Best Ada Calhoun books

Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give

Ada Calhoun

Best price for this book: $ 11

Buy

Inspired by her viral New York Times “Modern Love” essay “The Wedding Toast I’ll Never Give”, Ada Calhoun’s memoir is a witty, poignant exploration of the beautiful complexity of marriage.

We hear plenty about whether or not to get married, but much less about what it takes to stay married. Clichés around marriage―eternal bliss, domestic harmony, soul mates―leave out the real stuff. After marriage you may still want to sleep with other people. Sometimes your partner will bore the hell out of you. And when stuck paying for your spouse’s mistakes, you might miss being single.

In Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give, Ada Calhoun presents an unflinching but also loving portrait of her own marriage, opening a long-overdue conversation about the institution as it truly is: not the happy ending of a love story or a relic doomed by high divorce rates, but the beginning of a challenging new chapter of which “the first twenty years are the hardest.”

Calhoun’s funny, poignant personal essays explore the bedrooms of modern coupledom for a nuanced discussion of infidelity, existential anxiety, and the many other obstacles to staying together. Both realistic and openhearted, Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give offers a refreshing new way to think about marriage as a brave, tough, creative decision to stay with another person for the rest of your life. “What a burden,” Calhoun calls marriage, “and what a gift.”

St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America's Hippest Street

Ada Calhoun

Best price for this book: $ 10.95

Buy

A vibrant narrative history of three hallowed Manhattan blocks―the epicenter of American cool.

St. Marks Place in New York City has spawned countless artistic and political movements. Here Frank O’Hara caroused, Emma Goldman plotted, and the Velvet Underground wailed. But every generation of miscreant denizens believes that their era, and no other, marked the street’s apex. This idiosyncratic work of reportage tells the many layered history of the street―from its beginnings as Colonial Dutch Director-General Peter Stuyvesant’s pear orchard to today’s hipster playground―organized around those pivotal moments when critics declared “St. Marks is dead.”

In a narrative enriched by hundreds of interviews and dozens of rare images, St. Marks native Ada Calhoun profiles iconic characters from W. H. Auden to Abbie Hoffman, from Keith Haring to the Beastie Boys, among many others. She argues that St. Marks has variously been an elite address, an immigrants’ haven, a mafia warzone, a hippie paradise, and a backdrop to the film Kids―but it has always been a place that outsiders call home. This idiosyncratic work offers a bold new perspective on gentrification, urban nostalgia, and the evolution of a community. 

60 illustrations

Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage

Dani Shapiro

Best price for this book: $ 13.99

Buy
The best-selling novelist and memoirist delivers her most intimate and powerful work: a piercing, life-affirming memoir about marriage and memory, about the frailty and elasticity of our most essential bonds, and about the accretion, over time, of both sorrow and love.

Hourglass is an inquiry into how marriage is transformed by time--abraded, strengthened, shaped in miraculous and sometimes terrifying ways by accident and experience. With courage and relentless honesty, Dani Shapiro opens the door to her house, her marriage, and her heart, and invites us to witness her own marital reckoning--a reckoning in which she confronts both the life she dreamed of and the life she made, and struggles to reconcile the girl she was with the woman she has become.
     What are the forces that shape our most elemental bonds? How do we make lifelong commitments in the face of identities that are continuously shifting, and commit ourselves for all time when the self is so often in flux? What happens to love in the face of the unexpected, in the face of disappointment and compromise--how do we wrest beauty from imperfection, find grace in the ordinary, desire what we have rather than what we lack? Drawing on literature, poetry, philosophy, and theology, Shapiro writes gloriously of the joys and challenges of matrimonial life, in a luminous narrative that unfurls with urgent immediacy and sharp intelligence. Artful, intensely emotional work from one of our finest writers.

Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning

Claire Dederer

Best price for this book: $ 9.09

Buy
From the New York Times best-selling author of Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses, a ferocious, sexy, hilarious memoir about going off the rails at midlife and trying to reconcile the girl she was with the woman she has become.

Claire Dederer is a happily married mother of two, ages nine and twelve, when she suddenly finds herself totally despondent and, simultaneously, suffering through a kind of erotic reawakening. This exuberant memoir shifts between her present experience as a middle-aged mom in the grip of mysterious new hungers and herself as a teenager--when she last experienced life with such heightened sensitivity and longing. From her hilarious chapter titles ("How to Have Sex with Your Husband of Seventeen Years") to her subjects--from the boyfriend she dumped at fourteen the moment she learned how to give herself an orgasm, to the girls who ruled her elite private school ("when I left Oberlin I thought I had done with them forever, but it turned out ...they also edited all the newspapers and magazines, and wrote all the books"), to raising a teenage daughter herself--Dederer writes with an electrifying blend of wry wit and raw honesty. She exposes herself utterly, and in doing so captures something universal about the experience of being a woman, a daughter, a wife.

Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible

Tim Gunn

Best price for this book: $ 17.14

Buy
From a bestselling fashion guru—a fascinating, meticulously researched history of Western fashion covering every topic from the history of the high heel to the origin of blue jeans.

In the beginning there was the fig leaf...

and the toga. Crinolines and ruffs. Chain mailand corsets. What do these antiquated items have to do with the oh-so-twenty-first-century skinny jeans, graphic tee, and sexy pumps you slipped into this morning? Everything! Fashion begets fashion, and life—from economics to politics, weather to warfare, practicality to the utterly impractical—is reflected in the styles of any given era, evolving into the threads you buy and wear today.

With the candidness, intelligence, and charm that made him a household name on Project Runway, Tim Gunn reveals the fascinating story behind each article of clothing dating back to ancient times, in a book that reads like a walking tour from museum to closet with Tim at your side. From Cleopatra’s crown to Helen of Troy’s sandals, from Queen Victoria’s corset to Madonna’s cone bra, Dynasty’s power suits to Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits, Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible takes you on a runway-ready journey through the highs and lows of fashion history.

Drawing from his exhaustive knowledge and intensive research to offer cutting-edge insights into modern style, Tim explains how the 1960s ruined American underwear, how Beau Brummell created the look men have worn for more than a century, why cargo capri pants are a plague on our nation, and much more. He will make you see your wardrobe in a whole new way. Prepare to be inspired as you change your thinking about the past, present, and future of fashion!

Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible by Gunn, Tim; Calhoun, Ada (9/11/2012)

aa

Best price for this book: $ 42.22

Buy

Instinctive Parenting: Trusting Ourselves to Raise Good Kids

Ada Calhoun

Best price for this book: $ 7.45

Buy

Abandon your insecurities. Trust your instincts. Enjoy raising a happy, considerate child.

SMART CHILDREARING SENSE FROM THE FOUNDING EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF BABBLE.COM

What’s the right way to parent? Any playground or online message board will supply as many opinions as there are adults. Every subject—from sleep training to time-outs to pacifiers—has its supporters and detractors, and every viewpoint can be backed up by a truckload of research and statistics.

It’s enough to reduce any new parent to tears, but you can end the madness. Ada Calhoun—a young mother as well as the founding editor-in-chief of Babble .com—provides a complete and completely reassuring guide that will calm your fears and make those precious early years a source of joy. Her simple yet profound advice: find what works for you and your family and ditch the anxiety and judgment.

Despite what other parenting books—and other parents—might have you believe, there is no universal “best.” Whether you start solids at four months or eight, whether you co-sleep or Ferberize, whether Junior’s mac ’n’ cheese is Day-Glo orange or 100 percent organic is not nearly as important as providing the few absolute essentials (love, food, shelter) while teaching your little one how to be a kind, responsible human being. With its compelling mixture of entertaining, hilarious firsthand accounts and refreshing common sense, Instinctive Parenting will show you how to do that—and even show you how to retain your sanity, your friends, your sense of humor, and your personal life in the process.

Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work

Tim Gunn

Best price for this book: $ 3.5

Buy
On the runway of life, Tim Gunn is the perfect life coach.

 

You’ve watched him mentor talented designers on the hit television show Project Runway. Now the inimitable Tim Gunn shares his personal secrets for “making it work”—in your career, relationships, and life. Filled with delightfully dishy stories of fashion’s greatest divas, behind-the-scenes glimpses of Runway’s biggest drama queens, and never-before-revealed insights into Tim’s private life, Gunn’s Golden Rules is like no other how-to book you’ve ever read.

 

In the world according to Tim, there are no shortcuts to success. Hard work, creativity, and skill are just the beginning. By following eighteen tried-and-true principles, you can apply Tim’s rules to anything you set your mind to. You’ll learn why Tim frowns on displays of bad behavior, like the vitriolic outburst by Martha Stewart’s daughter about her mother’s name-brand merchandise. You’ll discover the downfalls of divadom as he describes Vogue’s André Leon Talley being hand-fed grapes and Anna Wintour being carried downstairs by her bodyguards. And you’ll get Tim’s view on the backstabbing by one designer on Project Runway and how it brilliantly backfired.

 

Then there are his down-to-earth guidelines for making life better—for yourself and others—in small and large ways, especially in an age that favors comfort over politeness, ease over style. Texting at the dinner table? Wearing shorts to the theater? Not in Tim’s book. Living a well-mannered life of integrity and character is hard work, he admits, but the rewards are many: being a good friend, being glamorous and attractive, and being a success— much like Tim himself!

 

He is never one to mince words. But Tim Gunn is always warm, witty, wise, and wonderfully supportive— just the mentor you need to design a happy, creative, and fulfilling life that will never go out of style.

Sea of Thunder: Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign 1941-1945

Evan Thomas

Best price for this book: $ 4.25

Buy
A suspenseful account of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944 is told through the commands of four naval leaders, including two American commanders and two Japanese admirals, and offers insight into how the war reflected profound cultural differences. 100,000 first printing.

Tim Gunn: The Natty Professor: A Master Class on Mentoring, Motivating and Making It Work!

Tim Gunn

Best price for this book: $ 23.95

Buy

Tim Gunn, America's favorite reality TV cohost, is known for his kind but firm approach in providing wisdom, guidance, and support to the scores of design hopefuls on Project Runway. Having begun his fashion career as a teacher at Parsons The New School for Design, Tim knows more than a thing or two about mentorship and how to convey invaluable pearls of wisdom in an approachable, accessible manner.

While Gunn's Golden Rules showcased Tim as life coach, imparting lessons based on his personal experiences, Tim Gunn: The Natty Professor will focus on Tim as teacher. Divided into sections on common themes - leadership, curiosity, diversity, understanding, and empathy - this practical, timely audiobook takes us on a journey through life lessons and uses Tim's own personal experiences, from the classroom to the therapist's office, to illustrate larger concepts. Each chapter will end with a "life assignment", where Tim challenges you to apply the lessons you've learned in practical mentoring or teaching situations.