Paul Challen

  • Play Out the Match

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    Play Out the Match, Michael Knox's first published collection of poetry, is also an extended meditation on the idea of reconciliation. Vivid and lyrical, the poems make use of various voices, speakers, and landscapes to explore the surreptitious aspects of fear and indifference, tenderness and fragility. In Play Out the Match, dollar store cashiers, Scottish pub brawlers, lovers, and cowards create a broad and sympathetic world of otherness. Shifting viewpoints and lexicons weave across a wide variety of experience and emotion, producing a poetry that is cinematic in its imagery but lucid and accessible in content. In achingly human narratives, Knox examines the finer lines between love and indifference, meaning and loss.

  • Isiah Lord Thomas has dedicated his life to professional basketball. He honed his skills in Chicago's South Side, went to college, signed an NBA contract, joined the Detroit Pistons, turned them into league champions in 1989 and 1990, and was named one of the NBA's 50 greatest players. Thomas became general manager and vice-president of the Toronto Raptors when they entered the NBA in 1995-96. In 1999, he bought the Continental Basketball Association, which went bankrupt in 2001. Now, he's back in the game as president of the New York Knicks, who compete every night in the sports-media center of the world. Here, writer Paul Challen examines Thomas's life in depth - as a terrific player, as the man who introduced professional basketball to Canadian fans, and as the often-controversial coach and executive.

  • Inside The West Wing

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    For anyone who's ever wished the American president's name was Bartlet ?Since bursting onto the airwaves in 1999, The West Wing has emerged as one of North America's favourite TV shows - and for good reason. Through its snappy dialogue, Washington-insider references and stellar acting, the show, produced and written by Aaron Sorkin of The American President and A Few Good Men fame, looks at U.S. politics like no other TV series has before.

    As a testament to the show's success, it copped nine Emmy Awards - an all-time record - in September 2000. Its all-star cast, which includes Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Alison Janney, and John Spencer, is regularly praised in the press, and the second-season-opener, "Who Shot President Bartlet," aired to record ratings in the fall of 2000.

    In Inside the West Wing, author Paul Challen takes a detailed look at this hugely popular series: how it's put together, what ideas and political themes drive its plots, and ultimately, why it's so popular. Through in-depth interviews, commentary from political and entertainment-industry observers, plus extensive searches of the numerous official and un-official show Web sites available in cyberspace, Challen provides a comprehensive look inside the show for die-hard fans and casual watchers alike. To round out the package, Inside the West Wing also contains actor profiles, and an episode-by-episode guide to the first two seasons.

  • America lies in ruins during an age of decline, despair, and death. The year is 1975 and a radical far-left group has kidnapped a young woman from one of America's richest families. She will later join their cause and will eventually be arrested and convicted of armed robbery. She will claim it was a "different personality" that robbed the bank. The jury didn't buy it, but author Brian Joseph Davis did. The important difference is: Davis thought her "different personality" was more interesting and deserved her own fake memoir. Welcome to I, Tania, a book that uses the memoir format just enough to spin off into a crazed, bawdy, and seditious charge through pop culture, politics, and the meaning of fiction itself. I, Tania begins by recounting the highly fictionalized true story of the rise and fall of the Symbianese Liberation Army, as it never happened. Brainwashing will never be as much fun as when Tania takes you on an armed-to-the-teeth trip through one of the strangest episodes in history while writing her memoirs in the year 2005.

    Tania may have survived bank heists and open relationships, but will she be able to survive the savage world of contemporary book publishing and promotion? More than just a run-of-the-mill fake memoir, I, Tania will blast you into a million little pieces with:
    - The hidden Marxist meanings behind Cujo - Why John McEnroe is scarier than Ian Curtis - How Don DeLillo can kill . . . with his mind Do violent debutantes have a place in political struggle? After Tania and Katie Couric's climactic talk show, you'll know the shocking, surprisingly funny answer.

  • Sam Cutler was tour manager for the Rolling Stones at some of their major gigs in the late sixties, including the infamous concert at Altamont where a man was murdered by a Hells Angel in front of the stage while the Stones played on. After the show, Sam was left behind to make peace with the Hells Angels, the various mobsters and organizations who had taken an overt interest in the event, and the people of America. There has never been an official investigation into events at Altamont and those involved have never before spoken on record.

    Sam Cutler has decided that it is time to put to rest the myths and legends that have grown up around this infamous event in rock history and for the first time reveal the truth.

    Sam survived Altamont and went on to live the ultimate rock and roll dream. This is also his own account of the high ol' times he had managing tours for San Francisco band the Grateful Dead - who went on to become the world's most successful live act. Along the way Sam draws intimate portraits of other stars of the psychedelic circus that was the music industry in the sixties and seventies, including Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Band, the Allman Brothers, Pink Floyd, and Eric Clapton. This is an exhilarating, all-areas-access rock memoir from someone who has seen - and done - it all.

  • ?As a comedian, then producer of Seinfeld, and now the creator and star of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David has a fanatical following. In his early stand-up days, if he walked on stage and didn't like the crowd, he would walk off. Together with Jerry Seinfeld, he pitched NBC on a sitcom where nothing happens. A whole show could be about waiting in line at a Chinese restaurant. And somehow Seinfeld became the most successful comedy show of all time.

    After nine years of writing and producing Seinfeld, and after making a huge amount of money, Larry David began to create a new show for HBO. Without much separation between himself and the character he plays, Curb follows the daily routines of Larry David. Being politically correct is far from Larry's mind, and the audience cringes as he berates, torments, and blusters his way into the hearts of TV watchers.

    Follow the early exploits of Larry's stand-up career, his days writing for Seinfeld, and learn how Curb was conceived and developed. Pretty, Pretty, Pretty Good - titled after Larry's key catchphrase - also explores Larry's on- and off-screen relationships with famous pals like Richard Lewis, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, and the cast of Seinfeld, and contains an in-depth episode guide to Curb Your Enthusiasm.

  • The Laidlaw Foundation was established in 1949 by Walter and Robert Laidlaw, sons of the founder of the R. Laidlaw Lumber Company. This book is a history of the Laidlaw family, how it amassed money, and why the brothers decided to disperse it as they did. Making Change is also a record of the work of the Foundation over the past fifty years. The impact has been to help children in need, to train scholars, and to support social, cultural, and environmental causes. Overall, this book seeks to identify what motivates people to act philanthropically and the implications of their doing so. It is interesting to understand what persuades wealthy people to give away their money and provide leadership in areas where government stewardship is lacking.

  • At the centre of the critically acclaimed Fox drama House, British actor Hugh Laurie has become the focus of fans across North America, Britain, and Australia. Winner of the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series, honoured by the Queen with an Order of the British Empire, and one of People's Sexiest Men Alive, Laurie has become an icon.

    But who is the man behind the cane and acerbic wit? A musician? A motorcyclist? A comedian?

    Laurie is all these things and more. This biography aims to shed light on his childhood struggles to live up to his mother's high demands and emulate his father's accomplishments as a doctor and an Olympic gold medalist; his education at the prestigious academies of Eton and Cambridge; his comedic career with Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, and Rowan Atkinson; his own personal struggle with depression; and how he came to be the best-loved curmudgeon on television. Interviews with creator and executive producer David Shore will reveal the Canadian connection to this truly global show and how a Canuck from London, Ontario, made the move to Hollywood stardom.

    The House That Hugh Laurie Built will also serve as a magnifying glass, providing episode analysis, cast biographies, selections of Dr. House's caustic wit, and production bloopers and medical mistakes that only a sleuth like Dr. House could expose.

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