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At the Captiva Library

September 14, 2012
Ann Bradley , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

King Larry: the Life and Ruins of a Billionaire Genius by James Scurlock

"When globalization pioneer and reclusive billionaire Larry Hillblom disappeared in 1995, he left behind an international fiasco that is still unraveling today. King Larry is a three-part journey, beginning with the early years of a mercurial young man who grew up fatherless on a peach farm outside of Fresno, California. Months after graduating from Boalt Hall School of Law in 1969, Hillblom cofounded DHL-three years before FedEx was formed-and it quickly became the fastest-growing corporation in history. Hillblom's expatriate life began twelve years later, when he retreated to a small tax haven in the Western Pacific. There, James Scurlock reveals, Hillblom led the resistance to American meddling in the Mariana Islands, rewrote the tax code and real-estate laws, and became a Supreme Court justice-among other unlikely exploits. Hillblom's voracious appetite for underage prostitutes is another facet of his convoluted story, illuminating the realities of the sex and human-trafficking industries in Southeast Asia. But Hillblom's amoral, thrill-seeking nature finally caught up with him when his vintage seaplane disappeared off the coast of Anatahan in May 1995, and he left behind an estate worth close to a billion dollars. Weeks later, five impoverished women and their attorneys came forward to challenge Hillblom's will, his former business partners, and his alma mater, provoking a legal battle that has raged for over fifteen years. From Howard Hughes to Mark Zuckerberg, the public has always been fascinated by larger-than-life entrepreneurs and their eccentricities. Now, James Scurlock engages us with the riveting story of one such man, who dressed in rags and lived in relative obscurity, but who has had a profound and lasting influence-a pioneer who shrank the globe, toppled the postal." *

Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History by Antonio Mendez and Matt Baglio

"The true account of the 1979 rescue of six American hostages from IranOn November 4, 1979, Iranian militants stormed the American embassy in Tehran and captured dozens of American hostages, sparking a 444-day ordeal and a quake in global politics still reverberating today. But there is a little-known drama connected to the crisis: six Americans escaped. And a top-level CIA officer named Antonio Mendez devised an ingenious yet incredibly risky plan to rescue them before they were detected. Disguising himself as a Hollywood producer, and supported by a cast of expert forgers, deep cover CIA operatives, foreign agents, and Hollywood special effects artists, Mendez traveled to Tehran under the guise of scouting locations for a fake science fiction film called Argo. While pretending to find the perfect film backdrops, Mendez and a colleague succeeded in contacting the escapees, and smuggling them out of Iran. Antonio Mendez finally details the extraordinarily complex and dangerous operation he led more than three decades ago. A riveting story of secret identities and international intrigue, Argo is the gripping account of the history-making collusion between Hollywood and high-stakes espionage." *

Betrayal: Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought to Bring Him Down

by Robert Fitzpatrick and John Land

"The Jack Nicholson film The Departed didn't tell half of their story. A poor kid from the slums, Robert Fitzpatrick grew up to become a stellar FBI agent and challenge the country's deadliest gangsters. Relentless in his desire to catch, prosecute, and convict Whitey Bulger, Fitzpatrick fought the nation's most determined cop-gangster battle since Melvin Purvis hunted, confronted, and killed John Dillinger. In his crusade to bring Bulger to justice, Fitzpatrick faced not only Whitey but also corrupt FBI agents, along with political cronies and enablers from Boston to Washington who, in one way or another, blocked his efforts at every step. Even when Fitzpatrick discovered the very organization to which he had sworn allegiance was his biggest obstacle, the agent continued to pursue Whitey and his gang . . . knowing that they were prepared to murder anyone who got in their way." *

Silver Like Dust: One Family's Story of America's Japanese Internment

by Kimi Cunningham Grant

"The poignant story of a Japanese American woman's journey through one of the most shameful chapters in American history. Sipping tea by the fire, preparing sushi for the family, or indulgently listening to her husband tell the same story for the hundredth time, Kimi Grant's grandmother, Obaachan, was a missing link to Kimi's Japanese heritage, something she had had a mixed relationship with all her life. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, all Kimi ever wanted to do was fit in, spurning traditional Japanese cuisine and her grandfather's attempts to teach her the language. But there was one part of Obaachan's life that had fascinated and haunted Kimi ever since the age of eleven-her gentle yet proud Obaachan had once been a prisoner, along with 112,000 Japanese Americans, for more than five years of her life. Obaachan never spoke of those years, and Kimi's own mother only spoke of it in whispers. It was a source of haji, or shame. But what had really happened to Obaachan, then a young woman, and the thousands of other men, women, and children like her? Obaachan would meet her husband in the camps and watch her mother die there, too. From the turmoil, racism, and paranoia that sprang up after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the terrifying train ride to Heart Mountain, to the false promise of V-J Day, Silver Like Dust captures a vital chapter of the Japanese American experience through the journey of one remarkable woman. Her story is one of thousands, yet is a powerful testament to the enduring bonds of family and an unusual look at the American dream." *

Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace by D.T. Max

"The first biography of the most influential writer of his generation, David Foster Wallace. David Foster Wallace was the leading literary light of his era, a man who not only captivated readers with his prose but also mesmerized them with his brilliant mind. In this, the first biography of the writer, D. T. Max sets out to chart Wallace's tormented, anguished and often triumphant battle to succeed as a novelist as he fights off depression and addiction to emerge with his masterpiece, Infinite Jest. Since his untimely death by suicide at the age of forty-six in 2008, Wallace has become more than the quintessential writer for his time-he has become a symbol of sincerity and honesty in an inauthentic age. In the end, as Max shows us, what is most interesting about Wallace is not just what he wrote but how he taught us all to live. Written with the cooperation of Wallace's family and friends and with access to hundreds of his unpublished letters, manuscripts, and audio tapes, this portrait of an extraordinarily gifted writer is as fresh as news, as intimate as a love note, as painful as a goodbye." *

* Book jacket/publisher descriptionShow More

 
 

 

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