Of all the grunge bands to emerge from the fertile Seattle scene about 25 years ago, Alice in Chains stood out for its mix of hard-driving rock and affecting harmonies. Despite Nirvana’s reputation as a groundbreaker, it was Alice in Chains that was the first to go national.

As it often does in music, however, success brought problems: drugs, canceled tours, and tragic deaths. All of this makes for compelling reading in the first proper biography of the band, Alice in Chains: The Untold Story, by David de Sola, who also charts the group’s unexpected resurgence over the past decade.

Ginger Strand will talk about her new book The Brothers Vonnegut, a biography of major American author Kurt Vonnegut and his brother Bernard Vonnegut, a research scientist at General Electric in Schenectady and long-time professor of Atmospheric Science at the University at Albany.

Strand will present a talk about the book as the keynote lecture of the Researching New York Conference, at 7:30 tonight in the Clark Auditorium of the NYS Museum in downtown Albany.

In March 2000, just days after a highly anticipated successful gallery showing the acclaimed, Mark Lombardi, was found hanged in his Williamsburg apartment; it was immediately ruled as suicide, but the mysterious circumstances to his death following the recent onslaught of public attention towards his controversial art lead some people to question if his death was suicide or murder. 

Patricia Goldstone's Interlock: Art, Conspiracy, and the Shadow Worlds of Mark Lombardi is a comprehensive biography that explores Lombardi's life, his death, and his lasting impact on the art and technology community. 

In the new book, Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter, historian Kate Clifford Larson reveals the what Kennedy matriarch, Rose Kennedy called "the first Kennedy tragedy."A tragedy that in fact lead the family to one of its greatest missions. The only biography to view the family to through the lens of its little known daughter Rosemary opens an extraordinary new window to America's most famous dynasty.  

Joe and Rose Kennedy's beautiful daughter Rosemary attended the most prestigious schools, was presented as a debutante to the Queen of England, and traveled the world with her high spirited sisters, yet Rosemary was intellectually disabled. A secret guarded by her powerful and glamorous family out of fear that it would  threaten family aspirations. 

  Coming up on this week’s Book Show - Joe Donahue speaks with Pulitzer Prize–winning architectural critic Paul Goldberger about the life and work of the most famous architect of our time Frank Gehry.

Goldberger's book is Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry.

  Raised like a princess in one of the most powerful families in the American South, Henrietta Bingham was offered the helm of a publishing empire. Instead, she ripped through the Jazz Age like an F. Scott Fitzgerald character: intoxicating and intoxicated, selfish and shameless, seductive and brilliant, endearing and often terribly troubled.

In New York, Louisville, and London, she drove both men and women wild with desire, and her youth blazed with sex. But her love affairs with women made her the subject of derision and caused a doctor to try to cure her queerness. After the speed and pleasure of her early days, the toxicity of judgment from others coupled with her own anxieties resulted in years of addiction and breakdowns.

Emily Bingham, the great-niece of Henrietta Bingham, writes about her life in Irrepressible: The Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham.

  What drove a painfully shy outcast in elite Washington society—a man so self-conscious he refused to make eye contact during meetings—to pursue power and public office? How did a president so attuned to the American political id that he won reelection in a historic landslide lack the self-awareness to recognize the gaping character flaws that would drive him from office and forever taint his legacy?

In Being Nixon, Evan Thomas peels away the layers of the complex, confounding figure who became America’s thirty-seventh president.

  John Cage was a composer, music theorist, writer, and artist. He was a pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments. Author and Photographer James Klosty joins us to talk about his new book, John Cage Was.

The book combines iconic photographs of Cage by James with testimony the author commissioned from people the world over, each asked to contribute their thoughts on Cage’s influence on their lives and work with one-hundred-word statements.

Gene Simmons

Mar 31, 2015

  Known as rock's ultimate showman, Gene Simmons founded the hard rock supergroup KISS in the early 1970s. Since then, KISS has sold more than 100 million albums and performed more than two thousand shows around the world, and is still touring today.

Simmons has also sold roughly one billion dollars’ worth of merchandise, including his bestselling books, KISS and Make-Up and Me, Inc. Now, Christina Vitagliano pays homage to rock’s living legend in the new book: Gene Simmons Is a Powerful and Attractive Man: And Other Irrefutable Facts. Based on a phrase Gene himself uses, this book is fully authorized by Gene, who also contributed the foreword and is even going on radio shows to promote it.

  Nearly twenty-five years ago, Nicholson Baker published U and I, the fretful and handwringing—but also groundbreaking—tale of his literary relationship with John Updike.

U and I inspired a whole sub-genre of engaging, entertaining writing about reading, but what no story of this type has ever done is tell its tale from the moment of conception, that moment when you realize that there is a writer out there in the world that you must read—so you read them.

B & Me is that story, the story of J.C. Hallman discovering and reading Nicholson Baker, and discovering himself in the process.