Book Casing

Great books recommended by great people.

Tony Hawk's Bookcase

Anthony Frank "Tony" Hawk (born May 12, 1968), nicknamed "The Birdman", is an American professional skateboarder, actor, and owner of skateboard company Birdhouse. Hawk is well known for completing the first documented 900 and for his licensed video game titles, published by Activision. He is widely considered to be one of the most successful and influential pioneers of modern vertical skateboarding.

Photo by: Tinou Bao

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From the bestselling author of Funny Girl, About a Boy, and A Long Way Down, a wise and hilarious novel about love, heartbreak, and rock and roll.

Rob is a pop music junkie who runs his own semi-failing record store. His girlfriend, Laura, has just left him for the guy upstairs, and Rob is both miserable and relieved. After all, could he have spent his life with someone who has a bad record collection? Rob seeks refuge in the company of the offbeat clerks at his store, who endlessly review their top five films; top five Elvis Costello songs; top five episodes of Cheers.

Rob tries dating a singer, but maybe it’s just that he’s always wanted to sleep with someone who has a record contract. Then he sees Laura again. And Rob begins to think that life with kids, marriage, barbecues, and soft rock CDs might not be so bad. 

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The Oral History of a Band Called Pixies

It's the 1980s and the rock landscape is littered with massive hair, synthesizers, and monster riffs, but there is an alternative being born in the sleepy East of America-we just don't know it yet. Before the Internet, MTV, and iPods provided far-off music fans with information and communities-and before Nirvana-kids across the world grew up in relative isolation, dependent on mix tapes and self-created art to slowly spread scenes and trends. It was under these conditions that four young musicians found one another in Boston, Massachusetts, and started a band called Pixies. During their initial seven-year career, Pixies would play some of Europe's most gigantic festivals, keep the press guessing, and cultivate a fervid international fan base hungry for more and more of their unique surf punk. The band worked fast, cranking out four albums at a breakneck pace, but ultimately pressures and personality clashes took their toll: Pixies broke up just as bands were singing their praises as the rock'n'roll innovators. For twelve years, a Pixies reunion seemed impossible, but a sudden announcement in 2004 proclaimed the unthinkable-Pixies were getting back together. Their extremely successful reunion tour finally gave the group something they'd always lacked in their homeland: proof that their bone-rattling music had left an indelible impact. Fool the World tells Pixies' story in the words of those who lived it, from the band members to studio owners, from A&R executives, producers, and visual artists who worked with them to admirers of their music, such as Bono, PJ Harvey, Beck, and Perry Farrell. With new cartoons by Trompe Le Monde illustrator Steven Appleby, Fool the World is a complete journey through the life, death, and rebirth of one of the most influential bands of all time.

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Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

The astonishing saga of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton's survival for over a year on the ice-bound Antarctic seas, as Time magazine put it, "defined heroism." Alfred Lansing's scrupulously researched and brilliantly narrated book -- with over 200,000 copies sold -- has long been acknowledged as the definitive account of the Endurance's fateful trip. To write their authoritative story, Lansing consulted with ten of the surviving members and gained access to diaries and personal accounts by eight others. The resulting book has all the immediacy of a first-hand account, expanded with maps and illustrations especially for this edition.

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One Child's Courage to Survive

This book chronicles the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games--games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother's games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an "it."

Dave's bed was an old army cot in the basement, and his clothes were torn and raunchy. When his mother allowed him the luxury of food, it was nothing more than spoiled scraps that even the dogs refused to eat. The outside world knew nothing of his living nightmare. He had nothing or no one to turn to, but his dreams kept him alive--dreams of someone taking care of him, loving him and calling him their son.

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The Life & Adventures of Bobby Allen Bird

160 pages. 8 chapters, each preceded by full-page graphic art color illustration. "Bird is the Bob right in between Dylan and Seger"--"Prince" King.

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A Memoir

“An extraordinary accomplishment. . . . A remarkable book that will be of great value to people who feel isolated, alienated and overwhelmed by the circumstances of their lives.”—Hubert Selby, Jr., author of Last Exit to Brooklyn

“[Stahl] is a better-than-Burroughs virtuoso.”—Thomas Mallon, The New Yorker

“Original, appalling, indelible picture of a man trying to swim and drown at the same time. Stahl has nerve, heart, a language of his own and a ghastly, riotous humor.”—Tobias Wolff, author of This Boy’s Life

Permanent Midnight is one of the most harrowing and toughest accounts ever written in this century about what it means to be a junkie in America, making Burroughs look dated and Kerouac appear as the nose-thumbing adolescent he was.”—Booklist

A searing confessional infused with the darkest humor, Permanent Midnight chronicles the opiated abyss of a Hollywood screenwriter and his formidable climb into sobriety.

Made into a major motion picture starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, Permanent Midnight is revered by critics and an ever-growing cult of devoted readers as one of the most compelling contemporary memoirs.

Jerry Stahl was born in Pittsburgh. He is author of the novels Perv: A Love Story, Plainclothes Naked and I, Fatty, the paperback edition of which will appear in 2005. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

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My Journey Back to Life

People around the world have found inspiration in the story of Lance Armstrong—a world-class athlete nearly struck down in his prime, who came back to win the world's most grueling test of cycling, the Tour de France. It's Not About the Bike is the story of Armstrong's journey from inauspicious beginnings through triumph, tragedy, transformation, and transcendence. Though he's a hero to millions, he never adopts a hero's pose. In his down-to earth Texas style, he tells of his childhood, early success, near-fatal cancer, recovery, survivorship, victory in the 1999 Tour de France, marriage, and first-time fatherhood. Everyone knows Lance Armstrong is a passionate and fearless competitor. It's Not About the Bike reveals what is truly heroic about the man: his depth of character and generosity of spirit.

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The Uncensored Oral History of Punk

A Time Out and Daily News Top Ten Book of the Year upon its initial release, Please Kill Me is the first oral history of the most nihilist of all pop movements. Iggy Pop, Danny Fields, Dee Dee and Joey Ramone, Malcom McLaren, Jim Carroll, and scores of other famous and infamous punk figures lend their voices to this definitive account of that outrageous, explosive era. From its origins in the twilight years of Andy Warhol’s New York reign to its last gasps as eighties corporate rock, the phenomenon known as punk is scrutinized, eulogized, and idealized by the people who were there and who made it happen.

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If you're a dinosaur, all of your friends are dead. If you're a pirate, all of your friends have scurvy. If you're a tree, all of your friends are end tables. Each page of this laugh-out-loud illustrated humor book showcases the downside of being everything from a clown to a cassette tape to a zombie. Cute and dark all at once, this hilarious children's book for adults teaches valuable lessons about life while exploring each cartoon character's unique grievance and wide-eyed predicament. From the sock whose only friends have gone missing to the houseplant whose friends are being slowly killed by irresponsible plant owners (like you), All My Friends Are Dead presents a delightful primer for laughing at the inevitable.

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A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the best chronicle of drug-soaked, addle-brained, rollicking good times ever committed to the printed page.  It is also the tale of a long weekend road trip that has gone down in the annals of American pop culture as one of the strangest journeys ever undertaken.

Now this cult classic of gonzo journalism is a major motion picture from Universal, directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro.

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How to Skateboard and Not Kill Yourself

The world–champion freestyle skateboarder and the man who brought the ollie – the trick that revolutionised the sport by taking it from the ground to the air – to street skating shares the history of skateboarding, as he tells the dramatic story of his life.

At the age of 13, Rodney took the freestyle skating world by storm. He won 35 world titles in less than five years. But through it all, his father looked down on his son's love for skating and pressured him to walk away from the sport and leave behind his fans and status as the most famous skateboarder of his era. After years of stress and conflict, Rodney gave in and promised his father he'd quit for good. But by the time he finally broke free from his suffocating and abusive home life, the popularity of freestyle had waned and given way to vert and street styles. So Rodney picked up his board and started from scratch. With the help of mentor Mike Ternansky, Rodney used his freestyle background to usher in a whole new era of street skating.

Today Rodney is more popular than ever. The videos in his series Rodney Versus Daewon are among the most popular skateboard videos ever produced. He won the 2002 Transworld Skateboarding readers' choice award for favourite street skater and is the most popular character on the top–selling Tony Hawk's Pro Skater video games.

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A comic classic by Dr. Seuss about overcoming life’s obstacles turns 50!

Dr. Seuss tackles the struggles of everyday life’s—difficult people, bullies, bad weather, political unrest, even crowds—in the rhyming picture book I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew. When our hero stubs his toe, he decides to find a less troublesome place to live. Soon he's off on a journey "to the City of Solla Sollew, on the banks of the beautiful River Wah-Hoo, where they never have troubles! At least, very few." But between his encounters with the Midwinter Jicker and the Perilous Poozer of Pompelmoose Pass, he soon finds out that confronting his problems might actually be easier than running away from them. A funny story that can be read purely for entertainment, I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew is ideal for sparking discussions. It’s message—that the best way to deal with an obstacle is by tackling it head-on—makes this an perfect gift for all ages and occasions—especially graduations! Available for a limited time only with a peel-off 50th Anniversary Sticker on the cover, Seuss fans of all ages will find Solla Sollew an inspiring book to read again and again.

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In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny About This

Now available from Grove Press, P. J. O'Rourke's classic, best-selling guided tour of the world's most desolate, dangerous, and desperate places. "Tired of making bad jokes" and believing that "the world outside seemed a much worse joke than anything I could conjure," P. J. O'Rourke traversed the globe on a fun-finding mission, investigating the way of life in the most desperate places on the planet, including Warsaw, Managua, and Belfast. The result is Holidays in Hell--a full-tilt, no-holds-barred romp through politics, culture, and ideology. P.J.'s adventures include storming student protesters' barricades with riot police in South Korea, interviewing Communist insurrectionists in the Philippines, and going undercover dressed in Arab garb in the Gaza Strip. He also takes a look at America's homegrown horrors as he braves the media frenzy surrounding the Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Washington D.C., uncovers the mortifying banality behind the white-bread kitsch of Jerry Falwell's Heritage USA, and survives the stultifying boredom of Harvard's 350th anniversary celebration. Packed with P.J.'s classic riffs on everything from Polish nightlife under communism to Third World driving tips, Holidays in Hell is one of the best-loved books by one of today's most celebrated humorists.

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A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction

For everyone who was too cheap to buy the hardcover, the blockbuster, award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller is now in trade paperback-with a new introduction, fully updated, and with equally unsettling nude photos of the newest Supreme Court justices, and a text corrected by the most reputable college professor we could find/afford.Including:Historical inaccuracies, gross distortions, complete fabrications-corrected by real-life bearded college professor.

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