Archive for the ‘New Release’ Category

The Wit of Shel Silverstein Returns

September 23rd, 2011 No comments

There are millions of adults out there who were obsessed with Shel Silverstein’s poems in Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic at some point during their childhood. What kid could resist that magical blend of humor and storytelling accompanied by the author’s quirky illustrations? Now a new generation of children can enjoy a brand new book by Silverstein, and become entranced by his lyrical wit. This week, HarperCollins released Every Thing On It, a compilation of poetry and artwork that has never been published before. Though the writer passed away in 1999, this posthumous publication is not a tossed together collection of his lesser work. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, the book “was culled from material Silverstein really liked but never found a place for in his other collections.” Read more…


Chick Lit Cover Art Causes Author/Publisher Rift

September 16th, 2011 No comments

British author Polly Courtney has severed ties with publisher HarperCollins out of frustration at how the jacket art on her last three books have portrayed her stories as frivolous chick lit. “My writing has been shoehorned into a place that’s not right for it,” she states in an interview with The Guardian. “It is commercial fiction, it is not literary, but the real issue I have is that it has been completely defined as women’s fiction … Yes it is page turning, no it’s not War and Peace. But it shouldn’t be portrayed as chick lit.”

The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back was the cover design for Courtney’s latest book It’s a Man’s World, which features a lithe young woman in a short skirt and high heals, standard imagery that characterizes much of women’s fiction. The novelist feels the cover misrepresents the story, which is about a woman’s struggle to helm an all male staff at a men’s magazine. Read more…


In Depth Look at Children’s Brain Development

September 14th, 2011 No comments

Princeton University associate professor of neuroscience, Dr. Sam Wang, and Dr. Sandra Aamodt, former editor of the prestigious scientific journal Nature Neuroscience, have teamed up to write a second book Welcome to Your Child’s Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College (Bloomsbury USA, 336pgs). Their new work studies the development of the young brain and offers suggestions to parents on fostering intellectual growth and self-control. Even from birth, children’s brains are functioning at a high level. “They really come equipped to learn about the world in a way that wasn’t appreciated until recently,” explains Dr. Aamodt in an interview with NPR. “It took scientists a long time to realize that their brains are doing some very complicated things.” Read more…


The Advantages of Growing Up in the Middle

August 25th, 2011 No comments

Authors Catherine Salmon and Katrin Schuman take a new stance on middle children, those who often get lost in the family mix, in their new book The Secret Power of Middle Children: How Middleborns Can Harness Their Unexpected and Remarkable Abilities. Though older and younger siblings are sometimes perceived as outshining middle-borns, there are quite a few advantages to being stuck in the middle. The lack of the intense parental scrutiny that other children in the family may receive frees middle children to explore their own path. Read more…


New Release: Skyjack

August 15th, 2011 No comments

By Geoffrey Gray
Crown | 320pgs
Release Date: August 9, 2011

An innocuous man, who boarded a Northwest Orient flight from Portland to Seattle under the name Dan Cooper on November 24, 1971, perpetrated the most daring and mysterious hijacking in American history. Twenty-eight short minutes into the flight Cooper passed a note to a flight attendant demanding $200,000 and threatening to blow up the plane with a bomb he carried in his briefcase. On landing in Seattle, the passengers were released in exchange for the cash and parachutes and the plane once again took off. At an altitude of 10,000 feet, Cooper, later reported erroneously in the media as D.B. Cooper, parachuted out over a dark forest in the Pacific Northwest, and disappeared without a trace. Reporter Geoffrey Gray attempts to shed new light on the infamous crime and explore new leads in Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper. With thorough research, firsthand interviews and unprecedented access to Cooper’s FBI file, Gray launches his own investigation and considers an array of suspects, some credible, others outlandish. Read more…


A Tribute to Children’s Author Robert McCloskey

July 29th, 2011 No comments

Jane McCloskey writes a loving tribute to her father in Robert McCloskey: A Private Life in Words and Pictures (Smith/Kerr Assoc, 256pgs). The children’s book author is best known for his classic picture books Make Way For Ducklings, One Morning in Maine and Blueberries for Sal. Though these award-winning books were written decades ago, the stories are timeless and remain popular with children today. In her own book, Jane, the writer’s youngest daughter and sister of Sal, presents a lively depiction of their family life in Maine, a place that inspired many of McCloskey’s stories. Jane also touches on the family’s time in New York and Mexico. Though they all shared a very loving bond, she admits that, like any family, there were a few bumps in the road. “Sal’s childhood was less happy than mine, while her adulthood has been happier and more successful,” she writes. Read more…


Baldacci Takes New Direction in Latest Novel

July 25th, 2011 No comments

Since the release of his first novel, Absolute Power in 1996, David Baldacci has established himself as a master of the political thriller. But the bestselling author has taken a new writing direction with his latest book One Summer (Grand Central Publishing, 352pgs), exploring family drama; a genre he experimented with early in his career. In an interview with Reuters, the writer discussed his experience crafting this sentimental story: “In some ways it was liberating. I didn’t have to lay out a lot of red herrings and clues. I could delve more deeply into the characters. Obviously, it’s a different sort of genre. But those sorts of stories were what I started with. I wrote short stories for 10 years before I became a thriller writer, and their themes were more like the themes explored in One Summer.” Read more…


New Release: The Inverted Forest

July 21st, 2011 No comments

By John Dalton
Scribner | 336pgs
Release Date: July 19, 2011

The Inverted Forest opens just days before Kindermann Forest Summer Camp is set to open for the 1996 season, when the camp director summarily fires all of the counselors for inappropriate behavior, and scrambles to find replacements. Among the newly minted staff is Wyatt Huddy, a gentle giant who suffers from a congenital defect that causes facial disfigurement. The rookie counselors get their first surprise on opening day when the rambunctious children they were expecting turn out to be mentally disabled adults arriving from the state hospital. The entire group must adjust to this unexpected situation, but Wyatt alone harbors the fear of being inadvertently mistaken for a disabled camper. As the days go on and a fellow counselor reveals his true, dangerous nature, Wyatt is swept up in a tragic event that impacts all those involved many years into the future. Read more…


Spinning the Tale of Charlotte’s Web

July 14th, 2011 No comments

July 11th marked what would have been writer E.B. White’s 112th birthday. Born Elwyn Brooks White in Mt. Vernon, NY in 1899, the celebrated children’s author passed away in 1985 leaving behind a legacy of beloved stories. Stuart Little, The Trumpet of the Swan and the adored Charlotte’s Web have captivated children of all ages for decades. Publisher’s Weekly recently polled authors, publishers, teachers and librarians on the best children’s books ever published in the U.S., and Charlotte’s Web topped the list. Distinguished nonfiction writer Michael Sims pays tribute to White and delves into the creation of the iconic story of a spider and a pig in the new book The Story of Charlotte’s Web: E. B. White’s Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic. Read more…


The Consequences of Tasteless Tomatoes

July 11th, 2011 No comments

Former Gourmet magazine writer Barry Estabrook provides answers to anyone wondering why today’s supermarket tomatoes taste so bland in his new book Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 240pgs). The author explores tomato farming in South Florida, where the majority of U.S. tomatoes are grown in the winter months. On the surface Florida’s sandy, nutrient poor soil seems an odd choice to grow the red fruit, but the state’s warm winter weather allows the plants to grow in the off season, and farmers compensate by saturating the earth with dozens of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. Growers strive to create a uniformly shaped tomato that is hardy enough to survive transport across the country. The actual taste of the produce is no longer a factor, and even the color is not naturally achieved. Green tomatoes are gassed with ethylene to achieve their dull orange-red color. Read more…