Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Choice of this week's book notices...

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:



Liza Campbell's MEASURE ME AGAINST THE SKY, in which a young painter idolizes Georgia O'Keeffe and moves to Santa Fe to find her artistic voice, only to discover her true talent lies in creating forgeries; when she becomes involved with her black market dealer, she wonders if love is possible between people who are not honest with one another, and if anyone is ever completely honest, to Martin Shepard and Judith Shepard at The Permanent Press, for publication in October 2010, by Elizabeth Evans at Reece Halsey New York.


J.R.R. Tolkien's THE LEGEND OF SIGURD AND GUDRUN, a retelling in English narrative verse of the epic Norse tales, with commentary and notes on the poems by Christopher Tolkien, and an introduction by J.R.R. Tolkien drawn from one of his own lectures on Norse literature, to Ken Carpenter at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, by HarperCollins UK.


Sandra Dallas's (Tallgrass) WHITER THAN SNOW, exploring how catastrophe and fate are reconciled when 9 school-aged children are swept away by an avalanche in a 1920s Colorado mountain town and only 4 survive, to Jennifer Enderlin at St. Martin's, in a two-book deal, by Danielle Egan-Miller at Browne & Miller Literary Associates (NA).

Alice Lichtenstein's LOST, in which three disparate lives intersect one weekend when a woman's husband, suffering from dementia, wanders off on a frigid morning and is found dead by a mute boy, exploring the forces of loss, sorrow, and love, to Samantha Martin at Scribner, for publication in March 2010, by Miriam Altshuler at Miriam Altshuler Literary Agency (World).

National Book Critic Finalist Rick Bass's (Why I Came West) third novel, THE LIVES OF THE BROWNS, a fictional account of three real-life 1950s era country singers from Arkansas who produced a unique and eerie harmony -- the Nashville Sound -- that for a brief period made them the biggest thing in country music, to Nicole Angeloro at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for publication in fall 2010, by Bob Dattila (world).

Sonny Brewer's THE WIDOW AND THE TREE, the tale of a fabled giant oak, guarding a widow's land for hundreds of years, presiding now over a violent crossroad in men's lives and finding the best and worst in them, with cover engraving by Barry Moser, to Pat Walsh at MacAdam/Cage, for publication in Fall 2009, by Caroline Carter at Caroline Carter Literary.


Books editor of The New York Observer Adam Begley's UPDIKE, promising a revealing, in-depth portrait, unsparingly exploring the life and times of John Updike as well as the influence they had on his remarkable body of work, to Tim Duggan at Harper, for publication in 2011, by Georges Borchardt at Georges Borchardt (world English).


Magazine journalist and author of INSIDE SERGEY AND LARRY'S BRAIN, Richard Brandt's INSIDE JEFF'S BRAIN, a profile of Jeff Bezos at Amazon, to Jeffrey Krames at Portfolio, by Al Zuckerman of Writers House (world).


Correspondent for PBS's "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" and news host for WTTW11's "Chicago Tonight" Elizabeth Brackett's PAY TO PLAY: How Rod Blagojevich Turned Political Corruption Into a National Sideshow, going behind the story of the first governor to be impeached by the Illinois legislature, to Ivan R. Dee at Ivan R. Dee, for publication in May 2009 (World).


Salon and New Republic writer Gregory Levey's HOW TO MAKE PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST IN SIX MONTHS OR LESS WITHOUT LEAVING YOUR APARTMENT, which picks up where his first book, SHUT UP I'M TALKING And Other Diplomacy Lessons I Learned in the Israeli Government, left off, after the author has returned from his stint as Ariel Sharon's English language speechwriter, and returns to the states, ready to resume his normal life, only to find that everyone he meets -- from little Jewish grandmothers to diplomats -- has their own plan for solving the middle eastern crisis, and decides to settle the issue once and for all, with humorous results, again to Wylie O'Sullivan at Free Press, by Mollie Glick at Foundry Literary + Media.


Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's memoir in which she "will combine candid narrative and acute analysis to tell the story of her time in the White House and as America's top diplomat, and her role in protecting American security and shaping foreign policy during the extraordinary period from 2001-2009," to Crown, in a major deal, reportedly for "at least $2.5 million" (AP), for publication in 2011, followed by a memoir about her family in 2012, published at the same time in a separate YA version, by Robert Barnett at Williams & Connolly.

Actress (best-known for One Day at a Time) Mackenzie Phillips' memoir, about growing up in a legendary music family (the daughter of John Phillips and stepdaughter of Michelle Phillips), where there was "very little going on inside except sex, drugs and rock-and-roll," the demons she's battled -- including a 20-year fight with drug addiction, a "shocking, life-long secret that she will reveal in-depth for the first time in her book, and finding redemption and peace, to Jennifer Bergstrom at Simon Spotlight Entertainment, with Sarah Sper editing, for publication in March 2010, by Dan Strone at Trident Media Group.


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