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Empty Mansions Book Summary : A cousin of Huguette Clark and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist trace the life of the reclusive American heiress against a backdrop of the now-infamous W. A. Clark family and include coverage of the internet sensation and elder-abuse investigation that occurred at the end of her life.
Empty Mansions Book Summary : Empty Mansions is a rich mystery of wealth and loss, connecting the Gilded Age opulence of nineteenth-century America with a twenty-first-century battle over a $300 million inheritance. At its heart is a reclusive heiress named Huguette Clark, a woman so secretive that, at the time of her death at age 104, no new photograph of her had been seen in decades. Though she owned palatial homes in California, New York, and Connecticut, why had she lived for twenty years in a simple hospital room, despite being in excellent health? Why were her valuables being sold off? Was she in control of her fortune, or controlled by those managing her money? Huguette Clark was the daughter of self-made copper industrialist W. A. Clark, nearly as rich as Rockefeller in his day, a controversial senator, railroad builder, and founder of Las Vegas. She grew up in the largest house in New York City, a remarkable dwelling with 121 rooms for a family of four. She owned paintings by Degas and Renoir, a world-renowned Stradivarius violin, a vast collection of antique dolls. But wanting more than treasures, she devoted her wealth to buying gifts for friends and strangers alike, to quietly pursuing her own work as an artist, and to guarding the privacy she valued above all else. Empty Mansions reveals a complex portrait of the mysterious Huguette and her intimate circle. We meet her extravagant father, her publicity-shy mother, her star-crossed sister, her French boyfriend, her nurse who received more than $30 million in gifts, and the relatives fighting to inherit Huguette's copper fortune. Richly illustrated with more than seventy photographs, Empty Mansions is an enthralling story of an eccentric of the highest order, a last jewel of the Gilded Age who lived life on her own terms.
Empty Mansions Book Summary : You'll never discover the secret if you stay safe at home. Like generations before them, cadets Adam and Dawn have always lived aboard the asteroid. But past generations have never experienced a threat like this: Robotic Alien Technology (R.A.T.) is attacking the spaceship--with the intent to destroy everyone on board. Dawn and Adam are two of the best new Coupler pilots, but they're also famous for their clashes. When a family crisis and a R.A.T. sighting coincide, Dawn has to call on all her inner resources to stay focused on the mission. A deep space discovery lies ahead, threatening to forever alter the ship's future--and every life on it.
Fortune s Children Book Summary : Vanderbilt: the very name signifies wealth. The family patriarch, "the Commodore," built up a fortune that made him the world's richest man by 1877. Yet, less than fifty years after the Commodore's death, one of his direct descendants died penniless, and no Vanderbilt was counted among the world's richest people. Fortune's Children tells the dramatic story of all the amazingly colorful spenders who dissipated such a vast inheritance.
The Death of Santini Book Summary : NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more. Pat Conroy’s great success as a writer has always been intimately linked with the exploration of his family history. As the oldest of seven children who were dragged from military base to military base across the South, Pat bore witness to the often cruel and violent behavior of his father, Marine Corps fighter pilot Donald Patrick Conroy. While the publication of The Great Santini brought Pat much acclaim, the rift it caused brought even more attention, fracturing an already battered family. But as Pat tenderly chronicles here, even the oldest of wounds can heal. In the final years of Don Conroy’s life, the Santini unexpectedly refocused his ire to defend his son’s honor. The Death of Santini is a heart-wrenching act of reckoning whose ultimate conclusion is that love can soften even the meanest of men, lending significance to the oft-quoted line from Pat’s novel The Prince of Tides: “In families there are no crimes beyond forgiveness.” Praise for The Death of Santini “A brilliant storyteller, a master of sarcasm, and a hallucinatory stylist whose obsession with the impress of the past on the present binds him to Southern literary tradition.”—The Boston Globe “A painful, lyrical, addictive read that [Pat Conroy’s] fans won’t want to miss.”—People “Conroy’s conviction pulls you fleetly through the book, as does the potency of his bond with his family, no matter their sins.”—The New York Times Book Review “Vital, large-hearted and often raucously funny.”—The Washington Post “Conroy writes athletically and beautifully, slicing through painful memories like a point guard splitting the defense.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Last Castle Book Summary : A New York Times bestseller with an "engaging narrative and array of detail” (The Wall Street Journal), the “intimate and sweeping” (Raleigh News & Observer) untold, true story behind the Biltmore Estate—the largest, grandest private residence in North America, which has seen more than 120 years of history pass by its front door. The story of Biltmore spans World Wars, the Jazz Age, the Depression, and generations of the famous Vanderbilt family, and features a captivating cast of real-life characters including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Teddy Roosevelt, John Singer Sargent, James Whistler, Henry James, and Edith Wharton. Orphaned at a young age, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser claimed lineage from one of New York’s best known families. She grew up in Newport and Paris, and her engagement and marriage to George Vanderbilt was one of the most watched events of Gilded Age society. But none of this prepared her to be mistress of Biltmore House. Before their marriage, the wealthy and bookish Vanderbilt had dedicated his life to creating a spectacular European-style estate on 125,000 acres of North Carolina wilderness. He summoned the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to tame the grounds, collaborated with celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt to build a 175,000-square-foot chateau, filled it with priceless art and antiques, and erected a charming village beyond the gates. Newlywed Edith was now mistress of an estate nearly three times the size of Washington, DC and benefactress of the village and surrounding rural area. When fortunes shifted and changing times threatened her family, her home, and her community, it was up to Edith to save Biltmore—and secure the future of the region and her husband’s legacy. This is the fascinating, “soaring and gorgeous” (Karen Abbott) story of how the largest house in America flourished, faltered, and ultimately endured to this day.
Empty Mansion Empty Heart Book Summary : By the age of nineteen, Tyler loses both his mother and father, inherits his family home, and becomes the owner and operator of the family grocery store that he turns into a thriving business. When the business is threatened by the construction of a shopping center along his small town’s only highway, Tyler must take matters into his own hands to preserve what he and his family have built. In an attempt to buy up the surrounding land with the help of the townspeople, Tyler befriends the town “witch,” Mary, who lives in just two rooms of a large, empty mansion on the outskirts of town. When he acquires the mansion under unusual circumstances, he becomes the youngest, richest, and most eligible bachelor in town. But just when it seems he has everything, Tyler, alone and coping with the loss of both his parents and Mary, decides to leave town in search of something greater: true love. Empty Mansion, Empty Heart is a heartwarming coming-of-age story about the influence of others and the power of true love and friendship.
The Knockout Queen Book Summary : A dazzling and darkly comic novel of love, violence, and friendship in the California suburbs Bunny Lampert is the princess of North Shore--beautiful, tall, blond, with a rich real-estate-developer father and a swimming pool in her backyard. Michael--with a ponytail down his back and a septum piercing--lives with his aunt in the cramped stucco cottage next door. When Bunny catches Michael smoking in her yard, he discovers that her life is not as perfect as it seems. At six foot three, Bunny towers over their classmates. Even as she dreams of standing out and competing in the Olympics, she is desperate to fit in, to seem normal, and to get a boyfriend, all while hiding her father's escalating alcoholism. Michael has secrets of his own. At home and at school Michael pretends to be straight, but at night he tries to understand himself by meeting men online for anonymous encounters that both thrill and scare him. When Michael falls in love for the first time, a vicious strain of gossip circulates and a terrible, brutal act becomes the defining feature of both his and Bunny's futures--and of their friendship. With storytelling as intoxicating as it is intelligent, Rufi Thorpe has created a tragic and unflinching portrait of identity, a fascinating examination of our struggles to exist in our bodies, and an excruciatingly beautiful story of two humans aching for connection.
Heirs and Graces Book Summary : While grooming the Duke's newfound heir, Jack Altringham, for high society, Lady Georgiana Rannoch finds herself investigating murder when the Duke's body is found with Jack's hunting knife in its back.
The Naked Sun Book Summary : A millennium into the future, two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the Galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. On the beautiful Outer World planet of Solaria, a handful of human colonists lead a hermit-like existence, their every need attended to by their faithful robot servants. To this strange and provocative planet comes Detective Elijah Baley, sent from the streets of New York with his positronic partner, the robot R. Daneel Olivaw, to solve an incredible murder that has rocked Solaria to its foundations. The victim had been so reclusive that he appeared to his associates only through holographic projection. Yet someone had gotten close enough to bludgeon him to death while robots looked on. Now Baley and Olivaw are faced with two clear impossibilities: Either the Solarian was killed by one of his robots--unthinkable under the laws of Robotics--or he was killed by the woman who loved him so much that she never came into his presence!
Crazy Rich Book Summary : From the founders of the international health-care behemoth Johnson & Johnson in the late 1800s to the contemporary Johnsons of today, such as billionaire New York Jets owner Robert Wood "Woody" Johnson IV, all is revealed in this scrupulously researched, unauthorized biography by New York Times bestselling author Jerry Oppenheimer. Often compared to the Kennedy clan because of the tragedies and scandals that had befallen both wealthy and powerful families, Crazy Rich, based on scores of exclusive, candid, on-the-record interviews, reveals how the dynasty's vast fortune was both intoxicating and toxic through the generations of a family that gave the world Band-Aids and Baby Oil. At the same time, they've been termed perhaps the most dysfunctional family in the fortune 500. Oppenheimer is the author of biographies of the Kennedys, the Clintons, the Hiltons and Martha Stewart, among other American icons.
Women of Means Book Summary : Glimpse Behind the Façade of Rich and Famous Women If you liked The Last Castle and Lean In, you’ll love Women of Means. The Grass Isn't Greener on the Other Side. Heiresses have always been viewed with eyes of envy. They were the ones for whom the cornucopia had been upended, showering them with unimaginable wealth and opportunity. However, through intimate historical biographies, Women of Means shows us that oftentimes the weaving sisters saved their most heart-wrenching tapestries for the destinies of wealthy women. Happily Never After. From the author of Behind Every Great Man, we now have Women of Means, vignettes of the women who were slated from birth―or marriage―to great privilege, only to endure lives which were the stuff Russian tragic heroines are made of. They are the nonfictional Richard Corys―those not slated for happily ever after. Women of Means is bound to be a non-fiction best seller, full of the best biographies of all time. Some of the women whose silver spoons rusted include: • Almira Carnarvon, the real-life counterpart to Lady Cora of Downton Abbey • Liliane Bettencourt, whose chemist father created L’Oreal... and was a Nazi collaborator • Peggy Guggenheim, who had an insatiable appetite for modern art and men • Nica Rothschild, who traded her gilded life to become the Baroness of Bebop • Jocelyn Wildenstein, who became a cosmetology-enhanced cat-woman • Ruth Madoff, the dethroned queen of Manhattan • Patty Hearst, who trod the path from heiress... to terrorist
Notes from an Apocalypse Book Summary : "Insightful, affecting, funny, and appropriately terrifying.” —Sally Rooney "Harrowing, tender-hearted, and funny as hell." —Jenny Offill By the author of the award-winning To Be a Machine, an absorbing, deeply felt book about our anxious present tense—and coming to grips with the future We're alive in a time of worst-case scenarios: The weather has gone uncanny. A viral pandemic has the power to draw our global community to a halt. Old postwar alliances are crumbling. Everywhere you look there's an omen, a joke whose punchline is the end of the world. How is a person supposed to live in the shadow of such a grim future? What does it mean to have children—nothing if not an act of hope—in such unsettled times? What might it be like to live through the worst? And what on Earth is anybody doing about it? Dublin-based writer Mark O'Connell is consumed by these questions—and, as the father of two young children himself, he finds them increasingly urgent. In Notes from an Apocalypse, he crosses the globe in pursuit of answers. He tours survival bunkers in South Dakota. He ventures to New Zealand, a favored retreat of billionaires banking on civilization's collapse. He engages with would-be Mars colonists, preppers, right-wing conspiracists. And he bears witness to those places, like Chernobyl, that the future has already visited—real-life portraits of the end of the world as we know it. In doing so, he comes to a resolution, while offering readers a unique window into our contemporary imagination. Both investigative and deeply personal, Notes from an Apocalypse is an affecting, humorous, and surprisingly hopeful meditation on our present moment. With insight, humanity, and wit, O'Connell leaves you to wonder: What if the end of the world isn't the end of the world?
Clarence Darrow Book Summary : A portrait of the legendary defense attorney and progressive covers his decision to advocate on behalf of disadvantaged groups, his campaign against Jim Crow policies, and his achievements in headline-making trials.
Empty Mansions Book Summary : The rich mystery of a reclusive, eccentric heiress Huguette Clark: a true story of wealth and loss, connecting the Gilded Age opulence of the nineteenth century with a twenty-first-century battle over a $300 million inheritance.
The Tea Party Book Summary : Deerfield. A sleepy village untouched by time, full of quaint antiques, charming sites and friendly neighbors. But outside of Deerfield, nauture is still. No children play around the great stone house of Winterrest; no birds fly over its ancient trees … and tales of witches and demons fill the dreams of Deerfield's children. Now the great house is stirring, stretching, hungry. Now the huge doors open, inviting unwary victims deep inside. The warm stone walls are heaving, the doors are pulsing … now the frenzied ritual must begin …
The Rich Don t Always Win Book Summary : The Occupy Wall Street protests have captured America's political imagination. Polls show that two-thirds of the nation now believe that America's enormous wealth ought to be "distributed more evenly." However, almost as many Americans--well over half--feel the protests will ultimately have "little impact" on inequality in America. What explains this disconnect? Most Americans have resigned themselves to believing that the rich simply always get their way. Except they don't. A century ago, the United States hosted a super-rich even more domineering than ours today. Yet fifty years later, that super-rich had almost entirely disappeared. Their majestic mansions and estates had become museums and college campuses, and America had become a vibrant, mass middle class nation, the first and finest the world had ever seen. Americans today ought to be taking no small inspiration from this stunning change. After all, if our forbears successfully beat back grand fortune, why can't we? But this transformation is inspiring virtually no one. Why? Because the story behind it has remained almost totally unknown, until now. This lively popular history will speak directly to the political hopelessness so many Americans feel. By tracing how average Americans took down plutocracy over the first half of the 20th Century--and how plutocracy came back-- The Rich Don't Always Win will outfit Occupy Wall Street America with a deeper understanding of what we need to do to get the United States back on track to the American dream.
Mrs Astor Regrets Book Summary : Drawing on interviews with members of Brooke Astor's elite social circle, as well as her staff, a behind-the-scenes look at the trials and tribulations of the Astor family captures the story of three generations of a privileged American dynasty, from the storied philanthropist to her grandson, who accused his own father of mistreating and stealing from his grandmother.