House of Nails: A Memoir of Life on the Edge
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|Author||: Lenny Dykstra|
"Tough, straight, upsetting, and strangely beautiful. One of the best sports autobiographies I've ever read. It comes from the heart." —Stephen King Eclipsing the traditional sports memoir, House of Nails, by former world champion, multimillionaire entrepreneur, and imprisoned felon Lenny Dykstra, spins a tragicomic tale of Shakespearean proportions -- a relentlessly entertaining American epic that careens between the heights and the abyss. Nicknamed "Nails" for his hustle and grit, Lenny approached the game of baseball -- and life -- with mythic intensity. During his decade in the majors as a center fielder for the legendary 1980s Mets and the 1990s Phillies, he was named to three All-Star teams and played in two of the most memorable World Series of the modern era. An overachiever known for his clutch hits, high on-base percentage, and aggressive defense, Lenny was later identified by his former minor-league roommate Billy Beane as the prototypical "Moneyball" player in Michael Lewis's bestseller. Tobacco-stained, steroid-powered, and booze-and-drug-fueled, Nails also defined a notorious era of excess in baseball. Then came a second act no novelist could plausibly conjure: After retiring, Dykstra became a celebrated business mogul and investment guru. Touted as "one of the great ones" by CNBC's Jim Cramer, he became "baseball's most improbable post-career success story" (The New Yorker), purchasing a $17.5-million mansion and traveling the world by private jet. But when the economy imploded in 2008, Lenny lost everything. Then the feds moved in: convicted of bankruptcy fraud (unjustly, he contends), Lenny served two and a half harrowing years in prison, where he was the victim of a savage beating by prison guards that knocked out his front teeth. The Daily Show's Jon Stewart, channeling the bewildered fascination of many observers, declared that Lenny's outrageous rise and spectactular fall was "the greatest story that I have ever seen in my lifetime." Now, for the first time, Lenny tells all about his tumultuous career, from battling through crippling pain to steroid use and drug addiction, to a life of indulgence and excess, then, an epic plunge and the long road back to redemption. Was Lenny's hard-charging, risk-it-all nature responsible for his success in baseball and business and his precipitous fall from grace? What lessons, if any, has he learned now that he has had time to think and reflect? Hilarious, unflinchingly honest, and irresistibly readable, House of Nails makes no apologies and leaves nothing left unsaid.
|Author||: Christopher Frankie|
|Editor||: Running Press|
Nailed! is a dramatic biography of Lenny Dykstra—the heroic center fielder for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies in the '80s and '90s whose gritty play earned him the nickname “Nails.” Dykstra's unlikely post-baseball rise in the business world is a success story that is only matched by the sordid tale of his ultimate downfall. From famously receiving financial guru Jim Cramer's ringing endorsement as “one of the best” stock prognosticators, to hanging out with Charlie Sheen and numerous prostitutes, to holding court in his 15 million California home, Dykstra lived a highflying lifestyle. He was the toast of the business world before his litany of crimes were detected and his empire began to unravel in 2009, leading to a conviction and prison sentence in 2012 with more charges pending. Through compelling storytelling supported by extensive research and documentation—including interviews with many of Dykstra's friends, family, and business associates—Nailed! Peels back the layers of this onion to reveal that the criminal charges of grand theft auto, identity theft, vandalism, lewd behavior, sexual assault, and more are just the tip of the iceberg. This is an engaging read of a sports and business hero gone bad.
|Author||: Warren Sapp,David Fisher|
In his no-holds-barred memoir, Sapp Attack!, Warren Sapp, one of the NFL's most hilarious and candid personalities, reveals a side of football most fans have never before seen. Big Man. Big Talent. Big Star. Big Mouth. Big Heart. Big Personality. Big Smile. Big Headlines. Warren Sapp, one of pro football's most dominating defensive players both on and off the field, has a reputation for being bold, brash, knowledgeable, and outspoken. During his All-American career at the University of Miami, 13 seasons as an NFL star, four years on the NFL Network and one very big season on Dancing with the Stars, Sapp has never held back. Now he brings that same fearless attitude to his memoir, a book that will create controversy and headlines; in other words, pure Warren Sapp. Sapp has won every award possible for a defensive player, but it wasn't just his extraordinarily athletic ability that made him a star; it was also his ability to understand the subtleties of the game. He writes about working his way up from the high school gridiron to one of the top college football programs in the country, to the NFL, and reveals how the system actually works—the behind-the-scenes plays that fans rarely get to see. He'll discuss what it was like to face some of the greatest players in NFL history, including Hall of Famers Steve Young and Jerry Rice, both of whom he put out of the game, and Bret Favre, whom he sacked eleven times during his career. In this revealing, hilarious, and must-read book, Sapp offers readers a look inside the life of one of football's biggest stars and shares his often controversial opinions about the state of pro football today and its future.
|Author||: Tony Siragusa|
|Editor||: Crown Archetype|
A hugely popular and beloved football commentator and former player with the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens, Tony Siragusa offers his uncensored insider's look at the NFL and his hilarious take on life off the gridiron. The New York Times called him a "modern-day John Madden." Tony Soprano called him "Frankie Cortese." His teammates called him "Goose." Whatever you call him, Tony Siragusa is larger than life in every possible sense, from his personality to his physique to his colorful career, hilarious stories, and bombastic take on life. Goose is the book that Siragusa's fans have been clamoring for, to hear more from the Super Bowl champ-turned-commentator-turned-actor, who has brought his unmistakable style and intense love for life to every endeavor. In a memoir that is guaranteed to make you laugh, cheer, shake your head, laugh some more, and then think seriously, Siragusa offers stories, life lessons, and perspective gained from his unbelievable collection of experiences. He also offers a no-holds-barred look at the NFL, with locker room stories and surprising glimpses at the way things are done when the cameras (or the refs) aren't looking. His narratives range from hilarious anecdotes about his New Jersey childhood and wild college days, to behind-the-scenes glimpses at some of the greatest players in football history, to Goose's opinions about the current state of the NFL. And he shares them all with his signature love for life and uncensored insight.
|Author||: Suleika Jaouad|
|Editor||: Random House|
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A searing, deeply moving memoir of illness and recovery that traces one young woman’s journey from diagnosis to remission to re-entry into “normal” life—from the author of the Life, Interrupted column in The New York Times “I was immersed for the whole ride and would follow Jaouad anywhere. . . . Her writing restores the moon, lights the way as we learn to endure the unknown.”—Chanel Miller, The New York Times Book Review “Beautifully crafted . . . affecting . . . a transformative read . . . Jaouad’s insights about the self, connectedness, uncertainty and time speak to all of us.”—The Washington Post In the summer after graduating from college, Suleika Jaouad was preparing, as they say in commencement speeches, to enter “the real world.” She had fallen in love and moved to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a war correspondent. The real world she found, however, would take her into a very different kind of conflict zone. It started with an itch—first on her feet, then up her legs, like a thousand invisible mosquito bites. Next came the exhaustion, and the six-hour naps that only deepened her fatigue. Then a trip to the doctor and, a few weeks shy of her twenty-third birthday, a diagnosis: leukemia, with a 35 percent chance of survival. Just like that, the life she had imagined for herself had gone up in flames. By the time Jaouad flew home to New York, she had lost her job, her apartment, and her independence. She would spend much of the next four years in a hospital bed, fighting for her life and chronicling the saga in a column for The New York Times. When Jaouad finally walked out of the cancer ward—after countless rounds of chemo, a clinical trial, and a bone marrow transplant—she was, according to the doctors, cured. But as she would soon learn, a cure is not where the work of healing ends; it’s where it begins. She had spent the past 1,500 days in desperate pursuit of one goal—to survive. And now that she’d done so, she realized that she had no idea how to live. How would she reenter the world and live again? How could she reclaim what had been lost? Jaouad embarked—with her new best friend, Oscar, a scruffy terrier mutt—on a 100-day, 15,000-mile road trip across the country. She set out to meet some of the strangers who had written to her during her years in the hospital: a teenage girl in Florida also recovering from cancer; a teacher in California grieving the death of her son; a death-row inmate in Texas who’d spent his own years confined to a room. What she learned on this trip is that the divide between sick and well is porous, that the vast majority of us will travel back and forth between these realms throughout our lives. Between Two Kingdoms is a profound chronicle of survivorship and a fierce, tender, and inspiring exploration of what it means to begin again.
|Author||: Lenny Dykstra,Marty Noble|
|Editor||: Doubleday Books|
The outspoken center fielder of the New York Mets tells the inside story of the team's '86 season, with details on their victories in the playoffs and the World Series and insights into the team's off-the-field controversies
|Author||: Sean Wilsey|
“[An] irreverent and remarkably candid memoir about growing up in wealthy eighties San Francisco . . . rollicking, ruthless . . . ultimately generous-hearted.” —Vogue “A vivid mix of brio, self-awareness and sophistication . . . writing well is indeed the best revenge.” —The New York Times Book Review “A monumental piece of work.” —Kirkus Reviews “In the beginning we were happy. And we were always excessive. So in the beginning we were happy to excess.” With these opening lines Sean Wilsey takes us on an exhilarating tour of life in the strangest, wealthiest, and most grandiose of families. Sean's blond-bombshell mother (one of the thinly veiled characters in Armistead Maupin's bestselling Tales of the City) is a 1980s society-page staple, regularly entertaining Black Panthers and movie stars in her marble and glass penthouse, "eight hundred feet in the air above San Francisco; an apartment at the top of a building at the top of a hill: full of light, full of voices, full of windows full of water and bridges and hills." His enigmatic father uses a jet helicopter to drop Sean off at the video arcade and lectures his son on proper hygiene in public restrooms, "You should wash your hands first, before you use the urinal. Not after. Your penis isn't dirty. But your hands are." When Sean, "the kind of child who sings songs to sick flowers," turns nine years old, his father divorces his mother and marries her best friend. Sean's life blows apart. His mother first invites him to commit suicide with her, then has a "vision" of salvation that requires packing her Louis Vuitton luggage and traveling the globe, a retinue of multiracial children in tow. Her goal: peace on earth (and a Nobel Prize). Sean meets Indira Gandhi, Helmut Kohl, Menachem Begin, and the pope, hoping each one might come back to San Francisco and persuade his father to rejoin the family. Instead, Sean is pushed out of San Francisco and sent spiraling through five high schools, till he finally lands at an unorthodox reform school cum "therapeutic community," in Italy. With its multiplicity of settings and kaleidoscopic mix of preoccupations-sex, Russia, jet helicopters, seismic upheaval, boarding schools, Middle Earth, skinheads, home improvement, suicide, skateboarding, Sovietology, public transportation, massage, Christian fundamentalism, dogs, Texas, global thermonuclear war, truth, evil, masturbation, hope, Bethlehem, CT, eventual salvation (abridged list)—Oh the Glory of It All is memoir as bildungsroman as explosion.
|Author||: William C. Kashatus|
|Editor||: University of Nebraska Press|
Colorful, shaggy, and unkempt, misfits and outlaws, the 1993 Phillies played hard and partied hard. Led by Darren Daulton, John Kruk, Lenny Dykstra, and Mitch Williams, it was a team the fans loved and continue to love today. Focusing on six key members of the team, Macho Row follows the remarkable season with an up-close look at the players’ lives, the team’s triumphs and failures, and what made this group so unique and so successful. With a throwback mentality, the team adhered to baseball’s Code. Designed to preserve the moral fabric of the game, the Code’s unwritten rules formed the bedrock of this diehard team whose players paid homage and respect to the game at all times. Trusting one another and avoiding any notions of superstardom, they consistently rubbed the opposition the wrong way and didn’t care. William C. Kashatus pulls back the covers on this old-school band of brothers, depicting the highs and lows and their brash style while also digging into the suspected steroid use of players on the team. Macho Row is a story of winning and losing, success and failure, and the emotional highs and lows that accompany them.
|Author||: William C. Kashatus|
|Editor||: U of Nebraska Press|
Colorful, shaggy, and unkempt, misfits and outlaws, the 1993 Phillies played hard and partied hard. Led by Darren Daulton, John Kruk, Lenny Dykstra, and Mitch Williams, it was a team the fans loved and continue to love today. Focusing on six key members of the team, Macho Row follows the remarkable season with an up-close look at the players’ lives, the team’s triumphs and failures, and what made this group so unique and so successful. With a throwback mentality, the team adhered to baseball’s Code. Designed to preserve the moral fabric of the game, the Code’s unwritten rules of the game formed the bedrock of this diehard team whose players paid homage and respect to the game at all times. Trusting one another and avoiding ideas of superstardom, they consistently rubbed the opposition the wrong way and didn’t care. William C. Kashatus pulls back the covers on this old-school band of brothers, depicting the highs and lows and their brash style while also digging into the suspected steroid use of players on the team. Macho Row is a story of winning and losing, success and failure, and the emotional highs and lows that accompany them.
|Author||: Bengie Molina,Joan Ryan|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
A Major League Baseball player tells the inspiring true story of his father, a poor Puerto Rican factory worker who, against all odds, raised on of the greatest baseball dynasties of all time: three sons who have each earned two World Series rings. Illustrations. Tour.
|Author||: Douglas M. Branson|
The decades between the late 1960s counterculture and the advent of steroid use in the late 1980s bought tumult to Major League Baseball. Dock Ellis (Pirates, Yankees) and Dick Allen (Phillies, Cardinals, Dodgers, White Sox) epitomized the era with recreational drug use (Ellis), labor strife (Allen), and the questioning of authority. Both men were Black Power advocates at a time when the movement was growing in baseball. In the 1970s and 1980s, Marvin Miller and the Major League Baseball Players Association fought numerous, mostly victorious battles with MLB and team owners. This book chronicles a turbulent period in baseball, and in American life, that led directly to the performance-enhancing drug era and the dramatically changed nature of the game.
|Author||: William Finnegan|
**Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography** Included in President Obama’s 2016 Summer Reading List “Without a doubt, the finest surf book I’ve ever read . . . ” —The New York Times Magazine Barbarian Days is William Finnegan’s memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates, it is something else: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life. Raised in California and Hawaii, Finnegan started surfing as a child. He has chased waves all over the world, wandering for years through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa. A bookish boy, and then an excessively adventurous young man, he went on to become a distinguished writer and war reporter. Barbarian Days takes us deep into unfamiliar worlds, some of them right under our noses—off the coasts of New York and San Francisco. It immerses the reader in the edgy camaraderie of close male friendships forged in challenging waves. Finnegan shares stories of life in a whites-only gang in a tough school in Honolulu. He shows us a world turned upside down for kids and adults alike by the social upheavals of the 1960s. He details the intricacies of famous waves and his own apprenticeships to them. Youthful folly—he drops LSD while riding huge Honolua Bay, on Maui—is served up with rueful humor. As Finnegan’s travels take him ever farther afield, he discovers the picturesque simplicity of a Samoan fishing village, dissects the sexual politics of Tongan interactions with Americans and Japanese, and navigates the Indonesian black market while nearly succumbing to malaria. Throughout, he surfs, carrying readers with him on rides of harrowing, unprecedented lucidity. Barbarian Days is an old-school adventure story, an intellectual autobiography, a social history, a literary road movie, and an extraordinary exploration of the gradual mastering of an exacting, little-understood art.
|Author||: Jeannette Walls|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
Journalist Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary and their four children lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family. When the money ran out, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town Rex had tried to escape. As the dysfunction escalated, the children had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they found the resources and will to leave home. Yet Walls describes her parents with deep affection in this tale of unconditional love in a family that, despite its profound flaws, gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life. -- From publisher description.
|Author||: Amaryllis Fox|
|Editor||: Doubleday Canada|
Amaryllis Fox's riveting memoir tells the story of her ten years in the most elite clandestine ops unit of the CIA, hunting the world's most dangerous terrorists in sixteen countries while falling in love and giving birth to a daughter. Amaryllis Fox was in her last year as an undergraduate at Oxford studying ancient languages and theoretical physics when her writing mentor, Daniel Pearl, was captured and beheaded. Galvanized by this brutality, she applied to a Master's program in conflict and terrorism at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, where she created an algorithm that predicted, with uncanny certainty, the likelihood of a terrorist cell arising in any village around the world. At 21, she was recruited by the CIA. Her first assignment was reading and analyzing hundreds of classified cables a day from foreign governments and synthesizing them into daily briefs for the President. Her next assignment was at the Iraq desk in the Counterterrorism center. At 22, she was fast-tracked into advanced operations training, sent from Langley to "the Farm," where she lived for six months in a simulated world learning how to use a glock, how to get out of flexicuffs while locked in the trunk of a car, how to withstand torture, and the best ways to commit suicide in case of captivity. At the end of this training she was deployed as a spy under non-official cover--the most difficult and coveted job in the field--as an art dealer specializing in tribal and Indigenous art, and sent to infiltrate terrorist networks in remote areas of the Middle East and Asia. Life Undercover is exhilarating, intimate, fiercely intelligent--an impossible-to-put-down record of an extraordinary life, and of Amaryllis Fox's astonishing courage and passion.
|Author||: John Kruk,Paul Hagen|
The popular three-time All-Star discusses his years with the Philadelphia Phillies, his philosophy of the game of baseball, and his small-town roots in West Virginia
|Author||: Marge Piercy|
Connie Ramos, a woman in her mid-thirties, has been declared insane. But Connie is overwhelmingly sane, merely tuned to the future, and able to communicate with the year 2137. As her doctors persuade her to agree to an operation, Connie struggles to force herself to listen to the future and its lessons for today.... From the Paperback edition.
|Author||: John “Alexander” Arezzi,Greg Oliver|
|Editor||: ECW Press|
A man with three different names ties together the stars of professional wrestling, country music, and the New York Mets. John Arezzi was a lifelong Mets fan who dreamed of a job in baseball. In 1981, he took a job with the Mets Class A team in North Carolina. But Arezzi had another love: professional wrestling. He ran a fan club for the villainous “Classy” Freddie Blassie as a teenager, then progressed to wrestling photographer, and finally even stepped into the ring himself as John Anthony. Eventually he escaped to pursue a new life in altogether different world: country music. After adopting a new name, John Alexander, his many accomplishments include discovering both Patty Loveless and (decades later) Kelsea Ballerini. But wrestling is tough to shake … In the 1990s, Arezzi hosted the pioneering radio talk show Pro Wrestling Spotlight. He also ran the first major conventions, assembling a wrestling who’s who to meet with fans. He promoted shows, both at home and abroad, and was a key figure behind importing lucha libre into America. Mat Memories is Arezzi’s chance to hold the mic, and he holds nothing back — he names names and tells the untold behind-the-scenes stories: from the ring, the stage, and the diamond.
|Author||: Joe McGinniss|
|Editor||: Crown Publishing Group (NY)|
A journey to Castel Di Sangro, an Italian village that stunned the soccer world with its team's unexpected success, offers a portrayal of the emotion that swept the town.
|Author||: Courtney Cook|
|Editor||: Tin House Books|
Named a Debut Book to Look Forward to This Summer by Bustle “Audaciously human and raw. The Way She Feels is a rainbow during the rain.” —Mara Altman A witty and one-of-a-kind debut graphic memoir detailing and drawing the life of a girl with borderline personality disorder finding her way—and herself—one day at a time. What does it feel like to fall in love too hard and too fast, to hate yourself in equal and opposite measure? To live in such fear of rejection that you drive friends and lovers away? Welcome to my world. I’m Courtney, and I have borderline personality disorder (BPD), along with over four million other people in the United States. Though I’ve shown every classic symptom of the disorder since childhood, I wasn’t properly diagnosed until nearly a decade later, because the prevailing theory is that most people simply “grow out of it.” Not me. In my illustrated memoir, The Way She Feels: My Life on the Borderline in Pictures and Pieces, I share what it’s been like to live and love with this disorder. Not just the hospitalizations, treatments, and residential therapy, but the moments I found comfort in cereal, the color pink, or mini corndogs; the days I couldn’t style my hair because I thought the blow-dryer was going to hurt me; the peace I found when someone I love held me. This is a book about vulnerability, honesty, acceptance, and how to speak openly—not only with doctors, co-patients, friends, family, or partners, but also with ourselves.
|Author||: Tara Clancy|
|Editor||: Crown Publishing Group (NY)|
Clancy's memoir "is not merely an authentic coming-of-age tale or a rowdy barstool biography. Chockfull of characters who escape the popular imaginings of this city, it offers a bold portrait of real people, people whose stories are largely absent from our shelves. Most crucially, it captures ... rarely-heard voices of New York's working-class women"--Amazon.com.