On the rainy evening of September 27, 1999, Dr. Clark Elliott was en route to DePaul University to deliver a lecture when his car was rear ended at a Morton Grove stoplight. Shaken but seemingly uninjured, Elliott continued on to DePaul’s campus unaware he’d suffered a concussion that would dramatically alter his life. In his remarkable new memoir The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get It Back, Elliott details the harrowing effects of his concussion along with his remarkable recovery almost 10 years later with the help of two cutting-edge Chicago doctors. This Monday, November 7th you can hear Dr. Elliott discuss The Ghost in My Brain when he visits EPL’s 1st Floor Community Meeting Room at 7 p.m. In anticipation of his visit, we recently spoke with him via email about the debilitating concussion symptoms he fought to overcome, brain plasticity, the groundbreaking work of Drs. Donalee Markus and Deboray Zelinsky, and the reasons he wrote his book.
That smell in the air? It’s the scent of footballs whizzing through the air at a rapid rate. It may still be warm outside but football season is fast upon us. And what better way to celebrate than reading the latest gridiron-related publications out this year? Here are the latest books on our shelves, ready for you to punt over the circulation desk and into your home:
The great writer/traveler and WW II hero Patrick Leigh Fermor died on June 10 in England. Fermor’s best known books, A Time of Giftsand Between the Woodsand the Water, recounted his travels by foot from England to the Balkans just before World War II. During World War II, he and a friend hatched a plot to kidnap a German commander on Crete, a feat that was made into the movie Ill Met by Moonlight starring Dirk Bogarde. For more on Fermor, see The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian newspapers.
Eva Gabrielsson, Stieg’s longtime companion, is attempting to fill the knowledge gap about Larsson’s life. On June 21, her memoir, There Are Things I Want You to Know About Stieg Larsson and Me, will be available as an audiobook. The work will touch on his personal relationships and his efforts to expose Swedish neo-Nazis, among other topics. Click on the above link to access an audio excerpt. (It will also be out in hardcover and Kindle.)
Kenneth Green rose from Chicago’s tough Humboldt Park neighborhood to find success as an L.A. lawyer and UCLA paralegal instructor. In his memoir I’m From Division Street, Green looks back at his turbulent boyhood in search of how his Humboldt Park community gave him the “grit and motivation to succeed in life” just as it did for author Saul Bellow, director Ben Hecht, reporter Art Petaque, and bandleader Benny Goodman. On Tuesday, May 3rd, you can hear Mr. Green read from I’m From Division Street when he visits EPL’s 1st Floor Community Meeting Room at 7 p.m. In anticipation of his visit, we recently spoke with him via telephone about his inspiration for writing his memoir, the differences between Chicago and L.A., the similarities between boxers and lawyers, and how often he makes it back to Division Street.
You can hear poet and memoirist Mary Karr give a poetry reading at the Art Institute of Chicago, Rubloff Auditorium (230 S Columbus Dr) on Tuesday, April 5 at 6pm. As fans of Karr’s widely read memoir Liars’ Club will know, Karr follows the dictum of her mentor, Tobias Wolff, to “tell a bit more truth than you’re comfortable with.” Admission is free. Seating is first-come, first-served. Mary H., Reader’s Services
This week’s New Yorker is chockablock with articles of great interest. Francisco Goldman gives a poignant account of his brief marriage, which ended in tragedy on a Mexican beach. Joan Acocella offers an illuminating article on British writer J.R. Ackerley (1896-1967), whose four books touched on his homosexuality at a time when being gay could have landed him in prison. And for movie fans, there’s a lengthy profile of Guillermo del Toro, the producer who gave us Pan’s Labyrinth and Biutiful. He has a house in Los Angeles filled with memorabilia like the vampire cape worn by Bela Lugosi, and he dreams of birthing another Frankenstein.
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.