William Finnegan is an author and staff writer with the New Yorker best known for covering conflicts in Somalia, Sudan and Mexico, and gritty corners of America and South Africa. War and peace, life and death, policy failures and injustice. He has covered it all.

So, it makes perfect sense that his new memoir is about surfing. His new book – already a bestseller - is Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life. Finnegan says surfing only looks like a sport and to initiates, it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life.

Finnegan is the author of several books: Cold New World, A Complicated War, and Crossing the Line. He has twice been a National Magazine Award finalist and has won numerous journalism awards. He is a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1987.

  In 2000, while moving his household from Vermont to North Carolina, David Payne watched from his rearview mirror as his younger brother, George A., driving behind him in a two-man convoy of rental trucks, lost control of his vehicle, fishtailed, flipped over in the road, and died instantly.

Soon thereafter, David’s life hit a downward spiral. His career came to a standstill, his marriage disintegrated, and his drinking went from a cocktail-hour indulgence to a full-blown addiction. He found himself haunted not only by George A.’s death, but also by his brother’s manic depression, a hereditary illness that overlaid a dark family history whose roots now gripped David.

Barefoot to Avalon is Payne’s earnest and unflinching account of George A. and their boyhood footrace that lasted long into their adulthood, defining their relationship and their lives.

  When Allan Johnson asked his dying father where he wanted his ashes to be placed, his father replied--without hesitation--that it made no difference to him at all.

In his memoir, Not from Here, Johnson embarks on a 2,000-mile journey across the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains to find the place where his father's ashes belonged.

More than a personal narrative, Not from Here illuminates the national silence around unresolved questions of accountability, race, and identity politics, and the dilemma of how to take responsibility for a past we did not create.

  Tony winner Mary Louise Wilson -- forever dubbed "the best thing in it" in review after review – has written a memoir about her life in the theatre, movies and television. My First Hundred Years in Show Business tells Wilson’s story through the eight-year journey of turning a memoir of Vogue editor Diana Vreeland into the career-peak triumph Full Gallop, the show that made Wilson a star in her 60s.

Mary Louise Wilson's numerous award-winning roles include Vera Joseph in 4000 Miles at Lincoln Center, Big Edie in Grey Gardens (Tony Award), Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret (Tony nomination), Queen Elizabeth in The Beard of Avon (Drama Desk nomination) and Diana Vreeland in Full Gallop (Drama Desk Award). Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times, and she teaches acting at Tulane University. She is fresh from finishing a run on stage in the hit revival of On The Twentieth Century.

This Book Show was recorded at The Morton Memorial Library in Rhinecliff, NY, presented by Oblong Books and Music.

  In his memoir, I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend, Martin Short writes about his early years in Toronto as a member of Second City to the all-American comic big time of Saturday Night Live and memorable roles in movies.

He also writes about the creation of his lasting characters - and about his personal life which includes the loss of both of his parents before the age of 20.

  Emmy Award–winning writer Adam Resnick began his career at Late Night with David Letterman. He went on to co-create Fox’s Get a Life, starring Chris Elliott, and has written several screenplays, including cult favorites Cabin Boy and Death to Smoochy. Resnick has written for Saturday Night Live, was a co-executive producer and writer for HBO’s The Larry Sanders Show.

Resnick uses the self-descriptor: “euphorically antisocial.” His new book is a tour of troubled psyche - memoir-in-essays entitled: Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation.

  On November 29, 2007 Joseph Luzzi's life forever changed. His wife, Catherine, eight-and-a-half months pregnant, was killed in a car crash.

Before she died, doctors delivered their daughter, Isabel. His new memoir is In A Dark Wood. It tells the story how he dealt with his grief in part through the writings of Dante.

  On the eve of the publication of Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman, we speak with Marja Mills about her book, The Mockingbird Next Door.

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the best loved novels of the twentieth century. But for the last fifty years, the novel’s celebrated author, Harper Lee, known to her friends as Nelle, has said almost nothing on the record. Journalists have trekked to her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, where she has lived part of the year with her sister Alice for decades, trying and failing to get an interview with the author. But in 2001, the Lee sisters opened their door to Chicago Tribune journalist Marja Mills.

  Born Lyova Haskell Rosenthal in New York City, actress Lee Grant spent her youth accumulating more experiences than most people have in a lifetime: from student at the famed Neighborhood Playhouse to member of the legendary Actors Studio; from celebrated Broadway star to Vogue “It Girl” and Oscar-Winner for Shampoo.

At age twenty-four, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Detective Story, and a year later found herself married and a mother for the first time, her career on the rise. And then she lost it all. Her name landed on the Hollywood black­list, her offers for film and television roles ground to a halt, and her marriage fell apart.

Her memoir is, I Said Yes to Everything.

  In November of 2007, Bard College Professor Joseph Luzzi’s wife, Katherine, who was 8 1/2 months pregnant, was in a fatal car accident. Their daughter, Isabel, was born by C-section, just 45 minutes before her mother died on the operating table.

Suddenly a widower and a single father to an infant, Luzzi saw life turned upside down by this new unexpected reality, one of intense grief and loneliness.