Good Mourning

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Elizabeth Meyer’s “sweet, touching, and funny” (Booklist) memoir reads as if “Carrie Bradshaw worked in a funeral home a la Six Feet Under” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

Good Mourning offers a behind-the-scenes look at a legendary funeral chapel on New York City’s Upper East Side—mixing big money, society drama, and the universal experience of grieving—told from the unique perspective of a fashionista turned funeral planner.

Elizabeth Meyer stumbled upon a career in the midst of planning her own father’s funeral, which she turned into an upbeat party with Rolling Stones music, thousands of dollars worth of her mother’s favorite flowers, and a personalized eulogy. Starting as a receptionist, Meyer quickly found she had a knack for helping people cope with their grief, as well as creating fitting send-offs for some of the city’s most high-powered residents.

Meyer has seen it all: two women who found out their deceased husband (yes, singular) was living a double life, a famous corpse with a missing brain, and funerals that cost more than most weddings. By turns illuminating, emotional, and darkly humorous, Good Mourning is a lesson in how the human heart grieves and grows—whether you’re wearing this season’s couture or drug-store flip-flops.
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About the author

After working at an elite funeral home in New York City, Elizabeth Meyer became passionate about making death a less taboo and scary topic. She holds a bachelor of arts from New York University’s Gallatin School, an MBA from Cass Business School in London, a certification in thanatology from the Association for Death Education and Counseling, and is a licensed funeral director. Elizabeth regularly contributes to news articles, speaks on nationally syndicated radio programs, and has given guest lectures about death and dying. Currently, she advises private clients and consults for a website that deals with end-of-life issues. Elizabeth was raised and currently resides in New York City.

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4.2
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Aug 25, 2015
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781476783659
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / General
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Biography & Autobiography / Rich & Famous
Biography & Autobiography / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The world first met Ricki Lake in 1988 as Tracy Turnblad in the film Hairspray. Weighing in at just over 200 pounds, the 5'3" teenager challenged what it meant to be an overweight woman in America: this fat girl got the guy, was part of the in crowd, and could sing and dance like nobody was watching. When she got her own talk show at twenty-four, Ricki had been transformed. She was a slender, mature woman whose long-running show changed daytime television forever. And when Ricki left it all behind to follow her heart and produce The Business of Being Born, we once again saw her in a new light, as a passionate advocate who wasn’t afraid to stand up for her beliefs and work for change.

Ricki Lake’s life has been a series of rebirths—from fat to skinny, married to divorced, rich to poor, and more. In her intimate, bold, and relatable book, Ricki shows us how her unique life in the spotlight offers wisdom to anyone who has ever struggled in her own skin. She takes us behind the scenes of her troubled childhood—filled with food issues, abuse, and an unabashed yearning for a better life outside of her suburban home. She pulls back the curtain on her talk show and her early days as a “fat actress,” and she shows how she reinvented herself as an author, filmmaker, and much beloved finalist on Dancing with the Stars. Ricki weathered near-bankruptcy and an extremely difficult divorce, but, as she writes, life always hands you the unexpected—so you should never say never. Much to her surprise, Ricki has dated some of Hollywood’s most eligible bachelors, appeared on the cover of Us Weekly magazine in a swimsuit, and fell in love when she least expected it. And now she’s ready to talk about it all.

Never Say Never is an inspiring, entertaining, and down-to-earth account of one woman who defied the odds and refused to give up. By trusting her gut and following her heart, Ricki Lake turned an unconventional life into an unparalleled triumph, and this memoir stands as a hopeful, hilarious, and honest exploration of how any woman can do the same.
Valerie Bertinelli, then: bubbly sitcom star and America's Sweetheart turned tabloid headline and rock star wife. Now: actress, single working mother of teenage rock star, and weight-loss inspiration to millions.

We all knew and loved Valerie Bertinelli years ago when she played girl-next-door cutie Barbara Cooper in the hit TV show One Day at a Time, and then starred in numerous TV movies. From wholesome primetime in America's living rooms, Valerie moved to late nights with the hardest-partying band of the decadent eighties when she became, at twenty, wife to rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen. Losing It is Valerie's frank account of her life backstage and in the spotlight. Here are the ups and downs of teen stardom, of her complicated marriage to a brilliant, tormented musical genius, and of her very public struggle with her weight.

Surprising, uplifting, and empowering, Losing It takes you behind the scenes of Valerie's acting career and marriage, recalling the comforts, friendships, and problems of her television family, her close relationships with her parents and brothers, the stress and worries of being the wife of a rock star, and the joys of motherhood. Like many women, Valerie often remembers the state of her life by the food she ate and the numbers on her scale. So despite her celebrity, Valerie's voice is so down-to-earth, honest, and appealing that you'll feel as if you're talking with a girlfriend over coffee. Funny and candid, Valerie recounts her attempts to maintain a healthy self-image while dealing with social pressures to look and act a certain way, and to overcome career insecurities and relationship problems, all of which will be familiar to the hundreds of thousands of women who struggle every day with these same issues.

From marital turmoil to the joys of a new career, from being named among Penthouse's ten sexiest women in the world to overhearing whispers about her weight gain in the grocery store, this is Valerie's inspiring journey as she finds new love, raises a terrific kid, and motivates other women as a spokesperson for Jenny Craig.
Welcome back to chez Bertinelli, where life is as crazy and comical as ever. In revealing talks with her longtime boyfriend, Tom, Valerie gets even more personal about her inner worries: her maternal anxieties about her son, Wolfie (he's fallen in love and, as she writes, "getting your sex talk from Eddie Van Halen wasn't recommended in any of the parenting books I read"); the challenges of dealing with a blended family; her mother's own new diet adventure; and a craving for a deeper relationship with a Higher Power ("I have experienced days of inner peace and connectedness with a larger spirit -- twice," she writes. "Why not more often?"). And as if these everyday challenges weren't enough, Valerie is work-ing to maintain her own very public weight loss. She even gets to thinking she might kick it up a notch, shed more weight and get so buff she can wear a bikini -- in public.

In this new, inspiring memoir from the beloved actress and author of the bestseller Losing It, Valerie tells the story of what happens after you change your life. It's not all peaches and cream, or even non-fat yogurt.

In Finding It, Valerie comes face-to-face with hard questions of family, faith, and beachwear, and realizes that she's hungering for another transfor-mation -- to become better, not just thinner. Forget the scale; the real change is happening inside, and Valerie realizes that this is the part of dieting that no one ever talks about -- the reality of keeping the pounds off. Dieting fixes one problem, she discovers, but to maintain that weight loss, she has to work on everything else -- all the reasons she got fat in the first place.Warm and friendly, honest and self-aware -- like a talk with your BFF -- Finding It tells of the common worries and frustrations, the funny and fabulous moments in Valerie's publicly private life. Humorous and humble, it is also the emotional story of family and the deep bonds and patterns that persist through generations: for as Valerie transitions to her latest role of motherhood with an increasingly independent son, she connects with her own mother in a profound new way.

With the same winning wit and candor that touched several generations of fans in Losing It, Finding It is an optimistic story for trying times. It's about believing in love and happiness, having faith that both are possible, and finding out that God does want you to enjoy life's desserts -- even when you're on a diet.
Beloved stage and screen actor Danny Aiello’s big-hearted memoir reveals a man of passion, integrity, and guts—and lays bare one of the most unlikely success stories ever told.

Danny Aiello admits that he backed into his acting career by mistake. That’s easy to see when you begin at the beginning: raised by his loving and fiercely resilient mother in the tenements of Manhattan and the South Bronx, and forever haunted by the death of his infant brother, Danny struggled early on to define who he was and who he could be. It wasn’t until he took to the stage in the wee hours to belt out standards that Danny Aiello found his voice and his purpose: he was born to act. Performing in converted churches and touring companies led to supporting roles in such films as The Godfather: Part II and Moonstruck, and an Oscar nomination for his role as the embattled Salvatore in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. For a guy who had never set foot in an acting class, this was supreme validation for being an outsider who followed his heart.

In a raw and real chronicle of his gritty urban past, Danny Aiello looks back with appreciation, amusement, and frank disbelief at his unconventional road to success. He offers candid observations on working with luminary directors Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen, and Robert Altman, among others, and a vast roster of actors, including Robert De Niro, Paul Newman, Madonna, Cher, and Lauren Bacall. He opens up about friends he loved, friends he lost, and the professional relationships that weren’t meant to be. Above all, Danny Aiello imparts a life lesson straight out of his own experience to anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider: It’s never too late to become who you want to be, to find happiness and fulfillment, and to embrace the winding road to get there.
Sex, drugs, and . . . bug stew? In the vein of The Glass Castle and Wild, Cea Sunrise Person’s compelling memoir of a childhood spent with her dysfunctional counter-culture family in the Canadian wilderness—a searing story of physical, emotional, and psychological survival.

In the late 1960s, riding the crest of the counterculture movement, Cea’s family left a comfortable existence in California to live off the land in the Canadian wilderness. But unlike most commune dwellers of the time, the Persons weren’t trying to build a new society—they wanted to escape civilization altogether. Led by Cea’s grandfather Dick, they lived a pot-smoking, free-loving, clothing-optional life under a canvas tipi without running water, electricity, or heat for the bitter winters.

Living out her grandparents’ dream with her teenage mother Michelle, young Cea knew little of the world beyond her forest. She spent her summers playing nude in the meadow and her winters snowshoeing behind the grandfather she idolized. Despite fierce storms, food shortages, and the occasional drug-and-sex-infused party for visitors, it seemed to be a mostly happy existence. For Michelle, however, now long separated from Cea’s father, there was one crucial element missing: a man. When Cea was five, Michelle took her on the road with a new boyfriend. As the trio set upon a series of ill-fated adventures, Cea began to question both her highly unusual world and the hedonistic woman at the centre of it—questions that eventually evolved into an all-consuming search for a more normal life. Finally, in her early teens, Cea realized she would have to make a choice as drastic as the one her grandparents once had in order to save herself.

While a successful international modeling career offered her a way out of the wilderness, Cea discovered that this new world was in its own way daunting and full of challenges. Containing twenty-four intimate black-and-white family photos, North of Normal is Cea’s funny, shocking, heartbreaking, and triumphant tale of self-discovery and acceptance, adversity, and strength that will leave no reader unmoved.

Rock stars and rap gods. Comedy legends and A-list actors. Supermodels and centerfolds. Moguls and mobsters. A president.

Over his unrivaled four-decade career in radio, Howard Stern has interviewed thousands of personalities—discussing sex, relationships, money, fame, spirituality, and success with the boldest of bold-faced names. But which interviews are his favorites? It’s one of the questions he gets asked most frequently. Howard Stern Comes Again delivers his answer.

This book is a feast of conversation and more, as between the lines Stern offers his definitive autobiography—a magnum opus of confession and personal exploration. Tracy Morgan opens up about his near-fatal car crash. Lady Gaga divulges her history with cocaine. Madonna reminisces on her relationship with Tupac Shakur. Bill Murray waxes philosophical on the purpose of life. Jerry Seinfeld offers a master class on comedy. Harvey Weinstein denies the existence of the so-called casting couch. An impressive array of creative visionaries weigh in on what Stern calls “the climb”—the stories of how they struggled and eventually prevailed. As he writes in the introduction, “If you’re having trouble finding motivation in life and you’re looking for that extra kick in the ass, you will find it in these pages.”

Interspersed throughout are rare selections from the Howard Stern Show archives with Donald Trump that depict his own climb: transforming from Manhattan tabloid fixture to reality TV star to president of the United States. Stern also tells of his Moby Dick-like quest to land an interview with Hillary Clinton in the run-up to the 2016 election—one of many newly written revelations from the author. He speaks with extraordinary candor about a variety of subjects, including his overwhelming insecurity early in his career, his revolutionary move from terrestrial radio to SiriusXM, and his belief in the power of psychotherapy.

As Stern insightfully notes in the introduction: “The interviews collected here represent my best work and show my personal evolution. But they don’t just show my evolution. Gathered together like this, they show the evolution of popular culture over the past quarter century.”
New York Times Bestseller

Fame. Sex. Pain. Drugs. Death. Booze. Money. Addiction. Redemption. Dizzying heights. Rock-bottom depths. Desperation and elation—sometimes in the same hour. Not to mention power . . . and the struggle for it.

The world knows Lamar Odom as a two-time NBA world champion who rocketed to uncharted heights of fame thanks to being a member of both the storied Los Angeles Lakers and the ubiquitous Kardashian empire.

But who is Lamar, really?

Fans have long praised his accessibility and genuine everyman quality—he is a blinding talent who has suffered a series of heartaches, setback, and loss. But until now, his most candid moments have remained behind closed doors . . . sometimes face-down on the floor.

In Darkness to Light, Lamar gives readers an intimate look into his life like never before. His exclusive and revealing memoir recounts the highs and lows of fame and his struggle with his demons along the way to self-discovery and redemption. From the pain of his unraveled marriage to Khloé Kardashian to the harmful vices he used to cope—and the near-death experience that made him rethink everything about his life—this is Lamar as you have never before seen him.

Lamar brings basketball fans directly into the action of a game during the Lakers championship years. He shares his personal account of the lifelong passion that started as one shining light in a childhood marked by loss and led to his international fame as one of the most extraordinary athletes of all time. In this profoundly honest book, Lamar invites you to walk with him through the good times and bad, while looking ahead to a brighter future.

New York Times bestselling author, superstar comedian, and Hollywood box office star Kevin Hart turns his immense talent to the written word by writing some words. Some of those words include: the, a, for, above, and even even. Put them together and you have a “hilarious but also heartfelt” (Elle) memoir on survival, success, and the importance of believing in yourself.

The question you’re probably asking yourself right now is: What does Kevin Hart have that a book also has?

According to the three people who have seen Kevin Hart and a book in the same room, the answer is clear:

A book is compact. Kevin Hart is compact.

A book has a spine that holds it together. Kevin Hart has a spine that holds him together.

A book has a beginning. Kevin Hart’s life uniquely qualifies him to write this book by also having a beginning.

It begins in North Philadelphia. He was born an accident, unwanted by his parents. His father was a drug addict who was in and out of jail. His brother was a crack dealer and petty thief. And his mother was overwhelmingly strict, beating him with belts, frying pans, and his own toys.

The odds, in short, were stacked against our young hero. But Kevin Hart, like Ernest Hemingway, J.K. Rowling, and Chocolate Droppa before him, was able to defy the odds and turn it around. In his literary debut, he takes us on a journey through what his life was, what it is today, and how he’s overcome each challenge to become the man he is today.

And that man happens to be the biggest comedian in the world, with tours that sell out football stadiums and films that have collectively grossed over $3.5 billion.

He achieved this not just through hard work, determination, and talent. “Hart is an incredibly magnetic storyteller, on the page as he is onstage, and that’s what shines through [in this] genial, entertaining guide to a life in comedy” (Kirkus Reviews).
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