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More About Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda; Jeremy McCarter; Jeremy McCarterOverviewWinner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Eleven Tony Awards, including Best Musical Lin-Manuel Miranda's groundbreaking musical Hamilton is as revolutionary as its subject, the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap, and claims our country's origins for a diverse new generation. HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION gives readers an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages--"since before this was even a show," according to Miranda--traces its development from an improbable perfor-mance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Miranda has written more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is published here. Their account features photos by the renowned Frank Ockenfels and veteran Broadway photographer, Joan Marcus; exclusive looks at notebooks and emails; interviews with Questlove, Stephen Sond-heim, leading political commentators, and more than 50 people involved with the production; and multiple appearances by Presi-dent Obama himself. The book does more than tell the surprising story of how a Broadway musical became a national phenomenon: It demonstrates that America has always been renewed by the brash upstarts and brilliant outsiders, the men and women who don't throw away their shot.
Audio: Exemplary audio gifts
Yes, Commonwealth, Ann Patchett’s brilliant new novel, narrated by Hope Davis, is autobiographical. But it’s her fabulous, fluent storytelling, her understanding of family in all its cumbersome complexity and delicately nuanced affections and animosities that makes this group portrait so appealing. It all begins with a gin-soaked kiss at a christening party in 1960s Los Angeles that leads to divorce, a cross-country move and a blended but never homogenized family forced into intimacies that shift over the decades.
With clarity, smooth prose and a new cache of documents, Jeffrey Toobin tells the still-tantalizing tale that mesmerized a nation in the 1970s in American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst. It’s all here, set in context: how a captive became a bank-robbing comrade, how the jailed Patty became a Hearst again. All read with perfect pacing by Paul Michael.
On June 22, 1922, Count Alexander Rostov appeared before a Bolshevik Tribunal, accused of succumbing “to the corruption of his class.” Only his high-ranking friends kept him from being summarily shot. Instead, the handsome, gracious young count became a “Former Person,” sentenced to spend the rest of his life in Moscow’s famed Hotel Metropole. It’s the next 40 years of that life that Amor Towles so skillfully evokes in his quintessentially charming second novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, read with impeccable Rostov grace by Nicholas Guy Smith.
Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter, Hamilton: The Revolution is an irresistibly moving, revelatory account of the hottest, most heralded Broadway show in a generation. McCarter was in meetings, workshops and dressing rooms during the six years of the play’s development, and he talked with more than 40 people close to the show. He details Miranda’s constant rewriting and reshaping and shows how people from different backgrounds came together to make this stunningly audacious show work so wonderfully. Miranda reads the 300 funny footnotes he added to the libretto (on an accompanying PDF, which includes fabulous photos).
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With mastery worthy of Rembrandt, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, Dominic Smith’s fourth novel, moves back and forth in time and place from 1631 Amsterdam when Sara de Vos painted her hauntingly beautiful “At the Edge of the Wood,” to 1957 New York when it was stolen from Marty de Groot’s Fifth Avenue penthouse and replaced by a flawless forgery. In 2000, the forger, Ellie Shipley, is in Sydney, Australia. She’s now a renowned expert on women painters of the Dutch Golden Age, awaiting the authentic de Vos painting and the forgery she made decades ago to arrive for an exhibition. Engrossing audio, elegantly wrought, elegantly read by Edoardo Ballerini.