Best Selling Books in Biographies & Memoirs - Biographies

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release date: Nov 13, 2018
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About My Mother: True Stories of a Horse-Crazy Daughter and Her Baseball-Obsessed Mother: A Memoir
A Message from Mike Rowe, the Dirty Jobs Guy: Just to be clear, About My Mother is a book about my grandmother, written by my mother. That’s not to say it’s not about my mother—it is. In fact, About My Mother is as much about my mother as it is about my grandmother. In that sense, it’s really a book about “mothers.”

…It is not, however, a book written by me. True, I did write the foreword. But it doesn’t mean I’ve written a book about my mother. I haven’t. Nor does it mean my mother’s book is about her son. It isn’t. It’s about my grandmother. And my mother. Just to be clear.—Mike 

A love letter to mothers everywhere, About My Mother will make you laugh and cry—and see yourself in its reflection. Peggy Rowe’s story of growing up as the daughter of Thelma Knobel is filled with warmth and humor. But Thelma could be your mother—there’s a Thelma in everyone’s life.  Shes the person taking charge—the one who knows instinctively how things should be. Today Thelma would be described as an alpha personality, but while growing up, her daughter Peggy saw her as a dictator—albeit a benevolent, loving one. They clashed from the beginning—Peggy, the horse-crazy tomboy, and Thelma, the genteel-yet-still-controlling mother, committed to raising two refined, ladylike daughters. Good luck.

When major league baseball came to town in the early 1950s and turned sophisticated Thelma into a crazed Baltimore Orioles groupie, nobody was more surprised and embarrassed than Peggy. Life became a series of compromises—Thelma tolerating a daughter who pitched manure and galloped the countryside, while Peggy learned to tolerate the whacky Orioles fan who threw her underwear at the television, shouted insults at umpires, and lived by the orange-and-black schedule taped to the refrigerator door. 

Sometimes, we’re more alike than we know. 

And in case you’re wondering, Peggy knows a thing or two about dirty jobs herself…
release date: Sep 04, 2018
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The Man I Never Met: A Memoir

A powerful true story of loss and hope by one of the biggest names in sports media.

On September 11, 2001, Joe Maio went to work in the north tower of the World Trade Center. He never returned, leaving behind a wife, Sharri, and 15-month old son, Devon. Five years later, Sharri remarried, and Devon welcomed a new dad into his life.

For thousands, the whole country really, 9/11 is a day of grief. For Adam and Sharri Maio Schefter and their family it’s not just a day of grief, but also hope. This is a story of 9/11, but it’s also the story of 9/12 and all the days after. Life moved on. Pieces were picked up. New dreams were dreamed. The Schefters are the embodiment of that.

This book will give voice to all those who have chosen to keep living. It’s gratifying and beautiful. But also messy and hard. Like most families. Except that one day every year history comes roaring back. How do you embrace that? How do you honor that?

The Man I Never Met is also a peek at Adam Schefter, the man behind the headlines and injury reports; a real person who has a real family. His book will follow in the path of recent ESPN books by Tom Rinaldi and the late Stuart Scott – books that have transcended sport to examine the raw emotion of life.

release date: May 01, 2018
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Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
In this instant and tenacious New York Times bestseller, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight “offers a rare and revealing look at the notoriously media-shy man behind the swoosh” (Booklist, starred review), illuminating his company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.

Bill Gates named Shoe Dog one of his five favorite books of 2016 and called it “an amazing tale, a refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like. It’s a messy, perilous, and chaotic journey, riddled with mistakes, endless struggles, and sacrifice. Phil Knight opens up in ways few CEOs are willing to do.”

Fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed fifty dollars from his father and launched a company with one simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost running shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his car in 1963, Knight grossed eight thousand dollars that first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In this age of start-ups, Knight’s Nike is the gold standard, and its swoosh is one of the few icons instantly recognized in every corner of the world.

But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always been a mystery. In Shoe Dog, he tells his story at last. At twenty-four, Knight decides that rather than work for a big corporation, he will create something all his own, new, dynamic, different. He details the many risks he encountered, the crushing setbacks, the ruthless competitors and hostile bankers—as well as his many thrilling triumphs. Above all, he recalls the relationships that formed the heart and soul of Nike, with his former track coach, the irascible and charismatic Bill Bowerman, and with his first employees, a ragtag group of misfits and savants who quickly became a band of swoosh-crazed brothers.

Together, harnessing the electrifying power of a bold vision and a shared belief in the transformative power of sports, they created a brand—and a culture—that changed everything.
release date: Sep 11, 2018
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Gridiron Genius: A Master Class in Winning Championships and Building Dynasties in the NFL
Former NFL general manager and three-time Super Bowl winner Michael Lombardi reveals what makes football organizations tick at the championship level. From personnel to practice to game-day decisions that win titles, Lombardi shares what he learned working with coaching legends Bill Walsh of the 49ers, Al Davis of the Raiders, and Bill Belichick of the Patriots, among others, during his three decades in football.

Why do some NFL franchises dominate year after year while others can never crack the code of success? For 30 years Michael Lombardi had a front-row seat and full access as three titans--Bill Walsh, Al Davis, and Bill Belichick--reinvented the game, turning it into a national obsession while piling up Super Bowl trophies. Now, in Gridiron Genius, Lombardi provides the blueprint that makes a successful organization click and win--and the mistakes unsuccessful organizations make that keep them on the losing side time and again.
     In reality, very few coaches understand the philosophies, attention to detail, and massive commitment that defined NFL juggernauts like the 49ers and the Patriots. The best organizations are not just employing players, they are building something bigger. Gridiron Genius will explain how the best leaders evaluate, acquire, and utilize personnel in ways other professional minds, football and otherwise, won't even contemplate. How do you know when to trade a player? How do you create a positive atmosphere when everyone is out to maximize his own paycheck? And why is the tight end like the knight on a chessboard?
     To some, game planning consists only of designing an attack for the next opponent. But Lombardi explains how the smartest leaders script everything: from an afternoon's special-teams practice to a season's playoff run to a decade-long organizational blueprint. Readers will delight in the Lombardi tour of an NFL weekend, including what really goes on during the game on and off the field and inside the headset. First stop: Belichick's Saturday night staff meeting, where he announces how the game will go the next day. Spoiler alert: He always nails it.
     Football dynasties are built through massive attention to detail and unwavering commitment. From how to build a team, to how to watch a game, to understanding the essential qualities of great leaders, Gridiron Genius gives football fans the knowledge to be the smartest person in the room every Sunday.
release date: Aug 21, 2018
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Fearless: How an Underdog Becomes a Champion
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

How does an underdog become a champion? One of the most innovative, gutsy, and dynamic head coaches in the NFL reveals the strategies behind building the Eagles team that shocked the world by winning the Super Bowl.

Doug Pederson is the very definition of an underdog. He was an undrafted rookie free agent who would go on to play fourteen years in the NFL as a backup quarterback. He was cut five times, yet kept getting back up and into the fray. He would win one Super Bowl, with the Green Bay Packers. When he retired, he decided to coach, but not at the pro level. Instead, he was head coach of Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana. After a successful four-year stint there, he returned to the NFL as an assistant coach under Andy Reid with the Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, where he was instrumental in the development of quarterback Alex Smith and his string of 3,000-plus-yard seasons of passing.

When he was offered the job as head coach of the Eagles, he jumped at it, though few thought he would succeed. In the first season, a year of rebuilding, they finished 7-9. Some doubted his abilities, and before the 2017 season, one "expert" called Pederson the least qualified coach in thirty years. Plagued by the sidelining of seasoned players and devastated by quarterback Carson Wentz's season-ending knee injury, the Eagles managed a 13-3 record and home-field advantage in the playoffs. Yet they were still the underdogs in every single game, including the Super Bowl, against the New England Patriots, one of the greatest dynasties in the history of the NFL. It wasn't until they stunned the Patriots that people finally believed in Pederson and his team.

In Fearless, Pederson reveals the principles that guided him through the ups and downs and tough times of his career, and what it took to become a champion. Through it all, Pederson sustained himself with his faith and the support of his family. He shares the defining stories of his life and career, growing up with his disciplinarian Air Force dad and his tender-hearted mom, developing friendships with Dan Marino and Brett Favre, and learning from mentors, such as Don Shula, Mike Holmgren, and Andy Reid, who helped mold him into the man and coach he is today.

Fearless captures Pederson's coaching and leadership philosophies and reveals the brilliant mind and indomitable spirit of a man who has entered the pantheon of great coaches.
release date: Jul 29, 2014
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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.

In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II began, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. When his Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean, against all odds, Zamperini survived, adrift on a foundering life raft. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
 
Appearing in paperback for the first time—with twenty arresting new photos and an extensive Q&A with the author—Unbroken is an unforgettable testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit, brought vividly to life by Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand.

Hailed as the top nonfiction book of the year by Time magazine • Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography and the Indies Choice Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year award
 
“Extraordinarily moving . . . a powerfully drawn survival epic.”The Wall Street Journal
 
“[A] one-in-a-billion story . . . designed to wrench from self-respecting critics all the blurby adjectives we normally try to avoid: It is amazing, unforgettable, gripping, harrowing, chilling, and inspiring.”—New York
 
“Staggering . . . mesmerizing . . . Hillenbrand’s writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don’t dare take your eyes off the page.”People
 
“A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life.”—The Washington Post
 
“Ambitious and powerful . . . a startling narrative and an inspirational book.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Magnificent . . . incredible . . . [Hillenbrand] has crafted another masterful blend of sports, history and overcoming terrific odds; this is biography taken to the nth degree, a chronicle of a remarkable life lived through extraordinary times.”—The Dallas Morning News
 
“An astonishing testament to the superhuman power of tenacity.”Entertainment Weekly
 
“A tale of triumph and redemption . . . astonishingly detailed.”O: The Oprah Magazine
 
“[A] masterfully told true story . . . nothing less than a marvel.”Washingtonian
 
“[Hillenbrand tells this] story with cool elegance but at a thrilling sprinter’s pace.”—Time
 
“Hillenbrand [is] one of our best writers of narrative history. You don’t have to be a sports fan or a war-history buff to devour this book—you just have to love great storytelling.”—Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
release date: Oct 16, 2018
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Racing to the Finish: My Story

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s only authorized book revealing the inside track on his final year of racing and retirement from the driver’s seat.

“Time was running out on my charade… My secrets were about to be exposed to the world.”

It was a seemingly minor crash at Michigan International Speedway in June 2016 that ended the day early for Dale Earnhardt Jr. What he didn’t know was that it would also end his driving for the year. He’d dealt with concussions before, but concussions are like snowflakes, no two are the same. And recovery can be brutal, and lengthy.

When NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. retired from professional stock car racing in 2017, he walked away from his career as a healthy man. But for years, he had worried that the worsening effects of multiple racing-related concussions would end not only his time on the track but his ability to live a full and happy life.

Torn between a race-at-all-costs culture and the fear that something was terribly wrong, Earnhardt tried to pretend that everything was fine, but the private notes about his escalating symptoms that he kept on his phone reveal a vicious cycle: suffering injuries on Sunday, struggling through the week, then recovering in time to race again the following weekend. For the first time, he shares these notes and fully reveals the physical and emotional struggles he faced as he fought to close out his career on his own terms.

In this candid reflection, Earnhardt opens up about his frustration with the slow recovery, his admiration for the woman who stood by him through it all, and his determination to share his own experience so that others don’t have to suffer in silence. Steering his way to the final checkered flag of his storied career proved to be the most challenging race and most rewarding finish of his life. 

 

 

release date: Oct 23, 2018
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The Mamba Mentality: How I Play

The first book from the basketball superstar Kobe Bryant―a lavish, deep dive inside the mind of one of the most revered athletes of all time

In the wake of his retirement from professional basketball, Kobe “The Black Mamba” Bryant has decided to share his vast knowledge and understanding of the game to take readers on an unprecedented journey to the core of the legendary “Mamba mentality.” Citing an obligation and an opportunity to teach young players, hardcore fans, and devoted students of the game how to play it “the right way,” The Mamba Mentality takes us inside the mind of one of the most intelligent, analytical, and creative basketball players ever.

For the first time, and in his own words, Bryant reveals his famously detailed approach and the steps he took to prepare mentally and physically to not just succeed at the game, but to excel. Readers will learn how Bryant studied an opponent, how he channeled his passion for the game, how he played through injuries. They’ll also get fascinating granular detail as he breaks down specific plays and match-ups from throughout his career.

Bryant’s detailed accounts are paired with stunning photographs by the Hall of Fame photographer Andrew D. Bernstein. Bernstein, long the Lakers and NBA official photographer, captured Bryant’s very first NBA photo in 1996 and his last in 2016―and hundreds of thousands in between, the record of a unique, twenty-year relationship between one athlete and one photographer.

The combination of Bryant’s narrative and Bernstein’s photos make The Mamba Mentality an unprecedented look behind the curtain at the career of one of the world’s most celebrated and fascinating athletes.

release date: Sep 04, 2018
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Pitino: My Story
On September 26, 2017, the biggest recruiting scandal in college basketball history sent shock waves through the world of sports. Caught up in a massive FBI and NCAA investigation―and the intense media spotlight―was Rick Pitino, the Louisville Cardinals’ Hall of Fame coach.

Here, from Pitino himself, comes the real story of the ongoing case and the hard truth about how college hoops has been pushed to the brink of disaster by greed, bad actors, and shoe company money.

Rick Pitino has spent a lifetime in basketball. He is the recruiting and coaching maestro behind Final Four appearances with three different teams, and National Championships at two of them. He worked the early days of the legendary Five-Star camp and scouted players without the influence of agents, runners, or shoe companies. And he has run today’s recruiting gauntlet of sports apparel marketing, corrupted assistant coaches, unethical youth coaches, and powerful organizations hellbent against him. Rick Pitino has seen it all, dealt with it all, and now tells it all while offering his take on what needs to be done to save the game he loves.

Pitino is the story of an epic coaching career and the evolution of NCAA basketball to the multi-billion-dollar enterprise it is today. It is also a master’s course on the arts of coaching and recruiting. And in the telling, the one and only Rick Pitino lays all his cards on the table in addressing scandals of his past and the current headline-grabbing investigation that led a packed Board of Directors at Louisville to derail his career.
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release date: Mar 27, 2018
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Tiger Woods
#1 New York Times Bestseller

“Irresistible…Immensely readable…The authors have laid out a saga that is part myth, part Shakespeare, part Jackie Collins….A whirlwind of a biography that reads honest and true.” —The Wall Street Journal

“A confident and substantial book…It has torque and velocity…It makes a sweet sound, like a well-struck golf ball. I found it exhilarating, depressing, tawdry, and moving in almost equal measure. It’s a big American story.” —The New York Times

Based on years of reporting and interviews with more than 250 people from every corner of Tiger Woods’s life—many of whom have never spoken about him on the record before—a sweeping, revelatory, and defining biography of an American icon.

In 2009, Tiger Woods was the most famous athlete on the planet, a transcendent star of almost unfathomable fame and fortune living what appeared to be the perfect life. Married to a Swedish beauty and the father of two young children, he was the winner of fourteen major golf championships and earning more than $100 million annually. But it was all a carefully crafted illusion. As it turned out, Woods had been living a double life for years—one that unraveled in the aftermath of a Thanksgiving-night car crash that exposed his serial infidelity and sent his personal and professional lives over a cliff. Still, the world has always wondered: Who is Tiger Woods, really?

In Tiger Woods, Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian, the team behind the New York Times bestseller The System, look deep behind the headlines to produce a richly reported answer to that question. To find out, they conducted hundreds of interviews with people from every facet of Woods’s life—friends, family members, teachers, romantic partners, coaches, business associates, physicians, Tour pros, and members of Woods’s inner circle.

From those interviews, and extensive, carefully sourced research, they have uncovered new, intimate, and surprising details about the man behind the myth. We read an inside account of Tiger’s relationship with his first love, Dina Gravell, and their excruciating breakup at the hands of his parents. We learn that Tiger’s longtime sports agency, International Management Group (IMG), made $50,000 annual payments to Tiger’s father, Earl Woods, as a “talent scout”—years before Tiger was their client. We discover startling new details about Earl, who died in 2006 and to this day lies in an unmarked grave. We come along as Tiger plunges into the Las Vegas and New York nightclub worlds alongside fellow superstars Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley. We are whisked behind the scenes during the National Enquirer’s globetrotting hunt to expose Tiger’s infidelity, and we get a rare look inside his subsequent sex-addiction treatment at the Pine Grove facility in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

But the portrait of Woods that emerges in Tiger Woods is far more rewarding than revelations alone. By tracing his life from its origins as the mixed-race son of an attention-seeking father and the original Tiger Mom—who programmed him to be “the chosen one,” tasked with changing not just the game of golf but the world as well—the authors provide a wealth of new insight into the human being trapped inside his parents’ creation. We meet the lonely, introverted child prodigy who has trouble connecting with other kids because of his stutter and unusual lifestyle. We experience the thrill and confusion of his meteoric rise to stardom. And we come to understand the grown man’s obsession with extreme training and deep sea diving—despite their potential for injury—as a rare source of the solitude he craves. Most of all, we are reminded, time and time again, of Woods’s singular greatness and the exhilaration we felt watching an athletic genius dominate his sport for nearly twenty years.

But at what cost? Benedict and Keteyian provide the answers in an extraordinary biography that is destined to become the defining book about an authentic American legend—and to linger in the minds of readers for years to come.
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