Biographies…….Let’s check these out today!
The Close Encounters Man by Mark O’Connell
In June 1947, private pilot Kenneth Arnold looked out his cockpit window and saw a group of nine silvery crescents weaving between the peaks of the Cascade Mountains at an estimated 1,200 miles an hour. The media, the military, and the scientific community—led by J. Allen Hynek, an astronomer hired by the Air Force—debunked this and many other Unidentified Flying Object sightings reported across the country. But after years of denials, Hynek made a shocking pronouncement: UFOs are real.
Thirty years after his death, Hynek’s agonizing transformation from skepticism to true believer remains one of the great misunderstood stories of science. In this definitive biography, Mark O’Connell reveals for the first time how Hynek’s work both as a celebrated astronomer and as the U. S. Air Force’s go-to UFO expert for nearly twenty years stretched the boundaries of modern science, laid the groundwork for acceptance of the possibility of UFOs, and was the basis of the hit film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. With unprecedented access to Hynek’s personal and professional files, O’Connell smashes conventional wisdom to reveal the intriguing man and scientist beneath the legend.
Tracing Hynek’s career, O’Connell examines Hynek’s often-ignored work as a professional astronomer to create a complete portrait of a groundbreaking enthusiast who became an American cult icon and transformed the way we see our world and our universe.
Go Slow by Michael Owen
It has been said that the records of singer and actress Julie London were purchased for their provocative, full-color cover photographs as frequently as they were for the music contained in their grooves. During the 1950s and ’60s, her piercing blue eyes, strawberry blonde hair, and shapely figure were used to sell the world an image of cool sexuality.
The contrast between image and reality, the public and the private, is at the heart of Julie London’s story. Through years of research; extensive interviews with family, friends, and musical associates; and access to rarely seen or heard archival material, author Michael Owen reveals the impact of her image on the direction of her career and how it influenced the choices she made, including the ultimate decision to walk away from performing.
Go Slow follows Julie London’s life and career through its many stages: her transformation from 1940s movie starlet to coolly defiant singer of the classic torch ballad “Cry Me a River” of the ’50s, and her journey from Las Vegas hotel entertainer during the rock ’n’ roll revolution of the ’60s to the no-nonsense nurse of the ’70s hit television series Emergency!
Surpassing Certainty by Janet Mock
Riveting, rousing, and utterly real, Surpassing Certainty is a portrait of a young woman searching for her purpose and place in the world—without a road map to guide her.
The journey begins a few months before her twentieth birthday. Janet Mock is adjusting to her days as a first-generation college student at the University of Hawaii and her nights as a dancer at a strip club. Finally content in her body, she vacillates between flaunting and concealing herself as she navigates dating and disclosure, sex and intimacy, and most important, letting herself be truly seen. Under the neon lights of Club Nu, Janet meets Troy, a yeoman stationed at Pearl Harbor naval base, who becomes her first. The pleasures and perils of their union serve as a backdrop for Janet’s progression through her early twenties with all the universal growing pains—falling in and out of love, living away from home, and figuring out what she wants to do with her life.
Despite her disadvantages, fueled by her dreams and inimitable drive, Janet makes her way through New York City while holding her truth close. She builds a career in the highly competitive world of magazine publishing—within the unique context of being trans, a woman, and a person of color.
Long before she became one of the world’s most respected media figures and lauded leaders for equality and justice, Janet was a girl taking the time she needed to just be—to learn how to advocate for herself before becoming an advocate for others. As you witness Janet’s slow-won success and painful failures, Surpassing Certainty will embolden you, shift the way you see others, and affirm your journey in search of self.
My Glory Was I Had Such Friends by Amy Silverstein
In this moving memoir about the power of friendship and the resilience of the human spirit, Amy Silverstein tells the story of the extraordinary group of women who supported her as she waited on the precipice for a life-saving heart transplant.
Nearly twenty-six years after receiving her first heart transplant, Amy Silverstein’s donor heart plummeted into failure. If she wanted to live, she had to take on the grueling quest for a new heart—immediately.
A shot at survival meant uprooting her life and moving across the country to California. When her friends heard of her plans, there was only one reaction: “I’m there.” Nine remarkable women—Joy, Jill, Leja, Jody, Lauren, Robin, Valerie, Ann, and Jane—put demanding jobs and pressing family obligations on hold to fly across the country and be by Amy’s side. Creating a calendar spreadsheet, the women—some of them strangers to one another—passed the baton of friendship, one to the next, and headed straight and strong into the battle to help save Amy’s life.
Empowered by the kind of empathy that can only grow with age, these women, each knowing Amy from different stages of her life, banded together to provide her with something that medicine alone could not. Sleeping on a cot beside her bed, they rubbed her back and feet when the pain was unbearable, adorned her room with death-distracting decorations, and engaged in their “best talks ever.” They saw the true measure of their friend’s strength, and they each responded in kind.
My Glory Was I Had Such Friends is a tribute to these women and the intense hours they spent together—hours of heightened emotion and self-awareness, where everything was laid bare. Candid and heartrending, this once-in-a-lifetime story of connection and empathy is a powerful reminder of the ultimate importance of “showing up” for those we love.
But Seriously by John McEnroe
He is one of the most controversial and beloved athletes in history, a tennis legend and a volcanic, mesmerizing presence. But after reaching the top of his game – what came next? Fifteen years after his international number-one bestseller You Cannot Be Serious, John McEnroe is back and ready to talk.
Now the undisputed elder statesman of tennis, McEnroe has won over his critics as a brilliant commentator at the US Open, Wimbledon, and other Grand Slam tournaments – with outspoken views on the modern game, its top players, and the world of 21st century sport and celebrity. Who are the game’s winners and losers? What’s it like playing guitar onstage with the Rolling Stones, hitting balls with today’s greats, confronting his former on-court nemeses, getting scammed by an international art dealer, and raising a big family while balancing McEnroe-sized expectations?
In But Seriously, John McEnroe confronts his demons and reveals his struggle to reinvent himself from champion and tennis legend to father, broadcaster, and author. The result is a richly personal account, blending anecdote and reflection with razor sharp and brutally honest opinions, all in McEnroe’s signature style. This is the sports book of the year: wildly entertaining, very funny, surprisingly touching, and 100% McEnroe.
Which will you read today? All of them have a story to tell.