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A memoir by acclaimed educator and leader Gwendolyn Calvert Baker exploring her life and work
Britney Gengel was a vibrant nineteen-year-old Lynn University sophomore when she traveled to Haiti in January 2010 to work for an aide group. Deeply moved, she texted her mother that she dreamed of returning to open an orphanage of her own. But hours later, an earthquake leveled Port-au-Prince and the Hotel Montana where Britney s group was staying. For thirty-three days, her family lived a nightmare, with conflicting stories in the post-quake chaos of finding Britney, then losing her. After a gut-wrenching trip to the Haitian capital ten days after the quake, they learned the truth: Brit was not coming home alive.Vowing that her death would not be in vain, Len and Cherylann Gengel along with sons Bernie and Richie kept alive their daughter's dream by building an orphanage in Grand Goave, Haiti. This amazing story chronicles their journey: from grieving for their daughter, to building in the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere. Their experience is proof that you can find meaning and purpose in tragedy, that faith and love are everlasting, and that one person's dream can change the destiny of thousands.100% of the profits of this book will benefit The Be Like Brit Orphanage in Grand Goave, Haiti.
From the outrageously filthy and oddly innocent comedienne and star of the powerful 2015 film I Smile Back Sarah Silverman comes a memoir—her first book—that is at once shockingly personal, surprisingly poignant, and still pee-in-your-pants funny. If you like Sarah’s television show The Sarah Silverman Program, or memoirs such as Chelsea Handler’s Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea and Artie Lange’s Too Fat to Fish, you’ll love The Bedwetter.
Isabelle Scott and Mirabelle Monroe are still reeling from the revelation that they share more than just the roof over their heads. The media has pounced on their story and the girls are caught up in a flurry of talk-show appearances and newspaper interviews. They've put on a happy public face, but someone is leaking their true feelings to the press, and while it seems like the world is watching their every move, at least they have each other. But with cotillion season right around the corner, Izzie and Mira have barely had time to process their newfound sisterhood. Mira has dreamed of making her debut in a gorgeous white gown forever-now, if only she could find an escort. Izzie, meanwhile, is still struggling to find her place in Emerald Cove and it's seeming ever more impossible with EC mean-girls, young and old, doing their best to keep her down. As cotillion preparations heat up, though, there are dance steps to learn, manners to perfect... and secret initiations to complete? As if sophomore year wasn't hard enough! In book two of the Belles trilogy, it's time for the gowns to go on and the gloves to come off.
Turning Scars to Stars by Mary Morales Kirpes As a parent of two autistic sons and as a teacher of special needs children, Mary Morales Kirpes was prompted to share her story. Her hope is to let other families know they are not alone in their struggles, and they can often turn a negative into a positive. Turning Scars to Stars is a lighthearted and upbeat documentation of her experiences with neurological disabilities.
A "fresh...thrilling" (The Guardian) account of the Graeco-Persian Wars. In the fifth century B.C., a global superpower was determined to bring truth and order to what it regarded as two terrorist states. The superpower was Persia, incomparably rich in ambition, gold, and men. The terrorist states were Athens and Sparta, eccentric cities in a poor and mountainous backwater: Greece. The story of how their citizens took on the Great King of Persia, and thereby saved not only themselves but Western civilization as well, is as heart-stopping and fateful as any episode in history. Tom Holland’s brilliant study of these critical Persian Wars skillfully examines a conflict of critical importance to both ancient and modern history.
Prior to the civil rights movement, comedians performed for audiences that were clearly delineated by race. Black comedians performed for black audiences and white comedians performed for whites. Yet during the past forty-five years, black comics have become progressively more central to mainstream culture. In Laughing Mad, Bambi Haggins looks at how this transition occurred in a variety of media and shows how this integration has paved the way for black comedians and their audiences to affect each other. Historically, African American performers have been able to use comedy as a pedagogic tool, interjecting astute observations about race relations while the audience is laughing. And yet, Haggins makes the convincing argument that the potential of African American comedy remains fundamentally unfulfilled as the performance of blackness continues to be made culturally digestible for mass consumption. Rather than presenting biographies of individual performers, Haggins focuses on the ways in which the comic persona is constructed and changes across media, from stand-up, to the small screen, to film. She examines the comic televisual and cinematic personae of Dick Gregory, Bill Cosby, Flip Wilson, and Richard Pryor and considers how these figures set the stage for black comedy in the next four decades. She reads Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock as emblematic of the first and second waves of postcivil rights era African American comedy, and she looks at the socio-cultural politics of Whoopi Goldbergs comic persona through the lens of gender and crossover. Laughing Mad also explores how the comedy of Dave Chappelle speaks to and for the post-soul generation. A rigorous analytic analysis, this book interrogates notions of identity, within both the African American community and mainstream popular culture. Written in engaging and accessible prose, it is also a book that will travel from the seminar room, to the barbershop, to the kitchen table, allowing readers to experience the sketches, stand-up, and film comedies with all the laughter they deserve.

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