Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve, 2009...Seaport Village...

Just back from Seaport Village. What a mob scene...and plenty of Nebraska people with red shirts, proud of having won the football game yesterday, 33-0!!! In the rain.

No rain today...Sunny San Diego is back for the New Year's weekend.

So the back porch of the Seaport Deli was crowded. Took my coffee to a front corner table and proceeded to wait out the group on my usual table, right behind me in the back corner. Guitarist playing soothing melodies on the stage in front of the carousel, a group of six at the front tables to my left...a guy in black t-shirt on each end, 3 young women and one older man on the sides.

The guy at the end nearest me was a non-stop talker. The girls laughed at all the appropriate places. The guy at the other end talked whenever he could break in. So between the two of them, they totally monopolized the conversation.

But finally the group at my usual back corner table left and I moved over there. The porch emptied eventually and all was peace and quiet but for the steady murmur of voices from the plaza tables.

Almost finished with my coffee when a big guy comes out of the deli with his lunch and a beer, sits down at the table in front of me, and says, "I hope I'm not blocking your view." I had to laugh. Of course he was.

So I finished the coffee and as I left, the guitarist was playing "Over the Rainbow".

No place like Seaport Village.

Happy New Year everybody! :))))


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Selection of Interesting, Up-coming Books....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly....


Leslie Daniels' CLEANING NABOKOV'S HOUSE, the spare, humorous and heart-wrenching story of a woman who, having recently lost her two kids in a custody battle, and left her beloved city behind for upstate, must creatively pull her life together before she can find her way, to Sulay Hernandez at Touchstone Fireside, in a nice deal, for publication in Spring 2011, by Molly Friedrich at Friedrich Agency (US).


Edgar Award-winner Eliot Pattison's ORIGINAL DEATH, a sequel to Eye of the Raven featuring Scottish-born sleuth Duncan McCallum who solves murders in colonial New England, to Charlie Winton at Counterpoint, by Natasha Kern at Natasha Kern Literary Agency (world English).

Liz Lipperman's debut DUCKS IN A ROW: A Casserole Lover Mystery, in which a woman with dreams of becoming a popular sports columnist gets stuck in a po-dunk town writing personal ads for a small time newspaper; when she's offered a chance to fill in for a local food critic off on sick leave, she jumps at the chance rationalizing that it's one step closer to her dream, but when a dead body is found underneath her apartment stairwell with her name and number along with it, she becomes the prime suspect, as well as, the main course on the murder menu, to Faith Black at Berkley Prime Crime, in a three-book deal, for publication in 2011-2012, by Christine Witthohn at Book Cents Literary Agency (NA).


Cecilia Grey's debut A LADY AWAKENED, about an iron-willed widow who makes a high-stakes bargain with a neighborhood rake to conceive a fraudulent heir and safeguard her liberty and inheritance, beginning the Blackshears series, to Shauna Summers at Bantam Dell, in a two-book deal, by Emmanuelle Alspaugh at Judith Ehrlich Literary Management.


Nicole Kelby's untitled novel, about food, inspired by the life and passions of Auguste Escoffier, brilliantly innovative French chef and international culinary star who deeply loved both his wife, Delphine, and the actress Sarah Bernhardt, examines the idea of the private versus public life while illuminating the spiritual and sensual nature of food and the decadent joy of unruly hearts, to Amy Cherry at Norton, by Lisa Bankoff at ICM (NA).

Author of THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE Julie Buxbaum's third novel THE MODERN GIRL'S HANDBOOK about a young woman's discovery of her grandmother's diary and the profound effect it has on her life again to Susan Kamil at Dial, for publication in 2012, by Elaine Koster at Elaine Koster Agency (US).

Laura Joh Rowland's THE RONIN'S MISTRESS and untitled Sano Ichiro novel -- the 15th and 16th in the series, surrounding a true incident in 18th century Japanese history wherein 47 ronin avenged their master's murder and became folk heroes before being forced to commit suicide, to Hope Dellon at St. Martin's, by Pam Ahearn at Ahearn Agency (World).



Actor, activist, and bestselling author Michael J. Fox's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FUTURE, a book for graduates, presenting his accumulated wisdom and lessons based on his life experiences, including such topics as ambition, curiosity, flexibility, the importance of mentors, and the power of facing both successes and setbacks with open eyes, again to Ellen Archer at Hyperion, with Leslie Wells editing, for publication in April 2010, by Amanda Urban at ICM (world).


Photographer John Abbott and jazz journalist and writer Bob Blumenthal's SAXOPHONE COLOSSUS: A Portrait of Sonny Rollins, prepared by the only two people Rollins has trusted to chronicle his life, based on the saxophonist's classic album as emblematic of his oeuvre, and scheduled for release on the legendary musician's 80th birthday in September 2010, to Deborah Aaronson at Abrams, by James Levine of Levine Greenberg Literary Agency, with Paul Bresnick of Paul Bresnick Literary Agency representing Blumenthal (world).

Former NYT reporter and Fortune editor at large Richard Siklos's untitled account of Michael Jackson's career and the rise and fall of his fortune, as well as a look at the entertainment industry and the machinery of modern superstardom, to Charlie Conrad at Broadway, in a pre-empt, by David Kuhn of Kuhn Projects (NA).


Owners of Fleisher's Grass-Fed & Organic Meats and leaders of the anti-feedlot/conventional meat movement, third-generation butcher Joshua Applestone and Jessica Applestone's, with Alexandra Zissu, guide to sourcing, purchasing, butchering, and cooking grass-fed and organic meat—including poultry, beef, lamb, and pork, to Rica Allannic at Clarkson Potter, by Amy Hughes of McCormick Williams (world).


Former NYT reporter and investment banker and head of federal government's automotive intervention team Steven Rattner's OVERHAUL, the story of the intense 150-day struggle to save the American auto industry as both Chrysler and GM struggled to stay afloat, to George Hodgman at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for publication in fall 2010, by Amanda Urban at ICM (NA).

Alan Dershowitz's analysis of our legal system over the past 50 years, told through the lens of the pivotal cases in the author's career, as well as the legal decisions he has not personally been involved in that have shaped American jurisprudence and that will continue to forge our future, to Roger Scholl at Broadway, for publication in Spring 2012, by Helen Rees at the Helen Rees Literary Agency (NA).


Actor and advocate for women's rights and breast cancer research Meredith Baxter's "candid and revealing" memoir of her eventful personal and professional life, presenting a portrait of her life as an actress, mother of five children, and grandmother, and discussing her fight with breast cancer, her 19 years of sobriety, entrepreneurship, and her recent decision to come out and announce that she is gay, to Diane Salvatore at Broadway, with Lorraine Glennon editing, by Dan Strone at Trident Media Group, with Alan Iezman at Shelter Entertainment Group (world).


Author and owner of downtown Manhattan's Pasanella & Son Vintners, Marco Pasanella's DON'T FORGET TO SPIT: Lessons from a Newfound Life in the Wine Trade, chronicling the birth of and daily life at his shop, along with a journey into the esoteric and often mysterious world of wine producing, distributing, selling, and consuming, to Doris Cooper at Clarkson Potter with Emily Takoudes editing, in a pre-empt, by David Kuhn at Kuhn Projects (world English).


Friday, December 18, 2009

FBI Linguist To Blogger....

From Secrecy News:


An Israeli-American attorney who worked for the FBI as a translator pled guilty yesterday to unlawfully disclosing five classified FBI documents to an unidentified blogger last April, who then published information from the documents on his blog, the Justice Department announced.

In a signed plea agreement (pdf), Shamai Leibowitz stipulated that he had "knowingly and willfully caused five documents, which were classified at the Secret level and contained classified information concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States, to be communicated... to a person not entitled to receive classified information ('Recipient A'). Recipient A was the host of a public web log ('blog') available to anyone with access to the Internet."

"Recipient A then published on the blog information derived from the classified documents provided to Recipient A by Leibowitz. As a result of these disclosures, intelligence sources and methods related to these documents were compromised," the plea agreement said.

Recipient A was not named, and has evidently not been charged with any misconduct. Leibowitz was charged under 18 U.S.C. 798, which prohibits unauthorized disclosure of communications intelligence information.

"The willful disclosure of classified information to those not entitled to receive it is a serious crime," said David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. "Today’s guilty plea should serve as a warning to anyone in government who would consider compromising our nation’s secrets."

Prosecutors credited Mr. Leibowitz for his "apparent prompt recognition and affirmative acceptance of personal responsibility for his criminal conduct" as well as his "timely notification of his intention to plead guilty." Based on those and other factors, they proposed a sentence of 20 months imprisonment.

Though it has no bearing on the case, Mr. Leibowitz happens to be the grandson of Yeshayahu Leibowitz (1903-1994), a renowned Israeli scientist, orthodox Jewish philosopher, polemicist and political activist.

The case was first reported in "Israeli lawyer & peacenik guilty of leaking FBI secrets" by Josh Gerstein in Politico, December 17. Laura Rozen, also writing in Politico, provided additional background and proposed speculatively that Leibowitz's disclosures were behind an April 16, 2009 story in the New York Times on NSA's "overcollection" of domestic intelligence.

Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Don't Go Near THIS Machine....

THIS is one huge & dangerous machine...I kid you not:

If this link doesn't work, just google Monster Shredder.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Some very different books on the way....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly...

US Weekly film critic Thelma Adams's PLAYDATE, a suburban dramedy that follows the increasingly inappropriate entanglements of two families over four days as Santa Ana winds blow a brush fire toward the California coast, to Kathleen Gilligan at St. Martin's, by Rebecca Oliver at William Morris Endeavor (NA).


John le Carre's new book, moving to Kathryn Court at Viking (his move to Viking UK was announced previously), for publication in 2010, by Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown UK.


Cynthia Ozick's FOREIGN BODIES, set in post-war New York, Paris, and California, is the story of a divorced schoolteacher who tries to resolve her brother's family dramas, leading to extraordinary and wholly unanticipated results, to Bruce Nichols at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for publication in winter 2011, by Melanie Jackson at Melanie Jackson Agency (NA).

Wendy Wax's THE SAND CASTLE, the story of three women who lose everything to a Bernie Madoff-like scam, except a one-third share of a derelict beachfront mansion which they must somehow rebuild if they hope to do the same for their lives, to Wendy McCurdy at Berkley, for publication in 2011, in a two-book deal, by Stephanie Kip Rostan at Levine Greenberg Literary Agency (NA).

AROHO Foundation Literary Gift of Freedom winner Summer Wood's WRECKER, about a young boy (called Wrecker) whose mother has been sent to prison, and the eclectic Northern California community that comes together to raise him in her absence, to Kathy Belden at Bloomsbury, and Helen Garnons-Williams at Bloomsbury UK, by Dan Conaway at Writers House (World English).



Author of Profile of a Prodigy and Fischer intimate Frank Brady's ENDGAME: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Bobby Fischer, a biography of one of the 20th century's most complex and tortured geniuses based on newly discovered documents left behind by the chess champion, who died in early 2008, exploring both Fischer;s mystique and his Howard Hughes-like descent into madness, to Rick Horgan at Crown, in a very good deal, for publication in 2010, by Jeff Schmidt at NY Creative Management (world).


Author of In the President's Secret Service Ronald Kessler's book on the FBI, to Mary Choteborsky at Crown, by Robert Gottlieb and Scott Miller at Trident Media Group.

Historian at the War College David Kaiser's HOW WE WENT TO WAR: Roosevelt, His Cabinet, and the Plan For Victory, based on previously untapped sources, pitched as a 'Team of Rivals' approach to the eighteen months of economic and military planning leading up to the US entry into WWII by examining FDR's leadership style and the struggle for consensus within his cabinet, to Lara Heimert at Basic, in a pre-empt, by Christy Fletcher and Donald Lamm at Fletcher & Company (NA)

Martin Sandler's THE LETTERS OF JOHN F. KENNEDY, the first-ever published collection of JFK's correspondence to and from everyone from Khrushchev to schoolchildren, to be published for fiftieth anniversary of Kennedy's death, to Peter Ginna at Bloomsbury, for publication in Fall 2013 (World).


New York magazine contributing writer Stephen Rodrick's THE MAGICAL STRANGER, about his father's fatal plane crash as a Navy pilot in 1979, as well as a contemporary story about the mission of Navy pilots, and the consequences that both have had for the families that are left behind, to Tim Duggan at Harper, by David McCormick at McCormick & Williams Literary Agency.

Debra Chwast and her son, painter Seth Chwast's AN UNEXPECTED LIFE, the heavily illustrated memoir of a young man with autism who has become a celebrated and award-winning painter, to Barbara Berger at Sterling, for publication in Spring 2010, by Faith Hamlin at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates (World).


Journalist Peter Zuckerman and Pakistan program director for the Mountain Fund Amanda Padoan's BURIED IN THE SKY, telling the story of the catastrophic K2 expedition of 2008 through the eyes of two Sherpa climbers who survived, and providing a window into the customs and cultures of the often-anonymous porters upon whom Western climbers depend, to Tom Mayer at Norton, at auction, for publication in 2011, by Dan Conaway and Stephen Barr at Writers House (NA).

NPR producer and contributor Charlie Schroeder's RE-ENACTOR: Learning About History One Bloodless Battle at a Time, in which an everyday guy humorously attempts to learn what he missed in history class by participating in fifteen different war re-enactments, from the Greeks to Vietnam, alongside the passionate hobbyists who live to recreate the past, to Meghan Stevenson at Hudson Street Press, at Jonathan Lyons at Lyons Literary (NA).


Saturday, December 05, 2009

A Film & Many Books On The Way....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly



Gemma Halliday's PLAY DEAD, pitched in the spirit of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, in which a woman who faked her death fifteen years ago to escape life as an assassin has been discovered by men who want her dead -- for good -- and must join one of her would-be killers to save her own life and stop a political assassination, to Allison Caplin at Minotaur, in a two-book deal, by Holly Root at Waxman Literary Agency (NA).


RITA finalist and Daphne DuMaurier award winner Nina Bruhns's romantic suspense trilogy in red, white and blue based on the ideals of Blood, Valor, and Honor each featuring a different branch of courageous men in uniform and heroines who keep our country safe and secure, to Kate Seaver at Berkley, in a three-book deal, by Natasha Kern at the Natasha Kern Literary Agency (World).


IN HOVERING FLIGHT author Joyce Hinnefeld's STRANGER HERE BELOW, in which young women, one haunted by the past and the other utterly fearless, forge a troubled friendship in Kentucky in the early 1960s, to Fred Ramey at Unbridled Books, for publication in Fall 2010, by Liv Blumer at The Blumer Agency (World).


Karen McQuestion's A SCATTERED LIFE, claiming to be the first self-published Kindle novel to be optioned to film, to Hiding In Bed, with Eric Lake producing.



Chief Risk Officer at Alliance Bernstein David Martin's RISK AND THE SMART INVESTOR, the critical rules investors must know in order to make the right investment and financial decisions, to Leah Spiro at McGraw-Hill, for publication in Fall 2010, by Jacqueline Flynn at Joelle Delbourgo Associates.


Political blogger Michael Wolraich's HOW BILL O'REILLY SAVED CHRISTMAS, examining the right wing's tactic of persecution politics and sifting through the delusions of prominent politicians and pundits who imagine a liberal plot to oppress white Christian conservatives; exploring the history of the trend, dissecting the conspiracy theories, and examining the implications for the future of American politics, to Bob Pigeon at Da Capo, by Jane Dystel at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (World).

Author of books including LOST CHICAGO and STANFORD WHITE'S NEW YORK, David Garrard Lowe's MAGNIFICENT ENEMIES: Richard Morris Hunt, Frederick Law Olmsted, and the Epic Rivalry Behind America's Greatest Architecture, about these two titans who would find themselves pitted against each other, grappling to implement their vision -- and in the process, America's greatest and most memorable designs, from Central Park to Washington, DC's Mall, to Jonathan Galassi at Farrar, Straus, for publication in fall 2012, by Noah Lukeman of Lukeman Literary Management (world).

King's College, London professor of public policy, advisor to the EC, UN & UK, and broadcaster Alison Wolf's THE END OF SISTERHOOD: A New Divide among Women and How Female Success is Changing all our Lives, an investigation of the unintended consequences of women's rise in the workforce and specifically the knock-on effect (at home, in the workforce and in society at large) of the rise of "elite" women, using evolutionary psychology and behavioral economics to examine the growing divide between educated, often childless career women and other women, to Vanessa Mobley at Broadway, at auction, by Zoe Pagnamenta at the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency (US). Foreign rights to Diane Turbide at Penguin Canada and to Sarah Caro at Profile, at auction, in her first acquisition for the list.


MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE and Disney's THE REPLACEMENTS writer and current FAMILY GUY staffer Dave Ihlenfeld's DOG DAYS, humorously chronicling a post-collegiate year spent driving the iconic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile around the U.S. and Europe, to Iris Blasi at Union Square Press, in a nice deal, for publication in September 2011, by Jeff Schmidt at NY Creative Management (World).


Svante Paabo's ANCIENT GENES, hunting for the Neanderthal genome to answer the biggest question of them all: what does it mean to be human, to T.J. Kelleher at Basic, for publication in Fall 2011, by John Brockman at Brockman (NA).


Stephen Sondheim's two-volume memoir, FINISHING THE HAT, for publication in fall 2010, and LOOK, I MADE A HAT, for publication in 2011, to Louisa Joyner at Virgin, by Sara Menguc, on behalf of Helen Brann. US rights to Knopf.