12. Richard Ben Cramer, Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life (2000). After reading this book, you will admire DiMaggio's exceptional athletic feats and his loyalty to his ex-wife Marilyn Monroe, but you will come away thinking that as a human being the Yankee Clipper was an incredibly selfish asshole. Cramer writes as gracefully as DiMaggio played. The son of a Sicilian immigrant who scratched out a bare living as a San Francisco fisherman, DiMaggio was such a remarkably talented ballplayer (at bat as well as in center field) that he rose quickly from the sandlots to the big leagues. He was soon one of the most popular figures in pro baseball. He enjoyed his fame but he insisted on his privacy and kept most people at arm's length, although he had his own bevvy of hangers-on, including mobsters, celebrities, sportswriters, and showgirls. He was inarticulate and ashamed of his lack of education. From his rookie season in 1936, DiMaggio replaced Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig as the idol of Yankee fans, keeping the team consistently in the World Series. Cramer's look at DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak in 1941 may convince you that it is the single most remarkable accomplishment in baseball history. He was loved and admired by fans but he an unhappy soul. His marriages (including his second marriage to Monroe) were failures. He had many acquaintances but few real friends. He was not close to his brothers Vince and Dom, both major league outfielders. DiMaggio remained a public figure after he retired - flacking for Mr. Coffee and basking in the applause of crowds at Old Timers game -- but was basically a lonely man. Cramer captures DiMaggio's heroic and the tragic side in this highly readable biography.
In July 2009, the Art Capital Group filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Leibovitz for US$24 million regarding repayment of these loans.  In a follow-up article dated September 5, 2009, an Associated Press story quoted legal experts as saying that filing for bankruptcy reorganization might offer Leibovitz her best chance to control and direct the disposition of her assets to satisfy debts.  On September 11, Art Capital Group withdrew its lawsuit against Leibovitz and extended the due date for repayment of the US$24 million loan. Under the agreement, Leibovitz retains control over her work and will be the "exclusive agent in the sale of her real property (land) and copyrights". 
I started a second novel seven times and I had to throw them away. You know, 100 pages here, 200 pages there, and I’d say, “Is this what they liked in The Joy Luck Club? Is this the style, is this the story? No, I must write something completely different. I must write no Chinese characters to prove that I’m multi-talented.” Or “No, I must write this way in a very erudite way to show I have a way to use big words.” It’s both rebellion and conformity that attack you with success. It took me a long time to get over that, and just finally being able to breathe again and say, “What’s important? Why are you a writer? Why did you write that book in the first place? What did you learn? What did you discover? What was the most rewarding part of that?” Don’t think of what’s going to happen afterwards. If it’s a failure, will you think what you wrote was a failure, that the whole time was wasted? If it’s a success, will you think the words are more valuable? That crisis helped me to define what was important for me. It started off with family. It started off with knowing myself, with knowing the things I wanted as a constant in my life: trust, love, kindness, a sense of appreciation, gratitude. I didn’t want to become cynical. I didn’t want to become a suspicious person. Those were the things that helped me decide what I was going to write.