Furious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs, and Poor Shot Selection

By George Karl

Book Cover: Furious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs, and Poor Shot Selection

The most outspoken and combative coach in NBA history—and one of the most successful, amassing more than 1,175 victories, the sixth best winning record ever—reflects on his life, his career, and his battles on and off the basketball court in this no-holds-barred memoir

A man of deep passion and intensity, George Karl earned his bad boy reputation while playing at the University of North Carolina, a rap that continued through the five years he spent with the San Antonio Spurs—and long after he stopped playing.

Karl’s beery nights, fistfights, and barking followed him into a thirty-five-year coaching career. In a game defined by big stakes and bigger egos, rabid fans and an unforgiving media, Karl was hired and fired a dozen times. After leading a team beset by injuries and with no superstar to its best season of all time—an achievement that earned Karl the title NBA Coach of the Year—he was dumped by the Denver Nuggets in 2013. Less than a year and a half later, Karl was at the helm of the Sacramento Kings, snarling and bellowing on the sidelines before being cut loose in May 2016.

Intense, obstinate, and loud, Karl has never backed down from a confrontation, whether with management, officials, or star players, as NBA legends from Allan Iverson to Gary Payton to Carmelo Anthony to Demarcus Cousins can attest. Telling his story, Karl holds nothing back as he speaks out about the game that has defined his life, including the greed, selfishness, and ass-covering he believes are characteristic of the modern NBA player, and the rampant corruption that leads all the way to the office of the NBA commissioner, David Stern. Karl also reveals how he’s learned to deal with the personalities, the pressure, and the setbacks with a resilience he acquired from his three bouts with cancer.

Raw, hard-hitting, and brutally honest, Furious George is as thrilling, unpredictable, and entertaining as the game that has defined Karl’s life.

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How To Murder Your Life

By Cat Marnell

Book Cover: How To Murder Your Life

From Cat Marnell, “New York’s enfant terrible” (The Telegraph), a candid and darkly humorous memoir of prescription drug addiction and self-sabotage, set in the glamorous world of fashion magazines and downtown nightclubs.

At twenty-six, Cat Marnell was an associate beauty editor at Lucky, one of the top fashion magazines in America—and that’s all most people knew about her. But she hid a secret life. She was a prescription drug addict. She was also a “doctor shopper” who manipulated Upper East Side psychiatrists for pills, pills, and more pills; a lonely bulimic who spent hundreds of dollars a week on binge foods; a promiscuous party girl who danced barefoot on banquets; a weepy and hallucination-prone insomniac who would take anything—anything—to sleep.

This is a tale of self-loathing, self-sabotage, and yes, self-tanner. It begins at a posh New England prep school—and with a prescription for Attention Deficit Disorder medication Ritalin. It continues to New York, where we follow Marnell’s amphetamine-fueled rise from intern to editor through the beauty departments of NYLON, Teen Vogue, Glamour, and Lucky. We see her fight between ambition and addiction and how, inevitably, her disease threatens everything she worked so hard to achieve.

From the Condé Nast building (where she rides the elevator alongside Anna Wintour) to seedy nightclubs, from doctors’ offices and mental hospitals, Marnell shows—like no one else can—what it is like to live in the wild, chaotic, often sinister world of a young female addict who can’t say no.

Combining lightning-rod subject matter and bold literary aspirations, How to Murder Your Life is mesmerizing, revelatory, and necessary.

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Game of Shadows

Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada

Book Cover: Game of Shadows

This is the complete inside story of the BALCO steroids scandal from the award-winning reporters who broke the news nationally. In the summer of 1998, as baseball was still struggling to regain popularity lost during the contentious 1994 players’ strike that caused the World Series to be canceled, a race to break the home-run record transfixed the nation. Over the next three seasons, baseball players across the country hit home runs at unprecedented rates. Although sportswriters pointed to suspicions of "juiced" baseballs and small parks being responsible, there were whispers that illegal performance-enhancing drugs were being used. But home runs were big business, and baseball carried on with a weak performance-drug testing regime.

In December of 2004, after more than a year of investigation, San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams broke the story that in a federal investigation of a nutritional supplement company called BALCO, Barry Bonds and fellow slugger Jason Giambi had admitted to taking steroids. Immediately the issue of steroids in baseball became front-page news. In Game of Shadows, Fainaru-Wada and Williams expose the secrets of BALCO, illuminating how professional athletes risked their health for a competitive edge.

Once a Runner

John L. Parker, Jr.

Book Cover: Once a Runner

Originally self-published in 1978, Once a Runner captures the essence of competitive running—and of athletic competition in general—and has become one of the most beloved sports novels ever published.

Inspired by the author’s experience as a collegiate champion, the story focuses on Quenton Cassidy, a competitive runner at fictional Southeastern University whose lifelong dream is to run a four-minute mile. He is less than a second away when the turmoil of the Vietnam War era intrudes into the staid recesses of his school’s athletic department. After he becomes involved in an athletes’ protest, Cassidy is suspended from his track team. Under the tutelage of his friend and mentor, Bruce Denton, a graduate student and former Olympic gold medalist, Cassidy gives up his scholarship, his girlfriend, and possibly his future to withdraw to a monastic retreat in the countryside and begin training for the race of his life against the greatest miler in history.

A rare insider’s account of the incredibly intense lives of elite distance runners, Once a Runner is an inspiring, funny, and spot-on tale of one man’s quest to become a champion.

The Storm and The Tide

Lars Anderson

Book Cover: The Storm and The Tide

New York Times Bestseller

Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Books of 2014

 

THE MOVING STORY OF HOW A SHARED TRAGEDY INSPIRED A COLLEGE FOOTBALL DYNASTY

 

On April 27, 2011, a powerful tornado ripped through the heart of Tuscaloosa, Ala., leaving 53 dead and a path of unimaginable devastation. In the aftermath, Alabama coach Nick Saban and his football team went out into the community, sharing its grief and aiding in the recovery. Together they forged an unbreakable bond, and in a place where Saturdays are dedicated to Crimson Tide football, "Let's play for Tuscaloosa" became a rallying cry, an emotional touchstone that transcended the playing field.

 

Barrett Jones, a 300-pound tackle, went street by street with a chain saw clearing debris. Long snapper Carson Tinker, who endured terrible personal tragedy in the storm, emerged as the public face of Tuscaloosa's resilience. Diehard fans Bob and Dana Dowling lost their home but saw a new one raised by the muscle of Crimson Tide players. The rebuilding effort became a heartfelt crusade; the football team was now competing for a cause much greater than a national championship. In The Storm and the Tide, Lars Anderson chronicles the rise of a team, the building of a dynasty and the resurgence of a town.

January First

Michael Schofield

Book Cover: January First

Michael Schofield’s daughter January is at the mercy of her imaginary friends, except they aren’t the imaginary friends that most young children have; they are hallucinations. And January is caught in the conflict between our world and their world, a place she calls Calalini.  Some of these hallucinations, like “24 Hours,” are friendly and some, like “400 the Cat” and “Wednesday the Rat,” bite and scratch her until she does what they want.  They often tell her to scream at strangers, jump out of buildings, and attack her baby brother.

At six years old, January Schofield, “Janni,” to her family, was diagnosed with schizophrenia, one of the worst mental illnesses known to man.  What’s more, schizophrenia is 20 to 30 times more severe in children than in adults and in January’s case, doctors say, she is hallucinating 95 percent of the time that she is awake. Potent psychiatric drugs that would level most adults barely faze her.

January First captures Michael and his family's remarkable story in a narrative that forges new territory within books about mental illness. In the beginning, readers see Janni’s incredible early potential: her brilliance, and savant-like ability to learn extremely abstract concepts. Next, they witnesses early warning signs that something is not right, Michael’s attempts to rationalize what’s happening, and his descent alongside his daughter into the abyss of schizophrenia.  Their battle has included a two-year search for answers, countless medications and hospitalizations, allegations of abuse, despair that almost broke their family apart and, finally, victories against the illness and a new faith that they can create a life for Janni filled with moments of happiness.

A Champion’s Mind

Pete Sampras with Pete Bodo

Book Cover: A Champion's Mind

Pete Sampras is arguably the greatest tennis player ever, a man whose hard-nosed work ethic led to an unprecedented number one world ranking for 286 weeks, and whose prodigious talent made possible a record-setting fourteen Grand Slam titles. While his more vocal rivals sometimes grabbed the headlines, Pete always preferred to let his racket do the talking.

Until now.

In A Champion’s Mind, the tennis great who so often exhibited visible discomfort with letting people “inside his head” finally opens up. An athletic prodigy, Pete resolved from his earliest playing days never to let anything get in the way of his love for the game. But while this single-minded determination led to tennis domination, success didn’t come without a price. The constant pressure of competing on the world’s biggest stage—in the unblinking eye of a media machine hungry for more than mere athletic greatness—took its toll.

Here for the first time Pete speaks freely about what it was like to possess what he calls “the Gift.” He writes about the personal trials he faced—including the death of a longtime coach and confidant—and the struggles he gutted his way through while being seemingly on top of the world. Among the book’s most riveting scenes are an early devastating loss to Stefan Edberg that led Pete to make a monastic commitment to delivering on his natural talent; a grueling, four-hour-plus match against Alex Corretja during which Pete became seriously ill; fierce on-court battles with rival and friend Andre Agassi; and the triumphant last match of Pete’s career at the finals of the 2002 U.S. Open.

In A Champion’s Mind, one of the most revered, successful, and intensely private players in the history of tennis offers an intimate look at the life of an elite athlete.

My Prison Without Bars

Pete Rose with Rick Hill

Book Cover: My Prison Without Bars

Pete Rose holds more major league baseball records than any other player in history. He stands alone as baseball's hit king having shattered the previously "unbreakable" record held by Ty Cobb. He is a blue-collar hero with the kind of old-fashioned work ethic that turned great talent into legendary accomplishments.

Pete Rose is also a lifelong gambler and a sufferer of oppositional defiant disorder. For the past 13 years, he has been banned from baseball and barred from his rightful place in the Hall of Fame-- accused of violating MLB's one taboo. Rule 21 states that no one associated with baseball shall ever gamble on the game. The punishment is no less than a permanent barring from baseball and exclusion from the Hall of Fame.

Pete Rose has lived in the shadow of his exile. He has denied betting on the game that he loves. He has been shunned by MLB, investigated by the IRS, and served time for tax charges in the U.S. Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois.

But he's coming back.

Pete Rose has never been forgotten by the fans who loved him throughout his 24-year career. The men he played with have stood by him. In this, his first book since his very public fall from grace, Pete Rose speaks with great candor about all the outstanding questions that have kept him firmly in the public eye. He discloses what life was like behind bars, discusses the turbulent years of his exile, and gives a vivid picture of his early life and baseball career. He also confronts his demons, tackling the ugly truths about his gambling and his behavior. My Prison Without Bars is Pete Rose's full accounting of his life. No one thinks he's perfect. He has made mistakes-- big ones. And he is finally ready to admit them.

The Longest Season

Cal Ripken, Jr

Book Cover: The Longest Season

Even with a 12-0 loss to start the ’88 season, Cal Ripken, Jr. had plenty of reasons to love being a Baltimore Oriole. He was playing alongside his brother Bill, and his father, Cal Sr., was managing the team. They’d win the next one. But the Orioles didn’t win their next game, or the next, and soon what was supposed to be a dream season for Cal slid into a nightmare of losses no one saw coming.

With brilliant and expressive color paintings from Ron Mazellan, future hall-of-famer Cal Ripken, Jr. shares the ups and downs of the Orioles’ record 21-game losing streak, and reflects on the rewards of hard work, regardless of what’s on the scoreboard.

The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape

James Rebanks

Book Cover: The Shepherd's Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape

NYT Bestseller

Some people's lives are entirely their own creations. James Rebanks' isn't. The first son of a shepherd, who was the first son of a shepherd himself, his family have lived and worked in the Lake District of Northern England for generations, further back than recorded history. It's a part of the world known mainly for its romantic descriptions by Wordsworth and the much loved illustrated children's books of Beatrix Potter. But James' world is quite different. His way of life is ordered by the seasons and the work they demand. It hasn't changed for hundreds of years: sending the sheep to the fells in the summer and making the hay; the autumn fairs where the flocks are replenished; the grueling toil of winter when the sheep must be kept alive, and the light-headedness that comes with spring, as the lambs are born and the sheep get ready to return to the hills and valleys.

 

 

This is the story of a deep-rooted attachment to place, modern dispatches from an ancient landscape that describe a way of life that is little noticed and yet has profoundly shaped the landscape over time. In evocative and lucid prose, James Rebanks takes us through a shepherd's year, offering a unique account of rural life and a fundamental connection with the land that most of us have lost. It is a story of working lives, the people around him, his childhood, his parents and grandparents, a people who exist and endure even as the culture - of the Lake District, or of farming - changes around them. Many memoirs are of people working desperately hard to leave a place. This is the story of someone trying desperately hard to stay.