Adult Recommendations

The Sweetheart, by Angelina Mirabella

The Sweetheart is a riotous coming-of-age novel set in the outrageous world of professional wrestling in the 1950s.

Plain, shy, lonely Leonie Putzkammer is headed for a lifetime of waiting tables and cooking dinner for her widower father when she meets a wrestling promoter in her diner. With the promise of fame dangling before her, she sets out for Otherside, Florida and Joe Pospisil’s School for Lady Grapplers, where she learns to wrestle and, more importantly, to perform. Renamed Gwen Davies and teamed with Screaming Mimi Hollander, Leonie tours the country and finds fame, friendship, and first love. But in the brutal world of professional wrestling, fame is fleeting and identity is tenuous: torn between her family, her boyfriend, her friend Mimi, and her ambition, Leonie can’t have it all—so she’ll have to decide what she really wants.

Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter by Cass R. Sunstein

Great book for anyone in collaborative decision making or management situations. Understandable and actionable, this book is about groups comprised of like-minded thinkers who often amplify, rather than correct, errors in judgment. They become more polarized and adopt more extreme positions than the ones they began with. Great suggestions on how to correct “group think,” and identify vulnerabilities in existing practices.
 
 Anyone involved in making decisions would enjoy this book.

A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator’s Rise to Power, by Paul Fischer

In this fascinating book, film producer Paul Fischer combines interviews, research, and first-hand investigation to tell the strange story of Kim Jong-Il’s kidnapping of South Korea’s leading director and his star actress ex-wife. Obsessed with film since he was a child, Kim Jong-Il used North Korea’s Ministry for Propaganda to build his power within the regime, making the only movies that the isolated North Korean people were allowed to view. As Kim’s ambitions eclipsed his country’s limited filmmaking ability, he decided to recruit new talent—forcibly.

Choi Eun-Hee was South Korea’s biggest and most beloved star; Shin Sang-Ok, her director ex-husband, ran the largest film production company in South Korea. Kim kidnapped both in 1978, and after torturing Shin into compliance, the two began making films for North Korea’s captive audience. With success—their films played to packed theaters for months and won international awards—came the opportunity to escape via a chase straight out of a spy novel.

A must-read for anyone interested in the history and culture of North Korea. 

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