Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Koren Zailckas Explores Anger and Family in Her Latest Memoir, Fury

Koren Zailckas will be reading from her latest memoir, Fury, tonight at the University Village Barnes & Noble at 7 p.m.

You may remember cute-as-a-button Koren Zailckas from her bestselling debut memoir, Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood, that was written when she was merely in her early twenties, consequently making her the "poster girl for binge drinking." In Fury, Zailckas is back and more amazing than ever, taking us through her post-Smashed years as she sets out to write an objective, journalistic book on modern American attitudes towards anger and remedies for rage. Little does Zailckas know, she has her own anger to deal with--that of which has been repressed, subdued and bottled up, stemming from her early childhood and her family relationships.

We first meet Zailckas again as she is returning on a flight home from the U.K. where she has just experienced a heart-crushing breakup from her then musician boyfriend, "the Lark," a nickname given for his "talents of both singing and flight." Zailckas is rightfully devastated (as most are when they find out that their love no longer loves them) and she retreats to her parents New England home before her subletted NYC apartment will again be available.

Zailckas dabbles in homeopathy, yoga, Tonglen meditation, counseling and journaling as she struggles with a downward spiral of depression and a severe writer's block that is preventing her from working on her book about anger. Finally, Zailckas' therapist asks her point blank, "Is there a chance that the repressed anger that led you to write this book is the same force that's preventing you from seeing it through?"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

David Plouffe Reveals Obama's Campaign Details in The Audacity to Win

David Plouffe will be speaking about his tell-all book The Audacity to Win: How Obama Won and How We Can Beat the Party of Limbaugh, Beck, and Palin tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall. Tickets for this event are $5.

Though David Plouffe's hardcover book The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama's Historic Victory was published last year, the paperback edition could not be more timely with the new subtitle of How Obama Won and How We Can Beat the Party of Limbaugh, Beck, and Palin and an added chapter on this year's elections and the current political atmosphere. And damn, Plouffe's got some dead-on analyses for the Republican Party and the three notorious crazies that have become the "rock stars of the hard-right punditocracy."

Regardless of the chapter and subtitle addition, both editions of this tell-all book make for an excellent read and we would highly recommend it to anyone--no matter what your political agenda, knowledge or background may be. Plouffe delves deep into the architecture of Obama's presidential campaign and details the under-dog pathway that led up to the historic moment of Obama's inaguration and the overall dreamy feeling of hope that swept over our country.

When Plouffe first signed on as then-state senator Barack Obama's campaign manager, he had serious doubts about the potential of the campaign actually making it past the primaries. In an early conversation with close friend and future Obama top advisor David Axelrod, Plouffe says, "I think he wants to run, but he's drawn more to the idea of running than actually running...He clearly has a good sense of why he might want to run, and it's not about power or politics or some long-held ambition...How many people have just sort of, last minute, with no planning, rolled the dice and jumped into a presidential race against maybe the strongest front-runner in history? With young kids to boot?"

Plouffe also admits that early on he realized that he would possibly "get to have his cake and eat it too" by becoming Obama's campaign manager--he could agree to manage the campaign, do something for the greater good of the country and then never have to actually see it through. He could potentially be home in a year with his wife and young son and go back to his everyday life.