Best Books on Wine

Best Books on WineTheReadingRoom Team

Fancy a good drop of wine but have no idea where to start and what to look for? Wine connosieurs love to write about their passion so you won’t be disappointed by reading works by some of the worlds greatest wine judges. Here’s a list to get you started.

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The Billionaire's Vinegarwant_to_read_buttonThe Billionaire’s Vinegar tells the true story of a 1787 Chateau Lafite Bordeaux-supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson-that sold for $156,000 at auction and of the eccentrics whose lives intersected with it.

9781935654278_p0_v1_s260x420want_to_read_buttonFew comics have ever exhibited such sway over the economics of an industry as the Drops of God. The legendary wine comic that dictates wine market prices worldwide stars a wine critic and his adopted brother who  must compete against each other to determine who will inherit their father’s estate–a wine collection featuring 13 heaven blessed wines.

Wine & Warwant_to_read_buttonThe remarkable untold story of France’s courageous, clever vinters who protected and rescued the country’s most treasured commodity from German plunder during World War II.

Judgement of Pariswant_to_read_buttonThe Paris Tasting of 1976 will forever be remembered as the landmark event that transformed the wine industry. At this legendary contest — a blind tasting — a panel of top French wine experts shocked the industry by choosing unknown California wines over France’s best.

Red White and Drunk All Overwant_to_read_buttonNatalie MacLean spent three years sipping, spitting and slogging her way through sun-drenched vineyards and cobwebbed cellars to bring us this witty, knowledgeable and exuberant book about the world of wine.

Hedonist in the Cellarwant_to_read_buttonIn A Hedonist in the Cellar,  Jay McInerney gathers more than five years’ worth of essays and continues his exploration of what’s new, what’s enduring, and what’s surprising-giving his palate a complete workout and the reader an indispensable, idiosyncratic guide to a world of almost infinite variety.

Bacchus and Mewant_to_read_buttonWith acerbic wit, irreverent tone, and bountiful hilarious anecdotes, Jay McInerney writes the first wine book that makes sense to all those dazed by the prevailing, dull technical wine writing.

The Widow Clicquotwant_to_read_buttonVeuve Clicquot champagne epitomizes glamour and style, with tribute paid everywhere from Lord Byron to Casablanca. But who was this young widow – the ‘Veuve’ – Clicquot, whose champagne sparkled at the courts of France, Britain, and Russia, and how did she rise to celebrity and fortune?

Champagnewant_to_read_buttonChampagne will tell a story – one that has never been told before – of how the wine industry survived, how people moved their entire lives underground in order to save the liquid of the region.

Complete Wine Selectorwant_to_read_buttonComplete Wine Selector aims to remove the fear and restore the fun and confidence in buying and enjoying wine. Presented in a compellingly original, visual “info-bites” format, it strips away wine’s intimidating facade to convey all the information needed in a truly helpful way.

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If You Love Jack Reacher You Might Enjoy…

If You Love Jack Reacher...By Simon McDonald, Editorial Manager | simon@thereadingroom.com

While most fictional crime fighters stick to their home turf, Jack Reacher, the former military police officer turned do-gooder, travels America by hitchking. He enters a new town a stranger, and leaves a hero; so it has gone for 19 novels now.

In Lee Child’s latest thriller, Personal, Reacher is tasked by the State Department and the CIA for a high-prority missions: there is going to be an assassination attempt at G-8 summit, and only Reacher can stop the killer.

Lee Child - Personal coverswant_to_read_button

There aren’t many characters like Jack Reacher; nomadic drifters, who wander into trouble. Most crime-fighters are cops, or secret agents, who dedicate their lives to finding and extinguishing  evil – but we’ve put together a list of similar books starring heroes with similarities to Child’s iconic action here.

So when you’re done with Reacher, why not try:

Matthew Scudder, from

A Walk Among the Tombstoneswant_to_read_buttonScudder is an alcoholic ex-cop who earns his living as an unlicensed private investigator—or, as he puts it, “doing favors for friends.” In a Walk Among the Tombstones, Scudder investigates the motives of a very unusual kidnapping case undertaken by a pair of ruthlessly sadistic psycopaths whose cruel games have only just begun. The book is also soon to be a major Hollywood movie, starring Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens and Ruth Wilson.

Nick Stone, from

Remote Controlwant_to_read_buttonEx-SAS serviceman turned deniable operative, Nick Stone has taken part in missions for “The Firm,” as well as personal quests, in a variety of locales including Bosnia, Iraq, The Congo, Ireland, Afghanistan, and more. To date he has starred in 15 novels.

Charlie Hardie, from

Fun and Gameswant_to_read_buttonIn the Charlie Hardie series, an ex-cop from Philadelphia who now works as a high-end house-sitter, goes mano a mano with ‘The Accident People.’

Atticus Kodiak, from

Keeperwant_to_read_buttonWhen we’re first introduced to Atticus Kodiak,  he’s a professional bodyguard based in Manhattan. But over the course of the seven book long series, Kodiak’s career takes a dramatic turn; in the latest novel, Walking Dead, Kodiak is an international fugitive! How did things get this way? You’ll have to read the series to find out, starting with Keeper, in which Kodiak must protect a woman and her daughter from a killer with a fanatic agenda.

Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd, from

Hard Landingwant_to_read_buttonDan ‘Spider’ Shepherd is no ordinary cop – he is a member of an elite undercover squad. And in Hard Landing, Shepherd faces his most dangerous assignment yet – going undercover in a top security prison, where one wrong move will mean certain death!

Jed Walker, from

The Spywant_to_read_buttonA sinister group – code – named Zodiac – has launched devastating global attacks. Twelve targets across the world, twelve code – named missions. Operating distinct sleeper cells, they are the ultimate terrorist organisation, watching and waiting for a precise attack to activate the next group. It is a frightening and deadly efficient way to stay one step ahead. And cause the most chaos. For ex – CIA operative Jed Walker, chaos is his profession. On the outer, burned by his former agency, he is determined to clear his name. And stopping Zodiac is the only way.

What other heroes compare to Jack Reacher? If you can think of any, we’ll add these to our list and make it a Top 10.

Meanwhile, you can add these 6 books to your Want To Read on TheReadingRoom.

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10 Must-Read Books About Sisters

10 Must-Read Books about SistersBy Simon McDonald, Editorial Manager | simon@thereadingroom.com

Following the release of Raina Telgemeier’s Sisters we thought it might be fun to put together a list of books about sisters.

Have we missed something obvious? Please let us know in the comments!

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Sisterswant_to_read_buttonRaina can’t wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren’t quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she’s also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn’t improve much over the years, but when a baby brother enters the picture and later, something doesn’t seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.

Sisterland

want_to_read_buttonFor identical twins, Kate and Violet are about as unlike as two peas from the same pod can be. Except in one respect – they both have a gift, a special kind of intuition that lets them see the secrets that other people hide.

Little Womenwant_to_read_buttonThis timeless favorite follows the four March sisters—pretty Meg, tomboy Jo, shy Beth, and vain Amy—as they grow and mature into four distinctive little women.

Shanghai Girlswant_to_read_buttonPearl and May are two sisters from a bourgeois family. Though their personalities are very different – Pearl is a Dragon sign, strong and stubborn, while May is a true Sheep, adorable and placid – they are inseparable best friends. Both are beautiful, modern and living a carefree life until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away the family’s wealth, and that in order to repay his debts he must sell the girls as wives to two ‘Gold Mountain’ men: Americans.

My Sister's Keeperwant_to_read_buttonMy Sister’s Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person, and what happens when emotions meet with scientific advances.

Pridewant_to_read_buttonAt the turn of eighteenth-century England, spirited Elizabeth Bennet copes with the suit of the snobbish Mr. Darcy while trying to sort out the romantic entanglements of two of her sisters, sweet and beautiful Jane and scatterbrained Lydia.

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregorywant_to_read_button. The Boleyn family is keen to rise through the ranks of society, and what better way than to place their most beautiful young woman at court? But Mary becomes the king’s mistress at a time of change. He needs his personal pleasures, but he also needs an heir. The unthinkable happens and the course of English history is irrevocably altered. For the women at the heart of the storm, they have only one weapon; and when it’s no longer enough to be the mistress, Mary must groom her younger sister in the ways of pleasing the king.

The Color Purplewant_to_read_buttonSet in the deep American south between the wars, this is the classic tale of Celie, a young poor black girl. Raped repeatedly by her father, she loses two children and then is married off to a man who treats her no better than a slave. She is separated from her sister Nettie and dreams of becoming like the glamorous Shug Avery, a singer and rebellious black woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually Celie discovers the support of women that enables her to leave the past behind and begin a new life.

The Girlswant_to_read_buttonRose and Ruby are twenty-nine-year-old conjoined twins.  Joined to Ruby at the head, Rose’s face is pulled to one side, but she has full use of her limbs. Ruby has a beautiful face, but her body is tiny and she is unable to walk. She rests her legs on her sister’s hip, rather like a small child or a doll. In spite of their situation, the girls lead surprisingly separate lives.

The Smart Onewant_to_read_buttonA story about the ways in which we never really grow up, The Smart One is a witty, gossipy, perfectly-drawn portrait of family life.

Add the 10 Must-Read Books about Sisters to your bookshelf.

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A Conversation with Barry Lancet

Conversation with Barry LancetBy Simon McDonald, Editorial Manager | simon@thereadingroom.com

Barry Lancet has lived in Japan for more than twenty-five years, providing him with an insider’s view that informs his writing. His first novel Japantown was selected by both Suspense Magazine and renowned mystery critic Oline Cogdill as one of the Best Debuts of 2013 and has been optioned by J. J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions, in association with Warner Bros.

His second novel Tokyo Kill, featuring Jim Brodie, is out next month.

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Tokyo KillBarry, congratulations on the publication of Tokyo Kill. Is there that same buzz of excitement at the release of your second novel as there was for your debut? What’s it like the second time round?

The buzz is certainly there for Tokyo Kill too, broader and deeper this time.  At a recent convention, I was stunned—overwhelmed really—that several bestselling authors took a moment to mention they’d heard great things about the books and planned to read them. Maybe I should stop now, while I’m ahead.

How does it feel this time?  It’s as great a feeling as the first time.  I’m having fun writing the books, and I feel extremely lucky to be in this position. I’m even more grateful that there are readers out there who like the world Jim Brodie inhabits and are asking for more.

What about in terms of the writing? I’ve heard some authors say the second novel is harder to write than the first, but how did you approach it?

I was a book editor for a number of years, so I managed to sidestep the issue, partly because of my past experience and partly because I have too many ideas waiting in the wings.  As I was winding up Japantown, ideas for Tokyo Kill began to intrude.  Now, I’m winding up Book 3 and ideas for Book 4 have started to emerge on their own.  Sure, I struggle with certain aspects, just as I did with the first book, but there are other items that are getting easier.

Read the full interview.

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5 Questions with Rob Harrell

5 Questions with Rob HarrellBy Simon McDonald, Editorial Manager | simon@thereadingroom.com

Life of ZarfRob Harrell created, wrote and drew the syndicated daily comic strip Big Top from 2002 through 2007, and currently writes and draws the long-running daily strip Adam@Home, which appears in more than 140 papers worldwide. In 2013 his first graphic novel Monster on the Hill was released by Top Shelf Productions, and on September 2, 2014 the first novel in a new series will be released from Dial Books: Life of Zarf: The Trouble with Weasels.

Zarf is a troll, and with his token big ears and hairy feet, his place on the middle-school social ladder is fixed. And his two best friends, an anxious mutton-obsessed pig and the humourless son of the court jester, aren’t fairing any better. When the king disappears and Zarf’s arch enemy, the prince, ascends the throne, he makes Zarf’s life even more miserable.

So why are Zarf and his friends left to find the missing king?

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Rob, congratulations on the forthcoming publication of Life of Zarf: The Trouble with Weasels! Cartoonist, graphic novelist and now children’s book author – that’s quite a hat-trick! “Wimpy Kid meets Shrek” seems like such an obvious amalgam, but while that’s a fair appraisal, Zarf exudes originality and has its own distinct sense of humor. How long has Zarf been percolating in your mind ?

It’s been in there for a while. I’ve been working on some form of the idea for a couple of years, but you can see some of the seeds of the idea in Big Top and Monster on the Hill. It’s in line with the humor in those. I had the idea for the world around Zarf before I actually had the character, but once he showed up in a sketchbook, I knew I’d found my troll.

Life of Zarf: The Trouble with Weasels blends illustrations with prose. If this publishing deal with Dial hadn’t come to fruition, could Zarf have existed as a comic strip or graphic novel, or do you think the prose is essential to the narrative’s success? Or, perhaps the other way around, could the novel exist without the illustrations?

I definitely had this in mind as an illustration/prose hybrid from the beginning. I think it could have worked as a graphic novel, though part of the fun was that I was able to stretch out and really write – as opposed to writing mostly dialogue, like you do (primarily) in a graphic novel or a comic strip. I think it could also be told as a novel without the illustrations, but I started my career as an artist, and I had way too much fun with some of the drawings to want to give that aspect up.

The humor in Zarf is suitable for all ages, and I imagine parents will be chuckling along with their guffawing kids as they read the novel. How difficult was it to curb your natural wit and to keep the humor age-appropriate?

That’s one of the great things about coming from doing a newspaper comic strip. I’ve had twelve years practice at being as funny as I could be and still be appropriate for anyone who picks it up. Newspaper strips are incredibly clean, to the point where you can’t use words that you hear every day on TV. So you end up finding ways to get a laugh without the easy go-to of shock value. So, if anything, I was able to loosen up a bit for Zarf.

Is Zarf an amalgam of anyone you know, maybe even your younger self? In terms of the Middle School social ladder, I was right about where Zarf is, and didn’t have the benefit of superhuman troll strength! How easy was it shifting into the mind-set of a middle schooler?

I’d say it was pretty easy to get into that mind set. Doing comics for a living, I’ve placed quite a bit of importance on not growing up. I mean, everyone grows up to some degree, and we end up with responsibilities and jobs and all, but I really have made an effort to remain in touch with my inner 12-year old (he says, looking past his computer at his Godzilla doll holding a tiny Duff beer from a Simpsons character). I think there is quite a bit of myself in my three main characters (Zarf, Kevin and Chester), but there is quite a bit of a couple of my good middle school friends in there as well. I will say that Cotswin, the school, looks identical to my middle school in my mind. I can’t imagine writing a middle school book and NOT using your own school as the template. It’s really fun. Kind of like reliving those years.

Can you tease what challenges Zarf might face in the future? Maybe something to do with the super-cute Sierra?

Oh, Sierra will definitely be playing a larger role soon. And family histories may have an impact on some of the main players. That’s the problem with living in a storybook world… there’s always another story waiting to sweep you up and get you involved. Although I suppose that’s part of the fun, as well.

Check out his recommended books for young readers!

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10 Must-Read Books about Teachers

10 Must-Read Novels about TeachersBy Simon McDonald, Editorial Manager | simon@thereadingroom.com

These ten books are inspiring must-reads for teachers looking to recharge their batteries, and remind themselves of the important role they play in the lives of their students.

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Tuesdays With Morriewant_to_read_button
Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

Matildawant_to_read_buttonIn this Roald Dahl classic readers are introduced to two very different teachers; the lovely Miss Jennifer Honey, who is astonished by Matilda’s intellectual abilities and tries to move her into a higher class, and the mean Miss Agatha Trunchbull.

Up the Down Staircasewant_to_read_buttonWhen Miss Barrett arrives at Calvin Coolidge High, fresh from earning literature degrees at Hunter College, she can hardly wait to shape young minds. Instead, she encounters broken windows, no supplies, students who would rather be anyplace else, and a stifling bureaucracy that makes her job more difficult at every turn.

To Sir With Lovewant_to_read_buttonWith opportunities for black men limited in post–World War II London, Rick Braithwaite, a former Royal Air Force pilot and Cambridge-educated engineer, accepts a teaching position that puts him in charge of a class of angry, unmotivated, bigoted white teenagers whom the system has mostly abandoned.

Goodbye Mr Chipswant_to_read_buttonYoung English schoolmaster  Mr. Chipping came to teach at Brookfield in 1870. Nicknamed Mr. Chips, this gentle and caring man  helped shape the lives of generation after  generation of boys.

Dead Poet's Societywant_to_read_buttonTodd Anderson and his friends at Welton Academy can hardly believe how different life is since their new English professor, the flamboyant John Keating, has challenged them to “make your lives extraordinary!

Schooledwant_to_read_buttonFor Anna Taggert, an earnest Ivy League graduate, pursuing her passion as a teacher means engaging young hearts and minds. She longs to be in a place where she can be her best self, and give that best to her students. Turns out it isn’t that easy.

Pninwant_to_read_buttonPnin is a professor of Russian at an American college who takes the wrong train to deliver a lecture in a language he cannot master.

Ms Hempel's Chronicleswant_to_read_buttonMs. Beatrice Hempel, teacher of seventh grade, is new–new to teaching, new to the school, newly engaged, and newly bereft of her idiosyncratic father. Grappling awkwardly with her newness, she struggles to figure out what is expected of her in life and at work.

Wonder Boyswant_to_read_buttonA professor trying to finish his novel is distracted by his affair with the dean’s wife, a boarding student who tries to seduce him, another troubled but promising student, and his visiting editor.

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10 Great Starting School Books

10 Great Starting School Books - HeaderBy Simon McDonald, Editorial Manager | simon@thereadingroom.com

This is our selection of ten children’s picture books that are about starting school, which can help reassure children about this milestone in their life.

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I Am Absolutely Too Small for Schoolwant_to_read_buttonLola is not so sure about school. After all, why would she need to count higher than ten when she never eats more that ten cookies at a time? Once again, it’s up to ever-patient big brother Charlie to persuade Lola that school is worthwhile — and that her invisible friend, Soren Lorensen, will be welcome, too.

The Night Before Kindergartenwant_to_read_button‘Twas the night before kindergarten, and as they prepared, kids were excited, and a little bit scared.

The Night Before Preschoolwant_to_read_buttonIt’s the night before preschool, and a little boy named Billy is so nervous he can’t fall asleep.

Kindergarten Rockswant_to_read_buttonDexter already knows “everything” there is to know about kindergarten. His big sister, Jessie, told him all about it. So Dexter is not scared. Not even a little bit. But his stuffed dog, Rufus,” is” scared. Actually, he’s terrified. But Dexter–er, Rufus–has nothing to fear: As he’ll soon find out, kindergarten “rocks!”

The Kissing Handwant_to_read_buttonIn this contemporary classic Chester Raccoon seeks love and reassurance from his mother as he ventures out into the world to attend his very first day of school.

Chu's First Daywant_to_read_buttonIt is Chu’s first day of school. Chu is nervous. He hopes the other boys and girls will be nice.

The Pout Poutwant_to_read_buttonMr. Fish is nervously awaiting his first day of school, and he frets about not knowing how to write his name, how to draw shapes, and how to do math.

First Daywant_to_read_buttonA delightful picture book about starting school, with a clever twist all parents will relate to!

Starting Schoolwant_to_read_buttonThis wonderfully warm and humorous book will put any preschooler’s jitters to rest.

Little Rabbit Goes to Schoolwant_to_read_buttonIt’s Little Rabbit’s first day at school. He decides his favourite toy, Charlie Horse, wants to start school too, so they set off together.

Add the 10 Great Starting School Books to your bookshelf.

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15 Books Every Music Lover Should Read

15 Books Every Music Lover Should ReadBy Simon McDonald, Editorial Manager | simon@thereadingroom.com

Check out our selection of fifteen great books about music, musicians & the music industry.

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Untouchablewant_to_read_button
Delivering exclusive information and a compelling psychological portrait, Untouchable is the story of Michael Jackson from his boy idol childhood to the final four-year odyssey of his tumultuous adult life.

The Fifth Beatlewant_to_read_buttonThe Fifth Beatle is the untold true story of Brian Epstein, the visionary manager who discovered and guided the Beatles – from their gigs in a tiny cellar in Liverpool to unprecedented international stardom.

Lifewant_to_read_buttonAs lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the riffs, the lyrics, and the songs that roused the world.

His Waywant_to_read_buttonThis is the book Frank Sinatra failed to stop, the unauthorized biography of one of the most elusive public figures of our time.

Lives of John Lennonwant_to_read_buttonThe result of six years of research and some 1,200 interviews, this book takes fans deep into Lennon’s secretive world, from his traumatic childhood to his Beatles days to his hidden life with Yoko Ono.

The Soundtrack of My Lifewant_to_read_buttonClive Davis recounts an extraordinary five-decade career in the music business, while also telling a remarkable personal story of triumphs, disappointments, and encounters with some of the greatest musical artists of our time, including Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Simon & Garfunkel, Barry Manilow, the Grateful Dead, Patti Smith, Whitney Houston, Carlos Santana, Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, and Alicia Keys.

The Rise and Rise of Lady Gagawant_to_read_buttonIn just a two-year span, Stefani Germanotta, a struggling performer in New York’s Lower East Side burlesque scene, has become the global demographic-smashing pop icon known as Lady Gaga.

Autobiography Morrisseywant_to_read_buttonIt has been said ‘Most pop stars have to be dead before they reach the iconic status that Morrissey has reached in his lifetime.’ Autobiography covers Morrissey’s life from his birth until the present day.

Feelwant_to_read_buttonThe publication of Feel: Robbie Williams by Chris Heath in September 2004 caused shockwaves of controversy and delight. Not only was its publication trumpeted in tabloids, on TV and the radio, but it was also critically lauded by the broadsheets. Finally, a book had been written on the subject of celebrity and the modern world which had intelligence, honesty and humor.

A Light that never goes outwant_to_read_buttonPenned by a contemporary and life-long fan, and the product of extensive research, dozens of interviews, and unprecedented access, it confirms The Smiths as one of the greatest, most important and influential rock groups of all time.

Bob Dylan Chronicleswant_to_read_buttonUtilizing his unparalleled gifts of storytelling and the exquisite expressiveness that are the hallmarks of his music, Bob Dylan turns “Chronicles: Volume One” into a poignant reflection on life, and the people and places that helped shape the man and the art.

Waging Heavy Peacewant_to_read_button Neil Young is a singular figure in the history of rock and pop culture generally in the last four decades. Reflective, insightful and disarmingly honest, in Waging Heavy Peace he writes about his life and career.

Cashwant_to_read_button. In his unforgettable autobiography, Johnny Cash tells the truth about the highs and lows, the struggles and hard-won triumphs, and the people who shaped him.

Last Train to Memphis - The Rise of Elvis Presleywant_to_read_buttonPresley’s stunning rise is portrayed in vivid, dramatic terms.

Careless Lovewant_to_read_button The full, true, and mesmerizing story of Elvis Presley’s last two decades.

Add these 15 Books Every Music Lover Should Read
to your Bookshelf

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15 Celebrity Memoirs & Biographies You Should Read

15 Celebrity Memoirs & Biographies You Should ReadBy Simon McDonald, Editorial Manager | simon@thereadingroom.com

Check out our selection of fifteen of the best celebrity memoirs and biographies you should read, including some up-and-coming releases from Neil Patrick Harris and Amy Poelher.

Check out the full list.

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Tina FeyFrom her lifetime pursuit of the perfect Beauty Routine to the oversold joys of breastfeeding, from her whirlwind tour of duty as the Other Sarah Palin on “Saturday Night Live” to her early days in the comedy trenches – Tina Fey puts her unique and endlessly funny mark on modern life, work, marriage, and motherhood.

Are You There Vodka it's me Chelseawant_to_read_buttonChelsea is always armed with an unshakable disregard for rules and is incapable of leading a quiet life. Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea is an entertaining memoir-in-stories that will have you rolling around with laughter.

Yes Pleasewant_to_read_buttonAmy Poehler offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious.

Not that Kind of Girlwant_to_read_buttonThis hilarious, poignant, and extremely frank collection of personal essays confirms Lena Dunham—the acclaimed creator, producer, and star of HBO’s Girls—as one of the brightest and most original writers working today.

Total Recallwant_to_read_buttonThe candid story by one of the world’s most remarkable actors, businessmen, and world leaders.

Choose Your Ownwant_to_read_buttonTired of memoirs that only tell you what really happened? Sick of deeply personal accounts written in the first person? Seeking an exciting, interactive read that puts the “u” back in “aUtobiography”? Then look no further than Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography!

My Booky Wookywant_to_read_buttonRussell Brand learned early on to make a joke of fear and failure. From a troubled childhood in industrial Essex, England, to his descent into addictions to alcohol, drugs, and sex in the seamy underbelly of London, Brand has seen his share of both and miraculously lived to tell the tale.

Always Looking Upwant_to_read_buttonThere are many words to describe Michael J. Fox: Star. Husband. Father. Activist. But one word encapsulates everything he stands for, everything he’s accomplished: Optimist.

My Wicked Wicked Wayswant_to_read_buttonSurprisingly candid, this book reveals an introspective and enigmatic personality previously hidden behind a hedonistic facade.These brashly written memoirs of his full and consuming life create a self-portrait that is as colorful as it is entertaining.

Marilyn Monroe The Biographywant_to_read_buttonSpoto’s biography of Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe makes use of over 150 interviews and more than 35,000 pages of previously sealed files, including Monroe’s diaries, letters, and other personal and revealing documents. The book reveals new details of every aspect of her life, from her guarded childhood, and her relationships with men and marriages, to her mysterious death.

Still Me by Christopher Reevewant_to_read_buttonThe whole world held its breath when Christopher Reeve struggled for life on Memorial Day, 1995. On the third jump of a riding competition, Reeve was thrown headfirst from his horse in an accident that broke his neck and left him unable to move or breathe. In the years that followed, Reeve not only survived, but fought for himself, for his family, and for the hundreds of thousands of people with spinal cord injuries in the United States and around the world.

Still Foolin Emwant_to_read_buttonA hilarious and heartfelt look at aging, by one of America’s biggest movie stars written on the eve of his 65th birthday.

Is Everyone Hangoung Outwant_to_read_buttonComedy’s fastest-rising star takes to the page in a book of essays, personal anecdotes, and impassioned pleas.

Stori Tellingwant_to_read_buttonTori Spelling sets the record straight on her personal life and to let readers experience the truly unique life she’s led – with its undeniable childhood privileges, tabloid misperceptions, career successes, and personal regrets.

Seriously I'm Kiddingwant_to_read_buttonThe much-loved entertainer opens up about her personal life, her talk show, and joining the judges’ table of American Idol.

Add the 15 Great Celebrity Memoirs & Biographies to Your Bookshelf

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A Conversation with Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

By Simon McDonald, Editorial Manager | simon@thereadingroom.com

This month Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child return with their third Gideon Crew novel, The Lost Island, which sees the brilliant scientist and master thief facing his own mortality, and undertaking the impossible task of stealing a page from the priceless Book of Kells on display in New York City, where it is protected by unbreakable security. Preston and Child have been writing together since Relic, the first in the Special Agent Pendergast series, the most recent of which was last year’s White Fire. We caught up with one half of the writing team, Lincoln Child, following the release of The Lost Island.

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The Lost IslandThe Lost Island is your third novel starring Gideon Crew. Given the immense success of the Pendergast novels, what was behind the initial decision to introduce a new series? And was Gideon created with a series in mind, or was he initially destined for a standalone?

We wanted to create a very different character from Pendergast, somebody younger, hipper, less gothic, but in his own way just as interesting. The Gideon Crew novels are quite different than the Pendergast novels—they are more linear, faster moving, more action oriented.

Gideon Crew’s life is very much on the line in The Lost Island; he’s got less than a year to live, and his next mission, if it doesn’t get him killed, may hold the key to his salvation. From the beginning of the series you’ve dangled this ‘one year to live’ threat over Gideon’s head, and here it seems you finally tackle the issue head-on. What made you decide to cast this long, dark shadow over the character?

It wasn’t a decision we made lightly. Each Gideon novel takes place over approximately one month, and in each book the fact that Gideon has a fatal condition complicates, and colors everything he says, thinks, and does. We thought it would make for an interesting twist.

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