Leland Melvin is the only person in human history to catch a pass in the National Football League and in space. Though his path to the heavens was riddled with setbacks and injury, Leland persevered to reach the stars.
While training with NASA, Melvin suffered a severe injury that left him deaf. Leland was relegated to earthbound assignments, but chose to remain and support his astronaut family. His loyalty paid off. Recovering partial hearing, he earned his eligibility for space travel. He served as mission specialist for two flights aboard the shuttle Atlantis, working on the International Space Station.
In this uplifting memoir, the former NASA astronaut and professional athlete offers an examination of the intersecting role of community, determination, and grace that align to shape our opportunities and outcomes. Chasing Space is not the story of one man, but the story of many men, women, scientists, and mentors who helped him defy the odds and live out an uncommon destiny.
As a chemist, athlete, engineer and space traveler, Leland’s life story is a study in the science of achievement. His personal insights illuminate how grit and grace, are the keys to overcoming adversity and rising to success.
A former wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, Leland Melvin is an engineer and NASA astronaut. He served on the space shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist and was named the NASA Associate Administrator for Education in October 2010. He also served as the cochair on the White House’s Federal Coordination in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Task Force, developing the nation’s five-year STEM education plan. He is the host of the Lifetime show Child Genius and a judge for ABC’s BattleBots. He holds four honorary doctorates and has received the NFL Player Association Award of Excellence. He lives in Lynchburg, Virginia.
This big-hearted memoir by the most promising professional basketball player of his generation details his rise to NBA stardom, the terrible accident that ended his career and plunged him into a life-altering depression, and how he ultimately found his way out of the darkness.
Ten years ago, Jay Williams was at the beginning of a brilliant professional basketball career. The Chicago Bulls’ top draft pick—and the second pick of the entire draft—he had the great Michael Jordan’s locker. Then he ran his high-performance motorcycle head-on into a light pole, severely damaging himself and ending his career.
In this intense, hard-hitting, and deeply profound memoir, Williams talks about the accident that transformed him. Sometimes, the memories are so fresh, he feels like he’ll never escape the past. Most days, he finds a quiet peace as a commentator on ESPN and as an entrepreneur who can only look back in astonishment at his younger self—a kid who had it all, thought he was invincible, and lost everything . . . only to gain new wisdom.
Williams also shares behind the scenes details of life as an All-American. He tells it straight about the scandalous recruiting process and his decision to return to Duke and Coach K—a man who taught him about accountability—to finish his education. He also speaks out about corruption—among coaches, administrators, players, and alumni—and about his time in the NBA, introducing us to a dark underworld culture in the pros: the gambling, drugs, and sex in every city, with players on every team.
"If I had a chance to return to Cleveland, and those fans welcomed me back, that’d be a great story." —LeBron James in 2010, days after "The Decision"
In 2010, when LeBron James announced to the world that he was leaving for Miami, he broke the collective heart of his native city and destroyed the hopes of an entire tortured generation.
As LeBron headed south, unofficial spokesman Scott Raab sent him off with a middle-finger salute of his own—a deliciously obscene aria of sports fandom, Jewishness, and weight gain that became infamous as The Whore of Akron.
Four years—and two NBA championships later—LeBron came home to the Rust Belt faithful who had vilified him mercilessly, none more so than Raab. You’re Welcome, Cleveland is the story of both LeBron’s and Scott’s redemption as they pursue the one thing they crave more than anything in life—an NBA title for the city that made them men.
LeBron is back. So is Scott Raab. It’s a great story.
You’re Welcome, Cleveland.
What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.
But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.
While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.
The former middle distance Olympic runner and high-end escort speaks out for the first time about her battle with mental illness, and how mania controlled and compelled her in competition, but also in life. This is a heartbreakingly honest yet hopeful memoir reminiscent of Manic, Electroboy, and An Unquiet Mind.
During the 1990s, three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton was the darling of American track and field. An outstanding runner, a major sports apparel spokesperson, and a happily married wife, she was the model for an active, healthy, and wholesome life. But her perfect facade masked a dark truth: manic depression and bipolar disorder that drove her obsession to perform and win. For years after leaving the track, Suzy wrestled with her condition, as well as the loss of a close friend, conflicted feelings about motherhood and her marriage, and lingering shame about her athletic career. After a misdiagnosis and a recommendation for medication that only exacerbated her mania and made her hypersexual, Suzy embarked on a new path, and assumed a new identity. Fueled by a newfound confidence, a feeling of strength and independence and a desire she couldn’t tamp down, she became a high-priced escort in Las Vegas, working as “Kelly.”
But Suzy could not keep her double life a secret forever. When it was eventually exposed, it sent her into a reckless suicidal period where the only option seemed out. Finally, with the help of her devoted husband, Suzy finally got the proper medical help she needed. In this startling frank memoir, she recounts the journey to outrun her demons, revealing how a woman used to physically controlling her body learned to come to terms with her unstable mind. It is the story of a how a supreme competitor scored her most important victory of all—reclaiming her life from the ravages of an untreated mental illness. Today, thanks to diagnosis, therapy, Kelly has stepped into the shadows, but Suzy is building a better life, one day at a time. Sharing her story, Suzy is determined to raise awareness, provide understanding, and offer inspiration to others coping with their own challenges.
In The Keeper, the man who electrified the world with his amazing performance in Brazil does something he would never do on a soccer field: he drops his guard. As fiercely protective about his privacy as he is guarding the goal on the field, Howard opens up for the first time about how a hyperactive kid from New Jersey with Tourette’s syndrome defied the odds to become one of the world’s premier goalkeepers.
The Keeper recalls his childhood, being raised by a single mother who instilled in him a love of sports and a devout Christian faith that helped him cope when he was diagnosed with Tourette’s in the fifth grade. He looks back over his fifteen-year professional career—from becoming the youngest player to win MLS Goalkeeper of the Year to his storied move to the English Premier League with Manchester United and his current team, Liverpool’s Everton, to becoming an overnight star after his record-making performance with the United States Men’s National Team. He also talks about the things closest to his heart—the importance of family and the Christian beliefs that guide him.
Told in his thoughtful and articulate voice, The Keeper is an illuminating look at a remarkable man who is an inspirational role model for all of us.
The Keeper is illustrated with two 8-page color photo inserts.