Shelf Life Book news, reviews, trends, and talk

Tag: Biography (11-20 of 46)

The problem with publishing the Joe Paterno biography

It’s hard to remember these days that once upon a time, Joseph Paterno was above all described as “America’s winningest college football coach, who changed the country one football player at a time.”

Indeed, in the ongoing aftermath of a scandal that rocked both sport and nation alike, Paterno is now more immediately–if not exclusively–recognized as one of several powerful men that for 14 years “failed to take any steps” to protect child sexual abuse victims, some of which were suffering under his supposedly hallowed locker-room roof.

It is in this pickle of epithets that book publisher Simon & Schuster currently finds itself when it comes to the handling of one of its upcoming releases.  That book?  Sportswriter-turned-author Joe Posnanski’s biography Paterno.

READ FULL STORY

New biography: Mick Jagger had sex with David Bowie, Eric Clapton, every other famous person

As you may have heard by now, Christopher Andersen’s scandalous Mick Jagger biography hits shelves tomorrow, July 10.

Titled Mick: The Wild Life and Mad Genius of Jagger, Andersen’s latest celebrity tell-all recounts the Rolling Stones frontman’s 68 years of exploits, from his sexual escapades with David Bowie to his thoughts about Beyoncé (“impressed”).

The book’s index of bad boy antics stretch back to Jagger’s childhood (wee four-year-old Mick kicked down other kids’ sandcastles) to his prep-school rebellion (he “got into serious trouble for wearing his hair too long and his jeans too tight”).

Yet, of course, it’s adult Mick who got into the most trouble. The bio’s full of salacious stories, including some new details on Jagger’s run-ins with royalty, celebrities, sex, drugs, and, once in a while, rock and roll.

Overall, Mick clocks in at 328 pages, each jam-packed with juiciness. So to help prepare you, here’s a rundown of some of the tabloid goodness: READ FULL STORY

Cissy Houston to write a book about her daughter Whitney Houston

Cissy Houston, mother of Whitney Houston, has signed a deal with HarperCollins to tell the story of her megastar daughter’s life. The currently untitled book, which is described as the late singer’s “unabridged and unbelievable story,” is slated for February 2013. READ FULL STORY

Simon Cowell's biography -- I read it so you don't have to!

Simon Cowell is the latest celebrity to get the biography treatment. Tom Bower’s Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell is on shelves now, and I’ve decided to spare you with the latest edition of “I Read It So You Don’t Have To.” Starting with Cowell’s upbringing in England and continuing through his rocky launch of the The X Factor in the United States, Bower paints a pretty detailed picture of how Simon Cowell became the (very rich) man he is today. Cowell started out working in the mailroom of a music company, and—like him or not—he’s one of the great media moguls of our day.

But Cowell is not an easy man to please, and it’s evident that he doesn’t want to see any of his competitors (he’s looking at you, Simon Fuller) succeed. “I despise it when somebody who isn’t working with me is successful on their own—it really upsets me. And I wish for their demise.” Way harsh, Tai!

Unless you count yourself a huge Simon Cowell fan, you can probably skip the book. Instead, read on for the highlights of Sweet Revenge, which include some ’90s pop gems and the admission that Simon uses black toilet paper!

READ FULL STORY

Kristen Johnston talks about her drug addiction, her life-threatening illness, her recovery, and her new memoir, 'Guts.'

gut

In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly there is a lengthy Q&A with actress Kristen Johnston in which she talks about how her addiction to Vicodin caused her stomach to explode, her subsequent recovery, and her new memoir, Guts. But the 3rd Rock from the Sun star had far more to say than we could fit in the pages of the magazine. Below, Johnston talks further about her travails, her time on 3rd Rock, and why James Frey is not completely “full of s—.”

READ FULL STORY

Elton John to publish memoir about AIDS

elton-john_240.jpg

Sir Elton John will publish his first book, Love Is the Cure, about his determination to stop the spread of AIDS. The book will include stories of his own encounters with individuals like Ryan White and Freddie Mercury who died of the disease. John wrote in a press release, “This is a disease that must be cured not by a miraculous vaccine, but by changing hearts and minds, and through a collective effort to break down social barriers and to build bridges of compassion.  Why are we not doing more? This is a question I have thought deeply about, and wish to answer—and to help change—by writing this book.” Some proceeds from the book, slated for July 2012, will go to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Follow Stephan on Twitter

Best of 2011: Top Memoirs and Biographies

bossypants

All week long, Shelf Life will be listing EW’s favorite books of 2011 — sorted into separate categories by genre. Click through the gallery to see our picks for the best memoirs and biographies of the year, starting, of course, with the lovely Tina Fey.

Tina Fey, Bossypants

From the EW review: “In this genially jumbled memoir-esque collection of riffs, essays, laundry lists, true stories, fantasy scenarios, SNL script excerpts, and embarrassing photos from the wilderness years before she received the gift of a flattering haircut, the great Miz Fey puts on the literary equivalent of a satisfying night of sketch comedy.”

Best of 2011: Top-selling books

steve-jobs-book

He dominated tech, and he dominated the publishing industry. Steve Jobs left a legacy that will not soon be forgotten — one part of which was the year’s top-selling book. Elsewhere, George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire set, a World War II story from the author of Seabiscuit, and the ever-scrappy Katniss Everdeen landed in the top 10. Jobs was equally powerful in eBooks, joined by the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Liz Lemon, and Jaycee Dugard, and Edward Cullen. Who else landed the top shelf? Click through to see 2011’s most popular books. READ FULL STORY

The extraordinary mind of Hedy Lamarr: Hollywood bombshell and revolutionary inventor

Hedy Lamarr was a gorgeous and seductive screen siren of the 1930s and ’40s, but it turns out she wasn’t just another pretty face. In his new book, Hedy’s Folly, author Richard Rhodes reveals that Lamarr was a brilliant scientist who invented spread-spectrum radio, the technology that allows your cell phone to operate. “Hedy invented as a hobby. Since she made two or three movies a year, each one taking a month to shoot, she had spare time to fill,” writes Rhodes. “She didn’t drink and she didn’t like to party, so she took up inventing … In Hollywood she set up an inventor’s corner in the drawing room of her house, complete with a drafting table and lamp and all the necessary drafting tools.” READ FULL STORY

'Steve Jobs' biography sells 382,851 physical copies

Walter Isaacson’s 656-page biography of Apple founder Steve Jobs didn’t quite have customers lining up around the block like the latest iPhone did, but the tome, which has sold 382,851 physical copies to date according to BookScan, is a bona fide blockbuster in its own right. Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, priced at $35, posted the biggest first-week sales of any book since Nov. 13 of last year, when Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth and George W. Bush’s Decision Points both sold more than 430,000 copies in the opening week.

Even though it’s been on sale for just six days, Isaacson’s biography is already the 18th biggest selling book of the year in the U.S. It outsold the No. 2 book of the week, John Grisham’s The Litigators three to one, and it outsold the No. 2 non-fiction book, Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Lincoln, by almost eight to one. In the U.K., Steve Jobs became one of the fastest-selling books of all time by selling 37,000 copies in five days.

The BookScan figures don’t include digital sales, but it’s safe to say that they’d either match or likely top the physical sales, especially considering the subject of the book — many readers undoubtedly wanted to read it on their iPads. Further, Amazon reps hinted that Steve Jobs was on track to becoming its biggest seller of 2011.

Read more:
Steve Jobs planned revolutionary TV sets
Steve Jobs: Thank Him For…

Latest Videos in Books

Advertisement

From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP