♥ Book Title : Books, Baguettes and Bedbugs
☯ Full Synopsis : "Enchanting memoir of a struggling writer living and working in the eccentric Parisian bookshop, 'Shakespeare and Company' 'Completely riveting ...a vivid picture of modern Paris' OBSERVER 'Shakespeare and Company' in Paris is one of the world's most famous bookshops. The original store opened in 1921 and became known as the haunt of literary greats, such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Bernard Shaw, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and James Joyce. Sadly the shop was forced to close in 1941, but that was not the end of 'Shakespeare and Company'... In 1951 another bookshop, with a similar free-thinking ethos, opened on the Left Bank. Called 'Le Mistral', it had beds for those of a literary mindset who found themselves down on their luck and, in 1964, it resurrected the name 'Shakespeare and Company' and became the principal meeting place for Beatnik poets, such as Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, through to Henry Miller and Lawrence Durrell. Today the tradition continues and writers still find their way to this bizarre establishment, one of them being Jeremy Mercer. With no friends, no job, no money and no prospects, the thrill of escape from his life in Canada soon palls but, by chance, he happens upon the fairytale world of 'Shakespeare and Co' and is taken in. What follows is his tale of his time there, the curious people who came and went, the realities of being down and out in the 'city of light' and, in particular, his relationship with the beguiling octogenarian owner, George."Article| Jeremy Mercer| Statement ..."
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♥ Book Title : Time Was Soft There
☯ Full Synopsis : ""Some bookstores are filled with stories both inside and outside the bindings. These are places of sanctuary, even redemption---and Jeremy Mercer has found both amid the stacks of Shakespeare & Co." ---Paul Collins, author of Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books In a small square on the left bank of the Seine, the door to a green-fronted bookshop beckoned. . . . With gangsters on his tail and his meager savings in hand, crime reporter Jeremy Mercer fled Canada in 1999 and ended up in Paris. Broke and almost homeless, he found himself invited to a tea party amongst the riffraff of the timeless Left Bank fantasy known as Shakespeare & Co. In its present incarnation, Shakespeare & Co. has become a destination for writers and readers the world over, trying to reclaim the lost world of literary Paris in the 1920s. Having been inspired by Sylvia Beach's original store, the present owner, George Whitman, invites writers who are down and out in Paris to live and dream amid the bookshelves in return for work. Jeremy Mercer tumbled into this literary rabbit hole and found a life of camaraderie with the other eccentric residents, and became, for a time, George Whitman's confidante and right-hand man. Time Was Soft There is one of the great stories of bohemian Paris and recalls the work of many writers who were bewitched by the City of Light in their youth. Jeremy's comrades include Simon, the eccentric British poet who refuses to give up his bed in the antiquarian book room, beautiful blonde Pia, who contributes the elegant spirit of Parisian couture to the store, the handsome American Kurt, who flirts with beautiful women looking for copies of Tropic of Cancer, and George himself, the man who holds the key to it all. As Time Was Soft There winds in and around the streets of Paris, the staff fall in and out of love, straighten bookshelves, host tea parties, drink in the more down-at-the-heels cafés, sell a few books, and help George find a way to keep his endangered bookstore open. Spend a few days with Jeremy Mercer at 37 Rue de la Bucherie, and discover the bohemian world of Paris that still bustles in the shadow of Notre Dame. "Jeremy Mercer has captured Shakespeare & Co. and its complicated owner, George Whitman, with remarkable insight. Time Was Soft There is a charming memoir about living in Whitman's Shakespeare & Co. and the strange, broken, lost, and occasionally talented, eccentrics and residents of this Tumblewood Hotel." ---Noel Riley Fitch, author of Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation: A History of Literary Paris in the Twenties & Thirties "There does seem to be something about the odd ducks that work at bookstores. Jeremy Mercer has captured the story of a wonderful, unique store that could only be born out of a love for books and the written word." --- Liz Schlegel, the Book Revue bookshop, Huntington, New York"Article| Jeremy Mercer| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Shakespeare and Company, Paris
☯ Full Synopsis : "For almost 70 years, Shakespeare and Company, the English-language bookstore in Paris, has been a home-away-from-home for celebrated writers--including Jorge Luis Borges, James Baldwin, A. M. Homes, and Dave Eggers--as well as for young, aspiring authors and poets. Visitors are invited to read in the library, share a pot of tea, and sometimes even live in the shop itself, sleeping in beds tucked among the towering shelves of books. Since 1951, more than 30,000 have slept at the "rag and bone shop of the heart." This first, fully illustrated history of the bookstore draws on a century's worth of never-before-seen archives. Photographs and ephemera are woven together with personal essays, diary entries, and poems from more than seventy contributors, including Allen Ginsberg, Anaïs Nin, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Sylvia Beach, Nathan Englander, Dervla Murphy, Jeet Thayil, David Rakoff, Ian Rankin, Kate Tempest, and Ethan Hawke. With hundreds of images, it features Tumbleweed autobiographies, precious historical documents, and beautiful photographs, including ones of such renowned guests as William Burroughs, Henry Miller, Langston Hughes, Alberto Moravia, Zadie Smith, Jimmy Page, and Marilynne Robinson. Tracing more than 100 years in the French capital, the story touches on the Lost Generation and the Beats, the Cold War, May '68, and the feminist movement--all while reflecting on the timeless allure of bohemian life in Paris.--Adapted from dust jacket and publisher website."Article| Krista Halverson| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : The Bookshop That Floated Away
☯ Full Synopsis : "In early 2009 a strange sort of business plan landed on the desk of a pinstriped bank manager. It had pictures of rats and moles in rowing boats and archaic quotes about Cleopatra's barge. It asked for a £30,000 loan to buy a black-and-cream narrowboat and a small hoard of books. The manager said no. Nevertheless The Book Barge opened six months later and enjoyed the happy patronage of local readers, a growing number of eccentrics and the odd moorhen. Business wasn't always easy, so one May morning owner Sarah Henshaw set off for six months chugging the length and breadth of the country. Books were bartered for food, accommodation, bathroom facilities and cake. During the journey, the barge suffered a flooded engine, went out to sea, got banned from Bristol and, on several occasions, floated away altogether. This account follows the ebbs and flows of Sarah's journey as she sought to make her vision of a floating bookshop a reality."Article| Sarah Henshaw| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation
☯ Full Synopsis : "Noel Riley Fitch has written a perfect book, full to the brim with literary history, correct and whole-hearted both in statement and in implication. She makes me feel and remember a good many things that happened before and after my time. I'm glad to have lived long enough to read it. --Glenway Wescott"Article| Noel Riley Fitch| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Jinky
☯ Full Synopsis : "The son of a coal miner, Jimmy Johnstone was born in 1944 in Lanarkshire. Signed by Celtic in 1963, his dazzling dribbling skills earned him the nickname Jinky. He made 515 appearances for Celtic, scoring 129 goals in the process, won 23 caps for Scotland and in 2002 was voted Celtic's greatest ever player by the club's supporters. His ability to outwit defenders, particularly English ones, endeared him to football followers everywhere - even Rangers fans - and he was a vital part of the team that won nine consecutive Scottish league titles between 1965 and 1974. But the undisputed highlight of his career came in Portugal on 25th May 1967 when the team that became known as the Lisbon Lions came from a goal behind to defeat Inter-Milan 2-1 to become the first British club to win the European Cup. Jinky was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2001, after which he became a tireless campaigner for stem cell research to find a cure for the disease. He died in March 2006."Article| Jim Black| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Child of Tibet
☯ Full Synopsis : "This book tells the remarkable story of Soname's triumph over adversity, told against the backdrop of a turbulent and dangerous Tibet. Soname was born in the harsh Tibetan countryside during the Chinese occupation. When she was just sixteen Soname risked death in a freedom trek across the Himalayas, finally arriving in Dharamsala, home in exile of the Dalai Lama. Even after managing to escape from Tibet, she faced further dangers and heartache in India, being forced by destitution to give her daughter away. Soname later managed to reach England, where she met and married an Englishman and came to live in Brighton. Her hidden talent was discovered when she sang a traditional Tibetan song at a wedding reception, unaware that a member of a famous band was a guest. Concerts followed. Tracing her long-lost daughter has long been Soname's preoccupation, and it is hoped that her daughter will finally join her in England later this year. Hers is a story of immense will, unbelievable courage and, above all, an indomitable soaring free spirit."Article| Soname Yangchen| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris
☯ Full Synopsis : "The New York Times bestseller: the secrets of the City of Light, revealed in the lives of the great, the near-great, and the forgotten—by the author of the acclaimed The Discovery of France. This is the Paris you never knew. From the Revolution to the present, Graham Robb has distilled a series of astonishing true narratives, all stranger than fiction, of the lives of the great, the near-great, and the forgotten. A young artillery lieutenant, strolling through the Palais-Royal, observes disapprovingly the courtesans plying their trade. A particular woman catches his eye; nature takes its course. Later that night Napoleon Bonaparte writes a meticulous account of his first sexual encounter. A well-dressed woman, fleeing the Louvre, takes a wrong turn and loses her way in the nameless streets of the Left Bank. For want of a map—there were no reliable ones at the time—Marie-Antoinette will go to the guillotine. Baudelaire, the photographer Marville, Baron Haussmann, the real-life Mimi of La Boheme, Proust, Adolf Hitler touring the occupied capital in the company of his generals, Charles de Gaulle (who is suspected of having faked an assassination attempt in Notre Dame)—these and many more are Robb’s cast of characters, and the settings range from the quarries and catacombs beneath the streets to the grand monuments to the appalling suburbs ringing the city today. The result is a resonant, intimate history with the power of a great novel."Article| Graham Robb| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : From Cradle to Stage
☯ Full Synopsis : "While the Grohl family had always been musical-the family sang together on long car trips, harmonizing to Motown and David Bowie-Virginia never expected her son to become a musician, let alone a rock star. But when she saw him perform in front of thousands of screaming fans for the first time, she knew that rock stardom was meant to be for her son. And as Virginia watched her son's star rise, she often wondered about the other mothers who raised sons and daughters who became rock stars. Were they as surprised as she was about their children's fame? Did they worry about their children's livelihood and wellbeing in an industry fraught with drugs and other dangers? Did they encourage their children's passions despite the odds against success, or attempt to dissuade them from their grandiose dreams? Do they remind their kids to pack a warm coat when they go on tour? Virginia decided to seek out other rock star mothers to ask these questions, and so began a two-year odyssey in which she interviewed such women as Verna Griffin, Dr. Dre's mother; Marianne Stipe, Michael Stipe of REM's mother; Janis Winehouse, Amy Winehouse's mother; Patsy Noah, Adam Levine's mother; Donna Haim, mother of the Haim sisters; Hester Diamond, Mike D of The Beastie Boys' mother. With exclusive family photographs and a foreword by Dave Grohl, From Cradle to Stage will appeal to mothers and rock fans everywhere."Article| Virginia Hanlon Grohl| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Hero
☯ Full Synopsis : "'Through interviews with friends and colleagues, as well as detailed research, the writer has gained unprecedented knowledge of the true story behind the legend. This is a fascinating insight into one of the greatest artists of our lifetime.' Evening Standard 'Through several interviews with Bowie she evocatively portrays his fascinating life, often with a tenderness you wouldn't expect.' Daily Express 'An intriguing book. This is a personal friendship in writing. The knowledge divulged here is an endearing and powerful tale of a man who conquered the entire entertainment industry with his creative force.' Variety A unique portrait of the globally revered artist and the extraordinary, complex man behind the legend. His music thrilled the generation it was written for, and has entertained and inspired every generation since. HERO: DAVID BOWIE is an intelligent exploration of the man behind the myths and the makeup told from the very beginning. Respected music journalist and biographer Lesley-Ann Jones knew David Jones from the days before fame, when he was a young musician starting out, frustrated by an industry that wouldn't give him a break and determined to succeed. Here she traces the epic journey of the boy from Bromley born into a troubled background to his place as one of the greatest stars in rock history. Jones has interviewed numerous friends and associates of Bowie, many of whom have never spoken publicly about him before. Drawing on this new material and meticulous research, the real story of Bowie's family background is told; the true inspiration behind the creation of Ziggy Stardust is revealed, and we learn how his marriage to Angie ended in agony following his comeback from a near fatal drug addiction. Jones also revisits Bowie's tragic relationship with his brother and his deep bond with T Rex frontman Marc Bolan. Bowie's rebellious nature, his many sources of inspiration and creativity, and his complex, intense personality are discussed here, creating a unique and compelling portrait of an extraordinary man. This is Bowie as you've never seen him before."Article| Lesley-Ann Jones| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Backing into the Spotlight
☯ Full Synopsis : "'Backing into the Spotlight is a hilarious and an unashamedly non-PC memoir . . . Now in his eighth decade, Whitehall is a fine raconteur, gloriously unreconstructed and still deeply suspicious of modernity' Daily Mail Standing in front of a full-length mirror in my dressing room at ITV studios, waiting to go on to the set of Backchat, I had a brief conversation with my reflection. 'Michael, what the f*** do you think you're doing?' Theatrical agent Michael Whitehall spent a career pushing others into the spotlight. He had been involved behind the scenes with the careers of many prominent actors, including Colin Firth, Richard Griffiths, Daniel Day-Lewis, Tom Courtenay, Ian Ogilvy, Judi Dench, Edward Fox, Michael Fassbender, Angela Thorne and Nigel Havers. But then, much to his surprise, his son Jack becomes a successful comedian and actor and decides that his new comedy partner should be his father. Whitehall Snr. finds himself reluctantly appearing on stage and then television, cast as the archetypal grumpy old man and thrust, in his early seventies, into a whole new career in front of the camera. Minor fame comes at a sedate pace: one of the highlights being a record £300,000 win for charity with Jack on Channel 4's The Million Pound Drop. In this enchanting memoir Whitehall looks back on his life, from growing up in suburban London in the 1940s and '50s with his saintly father and social climbing-mother, who coined the phrase 'à la carte' to describe people who were posher than she was and whose company she craved, to falling into a career as a successful theatrical agent and producer. As he says, 'Actors can be egotistical, greedy and vain, but they're not half as bad as agents and producers.' Charming, gossipy and above all very funny, Backing Into The Spotlight is no ordinary show business memoir."Article| Michael Whitehall| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Did Ye Hear Mammy Died?
☯ Full Synopsis : "A heart-warming and hilarious family memoir of growing up as one of eleven siblings raised by a single dad in Northern Ireland at the end of the Troubles. After the untimely death of his mother, five-year old Seamas and his ten (TEN!) siblings were left to the care of their loving but understandably beleaguered father. In this thoroughly delightful memoir, we follow Seamas and the rest of his rowdy clan as they learn to cook, clean, do the laundry, and struggle (often hilariously) to keep the household running smoothly and turn into adults in the absence of the woman who had held them together. Along the way, we see Seamas through various adventures: There's the time the family's windows were blown out by an IRA bomb; the time a priest blessed their thirteen-seater caravan before they took off for a holiday on which they narrowly escaped death; the time Seamas worked as a guide in a leprechaun museum during the recession; and of course, the time he inadvertently found himself on ketamine while serving drinks to the President of Ireland. Through it all, the lovable, ginger-haired Seamas regales us with his combination of wit, absurdity, and tenderness, creating a charming and unforgettable portrait of an oddly gigantic family's search for some semblance of normalcy."Article| Seamas O'Reilly| Statement ..."