By embarking on a quest to dunk a basketball at the age of 34, journalist Asher Price investigates the limits of human potentialstarting with his own. We all like to think that (with a little practice) we could run faster, learn another language, orwhip upa perfect souffl. But few of us ever put those hopes to the test. In Year of the Dunk, Asher Price does, and he seizes on basketball's slam dunk--a feat richly freighted with distinctly American themes of culture, race, and upward mobility--as a gauge to determine his own hidden potential. The showmanship of the dunk mesmerized Asher as a child, but even with his height (six foot plus) and impressive wingspan, he never pushed himself to try it. Now, approaching middle age, Asher decides to spend a year remaking his body and testing his mind as he wonders, like most adults, what untapped talent he still possesses. In this humorous and often poignant journey into the pleasures and perils of exertion, Asher introduces us to a memorable cast of characters who help him understand the complexity of the human body and the individual drama at the heart of sports. Along the way he dives into the history and science of one of sports' most exuberant acts, examining everything from our genetic predisposition towards jumping to the cultural role of the slam dunk. The year-long effort forces him to ask some fundamental questions about human ability and the degree to which we can actually improve ourselves, even with great determination. From the Hardcover edition.
THE SUMMER STORY OF THREE SISTERS, ONE RESTAURANT, AND A (POSSIBLE) GERMAN SPY World War II is coming in Europe. At least that's what Frankie Baum heard on the radio. But from her small town in Maryland, in the wilting summer heat of 1939, the war is a world away. Besides, there are too many other things to think about: first that Frankie's father up and bought a restaurant without telling anyone and now she has to help in the kitchen, peeling potatoes and washing dishes, when she'd rather be racing to Wexler's Five and Dime on her skates. Plus her favorite sister, Joanie Baloney, is away for the summer and hasn't been answering any of Frankie's letters. But when some people in town start accusing her father of being a German spy, all of a sudden the war arrives at Frankie's feet and she can think of nothing else. Could the rumors be true? Frankie has to do some spying of her own to try to figure out her father's secrets and clear his good name. What she discovers about him surprises everyone, but is nothing compared to what she discovers about the world. In a heartfelt, charming, and insightful novel that is based on true events, Shawn K. Stout weaves a story about family secrets, intolerance, and coming of age that will keep readers guessing until the end. Praise for A Tiny Piece of Sky : "Through warm, funny characters, Shawn Stout builds a riveting bridge from the past that sheds light on today. Wholly memorable."--Rita Williams-Garcia, winner of the Coretta Scott King Author Award for P.S. Be Eleven "Shawn Stout's Frankie Baum is that rare creation: a character so real, so true, we don't just feel we know her--we are her. Irrepressible Frankie meets issues like prejudice and loyalty head on, in a story both highly entertaining and deeply thought-provoking. She may be #3 in her family, but she'll be #1 in the hearts of all who read this book."--Tricia Springstubb, author of What Happened on Fox Street "At turns hilarious, at turns heartbreaking, Shawn Stout's story shows us the damage that a whisper campaign can do to a family and a community, and at the same time shows us, each of us, a way to find our hearts. Frankie Baum is a hero from a distant time and yet a hero for all times, the kind of hero who never gets old. I loved this book from the very beginning to the very end."--Kathi Appelt, author of the National Book Award finalist and Newbery Honor book The Underneath "Stout uses an archly chummy direct address at several points, successfully and humorously breaking up tension in this cleareyed look at bad behavior by society....Successfully warmhearted and child-centered."-- Kirkus Reviews "Through Frankie's thoughtful insights, Stout addresses injustices such as racism and xenophobia without turning didactic...and the conclusion is a realistic mix of bittersweet and heartwarming."-- Publishers Weekly "Fans of Augusta Scattergood's Glory Be as well as those of Jeanne Birdsall's Pende
Throughout Maya Angelou's life, from her childhood in Stamps, Arkansas, to her world travels as a bestselling writer, good food has played a central role. Preparing and enjoying homemade meals provides a sense of purpose and calm, accomplishment and connection. Now in "Hallelujah The Welcome Table, " Angelou shares memories pithy and poignant-and the recipes that helped to make them both indelible and irreplaceable. Angelou tells us about the time she was expelled from school for being afraid to speak-and her mother baked a delicious maple cake to brighten her spirits. She gives us her recipe for short ribs along with a story about a job she had as a cook at a Creole restaurant (never mind that she didn't know how to cook and had no idea what Creole food might entail). There was the time in London when she attended a wretched dinner party full of wretched people; but all wasn't lost-she did experience her initial taste of a savory onion tart. She recounts her very first night in her new home in Sonoma, California, when she invited M. F. K. Fisher over for cassoulet, and the evening Deca Mitford roasted a chicken when she was beyond tipsy-and created Chicken Drunkard Style. And then there was the hearty brunch Angelou made for a homesick Southerner, a meal that earned her both a job offer and a prophetic compliment: "If you can write half as good as you can cook, you are going to be famous." Maya Angelou is renowned in her wide and generous circle of friends as a marvelous chef. Her kitchen is a social center. From fried meat pies, chicken livers, and beef Wellington to caramel cake, bread pudding, and chocolate eclairs, the one hundred-plus recipes included here are all tried and true, and come from Angelou's heart and her home. "Hallelujah The Welcome Table "is a stunning collaboration between the two things Angelou loves best: writing and cooking. "From the Hardcover edition."
Possibilities' by T.A. Chase When Dixon and Carson meet during a hurricane, neither imagined that moment would be the beginning of a new relationship. Dixon White owns Billy's Diner in Brevard County, Floridaright down the road from Patrick Air Force Base. He serves a lot of the servicemen and their families who live and work on the base and does it in honor of his brother who served as a SEAL until a motorcycle accident ended his life. When Dixon finds himself stuck in a broken down car just as a hurricane hits the area, he's not sure how's he going to get home. Master Chief Sergeant Carson LaSalle is headed to the base when he drives by Billy's Diner. He sees Dixon's car there and stops, checking to see if everything is okay. He takes Dixon home, but can't stop thinking about him. After the hurricane blows through, both men meet again and the sparks fly. Possibilities open up for them to have a chance at finding love. They just have to be willing to try. Lonely Hearts and Yellow Ribbons' by Stephani Hecht Being apart from the one you love is the hardest thing to do, until you get them back to find they've changed PJ Ross Ervin is part of an elite force of recue men from the Air Force. Only the best of the best make it through the program and get to wear the maroon beret. As such, he is proud of what he does and is happy to serve his country. The one drawback is that it takes him away from his long-time lover, Aden. Thankfully Ross' deployment is over and he's coming home. Aden is excited to see Ross. But he can't help but notice that his partner is having trouble adjusting back into the civilian world. Plus, there is the looming danger that Ross could be deployed again at any time. Will Ross have to leave to serve his county once more? And if so, can the pair survive the separation yet again? Venetian Skies' by Morticia Knight No one wants to lose a love that's meant to be. Air Force test pilot, Chris Pierce, returns to Italy to discover that second chances are the sweetest. They had a love that was the real thing, but Chris, an Air Force test pilot, returns to Aviano Air Base in Italy to discover that the only man he's ever loved is still there. Yet wasn't that why artist Brandon had dumped him? Because he didn't want to be tied down to one place or one person? Brandon made a huge mistake. It wasn't until Chris transferred out of the local military base that he realizes what they had together was the real thing. Even though he's never settled in one place for very long, he couldn't bear to leave the town of Aviano where he and Chris were so happy together. Chris unexpectedly returns and Brandon is devastated when Chris rejects him out of anger. Can't Chris see how much Brandon has changed in the two years they've been apart? Second chances are the sweetest and love that's meant to be doesn't die. But when a MiG fighter jet gone rogue shoots Chris down, will their second chance be taken away forever? Se