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Five Finger Discount

Author: Helene Stapinski
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9780375506901
Size: 66.77 MB
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Now a PBS documentary, this astonishing memoir of growing up in rough-and-tumble Jersey City “will steal your heart” (People) With deadpan humor and obvious affection, Five-Finger Discount recounts the story of an unforgettable New Jersey family of swindlers, bookies, embezzlers, and mobster-wannabes. In the memoir Mary Karr calls “a page-turner,” Helene Stapinski ingeniously weaves the checkered history of her hometown of Jersey City—a place known for its political corruption and industrial blight—with the tales that have swirled around her relatives for decades. Navigating a childhood of toxic waste and tough love, Stapinski tells an extraordinary tale at once heartbreaking and hysterically funny. Praise for Five-Finger Discount “By turns hilarious and alarming, [Helene Stapinski’s] book reads on the surface like something by Damon Runyon and Elmore Leonard, with a dark undertow of real-life pain and disillusion.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times “It’s a brilliant book, a darling book. It is the blessedly modest chronicle of a magical consciousness that seems to have been born pulling diamonds out of the muck, hearing angels’ voices in the fiercest thunder. . . . I adored every word of this wondrous book. Get it. Read it.”—Michael Pakenham, The Baltimore Sun “In the tradition of . . . Rita Mae Brown and Amy Tan, Ms. Stapinski is an exciting writer, unabashedly candid, and at the same time unashamedly self-contained. Five-Finger Discount is a must-read.”—Victoria Gotti, The New York Observer “What [Frank] McCourt did for Limerick, Ireland, Helene Stapinski does for Jersey City.”—The Star-Ledger “Hugely entertaining.”—The Sunday Times (London)

Five Finger Discount

Author: Helene Stapinski
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing UK
ISBN: 9780747558316
Size: 65.20 MB
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'Hugely entertaining and poignant' Sunday Times

Five Finger Discount

Author: Helene Stapinski
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
ISBN: 0375758704
Size: 41.82 MB
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Chronicles the adventures of a Jersey City family of criminals, bookies, con artists, embezzlers, and mobsters and the author's experiences growing up with such a family.

Murder In Matera

Author: Helene Stapinski
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062438441
Size: 68.91 MB
Format: PDF
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“A murder mystery, a model of investigative reporting, a celebration of the fierce bonds that hold families together through tragedies…Murder in Matera is a gem.” — San Francisco Chronicle "Tantalizing" — NPR “A thrilling detective story… Stapinski pursues the study of her family’s criminal genealogy with unexpected emotional results.” — Library Journal A writer goes deep into the heart of Italy to unravel a century-old family mystery in this spellbinding memoir that blends the suspenseful twists of Making a Murderer and the emotional insight of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels. Since childhood, Helene Stapinski heard lurid tales about her great-great-grandmother, Vita. In Southern Italy, she was a loose woman who had murdered someone. Immigrating to America with three children, she lost one along the way. Helene’s youthful obsession with Vita deepened as she grew up, eventually propelling the journalist to Italy, where, with her own children in tow, she pursued the story, determined to set the record straight. Finding answers would take Helene ten years and numerous trips to Basilicata, the rural "instep" of Italy’s boot—a mountainous land rife with criminals, superstitions, old-world customs, and desperate poverty. Though false leads sent her down blind alleys, Helene’s dogged search, aided by a few lucky—even miraculous—breaks and a group of colorful local characters, led her to the truth. Yes, the family tales she’d heard were true: There had been a murder in Helene’s family, a killing that roiled 1870s Italy. But the identities of the killer and victim weren’t who she thought they were. In revisiting events that happened more than a century before, Helene came to another stunning realization—she wasn’t who she thought she was, either. Weaving Helene’s own story of discovery with the tragic tale of Vita’s life, Murder in Matera is a literary whodunit and a moving tale of self-discovery that brings into focus a long ago tragedy in a little-known region remarkable for its stunning sunny beauty and dark buried secrets.

Never Tell Our Business To Strangers

Author: Jennifer Mascia
Publisher: Villard
ISBN: 0345519078
Size: 67.79 MB
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When Jennifer Mascia is five years old, the FBI comes for her father. At that moment Jenny realizes that her family isn’t exactly normal. What follows are months of confusion marked by visits with her father through thick glass, talking to him over a telephone attached to the wall. She and her mother crisscross the country, from California to New York to Miami and back again. When her father finally returns home, months later, his absence is never explained—and Jenny is told that the family has a new last name. It’s only much later that Jenny discovers that theirs was a life spent on the lam, trying to outrun the law. Thus begins the story of Jennifer Mascia’s bizarre but strangely magical childhood. An only child, she revels in her parents’ intense love for her—and rides the highs and lows of their equally passionate arguments. They are a tight-knit band, never allowing many outsiders in. And then there are the oddities that Jenny notices only as she gets older: the fact that her father had two names before he went away—in public he was Frank, but at home her mother called him Johnny; the neat, hidden hole in the carpet where her parents keep all their cash. The family sees wild swings in wealth—one year they’re shopping for Chanel and Louis Vuitton at posh shopping centers in Los Angeles, the next they’re living in one room and subsisting on food stamps. What have her parents done? What was the reason for her father’s incarceration so many years ago? When Jenny, at twenty-two, uncovers her father’s criminal record during an Internet search, still more questions are raised. By then he is dying of cancer, so she presses her mother for answers, eliciting the first in a series of reluctant admissions about her father’s criminal past. Before her mother dies, four years later, Jenny is made privy to one final, riveting confession, which sets her on a search for the truth her mother fought to conceal for so many years. As Jenny unravels her family’s dark secrets, she must confront the grisly legacy she has inherited and the hard truth that her parents are not—and have never been—who they claimed to be. In the face of unimaginable tragedy, Jenny will ultimately find an acceptance and understanding just as meaningful and powerful as her parents’ love. In a memoir both raw and unwavering, Jennifer Mascia tells the amazing story of a life lived—unwittingly—with criminals. Full of great love and enormous loss, Never Tell Our Business to Strangers will captivate and enthrall, both with its unrelenting revelations and its honest, witty heart. From the Hardcover edition.

Baby Plays Around

Author: Helene Stapinski
Publisher: Villard Books
ISBN: 9780812967890
Size: 21.88 MB
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The author describes how, at the age of thirty, an interview with the leader of a rock band led to her becoming their drummer, and how, as her relationship with her fellow bandmates deepened, her marriage hit the rocks.

Jersey Boy

Author: Adeyinka Makinde
Publisher: iUniverse
ISBN: 9781450206389
Size: 71.52 MB
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FINALLY, THE TRUE STORY of the Mafias execution of Jersey City legend Frankie DePaula can be told: -Was his world title bout with Bob Foster fixed by the Mob? -Did the Mob kill Pat Amato, his first manager, in order to pave the way for him to sign with their front man Gary Garafola? -How did he come to be involved in a notorious heist of $80,000 worth of electrolytic copper? -Was his dalliance with the step-daughter of a high-ranking mobster the reason for his shooting? -Or did the Mob kill him for giving up information on their involvement in the copper theft? Although Frankie appeared to some to be a true life exemplar of a character from Dead End; a wild and unreconstructed deviant headed for disaster, his life is set against the backdrop of the oftentimes dysfunctional environs of Jersey City, for long the seat of power of an administration dominated for decades by Mayoral potentate Frank Hague and maligned by the corruption of local politicians and the increasing influence of organized crime. PRAISE FOR JERSEY BOY The author tells it like it was...Anyone who was around boxing in those days or has any knowledge of what the sport was like in the 1960s and early 1970s should read this book. Its worth every penny. ---J. Russell Peltz, IBHOF inductee and noted Boxing Historian & Archivist "A brilliant biography...Makinde brings it all to life through meticulous research, painstaking chapter notes and a smooth, lyrical writing style." ---Murray Greig, The Edmonton Sun "It's a cracking read" ---Steve Bunce, BBC Radio London Boxing Hour Show "Makinde writes in elegant yet precise prose" ---eastsideboxing.com "A book worthy of a Hollywood encore" ---maxboxing.com

Welfare Brat

Author: Mary Childers
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9781596917415
Size: 63.10 MB
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Mary Childers's intimate and frank memoir tells the story of growing up in a family in which five out of seven children dropped out of high school and four different fathers dropped out of sight. With this lyrical and often humorous examination of how she became the first person in her family to attend college, Childers illuminates the causes of welfare dependence, generational poverty, and submission to a popular culture that values sexuality more than self-esteem and self-sufficiency.

A Backpack A Bear And Eight Crates Of Vodka

Author: Lev Golinkin
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0385537786
Size: 61.60 MB
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"[A] hilarious and heartbreaking story of a Jewish family’s escape from oppression."--The New York Times A compelling story of two intertwined journeys: a Jewish refugee family fleeing persecution and a young man seeking to reclaim a shattered past. In the twilight of the Cold War (the late 1980s), nine-year old Lev Golinkin and his family cross the Soviet border with only ten suitcases, $600, and the vague promise of help awaiting in Vienna. Years later, Lev, now an American adult, sets out to retrace his family's long trek, locate the strangers who fought for his freedom, and in the process, gain a future by understanding his past. Lev Golinkin's memoir is the vivid, darkly comic, and poignant story of a young boy in the confusing and often chilling final decade of the Soviet Union. It's also the story of Lev Golinkin, the American man who finally confronts his buried past by returning to Austria and Eastern Europe to track down the strangers who made his escape possible . . . and say thank you. Written with biting, acerbic wit and emotional honesty in the vein of Gary Shteyngart, Jonathan Safran Foer, and David Bezmozgis, Golinkin's search for personal identity set against the relentless currents of history is more than a memoir—it's a portrait of a lost era. This is a thrilling tale of escape and survival, a deeply personal look at the life of a Jewish child caught in the last gasp of the Soviet Union, and a provocative investigation into the power of hatred and the search for belonging. Lev Golinkin achieves an amazing feat—and it marks the debut of a fiercely intelligent, defiant, and unforgettable new voice. From the Hardcover edition.

Jerseyana

Author: Marc Mappen
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813518190
Size: 79.16 MB
Format: PDF
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A collection of local history on New Jersey from prehistory to twentieth century