Laurence Gonzales’s Best Reads of 2016

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Photo by John German

My name is Laurence Gonzales.  I was born in St. Louis, grew up in Houston and San Antonio, and live today in Evanston.  I am the author of numerous books including Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why and it’s sequel, Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience.  This past year I was appointed a Miller Scholar at the Santa Fe Institute, and my book Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival was adapted by the House Theatre of Chicago into a play that ran for a two months at the Chopin Theatre.

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1)  Annals of the Former World by John McPhee (1998)

It’s hard to believe that this book about geology is a page-turner, but it is.

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Rockin’ Down Memory Lane

Sample the audiobook read by actor Johnny Depp.

He’s a songwriter, lead guitarist, and founding member of the legendary rock band the Rolling Stones.  He’s an outlaw folk hero, a pirate hipster, and arguably the originator of the decadent “rock ‘n’ roll” lifestyle.  He’s Keith Richards, and it should come as no surprise that everyone is clamoring for a copy of his long-awaited memoir Life.  In fact, given Richards’ penchant for death-defying excess, Life’s most surprising characteristic might be that it’s much more than just a gossipy showbiz tell-all.  Sure, the juicy bits are all there: the drug busts, the infamous Altamont show, his rocky relationship with Mick Jagger.  But, as the NY Times writes, Life is also “a high-def, high-velocity portrait of the era when rock ‘n’ roll came of age…, an eye-opening all-nighter in the studio with a master craftsman…, and the intimate and moving story of one man’s long strange trip over the decades.”  So, if you want to raise a little vicarious rock ‘n’ roll hell, know the secrets of the Stones, and glimpse some music magic, look no further than Keith Richards’ uncommonly candid new book Life.  If you find, however, that this literary concert is temporarily sold out, please don’t be discouraged.  Any of the following critically-acclaimed music memoirs are a great way to pass the time while you wait for Mr. Richards to take the stage.

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