Full Price Books 08/07/2013 Biography & Memoir

Catch-22 with radiation. Area 51 meets Dr. Strangelove. Except it really happened. Operation Redwing, the biggest and baddest of America’s atmospheric nuclear weapons test regimes, mixed saber rattling with mad science, while overlooking the cataclysmic human, geopolitical and ecological effects. But mostly, it just messed with guys’ heads. Major Maxwell, who put Safety First, Second and Third. Except when he didn’t. Berko, the wise-cracking Brooklyn Dodgers fan forced to cope with the H-bomb and his mother’s cookies. Tony, who thought military spit and polish plus uncompromising will power made him an exception. Carl Duncan, who clung to his girlfriend’s photos and a dangerous secret. Major Vanish, who did just that. In THE ATOMIC TIMES, Michael Harris welcomes readers into the U.S. Army’s nuclear family where the f-words were fallout and fireball. In a distinctive narrative voice, Harris describes his H-bomb year with unforgettable imagery and insight into the ways isolation and isotopes change men for better–and for worse. “A gripping memoir leavened by humor, loyalty and pride of accomplishment. A tribute to the resilience, courage and patriotism of the American soldier.” –Henry Kissinger “One of the best books I’ve ever read, combining elements of Catch 22 and Dr. Strangelove in a memoir both hilarious and tragic. A ‘must’ read, destined to become a classic.” –John G. Stoessinger, Ph.D. (Harvard), winner of the Bancroft Prize for Inernational Affairs, member of the Council on Foreign Relations “Harris has seamlessly presented a colorful cast of characters, and a shockingly honest depiction of his experience. The effect is at once deeply personal and politically profound.” –Senator Charles Schumer “Harris’ frank and disturbing descriptions of the criminally irresponsible proceedings on Eniwetok, and the physical and mental pain he and others endured, constitute shocking additions to atomic history. Amazingly enough, given his ordeal, Harris remains healthy.” –Booklist “Harris uses a chatty, dead-pan voice that highlights the horrifying absurdity of life on the island: the use of Geiger counters to monitor scrambled eggs’ radiation level, three-eyed fish swimming in the lagoon, corroded, permanently open windows that fail to keep out the radioactive fall-out and men whose toenails glow in the dark. (The money initially earmarked for enlisted men’s goggles was diverted to buy new furniture for the colonel’s house. ‘Goggles are important,’ Harris is told. ‘But the colonel’s furniture is important, too.’) An entertaining read in the bloodline of Catch-22, Harris achieves the oddest of victories: a funny, optimistic story about the H-bomb.” –Publisher’s Weekly From the Author Three-eyed fish swimming in the clear waters of the lagoon. Men whose toenails glow in the dark. Operation Redwing where the F words were Fallout and Fireball. In 1956, I was an army draftee sent to the Marshall Islands to watch 17 H-bomb tests. An “observer,” the Army called it. In plain English: a human guinea pig. I knew at the time that the experience could make a fascinating book, and I wrote a novel based on it while I was still there. The problem was that Eniwetok was a security post. There were signs everywhere impressing on us that the work going on (I mopped floors, typed, filed requisitions and wrote movie reviews for the island newspaper “All the news that fits we print”) was Top Secret. “What you do here, what you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here leave it here.” I was afraid they would confiscate the manuscript if they found it but a buddy who left Eniwetok before I did concealed the pages in his luggage. When he got back to the States, he mailed those pages to my father so I had what turned out to be a very rough draft. What was wrong with the book? Let me count the ways. I didn’t know how to write action, plot and character. I did know how to leave out everything interesting that was happening around me. Back in the States after my discharge, I thought about writing Version #2 but for ten years, I had nightmares about the H-bomb almost every night. I survived the radiation (unlike some of my friends), but the memories were also a formidable foe. I tried to forget and more or less succeeded. My perspective gradually changed over the years and I began to remember what I had tried to forget: We were told we had to wear high density goggles during the tests to avoid losing our sight but the shipment of goggles never arrived–the requisition was cancelled to make room for new furniture for the colonel’s house. We were told we had to stand with our backs to the blast–again to prevent blindness. But the first H-bomb ever dropped from a plane missed its target, and the detonation took place in front of us and our unprotected eyes. Servicemen were sent to Ground Zero wearing only shorts and sneakers and worked side by side with scientists dressed in RadSafe suits. The exposed military men developed severe radiation burns and many died. The big breakthrough came when enough years had passed and I had overcome the anger and the self-pity resulting from the knowledge that I and the men who served with me had been used as guinea pigs in a recklessly dangerous and potentially deadly experiment. At last I had the perspective to understand my nuclear year in its many dimensions and capture the tragedy and the black humor that came along with 17 H-bomb explosions. In addition, certain significant external realities had changed. Top Secret documents about Operation Redwing had been declassified. I learned new details about the test known as Tewa: the fallout lasted for three days and the radiation levels exceeded 3.9 Roentgens, the MPE (Maximum Permissible Exposure). Three ships were rushed to Eniwetok to evacuate personnel but were ordered back after the military raised the MPE to 7. That, they reasoned, ensured everyone’s safety. I made contact with other atomic veterans who told me about their own experiences and in some cases sent me copies of letters written to their families during the tests. As we talked, we also laughed: about officers who claimed Eniwetok was a one year paid vacation; about the officer who guarded the political purity of the daily island newspaper by deleting “pinko propaganda,” including a speech by President Eisenhower. By now, Ruth knew the material almost as well as I did and provided crucial perspective and detailed editing expertise. At last, I was able to pull all the strands together. After 50 years, I was able write the book I had wanted to in the beginning. Having struggled to write a memoir for so long and having been asked for advice by others contemplating writing a memoir, I can pass along a bit of what I learned along the way. Make sure you have enough distance from the experience to have perspective on what happened. Exposure to radiation and the resulting reactions–anger, terror, incredulity–produce powerful emotions that take time to process. Figure out how to use (or keep away) from your own intense feelings. In the case of the H-Bomb tests, anger and self-pity were emotions to stay away from. So was the hope of somehow getting “revenge.” Sometimes the unexpected works. For me, finding humor in a tragic situation– the abject military incompetence in planning and executing the H-Bomb tests–freed my memory and allowed me to write about horrific experiences. Figure out (most likely by trial and error) how much or how little of yourself you want to reveal. My other memoir—it’s about a much happier time in my life—is Always On Sunday: An Inside View of Ed Sullivan, the Beatles, Elvis, Sinatra & Ed’s Other Guests and is also available on Kobo.Biography & Memoir

 

 

Gripping — the news story that never was. SUMMER, 1974 — Six teenaged boys died and fifty-four were injured in an explosion on a Canadian Forces Base in Valcartier, Quebec. A live grenade inadvertently made its way into a box of dud ammunition, and its pin was pulled during a lecture on explosives safety. One hundred and forty boys survived, each isolated in their trauma, yet expected to carry on with their lives. Thirty-four years later, Gerry Fostaty, who was an 18-year-old sergeant that summer and one of the first on the scene after the explosion, received an unexpected e-mail from his former sergeant-major, triggering a journey into memory, a quest for a true picture of what had happened on that day. In As You Were, Fostaty pieces together the story of how a series of preventable mistakes led to tragedy. The only full account of an event that received minor attention at the time, As You Were is the story of a normal day turned horrific, how duty, responsibility, and honour make ordinary people take extraordinary measures, and how an embarrassed military did their best to ignore this devastating incident.Biography & Memoir

 

 

Everyone has that birthday. That one day we look in the mirror and ask ourselves: “How did I get here? Is this really the person I intended to be when I grew up? Am I grown up?” Author Katharine Miller presents her own self-assessment in the form of micro-memoir 30 Failures by Age 30. 30 Failures by Age 30 is a compelling memoir, conversational in tone with hilarious and heartbreaking moments.Biography & Memoir

Free Books 08/05/2013 Biography & Memoir

26th of May, 1989. Half past seven in the morning. Breaking news. Mindfield’s frontman, Blaze is dead. Same news bulletin is played all over the country. No one takes the news to heart, though; it is widely believed that this is yet another overdramatic publicity stunt. Eight o’ clock. The devastated drummer of the band confirms the dreadful news… It is a bleak, rainy day. People of every age splash out in the streets. Dozens. Hundreds. Thousands of people head to his flat. The pavement fills with flowers, wreaths, photos of the 21-year-old singer. Tension is building up by the hour, while the great deal of controversy rises up to the surface; how did he really die? Did he have an overdose? Did he commit suicide? Did someone kill him? Did he get poisoned? Maybe he’s not really dead, maybe he’s still alive, hiding somewhere… Memorabilia is Vanessa MintVanDi’s first book. It is a satire novel, feauting rock idols who live the rock ‘n roll myth to their utmost, only to retire a couple of years later, regretting everything about it. The protagonist’s life is being explored by an anonymous narrator, who contacts his aquaintances in an attempt to cast some light over his mysterious and unexpected death.Biography & Memoir

 

 

This collection of poignant and uplifting essays is the perfect book to enjoy over your morning coffee. The stories will warm your heart, raise your spirits and compel you to examine your own life. As a tie-in to her mystery book Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, novelist and award-winning journalist Stacy Juba invited her author colleagues to answer the question “What were you doing 25 years ago?” Read about school days, quirky jobs, romance, raising a family, hard times, the writing journey, and find out what makes your favorite characters tick. This 30,000-word book will help readers to discover new authors for their to-read list, and inspire them to reflect upon the small defining moments that have shaped their own lives. As a bonus, readers are invited to interact with the authors to discuss the past and the future in an online forum, with details in the Appendix. Publishing credits of the contributing writers include New York Times bestselling and USA Today bestselling. They also include recipients of the Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award, Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award, Mississippi Author Award, Benjamin Franklin Award and Eppie Award, as well as nominees of the Pushcart Prize, Agatha and Shamus Awards, to name a few of the many honors. Includes a foreword by Elaine Raco Chase, award-winning author of seventeen paperback novels with over 3 million books in print.Biography & Memoir

Free Books 28/04/2013 Biography & Memoir

Kim Darby had never had to work in her entire life. After leaving college at eighteen she had married her childhood sweetheart. By the time Kim was thirty she had three young daughters aged eleven, nine and seven. She had a lovely home and she had a husband who had suddenly passed away, without any insurance cover. She also had a stack of debts her husband had run up and no means to support herself. Kim needed a job. Kim tried the Job Centre, friends and the local shops to try and get a job. The problem was she had no experience. Then in her local newspaper, Kim noticed an advertisement for a Financial Agent, no experience needed. The job description was brief but the advert said she could make £400 a week. A week later Kim had a job. She was given a round and she was taken out by her manager and shown the ropes. Three days in and it suddenly dawned on Kim that her job was to give people small loans. But not the sort of loans you would get in a bank. Kim’s loans were anything from £50 to £500 and she was expected to collect the weekly payments. And that is where the fun began, because Kim was working in the roughest patch of her hometown. Her manager said she was dealing with the salt of the earth, but what he didn’t tell Kim was that she was also dealing with drug addicts, drug pushers, murderers, rapists, muggers, illegal immigrants and lunatics. And that was on a good day!Biography & Memoir

Full Price Books 14/02/2013 Biography & Memoir

On June 16, 2006, the David B left Bellingham, Washington bound for Juneau, Alaska, on her maiden voyage as a passenger vessel. Eight years earlier, Christine and Jeffrey had found the David B tucked behind a breakwater on Lopez Island where the tired, old, wooden boat built in 1929, was showing her age. When the young couple stepped aboard the neglected vessel, her sturdy work-boat style captured their hearts with her ageless beauty that only the young dreamers could see. Their desire was to own and operate a small, expedition, cruise ship in Alaska. With their love for one another and without much income, they pinned their hopes and sheer will on rebuilding the dying boat. What they thought would be a two-year project, became an eight-year tug-of-war between time and money as they raced to finish rebuilding the David B before it was too late. More Faster Backwards is the story of Christine and Jeffrey’s uncertain struggle to rebuild the David B and their journey to Alaska on an untested seventy-seven year old boat to begin the life of their dreams.Biography & Memoir

 

 

THE “OTHER” GIRL ISN’T THE CAUSE OF BLACK WOMEN’S DATING CHALLENGES, SHE’S THE COMPETITION! IF LOVE IS WAR, MAY THE BEST WOMAN WIN. Growing up as Soul Sister #1 in white schools with white girls as BFFs, Stephanie Small knows what’s behind the white girl’s appeal. She can tell you why it seems like every actor, athlete and smokin’ black bachelor has a white girl on his arm. What’s their secret? The answers are broken down between the pages of this how-to guide in 5 basic steps. Acknowledging the silent rivalry between black and white women, without apology or pulling punches, Small reveals to single sisters everywhere why the other girl is making sweet love to the brothers who should be their boyfriends, while 47% of black women will never wear a wedding dress. Without shying away from harsh and humbling personal anecdotes, the book promises to break the cycle. In a style that is equal parts as funny as it is infuriating, Don’t Let the White Girl Win gives black women the one thing they need: strategies for winning at love, life and everything in-between.Biography & Memoir

21/01/2013 – First news post

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