Virginia Lloyd spent much of her childhood and adolescence learning and playing the piano and thought she would make a career as a pianist. When that didn't happen, she spent a long time wondering about those years of study: had they been wasted? What was their purpose? This intriguing memoir explores those questions and investigates the mystery of the author's very musical and deeply unhappy grandmother Alice, and how their lives--both at and away from the piano--intersected and diverged. Girls at the Piano also explores the changing relationship between women and the piano over the course of the instrument's history, taking us from the salons of 18th-century Europe to an amateur jazz workshop in Manhattan in the early 21st century. Funny, tender and fascinating, Girls at the Piano is an elegant and multi-layered meditation on identity, ambition and doubt, and on how learning the piano had a profound effect on two women worlds and generations apart. It is essential reading for music lovers everywhere, and for anyone who has undertaken their own voyage around a piano.
Manson, Sinatra and Me is a Hollywood party girl’s memoir that details her encounters with former Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, foreign dignitaries, celebrities, sports stars, businessmen - you name it - including the likes of Frank Sinatra and other members of the Rat Pack. The average man or woman may not have heard of Virginia Graham, but everybody in the know was aware of what her game was as a key player in the Hollywood Screw System. When Virginia found herself in trouble with the law, she ended up in jail. Yet somehow she continued to meet interesting people - like Susan Atkins, her cellmate, who confessed to Virginia about how she had butchered Sharon Tate and her unborn child. Atkins also told how she and her friends, all members of the Manson Family, were involved in what has become known as the Tate/LaBianca murders. Virginia reveals the true story behind Susan Atkins’ prison confession about the Manson Murders, what led to her becoming a key witness for District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi in the Helter Skelter case, and why she went into hiding after the trial ended. Virginia’s testimony helped save the lives of many Hollywood celebrities, and she received recognition from Elizabeth Taylor for doing so. Praise received for Manson, Sinatra and Me “Virginia Graham had a heck of a run in her life as a party girl, and has told of her rollicking story very well in this poignant and sometimes very funny memoir of hers. She also happened to be a star witness of mine in helping me bring the Manson Family killers to justice, something for which I will always be very grateful to her.” - Vincent Bugliosi, bestselling author of Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders “Virginia Graham’s personal tell-all as a party girl is a page-turner from beginning to end. Her writing, breezy, humorously and sometimes harrowingly candid, proves her to be an honest chronicler of her own life and times... and what times these were! Her landing in jail, which brings us to what was then the Crime of the Century, comes as a wallop. This book is a winner.” - Jack Engelhard, bestselling novelist of Indecent Proposal and The Bathsheba Deadline “A riveting read, with the best sex tales you’ve never heard about classic Hollywood celebrities like Frank Sinatra and notorious gangsters like Mickey Cohen. Virginia Graham’s fateful meeting with Susan Atkins turned her into a national hero for breaking the case against the Manson Family. This book is an important work of true crime and a thrilling peek into Hollywood behind closed doors.” - Dr. Gloria Brame, sex therapist, blogger and bestselling author of Different Loving and The Truth About Sex “Whether Virginia Graham writes of her time behind bars or of living the high life as a party girl, every word reads as the truth. I admire this writer because every word, every phase is an education in pushing through any difficulties in life. She is a survivor. This is a memoir that stays with the reader, and is by far one of the best memoirs I have read in a very long time.” - Jasmine Kinnear, author of Every Cat Has A Story
Going after you dream doesn’t have to wait – be empowered by these incredible women and start changing the world now. From the inspiring author of Girls Who Rocked the World comes another comprehensive collection of true, inspiring profiles of successful young women throughout history who made their mark on the world before turning twenty. Young women today crave strong, independent role models to look to for motivation. Girls Who Changed the World offers a fun and uplifting collection of influential stories with forty-five more movers and shakers who made a difference early on in life. From Cleopatra to Mindy Kaling, and Aretha Franklin to Emma Watson – each with her own incredible story of how she created life-changing opportunities for herself and the world – you’ll get to know these capable queens of empires and courageous icons of entertainment. Also included are profiles of gutsy teenagers who are out there rocking the world right now and personal aspirations from today’s young women.
A pianist in lounges and lobbies around the world, Robin Meloy Goldsby tells her warm-hearted stories by linking people she has met with places she has played. Along the way, she connects the humanity of her audiences—princes and paupers, dreamers and doers, moguls, mobsters, wanna-bes, and has-beens—with the quiet soundtrack of her peripatetic, melodic life. Goldsby's autobiographical stories and essays deliver insights into the art and craft of piano playing, the merits of live music, and how the right song at the right moment can add color and depth to a drab, one dimensional world. Music, it turns out, connects us in unpredictable ways.
"Young women today crave strong, independent role models to look to for motivation. In the follow-up to the 2012 bestseller Girls Who Rocked the World, More Girls Who Rocked the World offers a fun and inspiring collection of influential stories with forty-five more movers and shakers who rocked the world before turning twenty. A variety of achievements, interests, and ethnic backgrounds are represented, from Annie Oakley and Cleopatra to Malala Yousafzai and Misty Copeland--each with her own incredible story of how she created life-changing opportunities for herself and the world. Personal aspirations from today's young women are also interspersed throughout the book, as well as profiles of teenagers who are out there rocking the world right now"--
Just as the preoccupations of any given cultural moment make their way into the language of music, the experience of music makes its way into other arenas of life. To unearth these overlapping meanings and vocabularies from the Victorian era, Ruth A. Solie examines sources as disparate as journalism, novels, etiquette manuals, religious tracts, and teenagers' diaries for the muffled, even subterranean, conversations that reveal so much about what music meant to the Victorians. Her essays, giving voice to "what goes without saying" on the subject—that cultural information so present and pervasive as to go unsaid—fill in some of the most intriguing blanks in our understanding of music's history. This much-anticipated collection, bringing together new and hard-to-find pieces by an acclaimed musicologist, mines the abundant casual texts of the period to show how Victorian-era people—English and others—experienced music and what they understood to be its power and its purposes. Solie's essays start from topics as varied as Beethoven criticism, Macmillan's Magazine, George Eliot's Daniel Deronda, opera tropes in literature, and the Victorian myth of the girl at the piano. They evoke common themes—including the moral force that was attached to music in the public mind and the strongly gendered nature of musical practice and sensibility—and in turn suggest the complex links between the history of music and the history of ideas.
Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award The Sunday Times Sports Book of the Year The Times Sports Book of the Year Telegraph Football Book of the Year 'Ferris's wonderful memoir represents a twin triumph. He has endured every kind of setback in life but has invariably reinvented himself; and his writing is a pure pleasure.' The Sunday Times 'Enough depth and humanity to make your average football autobiography look like a Ladybird book.' Telegraph 'A masterpiece of the genre' Brian McNally 'Football memoirs rarely produce great literature but Ferris's The Boy on the Shed is a glistening exception.' Guardian 'Fascinating and stylishly told.' David Walsh, The Sunday Times The Boy on the Shed is a story of love and fate. At 16, Paul Ferris becomes Newcastle United's youngest-ever first-teamer. Like many a tricky winger from Northern Ireland, he is hailed as 'the new George Best'. As a player and later a physio and member of the Magpies' managerial team, Paul's career acquaints him not only with Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish and Bobby Robson, Ruud Gullit, Paul Gascoigne and Alan Shearer but also with injury, insecurity and disappointment. Yet this autobiography is more than a tale of the vagaries of sporting fortune. It begins during 'The Troubles' in a working-class Catholic family in the Protestant town of Lisburn, near Belfast. After a childhood scarred by his mother's illness and sectarian hatred, Paul meets the love of his life, his future wife Geraldine. Talented and carefree on the pitch, shy and anxious off it, he earns a tilt at stardom. His first spell at Newcastle turns sour, as does his return as a physio, although obtaining a Masters degree shows him what he could achieve away from football. When Paul qualifies as a barrister, a career in Law beckons. Instead, a craving to prove himself in the game draws him back to St James' Park as part of Shearer's management triumvirate - with unfortunate consequences. Written with brutal candour, dark humour and consummate style, The Boy on the Shed is a riveting and moving account of a life less ordinary
This astonishing true story presents an “affecting viewpoint on life in Syria before and in the midst of extreme violence” (Booklist), offering a deeply personal and unique perspective on one of the most devastating refugee crises of this century. Aeham Ahmad was born a second-generation refugee—the son of a blind violinist and carpenter who recognized Aeham’s talent and taught him how to play piano and love music from an early age. When his grandparents and father were forced to flee Israel and seek refuge from the conflict ravaging their home, Aeham’s family built a life in Yarmouk, an unofficial camp to more than 160,000 Palestinian refugees in Damascus. As a devoted family, they waited for the conflict to be resolved so they could return to their homeland. Their only haven was in music and in each other, especially when another deadly fight overtook their asylum. Forced to leave his family behind, Aeham sought out a safe place for them to call home and build a better life, taking solace in his indestructible familial bond to keep moving forward. Heart-wrenching yet ultimately optimistic and told in a raw and poignant voice, The Pianist from Syria is a “deeply moving account of one man’s struggle to survive while bringing hope to thousands through his music” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
Read the New York Times Bestselling memoir that is "revealing, humble, and cool-aunt chatty" about the incredible life that inspired the hit Broadway musical Beautiful (Rolling Stone). Carole King takes us from her early beginnings in Brooklyn, to her remarkable success as one of the world's most acclaimed songwriting and performing talents of all time. A Natural Woman chronicles King's extraordinary life, drawing readers into her musical world, including her phenomenally successful #1 album Tapestry, and into her journey as a performer, mother, wife and present-day activist. Deeply personal, King's long-awaited memoir offers readers a front-row seat to the woman behind the legend. The book will include dozens of photos from King's childhood, her own family, and behind-the-scenes images from her performances.