Friday, June 25, 2010

Good Books Getting Ready For Market....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


Faber & Faber writing academy student S.J. Watson's BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP, about a woman suffering from catastrophic memory loss, who for 20 years wakes up not knowing who she is, portraying the events of a week and the journal in which she is writing her memories, to Jonathan Burnham and Claire Wachtel at Harper and Selina Walker at Doubleday UK, at auction, by Clare Conville at Conville & Walsh

Rights to Michael Heyward at Text Publishing, for ANZ; Iris Tupholme at Harper Canada; Julia Schade at Fischer, at auction, in Germany; Mariaguilia Castagnone at Piemme, at auction, in Italy; Luciana Villas-Boas at Record in Brazil; Chris Herschdorfer at Ambo Anthos in Holland; Marie Misandeau at Sonatine in France; Sonia Draga at Draga, in Poland; Keter in Israel, by Gal Pikarski at the Pikarski Agency; and to Angela Sotiriou at Psichogios, in Greece. A film auction is looming.

Benjamin Buchholz's ONE HUNDRED AND ONE NIGHTS, a story presenting Iraq from the inside out, based on the author's personal experience of the Iraqi village of Safwan (where he worked as a Civil Affairs Officer), pitched as combining the topical immediacy of current work like The Kite Runner with the magical sensibilities of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, to Vanessa Kehren at Little, Brown, by Jon Sternfeld of the Irene Goodman Agency.


Mystery Writers of America's DARK JUSTICE, an anthology of original fiction with stories by Michael Connelly, edited by Lee Child, and Dennis Lehane among others, which explores the right - and sometimes wrong - things that happen when men and women take the law into their own hands, to Michael Pietsch and Asya Muchnick at Little, Brown, by Howard Morhaim at the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency (NA).


C.J. Carpenter's THE RETURNED and VIBRATIONS, featuring an Irish Catholic NYPD detective on the trail of a psychopath who is sending "good girls" to God by killing them, to Kate Miciak at Bantam Dell, by Doug Grad at the Doug Grad Literary Agency (World).


HUMMINGBIRDS author Joshua Gaylord's FRONTIERLAND, set in 1975 Orange County, interweaving the stories of a twelve year-old tomboy and an ex-beauty queen both searching for escape, moving to Marjorie Braman at Holt, by Josh Getzler at Russell & Volkening (World).

Candace Bushnell's THE TWO MRS. STONES, about a love triangle, for publication in 2012, and a second novel, moving to Deb Futter at Grand Central (which published the paperback of Sex and the City), by Heather Schroder at ICM (NA).

Nikolai Grozni's WUNDERKIND, pitched as if Holden Caulfield had been thrust into the world of a fifteen-year old piano prodigy, grappling with the numbing madness all around him at Sofia (Bulgaria)'s School for the Musically Gifted during the last two years before the fall of Communism in a beautiful, tragicomic celebration of art, honesty and self-discovery, to Wylie O'Sullivan at Free Press, in a pre-empt, for publication in 2011, by Rob McQuilkin at Lippincott Massie McQuilkin (World).


Author of HEX HALL Rachel Hawkins's REBEL BELLE, about a high school Miss Popularity whose world changes when a funny thing happens on the way to the (Homecoming) coronation: she's recruited into the Paladins, a supernatural sect of bodyguards sworn to protect those who will play an important role in the future, and charged with saving her archnemesis even if it means sacrificing her place as queen bee, to Ari Lewin at Disney-Hyperion, in a three-book deal, by Holly Root at Waxman Literary Agency (NA).


Adrian Slywotsky's DEMAND: What We Want, What We Get, And How the Connection Drives the World Economy, with Karl Weber, an analysis of the business, economic, social, psychological and sociological reasons that cause demand for a product or service to rise, fall or never happen, using a wide variety of stories about companies and individuals and how they understand markets, customers, and consumers in many dimensions in order to meet one of the great challenges of the new economic order, to John Mahaney at Crown, by Mel Berger at William Morris Endeavor (NA).


The louder, larger half of magic duo Penn & Teller, novelist, comedian and producer of The Aristocrats, Penn Jillette's GOD, NO! SIGNS YOU MAY ALREADY BE AN ATHEIST AND OTHER MAGICAL TALES, a reinterpretation of the ten commandments that reveals one outspoken atheist's experience in the world -- from performing on the Vegas strip alongside Siegfried and Roy to children and fatherhood to his ongoing dialogue with proselytizers of the Christian Right and the joys of sex while scuba-diving, to Sarah Hochman at Simon & Schuster, for publication in November 2010, by Steve Fisher at APA (world).


Boyd Varty's IN THE FRONT GARDEN OF EDEN, about growing up at the remarkable Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa, his larger-than-life family, and their relationship to the land, the animals, and to each other over four generations, to Susan Kamil at Random House, in a pre-empt, for publication in 2012, by Tina Bennett at Janklow & Nesbit (NA).


Professor Paul Zak's THE MORAL MOLECULE: Vampire Economics and the New Science of Good and Evil, the first book setting out his research in neuroeconomics, a field Zak helped create, taking a step beyond the recent popular discussion of behavioral economics, and revealing the underlying biology that drives our behavior -- precisely how our brains can foster trust, generosity, and other human connections (or not), as well as suggesting ways we can foster these connections at home, in business, and around the world, to Stephen Morrow at Dutton, in a pre-empt, by Linda Loewenthal of the David Black Literary Agency (World).


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Keep the Good Guys...Send the Gang Members...

Had a thought this morning. Sitting on the patio at the restaurant where I have breakfast every morning, saw a mess of Marines with a mess of ribbons on their chests, walk in with families. Though they were smiling, their eyes were not.

These are the good guys, sent to war to kill for us. And now they have memories that hurt. So my thought was, why not send our gangs...they like killing. Let them go kill as much as they want and not send them to jail for it. Better them than the good guys.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

"Let Me Say It Again..."

"The Help" a first novel by Kathryn Stockett is hands down the book everyone should read. It is unforgettable, incredible, infuriating...just a mind blower! And no, I'm not kidding. Nor am I gonna tell anything about it. Once begun, there's no way in hell to put it down until the last page is read. It's that fine a piece of work.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

The #1 Novel of the Year...Bar None!

NOTE: "The Help" a first novel by Kathryn Stockett is hands down the book everyone should read. It is unforgettable, incredible, infuriating...just a mind blower! And no, I'm not kidding. Nor am I gonna tell anything about it. Once begun, there's no way in hell to put it down until the last page is read. It's that fine a piece of work.

From Publishers Lunch Weekly...


Poet and physician Amit Majmudar's PARTITIONS, set in 1947 during the chaotic and violent partition of India, about the journeys to safety of twin Hindu boys, a young Sikh girl, and a Muslim doctor, to Riva Hocherman at Metropolitan, for publication in Fall 2011, by Georges Borchardt at Georges Borchardt (NA).

Brian O'Reilly's ANGELINA'S BACHELORS, combining recipes with the story of a female widow, who creates a new life and livelihood from her primary passion: food, to Tricia Boczkowski at Gallery, by Lucinda Blumenfeld at Fletcher & Company (NA).


Co-founder of Soho Press and author of The Trudeau Vector (2005) Juris Jurjevics's RED FLAGS, an espionage novel set in 1966, in which an Army CID (Criminal Investigation Division) special agent confronts drug running and corruption in the remote Central Highlands of Vietnam, to Tom Bouman at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, by Neil Olson at Donadio & Olson (NA).


TV personality Star Jones self-described "juicy novel" about the female hosts of a daytime talk show who learn that a former colleague -- who departed under mysterious circumstances, and is privy to all their backstage secrets -- is coming back with a splash, to Jennifer Bergstrom at Gallery, for publication in spring 2011, by Nancy Yost at Nancy Yost Literary Agency (world).

Those twenty unpublished stories required to make the New Yorker's writers list will be anthologized, with 20 UNDER 40: Stories from The New Yorker, to Farrar, Straus, for publication as a trade paperback original in December 2010.

Argentine novelist Eduardo Sacheri's THE QUESTION IN HER EYES, the basis for the recent Oscar-winning Best Foreign Film, El secreto de sus ojos, about a retired criminal investigator still haunted by the decades-old brutal rape and murder of a young married woman and its impact on the lives around her, including his own, to Judith Gurewich at Other Press, with Katie Henderson editing, in a pre-empt, by Tom Colchie on behalf of Ir�ne Barki (world English).


Ellen Dolgen and Jack Dolgen's SHMIRSHKY: Think Inside the Box, originally self-published, a clever and humorous, yet entirely serious girlfriend's guide to perimenopause and menopause, inspired by the author's own struggles, to Barbara Jones at Voice, in a pre-empt, for publication in Winter 2011, by Trena Keating of Keating Literary and Sally Wofford-Girand of Brick House Literary Agents (NA).


Food writer Alana Chernila's THE BY HAND KITCHEN, a narrative-driven collection of recipes and family stories born of her modest budget, her love for sharing recipes with her farmer's market customers, and a desire to stop buying mass-produced supermarket foods for her young family and instead create simple, delicious meals by hand -- all of which are less expensive, more satisfying, and better for the environment and the soul, to Emily Takoudes at Clarkson Potter, at auction, by Rob Weisbach at Rob Weisbach Creative Management (NA).


Pulitzer prize winning co-author of TIGER FORCE Mitch Weiss and AP correspondent Kevin Maurer's NO WAY OUT: A story of heroism in the mountains of Afghanistan, about a Special Forces mission in which more Silver Stars were awarded to any unit in one battle since WWII, to Natalee Rosenstein at Berkley, by Scott Miller at Trident Media Group.

Author of Troublesome Young Men and Citizens of London Lynne Olson's THE GREAT DEBATE: Fighting for America's Soul, describing, by featuring the leading personalities involved, the 18 months prior to Pearl Harbor, when the US was deeply divided about whether to get involved in the European war effort or remain isolated, to Susanna Porter at Random House, by Gail Ross (world).

Hoover Institution senior fellow Thomas Sowell's DISMANTLING AMERICA, a look at the decline of the values and institutions that have sustained and advanced American society for more than two centuries; BASIC ECONOMICS, 4th ed.; and THE THOMAS SOWELL READER, an introductory volume to Sowell's variegated fields of interest and expertise, to John Sherer at Basic, by Carol Mann at the Carol Mann Agency (world).


Expert Jeff Eisenberg's THE BED BUG SURVIVAL GUIDE, from a man whose company has exterminated everything from Lincoln Center to Bll Clinton's NYC offices, plus over 100,000 private clients, the first book with advice on how to prevent and treat infestation by these newly ubiquitous creatures (whose victims cross all economic and social lines), to Diana Baroni at Grand Central, by Mary Evans at Mary Evans and Tanya McKinnon at Victoria Sanders & Associates (world).


Metallica's lead guitarist Kirk Hammett's TOO MUCH HORROR BUSINESS, an intriguing view into the mind of a horror-obsessed, superstar guitar hero and his legendary collection of horror movie poster art & memorabilia, the largest private collection in the world, to David Cashion at Abrams, by Frank Weimann at The Literary Group (World).


Demi Moore's currently untitled book, chronicling her life and career, promising a candid narrative that will be framed by her complicated relationship with her mother, Virginia King, who died in 1998, and her own experiences as a mother to three daughters, to Jonathan Burnham at Harper, with Jennifer Barth editing, in a major deal, for over $2 million according to Crain's, for publication in 2012, by Luke Janklow at Janklow & Nesbit (world).

Legendary rocker and original KISS lead guitarist Ace Frehley's memoir NO REGRETS, covering his childhood in the Bronx, his ups-and-downs and influences which catapulted him into a life of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll, and what is was like to be one of the founding members of one of the most influential bands, to Jeremie Ruby-Strauss for VH1 Books, for publication in Summer 2011, by Frank Weimann at The Literary Group (world).


Friday, June 11, 2010

Ah, the Intel Secrets....

From Secrecy News:


The ongoing failure to establish a robust, reliable and productive declassification program is steadily eroding the study of intelligence history and may lead to the collapse of the entire field, one intelligence historian told the National Security Agency last month.

"I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that we're at a crisis point in the study of intelligence history in general, and signals intelligence history in particular; because there is a very real question of whether any serious historians outside of the intelligence community are going to continue trying to research and understand and write about this subject at all," said author Stephen Budiansky in an invited lecture at the National Cryptologic Museum at Fort Meade on May 24.

"The critical mass of scholars willing to invest the considerable energy required to master the technicalities of a complex and often difficult-to-understand subject is dwindling in the face of the impossibility of making a career in a field where the primary sources -- notably nearly all documents relating to the post-World War II period -- are locked away and no longer forthcoming."

"As my fellow intelligence historian David Alvarez recently remarked to me, Dave Kahn [author of the pioneering book 'The Codebreakers'] may have the unique distinction of having created an entire new field of study, watched it blossom, and lived to see its demise," Mr. Budiansky said.

"Alvarez said with only slight exaggeration that almost no one is working in the field of intelligence history any more. 'Even the crazies seem to have lost energy,' he said. He was recently on a panel to award a prominent prize for the best paper in any aspect of cryptologic history. Well past the deadline, they had received no entries at all."

The main thrust of Mr. Budiansky's lecture, entitled "What's the Use of Cryptologic History?" (and not yet published), was not a plea for favoritism toward intelligence historians, but rather an argument for the importance of intelligence history -- to the general understanding of history, and to the practice of intelligence itself.

As it happens, a new effort to expedite the declassification of historical records is now underway at the new National Declassification Center. The Center has been tasked by President Obama with eliminating the backlog of more than 400 million pages of classified records that are more than 25 years old by the end of 2013.

Millions of newly declassified pages should be publicly available by the end of this month and each month thereafter, said Assistant Archivist Michael Kurtz on a conference call on June 4.

This is a well-intentioned effort that will almost certainly yield a significant increase in public access to declassified records. But it also seems biased towards secrecy in two unfortunate ways.

First, the review of the backlog will be conducted on a Pass/Fail basis, Mr. Kurtz said. That means that if a document contains any classified information at all, even a single word or number, the entire document will be withheld from release. This approach may be necessary in order to gain some traction on the enormous backlog and to avoid getting bogged down in details. But the regrettable consequence is that none of the unclassified contents of many partly classified documents will be disclosed through this process. (The documents may be redacted for release at a later time through a Freedom of Information Act request or through a subsequent declassification review.)

Second, the documents that do pass the review and are declassified will be subjected to two quality control audits to ensure that no classified information has inadvertently passed through. One audit will be performed by the Archives and a second audit will be done by the Department of Energy. On the other hand, however, there will be no audit of withheld records to ensure that no unclassified record has been unnecessarily kept secret. In effect, the process is tilted towards minimizing disclosures of classified information rather than maximizing disclosures of unclassified information.

The National Archives has prepared a draft prioritization plan to guide its declassification activities, and has invited public input on the plan. A public forum on the subject will be held on June 23.


Monday, June 07, 2010

More On Wall St & Our Newspapers...

Go here to read the full LA Times story on Wall Street's Hedge Funds buying our newspapers:,0,7572272,full.story


Sunday, June 06, 2010

Now Wall St Corps Buy Newspapers....

We'd damned well better pay some attention here. An LA Times article in their Business section this morning...June 6th...reports that some big outfits on Wall Street are about to purchase our newspapers!!! They're talking consolidation of say, the LA Times with the Orange County Register.

Well, a corporation named Platinum has already purchased the San Diego Union-Tribune and as a San Diego person, I can tell you that the paper is a disaster. Even Platinum has come to realize that since any number of subscribers have concelled their subscriptions.