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Biography & Autobiography:Literary

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Running with Scissors  a memoir, Burroughs, Augusten
1 Burroughs, Augusten Running with Scissors a memoir
New York St. Martin's Press 2002 031242227X / 9780312422271 Paperback Good 
Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her unorthodox psychiatrist who bore a striking resemblance to Santa Claus. So at the age of twelve, Burroughs found himself amidst Victorian squalor living with the doctor's bizarre family, and befriending a pedophile who resided in the backyard shed. The story of an outlaw childhood where rules were unheard of, and the Christmas tree stayed up all year round, where Valium was consumed like candy, and if things got dull an electroshock- therapy machine could provide entertainment. The funny, harrowing and bestselling account of an ordinary boy's survival under the most extraordinary circumstances. 
Price: 2.99 USD
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Too Much Money: A Novel, Dunne, Dominick
2 Dunne, Dominick Too Much Money: A Novel
New York Crown Publishers 2009 0609603876 / 9780609603871 Hardcover Good in Good dust jacket 
The last two years have been monstrously unpleasant for high-society journalist Gus Bailey. His propensity for gossip has finally gotten him into trouble—$11 million worth. His problems begin when he falls hook, line, and sinker for a fake story from an unreliable source and repeats it on a radio program. As a result of his flip comments, Gus becomes embroiled in a nasty slander suit brought by Kyle Cramden, the powerful congressman he accuses of being involved in the mysterious disappearance of a young woman, and he fears it could mean the end of him.

The stress of the lawsuit makes it difficult for Gus to focus on the novel he has been contracted to write, which is based on the suspicious death of billionaire Konstantin Zacharias. It is a story that has dominated the party conversations of Manhattan's chattering classes for more than two years. The convicted murderer is behind bars, but Gus is not convinced that justice was served. There are too many unanswered questions, such as why a paranoid man who was usually accompanied by bodyguards was without protection the very night he perished in a tragic fire.

Konstantin's hot-tempered widow, Perla, is obsessed with climbing the social ladder and, as a result, she will do anything to suppress this potentially damaging story. Gus is convinced she is the only thing standing between him and the truth.

Dominick Dunne revives the world he first introduced in his mega-bestselling novel People Like Us, and he brings readers up to date on favorite characters such as Ruby and Elias Renthal, Lil Altemus, and, of course, the beloved Gus Bailey. Once again, he invites us to pull up a seat at the most important tables at Swifty's, get past the doormen at esteemed social clubs like The Butterfield, and venture into the innermost chambers of the Upper East Side's most sumptuous mansions. 
Price: 6.49 USD

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Education of a Wandering Man, L'Amour, Louis
3 L'Amour, Louis Education of a Wandering Man
Bantam 1989 0553057030 / 9780553057034 Hardcover Good with no dust jacket 
Missing dust-jacket.

From his decision to leave school at fifteen to roam the world, to his recollections of life as a hobo on the Southern Pacific Railroad, as a cattle skinner in Texas, as a merchant seaman in Singapore and the West Indies, and as an itinerant bare-knuckled prizefighter across small-town America, here is Louis L'Amour's memoir of his lifelong love affair with learning--from books, from yondering, and from some remarkable men and women--that shaped him as a storyteller and as a man. Like classic L'Amour fiction,Education of a Wandering Manmixes authentic frontier drama--such as the author's desperate efforts to survive a sudden two-day trek across the blazing Mojave desert--with true-life characters like Shanghai waterfront toughs, desert prospectors, and cowboys whom Louis L'Amour met while traveling the globe. At last, in his own words, this is a story of a one-of-a-kind life lived to the fullest . . . A life that inspired the books that will forever enable us to relive our glorious frontier heritage. 
Price: 4.25 USD

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Lighting out for the Territory: How Samuel Clems Headed West and Became Mark Twain, Morris, Jr. , Roy
4 Morris, Jr. , Roy Lighting out for the Territory: How Samuel Clems Headed West and Became Mark Twain
New York Simon & Schuster 2010 1416598669 / 9781416598664 Hardcover Very Good in Very Good dust jacket 
In the very last paragraph of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the title character gloomily reckons that it’s time “to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest. ” Tom Sawyer’s Aunt Sally is trying to “sivilize” him, and Huck Finn can’t stand it—he’s been there before.

It’s a decision Huck’s creator already had made, albeit for somewhat different reasons, a quarter of a century earlier. He wasn’t even Mark Twain then, but as Huck might have said, “That ain’t no matter. ” With the Civil War spreading across his native Missouri, twenty-five-year-old Samuel Clemens, suddenly out of work as a Mississippi riverboat pilot, gladly accepted his brother Orion’s offer to join him in Nevada Territory, far from the crimsoned battlefields of war.

A rollicking, hilarious stagecoach journey across the Great Plains and over the Rocky Mountains was just the beginning of a nearly six-year-long odyssey that took Samuel Clemens from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Hawaii, with lengthy stopovers in Virginia City, Nevada, and San Francisco. By the time it was over, he would find himself reborn as Mark Twain, America’s best-loved, most influential writer. The “trouble, ” as he famously promised, had begun.

With a pitch-perfect blend of appreciative humor and critical authority, acclaimed literary biographer Roy Morris, Jr. , sheds new light on this crucial but still largely unexamined period in Mark Twain’s life. Morris carefully sorts fact from fiction—never an easy task when dealing with Twain—to tell the story of a young genius finding his voice in the ramshackle mining camps, boomtowns, and newspaper offices of the wild and woolly West, while the Civil War rages half a continent away.

With the frequent help of Twain’s own words, Morris follows his subject on a winding journey of selfdiscovery filled with high adventure and low comedy, as Clemens/Twain dodges Indians and gunfighters, receives marriage advice from Brigham Young, burns down a mountain with a frying pan, gets claim-jumped by rival miners, narrowly avoids fighting a duel, hikes across the floor of an active volcano, becomes one of the first white men to try the ancient Hawaiian sport of surfing, and writes his first great literary success, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. ”

Lighting Out for the Territory is a fascinating, even inspiring, account of how an unemployed riverboat pilot, would-be Confederate guerrilla, failed prospector, neophyte newspaper reporter, and parttime San Francisco aesthete reinvented himself as America’s most famous and beloved writer. It’s a good story, and mostly true—with some stretchers thrown in for good measure. 
Price: 8.69 USD

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Riding the Bus With My Sister: A True Life Journey, Simon, Rachel
5 Simon, Rachel Riding the Bus With My Sister: A True Life Journey
New York Plume Books 2003 0452284554 / 9780452284555 Paperback Good 
Beth is a spirited woman with mental retardation, who spends nearly every day riding the buses in Philadelphia. The drivers, a lively group, are her mentors; her fellow passengers are her community. When Beth asks her sister Rachel to accompany her on the buses for one year, they take a transcendent journey together that changes Rachel's life in incredible ways and leads her to accept her sister at long last—teaching her to slow down and enjoy the ride. 
Price: 2.99 USD
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