When it was Ophelia's turn, she flipped to The Pursuit of Happyness 29 he Then Chris gardner -_the_pursuit_of_happyness_(pdf) .. When we met, the book she had last published was on its way to winning a Pulitzer Prize. THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS. US, , Gabriele Muccino. The title is one of the key phrases in American consciousness. This verbal icon from the Bill of. PDF | Nicolae Tanase's question about “The meaning of life” pulled me out of my /04/11/artur-braun-and-the-pursuit-of-happiness/ It appears Nicolae followed and turned all contributions finally into a book: What Is The Meaning Of Life?.

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Free download of The Pursuit Of Happiness by Yoni Schwartzman. Available in PDF, ePub and Kindle. Read, write reviews and more. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Gardner chronicles his long, painful, ultimately Look inside this book. The Pursuit of Happyness by [Gardner, Chris] . Pursuit. The. Happiness of. Manjul on his reading habit | Ajaya Dixit on books. Essays on satisfaction by Nepal's. Most known writers. KHAGENDRA.

Considered a prodigy in scientific research, he surprised everyone and himself by setting his sights on the competitive world of high finance. Yet no sooner had he landed an entry-level position at a prestigious firm than Gardner found himself caught in a web of incredibly challenging circumstances that left him as part of the city's working homeless and with a toddler son. Motivated by the promise he made to himself as a fatherless child to never abandon his own children, the two spent almost a year moving among shelters, "HO-tels," soup lines, and even sleeping in the public restroom of a subway station. Never giving in to despair, Gardner made an astonishing transformation from being part of the city's invisible poor to being a powerful player in its financial district. More than a memoir of Gardner's financial success, this is the story of a man who breaks his own family's cycle of men abandoning their children. Mythic, triumphant, and unstintingly honest, The Pursuit of Happyness conjures heroes like Horatio Alger and Antwone Fisher, and appeals to the very essence of the American Dream.

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The study also showed that many women need at least minutes of intercourse to reach "The Big O" - and, worse still Clearly, most men are NOT fulfilling there women's needs in bed. But, not being able to last 20, 30 minutes or more, is definitely a sign that you're not going to "set your woman's world on fire" between the sheets. Question is: In it, you'll discover a detailed guide to an Ancient Taoist Thrusting Technique that can help any man to last much longer in bed.

Browse by Genre Available eBooks Show More. Arshid Bhat. Nishi Jataniya , No Downloads. Views Total views. Actions Shares. Embeds 0 No embeds. No notes for slide. For my mother, Bettye Jean 3. Acknowledgments My mother always stressed to me that the most important words in the English language are please and thank you.

With that in mind I would like to thank some of the folks that I have been blessed to have in my life and also helped me with the most challenging task of attempting to write this book. I espe-cially want to thank Collene Carlson, president of GRC, for cov-ering my back and balls for the last twelve years.

Bob and I have the same barber! Quincy Troupe once paid me a backhand compliment by telling me that I was as crazy as his previous subject, Miles Davis. It was Quincy who helped me open up all the doors in my mind that I had tried to keep closed. Mim Eichler Rivas helped me to open up my soul. Quincy put down what happened—Mim put down how what happened felt.

If there is any sense of feeling, passion, or dreams here, it is all due to Mim. Also vital to this book was Dawn Davis of Amistad, my brilliant 7.

When we met, the book she had last published was on its way to winning a Pulitzer Prize. Like I said, no doubt! And thanks to the other hardworking folks at Amis-tad: I am forever grateful to Will Smith. I continue to be amazed at his grace, hu-mility, and talent.

The guys from Escape Artists: Again, I knew from the very beginning that these were the guys to go with. Thank you!

The Pursuit of Happiness - Wikipedia

Mark Clayman, your vision continues to astonish me. Thanks to Jennifer Gates, my agent at Zachary Schuster Harms-worth Literary Agency, for believing in me, guiding me, and allow-ing me to be afraid. Nothing in this life or the next will ever mean as much to me as my two children.

With a whole lot of help, they were raised into absolutely fabulous young people: My greatest blessings. Your support through the process made it all possible. To Madame Baba, my muse, thank you.

Thank you to the family that I was born into, and just as impor-tant, thank you to the family that adopted me: And a most heartfelt thank you to my mentor, Barbara Scott Preiskel. I have rendered the events faith-fully and truthfully just as I have recalled them. Some names and descriptions of individuals have been changed in order to re-spect their privacy.

To anyone whose name I did not recall or omit-ted, I offer sincere apologies. While circumstances and conversations depicted herein come from my keen recollection of them, they are not meant to represent precise time lines of events or exact word-for- word reenactments of my life. They are told in a way that evokes the real feeling and meaning of what was said and my view of what happened to me, in keeping with the true essence of the mood and spirit of those moments that shaped my life.

One of them took place in the early s, when I was twenty-seven years old, on an unusually hot, sunny day in the Bay Area. As I refocused, what I saw changed the world as I knew it.

Some years before, fresh out of the Navy, I had first arrived in San Francisco—lured to the West Coast by a prestigious research job and the opportunity to work for one of the top young heart surgeons in the country.

Ris-ing up out of the bay into golden glowing mists of possibility, she seduced me from the start, showing off her studded hills and plung-ing valleys as she laid herself out with arms open.

In the early days, no matter how many times I drove west over the Bay Bridge from Oakland, or north from Daly City heading toward the Golden Gate Bridge, which stretches right up to the horizon before dropping down into Marin County, those views of San Francisco were like falling in love all over again. San Francisco remains in my mind to this day the Paris of the Pacifi c. Between steep rents and the chronic car re-pairs caused by the toll the hills took on transmissions and brakes— not to mention that pile of unpaid parking tickets all too familiar to most San Franciscans—staying afloat could be a challenge.

Besides, I knew enough about challenge. I knew how to work hard, and in fact, over the next years, challenges helped me to reshape my dreams, to reach further, and to pursue goals with an increased sense of urgency. In early , when I became a fi rst- time father, overjoyed as I The Pursuit of Happyness 3 was, that sense of urgency kicked up another notch. Or at least that was my state of mind on that day in the parking lot outside San Francisco General Hospital as I approached the driver of the red Ferrari.

This encounter would crystallize in my memory—almost into a mythological moment that I could return to and visit in the pres-ent tense whenever I wanted or needed its message. With the top down and the light glinting fi re- engine- metallic-red off the hood, the guy at the wheel is every bit as cool as the jazz musicians I used to idolize.

Nothing obnoxious, just well put together. No fl ash, no bullshit. Just sharp. Am I seduced by the Ferrari itself? I am a red-blooded American male. In that instant, the car symbolizes all that I lacked while growing up—freedom, es-cape, options.

In my twenty- seven years of life so far, I have learned a little already about the power of information and about the kind of currency that information can become.

Now I see an opportu-nity to get some inside information, I think, and so I draw out my trusty sword—a compulsion for question-asking that has been in my survival kit since childhood.

Despite the fact that I had absolutely no experience and no contacts whatsoever, looking to get my big break into the stock market became a major focus over the next several months, but so did other urgent concerns, especially when I suddenly became a single parent amid a series of other unforeseen, tumultuous events.

What officials declared was a new epidemic in homelessness had actually been developing for more than a decade as the result of several fac-tors— including drastic cutbacks to state funding for mental health facilities, limited treatment options for the large number of Viet-nam vets suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome and alco-hol and drug addiction, along with the same urban ills plaguing the rest of the country. During the long, cold winter of , as gov-ernment programs to help the poor were being eliminated, the The Pursuit of Happyness 5 economy in the Bay Area, as in the rest of the country, was in a downturn.

At a time when jobs and affordable housing were be-coming harder to find, access to cheap street drugs like angel dust and PCP was starting to get easier.

The Pursuit of Happyness

Though some business leaders complained that the homeless would scare tourists away, if you happened to visit San Francisco in the early s, you were probably unaware of the deepening crisis. You may have paused to wonder what kinds of lives and dreams and stories had been lived before, and perhaps to consider how easy it would be for anyone to fall through the cracks of whatever support had once existed, or to face a sudden crisis of any proportion and simply stumble into the hole of homelessness.

Or if you did happen to spot me, usually moving at a fast clip as I pushed a lightweight, rickety blue stroller that had become my only wheels and that carried my most precious cargo in the universe—my nineteen-month-old son, Chris Jr. Some of the places where we slept suggested as much—on the Bay Area Rapid Transit subway trains, or in waiting areas at either the Oakland or San Francisco airport. That small, cell-like, windowless tiled box—big enough for us, our stuff, and a toilet and a sink where I could get us washed as best I could—represented both my worst nightmare of being confi ned, locked up, and excluded and, at the same time, a true godsend of protection where I could lock the door and keep the wolves out.

As long as I kept my mental focus on destinations that were ahead, destinations that I had the audacity to dream might hold a red Ferrari of my own, I protected myself from despair. Go forward.

That became my mantra, inspired by the Reverend The Pursuit of Happyness 7 Cecil Williams, one of the most enlightened men to ever walk this earth, a friend and mentor whose goodness blessed me in ways I can never sufficiently recount. At Glide Memorial Methodist Church in the Tenderloin—where the Reverend Williams fed, housed, and repaired souls eventually accommodating thousands of homeless in what became the first homeless hotel in the coun-try — he was already an icon.

Walk that walk, he preached. On any Sunday, his sermon might address a number of subjects, but that theme was always in there, in addition to the rest. Walk that walk and go for-ward all the time. In years to come, baby carriages would go way high-tech with double and triple wheels on each side and all aerodynamic, stream-lined, and leather-cushioned, plus extra compartments for storing stuff and roofs to add on to make them like little inhabitable igloos. But the rickety blue stroller I had, as we forged into the winter of , had none of that.

As much as I kept going forward because I believed a better future lay ahead, and as much as I was sure that the encounter out-side San Francisco General Hospital had steered me to that future, the real driving force came from that other pivotal event in my Unlike many experiences in childhood that tended to blur in my memory into a series of images that flickered dimly like grainy, old-fashioned moving pictures, this event—which must have taken up little more than a split second of time—became a vivid reality that I could conjure in my senses whenever I wanted, in perfectly preserved detail.

This period was one of the most volatile of my youth, beyond the public turbulence of the era—the Vietnam War, the civil rights move-ment, echoes of assassinations and riots, and the cultural infl uences of music, hippies, black power, and political activism, all of which helped to shape my view of myself, my country, and the world.

During my childhood and adolescence, my family—consisting of my three sisters and me, our mother, who was present in my early life only sporadically, and our stepfather—had lived in a series of houses, walk- ups, and flats, punctuated by intermittent separa-tions and stays with a series of relatives, all within a four-block area. Finally, we had moved into a small house in a neighborhood con-sidered to be somewhat upwardly mobile.

This meant that I could hoot and holler all I wanted, and that I could talk out loud to myself if I so pleased, and answer my-self right back. My mother had this habit too. The Pursuit of Happyness 9 happened to be the only other person at home. March Madness, which came every year at the end of the col-lege basketball season, was always thrilling for me, and an excellent distraction from heavier thoughts I was having about the tightrope I was walking from the end of adolescence into manhood.

All eyes this year were on how UCLA would fare in its first season without seven- footer Lew Alcindor soon to become Kareem Abdul-Jabbar after he had led them to three consecutive titles. It was unusual enough at this time for players to hit the seven- foot mark, let alone to have two of them on the same team.

Known as the original Twin Towers, or sometimes the Towers of Power, Gilmore and Burrows had helped Jacksonville obliterate their opposition and had brought them to the Final Four to face St. In the only way a kid from the ghetto like me had a chance to go make a mil-lion dollars was if he could sing, dance, run, jump, catch balls, or deal drugs.

I could not sing. I am still the only black man in Amer-ica that cannot dance or play ball. Now she had told me, and I was sixteen years old and I believed her, that my job could be to make a million dollars—if I wanted to. The Pursuit of Happyness 11 I not only believed her then, at age sixteen, but I continued to believe that statement in all the days that followed, including that fateful day in San Francisco when I got the first inkling of a future in Wall Street, and in those moments pushing up the hills in the downpour with my son looking up at me from his stroller through rain-splattered dry- cleaning plastic, and in the desolate hours when the only place of refuge was in a BART station bathroom.

It was only later in my adulthood, after those days of wandering in the desert of homelessness, believing in the promised land my mother had told me about and then finding it, and only after gen-erating many millions of dollars, that I understood why these two events were both so essential to my eventual success. The encoun-ter with the driver of the red Ferrari showed me the way to discov-ering what the arena was in which I could apply myself and also to learning how to do that.

By recognizing the disappointments that happened in her life before and after I came along, I was able to see that, though too many of her dreams had been crushed, by daring me to dream she was being given another chance.

To fully answer the question of what it was that guided me through and became the secret to the success that followed, I had to go back to my own childhood and take the journey back to where my mother came from—in order to understand at last how that fi re to dream got lit in me. My story is hers. Part One Then she comes into view, the real, real pretty woman who stands at the stove, making this magic just for me. There is another wonderful smell that accompanies her presence as she turns, smiling right in my direction, as she steps closer to where I stand in the middle of the kitchen—waiting eagerly next to my sister, seven- year- old Ophelia, and two of the other children, Ru-fus and Pookie, who live in this house.

As she slips the cooling candy off the wooden spoon, pulling and breaking it into pieces that she brings and places in my outstretched hand, as she watches me happily gobbling up the tasty sweetness, her wonderful fra-grance is there again. At this point in childhood, and for most of the fi rst fi ve years of my life, the map of my world was broken strictly into two territories—the familiar and the unknown. The happy, safe zone of the familiar was very small, often a shifting dot on the map, while the unknown was vast, terrifying, and constant.

What I did know by the age of three or four was that Ophelia was my older sister and best friend, and also that we were treated with kindness by Mr. Robinson, the adults whose house we lived in. What mattered most was that I had a sister who looked out for me, and I had Rufus and Pookie and the other boys to follow out-side for fun and mischief. All that was familiar, the backyard and the rest of the block, was safe turf where we could run and play games like tag, kick-the-can, and hide-and-seek, even after dark.

That is, except, for the house two doors down from the Robinsons. Every time we passed it I had to almost look the other way, just knowing the old white woman who lived there might sud-denly appear and put an evil curse on me—because, according to Ophelia and everyone else in the neighborhood, the old woman was a witch.

Ophelia ate those cherries with a smile. But I was still haunted by night-mares so real that I could have sworn I actually snuck into her house and found myself in the middle of a dark, creepy room where I was surrounded by an army of cats, rearing up on their back legs, baring their claws and fangs.

The nightmares were so intense that for the longest time I had an irrational fear and dislike of cats. At the same time, I was not entirely convinced that this old woman was in fact a witch. Maybe she was just different. Then again, because my big sister was my only resource for ex-plaining all that was unknown, I believed her and accepted her ex-planations. But as I pieced together fragments of information about our family over the years, mainly from Ophelia and also from some of our uncles and aunts, I found the answers much harder to grasp.

How the real pretty woman who came to make the candy fi t into the puzzle, I was never told, but something old and wise inside me knew that she was important. Maybe it was how she seemed to pay special attention to me, even though she was just as nice to Ophelia and the other kids, or maybe it was how she and I seemed to have a secret way of talking without words.

In our unspoken conversation, I understood her to be saying that seeing me happy made her even happier, and so somewhere in my cells, that became Intuitively, I also understood who she was, in spite of never being told, and there is a moment of recognition that comes during one of her visits—as I watch her at the stove and make observations that will be reinforced in years to come.

More than pretty, she is beautiful, a stop-you- in-your- tracks-turn- around- and-look-twice beautiful. Not tall at fi ve- four, but with a stature of nobility that makes her appear much taller, she is light brown—skinned but not too light—almost the color of the rich maple syrup she stirs and heats into candy.

She has supernatu-rally strong fingernails—capable of breaking an apple in half, bare-handed, something that few women or men can do and something that impresses me for life. She has a stylish way of dressing—the color burgundy and paisley print dresses stand out—with a scarf or shawl thrown over her shoulder to give her a feminine, fl owing look.

The brightness of color and the flowing layers of fabric give her an appearance I would later describe as Afro- centric. But the features that most capture her beauty are her expressive eyes and her amazing smile.

Then and later, I liken that smile to opening a refrigerator at night. You open up that door—smile— and the light fills up the room. Even on those nights ahead when the refrigerator contains nothing but a lightbulb and ice water, her smile and the memory of her smile are all the comforts I need.

Ours was a family of secrets. The Pursuit of Happyness 19 understanding that eventually emerged was of a kind of Cinderella story—without the fairy godmother and the part at the end where she marries the prince and they all live happily ever after.

The old-est and only daughter of the four surviving children born to par-ents Archie and Ophelia Gardner, Bettye Jean came into this world in , in Little Rock,Arkansas, but was raised in Depression- era, dirt- poor, rural Louisiana—somewhere near the town of Rayville, population five hundred.

Adored by her three younger brothers—Archie Jr. But her dreams quickly unraveled the moment it was time to go off to college and pursue her calling as an educator, starting with the devastating sudden death of her mother. Like Cinderella, while she was still in mourning, almost overnight her father remar-ried, leaving Bettye to cope with a domineering stepmother—who went by the ironic nickname of Little Mama—and a new set of competitive stepsiblings.

But once again, when she needed financial assistance from her father to pay for her state licensing fees, he said no. With all the talent, brilliance, and beauty that had been natu-rally bestowed on Bettye Jean Gardner, she had apparently drawn an unlucky card when it came to men—most of whom seemed destined to disappoint her, starting with her own daddy. There was Samuel Salter, a married schoolteacher who professed his love for her and his plan to leave his wife, but who must have changed his mind when she became pregnant.

True to form, her daddy and Little Mama were no help. They let it be known that she had em-barrassed them enough by being single at age twenty- two, but for her to be an old maid and an unwed mother was too much shame for them to bear. On these grounds, they put her out. Along the way she gave birth to my sister—named Ophelia for her beloved mother—before crossing paths with a tall, dark, handsome stranger during a trip back to Louisiana. His name was Thomas Turner, a married man who swept Bettye Jean off her feet either romantically or by force.

The result was me, Christopher Paul Gardner, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on February 9, —the same year, auspiciously, that school segregation was ruled in violation of the Fourteenth Amend-ment by the U. Supreme Court. In keeping with other family mysteries, my father was a fi gment of the vast unknown throughout my childhood. His name was mentioned only once or twice. Tall and dark, but not exactly handsome—at times he bore a strong resemblance to Sonny Liston—Freddie had the demeanor The Pursuit of Happyness 21 of some ill-begotten cross between a pit bull and Godzilla.

At six-two, pounds, he did have a stature and brawn that some women found attractive. Whatever it was that first caught her at-tention must have been a redeeming side of him that later van-ished. After all, the other men who looked good had not turned out to be dependable; maybe she thought Freddie was the opposite—a man who looked dangerous but was kind and tender underneath his disguise.

If that was the case, and she be-lieved in the fairy tale that her kiss would turn the frog into a prince, she was sadly mistaken.

In fact, he turned out to be many times more dangerous than he looked, especially after that fi rst kiss, and after he decided she was his. No one ever laid out the sequence of events that led to my mother being prosecuted and imprisoned for alleged welfare fraud. It started out with an anonymous tip, apparently, that somehow she was a danger to society because she was earning money at a job—to feed and care for her two children Ophelia and me and a third on the way my sister Sharon —and was receiving assistance at the same time.

That anonymous tip had come from Freddie, a man will-ing to do or say anything to have her locked up for three years be-cause she had committed the crime of trying to leave his sorry ass. Yet we never knew why or when changes in our living situation would take place.

The Pursuit of Happiness

Just as no one told me that it was my mother who came to make candy and visit us at the foster home under special, super-vised leave from prison, no explanation accompanied our move when Ophelia and I went to stay with my Uncle Archie and his wife Clara, or TT as we all called her.

Way back in Louisiana, the entire Gardner family must have signed an oath of secrecy because Moms gave me one of her searing looks, the kind that got me to be quiet real fast. She shook her head no, unwilling to open up. Even as my questions continued, while waiting for clarifi cation to arrive of its own accord, I went back to my job of trying to be as happy as possible—not a diffi cult assignment at fi rst.

The land of the familiar where I grew up in one of the poorer areas of the north side of Milwaukee was a world that I eventually viewed as a black Happy Days.

Just like on that TV show that was set in the s—in the same time period in which my neighbor-hood seemed to be frozen even in later decades—there were local hangouts, places where different age groups gathered to socialize, well- known quirky merchants, and an abundance of great charac-ters. Some of the greatest characters in our Happy Days version were my own family members, starting with my three stubborn uncles.

The Pursuit of Happyness 23 After both Willie and Henry got out of the Army, having traveled to many distant shores, the two returned to Louisiana long enough to join with Uncle Archie as each came to the simultaneous deci-sion to get as far away from southern bigotry as he possibly could. Their plan was to go to Canada, but when their car broke down in Milwaukee, so the story goes, they laid anchor and went no farther.

To them, the fertile, versatile city that had been plunked down at the meeting place of the Milwau-kee River and Lake Michigan—which provided rich soil for farm-ing and ample waterways for trade and industry—was their land of milk and honey, of golden opportunity. To put up with the ex-tremes in the seasons, the brutal winters and scorching summers, you had to have an innate toughness and the kind of deeply practi-cal, hustling ability that my relatives and many of the other mi-norities and immigrants brought with them to Wisconsin from other places.

Those traits must have existed as well as in the descen-dents of the true Milwaukeeans—members of tribes like the Win-nebago and Potawatomi.

All that ambitious, pragmatic dreaming sometimes resulted in overachievement. Smith and the automotive giant American Motors deceased as of the late s. These blue- collar jobs were far and away preferable to a life sharecropping in the sweltering heat way down south in Dixie, in places where less than a century earlier many of our people had been enslaved. Seemed like almost everyone had family members that brought with them their country ways and who tended to stick together.

The Tripletts, some of the nicest, kindest folks you could meet—with the exception of Freddie, the bad seed—had come from Mississippi. As hard as everyone worked all week, at least in my neighbor-hood, over the weekend they played and prayed even harder. No such thing as casual drinking in our part of Milwaukee. From Fri-day evening when the whistle blew at Inland Steel—where all three of my uncles worked, Archie and Willie until they retired from there and Henry until his dying day, which came much too early—the party began and lasted until Sunday morning, when it was time to go to church and pray for forgiveness.

My uncle and his wife maintained an easygoing, peaceful atmosphere without too many rules. A de-vout Christian,TT made sure we got that old-time religion in us. Every Sunday, all day, we spent at the Tabernacle Baptist Church, and in summers we attended Bible school daily, plus we accompa-nied her to any and all special midweek meetings and were present for the funerals of every member of the church who ever died, whether we knew them or not.

The Pursuit of Happyness 25 change their clothes and themselves. TT never tried to be a substitute for Momma, but she provided love and comfort all the same.

Nor could I devour fast enough the books that TT seemed to have limitless funds to download for me. My mother later reinforced the importance of reading, raising me with her own credo to spend as much time at our public library as possible. It was TT, however, who first instilled in me the love of reading books and storytelling. The story of the Sword in the Stone made a lasting impression on me, setting up the idea that someday, somehow, I would fi nd the destiny that awaited me.

Books allowed me not only to travel in my imagination but to look through windows into the world of the unknown and not feel afraid. A big light green book, the color of a garden snake, it captivated me for days on end as I studied ev-ery minute detail of the snake world—from the friendly- sounding During waking hours I was fascinated, but at night, espe-cially during one particular snake- infested nightmare in which my bed was full of writhing, hissing poisonous snakes, I regretted ever seeing those pictures.

Apparently so did TT and Uncle Archie, who woke up in the middle of the night to find me wedged in between them in the bed.

In the end, they both went back to sleep, letting me feel safe and not making me feel too embarrassed—until later when I was a big, strong guy and they teased me about it mercilessly.

The other window into the world of the unknown was the black- and-white TV set, and the finest vision I ever saw on it was of Sugar Ray Robinson standing next to a Cadillac. Uncle Archie had a contagious aura of calm that he maintained even during the excitement of the fights or when crises came up. Besides his hardworking ethic on the job, Archie used his quiet, strong intelligence to rise up through the ranks of his union at Inland Steel, setting an ex- The Pursuit of Happyness 27 ample for me about tenacity and focus.

A very handsome guy who was the male version of Moms in looks—nut brown in color, slen-der, and on the short side but appearing taller than he was—Archie was an incredibly sharp dresser, something that influenced my later sense of style and the clothes habit I acquired long before I could afford it.

As a result, Uncle Archie could narrate those fights for me as well as any announcer of his time. Sugar Ray and the other boxers were larger than life, superheroes who could do and have it all, including a pink Cadillac.

What that said to a poor kid from the ghetto like me was everything, a very early precursor to the red Ferrari. In "The World According to Clarkson", one of the country's funniest comic writers has free reign to expose absurdity, celebrate eccentricity and entertain richly in the process. Memories of an imaginary friend Author: Budo is Max's imaginary friend. But though only Max can see him, he is real. He and the other imaginary friends watch over their children until the day comes that the child stops imagining them.

And then they're gone. Budo has lasted a lot longer than most imaginary friends - four years - because Max needs him more. His parents argue about sending him to a special school.

But Max is perfectly happy if everything is just kept the way it is, and nothing out of the ordinary happens. Unfortunately, something out of the ordinary is going to happen - and then he'll need Budo more than ever Rocket Boys Author: With the grace of a natural storyteller, NASA engineer Homer Hickam paints a warm, vivid portrait of the harsh West Virginia mining town of his youth, evoking a time of innocence and promise, when anything was possible, even in a company town that swallowed its men alive.

A story of romance and loss, of growing up and getting out, Homer Hickam's lush, lyrical memoir is a chronicle of triumph—at once exquisitely written and marvelously entertaining.

His debut stand-up DVD was the fastest selling of all time, only to be eclipsed by his second that sold over 1. At the age of twenty, Milwaukee native Chris Gardner, just out of the Navy, arrived in San Francisco to pursue a promising career in medicine. Considered a prodigy in scientific research, he surprised everyone and himself by setting his sights on the competitive world of high finance.

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