House of Nails: A Memoir of Life on the Edge
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"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.
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.
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
Installing a beautiful walkway made of pavers, creating a dramatic brick-covered wall, or even repairing foundational cracks to preserve your home--projects like these are easier than ever for DIY-ers with Masonry Complete, today's most comprehensive reference on masonry. Written for both beginner and advanced home improvers by a second-generation stonesman, this complete masonry guide delves deeply into everything, including buying the right tools, setting up safety precautions, digging a footing, pouring concrete, building a stone fireplace, repairing old masonry, and more. With Cody Macfie's step-by-step approach and you-can-do-it attitude, readers will feel empowered and confident to tackle any project, deal with challenges should they arise, and proudly net a finished product in less time than imagined.
A revolutionary memoir about domestic abuse by the award-winning author of Her Body and Other Parties. In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado's engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming. And it's that struggle that gives the book its original structure: each chapter is driven by its own narrative trope--haunted houses, erotica, bildungsroman--in which Machado holds the events up to the light and examines them from different angles. She looks back at her religious adolescence, unpacks the stereotype of lesbian relationships as safe and utopian, and widens the view with essayistic explorations about the history and reality of abuse in queer relationships. Machado's dire narrative is leavened with her characteristic wit, playfulness, and openness to inquiry. She casts a critical eye over legal proceedings, Star Trek and Disney villains, fairy tales, as well as iconic works of film and fiction. The result is a wrenching, riveting book that explodes our ideas about what a memoir can do and be.
A moment on the subway platform changes two women’s lives forever—a debut thriller that will take your breath away. A total stranger on the subway platform whispers, “Take my baby.” She places her child in your arms. She says your name. Then she jumps... In a split second, Morgan Kincaid’s life changes forever. She’s on her way home from work when a mother begs her to take her baby, then places the infant in her arms. Before Morgan can stop her, the distraught mother jumps in front of an oncoming train. Morgan has never seen this woman before, and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life. She also can’t understand how this woman knew her name. The police take Morgan in for questioning. She soon learns that the woman who jumped was Nicole Markham, prominent CEO of the athletic brand Breathe. She also learns that no witness can corroborate her version of events, which means she’s just become a murder suspect. To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically retraces the last days of Nicole’s life. Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia or was she in danger? When strange things start happening to Morgan, she suddenly realizes she might be in danger, too. Woman on the Edge is a pulse-pounding, propulsive thriller about the lengths to which a woman will go to protect her baby—even if that means sacrificing her own life.
A sweeping, propulsive family saga set on a romantic and beautiful Italian island, for fans of Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Beautiful Ruins. On the tiny, idyllic island of Castellamare, off the coast of Sicily, lies The House at the Edge of Night, an ancient bar run by the Esposito family. There, over the course of three generations--from the eve of World War One to the aftershocks of the 2008 financial crisis--the Esposito women will fight to hold their family together against the threats that break across their shores. As lush and magical as the island at its centre, The House at the Edge of Night is a story of love and secrets, endurance, loss and, ultimately, triumph. From the Hardcover edition.
The iconic rock star's New York Times bestselling follow-up to Waging Heavy Peace that "reads like a great Neil Young song plays." (The Buffalo News) In this acclaimed new memoir, New York Times bestselling author Neil Young has fashioned another extraordinary work of reminiscences told through the lens of one of his deepest passions: cars. A lifelong devotee and collector, Young explores his love for the well-crafted vintage automobile and examines his newfound awareness of his hobby's negative environmental impact. Witty, eclectic, candid, and filled with Young's original artwork, Special Deluxe will appeal to car lovers as well as the legions devoted to one of the most genuine and enigmatic artists of our time.
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Rick Ankiel had the talent to be one of the best pitchers ever. Then, one day, he lost it. The Phenomenon is the story of how St. Louis Cardinals prodigy Rick Ankiel lost his once-in-a-generation ability to pitch--not due to an injury or a bolt of lightning, but a mysterious anxiety condition widely known as "the Yips." It came without warning, in the middle of a playoff game, with millions of people watching. And it has never gone away. Yet the true test of Ankiel's character came not on the mound, but in the long days and nights that followed as he searched for a way to get back in the game. For four and a half years, he fought the Yips with every arrow in his quiver: psychotherapy, medication, deep-breathing exercises, self-help books, and, eventually, vodka. And then, after reconsidering his whole life at the age of twenty-five, Ankiel made an amazing turnaround: returning to the Major Leagues as a hitter and playing seven successful seasons. This book is an incredible story about a universal experience--pressure--and what happened when a person on the brink had to make a choice about who he was going to be.
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 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.
A young college grad buys a house in Detroit for $500 and attempts to restore it—and his new neighborhood—to its original glory in this “deeply felt, sharply observed personal quest to create meaning and community out of the fallen…A standout” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). Drew Philp, an idealistic college student from a working-class Michigan family, decides to live where he can make a difference. He sets his sights on Detroit, the failed metropolis of abandoned buildings, widespread poverty, and rampant crime. Arriving with no job, no friends, and no money, Philp buys a ramshackle house for five hundred dollars in the east side neighborhood known as Poletown. The roomy Queen Anne he now owns is little more than a clapboard shell on a crumbling brick foundation, missing windows, heat, water, electricity, and a functional roof. A $500 House in Detroit is Philp’s raw and earnest account of rebuilding everything but the frame of his house, nail by nail and room by room. “Philp is a great storyteller…[and his] engrossing” (Booklist) tale is also of a young man finding his footing in the city, the country, and his own generation. We witness his concept of Detroit shift, expand, and evolve as his plan to save the city gives way to a life forged from political meaning, personal connection, and collective purpose. As he assimilates into the community of Detroiters around him, Philp guides readers through the city’s vibrant history and engages in urgent conversations about gentrification, racial tensions, and class warfare. Part social history, part brash generational statement, part comeback story, A $500 House in Detroit “shines [in its depiction of] the ‘radical neighborliness’ of ordinary people in desperate circumstances” (Publishers Weekly). This is an unforgettable, intimate account of the tentative revival of an American city and a glimpse at a new way forward for generations to come.
INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In his first and only official autobiography, music icon Elton John reveals the truth about his extraordinary life, from his rollercoaster lifestyle as shown in the film Rocketman, to becoming a living legend. Christened Reginald Dwight, he was a shy boy with Buddy Holly glasses who grew up in the London suburb of Pinner and dreamed of becoming a pop star. By the age of twenty-three he was performing his first gig in America, facing an astonished audience in his bright yellow dungarees, a star-spangled T-shirt, and boots with wings. Elton John had arrived and the music world would never be the same again. His life has been full of drama, from the early rejection of his work with song-writing partner Bernie Taupin to spinning out of control as a chart-topping superstar; from half-heartedly trying to drown himself in his LA swimming pool to disco-dancing with Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth; from friendships with John Lennon, Freddie Mercury, and George Michael to setting up his AIDS Foundation to conquering Broadway with Aida, The Lion King, and Billy Elliot the Musical. All the while Elton was hiding a drug addiction that would grip him for over a decade. In Me, Elton also writes powerfully about getting clean and changing his life, about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father. In a voice that is warm, humble, and open, this is Elton on his music and his relationships, his passions and his mistakes. This is a story that will stay with you by a living legend.
An Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Year, 2015 For the Marshalls, laughter is the best medicine. Especially when combined with alcohol, pain pills, excessive cursing, sexual escapades, actual medicine, and more alcohol. Meet Dan Marshall. 25, good job, great girlfriend, and living the dream life in sunny Los Angeles without a care in the world. Until his mother calls. And he ignores it, as you usually do when Mom calls. Then she calls again. And again. Dan thought things were going great at home. But it turns out his mom's cancer, which she had battled throughout his childhood with tenacity and a mouth foul enough to make a sailor blush, is back. And to add insult to injury, his loving father has been diagnosed with ALS. Sayonara L.A., Dan is headed home to Salt Lake City, Utah. Never has there been a more reluctant family reunion: His older sister is resentful, having stayed closer to home to bear the brunt of their mother's illness. His younger brother comes to lend a hand, giving up a journalism career and evenings cruising Chicago gay bars. His next younger sister, a sullen teenager, is a rebel with a cause. And his baby sister - through it all - can only think about her beloved dance troop. Dan returns to shouting matches at the dinner table, old flames knocking at the door, and a speech device programmed to help his father communicate that is as crude as the rest of them. But they put their petty differences aside and form Team Terminal, battling their parents' illnesses as best they can, when not otherwise distracted by the chaos that follows them wherever they go. Not even the family cats escape unscathed. As Dan steps into his role as caregiver, wheelchair wrangler, and sibling referee, he watches pieces of his previous life slip away, and comes to realize that the further you stretch the ties that bind, the tighter they hold you together.
Misadventures is a unique ensemble of mishaps and anecdotes revealing the ups and downs of one woman's life in twentieth-century London. Sylvia Smith's deadpan patter belies the startling complexities, humour and darkness at the heart of this remarkable memoir.
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.
This eBook has been formatted to the highest digital standards and adjusted for readability on all devices. Hill House is an 80 year-old mansion built by long-deceased Hugh Crain. The story concerns four main characters: Dr. John Montague, an investigator of the supernatural; Eleanor Vance, a shy young woman who resents having lived as a recluse caring for her demanding invalid mother; Theodora, a flamboyant, bohemian, possibly lesbian artist; and Luke Sanderson, the young heir to Hill House, who is also the host to the others. Dr. Montague hopes to find scientific evidence of the existence of the supernatural. He rents Hill House for a summer and invites as his guests several people whom he has chosen because of their past experience with paranormal events. Of these, only Eleanor and Theodora accept. All four of the inhabitants begin to experience strange events while in the house, including unseen noises and ghosts roaming the halls at night, strange writing on the walls and other unexplained events. Eleanor tends to experience phenomena to which the others are oblivious. At the same time, Eleanor may be losing touch with reality...A finalist for the National Book Award, The Haunting of Hill House is considered as one of the best literary ghost stories published during the 20th century, even by stalwarts like Stephen King. It has been made into two feature films, a TV series and a play. Jackson's novel relies on terror rather than horror to elicit emotion in the reader, utilizing complex relationships between the mysterious events in the house and the characters' psyches. A must read!
Anne Cholawo was a typical 80s career girl working in a busy London advertising agency, when in 1989, holidaying in Skye, she noticed an advert for a property on the Isle of Soay – 'Access by courtesy of fishing boat'. She had never heard of Soay before, let alone visited it, but something inexplicable drew her there. Within ten minutes of stepping off the said fishing boat, she had fallen under the spell of the island, and after a few months she moved there to live. She is still there. When she arrived on the remote west coast island there were only 17 inhabitants, among them the legendary Hebridean sharker Tex Geddes and his family. Today, including Anne and her husband Robert, there are only three. This book describes her extraordinary transition from a hectic urban lifestyle to one of rural isolation and self-sufficiency, without mains electricity, medical services, shops or any of the other modern amenities we take for granted. Anne describes the history of Soay and its unique wildlife, and as well as telling her own personal story introduces along the way some of the off-beat and colourful characters associated with the island, notably Tex's one-time associate, the celebrated writer and naturalist, Gavin Maxwell.
A fascinating look at compulsive hoarding by a woman whose mother suffers from the disease. To be the child of a compulsive hoarder is to live in a permanent state of unease. Because if my mother is one of those crazy junk-house people, then what does that make me? When her divorced mother was diagnosed with cancer, New York City writer Jessie Sholl returned to her hometown of Minneapolis to help her prepare for her upcoming surgery and get her affairs in order. While a daunting task for any adult dealing with an aging parent, it’s compounded for Sholl by one lifelong, complex, and confounding truth: her mother is a compulsive hoarder. Dirty Secret is a daughter’s powerful memoir of confronting her mother’s disorder, of searching for the normalcy that was never hers as a child, and, finally, cleaning out the clutter of her mother’s home in the hopes of salvaging the true heart of their relationship—before it’s too late. Growing up, young Jessie knew her mother wasn’t like other mothers: chronically disorganized, she might forgo picking Jessie up from kindergarten to spend the afternoon thrift store shopping. Now, tracing the downward spiral in her mother’s hoarding behavior to the death of a long-time boyfriend, she bravely wades into a pathological sea of stuff: broken appliances, moldy cowboy boots, twenty identical pairs of graying bargain-bin sneakers, abandoned arts and crafts, newspapers, magazines, a dresser drawer crammed with discarded eyeglasses, shovelfuls of junk mail . . . the things that become a hoarder’s “treasures.” With candor, wit, and not a drop of sentimentality, Jessie Sholl explores the many personal and psychological ramifications of hoarding while telling an unforgettable mother-daughter tale.
A charming tale of family ties, over-the-top housekeeping, and the sport of storytelling in Nahalal, the village of Meir Shalev's birth.
A Yale mathematician best known for his ideas on fractals traces his early years as a member of a Lithuanian Jewish family in Warsaw, his education under challenging circumstances, and his development of a new geometry that unfolded formerly hidden laws governing chaos and the natural and financial worlds. Reprint.