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 …

Keith Richards to Publish Children’s Book About His First Guitar

Who put the first paintbrush in the hands of Leonardo da Vinci? The stylus in the hands of Auguste Rodin? The guitar in the hands of Keith Richards? We may never know the first two. But with the news that Richards will publish a children’s book about his first guitar on September 9, we can pinpoint the third: It was Theodore Augustus Dupree, Richards’s maternal grandfather. The culture-shaping moment when that handoff occurred will now be captured by Richards in …

Write Your Memoir to Win a Book Contract

Calling all writers: Could you be the next Frank McCourt, Elizabeth Gilbert or Jeanette Walls – all authors of bestselling memoirs? Here’s your chance to share your life story, win $5,000 and get a book contract.  AARP, The Huffington Post and publisher Simon & Schuster have teamed up to hold a national memoir contest.  “We’re searching for the next great memoir,” said Myrna Blyth, Editorial Director for AARP Media.  “We want to find a gifted writer who can tell a …

Eggers’ New Novel Is the Story of Our Times

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to work for Google, Facebook or even AOL (as I once did), you’ve got to read Dave Eggers’ new novel, The Circle. The 24-year old protagonist, Mae Holland, thinks she’s reached Nirvana – and who wouldn’t? The Circle, the Internet company where she’s just landed a job, lavishes cool perks on employees: brownies in the fridge,  clean, well-lit workstations, and a company store that stocks pharmaceutical-grade aloe. It takes a few …

The Next ‘Hunger Games’ Is Worth a Read

Looking for a juicy fall read? Then you’ve may already have heard about The Bone Season, the debut novel that’s being called the next Hunger Games. Written by 21-year-old English author Samantha Shannon, The Bone Season is the inaugural pick of the Today Show’s new book club.Does the novel – the first in a series projected to total seven – merit the hype? Elizabeth Word Gutting in The Washington Post thought mainly yes (though she carped that the novel’s back story …

Bea Kozera: Jack Kerouac’s Lost Lover

If you’ve read Jack Kerouac’s 1957 novel On The Road, you probably remember the heart-rending section in which protagonist Sal Paradise, who’s waiting to catch a bus from Bakersfield to Los Angeles, suddenly spies “the cutest little Mexican girl in slacks coming across my sight.” Suddenly lovestruck, Sal rushes to jump instead onto the bus that the woman is boarding, and spends five minutes trying to find the courage to offer her his raincoat to use as a pillow. Sal …