Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tomorrow is the first day of this year's Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, which will go through Sunday. Several HarperCollins authors will be there as presenters including Ester Perel (Mating in Captivity), Wendy Maltz (The Porn Trap), and Barbara Graham (Eye of My Heart). Be sure to stop by The Self Esteem Shop's booth where our books and authors are graciously being hosted, and get your copy signed.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
This week, I invited Janis Hallowell to comment on The Washington Post article, "On Campus, Vampires Are Besting the Beats" by Ron Charles.
Here's what Janis has to say:
So, the number one book last year was a vampire book. And college kids are reading it. So what? I’d be willing to bet that at 19 years old Ron Charles read some less-than-lofty books that he’s selectively forgetting. Here’s a reality check: the best selling novel in 1969 (the year that Alice Echols claims everybody on campuses was reading Eldridge Cleaver’s Soul on Ice) was Portnoy’s Complaint, followed by The Godfather and Jacqueline Susann’s The Love Machine. Hardly subversive. On the non-fiction side were Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs and two books by Rod McKuen. Eldridge Cleaver didn’t make it into the top ten, nor did The Autobiography of Malcolm X, The Golden Notebook, or anything by Plath or Nin. In 1970 the number one book was Eric Segal’s Love Story. The point is, the top selling book rarely reflects what the college kids are thinking about or reading. It only reflects what’s selling.
The college freshmen I talked to today (on Facebook, by the way) said that they do like the Twilight series for escape reading. They’re also reading Toni Morrison, Conrad, Shakespeare, and Joyce. These kids have got the daunting task of becoming the workforce and the genius that’s going to get us from here to the post-carbon era. They elected Barack Obama and apparently they’re buying his books. So excuse me if they’re not reading Malcolm X and Eldridge Cleaver in their down time. They don’t have to.
Janis Hallowell is the author of She Was, a novel set in the Vietnam era and the Iraq era that may or may not be subversive. The paperback edition of She Was will publish in April.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Here's a wonderful kind of kismet: Zoë's new novel, The Believers, has just published in the United States to terrific reviews.
Zoë’s novels are so realistic and satiric that some people ask her, “Why are so many of your characters unlikeable?” I never ask. At times, everybody can be unpleasant, stubborn, and ridiculous. Zoë is a novelist—and her characters can’t hide their true selves from her—or from us. And, after all, I'm past the age when Pollyanna can hold my attention.
The more interesting questions are the ones that Zoë asks: What do we believe in? The solidity of our marriages? A political doctrine? Do some of our beliefs keep us from true happiness? What happens when these seemingly rock-solid beliefs are shaken?
Spend some time with the Litvinoffs of The Believers and find out.
Friday, March 20, 2009
For more information and a complete list of the winners, please visit: http://www.mainewriters.org/home.html
Thursday, March 19, 2009
In August, I got a notice from my cable provider: Get a new cable box or risk service interruptions. August is a busy time for academic marketers (American Sociological Association, American Psychological Association, American Political Science Association) so I didn't get to it.
September was spent getting catalogs and direct mail out to educators. Plus, I have something akin to a social life. In October, I turned on my television to discover I wasn't getting a few stations--but none that I missed. In November, I was a road warrior (American Academy of Religion, National Council for the Social Studies, National Council of Teachers of English). December is a busy time for everybody. Academics celebrate the holidays and tear off to Modern Language Association and American Philosophical Association. It wasn't until mid-January--a few days after the American Historical Association--that I realized I had only ten stations--fuzzy local stations and what seemed through the static to be a station devoted exclusively to selling juicers.
Finally, I called to get the new cable box. Now, I have too many stations--and I can't turn on my television without going into a remote-clicking semi-coma. There's so much to watch—most of it is awful—but I can't help flicking through to find something worth the effort.
So, I've made rules about my television watching. Rule One: I will not watch television on Monday nights--not even the news. Nothing!
If you'd like to follow Rule One on March 23, here are suggestions for what to read in lieu of your usual Monday night show at 8 pm.
- CBS: The Big Bang Theory. It's a repeat so isn't it a better idea to spend 30 minutes with Simon Singh 's The Big Bang? You'll learn about the origins of the universe.
- TNT: The Closer. Meet another female detective: Laura Lippman's heroine Tess Monaghan. Try Charm City--which won the Edgar and Shamus Awards.
- NBC: Chuck. People aren't always what they seem to be--even your closest relatives. It wasn't until the last years of her father's life that Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lucinda Franks discovered that the remote man she grew up with had in fact been a daring spy. Read My Father's Secret War tonight.
- FOX: House. This show always feels like a repeat even when it's an episode I haven't seen. House is grumpy. House saves patient. Why not read a real medical drama? His Brother's Keeper: One Family's Journey to the Edge of Medicine by Jonathan Weiner. This New York Times Notable follows the Heywoods as they search for a way to save 28-year-old Steven from ASL--Lou Gehrig's Disease.
- NIK: SpongeBob SquarePants. Bawdy humor reigns in all of Chris Moore's books. His latest is Fool.
- ABC: Dancing with the Stars. The Los Angeles Book Review said Kiss and Tango: Diary of a Dancehall Seductress by Marina Palmer is "armchair tango.... Now that's an escape." If you really need a Dancing with the Stars fix, there's always the tie-in book.
- TBS: Family Guy. Discover how comics work with Scott McCloud's brilliant Understanding Comics. If you can't go a day without Family Guy, read one of the tie-in books.
- WOR: Masters of Illusion. Teach your kids some tricks with Magic Secrets by Rose Wyler.
- WPIX: Gossip Girls. The Luxe by Anna Godgersen features pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn--in the Manhattan of 1899.
- LIFE: Will & Grace. I'm a fan of Fabulous Nobodies by Lee Tulloch. 20-something woman meets gay man in NYC--circa 1980. The New York Times called it, "Sharp, affectionate, and hilarious." It is.
- NET: Antiques Roadshow. Get off the couch and go up to your attic with a copy of Price It Yourself! --a guide to appraising antiques and collectibles in your home, at auctions, estate sales, shops, and yard sales.
- BRAVO: Unforgiven. For a gritty Western turn to The Assassination of Jesse James by Ron Hansen.
- WLIW: Lidia's Italy. Admit it: You spend more time watching other people cook than you spend in your own kitchen. Make something from Mario Batali's Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home--winner of a James Beard Book Award.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
As a former English major, I should know, but I don't. As usual, Kenneth C. Davis, author of the Don't Know Much About series, tells me something I should know: "True. Each day, Milton dictated lines of verse to his daughters, who wrote them down."
Ken's book Don't Know Much About Literature won't be available until August 2009, but I have a small box of galleys to giveaway now.
Let me know if you'd like a preview copy. Hurry! My supply is limited.
Why? There are two main reasons:
- The unemployed turn to their local community colleges to learn new skills.
- Many students who would normally go away to a four-year institution save money by living at home and taking core classes at a junior college. And, the savings can be large. Check out the Community College of Baltimore County's online chart that shows what a value they are in comparison to other public and private institutions.
Enrollment is up across all areas of the curriculum--from core courses and student success programs to remedial and career enhancement.However, the real news is that online course enrollments are dramatically up, and more community colleges are adding courses and complete programs due to student demand.
Take a look at Nassau Community College's online offerings for spring.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Dubliners has been on my 'to read' list for quite some time, but I always manage to put it off. With this gorgeous, unabridged, multi-voice recording audio version, I really no longer have an excuse. My St. Patrick's Day Resolution is to finish this by next St. Patrick's Day. Someone please hold me to it.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
In SuperSense, award-winning cognitive scientist Bruce M. Hood reveals the science behind our belief in the supernatural. It turns out that belief in things beyond what is rational or natural appears very early in childhood. In fact, this "super sense" is innate: our minds are designed from the very start to think there are unseen patterns and forces in the world. We're built to believe in the unbelievable--and these common beliefs are essential to binding us together as a society.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
In her new book, Barbie and Ruth, Robin Giber takes a closer look at the woman behind Barbie, and how Ruth came to be Ruth, how Barbie came to be Ruth’s brainchild, and how together they changed both American business and culture.
FOR MORE ON BARBIE:
Barbie: 50 fabulous years of fashion and fun
www.Barbie.com: catch old Barbie commercials and listen to stories from celebs and designers.
www.barbiestyle.barbie.com/event.html: watch the Barbie Fashion Week Runway Show, see how the doll is made and peek at the original Dream House.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Happily, four of our books are on the list!
Marvelyn Brown, author of The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful, and (HIV) Positive, has been telling her story to high school and college students across the country in an effort to change these frightening statistics*:
- In 2005, women represented 26 percent of new AIDS diagnoses, compared to only 11 percent of new AIDS cases reported in 1990.
- Most women are infected with HIV through heterosexual contact and injection drug use.
- Women of color are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS.
- AIDS is now the leading cause of death for Black women ages 25 to 34.
Marvelyn, not promiscuous and not a drug user, contracted HIV after unprotected sex with her Prince Charming. Rather than give up, however, Marvelyn found a reason to fight and a reason to live: working with numerous HIV/AIDS outreach groups to tell young women how to protect themselves.
Please let us know if you are interested in having Marvelyn speak to your students.
Marvelyn's public-service announcement for Think MTV won an Emmy Award.
*Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Monday, March 9, 2009
Marcus du Sautoy, Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford, is also the author of The Music of the Primes.
If you'd like to consider Symmetry or The Music of the Primes for one of your courses, please use our paperback examination form. If you've decided to adopt one of these books, please use our desk copy form.
Here are a few:
- Brenau University is starting an online master's degree in gerontology.
- Concordia University (Chicago) has a new bachelor of science program in microscopy
- George Mason University has started a master of science program in real estate development.
- Miami Dade College has a new hospitality industry certificate program to train inner city residents for customer service jobs.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Most people don't understand the odd joy of scheduling a full afternoon on the living room couch to feel sorry for yourself. My instincts tell me that Andre Jordan understands. This video for Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now is for those of you who do, too.
James R. Chiles's Inviting Disaster: Lessons from the Edge of Technology has been embraced by professors because it teaches students to analyze failure with case studies on such disasters as the chain reaction crash of the Air France Concorde, the explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station, and the collapse of the World Trade Center.
Inviting Disaster is being recommended for a wide variety of engineering courses. Here are just a few:
- Engineering Ethics/Failure Analysis, University of Alabama
- Inventions and Innovations, California State University - Northridge
- The Engineering Design Process, University of Manitoba
- Professional Issues in Software Development, Bowling Green State University
- Technology and Geomatics, East Tennessee State University
- Introduction to Engineering Science, State University of New York - Stony Brook
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
I imagine that twelve-year-old Joey Margolis of Steve Kluger's Last Days of Summer spent the winter of 1940 dreaming of the Polo Grounds and his beloved New York Giants.
In Last Days of Summer, Steve Kluger uses letters, postcards, newspaper clippings, war bulletins, and report cards to tell Joey's story--a story with many themes: heroism, trust, faith, bigotry, cultural differences, freedom, love, and justice. To help you incorporate Last Days of Summer into your curriculum, we've created a teaching guide. Let us know if it is helpful.