Recounts the story of how a notorious gang of MIT blackjack savants devised and received backing for a system for winning at the world's most sophisticated casinos, an endeavor that earned them more than three million dollars. Originally published as Bringing Down the House. Reissue. (A Columbia Pictures film, written by Peter Steinfeld & Allan Loeb, directed by Robert Luketic, releasing March 2008, starring Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne, Jim Sturgess, & others) (Current Affairs)
The author relates how she was sent from Camden, New Jersey, where her mother could no longer take care of her, to Oklahoma, where she was legally adopted by her grandparents and given a new name, but was haunted by the past and the siblings she left behind.
"Stage fright is one of the human psyche's deepest fears. Laurence Olivier learned to adapt to it, as have actors Salma Hayek and Hugh Grant. Musicians such as George Harrison and Adele have battled it and learned to cope. Others never do: In 1973, Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star pitcher Steve Blass suddenly could no longer find the strike zone; his career ended soon after. Surveys in the United States repeatedly rank public speaking as one of the top fears, affecting up to 74 percent of people. Sara Solovitch studied piano as a young child and fell in love with music. At ten, she played Bach and Mozart in her hometown's annual music festival, but was overwhelmed by fear. As a teen, she attended Eastman School of Music, where stage fright led her to give up aspirations of becoming a professional pianist. In her late fifties, Sara gave herself a one-year deadline to tame performance anxiety and play before an audience. She resumed music lessons, while exploring meditation, exposure therapy, cognitive therapy,biofeedback, beta blockers, and other remedies. She performed in airports, hospitals, and retirement homes before renting a public hall and performing for fifty guests on her sixtieth birthday. Using her own journey as inspiration, Solovitch has written a thoughtful and insightful examination of the myriad causes of stage fright and the equally diverse ways to overcome it, and a tribute to pursuing personal growth at any age"—
In an unflinchingly honest memoir, the author shares her journey to sobriety after her drinking — which she once believed gave her confidence, intimacy and creativity — led to blackouts that drained her spirit and destroyed her life.
In this armchair spy story brought to life, the author, a young American amateur and covert double agent who helped the FBI bust a Russian spy in New York, shares his story of how a post-college adventure became a real-life U.S. counter-intelligence coup.
In this biography, Washington Post sportswriter Kent Babb chronicles the dazzling but troubled life of former NBA star Allen Iverson, highlighting his rare abilities on the court without glossing over his personal struggles off of it.
The Seven Good Years is a humorous memoir that traces the seven years between the birth of the author's son, Lev, during a terrorist attack and his father's battle with cancer that brought the family back together even as the threat of war permeated daily life.
The former executive director of the National SCRABBLE Association describes the inner workings of tournaments and the top players, provides a list of words that were once banned from the game, and discusses the dearth of allowable vowel-less words.
The author, a professional anthropologist, compares the behavior of the wealthy mothers of the Upper East Side in New York City that she lived among to primate social behavior, with its rules and rituals about dominance, display, hierarchy, mating practices, physical adornment, and anxiety.