? That’s obvious. They’re not funny and the people they wrote about aren’t current. Where’s Bieber? Jolie? Beyonce? That’s who people want to read about and laugh about. Celebrities! And not written by the celebrities themselves. What do they know? If they were smart, they wouldn’t have become celebrities in the first place. Who really knows their stories?

It’s the writer! The guy who was there in the trenches, the guy who made them famous in the first place. Actors and actresses didn’t write their lines. It was the writer!

Who knew these stars before they became egomaniacs? Before they even knew the difference between Calistoga or Evian? The difference between dark chocolate or milk? Who told them what to say and how to say it? Writers, writers, writers!

Kenny Solms has seen them all. He wrote and schmoozed with the best of them. Co-creating The Carol Burnett Show in the late 60s, he’s written for practically all of them. (However, he has yet to meet Leonardo DiCaprio). Solms wrote their movies, their TV shows….even their “spontaneous” quotes. From the greats like Jack Benny and George Burns to Willard Scott and downwards. But then back up again. And that’s quite a leap.

He’s the one whose bits Lucille Ball uttered. He got Bill Cosby his laughs. Sure, he made millions doing it and garnered a few Emmys as well, but is he cocky? Not remotely. In this Hollywood “tell-all” book, he documents his rise from the Emmy award-winning “Carol Burnett Show” to his doldrums writing for Hugh Hefner’s “Roller Disco-Rama Plus a Preview of the Playmate of the 80s.” From the booms to the boobs. From the genius of Michael Jackson to the hilarity of Joan Rivers, Solms seems to know everybody. Streisand, Sammy Davis Jr., Neil Diamond. He’s written for them all. Even the Muppet, Miss Piggy, who he claims was a bitch.

Bits is not a vicious tell-all, but tell all, Kenny does. A funny romp that takes you from Philadelphia to Hollywood. A cruise behind the Hollywood scenes, down the freeways, up the canyons and then some. From variety shows to sitcoms, from big star specials to Broadway, he shares his roller coaster ride from writing tacky one-liners to creating TV classics. And what a ride! Jump in the passenger seat and share it with him.

  • : Kenny Solms
  • : Prospecta Press
  • : 02/24/2015
  • : 1632260166
  • : 9781632260161
  • :
  • : tyson@rarebirdlit.com
2015-01-03T19:50:41+00:00 Autobiography|0 Comments

Children of the Canyon

Children of the Canyon tells the story of David, a boy growing up in LA’s fabled Laurel Canyon neighborhood as the 1960s counterculture is coming to an end. David’s record producer father works with the reclusive former leader of a surf music band on an album that promises to elevate the legacies of both men to immortal status. His distant, peripatetic mother rides the waves of activism and feminism in and out of David’s life. The elusive Topanga, named for the city’s last remaining Eden, whom David meets on the beach the night of his parents’ separation continues to elude his futile attempts to reconnect with her throughout the decade. Through David’s eyes, we bear witness to the fallout from the California Dream’s malfunction: the ruined families, failed revolutionaries, curdled musical idealism, and, ultimately, the rise of the conservatism that put the country on its present path.

2014-08-21T04:22:48+00:00 Autobiography|0 Comments

Where Bears Roam The Streets

In the summer of 2008, Jeff Parker went to Russia intending to write a book about the country’s resurgence as a major global superpower under President and then Prime Minister (and now president again) Vladimir Putin, and about the emergence, for maybe the first time in history, of a Russian middle class and the sacrifices that had to be made to get there. But Russia squirms under the pressure of any attempt to pin it down. In the midst of social and financial upheaval, the more Parker sought answers, the more the questions kept coming: What was Russia? How did it work? How did people live? How could they eat kholodetz (meat jelly)?

The four years at the heart of this book focus largely on the period between 2008 and 2012 and the revealing friendship Parker made with a young barkeep and draft dodger named Igor. The book became the story of Igor, as a metaphor for Russia, in crisis. While Igor is not a model Perestroika generation man nor some kind of Putin-era everyman, he is, like The Dude in The Big Lebowski, a man for his time and place. What Parker has created is the story of Igor as a refracting mirror for the story of Russia, told with intelligence, humour and no small amount of misadventure.

  • : Jeff Parker
  • : HarperCollins Canada
  • : 05/25/2014
  • : 1554683815
  • :
  • : rocco.rivetti@red14films.com
2014-07-25T19:33:34+00:00 Adventure, Autobiography, Literary, Travel|0 Comments

A HIPPO LOVE STORY

This is one of the best wildlife stories I’ve ever read. I learned so much from this book and even better, it’s a Great Read.The author and her husband, in a decades-long courageous effort to save a group of these “river horses” — and defend their own home and way of life — have had an unbelievably adventurous life. Together they have withstood devastating fires, floods, poachers, political upheavals, and angry mobs. Through it all, they somehow persevere with hard work, astonishing dedication, good humor, and no doubt some good luck. It refreshed my love for animals and renewed my faith in humankind. And I couldn’t put it down.

  • : Karen Paolillo
  • : Penguin
  • : 05/14/2014
  • : 0-000-00000-0
  • : B00KH0G91W
  • :
  • : hippohaven@bsatt.com

Face The Music

In Face the Music, Paul Stanley—the co-founder and famous “Starchild” frontman of KISS—reveals for the first time the incredible highs and equally incredible lows in his life both inside and outside the band. Face the Music is the shocking, funny, smart, inspirational story of one of rock’s most enduring icons and the group he helped create, define, and immortalize.

Stanley mixes compelling personal revelations and gripping, gritty war stories that will surprise even the most steadfast member of the KISS Army. He takes us back to his childhood in the 1950s and ’60s, a traumatic time made more painful thanks to a physical deformity. Born with a condition called microtia, he grew up partially deaf, with only one ear. But this instilled in him an inner drive to succeed in the most unlikely of pursuits: music.

With never-before-seen photos and images throughout, Stanley’s memoir is a fully realized and unflinching portrait of a rock star, a chronicle of the stories behind the famous anthems, the many brawls and betrayals, and all the drama and pyrotechnics on and off the stage. Raw and confessional, Stanley offers candid insights into his personal relationships, and the turbulent dynamics with his bandmates over the past four decades. And no one comes out unscathed—including Stanley himself.

“People say I was brave to write such a revealing book, but I wrote it because I needed to personally reflect on my own life. I know everyone will see themselves somewhere in this book, and where my story might take them is why I’m sharing it.” —Paul Stanley

  • : Paul Stanley
  • : 04/08/2014
  • : 0062114042
  • : B00FJ313ZY
  • :
  • : rocco.rivetti@red14films.com

All Movies Love the Moon

Anyone who watches silent movies will notice how often crashes occur—trains, cars, and people constantly collide and drama or comedy ensues. Gregory Robinson’s All Movies Love the Moon is also a collision, a theater where prose, poetry, images, and history meet in an orchestrated accident. The result is a film textbook gone awry, a collection of linked prose poems and images tracing silent cinema’s relationship with words—the bygone age of title cards. The reel begins with early experiments in storytelling, such as Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon and Edison’s The European Rest Cure, and ends with the full-length features that contested the transition to talkies. Of course, anyone seeking an accurate account of silent movies will not find it here. Through Robinson’s captivating anecdotes, imaginings, and original artwork, the beauty of silent movies persists and expands. Like the lovely grainy films of the 1910s and 20s, All Movies Love the Moon uses forgotten stills, projected text, and hazy frames to bring an old era into new focus. Here, movies that are lost or fading serve as points of origin, places to begin.

  • : Gregory Robinson
  • : Rose Metal Press
  • : 03/18/2014
  • : 0988764555
  • :
  • : gscottrobinson@gmail.com

Before the First Snow

Birmingham. Delano. Chicago. Woodstock. Kent State.
War. The Environment. Worker Exploitation.
Hippies. Yippies. Cops and politicians.

People were singing. People were marching. People were protesting.
The news media reported, editorialized, lampooned, misreported, and scornfully dismissed the new social movements forged from alienation. And then the revolution of the 1960s evolved into the “Me generation.”
But one person never lost her principles. Apryl Greene, now in her 40s, is a musician and freelance photographer for labor unions. If there was an anti-war march, or an organizing meeting, a strike, or a plea for worker rights and social justice she was there.
While others around her are working to own a piece of America, she continues to try to improve it. Two decades after the revolution of the 1960s, she wants to build the first school for peace and the arts. But, powerful forces from both private industry and the government have already begun a process to legally seize the 40 acres of land she owns in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, and to destroy her dream. Around her, the nation is rushing to war in the Middle East, torn between its dependence upon oil and myriad problems of “clean” nuclear energy—and jobs in a depressed economy vs. health, safety, and environmental issues.
Into her life comes social activist David Ascher, cynical, liberal, and burdened with the responsibilities of being executive editor of one of the nation’s largest magazines. On tour to promote his book about revolutionary journalists, he’s looking for another story; she’s after something more important. Together, they are driven to find out who are trying to seize her land; more important, why.
Award-winning journalist Walter M. Brasch meticulously weaves a compelling story of greed, corruption, and intrigue, layered against the battle for social justice, to present a powerful story that merges history and contemporary social culture.

  • : Walter M. Brasch
  • : 06/01/2012
  • : 0-942991-19-2
  • :

The Mockingbird Next Door

One journalist’s memoir of her personal friendship with Harper Lee and her sister, drawing on the extraordinary access they gave her to share the story of their lives.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of the best loved novels of the twentieth century. But for the last fifty years, the novel’s celebrated author, Harper Lee, has said almost nothing on the record. Journalists have trekked to her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, where Harper Lee, known by her friends as Nelle, has lived with her sister, Alice, for decades, trying and failing to get an interview with the author. But in 2001, the Lee sisters opened their door for Chicago Tribune reporter Marja Mills. It was the beginning of a long conversation—and a friendship that has continued ever since.

In 2004, with the Lees’ encouragement, Mills moved into the house next door to the sisters. She spent the next eighteen months there, talking and sharing stories over meals and daily drives in the countryside. Along with members of the Lees’ tight inner circle, the sisters and Mills would go fishing, feed the ducks, go to the Laundromat, watch the Crimson Tide, drink coffee at McDonald’s, and explore all over lower Alabama.

Nelle shared her love of history, literature, and the quirky Southern way of life with Mills, as well as her keen sense of how journalism should be practiced. As the sisters decided to let Mills tell their story, Nelle helped make sure she was getting the story—and the South—right. Alice, the keeper of the Lee family history, shared the stories of their family.

The Mockingbird Next Door is the story of Mills’s friendship with the Lee sisters. It is a testament to the great intelligence, sharp wit, and tremendous storytelling power of these two women, especially that of Nelle.

Mills was given a rare opportunity to know Nelle Harper Lee, to be part of the Lees’ life in Alabama, and to hear them reflect on their upbringing, their corner of the Deep South, how To Kill a Mockingbird affected their lives, and why Nelle Harper Lee chose to never write another novel.

  • : Marja Mills
  • : Penguin Press
  • : 07/15/2014
  • : 1594205191
  • :

Notes to Boys (And Other Things I Shouldn’t Do In Public)

Notes to Boys: And Other Things I Shouldn’t Share in Public is a ‘mortifying memoir’ from bestselling author and tv/film writer Pamela Ribon. Miserably trapped in small town Texas with no invention of the internet in sight, Ribon spent countless hours of her high school years writing letters to her (often unrequited) crushes. The big question is: Why did she always keep a copy for herself? Wince along with Ribon as she tries to understand exactly how she ever thought she’d win a boy’s heart by writing him a letter that began: “Share with me your soul,” and ends with some remarkably awkward erotica. You’ll come for the incredibly bad poetry, you’ll stay for the incredibly bad poetry about racism.

“…brain-breakingly funny…hugely relatable, very entertaining… It’s a collection of embarrassing stories and mortifying notes, yes, but it’s also a pretty deeply felt memoir about her introduction to boys and sex and – perhaps most painfully – learning when not to tell people how you feel.” — Linda Holmes, NPR

  • : Pamela Ribon
  • : Rare Bird Books
  • : 02/11/2014
  • : 1940207053
  • : B00ID50BLC
  • :
2017-04-18T18:34:30+00:00 Autobiography, Humor|2 Comments

Little Failure: A Memoir

After three acclaimed novels, Gary Shteyngart turns to memoir in a candid, witty, deeply poignant account of his life so far. Shteyngart shares his American immigrant experience, moving back and forth through time and memory with self-deprecating humor, moving insights, and literary bravado. The result is a resonant story of family and belonging that feels epic and intimate and distinctly his own.

Born Igor Shteyngart in Leningrad during the twilight of the Soviet Union, the curious, diminutive, asthmatic boy grew up with a persistent sense of yearning—for food, for acceptance, for words—desires that would follow him into adulthood. At five, Igor wrote his first novel, Lenin and His Magical Goose, and his grandmother paid him a slice of cheese for every page.

In the late 1970s, world events changed Igor’s life. Jimmy Carter and Leonid Brezhnev made a deal: exchange grain for the safe passage of Soviet Jews to America—a country Igor viewed as the enemy. Along the way, Igor became Gary so that he would suffer one or two fewer beatings from other kids. Coming to the United States from the Soviet Union was equivalent to stumbling off a monochromatic cliff and landing in a pool of pure Technicolor.

Shteyngart’s loving but mismatched parents dreamed that he would become a lawyer or at least a “conscientious toiler” on Wall Street, something their distracted son was simply not cut out to do. Fusing English and Russian, his mother created the term Failurchka—Little Failure—which she applied to her son. With love. Mostly.

As a result, Shteyngart operated on a theory that he would fail at everything he tried. At being a writer, at being a boyfriend, and, most important, at being a worthwhile human being.

Swinging between a Soviet home life and American aspirations, Shteyngart found himself living in two contradictory worlds, all the while wishing that he could find a real home in one. And somebody to love him. And somebody to lend him sixty-nine cents for a McDonald’s hamburger.

Provocative, hilarious, and inventive, Little Failure reveals a deeper vein of emotion in Gary Shteyngart’s prose. It is a memoir of an immigrant family coming to America, as told by a lifelong misfit who forged from his imagination an essential literary voice and, against all odds, a place in the world.

2015-06-03T02:36:05+00:00 Autobiography|0 Comments

The Westcoast Kid

After experiencing a tumultuous early childhood, young Travis turned all his energy to the only thing he knew he could count on sports. After excelling in high school basketball and becoming his school’s first great player, his life took a fateful and tragic turn. In his compelling memoir, The Westcoast Kid: My Redemption, Waters chronicles the events that led up to taking a very different path in life away from college and into the dangerous world of drug smuggling for Pablo Escobar’s cartel. As he became immersed in the lure of fast money and faster women, his life began spiraling downhill. Eventually, he was arrested and convicted of drug smuggling, forcing him to enter the turbulent prison system. Life behind the prison walls became a struggle to survive when fellow inmates found out his high school rival was NFL star Deion Sanders. Waters shares how he found the determination to rebuild his life after being released. Waters tells the inspiring story of his struggle to find his place in life, hoping to encourage young adults to shun bad choices, opt for the right path, and follow their dreams.

  • : Travis D. Waters
  • : Mascot Books
  • : 09/01/2012
  • : 1620861046
  • : B00A3DL6D4
  • :
2014-04-01T02:02:23+00:00 Autobiography, Memoir, Non-Fiction|0 Comments