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  • Pretty Pretty

Full Sized Photo of natalie portman post baby body 09, Dominique Moceanu’s secret sister: “I have no legs, Coronation Street's Shona Ramsey sports a bloodied face, Pretty Pretty

Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between omnivore and vegetarian. But on the brink of fatherhood-facing the prospect of having to make dietary choices on a child's behalf-his casual questioning took on an urgency His quest for answers ultimately required him to visit factory farms in the middle of the night, dissect the emotional ingredients of meals from his childhood, and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong. Brilliantly synthesizing philosophy, literature, science, memoir and his own detective work, Eating Animals explores the many fictions we use to justify our eating habits-from folklore to pop culture to family traditions and national myth-and how such tales can lull us into a brutal forgetting. Marked by Foer's profound moral ferocity and unvarying generosity, as well as the vibrant style and creativity that made his previous books, Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, widely loved, Eating Animals is a celebration and a reckoning, a story about the stories we've told-and the stories we now need to tell.

The lights dim and soon the theatre becomes dark. The audience conversations end with a few softly dissipating whispers, and the movie begins. Nina Sayers, a young ballerina, dances the prologue to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, a ballet expressing a story drawn from Russian folk tales about a princess who has been turned into a White Swan and can only be turned back if a man swears eternal fidelity to her. However, this is not that ballet. This is the beginning of Black Swan, a controversial movie employing symbolism in a complex interweaving of dance and film to reveal the struggles and paradoxes of everything from a female rite-of-passage to questions about where artistic expression should demand self-sacrifice and whether such sacrifice is worth the price. The dance floor is the stage of life, the place where physical actions take on the symbolic meanings of mythology and express the deepest archetypes of the human mind. This book explores how dance gives shape to those human needs and how it reflects, and even creates, the maps of meaning and value that structure our lives. Though the volume looks at all the forms of dance, it focuses on three main categories in particular: religious, social, and artistic. Since the American Musical and subsequent Musical Videos have both reflected and influenced our current world, they receive the most space—such acclaimed performers as Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson, such important composers and lyrists as Gershwin, Rodgers-and-Hammerstein, Porter, Berlin, Webber, Bernstein, the Beatles, and the Who, and such choreographers as Graham, Balanchine, Robbins and Fosse are examined in particular detail.

This inescapably controversial study envisions, defines, and theorizes an area that Laura Wright calls vegan studies. We have an abundance of texts on vegans and veganism including works of advocacy, literary and popular fiction, film and television, and cookbooks, yet until now, there has been no study that examines the social and cultural discourses shaping our perceptions of veganism as an identity category and social practice. Ranging widely across contemporary American society and culture, Wright unpacks the loaded category of vegan identity. She examines the mainstream discourse surrounding and connecting animal rights to (or omitting animal rights from) veganism. Her specific focus is on the construction and depiction of the vegan body--both male and female--as a contested site manifest in contemporary works of literature, popular cultural representations, advertising, and new media. At the same time, Wright looks at critical animal studies, human-animal studies, posthumanism, and ecofeminism as theoretical frameworks that inform vegan studies (even as they differ from it). The vegan body, says Wright, threatens the status quo in terms of what we eat, wear, and purchase--and also in how vegans choose not to participate in many aspects of the mechanisms undergirding mainstream culture. These threats are acutely felt in light of post-9/11 anxieties over American strength and virility. A discourse has emerged that seeks, among other things, to bully veganism out of existence as it is poised to alter the dominant cultural mindset or, conversely, to constitute the vegan body as an idealized paragon of health, beauty, and strength. What better serves veganism is exemplified by Wright's study: openness, debate, inquiry, and analysis.

A beautiful novel. If you are not moved to tears, then your heart is carved from wood. — Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Confessions of Max Tivoli. Harvard Law graduate Emilia Greenleaf's perfect life with her beloved Jack is turned upside down by her new preschool-age stepson, William, a situation that is further complicated when she loses her own newborn daughter, but it is through William that she begins to heal and to discover what family really means.

Named one of The Guardian's "Best Books of 2016" From the author of My Brilliant Friend Elena Ferrante returns to a story that animated the novel she considers to be a turning point in her development as a a writer: The Lost Daughter. But this time the tale takes the form of a children's fable told from the point of view of the lost (stolen!) doll, Celina. Celina is having a terrible night, one full of jealousy for the new kitten, Minù, feelings of abandonment and sadness, misadventures at the hands of the beach attendant, and dark dreams. But she will be happily found by Mati, her child, once the sun rises. Accompanied by the oneiric illustrations of Mara Cerri, The Beach at Night is a story for all of Ferrante's many ardent fans.

What do Natalie Portman, Robert Downey, Jr., Zach Braff, and Mandy Moore have in common? Before they were stars, they were campers at Stagedoor Manor, the premier summer theater camp for children and teenagers. Founded in 1975, Stagedoor continues to attract scores of young performers eager to find kindred spirits, to sing out loud, to become working actors—or maybe even stars. Every summer for the past thirty-five years, a new crop of campers has come to the Catskills for an intense, often wrenching introduction to professional theater. (The camp produces thirteen full-scale productions during each of its three sessions.) These kids come from varying backgrounds—the offspring of Hollywood players from Nora Ephron to Bruce Willis work alongside kids on scholarship. Some campers have agents, others are seeking representation. When Mickey Rapkin, a senior editor at GQ and self-proclaimed theater fanatic, learned about this place, he fled Manhattan for an escape to upstate New York. At Stagedoor, he tracked a trio of especially talented and determined teen actors through their final session at camp. Enter Rachael Singer, Brian Muller, and Harry Katzman, three high school seniors closing out their sometimes sheltered Stagedoor experiences and graduating into the real world of industry competition and rejection. These veteran campers—still battling childhood insecurities, but simultaneously searching for that professional gig that will catapult them to fame—pour their souls into what might be their last amateur shows. Their riveting stories are told in Theater Geek, an eye-opening, laugh-out-loud chronicle full of drama and heart, but also about the business of training kids to be professional thespians and, in some cases, child stars. (The camp has long acted as a farm system for Broadway and Hollywood, attracting visits from studio executives and casting directors.) Via original interviews with former and current campers and staff—including Mandy Moore, Zach Braff, and Jon Cryer—Rapkin also recounts Stagedoor Manor’s colorful, star-studded history: What was Natalie Portman’s breakout role as a camper? What big-time Hollywood director, then barely a teenager, dated a much older Stagedoor staff member? Why did Courtney Love (at Stagedoor visiting her daughter) get into an argument with a hot dog vendor who had set up shop at the camp? Theater Geek leads readers through the triumphs and tragedies of the three senior campers’ final summer in an absorbing, thought-provoking narrative that reveals the dynamic and inspiring human beings who populate this world. It also explores what the proliferation of theater camps says about our celebrity-obsessed youth and our most basic but vital need to fit in. Through the rivalry, heartbreak, and joy of one summer at Stagedoor Manor, Rapkin offers theater geeks of all ages a dishy, illuminating romp through the lives of serious child actors. Rich, insightful, and thoroughly entertaining, Theater Geek pulls back the curtain on an elite and intriguing world to reveal what’s really at its core: children who simply love to perform.

Winner of the National Jewish Book Award International Bestseller "[An] ingenious work that circles around the rise of a state, the tragic destiny of a mother, a boy’s creation of a new self." — The New Yorker A family saga and a magical self-portrait of a writer who witnessed the birth of a nation and lived through its turbulent history. A Tale of Love and Darkness is the story of a boy who grows up in war-torn Jerusalem, in a small apartment crowded with books in twelve languages and relatives speaking nearly as many. The story of an adolescent whose life has been changed forever by his mother’s suicide. The story of a man who leaves the constraints of his family and community to join a kibbutz, change his name, marry, have children. The story of a writer who becomes an active participant in the political life of his nation. "One of the most enchanting and deeply satisfying books that I have read in many years." — New Republic

"Alan Moore outdoes himself... Extraordinary ... a poetic celebration of the powers of the imagination." - Kurt Loder, MTV A powerful story about loss of freedom and individuality, V FOR VENDETTA takes place in a totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet. In a world without political freedom, personal freedom and precious little faith in anything, comes a mysterious man in a white porcelain mask who fights political oppressors through terrorism and seemingly absurd acts in this gripping tale of the blurred lines between ideological good and evil.

PEOPLE'S BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR! ONE OF NEW YORK TIMES' NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2016!INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER! YOU'LL GROW OUT OF IT hilariously, and candidly, explores the journey of the twenty-first century woman. As both a tomboy and a late bloomer, comedian Jessi Klein grew up feeling more like an outsider than a participant in the rites of modern femininity. In YOU'LL GROW OUT OF IT, Klein offers-through an incisive collection of real-life stories-a relentlessly funny yet poignant take on a variety of topics she has experienced along her strange journey to womanhood and beyond. These include her "transformation from Pippi Longstocking-esque tomboy to are-you-a-lesbian-or-what tom man," attempting to find watchable porn, and identifying the difference between being called "ma'am" and "miss" ("Miss sounds like you weigh ninety-nine pounds"). Raw, relatable, and consistently hilarious, YOU'LL GROW OUT OF IT is a one-of-a-kind book by a singular and irresistible comic voice.

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