Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What A Mix of Coming Books!!!

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


Author of CALAMITY AND OTHER STORIES Daphne Kalotay's RUSSIAN WINTER, set in present day Boston and in Moscow after WWII, telling the story of one of the Soviet Union's greatest ballerinas prior to her defection in 1952 in the face of a terrible betrayal -- who decides to auction her famed jewelry collection, including the rare amber suite that may hold the key to a long-held secret, an event that sets into motion a contemporary academic mystery, and a historical tale charting her rise to stardom and the slow erosion of her closest friendships and her greatest love under the repression of the Stalinist regime, to Jonathan Burnham and Claire Wachtel at Harper, and Iris Tupholme at Harper Canada, at auction, by Dorian Karchmar at the William Morris Agency (NA).

Pushcart Prize nominee Tatjana Soli's THE LOTUS EATERS, following an American combat photographer covering the Vietnam War as she captures the chaos of the conflict on film, breaks into the "man's world" of war photojournalism, and finds herself torn between the love of two men, to Hilary Rubin Teeman at St. Martin's, at auction, by Nat Sobel and Sobel Weber Associates (NA).

Ellen Bryson's HUNGRY, about the lives and unexpected romances of the human Prodigies -- including the Living Skeleton and the Bearded Lady -- at PT Barnum's American Museum in the New York of 1865, to Helen Atsma at Holt, at auction, for publication in Summer 2010, by Mollie Glick at Foundry Literary + Media (NA).


Sarah Graves' STRANGLEHOLD and DEADSPACE, books 14 and 15 in the Home Repair Is Homicide mystery series, placing home repair newbie Jacobia 'Jake' Tiptree in even more precarious situations in the dark spaces and hiding places of rural Maine -- with nuanced home repair tidbits, naturally -- again to Kate Miciak at Bantam Dell, by Christina Hogrebe at Jane Rotrosen Agency (NA).


Kieran Kramer's THE IMPOSSIBLE BACHELORS series, focusing on four Regency-era bachelors commanded by the Prince Regent to participate in a bet to see who among them will remain unwed another year, to Jennifer Enderlin at St. Martin's, in a four-book deal, for publication in spring 2010, by Jenny Bent at The Bent Agency (world).


Anjali Banerjee's novel of magical realism, HAUNTING JASMINE in which a recently divorced Indo-American woman travels to a Pacific Northwest island to run her eccentric great aunt's mysterious bookstore, where she discovers a latent ability to communicate with the spirits of dead authors that inhabit the shop; spirits that help her make the bookstore prosperous, mend family relationships, and learn the many turns love can take, to Wendy McCurdy at Berkley, by Kevan Lyon at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency (world English).

Screenwriter and author of the original screenplay for BLADE RUNNER Hampton Fancher's untitled story collection for publication in Spring 2011, and a memoir to follow, to Sarah Hochman at Simon & Schuster, by Steve Fisher at APA (world).


Jenny Woolf's THE MYSTERY OF LEWIS CARROLL, a new look at the life of the creator of the Alice books using family letters and documents heretofore unseen, to Michael Flamini at St. Martin's, in a nice deal, for publication in Spring 2010 to coincide with the release of Tim Burton's all-star production of "Alice In Wonderland," by Andrew Lownie at the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency (NA).

NYU Stern School of Business professor William Silber's PAUL VOLCKER, CENTRAL BANKER, based on exclusive interviews with Volcker and access to thousands of documents from his career, the definitive professional biography of the former Fed Chairman and an inside account of many defining moments in the economic history of the last half-century, including those unfolding in our current day, to Peter Ginna at Bloomsbury Press, by Eric Lupfer at the William Morris Agency (world English).


J.C. Carleson's CIA MBA: Business Tips from the Clandestine World, by an author who left the corporate world to become an undercover CIA officer, about developing the skills used by operatives to gather intelligence, and applying them in a corporate setting (without breaking the law), to David Moldawer at Portfolio, by Jessica Regel at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency (world).


The Prince of Wales's HARMONY, an analysis of how we view the world today, arguing that in our relentless pursuit of economic growth and technological progress we have become dangerously disconnected from nature, encouraging us to restore the lost balance between man and nature and to follow a more philosophical path which reconnects humankind with ancient wisdom and intuition, to Jonathan Burnham and Lisa Sharkey at Harper, with Matt Harper in the US and Myles Archibald in UK editing, with Patrick Janson-Smith publishing through Blue Door in the UK, on an exclusive submission, for publication in 2010, and a picture book version for publication in 2011, to Katherine Tegen, by Robert Barnett at Williams & Connolly (world).

Lieutenant Colonel (USAR) Anthony Shaffer's account, written with Washington Post writer Jacqui Salmon, of his Jack Bauer-like black ops work in Afghanistan, offering raw, on-the-ground story-telling and compelling evidence as to how to win in that country, arguing that the way to victory does not include sending in more ground troops, to Thomas Dunne at Thomas Dunne Books, by Deborah Grosvenor at Kneerim & Williams (World).


King Abdullah II of Jordan's THE LAST BEST CHANCE: An Intimate Account of the Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril, promising "a full and frank reckoning with the most explosive issues he faces," writing from "a conviction that a window of opportunity now exists for peace in the region, coupled with a fear that this window is closing rapidly," to Clare Ferraro at Viking Penguin, with Joy de Menil editing, for publication in May 2010, by Andrew Wylie of The Wylie Agency (world English).

Arizona Cardinals quarterback and 2008 NFL Man of the Year Kurt Warner and Brenda Warner's FIRST THINGS FIRST: The Rules of Being a Warner, an intimate, no-holds-barred look at life inside the Warner household, their marriage, and the fun and challenges of raising seven kids, focusing on the family values of family, faith, and giving to others, to Carol Traver at Tyndale, for publication in June 2009, by Scott Waxman and Holly Root at Waxman Literary Agency, in association with Rob Lefko at Priority Sports & Entertainment (NA).


Physicist and author of FERMAT'S LAST THEOREM Amir Aczel's C.E.R.N.: The World's Greatest Experiment, a firsthand account of how the most powerful particle accelerator ever built is discovering the as yet unresolved mysteries of the atom, to John Glusman at Harmony, in a good deal, by Al Zuckerman at Writers House (world).


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Where writers live...

From the NY Times:

Irish Cottage Becomes Authors’ Home

Published: April 28, 2009
DALKEY, Ireland

It is a half-hour train ride from Dublin to Dalkey, a wind-swept seaside village favored by many of Ireland’s elite, including the best-selling novelist Maeve Binchy.

Mrs. Binchy, 68, and her husband, the children’s book writer Gordon Snell, 76, live in a brick cottage built in 1847, on a winding road near the train station, several trendy restaurants and a traditional Irish pub that is often more convenient for meals than their diminutive kitchen. “If we are in the hallway next to the front door, I will often say to Gordon, ‘Come on, let’s go to the pub. It’s closer,’ ” Mrs. Binchy said.

When the couple bought the house, called Pollyvilla, in 1980, it was a one-story, red-brick cottage with four small rooms and a narrow kitchen and bathroom. They were living in London and intended to use the house on weekends and, eventually, to retire there. The choice of location was an easy decision: Mrs. Binchy was born in Dalkey and much of her family still lives here.

“We were complete eejits when we found the home,” she said, using Irish slang for idiot.

[Use link above to continue reading]


Monday, April 27, 2009

From Secrecy News:


At the direction of Congress, the Congressional Research Service does not make its products directly available to the public. Recent CRS reports obtained by Secrecy News include the following (all pdf).

"Legal Analysis of Religious Exemptions for Photo Identification Requirements," April 13, 2009.

"Federal Advisory Committees: An Overview," April 16, 2009.

"Piracy Off the Horn of Africa," April 21, 2009.

"FY2009 Spring Supplemental Appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations," April 17, 2009.

"Organized Crime in the United States: Trends and Issues for Congress," April 16, 2009.

"Disconnected Youth: A Look at 16- to 24-Year Olds Who Are Not Working or In School," April 22, 2009.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Docs in Mexico City dying from Swine Flu....

From BBC:

I work as a resident doctor in one of the biggest hospitals in Mexico City and sadly, the situation is far from "under control". As a doctor, I realise that the media does not report the truth. Authorities distributed vaccines among all the medical personnel with no results, because two of my partners who worked in this hospital (interns) were killed by this new virus in less than six days even though they were vaccinated as all of us were. The official number of deaths is 20, nevertheless, the true number of victims are more than 200. I understand that we must avoid to panic, but telling the truth it might be better now to prevent and avoid more deaths.
Yeny Gregorio Dávila, Mexico City


Note: This is just one of many comments in the BBC article. To read more, go to the link above.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

GOP...Not American anymore....

From c.j. :

I've come to the conlculsion that Republicans aren't Americans any more; they're just Republicans with an agenda that involves one basic idea: Power. This explains why conservatives can root for the failure of Obama's bailout plans, instead of offering a reasonable alternative. That explains why the Republican members of congress can vote blindly against any Democratic legislation .

They aren't Americans any more and we all have to recognize that we have an alien group posing as the "loyal opposition." The GOP [Greedy Old Party} is no longer loyal to anything but themselves. They are willing to lie about anything to accomplish their one end; return to power. The conservative majority on the Supreme Court is a party to all this, and if you don't believe that, remember who put George Bush in power. I find it very interesting, and telling, that a major contributor to Bush's campaign was Ken Lay, [the Enron criminal] who gave him $250,000.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A JJ Book Review....

From Review by JJ (

“The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane” from Hyperion, June 2009

This June, readers who love being plunked down in places of long ago are in for a treat. Katherine Howe’s “The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane” is like a walk in another time. Set part in present day, and part in the Salem of olde, this story wraps the reader in history and transports the imagination to days when the world and women were misunderstood and magic ruled, to a time when smart women were vilified and destroyed out of fear. While closing her mother’s house over a summer and working on her doctoral dissertation, main character Connie Goodwin discovers a key which unlocks powerful Salem secrets, long buried but restless still. As the story unfolded in my mind’s eye, I was transported back to a world of lamplight and superstition where shadows lurk in dark corners. Although I read beneath a bright halogen bulb, the places I saw were lit by the glow of oil lamps or flickering fireplace flames. Characters faded in and out, disappearing into the gloom or appearing suddenly as if conjured wickedly from whole cloth. I envy anyone reading this book for the first time but it’s best done in the quiet of an evening for you won’t want to be disturbed. Katherine Howe’s debut book is one not to be missed.


An Interesting mess of books...

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


Imogen Robertson's INSTRUMENTS OF DARKNESS, featuring a reclusive anatomist and a sea captain's wife cum country estate mistress, who combine efforts to discover the truth behind a series of brutal murders all linked to the mysterious Thornleigh Hall, to Pamela Dorman at Pamela Dorman Books, in a two-book deal, by Headline Publishing Group (US).
Jane Morpeth at Review acquired world rights.
Translation: Joanna Kaliszewska at Headline

29-year-old Emma Rathbone's debut novel THE PATTERNS OF PAPER MONSTERS, about an anguished yet observant 17-year-old boy trapped in a juvenile detention center, to Oliver Haslegrave at Reagan Arthur Books, for publication in 2010, by Jim Rutman at Sterling Lord Literistic (NA).

Tiphanie Yanique's HOW TO ESCAPE FROM A LEPER COLONY, a short story collection set mostly in the US Virgin Islands, part oral history, part postcolonial narrative, a loving portrait of a wholly unique place, to Fiona McCrae at Graywolf, for publication in March 2010, by Elise Capron at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency (World).


Dieter Schlesak's CAPESIUS: the Chemist of Auschwitz, about the personal encounter between victims and perpetrator that used to be next-door neighbors, based on a true story, blending narrative, documentation and flashbacks based on interviews, letters and recordings, to Jonathan Galassi at Farrar, Straus, in a nice deal, by Piergiorgio Nicolazzini at Piergiorgio Nicolazzini Literary Agency (world English).

Author of Dear American Airlines Jonathan Miles' WANT NOT, a darkly comic novel that traces the lives of three characters, a dumpster-diving freegan, a 9/11 widow recently remarried, and a linguistics expert charged with determining a way to warn future generations about this generation's nuclear waste, as each searches for fulfillment amidst the detritus and excess of everyday life until their worlds collide, to Susan Canavan at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for publication in 2011, by Sloan Harris at ICM.

UC Irvine MFA and book editor Brando Skyhorse's novel in stories, AMEXICANS, for publication in June 2010, and a memoir, THINGS MY FATHERS TAUGHT ME, for publication in October 2011, to Amber Qureshi at Free Press, at auction, by Susan Golomb at Susan Golomb Agency.

Lisa Moore's FEBRUARY, about complex love and cauterizing grief, set around the disastrous sinking of an oil rig off the coast of Newfoundland, to Elisabeth Schmitz at Grove/Atlantic, for publication in February 2010, by House of Anansi Press (US). All other rights are with Anne McDermid Associates.

THE TEN BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE author Adena Halpern's 29, in which a 75-year old woman gets one day of youth, and brings her family together in surprising and inspiring ways, to Trish Lande Grader at Touchstone Fireside, in a two-book deal, for publication in Spring 2010, by Brian DeFiore at DeFiore and Company (NA).


NYT bestselling author of IMPERIAL HUBRIS and MARCHING TOWARD HELL and former head of the CIA's Osama bin Laden Unit Michael Scheuer's OSAMA BIN LADEN: A biography, showing bin Laden to be a talented and ruthless politician and a formidable enemy the West has seriously underestimated, to Tim Bent at Oxford University Press, by Stuart Krichevsky at the Stuart Krichevsky Agency (World).

Whitbread award-winning historian John Guy's biography of Thomas Becket: once a close friend and advisor to Henry II then fierce opponent and martyred victim, the story of one man's fierce resistance to the overwhelming forces of government still resonates today, to John Flicker at Random House, by Grainne Fox at Fletcher & Company, on behalf of Peter Robinson in the UK (NA).


Chairman Emeritus of AOL; owner of many sports teams including the Washington Capitals [NHL]; documentary film producer; philanthropist; and serial entrepreneur Ted Leonsis's THE BUSINESS OF HAPPINESS, which explains the connection between personal happiness and professional success, with contributions from major celebrities (Robert Redford, Bono, Ashley Judd, etc.), to Marji Ross at Regnery, by Laney Katz Becker and Jeff Kleinman at Folio Literary Management (NA).


Bon Appetit's THE BON APPETIT DESSERTS COOKBOOK, a comprehensive guide to all things sweet and wonderful, with more than 850 recipes, to Kirsty Melville at Andrews McMeel.


Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal's book about his life, "lessons I've learned throughout my life," and policy ideas, written with Peter Schweizer, to Regnery, for publication in 2010, by Glen Hartley at Writers' Representatives.

Evan Mandery's THE KILLING COURT, the story of two landmark Supreme Court cases: Furman v Georgia in 1972 that abolished the death penalty and Gregg v Georgia that reinstated it a mere four years later, focusing on the people involved: the justices themselves, the lawyers and the plaintiffs; and, what happened in those four years that made the Court "change its mind," to Christopher Lehmann-Haupt at Delphinium, in a nice deal, for publication in 2011, by Janet Reid at FinePrint Literary Management.


THE GHOSTS OF MISSISSIPPI author Dean Faulkner Wells' THE PILOT'S DAUGHTER: A Memoir of the Faulkners of Mississippi, in which William Faulkner's niece tells the story of growing up as the famous author's surrogate daughter, providing insights into both William and the Faulkner family which have never been published, to John Glusman at Harmony, at auction, by Jeff Kleinman at Folio Literary Management (NA). Rights: Celeste Fine at Folio Literary Management.


Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson's THE GREAT TYPO HUNT: Changing The World, One Punctuation Error at a Time, in which two young men set off on a quest to right the wrongs of punctuation, and find more than they'd bargained for (the typos become a window into history, education, racism, and life), until they correct one error and fall onto the wrong side of the law, to Julia Pastore at Harmony, in a pre-empt, by Jeff Kleinman at Folio Literary Management (World English).
Translation: Celeste Fine of Folio Literary Management

Judy Dutton's SCIENCE FAIR SEASON, detailing the secret lives of kids competing in the high-stakes world of international science fairs and what it takes to win, to Sarah Landis at Hyperion, in a pre-empt, by Douglas Stewart at Sterling Lord Literistic (NA).


New York Magazine's sports columnist and the founder of Will Leitch's BASEBALL 2.0: Fathers, Sons, and the Great Game in the New Century, assessing various beloved aspects of the game -- from umpires (a disproportionate number of whom apparently live with their mothers) to statistical trends, all the while experiencing, with his dad and his buddy, a contest that will decide each team's season, to Will Balliett at Hyperion, for publication on Father's Day 2010, by David Gernert at The Gernert Company (NA).


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Idiots abound...

From Levine Breaking News:


The rising number of fat people was yesterday blamed for global warming. Scientists warned that the increase in big-eaters means more food production a major cause of CO2 gas emissions warming the planet. Overweight people are also more likely to drive, adding to environmental damage.

This is damned foolishness. I guess "overweight" people are now the next ones in the barrel for all those righteous assholes out there among us.

And...I'm reading today that CA is about to add 10 cents to the cost of a glass of beer. What about the bottles?


Monday, April 20, 2009

San Diego's paper...going Dem or staying Repub?

From Voice of San Diego:

U-T's Editorial Page Waits for Cue from New Owner

Will the paper keep the conservative mark on its opinion pages? Other Black Press dailies support Democrats, but the new owner's CEO gave money to GOP

[Use link above to continue reading]


Sunday, April 19, 2009

So Here Are Our Navy SEALs....

From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

No stardom, no glitz, just honor for SEALs
2:00 a.m. April 19, 2009

I half-expected them to appear on “The Today Show.”

Or maybe toss out the first pitch at that new Yankee Stadium. Or show up in grainy video on, grabbing a latte at Starbucks.

I'm conditioned that way. In this age of instant celebrity, I figured the three Navy SEAL snipers who took out three pirates off the coast of Somalia last week would get the full star treatment.

Lady GaGa gets it. David Beckham gets it. Even a sweet Scottish spinster who can belt out Broadway tunes is getting it.

Not these guys. We won't even learn their names. They remain anonymous because they and the Navy want it that way.

The SEALs are true heroes, of course, but they're the old-fashioned kind. They do the amazing and then slip back into the scenery, leaving us to wonder who they were.

They're different. Way, way different. And that's refreshing.

[Use link above to continue reading]


Saturday, April 18, 2009

We Owe?....Here's the List....

From Levine Breaking News:


Total public debt subject to limit April 16 11,125,587
Statutory debt limit 12,104,000
Total public debt outstanding April 16 11,183,899
Operating balance April 16 257,351
Interest fiscal year 2009 thru February 148,762
Interest same period 2008 198,518
Deficit fiscal year 2009 thru February 764,525
Deficit same period 2008 264,541
Receipts fiscal year 2009 thru February 860,877
Receipts same period 2008 967,153
Outlays fiscal year 2009 thru February 1,625,402
Outlays same period 2008 1,231,694
Gold assets in March 11,041


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Future Books On The Way....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


Catherine Hall's DAYS OF GRACE, about an intense war-time friendship, a suppressed passion, a jealous crime and a corrosive secret kept for decades, to Molly Stern at Viking Penguin, with Kendra Harpster editing, in a very nice deal, by David Marshall at Marshall Rights on behalf of Portobello Books (NA).


Scott Turow's INNOCENT, a sequel to the bestseller Presumed Innocent, as Rusty Sabich and Tommy Molto are, once again, pitted against each other in a riveting psychological match after the mysterious death of Rusty's wife, to Deb Futter at Grand Central, for publication in May 2010, by Gail Hochman at Brandt & Hochman (NA).


Andrew Winer's THE MARRIAGE ARTIST, weaving together the present-day story of a New York art critic investigating the apparent double-suicide of his wife with the artist whose career the critic made, and the story a child prodigy in Nazi-controlled Vienna who creates dazzlingly illuminated Jewish marriage contracts, to Webster Younce at Holt, for publication in 2010, by Jennifer Rudolph Walsh at William Morris Agency (NA).

Nadifa Mohamed's BLACK MAMBA BOY, about a young Somali boy's thousand-mile journey through East Africa in the midst of World War II, based on family stories, to Courtney Hodell at Farrar, Straus, for publication in Spring 2010, by Ben Mason at Conville & Walsh (US).

Gods of Aberdeen author Micah Nathan's MEMPHIS IS BURNING, about a recent college grad who takes a job as a driver for a mysterious old man who may or may not be a still-living Elvis, and the perilous 900 mile trip they make from Buffalo to Memphis to find the elder's granddaughter, which is also the protagonist's journey to self-discovery, to Brett Valley at Three Rivers Press, by Jud Laghi at LJK Literary Management (NA).
Film/TV: Sarah Self at The Gersh Agency


Formerly of The Wall Street Journal and Fortune, Erik Calonius's VISION, a contrarian look at how a few business leaders fearlessly set goals for the very long term, executing plans over ten or twenty years resulting in legendary achievements, including the latest neuroscience on visionary thinking, with tips on developing your own vision, to David Moldawer at Portfolio, by Danielle Svetcov and James Levine at Levine Greenberg Literary Agency (world).

Author of The Rise of the Creative Class Richard Florida's RESET: How the Economic Crisis Will Forever Change Our Economy, Society, and the Way We Live, to Hollis Heimbouch at Harper Business, in a pre-empt, and Anne Collins at Random House Canada, in a pre-empt; by James Levine at Levine Greenberg Literary Agency.

Rights to Caroline Rothmuller at Campus/ Elsevier in Brazil, by International Editors, on behalf of Levine Greenberg.

Former NYT writer and author of WHEN THE WAR WAS OVER, Elizabeth Becker's untitled work examining the thriving seven trillion dollar travel and tourism industry, how it too often wreaks havoc around the globe, and how some are fixing the problem, to Alice Mayhew at Simon & Schuster, by David Halpern at The Robbins Office (NA).

History/Politics/Current Affairs
International Herald Tribune columnist and frequent NYT contributor Anand Giridharadas's INDIA CALLING, a portrait of the paradoxes of India's economic and cultural transformation, told not only as a journalist but also as a young Indian-American seeking to reconcile the India his parents left behind with the globalized and liberalized country it has become, to Paul Golob at Times Books, in a pre-empt, by Steve Wasserman at Kneerim & Williams (world).

Bill Press's TOXIC TALK, an analysis of the causes, effects, and possible antidotes to far right domination of US air waves, to Tom Dunne at Thomas Dunne Books, by Ronald Goldfarb at Goldfarb & Associates (World).


Author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Seth Graham-Smith's ABRAHAM LINCOLN: Vampire Hunter, a re-imagined biography of the president, if he were a vampire hunter, to Benjamin Greenberg at Grand Central, by Claudia Ballard at William Morris Agency.


Death-row attorney and expert on death penalty law at the University of Houston David Dow's THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN EXECUTION, an "emotional and memoiristic account" of his work representing death-row inmantes, focused on a case in which he became convinced of his client's innocence, to Jonathan Karp at Twelve, at auction, for publication in February 2010, by Simon Lipskar at Writers House (US).

Former secretary-general and Nobel Prize winner Kofi Annan's memoirs, called "a personal biography of global statecraft, as much memoir as a guide to world order, past, present, and future," drawing on a detailed record of his interaction with major world figures and covering both the highs and lows of his initiatives and tenure, providing a guide for global leadership in the 21st century, to Ann Godoff at Penguin Press, by Andrew Wylie of The Wylie Agency (world English).


Glenn Plaskin's KATIE: Up & Down the Hall, The True Story of How One Dog Turned Four Neighbors into a Family, based upon his Family Circle article "Granny Down the Hall," about his close relationship to an octogenarian neighbor, and the Cocker Spaniel that witnesses how three generations of strangers and a dog create their own little family amidst the pressures, haste and intensity of big-city life, to Harry Helm at Center Street, for publication in September 2010, by Jan Miller of Dupree/Miller (NA).

Eric Siblin's THE CELLO SUITES: In Search of Bach's Masterpiece, part biography, part music history, and part literary mystery, weaving together three strands of an evolving story involving Johann Sebastian Bach, Pablo Casals and the search for a missing baroque masterpiece, to Joan Bingham at Grove/Atlantic, for publication in December 2009, by Swanna MacNair at Fletcher & Company (US).


THE SOUNDS OF STAR WARS, featuring an audio module and illustrations, presenting the sounds of Luke Skywalker's lightsaber, the Millennium Falcon's hyperspace drive, and Jabba the Hutt's laugh along with stories behind them, produced under license by Lucasfilm, to Chronicle, for publication in fall 2010 release, produced by Becker & Mayer (NA).


Primatologist and journalist Andrew Westoll's THIRTEEN CHIMPANZEES, a remarkable group portrait of chimpanzees and the people who care for them at Fauna Sanctuary in Quebec as they recover from the trauma of years of use as laboratory subjects and learn how to trust humans and, more importantly, how to be chimps again, to Lindsey Smith at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for publication in Spring 2011, by Swanna McNair at Fletcher & Company, on behalf of Martha Magor at Anne McDermid Associates (US).

Pop!Tech conference curator and futurist Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy's RESILIENCE: The Science of Why Things Bounce Back, introducing the concepts and players in the new field of resilience science, taking readers from groundbreaking ecological expeditions inside the Caribbean coral reefs to research in fields as wide ranging as neuroscience, robotics, primatology and diplomacy, and examining the latest insights from resilience science "hot houses" like the Max Planck Institute in Germany and the Resilience Alliance in Sweden, offering readers a tool kit of practical lessons that will enable businesses, institutions and ecosystems to better "bounce back" in the midst of shock and change, to Will Murphy at Random House, at auction, by Zoe Pagnamenta at the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency (NA).

German rights to Gerhard Riemann at Random House Verlag, in a pre-empt, by Petra Eggers at Eggers & Landwehr, on behalf of Pagnamenta.


Space & Solar Power Capture...

From The Christian Science Monitor:

Solar power captured in space, beamed to Earth

Blog: West Coast energy giant PG&E unveiled a plan this week to put solar panels in orbit and wirelessly beam energy down to Earth by 2016.

Read More ...

[Use link above to continue reading]


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Update on SEAL vs Seal...

The Washington Post wasted no time correcting their headline from Seals to SEALs, and their quick response is very much appreciated.

Had one of the original Green Berets email that the various groups, like the Rangers and the Green Berets, et al, also resent being grouped under the single title of Special Forces. They, too, would like credit for what their own groups do.

The original Green Beret guy, Edward Fitzgerald, also wrote a wonderful book on their training experiences entitled, "Bank's Bandits".


SE-a A-ir L-and equals US Navy SEALs...Pay Attention!!!

From Washington Post:

Mombasa, Kenya, April 12 -- An American captain being held by Somali pirates was freed unharmed Sunday in an operation carried out by U.S. Navy Seals, U.S. military officials said. Three of the pirates were killed and the fourth was captured.

************* Good God!!! Blasted reporters and editors STILL don't know that it's NOT's SEALs. SEAL is an acronym which stand for the various places from which SEALs can and do attack: SEa Air Land. They are not a stamped wax seal nor are they fish.

And every other newspaper, it seems, even NBC San Diego online. They all screw it up.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Navy SEAL: If I catch 'em, I'll kill ''em.....

From The Houston Chronicle:

Survivor of war loses dog to random violence
Beloved pet's killing reopens old wounds for former Navy SEAL
Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle
April 9, 2009, 3:15PM

Dasy, a Lab, was shot April 1 at age 4.

All it took was the gunshot fired outside his Walker County home to trigger training ingrained in former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, the lone survivor of a dramatic battle in Afghanistan in 2005.

He did a sweep through the house. Checked on his mother. And bolted out the door, where he found dead his beloved Labrador retriever, Dasy, a dog given to him to help him recover from his own wounds and the loss of his fellow Navy comrades.

“I could tell she tried to get away because there was a blood trail,” Luttrell recalled in a phone interview Wednesday. “When I saw she was dead, the only thing that popped into my head was, ‘I’ve got to take these guys out.’ ”

Shrouded in darkness, Luttrell, who’d just been released from the hospital after another round of surgery, crawled under a fence, skirted a ditch and sneaked up on four strangers in a sedan who apparently killed the dog on a whim. Luttrell said they were oblivious as he raised a 9 mm pistol from about 25 yards away and had one of them dead to rights.

But as the car pulled away, he didn’t fire.

Instead, he scrambled back to his pickup and launched what became a wild 40-mile chase that reached speeds of over 100 mph and crossed three counties.

“I did everything right; I didn’t do anything wrong,” he told the Houston Chronicle of the April 1 incident. “Make sure everyone knows they cold-bloodily murdered.”

Luttrell stayed on the line with a 911 emergency operator as he tried to catch the car, which was just a bit too fast for his four-door truck to overtake.

“I told them, ‘You need to get somebody out here because if I catch them I’m going to kill them,’ ” Luttrell recalled telling the operator.

[Use link above to continue reading]


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Selection of Very Different Books...

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:



Richard Harvell's THE BELLS, the confession of a thief, kidnapper, and unlikely lover, a boy with the voice of an angel whose exquisite sense of hearing became his life's greatest blessing and curse -- he escapes his murderous father and finds refuge in a church choir, only to endure becoming one of the world's most famous castrati -- to Sarah Knight at Shaye Areheart Books, in a pre-empt, by Daniel Lazar at Writers House, for publication in Fall 2010 (world).
Canadian rights to Anne Collins at Random House Canada, at auction, by Daniel Lazar.

Helen Simonson's MAJOR PETTIGREW'S LAST STAND, set in the English countryside, about a retired British Major and a Pakistani shopkeeper whose shared love for Kipling draws them together, but whose romance scandalizes the small village they live in, to Susan Kamil at Random House, in a pre-empt, for publication in 2010, by Julie Barer at Barer Literary (NA).

Gin Phillips' Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award-winning debut novel THE WELL AND THE MINE, set in a small Alabama coal-mining town during the Depression, exploring the value of community, charity, family, and hope during a time of hardship, to Geoff Kloske at Riverhead, for republication in trade paperback in April 2009, by Hawthorne Books & Literary Arts (world).


Tad Williams's SLEEPING LATE ON JUDGMENT DAY, HAPPY HOUR IN HELL, and ANGELS RUSH IN, a new urban fantasy series about an afterline investigator, who searches for a missing soul and finds himself caught in a battle much larger than he could have imagined, to Betsy Wollheim at Daw, by Matt Bialer at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates (NA).


Author of CITY OF THE SUN and the forthcoming WHERE THE DEAD LAY David Levien's next two thrillers, to Jason Kaufman at Doubleday, by David Gernert at The Gernert Company.


Lola Shoneyin's THE SECRET LIFE OF BABA SEGI'S WIVES, a Nigerian Big Love, about the unexpected consequences that result when a polygamist brings home a fourth wife who is not only younger, but a college graduate, to Carrie Feron at William Morrow, in a pre-empt, by Ayesha Pande at Collins Literary.
UK: Jessica Woollard at The Marsh Agency

Monica McInerney's AT HOME WITH THE ARKWRIGHTS, following four adult siblings as the compete for their family inheritance, to Laura Ford at Ballantine, in a very nice deal, for publication in 2011, by Grainne Fox at Fletcher & Company, on behalf of Jonathan Lloyd at Curtis Brown UK (US.)


NFL stars and brothers Peyton Manning and Eli Manning, along with their father, retired quarterback Archie Manning's FAMILY HUDDLE, about the brothers and their family, to Scholastic, for publication in September 2009.
Peyton and Eli Manning will also serve as the first Scholastic Book Clubs' ClassroomsCare Ambassadors of Reading, and Scholastic will donate up to one million books in the Manning name to children who might not otherwise have access to quality children's books.

High-school teacher and sister of President Obama, Maya Soetoro-Ng's LADDER TO THE MOON, wonders what her four-year-old daughter might have learned from her grandmother had the two ever met, celebrating her mother's enduring legacy of service, to Karen Lotz at Candlewick, by Jennifer Gates at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency.


CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HIT MAN author John Perkins' PERSPECTIVES OF AN ECONOMIC HIT MAN, an insider's perspective on the events that created the current economic crises and the solutions for the future, to Roger Scholl at Broadway, for publication in Fall 2009, by Paul Fedorko at Trident Media Group (World).


Author of STRAPLESS Deborah Davis's BOOKER T. COMES TO WASHINGTON: The Infamous White House Dinner, the Scandal that Followed, and the Unlikely Partnership that Transformed America, using the story of the first time a black man had dinner in the White House as a window into 1901 America, the backstory of blacks who served in the White House (and occasionally penned the White House tell all), and the remarkable rise and partnership of Booker T. Washington and the host President Theodore Roosevelt, to Peter Borland at Atria, in a pre-empt, in a good deal, by Scott Waxman at Waxman Literary Agency.


Emmy award-winning journalist Rita Cosby's HEROES AMONG US, a deeply personal story of courage, humanity, and history, to Anthony Ziccardi at Pocket, with Abby Ziddle editing, for Spring 2010 publication, by Steve Troha and David Vigliano at Vigliano Associates (NA).


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

CIA is hidebound....

From Christian Science Monitor:

The CIA's National Clandestine Service urgently needs reform.
By Joseph W. Augustyn
from the April 7, 2009 edition

Fairfax, Va. - A few years ago, as a case officer with what is now called the National Clandestine Service (NCS), I was involved in an operation that had the potential to yield valuable intelligence on a rogue state's financial stability and political intentions toward the United States.

To help me, I needed another Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer with the background and expertise of a sophisticated international banker. Given the nature of the operation and the political and diplomatic risks involved if exposed, I also needed CIA headquarters approval.

I got neither.

Why? Because the type of operation I was proposing had not been done before, and the person I needed to help did not exist on the CIA payroll.

Let me be clear: What the NCS has accomplished post-9/11 has been remarkable. The clandestine service has helped keep America safe and continues to be the envy of every spy service in the world. What makes this achievement even more remarkable, however, is that the NCS has done this with a bureaucracy, an organizational structure, a personnel promotion system, and an approach to operational activity better suited to the 20th century. At some point, the NCS needs to change in the face of 21st-century challenges. That time has come.

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Monday, April 06, 2009

New Army Field Manual now online...

From Secrecy News:


"Tactics in Counterinsurgency" (large pdf), a new Army Field Manual that was published on the website of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and then removed from public access, is now available on the FAS website.

The new manual, a substantial addition to the literature of counterinsurgency, was reported last week in the Washington Post and Inside the Army. "After The Post raised questions about its contents last week," wrote Walter Pincus of the Post on March 31, "it was taken down" from the Army website, even though the document is marked for unrestricted release.

An email inquiry to the Army inquiring why it had been removed was not answered.

See "Tactics in Counterinsurgency," U.S. Army Field Manual Interim 3-24.2, March 2009 (6.2 MB PDF, 307 pages).

"Setbacks are normal in counterinsurgency, as in every other form of war," the new manual advises (p. C-5). "You will make mistakes, lose people, or occasionally kill or detain the wrong person.... If this happens, don’t lose heart, simply drop back to the previous phase of your game plan and recover your balance."


Sunday, April 05, 2009

From posts to Cheney...

Man, I have been remiss in getting posts up here. That's what happens when time skids past. I've just visited the Indy Weblogs at and was shocked to see just 4 posts on the 7PM 2 bloggers. Weekends are usually slower than weekdays, but this is beyond the pale when posts usually number around 60 or so in the majority of 4 hour sections. Old posts disappear every 4 hours and new ones come up. Might see 4 posts total at 3AM, but usually there are more than 4 even at that hour.

75 degrees here in San Diego today. Nothing but blue in those skies. Perfect beach weather.

Three of us drove downtown to the Gaslamp Qtr on 5th Ave late yesterday afternoon. Had dinner at Chianti's, a super good Italian restaurant. And they have tiramasu to kill for! Wonder how that fabulous dessert came to be.

About now 16,500 conventioneers are either already up and running or ready to be tomorrow morn at the Convention Center. Yeah, the big one down on Harbor Drive. In a few days, another one of the same size is due in. The restaurants in the Gaslamp love it, as do the nearby hotels.

The topic of the day, of course, is Prez Obama's trip to the G-20 gathering in London, followed by he and Michelle's visits to various other nations on the other side of the pond. They've received great receptions from the citizens wherever they went. I believe people not only like Obama very much but are also so relieved he's not a Bush or Cheney clone they can hardly stand it.

Which leads me to wonder what W's reception will be when he throws out the first ball at the Rangers' opening game. I'll give him this much: He says Obama deserves his silence. He's right. Cheney, of course, can't keep his nasty mouth shut.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

An April 1st Selection of Books....No Joke...

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:



Kelly O'Connor McNees's THE LOST SUMMER OF LOUISA MAY ALCOTT, imagining a romance that could have taken place in summer of 1855, when poverty forced the Alcott family to move to a New Hampshire village where Louisa may have fallen in love and ultimately had to chose between a man she loved and her dream of becoming a writer, to Amy Einhorn of Amy Einhorn Books, in a pre-empt, by Marly Rusoff of Marly Rusoff & Associates (NA).


Melanie Benjamin's ALICE I HAVE BEEN, in which Alice Liddell at eighty looks back on her entire life, including her years as a child spent with Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who would be inspired by Alice to write ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND as Lewis Carroll, to Kate Miciak at Bantam Dell, by Laura Langlie (world).

Eric Gansworth's EXTRA INDIANS, exploring the ghostly presence of American Indians in contemporary culture, and the attempts to exert their real stories in the national identity, to James Cihlar at Milkweed, for publication in Fall 2010 (World).

Winner of the 2009 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Southeast Asia, Christos Tsiolkas's THE SLAP, exploring contemporary multicultural middle class values in suburban Melbourne, through a range of characters' reactions to a singular incident: one man slaps another couple's child at a neighborhood picnic, to Alexis Washam at Penguin, by Wenona Byrne at Allen & Unwin.

NYT bestselling author Sara Poole's POISON, the first of three historical novels set in Renaissance Italy during the reign of the Borgias, featuring the daughter of the official court poisoner, to Charles Spicer at St. Martin's, by Andrea Cirillo at Jane Rotrosen Agency.

Alice Kaplan's TO LIVE IN FRANCE, the stories of three women who went to live in France as students, Jacqueline Bouvier (1949-1950), Susan Sontag (1957-1958), and Angela Davis (1963-1964) and how each was uniquely and profoundly affected by a year of study in Paris and how that year not only shaped the rest of their lives but the course of American culture and politics, to Alan Thomas of University of Chicago Press, by Marly Rusoff of Marly Rusoff & Associates (World English).

Alice Kaplan's TO LIVE IN FRANCE, the stories of three women who went to live in France as students, Jacqueline Bouvier (1949-1950), Susan Sontag (1957-1958), and Angela Davis (1963-1964) and how each was uniquely and profoundly affected by a year of study in Paris and how that year not only shaped the rest of their lives but the course of American culture and politics, to Alan Thomas of University of Chicago Press, by Marly Rusoff of Marly Rusoff & Associates (World English).



Author of five NYT bestsellers about the Kennedy family, Edward Klein's TED KENNEDY: The Dream That Never Died, a balanced and ultimately redemptive portrait of the ailing Senator, promising revelations about Kennedy's relations with the Kopechne family; internal Kennedy family friction, and niece Caroline's abrupt withdrawal from consideration for the New York senatorial slot, to Rick Horgan at Crown, for publication in May 2009 (tying in with a Vanity Fair excerpt), by Dan Strone at Trident Media Group (world).


Former Secretary of the Treasury and former ceo of Goldman Sachs Henry Paulson, Jr.'s book, including his "personal recollections of key moments and decisions" and "his insights on what has happened since he left office," also "about where I see markets developing and where I think policies should go," with a focus on "my recollection of the events that I was at the center of," to Rick Wolff at Business Plus, on an exclusive submission, for publication in October 2009, by Robert Barnett at Williams & Connolly.


Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Linda Greenhouse's ABORTION AND THE COURT: Roe v Wade and the Struggle to Define Abortion Rights, presenting the Supreme Court's various decisions regarding abortion in the context of the roiling times in which the decisions were wrought, dispelling much anachronistic thinking about what rights the Roe v Wade decision actually granted to women, to Don Fehr at Kaplan (world).

Chief political columnist for Politico and NYT bestselling author Roger Simon's untitled book, about presidential stagecraft from FDR to Obama - full of telling anecdotes and previously unheard behind-the-scenes details - that examines how presidents shape and are shaped by their own image-making, and how this can make or break their presidencies, to David Patterson at Holt, by Gail Ross at Gail Ross Literary Agency (NA).


Brooke Berman's NO PLACE LIKE HOME, a humorous and touching memoir about the author's quest for artistic success and home in thirty different apartments in New York City, over a span of twenty years; based on the author's award-winning play, HUNTING AND GATHERING, to Julia Pastore at Harmony, in a very nice deal, for publication in Summer 2010, by Swanna MacNair at Fletcher & Company (NA).


Founding editor of Valleywag Nick Douglas's TWITTER WIT: Brilliance in 140 Characters or Less, the first authorized Twitter book, a collection of the thousand funniest tweets, with submissions from celebrities and unknown bloggers and a foreword by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, to Kate Hamill at It Books, for publication in fall 2009, by Luke Janklow at Janklow & Nesbit (world).


Physicist and journalist James Owen Weatherall's SEND PHYSICS, MATH, AND MONEY!, exploring the role of physicists and mathematicians in creating the models that became the basis of an industry - and the source of the current financial meltdown - and tracing the history of "complex financial instruments" such as derivatives, from the Greeks to the early Japanese and Dutch futures markets to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to their ultimate use in global finance, to Amanda Cook at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, at auction, by Zoe Pagnamenta of the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency (NA).


Finally, Good News....ACLU saved the day...

From Information Clearing House:

Judge Must Release Woman Sentenced to Jail for Being Poor, ACLU Says in Court Papers:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan asked for an emergency hearing today on behalf of an Escanaba woman sentenced to 30 days in jail because she is too poor to reimburse the court for her son's stay in a juvenile detention facility.

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PS: By damn it's excellent to see real justice being done! To have put that poor woman in jail over $104.00 she didn't have the money to pay was absolutely dispicable.