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Tag: Biography (31-40 of 47)

Steve Jobs authorized biography hitting stands in 2012

Publisher Simon & Schuster announced Sunday that it will release a biography surrounding Steve Jobs’ life, with the Apple CEO’s full participation. According to the Associated Press, the book, titled iSteve: The Book of Jobs, will be written by Walter Isaacson and released in 2012. (Isaacson has previously written biographies on Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin.) The author has been working on the Jobs biography since 2009, and has had access to the CEO’s friends and family. Jobs has suffered numerous health setbacks over the years — in January, he announced he would take a leave of absence (his third) from Apple before returning to introduce the iPad 2 last month.

Biographer Andrew Morton discusses the royal wedding and his upcoming book

Andrew-MortonImage Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid/Landov; Samir Hussein/WireImage.comAndrew Morton is a master of what is currently known as the “unauthorized biography” and what was known in 16th-century England as “hangable sedition.” Luckily for us, times have changed, royals have become more accessible to both the common people and the People reader, and we can enjoy his behind-the-scenes glimpses at the lives of Britain’s monarchy. With the wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton on the near horizon, we caught up with Morton to discuss his upcoming book, William and Kate: A Royal Wedding, and his predictions for the nuptials.

On the Books Feb. 24th: Mark Zuckerberg the comic book hero, Katie Couric's advice, hip Kindle commercial, and more

zuckerberg-comicMark Zuckerberg got the Hollywood treatment with The Social Network, and now he’s getting a much more positive portrayal in comic book form. Since Hollywood has never met a comic book man of action it doesn’t love, I’m just waiting for another Zuckerberg movie–a reboot, if you will–this time based on the illustrated version.

Katie Couric is assembling a book, The Best Advice I Ever Got, to be released April 12th. Inspired by her well reserved graduation speech at Case Western University last May, she has collected over 114 essays from notable individuals, from Salman Rushdie to Chelsea Handler.

Celebrated comic book and animation writer Dwayne McDuffie died Monday of complications after undergoing emergency heart surgery. Among many others, McDuffie worked on Batman, Justice League, Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man comics.

Taking a breather from her legal woes, The Help author Kathryn Stockett answered questions during a talkback session post-show at Driving Miss Daisy last night. She spoke about witnessing racism growing up in Mississippi in the 80’s, and she dropped few hints about the film version of her book, other than that she doesn’t have a cameo.

Cal Ripken Jr. can now add “novelist” to his resume with YA baseball book Hothead.

Sexy, hip new Kindle commercial takes jabs at the iPad and also the paperback, which is like kicking a dead horse while it’s down (see what I did there?).

On the Books Feb. 23: Spike Lee's new picture book, Sarah Palin's secret Facebook account, long-lost Jefferson letters, and more

spike-leeImage Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesFilmmaker Spike Lee and his wife Tonya Lewis Lee have written a picture book, Giant Steps to Change the World. The book centers on individuals who “made giant steps to make the world a better place/and left big shoes for you to fill.”

According to the leaked, unauthorized biography by a former Sarah Palin aide, Frank Bailey, Palin apparently has a secret Facebook account that is used to “Like” many of her daughter’s updates on the site, as well as those of Palin’s own profile. I’m sure there are way juicier revelations in the book, but I find this quite scandalous. That’s poor Facebook form.

Two researchers uncovered 69 books, some of which include handwritten notes, that belonged to Thomas Jefferson in the Washington University of St. Louis rare book collection. The search continues in the collection for even more volumes from the Founding Father. I smell a National Treasure sequel.

Book review wars between snippy authors aren’t uncommon, but apparently, writing a bad review in France can get you sued.

Book-shoppers around the country pay final respects to Borders stores before they shutter for good. Also, a roundup of commentary about Borders’ demise and what it means in the long-run.

Johnny Depp admits to being a “comic-book head” as a kid and names his favorite comic book characters.

If you guys out there think book clubs are a hobby firmly in the ladies’ domain–think Oprah, white wine, Kathryn Stockett–you’re wrong. You book-talking men may have compatriots … in the UK, at least.

Comedian Michael Showalter talks fears, 'Housewives,' and his new book, 'Mr. Funny Pants'

Showalter-MrFunnypantsImage Credit: Showalter: Charles Eshelman/FilmMagicThose who have seen the criminally under-appreciated film Wet Hot American Summer can attest to writer/actor Michael Showalter’s truly unique humor. The same can be said for fans of his various television credits, which include Michael & Michael Have Issues and The Michael Showalter Showalter. The Brooklyn comic (and one-third of the comedy team Stella) has brought his wit to bookshelves everywhere — except approximately 200 Borders locations — with his first book, Mr. Funny Pants. We caught up with he of the humorous trousers to discuss the book as well as his latest foray into viral videos.


Best-Selling-Author Gary Dell' Abate! (Sounds better than Baba Booey)

Gary Dell’ Abate has spent the last 27 years producing Howard Stern’s radio program — Baba Booey! — a three-ring circus of calculated chaos that now reigns on Sirius — Baba Booey!! — Satellite Radio. Over the years, he’s taken part — Baba Booey!!! Fine! Over the years, Baba Booey has taken part in all sorts of shenanigans and grown accustomed to having his personal life — and dental hygiene — dissected by Stern and his court. But with the New York Times best-seller They Call Me Baba Booey, Dell’ Abate (and cowriter Chad Millman) have pulled back the curtain on his own complex childhood in Long Island, where his clinically depressed mother was prone to clobbering antagonistic neighbors with shrubs. Some fans expecting a Private Parts-esque expose of racists, strippers and carnival freaks might be disappointed, but others will be pleasantly surprised by the earnest and thoughtful telling of growing up Booey. If anyone was raised to handle the insanity of Howard Stern’s jackals, it’s Gary Dell’ Abate.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Who did you set out to write the book for?
I was always targeting it towards the fans. There’s a lot of stuff in there that I think the fans will appreciate, but it’s not a behind-the-scenes-of-the-show book. I guess my angle was, I’ve been on the show for 27 years. If you think you know me and you like me, now you’ll really get to know me.

The book is much more personal and sober than I would’ve expected, delving into your upbringing in a very chaotic middle-class household. Was that always the plan?
I was playing with a lot of different ideas. I had been pitching around a different kind of book, a much lighter book. I’m known as the music guy on the show, so maybe a Baba Booey’s Book of Music Lists, Essays, Arguments etc etc, something like that. I talked to a book agent who I know very well, and he said, “Well, you might be able to sell that, but really, What’s your story?” And I said, “Well I don’t have a story.” And he’s like “Everybody’s got a story.” And so I went home that night and thought about it, and I called him the next day, and I said, “You want to know my story? Here’s my story.” And he goes, “That’s a great story.” I go, “Yeah, there’s one problem; I don’t really want to tell that story.” It was highly personal. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go there, because I didn’t want to portray my mother in a negative way. READ FULL STORY

Brittany Murphy's mom to write tell-all biography

Sharon-MurphyImage Credit: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage.comThe mother of the late actress Brittany Murphy (Clueless, 8 Mile) is ready to set the record straight with a biography of her daughter, according to E! News. Sharon Murphy (far left) announced her plan for the book on Nov. 10 — the day that would have been Brittany’s 33rd birthday if the actress hadn’t passed away last December from a combination of pneumonia and prescription drugs. The tragedy prompted a swirl of speculation about Brittany’s lifestyle, rumors that Sharon Murphy hopes to stamp out once and for all. “This book will be my way of celebrating and honoring her extraordinary life and career,” said Murphy, who promised to give part of the book’s proceeds to charity. “I am looking forward to everyone reading the accurate account about my daughter, her life, loves and career.”

Sharon Murphy’s goal is nothing if not noble; certainly someone ought to step up to the defense of her daughter after her reputation was savaged in the media frenzy surrounding her death. But a book like this will also invite a new wave of scrutiny. Would Brittany’s memory be better served by letting her legacy live on through her work rather than in a biography? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Beyonce will be getting her own comic book

fame-beyonceIt’s a Burberry coat…It’s a private jet…It’s Beyoncé! The pop superstar will be getting the comic book treatment in Fame: Beyonce, a 32-page special issue comic that will hit racks in January. Part of it will be an origin story, but since it looks like the narrative will be sticking pretty close to the real-life facts, we probably won’t see the singer receive the power of super-choreography after being bitten by a radioactive Bob Fosse. According to the press release, the book will illustrate her “rise through the music business, from her early days with Destiny’s Child to her booming solo career.” The comic comes from Bluewater Productions, the same company that has already put out comics based on the lives of Sarah Palin, Taylor Swift, Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga.

Author Joe McGinniss decamps from next door to the Palins

Sarah-PalinImage Credit: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty ImagesGood fences make good neighbors, especially if your neighbor is a writer looking to get dirt on you and your family. When author Joe McGinniss moved next-door to Sarah Palin’s Wasilla, Alaska home three months ago in order to start gathering research for a new book, the Palins added an extension onto their fence to obscure his view. Apparently this didn’t deter McGinniss from getting what he needed: The AP is reporting that the author has finished his research and has packed up his perch, heading back to Massachusetts to start penning the book.

While the Palins understandably didn’t roll out the welcome mat, McGinniss found the people of Wasilla were extremely hospitable. “They started bringing me blueberry pie,” he told the AP. “I had many offers of handguns to borrow.” Additionally, McGinniss says that everyone was willing to talk to him, “with the single exception of that least Alaskan of all Alaskans, Sarah Palin.”

Angelina Jolie biography by Andrew Morton: I read it so you don't have to!

angelina-coverBiographer Andrew Morton, known for tackling high profile people in his works, is at it again, this time chronicling the life of Angelina Jolie in Angelina: An Unauthorized Biography, out Aug. 3. Earlier this week, the New York Times published a review which noted the obvious lack of sourcing throughout the book. I set out on a three-day journey to read Morton’s book and see what all the fuss is about.

As it turns out, the critique is not that far off. Although I thought many of Morton’s revelations were interesting, I found myself questioning the credibility of his research throughout all 16 chapters. There are seven pages of ‘source notes’ at the end of the book, but it’s really just a letter from Morton acknowledging the people who would speak with him. (Angelina is not one of them.) Morton said he relied on “original research and interviews with contemporaries” for the most part. But I would say the majority of the book relies on interviews done by other people, including two quotes from interviews Angelina did with Entertainment Weekly in January 1998 and November 1999. (I checked. At least these two quotes were placed in accurate context.) Many of his other sources spoke only with the promise of anonymity. And while that’s fine and dandy, there are too many anonymous sources to make me believe everything he writes. I kept wondering “Who said so?” and “Why should I believe this?” as he drew his many conclusions. For example, he quotes a psychoanalyst who has more than 20 years of experience, but has never treated Angelina. This doesn’t scream credibility to me.

Here’s an abridged list the book’s, um, highlights. (If you do choose to read it, you’d be OK skipping the first four chapters. They’re boring.)

  • Angelina’s mom, Marcheline, had feelings for Al Pacino. Morton claims she was in romantic turmoil over her feelings for Pacino and Jon Voight. When Voight proposed, Pacino begged her not to marry  him. But Marcheline went along with her mother’s wishes, and chose the more successful of the two men at the time and married Voight. (It really is a small world. Even for famous people.)
  • Morton also claims Marcheline gave her children the names Angelina and James because they were anagrams of Al Pacino’s full name, Alfredo James Pacino.
  • During the filming of Voight’s Conrack, he and Marcheline went on a long drive. They saw a church bus with the name “Shiloh Baptist” painted on the back. Voigt wanted to name his next child Shiloh Baptist, but Marcheline said no. She later recommended the name for her first biological grandchild. (For a woman who hated her ex-husband so much, this is quite a big step.)
  • Both Angelina and her brother, James Haven, were given middle names with the intention that they would drop their surname to go into show business. (Well, that plan definitely worked.)
  • At 14, Angelina’s boyfriend, Anton, moved in with her at her mother’s suggestion. Apparently, Marcheline gave up the master bedroom for her teenager daughter. This was all in the name of keeping a close eye on their budding relationship. (WHAT?!)
  • Angelina wanted to be successful without using her father’s famous last name. But her mother told an agent that he could start telling people she was Jon Voight’s daughter, unbeknownst to Angelina. “To this day Angie doesn’t know that it was her father’s name that helped her get her first big break.” (Well, I’m guessing she has a hunch.)
  • After the 1998 Golden Globes, Angelina partied with Leonardo DiCaprio after their agents set them up. They didn’t hit it off in the long run, but they did share a shower together. (Morton actually said Leo didn’t “float her boat.” Eww.)
  • In 1999, Angelina received a tattoo of Billy Bob Thornton’s name way below her bikini line. The book reveals it was tattooed in Helvetica. (A nice sans-serif choice, if you ask me.) That tattoo has since faded.
  • Billy Bob Thornton and his “morbid fear of flying and a hatred of harpsichords, silverware, and antiques, particularly French furniture. Born into poverty, he was literally terrified of putting a silver spoon in his mouth.” (Hatred of harpsichords? )
  • In September 2002, Jolie officially had Voight removed from her name. But Morton said at one point she told a Toronto newspaper, “I actually hate Jolie. I would rather have been Voight.”
  • She’s quoted talking about adopting a child from Russia, but it didn’t work out. (Can you imagine being the almost child of Angelina Jolie? Neither can I.)

So what do you think? Is this a book you want to read? And do you trust Andrew Morton’s research on a person he’s never (to my knowledge) spoken to?

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