Best Selling Books in Biographies & Memoirs - Biographies

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release date: Sep 19, 2017
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The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance
The first book by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady—the five-time Super Bowl champion who is still reaching unimaginable heights of excellence at forty years old—a gorgeously illustrated and deeply practical “athlete’s bible” that reveals Brady’s revolutionary approach to sustained peak performance for athletes of all kinds and all ages.

In modern sports, some athletes have managed to transcend their competition in a way that no one will ever forget: Jordan. Jeter. Ali. Williams. These elite legends have changed the game, achieved the unthinkable, and pushed their bodies to unbelievable limits. Joining their exclusive ranks is Tom Brady.

“Brady is the healthiest great champion the NFL has ever had, both physically and mentally” (Sally Jenkins, The Washington Post). The longtime New England Patriots quarterback, who in 2017 achieved his fifth Super Bowl win and fourth Super Bowl MVP award, is widely regarded as an athlete whose training and determination pushed him from a mediocre draft position to the most-revered and respected professional football player of his generation.

In The TB12 Method, Tom Brady explains how he developed his groundbreaking approach to long-term fitness, presenting a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to his personal practice. Brady offers the principles behind pliability, which is at the heart of a new paradigm shift and movement toward a more natural, healthier way of exercising, training, and living—and one that challenges some commonly held assumptions around health and wellness. Filled with lessons learned from Brady’s own peak performance training, and step-by-step action steps to help readers develop and maintain their own peak performance, The TB12 Method also advocates for more effective approaches to strength training, hydration, nutrition, supplementation, cognitive fitness, recovery, and other lifestyle choices that dramatically decrease the risk of injury while amplifying and extending performance, as well as quality of life.

After using his methods for over a decade, Brady believes that the TB12 approach has made him—and can make any athlete, male or female, in any sport and at any level—achieve their own peak performance. With instructions, drills, photos, in-depth case studies that Brady himself has used, as well as personal anecdotes and experiences from on and off the field, The TB12 Method is the only book an athlete will ever need, a playbook from Brady himself that will change the game.
release date: Aug 01, 2017
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What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen
From noted ESPN commentator and journalist Kate Fagan, the heartbreaking and vital story of college athlete Madison Holleran, whose death by suicide rocked the University of Pennsylvania campus and whose life reveals with haunting detail and uncommon understanding the struggle of young people suffering from mental illness today

If you scrolled through the Instagram feed of 19-year-old Maddy Holleran, you would see a perfect life: a freshman at an Ivy League school, recruited for the track team, who was also beautiful, popular, and fiercely intelligent. This was a girl who succeeded at everything she tried, and who was only getting started.

But when Maddy began her long-awaited college career, her parents noticed something changed. Previously indefatigable Maddy became withdrawn, and her thoughts centered on how she could change her life. In spite of thousands of hours of practice and study, she contemplated transferring from the school that had once been her dream. When Maddy's dad, Jim, dropped her off for the first day of spring semester, she held him a second longer than usual. That would be the last time Jim would see his daughter.

WHAT MADE MADDY RUN began as a piece that Kate Fagan, a columnist for espnW, wrote about Maddy's life. What started as a profile of a successful young athlete whose life ended in suicide became so much larger when Fagan started to hear from other college athletes also struggling with mental illness. This is the story of Maddy Holleran's life, and her struggle with depression, which also reveals the mounting pressures young people, and college athletes in particular, face to be perfect, especially in an age of relentless connectivity and social media saturation.

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: Aug 08, 2017
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Playing Hurt: My Journey from Despair to Hope
For the first time ever, the popular late host of ESPN's The Sports Reporters and ABC's college football openly discusses a lifelong battle with depression.

During his three decades on ESPN and ABC, John Saunders became one of the nation's most respected and beloved sportscasters. In this moving, jarring, and ultimately inspiring memoir, Saunders discusses his troubled childhood, the traumatic brain injury he suffered in 2011, and the severe depression that nearly cost him his life. As Saunders writes,

Playing Hurt is not an autobiography of a sports celebrity but a memoir of a man facing his own mental illness, and emerging better off for the effort. I will take you into the heart of my struggle with depression, including insights into some of its causes, its consequences, and its treatments.

I invite you behind the facade of my apparently "perfect" life as a sportscaster, with a wonderful wife and two healthy, happy adult daughters. I have a lot to be thankful for, and I am truly grateful. But none of these things can protect me or anyone else from the disease of depression and its potentially lethal effects.

Mine is a rare story: that of a black man in the sports industry openly grappling with depression. I will share the good, the bad, and the ugly, including the lengths I've gone to to conceal my private life from the public.

So why write a book? Because I want to end the pain and heartache that comes from leading a double life. I also want to reach out to the millions of people, especially men, who think they're alone and can't ask for help.

John Saunders died suddenly on August 10 ,2016, from an enlarged heart, diabetes, and other complications. This book is his ultimate act of generosity to help those who suffer from mental illness, and those who love them.


release date: Oct 24, 2017
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Relentless: A Memoir
The Super Bowl champion wide receiver for the New England Patriots shares his inspiring story of an underdog kid who was always doubted to becoming one of the most reliable and inspiring players in the NFL.

When the Patriots were down 28-3 in Super Bowl LI, there was at least one player who refused to believe they would lose: Julian Edelman. And he said so. It wasn't only because of his belief in his teammates, led by the master of the comeback, his friend and quarterback Tom Brady-or the coaching staff run by the legendary Bill Belichick. It was also because he had been counted out in most of his life and career, and he had proved them all wrong.

Whether it was in Pop Warner football, where his Redwood City, California, team won a national championship; in high school where he went from a 4'10", 95-pound freshman running back to quarterback for an undefeated Woodside High team; or college, where he rewrote records at Kent State as a dual-threat quarterback, Edelman far exceeded everyone's expectations. Everyone's expectations, that is, except his own and those of his father, who took extreme and unorthodox measures to drive Edelman to quiet the doubters with ferocious competitiveness.

When he was drafted by the Patriots in the seventh round, the 5'10" college quarterback was asked to field punts and play wide receiver, though he'd never done either. But gradually, under the tutelage of a demanding coaching staff and countless hours of off-season training with Tom Brady, he became one of the NFL's most dynamic punt returners and top receivers who can deliver in the biggest games.

Relentless is the story of Edelman's rise, and the continuing dominance of the Patriot dynasty, filled with memories of growing up with a father who was as demanding as any NFL coach, his near-constant fight to keep his intensity and competitiveness in check in high school and college, and his celebrated nine seasons with the Patriots. Julian shares insights into his relationships and rivalries, and his friendships with teammates such as Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Matt Slater, and Randy Moss. Finally, he reveals the story behind "the catch" and life on the inside of a team for the ages.

Inspiring, honest, and unapologetic, Relentless proves that the heart of a champion can never be measured.
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release date: Oct 19, 1999
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Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster
National Bestseller 

A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more--including Krakauer's--in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster.

By writing Into Thin Air, Krakauer may have hoped to exorcise some of his own demons and lay to rest some of the painful questions that still surround the event. He takes great pains to provide a balanced picture of the people and events he witnessed and gives due credit to the tireless and dedicated Sherpas. He also avoids blasting easy targets such as Sandy Pittman, the wealthy socialite who brought an espresso maker along on the expedition. Krakauer's highly personal inquiry into the catastrophe provides a great deal of insight into what went wrong. But for Krakauer himself, further interviews and investigations only lead him to the conclusion that his perceived failures were directly responsible for a fellow climber's death. Clearly, Krakauer remains haunted by the disaster, and although he relates a number of incidents in which he acted selflessly and even heroically, he seems unable to view those instances objectively. In the end, despite his evenhanded and even generous assessment of others' actions, he reserves a full measure of vitriol for himself.

This updated trade paperback edition of Into Thin Air includes an extensive new postscript that sheds fascinating light on the acrimonious debate that flared between Krakauer and Everest guide Anatoli Boukreev in the wake of the tragedy.  "I have no doubt that Boukreev's intentions were good on summit day," writes Krakauer in the postscript, dated August 1999. "What disturbs me, though, was Boukreev's refusal to acknowledge the possibility that he made even a single poor decision. Never did he indicate that perhaps it wasn't the best choice to climb without gas or go down ahead of his clients." As usual, Krakauer supports his points with dogged research and a good dose of humility. But rather than continue the heated discourse that has raged since Into Thin Air's denouncement of guide Boukreev, Krakauer's tone is conciliatory; he points most of his criticism at G. Weston De Walt, who coauthored The Climb, Boukreev's version of events. And in a touching conclusion, Krakauer recounts his last conversation with the late Boukreev, in which the two weathered climbers agreed to disagree about certain points. Krakauer had great hopes to patch things up with Boukreev, but the Russian later died in an avalanche on another Himalayan peak, Annapurna I.

In 1999, Krakauer received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters--a prestigious prize intended "to honor writers of exceptional accomplishment."  According to the Academy's citation, "Krakauer combines the tenacity and courage of the finest tradition of investigative journalism with the stylish subtlety and profound insight of the born writer.  His account of an ascent of Mount Everest has led to a general reevaluation of climbing and of the commercialization of what was once a romantic, solitary sport; while his account of the life and death of Christopher McCandless, who died of starvation after challenging the Alaskan wilderness, delves even more deeply and disturbingly into the fascination of nature and the devastating effects of its lure on a young and curious mind."
release date: Jun 13, 2017
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Finding Gobi: A Little Dog with a Very Big Heart

International Bestseller

“Leonard and Gobi’s story represents the power of people working together and the profound depth of feeling possible between a man and his dog.”--Publishers Weekly

A man, a dog, and the lengths to which love will go to sacrifice for its companion.

Finding Gobi is the miraculous tale of Dion Leonard, a seasoned ultramarathon runner who crosses paths with a stray dog while competing in a 155-mile race through the Gobi Desert in China. The lovable pup, who would later earn the name Gobi, proved that what she lacked in size, she more than made up for in heart, as she went step for step with Dion over the Tian Shan Mountains, across massive sand dunes, through yurt villages and the black sands of the Gobi Desert, keeping pace with him for 77 miles.

As Dion witnessed the incredible determination and heart of this small animal, he found his own heart undergoing a change as well.  Whereas in the past these races were all about winning and being the best, his goal now was to make sure he and Gobi’s friendship continued well after the finish line.  He found himself letting Gobi sleep in his tent at night, giving her food and water out of his own limited supply, and carrying her across numerous rivers, even when he knew it would mean putting him behind in the race, or worse, prevent him from finishing at all. 

Although Dion did not cross the finish line first, he felt he had won something even greater – a new outlook on life and a new friend that he planned on bringing home as soon as arrangements were made.  However, before he could take her home, Gobi went missing in the sprawling Chinese city where she was being kept. Dion, with the help of strangers and a viral outpouring of assistance on the internet, set out to track her down, and reunite forever with the amazing animal that changed his life and proved to him and the world that miracles are possible. 

release date: Jul 18, 2017
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Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win

Illustrated profiles of fifty pioneering female athletes, from the author of the New York Times bestseller Women in Science

Women for the win!

A richly illustrated and inspiring book, Women in Sports highlights the achievements and stories of fifty notable women athletes from the 1800s to today, including trailblazers, Olympians, and record-breakers in more than forty sports. The athletes featured include well-known figures like tennis player Billie Jean King and gymnast Simone Biles, as well as lesser-known champions like Toni Stone, the first woman to play baseball in a professional men’s league, and skateboarding pioneer Patti McGee. The book also contains infographics on topics that sporty women want to know about such as muscle anatomy, a timeline ofwomen’s participation in sports, pay and media statistics for female athletes, and influential women’s teams. Women in Sports celebrates the success of the tough, bold, and fearless women who paved the way for today’s athletes.

release date: Aug 08, 2017
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Truth Doesn't Have a Side: My Alarming Discovery about the Danger of Contact Sports

One day in 2002 the fifty-year old body of former Pittsburgh Steeler and hall of famer Mike Webster was laid on a cold table in front of pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu. Webster’s body looked to Omalu like the body of a much older man, and the circumstances of his behavior prior to his death were clouded in mystery. But when Omalu cut into Webster’s brain, it appeared to be normal. Something didn’t add up.

It was at this moment, Omalu studying slides of Webster’s brain tissue under a microscope, that the world of contact sports would never be the same: the discovery of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. CTE can result in an array of devastating consequences including deterioration in attention, memory loss, social instability, depression, and even suicide. And Omalu’s discovery of CTE in the brain of an American football player has become the catalyst of a blazing controversy across all contact sports.

At the center of that controversy stands the unlikely Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian-born American citizen, a mild-mannered, gentle man of faith. It is fascinating that it would take someone on the outside of American culture to make this amazing discovery, and refuse to let it be kept hidden. Dr. Omalu began his life in strife, growing up in war-torn Nigeria. But his medical studies in forensic pathology proved to be a lifeline. It fed his natural curiosity and awakened within a deeper desire to always search for the truth. Who would have thought that such an unexpected character would play such a role in bringing to life this world-changing data?

In Truth Doesn’t Have a Side, discover the truth about CTE: Its causes and symptoms, how we might keep our children safe and guide professional athletes when CTE sets in. The problem of CTE is coming to light with each new story about an athlete’s concussion problem, and we are likely facing dramatic changes to professional sports. You’ll be inspired by Dr. Bennet Omalu a man driven by his love and concern for the welfare of all people, and his professional vow to speak the truth.

release date: Jan 03, 2017
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What Doesn’t Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength
What Doesn't Kill Us, a New York Times bestseller, traces our evolutionary journey back to a time when survival depended on how well we adapted to the environment around us. 

Our ancestors crossed deserts, mountains, and oceans without even a whisper of what anyone today might consider modern technology. Those feats of endurance now seem impossible in an age where we take comfort for granted. But what if we could regain some of our lost evolutionary strength by simulating the environmental conditions of our 
forebears? 

Investigative journalist and anthropologist Scott Carney takes up the challenge to find out: Can we hack our bodies and use the environment to stimulate our inner biology? Helping him in his search for the answers is Dutch fitness guru Wim Hof, whose ability to control his body temperature in extreme cold has sparked a whirlwind of scientific study. Carney also enlists input from an Army scientist, a world-famous surfer, the founders of an obstacle course race movement, and ordinary people who have documented how they have cured autoimmune diseases, lost weight, and reversed diabetes. In the process, he chronicles his own transformational journey as he pushes his body and mind to the edge of endurance, a quest that culminates in a record-bending, 28-hour climb to the snowy peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro wearing nothing but a pair of running shorts and sneakers.

An ambitious blend of investigative reporting and participatory journalism, What Doesn't Kill Us explores the true connection between the mind and the body and reveals the science that allows us to push past our perceived limitations.

 
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