‘Rendezvous Tahiti’ Celebrates Exotic Travel and AARP

Rendezvous Tahiti: A True Story of Love and War Across Six Continents by William Stephan On Aug. 19, 1968, the U. S. Army honorably discharged William Stephan. Choosing California over his native Madison, Wisc., Stephan started looking for a job immediately. As he describes in this charming memoir, his life changed forever the moment he stepped onto the fourth floor of the Ethel Percy Andrus Building in downtown Long Beach, Calif. Just 72 hours after he had been holding an …

Harper Lee to Publish ‘New’ Novel in July

Oh happy day! On July 14, Harper Lee will release a second, newly discovered novel titled Go Set a Watchman. Now 88, the author is world-famous for her first — and, until now, only — book, To Kill a Mockingbird. Published in 1960, it won the Pulitzer Prize and was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. The new novel will be published in North America by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins. Said Lee in a statement …

Can We Talk About Joan Rivers?

Whether you screamed with delight at her unfiltered caustic commentary or found her a grating loudmouth, Joan Rivers was a unique figure who paved the way for other female comedians. “The Queen of Mean,” who died at age 81 on Sept. 4 in New York following complications from an outpatient procedure, always saved her harshest barbs for herself — her supposed lack of sex appeal, her obsession with plastic surgery, the endless indignities of aging. >> Famous People We’ve Lost in …

A Guide for Seekers: ‘Waiting for Our Souls to Catch Up’

By the time we reach 50, most Americans realize that the pursuit of happiness isn’t quite the same thing as attaining it. Yes, many if not most folks in the U.S. live lives rich with friends, family, careers, pets, hobbies, book clubs, not to mention technology’s 21st-century bounty: cars, computers, cellphones, AC, GPS, TV, 24/7 streaming entertainment. But what about those 3 a.m.-Peggy Lee-“Is That All There Is?” bleak moments? No matter how many marathons you run or antioxidant smoothies you …

Opera’s Jessye Norman Finds Her Voice in ‘Stand Up Straight and Sing!’

Jessye Norman’s once-in-a-century voice has carried her from 1960s segregated Augusta, Ga., to the opera houses and recital halls of Europe, Asia and America. Norman tells her extraordinary story in a just-published memoir, Stand Up Straight and Sing! Despite racism, Norman describes a happy childhood. She grew up in Augusta surrounded by a large, loving family and a warm community of neighbors and teachers. At the center stood their church. Her parents and older siblings were active in the civil rights …

Become a Great Communicator With ‘Pitch Perfect’

THE BOOK:  Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time. THE AUTHOR: Bill McGowan, TV correspondent turned media trainer, with  How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time Alisa Bowman. I read three to six books a week for my job as a book reviewer. So I almost never reread anything. Yet I have inhaled Bill McGowan’s new Pitch Perfect three times in three days. >> Sign up for the AARP Leisure Newsletter The reason: Pitch Perfect …