Comment on ‘Halloween’ To Hook $60M+ Record Opening For Horror Franchise As Tickets Go On Sale – Update by Anonymous

Universal Universal
UPDATED: Universal / Miramax / Blumhouse ’s Halloween is flying off the tracking charts. Soon after our sources said around $40 million last Thursday for the David Gordon Green-directed movie, tracking services have upped their bets on the horror sequel’s opening to $60M . This morning, Fandango announced that tickets are already on sale for the October 19 release. Allison Williams & Logan Browning Miramax Thriller ‘The Perfection’ Snapped Up By Netflix
According to a Fandango survey of more than 1,000 moviegoers, Halloween was selected as the single most anticipated horror movie of the fall season. ( The Predator , which opened to $24.6 million, and The Nun , which opened to $53.8 million, were the No. 2 and No. 3 choices among most anticipated fall horror flicks on the Fandango list.)
The combined success of Venom and A Star Is Born is expected to launch October to a record first weekend over the next three days, besting the time when 20th Century Fox’s The Martian led all films to a Friday-Sunday haul of $151.4M over October 2-4, 2015. Halloween will only catapult the autumn further.
We were concerned that the fall season would lag post summer, but it’s not looking that way.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, September 27: Universal/Blumhouse/Miramax’s Halloween came on tracking this morning and early industry forecasts indicate that the reboot/sequel is easily poised for a $40M-plus –possibly even $50M– 3-day weekend opening on October 19, which will easily deliver the 40-year-old classic horror franchise its best domestic box office debut ever, beating the Weinstein/MGM 2007 reboot which opened to $26.3M.
The latest Halloween is opening close to 40 years from the weekend when John Carpenter’s original bowed on October 25, 1978.
Typically an R-rated pic is a slam dunk with men over 25, however, we hear that Halloween is strong with largely everyone . First choice and definite interest for the pic is strong with men over/under 25 and females under 25; unaided is best with the under 25 set. There’s just something about a classic piece of movie IP when remade right, that just rains cash into multiplexes. This David Gordon Green directed version, which he executive produced and co-wrote with longtime collaborator Danny McBride has their edgy sense of humor woven in, with an auteurish feel as it follows Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) four decades later in the wake of Michael Myers’ murders. Myers remains alive in jail while Strode has barricaded herself in the woods. Jeff Fradley also co-wrote.
For horror pics, the top domestic openings are Warner Bros.’ It ($123.4M) , Paramount/Skydance’s World War Z ($66.4M), MGM’s Hannibal ($58M) New Line’s The Nun ($53.8KM), and Paranormal Activity 3 ($52.5M) and there’s a shot that Halloween may break into the group. Anything over $40M puts it ahead of The Conjuring ($41.8M) and The Conjuring 2 ($40.4M).
The audience response for Halloween coming out of its TIFF midnight premiere was electric with critics currently giving it an 85% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes off 52 reviews. Check out our TIFF video below when Curtis, McBride, Gordon Green, stars Judy Greer, Andi Matichak and producers Jason Blum, Malek Akkad and Bill Block took the stage.
Counting the latest Universal/Blumhouse/Miramax version, there are 11 titles in the Halloween canon including John Carpenter’s first Halloween starring Curtis, ($47M without inflation), 1981’s Halloween II ($25.5M), 1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch ($14.4M), 1988’s Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers ($17.7M), 1989’s Halloween 5 ($11.6M), 1995’s Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers ($15.1M), 1998’s Halloween: H20 ($55M), 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection ($30.3M), 2007’s Halloween ($58.2M) and 2009’s Halloween II ($33.3M).
As we always mention when box office forecasts are this far out, these projections can go up or down by opening day.

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Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be (Unabridged) – Rachel Hollis

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Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now. Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be (Unabridged) by Rachel Hollis
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Number one New York Times Best Seller Do you ever suspect that everyone else has life figured out and you don’t have a clue? If so, Rachel Hollis has something to tell you: That’s a lie. As the founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Rachel Hollis developed an immense online community by sharing tips for better living while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own life. Now, in this challenging and inspiring new book, Rachel exposes the 20 lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore. With painful honesty and fearless humor, Rachel unpacks and examines the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. In the process, she encourages, entertains, and even kicks a little butt, all to convince you to do whatever it takes to get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be. With unflinching faith and rock-hard tenacity, Girl, Wash Your Face shows you how to live with passion and hustle – and how to give yourself grace without giving up. Customer Reviews by Michelle Lea Creative I’m over half way through this amazing book and I’ve laughed, cried and written down so many notes as I’ve listened. Two quotes that rocked me… Don’t break a promise to yourself and hustle for joy. I can’t wait to keep reading. Truth Bombs all the way!!!! by Kinta Wendt This book is like the little voices in our heads spoken aloud! Relatable, timeless, funny, sad, honest, truthful and powerful! Buy the audio book because her voice MAKES IT!!!! Girl, Wash your Face by SJGRN This book is fantastic! I loved that I could completely relate to it in some way and the insightful tips provided throughout the book were great. It’s refreshing to know that we are all humans and as moms and women we share similar fears. There is so much judgement and comparison among us that it can overwhelm you at times. I freaking loved that Rachel made me realize I’m not the only working mom that worries that the other moms are judging me because I work or even that I’m not a good mom! Life is hard so let’s be kinder to one another!!! Buy this book you won’t regret it!

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EXCLUSIVE: Lisa Borders, Time’s Up’s First President and C.E.O., Knows This Isn’t Going to Be Easy | Vanity Fair

the new boss EXCLUSIVE: Lisa Borders, Time’s Up’s First President and C.E.O., Knows This Isn’t Going to Be Easy In her first interview as head of the anti-sexual misconduct group, the veteran executive discusses the work ahead: “This is not a club. I would just offer the invitation to everyone, right here, right now . . . come join us on this journey.” by Yohana Desta October 2, 2018 10:00 am Email Facebook Twitter
Lisa Borders at the Boys and Girls Club of Kings County in Seattle, Washington, July 21, 2017. By Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images. Lisa Borders has enjoyed a long career in both the public and private sectors: a job in local Atlanta politics morphed into a stretch in health care, which morphed into a stint as executive V.P. of global community affairs at Coca-Cola. In 2016, she became the fourth president in the W.N.B.A.’s two-decade history. Still, last October, she found herself wishing that she could do more. Borders, 60, recently recalled sitting in the league’s New York office, scanning the first reports about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct. “I remember reading it, thinking, ‘This is horrific,’” she said. She marveled at the revived momentum of Tarana Burke’s #MeToo movement and yearned to do something—anything—to lend her support.
Then, in January, Borders watched Oprah Winfrey give an impassioned speech at the Golden Globe Awards that, among many other things, touted the then-nascent group Time’s Up. The organization—founded to fight workplace sexual harassment, assault, and abuse in Hollywood and beyond—had already caught Borders’s attention, thanks to a neatly orchestrated launch on New Year’s Day. But Winfrey’s speech was her clarion call.
“I was being not just invited, but encouraged—implored—to step forward and be part of this transformational change for women,” Borders said in a phone interview last week to discuss her appointment, effective November 1, as Time’s Up’s first president and C.E.O.
Though the group boasts scads of A-list members, it has thus far operated without a single leader. (How, then, did it get anything done? “Well, we’re women!” founding member Tracee Ellis Ross wryly told Winfrey in an interview that aired shortly after the Globes.) Borders was understandably somewhat hesitant to address too many particulars of what her new job would entail—appropriate, perhaps, for the newly anointed chief of a young and developing organization. But over the course of two conversations, the second of which took place in a quiet publicist’s office, she did open up about her new position, crystalizing its aims and signifying the beginning of a new, more transparent era—one that will shore up Time’s Up as it moves into its next stage.
As Shonda Rhimes, who helped run the search for Time’s Up’s inaugural leader, put it: “Lisa has the qualities I wanted most, which is proven experience and commitment to gender and inclusion issues, and an amazing track record moving the needle of change.”
Borders managed to keep the news of her Time’s Up appointment a secret from most of the outside world even as she quietly tied up loose ends at her old job—which would have been difficult enough even if her efforts hadn’t coincided with the W.N.B.A. Finals in September. She’s been so busy, in fact, that when I asked if she’d paid attention to the circus surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault (which he denies), she gave a firm “No.” (Both our interviews were conducted before Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s gripping Sept. 27 Senate testimony, and Kavanaugh’s loud, testy rebuttal. Following Ford’s testimony, Borders sent an e-mail saying, “The stakes for this nomination couldn’t be higher because we must have a government that respects the needs and rights of women. Dr. Ford’s eloquence spoke for millions of women.”) She’s been laser-focused on her work, Borders said. Since March , Time’s Up has made a point of publicly and forcefully condemning high-powered figures who have been accused of committing or enabling sexual misconduct. Over the last few weeks, the organization has released both a letter and a P.S.A. urging Kavanaugh to withdraw, and has orchestrated a nationwide walkout in solidarity with survivors of sexual assault.
Time’s Up has similarly called out men such as ousted CBS head Les Moonves, who has been accused of sexually harassing and sexually assaulting numerous women (he has denied the allegations); singer R. Kelly, who has been accused of sexually abusing women and holding them against their will (he has denied the allegations); and Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 80 women and is currently facing several sex-crime charges brought on by the Manhattan district attorney (he has denied all claims of nonconsensual sex). Borders was reluctant to speak directly about anyone who Time’s Up has already publicly addressed, or name people the group plans to address in the future. She dismissed the suggestion that the organization might one day aim P.S.A.s at President Donald Trump, who has been accused of sexual assault by more than a dozen women (he has denied the allegations).
“Oh, I don’t want to speak about Donald Trump,” she said. “Time’s Up is so much bigger than any one person.”
When pressed to share any thoughts about the president, she declined again, instead opening up the question and focusing on the fact that “as a society, we live in a patriarchy. Period, full stop.”
Some will undoubtedly find her diplomacy frustrating—but to understand it, you should know that she was raised to value civility and the idea of performing one’s civic duty. Her grandfather was Rev. William Holmes Borders, a civil-rights leader and pastor of Atlanta’s influential Wheat Street Baptist Church. As a kid, Borders saw politicians like Maynard Jackson launch campaigns at her grandfather’s pulpit. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would sit up in the front row on Sundays, absorbing and learning, taking inspiration from her grandfather’s powerful sermons and preaching tactics. To her, King was just the father of her friends Yolanda, Martin III, Dexter, and Bernice, with whom she is still close. One of her more enduring memories is holding her grandfather’s hand at King’s funeral procession, watching two mules pull the wagon carrying his casket.
“I was probably 40 before I understood that was real history. And that I witnessed it,” she said.
Her childhood was a master class in powerful, moving oration. Borders herself is a precise speaker. If she answers a question by saying she’s going to give three examples and then an analogy, she will then do just that, at a clear, reassured pace. Her eye contact is warm but unyielding. She radiates power.
She also has the gloss of a born politician. After graduating from Duke—where she calcified her love of basketball and joined the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority—she leapt into politics. She pursued the sector until 2009, when she ran a losing bid for mayor of Atlanta. “It was very painful— very painful,” she said of the hometown loss. She did absolutely nothing for three days afterward. (But she never lost that political polish; she’s had to tell more than one admirer that she has no plans to ever run for president.)
As a student of sermons, she turned that failure into an illustrative parable—leaning on the old Christian tenet that if something is meant for you, it will be yours. If Borders had become mayor, she never would have gone to Coca-Cola. If she hadn’t gone to Coca-Cola, she wouldn’t have appealed to an organization like the W.N.B.A. Without the W.N.B.A., there’d be no Time’s Up gig. Don’t you see?
“If the measure of success is the awareness of the movement . . . oh my goodness, did they get an A-plus,” Borders said of her new employer, which dominated the conversation at the Globes even before Winfrey’s fiery speech—thanks to a group of founding members who brought prominent activists as their plus-ones (a decision that was met with a degree of skepticism by some ) and a successful initiative to get nearly every female attendee to wear black in solidarity. (A number of men joined in as well.)
After those first profile-raising actions, the group began working on its ground game. The Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which offers subsidized legal support to those facing sexual misconduct in the workplace, has raised more than $22 million in the last nine months—and, per a spokesperson, has been contacted by more than 3,000 people, more than half of whom are low-income. It has also awarded $750,000 in grants to 18 nonprofit organizations that support low-wage workers enduring alleged sexual misconduct in the workplace. Of all of the group’s initiatives, it is the fund that is likely to continue producing easily quantifiable results: how much money it raises, how many cases it takes on, how many cases it wins, how it impacts future legislation.
At the W.N.B.A., Borders got used to serving as the organization’s public face—hosting press conferences and doing all manner of television, radio, print, and online interviews. She is ready to do the same at Time’s Up. “I expect it will be more intense,” she said evenly. “The iron is hot.” The organization has already faced a perception that it is dedicated largely to Hollywood figures with name and face recognition, for example—but Borders batted that idea away. “It’s out here for everybody. This is not a club,” she said. “I would just offer the invitation to everyone, right here, right now . . . come join us on this journey.”
The inner workings of Time’s Up have also been somewhat under the radar, and the organization has not yet broadcast its full slate of goals. But the group wants to change that, starting by explaining how things currently stand: per a spokeswoman, Time’s Up has a full-time staff of seven women in New York and Los Angeles. Operations are powered by a handful of private seed funders, including Rhimes and P.R. exec and former political operative Katie McGrath. There is no barrier to entry for everyday people who want to get involved; just sign up for the newsletter and boom—you’re a part of Time’s Up.
In April, the organization tapped Jana Rich of the Rich Talent Group to help lead the search for a new leader. Borders was recommended for the gig by her friend Wendy Clark, a Time’s Up founding member who worked with Borders during her time at Coca-Cola.
Clark’s timing was serendipitous. A few months back, the pair had found themselves on the same flight from New York to Atlanta, switching seats so they could sit together and catch up. “At the mid-point in the flight it struck me that Lisa could be the person Time’s Up was looking for,” Clark said. “I texted Jana Rich from the plane.”
Clark found an ally in Time’s Up founding member Tina Tchen as well, who also knew Borders beforehand (and counts herself a huge fan of the W.N.B.A.). “I’ve seen Lisa in action,” she said. “She understood what Time’s Up was about and also had ambition for where Time’s Up can go.”
After a course of interviews focusing on Borders’s career, her education, and understanding her “psychological profile,” which were conducted by 10 members of the group’s President and C.E.O. Search Committee—including Rhimes, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Kerry Washington —Borders was in.
Borders plans to spend her first week sussing out what’s been working and what hasn’t. She’ll also be readying herself to face a new level of scrutiny, though she is confident it won’t rattle her. She’s leaning on an old saying favored by her mother, Gloria Thomas Borders: “Adversity, for me, is like the agitator in a washing machine. It beats the heck out of the clothes, but they’re clean when they come out.”
When she gets to her Time’s Up desk, the first thing Borders wants to place upon it is a framed photo of Gloria, who died just over a month ago. They were very close. Her family, including her three siblings—Borders is the oldest—and her son, Dijon, are still grieving. They check in on one another often, offering to cook each other food—the most Southern “I love you” there is.
It was both her parents, but primarily her mother, who taught Borders not only how to nurture, but also how to navigate and negotiate—two lessons so many women have to teach themselves. These are the skills that will, she hopes, make her successful as the head of an organization with goodwill at its back and sharp corners in its future. There is so much that Time’s Up wants to change, which only became more apparent as a publicist checked in to remind Borders that our time was coming to a close. Lisa Borders had to go. There is so much work to do.
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Full Screen Photos: 1 / 11 11 Nonfiction Books to Read This Fall The Flame: Poems Notebooks Lyrics Drawings by Leonard Cohen Leonard Cohen’s posthumous The Flame (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux) opens with “Happens to the Heart,” a poem written in the last year of his life. “I was always working steady / But I never called it art / I was funding my depression / Meeting Jesus reading Marx,” it begins. Cohen, whose awards are too numerous to mention at length, but include accolades ranging from the 2011 Glenn Gould Prize to a posthumous 2018 Grammy for best rock performance for “You Want It Darker,” died at the age of 82 the night before the 2016 presidential election. A few weeks before, he’d told a reporter he was “ready to go,” but was planning to put together the book that became The Flame —a compilation of poems and song lyrics alongside illustrations and select entries from his journals—before he did. Fans will be moved by the intimate look inside the brain of the legendary (and multi-talented) songwriter. ( Amazon.com ) Photo: From Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis In two deeply researched articles for Vanity Fair, Michael Lewis, the author of several best-sellers including The Undoing Project, Flash Boys, The Big Short, The Blind Side, and Moneyball, took readers into the depths of the Departments of Energy ( September 2017 ) and Agriculture ( November 2017 ) in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election. The Fifth Risk (W. W. Norton) compiles these two exposés and adds a third deep dive, this time into the Department of Commerce. Lewis points to trends across all departments, the strongest being the lack of expertise and knowledge those new departmental leaders appointed by the president are exhibiting; given that the federal departments are essential for keeping the government running smoothly, Lewis’s findings are especially unsettling. ( Amazon.com ) Photo: From W. W. Norton. The End of the End of the Earth by Jonathan Franzen Jonathan Franzen may be best known for his novels ( Purity, Freedom, The Corrections ), but arguably the most controversial of the literary Jonathans is also a prolific essayist. In The End of the End of the Earth (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), a collection of personal essays that range in topic from his love of wild birds (which is vast) to an appreciation of Edith Wharton to a post-9/11 musing, Franzen displays his signature precision and deadpan humor. Come for the snappy sentences, stay for Franzen’s explanation of his public fight with the Audubon Society, which once called his stance on bird conservation “odd climate neo-denialism.” Inside baseball at its finest. ( Amazon.com ) Photo: From Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger by Rebecca Traister Rebecca Traister’s 2016 All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation made waves for its exploration of how the American single woman was growing as a demographic, and therefore becoming an increasingly powerful political and economic force. Now, two years later and months into the Trump presidency, Traister returns with Good and Mad (Simon & Schuster), which speaks to the current zeitgeist by looking at its historical precedent. “Remember all men would be tyrants if they could,” she writes, quoting Abigail Adams’s words to her husband, John, in 1776. “If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion.” From suffragettes to #MeToo, Traister’s book is a hopeful, maddening compendium of righteous feminine anger, and the good it can do when wielded efficiently—and collectively. ( Amazon.com ) Photo: From Simon & Schuster. Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It’s Changing the World by Bethany McLean Ten years ago, a lot of people hadn’t heard of fracking, but today, this process of collecting oil and gas from shale rock is well-known. In the past few years the practice has boomed, encouraging those in the energy industry, Wall Street, and politics (including the president) to hope—and ambitiously declare—that it’s just a matter of time before America becomes completely energy-independent, ending the U.S.’s reliance on foreign suppliers like Saudi Arabia and Russia. The journalist and V.F. contributing editor Bethany McLean, who closely covered the Enron scandal, co-authoring the 2003 best-seller The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron, takes a closer look at this lofty goal in her new book, Saudi America (Columbia Global Reports), undermining the enthusiasm of energy-independence claims—but not for the reasons we would assume. “The biggest reason to doubt the most breathless predictions about America’s future as an oil and gas colossus has more to do with Wall Street than with geopolitics or geology,” says McLean in an introduction to her book—in other words, it’s not a well-positioned, predictable supply of oil and gas on U.S. soil that’s creating the buzz around this energy stream. Rather, McLean suggests, the boom should actually be attributed to low interest rates. “Questions about the sustainability of the boom are no longer limited to a small set of skeptics,” she writes, predicting how this burgeoning industry will affect our own politics (as it threatens Saudi Arabia and Russia’s energy dominance) and bringing in the industry’s key players, including the late Aubrey McClendon, co-founder of Chesapeake Energy, the fracking start-up which grew swiftly before failing spectacularly. ( Amazon.com ) Photo: From Columbia Global Reports. All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung The memoir All You Can Ever Know (Catapult) is written with all the style and narrative of great fiction, so it’s no surprise that acclaimed novelists Celeste Ng ( Everything I Never Told You, Little Fires Everywhere ) and Alexander Chee ( Edinburgh, The Queen of the Night ) have sung its praises. The debut, written by Catapult magazine’s editor in chief, Nicole Chung, traces the author’s life from being put up for adoption by her Korean parents when she was born prematurely in a Seattle hospital, to being raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town. Chung describes a childhood of constantly being the only nonwhite child in the room, of never seeing people who looked like her, and of facing prejudice because of it. As these and other layers of the seemingly uncomplicated adoption come to light, Chung highlights the difficulties not only of her unique situation, but of adoptees in general. In a recent article about the book, Chung wrote, “I often wonder if I would have become a storyteller if not for adoption. On the one hand, that is in my genes: my birth father is a writer. Yet I do think it was partly feeling like an outsider—not just in my white family, but in the place where I grew up—that made me almost desperate for a way to express who I was.” ( Amazon.com ) Photo: From Catapult. Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats, and Joyce by Colm Tóibín Lady Caroline Lamb used the phrase “Mad, bad, and dangerous to know” to describe her lover, Lord Byron, in the early 19th century. (Lady Caroline notoriously exceeded Byron on all counts, and he ended the affair after only months. Her subsequent wrath resulted in a scandal that forced Byron to leave his home country of England.) Irish writer Colm Tóibín, the author of fiction (including 2009’s Brooklyn, the basis of the 2015 film starring Saoirse Ronan ), nonfiction, and two plays, re-purposes Lady Caroline’s words for the title of his new book, Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know (Scribner), which explores the relationships between these three iconic Irish writers and their fathers. The book, a reckoning with the greatness of Tóibín’s literary predecessors, introduces the dads through the Dublin neighborhood where they all lived and worked (Beckett also makes an appearance), reflecting on modern Irish cultural identity in the process. Tóibín concludes the book with a poem by James Joyce, written on the occasion of his only grandson’s birth, titled “Ecce Puer” (literally translating to “behold the young boy”): Of the dark past
A child is born;
With joy and grief
My heart is torn.
Calm in his cradle
The living lies.
May love and mercy
Unclose his eyes!
Young life is breathed
On the glass;
The world that was not
Comes to pass.
A child is sleeping:
An old man gone.
O, father forsaken,
Forgive your son!
( Amazon.com )
Photo: From Scribner. Previous Next The Flame: Poems Notebooks Lyrics Drawings by Leonard Cohen Leonard Cohen’s posthumous The Flame (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux) opens with “Happens to the Heart,” a poem written in the last year of his life. “I was always working steady / But I never called it art / I was funding my depression / Meeting Jesus reading Marx,” it begins. Cohen, whose awards are too numerous to mention at length, but include accolades ranging from the 2011 Glenn Gould Prize to a posthumous 2018 Grammy for best rock performance for “You Want It Darker,” died at the age of 82 the night before the 2016 presidential election. A few weeks before, he’d told a reporter he was “ready to go,” but was planning to put together the book that became The Flame —a compilation of poems and song lyrics alongside illustrations and select entries from his journals—before he did. Fans will be moved by the intimate look inside the brain of the legendary (and multi-talented) songwriter. ( Amazon.com ) From Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis In two deeply researched articles for Vanity Fair, Michael Lewis, the author of several best-sellers including The Undoing Project, Flash Boys, The Big Short, The Blind Side, and Moneyball, took readers into the depths of the Departments of Energy ( September 2017 ) and Agriculture ( November 2017 ) in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election. The Fifth Risk (W. W. Norton) compiles these two exposés and adds a third deep dive, this time into the Department of Commerce. Lewis points to trends across all departments, the strongest being the lack of expertise and knowledge those new departmental leaders appointed by the president are exhibiting; given that the federal departments are essential for keeping the government running smoothly, Lewis’s findings are especially unsettling. ( Amazon.com ) From W. W. Norton. The End of the End of the Earth by Jonathan Franzen Jonathan Franzen may be best known for his novels ( Purity, Freedom, The Corrections ), but arguably the most controversial of the literary Jonathans is also a prolific essayist. In The End of the End of the Earth (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), a collection of personal essays that range in topic from his love of wild birds (which is vast) to an appreciation of Edith Wharton to a post-9/11 musing, Franzen displays his signature precision and deadpan humor. Come for the snappy sentences, stay for Franzen’s explanation of his public fight with the Audubon Society, which once called his stance on bird conservation “odd climate neo-denialism.” Inside baseball at its finest. ( Amazon.com ) From Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger by Rebecca Traister Rebecca Traister’s 2016 All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation made waves for its exploration of how the American single woman was growing as a demographic, and therefore becoming an increasingly powerful political and economic force. Now, two years later and months into the Trump presidency, Traister returns with Good and Mad (Simon & Schuster), which speaks to the current zeitgeist by looking at its historical precedent. “Remember all men would be tyrants if they could,” she writes, quoting Abigail Adams’s words to her husband, John, in 1776. “If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion.” From suffragettes to #MeToo, Traister’s book is a hopeful, maddening compendium of righteous feminine anger, and the good it can do when wielded efficiently—and collectively. ( Amazon.com ) From Simon & Schuster. The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters: The Tragic and Glamorous Lives of Jackie and Lee by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger In The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters (Harper), New York Times best-selling authors Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger paint a lush picture of the complicated relationship between sisters Jackie Onassis and Lee Radziwill, from their childhood spent in eleven-room New York apartments, to their high-profile, high-drama marriages and affairs, and to their separate attempts at sustaining careers (to varying degrees of success). Gossipy gems are studded throughout the book, which is made up in part from frequent Vanity Fair contributor Kashner’s pieces for this magazine : when Jackie met the then-congressman John F. Kennedy, she was working as the Times-Herald ’s “Inquiring Cameragirl” and asked him, “If you went on a date with Marilyn Monroe, what would you talk about?” ( Amazon.com ) From Harper. Professor at Large: The Cornell Years by John Cleese Compiled from a series of talks that the great wit John Cleese has given as Cornell’s guest lecturer from 1999 to 2017, Professor at Large (Cornell University Press) offers a fascinating insider look at the mind behind Monty Python and Fawlty Towers. Cleese’s lectures are, expectedly, equal parts entertaining and thoughtful, and include a discussion on screenwriting, notes on religion and satire, and tips on fostering creativity, which include marrying a so-called “tortoise mind” with a “hare brain,” and learning to promote a near dream state when exploring new ideas. ( Amazon.com ) From Cornell University Press. Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope The origins of Billion Dollar Whale (Hachette) go back to 2015, when co-authors Tom Wright and Bradley Hope — Wall Street Journal writers who have both been nominated for Pulitzer Prizes—began reporting on a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund following rumors about its huge debts and sketchy business dealings. The book provides a definitive, gripping inside account of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal (known as 1MDB) involving the former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s channeling $700 million from the government-run strategic development company 1Malaysia Development Berhad to his personal bank accounts. The real center of the story, though, is an innocent-looking Wharton grad by the name of Jho Low, the Penang-based financier embroiled in the scandal who, with the aid of Goldman Sachs and others, managed to swindle roughly $5 billion, pulling off one of the biggest financial frauds in history—and exposing the secret nexus of finance, Hollywood, and politics in the process. ( Amazon.com ) From Hachette. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari The Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari, whose previous books— Sapiens: A Short History of Humankind and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow —took a sweeping look back at humanity’s past and forward to its future, now turns his focus to the present with 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (Spiegel & Grau). That he’s completing the trilogy now is opportune: this is a particularly confusing time to be alive. “In a world deluged by irrelevant information,” Harari writes in the introduction to his new book, “clarity is power.” His contribution to clarity: 21 succinct lessons for humanity to understand the world as it is today. In the days leading up to Homo Deus ’s U.S. publication, Harari discussed the current climate in a TED Talk conversation with Chris Anderson: “I think the basic thing that happened is that we’ve lost our story. Humans think in stories, and we try to make sense of the world by telling stories. And for the last few decades, we had a very simple and very attractive story about what [was] happening in the world,” he said. Harari marks 2016, the year the U.S. elected Trump as president, as a turning point—“the moment when a very large segment [of the population] stopped believing in [the] story. . . . And when you don’t have a story, you don’t understand what’s happening.” ( Amazon.com ) From Spiegel & Grau. Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It’s Changing the World by Bethany McLean Ten years ago, a lot of people hadn’t heard of fracking, but today, this process of collecting oil and gas from shale rock is well-known. In the past few years the practice has boomed, encouraging those in the energy industry, Wall Street, and politics (including the president) to hope—and ambitiously declare—that it’s just a matter of time before America becomes completely energy-independent, ending the U.S.’s reliance on foreign suppliers like Saudi Arabia and Russia. The journalist and V.F. contributing editor Bethany McLean, who closely covered the Enron scandal, co-authoring the 2003 best-seller The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron, takes a closer look at this lofty goal in her new book, Saudi America (Columbia Global Reports), undermining the enthusiasm of energy-independence claims—but not for the reasons we would assume. “The biggest reason to doubt the most breathless predictions about America’s future as an oil and gas colossus has more to do with Wall Street than with geopolitics or geology,” says McLean in an introduction to her book—in other words, it’s not a well-positioned, predictable supply of oil and gas on U.S. soil that’s creating the buzz around this energy stream. Rather, McLean suggests, the boom should actually be attributed to low interest rates. “Questions about the sustainability of the boom are no longer limited to a small set of skeptics,” she writes, predicting how this burgeoning industry will affect our own politics (as it threatens Saudi Arabia and Russia’s energy dominance) and bringing in the industry’s key players, including the late Aubrey McClendon, co-founder of Chesapeake Energy, the fracking start-up which grew swiftly before failing spectacularly. ( Amazon.com ) From Columbia Global Reports. All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung The memoir All You Can Ever Know (Catapult) is written with all the style and narrative of great fiction, so it’s no surprise that acclaimed novelists Celeste Ng ( Everything I Never Told You, Little Fires Everywhere ) and Alexander Chee ( Edinburgh, The Queen of the Night ) have sung its praises. The debut, written by Catapult magazine’s editor in chief, Nicole Chung, traces the author’s life from being put up for adoption by her Korean parents when she was born prematurely in a Seattle hospital, to being raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town. Chung describes a childhood of constantly being the only nonwhite child in the room, of never seeing people who looked like her, and of facing prejudice because of it. As these and other layers of the seemingly uncomplicated adoption come to light, Chung highlights the difficulties not only of her unique situation, but of adoptees in general. In a recent article about the book, Chung wrote, “I often wonder if I would have become a storyteller if not for adoption. On the one hand, that is in my genes: my birth father is a writer. Yet I do think it was partly feeling like an outsider—not just in my white family, but in the place where I grew up—that made me almost desperate for a way to express who I was.” ( Amazon.com ) From Catapult. Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats, and Joyce by Colm Tóibín Lady Caroline Lamb used the phrase “Mad, bad, and dangerous to know” to describe her lover, Lord Byron, in the early 19th century. (Lady Caroline notoriously exceeded Byron on all counts, and he ended the affair after only months. Her subsequent wrath resulted in a scandal that forced Byron to leave his home country of England.) Irish writer Colm Tóibín, the author of fiction (including 2009’s Brooklyn, the basis of the 2015 film starring Saoirse Ronan ), nonfiction, and two plays, re-purposes Lady Caroline’s words for the title of his new book, Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know (Scribner), which explores the relationships between these three iconic Irish writers and their fathers. The book, a reckoning with the greatness of Tóibín’s literary predecessors, introduces the dads through the Dublin neighborhood where they all lived and worked (Beckett also makes an appearance), reflecting on modern Irish cultural identity in the process. Tóibín concludes the book with a poem by James Joyce, written on the occasion of his only grandson’s birth, titled “Ecce Puer” (literally translating to “behold the young boy”): Of the dark past
A child is born;
With joy and grief
My heart is torn.
Calm in his cradle
The living lies.
May love and mercy
Unclose his eyes!
Young life is breathed
On the glass;
The world that was not
Comes to pass.
A child is sleeping:
An old man gone.
O, father forsaken,
Forgive your son!
( Amazon.com )
From Scribner. Share Email Facebook Twitter Yohana Desta Yohana Desta is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.

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