Deals, News, Reviews & Writer’s Resources

Discover the Sea – Wherever You Are!

The sea is all around you, even if you live inland, far from the coast. It's in places you least expect: Yankee Stadium, the gas in your car, the land you walk, even the air you breathe. It's in the marble of sculptors, the foundation of sky scrapers, and in each and every cell of your body. The Sea Around You begins to show you where, and how. Dive in! Join us!  Use this interactive map to find our sites, and then add your own! ...

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Ashe Book to S&S

Free Press’s Martin Beiser won, at auction, world rights to Ray Arsenault’s Arthur Ashe biography. Arsenault (Freedom Riders), who teaches Southern history at the University of South Florida, will discuss the tennis great’s life as well as his contributions to civil, and overall human, rights. The S&S imprint is planning a 2012 publication, timed to that year’s U.S. Open. Agent Wendy Strothman did the deal.

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Hélène Boudreau’s I DARE YOU NOT TO YAWN, an anti-bedtime story testing the theory of whether yawns are contagious, to Mary Lee Donovan at Candlewick, by Lauren MacLeod at The Strothman Agency (World).

Read Hélène's blog post about the sale here: "When I was 9..."

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Can't We All Just Get Along?

A Slew of Books Offers Guidance On How Best to Treat One Another

By Michael Lindgren

Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"If ever there was a topic that seemed doomed to perpetual obsolescence, etiquette is it. The word conjures up dusty tomes of irrelevant injunctions about silverware and fox trots, the hostess descending the marble stairs just as the ambassador and his retinue disembark from their Bentley. Meanwhile, a lament about the decline of manners generally meets with vague agreement, at least as long as it doesn't interfere with our cellphone-jabbering, line-jumping, stroller-bulldozing ways. Good manners are one of those abstractions that everyone is in favor of, in principle . . . if only one weren't in such a hurry this afternoon. ...

...  It makes perfect sense --...

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Remembering Forrest—An Online Tribute

From The New York Times:

Rev. Forrest Church, Who Embraced a Gospel of Service, Dies at 61


The Rev. Forrest Church, a longtime pastor at the Unitarian Church of All Souls on the Upper East Side who spent the last three years of his life, after being told he had terminal cancer, articulating a philosophy of death and dying and a complete expression of his liberal theology in two books, died on Thursday in Manhattan. He was 61. The cause was complications of esophogeal cancer, said his wife, Carolyn Buck Luce.

As the senior minister to the liberal and affluent All Souls congregation since 1978, Mr. Church preached a...

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I came across this blog post "Johnny, Dressed in Layers" on Edittorrent this weekend and thought it was a really unique way of thinking about creating characters:

"... If you're at all familiar with astrology, you might already have some basis for understanding this concept. (We're going to file this under "things I learned in creative writing school.") When an astrologer casts a natal chart, the first three placements identified are the sun sign, the moon sign, and the rising sign.

The sun sign is a person's core personality, the foundational traits which will always make up part of their character in some way. These traits can be magnified or diminished by other factors, but they're still pretty constant. When we say things like, "Geminis have quick minds," or, "Capricorns are good with money," we're usually referencing a sun sign trait. And when we read our horoscopes in the newspaper, we're reading for our...

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Passing along a great essay from The Chronicle Review on how academics can write for trade audiences.

Prune That Prose: Learning to write for readers beyond academe

By Gail A. Hornstein

"... Do you ever read your prose aloud, either quietly to yourself or at a public reading of your work? Too many academics would answer no to that question. We have a kind of reverse aestheticism—if our writing is dense and unwieldy, filled with technical terms and convoluted sentences, we wear its lack of accessibility as a badge of honor.

A friend in mainstream trade publishing, who'd like nothing better than to buy books written by smart people on important topics, cringes when she spies an academic heading toward her at a party. For D and her editorial colleagues, "academic" is shorthand for "lifeless prose, cumbersome to read, filled with unnecessary complication, often disdainful and stridently obscure in style and...

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The Brookline Booksmith included a link to this video from HarperCollins Children's Books today in their newsletter and I couldn't help but pass it along.

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books, fun, Off topic

Most of us went into publishing because we love to read.  But too many of us get caught up only in our own projects and don’t have time to savor or recommend books that aren’t our own.  Three books have crossed my desk that I simply can’t resist recommending.  Although I know each of the authors, I’m not the agent or publisher for any of them – I just admire them:

Coming soon from Bloomsbury is Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou.  This utterly original book tackles a topic you might consider intimidating – Bertrand Russell’s search for the fundamentals of mathematics – and turns it into something magical and much more – an exploration of the links between genius and madness.  And it’s a graphic novel with delightful art that brings the story to life.  Trust me – you won’t put it down.

Next is Tracy Kidder...

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Geoffrey Nunberg has a very interesting article in today's The Chronicle Review on how Google Book Search's metadata errors effect scholars.

Google's Book Search: A Disaster for Scholars

Start with publication dates. To take Google's word for it, 1899 was a literary annus mirabilis, which saw the publication of Raymond Chandler's Killer in the Rain, The Portable Dorothy Parker, André Malraux's La Condition Humaine, Stephen King's Christine, The Complete Shorter Fiction of Virginia Woolf, Raymond Williams's Culture and Society 1780-1950, and Robert Shelton's biography of Bob Dylan,...

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