Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Guest Blogger Mary McDonagh Murphy, Author of SCOUT, ATTICUS & BOO: A CELEBRATION OF FIFTY YEARS OF TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, On Her Experience at NCTE

Scout, Atticus, and Boo:  A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird by Mary McDonagh MurphyWe were very proud to host an event at the National Council of Teachers of English conference last month in Orlando featuring Mary McDonagh Murphy, author of Scout, Atticus & Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird. It was an amazingly successful event on all counts: the room was overflowing with teachers (some even sitting on the floor!) listening in rapt attention for nearly 90 minutes as Murphy spoke about how To Kill a Mockingbird has influenced countless lives throughout the years, and watching an excerpt from her upcoming documentary, Hey Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird. Murphy was so impressed by the passion and intelligence of the teachers that she had the pleasure of meeting at NCTE that she wanted to write a blog post to reach the teachers and say "thank you" for teaching Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird:

When I set off to make a film and write a book about To Kill a Mockingbird, I knew high school English teachers would be a part of the audience—but I didn’t know just how enthusiastic they would be.

Fifty years later, Harper Lee’s first and only novel is a staple of high school English classes. Though never assigned to me as a student thirty years ago, I read it on my own one spring break. But my adult rereading made me a student of Lee’s novel. My fascination and my questions led me to the book and the movie.

The movie, Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird and the book Scout, Atticus & Boo, A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird, feature interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Tom Brokaw, James McBride and Anna Quindlen, and others, including Lee’s 99 year-old sister Alice who is still practicing law in their hometown of Monroeville, Alabama.

If I missed the chance to savor the novel with the help of a teacher while I was in high school, I am more than making up for it now. I found out just how responsive and appreciative teachers are when I previewed a part of my documentary at the recent convention of National Council of Teachers of English.

It’s not surprising. No one knows more about why Harper Lee’s first and only novel remains so popular than the teachers who teach it. They are a big part of the reason. Teachers have always known what I found out when I picked up To Kill a Mockingbird as an adult—it rewards endlessly. I don’t think you can say that about most favorites from childhood and adolescence.

To Kill a Mockingbird debuted in the summer of 1960. America was a different place and reading it was a different experience to be sure. While many think of it as a novel OF the civil rights movement, To Kill a Mockingbird preceded the biggest protests and battles and, many would argue, helped to bring them on. In my book and documentary I place the novel’s publication in the context of those times when it made such an impact. I also explored the many parallels between the fictional Finches of Maycomb and the real- life Lees of Monroeville.

When I showed my excerpt at the convention last month, the English teachers laughed at Scout’s funnier lines as read by the novelist Adriana Trigiani, nodded vigorously when novelists Wally Lamb and Lee Smith described their own experiences teaching the novel, murmured with delight when Miss Alice Lee makes her appearance, sighed when Allan Gurganus read a glorious passage about Boo Radley and cried when Oprah cried reading the passage that ends, “Miss Jean Louise, stand up, your father’s passin.” They were rapt when Joy and Michael Brown, Harper Lee’s New York friends talked about the gift they gave her Christmas Day 1956: the money to take a year off and write full time.

I had great discussions in the hallway afterward. I am scheduling in person or SKYPE visits to their schools. That day, I signed 100 books at the Harper Collins booth, had more great talks and experienced a tremendous sense of community. They thanked me and I thanked them. These are my people. They are the people who love and respect To Kill a Mockingbird and they spread it around. Forget Facebook. I think this is the best social network on the planet.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Season's Readings! Harper Perennial Modern Classics Deluxe Editions

The Bell Jar by Sylvia PlathA Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty SmithThe Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan KunderaIf you are searching for the ideal gift for all of the readers in your life (or maybe a treat for yourselfyou know that you deserve it!), let me suggest one or more of the deluxe editions of beloved books both classic and contemporary published by Harper Perennial Modern Classics. Each volume is a special edition with French flaps, rough front, and a cover printed on uncoated stock, making it the perfect literary gift-giving choice. My favorite deluxe editions are The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, and The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Generation E: A Guest Blog From Author Amanda Little

We are very excited to have a guest blogger with us! Amanda Little, author of Power Trip: The Story of America's Love Affair With Energy and influential environmental journalist, has written the wonderful blog below exploring the next generation of citizens and their increasingly important role in the energy crisis. How big of a role do your students see themselves playing in the global environmental future? What do they want to see happen? What can they do that make sure that is does? This thought-provoking blog is sure to spark some interesting discussions on an issue that should be of great importance to everyone.

Generation E—The Energy Generation

Most people pushing for energy and environmental progress in America are feeling utterly defeated. All attempts to pass major energy and climate legislation have failed in the past two years. And for next two years, at least, Congress is locked in stalemate.

But one segment of Americans—college students—seems to have been mercifully insulated from despair. In recent months I’ve spoken with students in engineering, history, science, geography and American Studies departments on campuses from California to Delaware. Our discussions about the future of energy in America have been unexpectedly moving to me – spiced with thrill, curiosity, conviction, and a healthy measure of fear.

The students have shared, on the one hand, their concerns that their generation will bear the brunt of challenges that loom so large--climate change, instability in the Middle East, economic volatility--challenges that stem largely from our dependence on fossil fuel. But almost without fail, the students’ concerns are eclipsed by their excitement--about belonging to a generation that is being called to innovate, to problem-solve on a grand scale, to rebuild virtually every facet of the American industry, and to restore our leadership role in the global economy.

They understand that they belong to Generation E—The Energy Generation. They understand that, going forward, the nation that leads the clean-energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy.

Since the publication of my book, Power Trip: The Story of America’s Love Affair With Energy, I’ve spoken with audiences that span political and demographic spectrums—corporate executives, engineers, scientists, garden club members, boy scouts, teachers, and investors. I describe how fossil fuels built the American superpower, and how today the very source of our strength has become our greatest vulnerability. I make the case that the energy is not just the most important story of our time, but also the most hopeful story of our time.

Audiences are understandably concerned that our shift from fossil fuels to clean alternatives will be a painful one, beset with high energy prices, economic collapse, the end of life as we know it. The same question comes up every time: Won’t moving off of fossil fuels kill jobs?

My response is: Yes, some. But it will create many more. In fact, building a new energy economy in America will be the biggest job-creation engine of the next century.

Given current growth trajectories, America is expected to produce 800,000 new green jobs by 2012. These are skilled, innovative jobs developing solar, wind and geothermal power, biofuels, electric cars, advanced batteries, sophisticated plastics, smart grid components, green chemicals, zero-energy homes, and local and organic foods.

College students will not be prepared for this emerging job market if they don’t understand the role that energy has played in shaping American industries, politics and culture. Not since the first decade of the 20th century has our nation seen such an extraordinary burst of innovation within one decade. We need to cultivate in students awareness and pride—that they are inheriting a great American legacy of technological ingenuity, and that they are participating in a historic shift.

Consciousness is growing quickly. On virtually every college campus in America there is evidence of it. Students are mobilizing to green their own facilities – more than 1000 U.S. colleges and universities signed pledges to go carbon-neutral. They’re also working beyond the campus -- with local communities to retrofit homes with energy efficiency features; with city and state officials to get clean-energy incentives and standards passed.

Through websites like and, students are harnessing social media to tease out ideas and problem-solve on a grand scale – connecting not just with other American universities, but with students all over the world.

College campuses have always been on the front end of social change—that was true with the civil rights movement, it was true in the overthrow of communism, and it will be true in the historic shift toward anew energy economy. After all, no one stands to lose more in this shift than Generation E – and no one has more to gain.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Brilliant Minds. Big Ideas.

My first thought in the morning is more likely to be "What's for breakfast?" than "Does the universe really exist or is it something akin to a hologram?"

Thankfully, there are people to help me with the heavy thinking:
  • Søren Kierkegaard: In Spiritual Writings, Oxford theologian George Pattison translates and selects Søren Kierkegaard's previously neglected writings on spirituality—works that greatly deepen our understanding of the influential thinker.
  • E.F. Schumacher: Small Is Beautiful is a call to end excessive consumption and an eminently logical agrument for building our economies around the needs of communities—not corporations.
  • Arthur Schopenhauer: I was surprised that there wasn't an English-language anthology of Scopenhauer's works. Now, there is The Essential Schopenhauer—edited by Wolfgang Schirmacher, president of the International Schopenhauer Association.
  • Adam Bly: In Science Is Culture, Adam—founder of Seed magazine—brings together a unique collection of conversations between prominent scientists, artists, novelists, philosophers and other thinks who are tearing down the wall between science and culture.

You'll find more big ideas in our Philosophy catalog.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Don’t Know Much About Civics? Not for Long Thanks to Kenneth C. Davis!

Kenneth C. Davis Photo By Nina SubinOne of our favorite (and smartest) authors, Ken Davis (left, photo by Nina Subin), has recently taken it upon himself to re-educate those of us who seem to have let our knowledge of Civics and the Constitution dwindle away over the years. Saddened by survey results that suggested many Americans couldn’t answer simple questions like “Who is the Vice President?” or “How many Senators are there?,” Ken has started a Civics Primer to remind us the fundamental facts of our nation’s history. This ongoing series on Ken’s Don’t Know Much About blog has five parts to it so far. Topics covered in these primers include—but are not limited to:

· Freedom of Speech

· The Right to Bear Arms

· Order of Executive Succession

· The Right to Due Process

All citizens and students—young and old—will benefit from this wonderful reminder from Ken Davis. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself saying (embarrassingly aloud) “Oh yeah, that’s right” while reading about the things every one of us should know. Ken presents the essential information in an accessible, engaging, and fun way. I can’t wait to read the next edition! Now, more than ever I can see why People Magazine said that "Reading [Kenneth C. Davis] is like returning to the classroom of the best teacher you ever had.”

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Teaching Guide Available for Academy Award Nominated Documentary!

In 1971, when Dr. Daniel Ellsberg leaked what came to be known as “The Pentagon Papers”—classified documents detailing the history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam—to the press, National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger called him “the most dangerous man in America who must be stopped at all costs.” In the documentary The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, provides a comprehensive look at the release of these documents and the shockwaves that were set off in America as a result. PBS is screening the documentaryfor free as part of their POV series through October 27, 2010.

In collaboration with the documentary’s filmmakers—Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith—the Zinn Education Project has released a free 94-page teaching guide to accompany the film, offering eight lessons on the Vietnam War, Daniel Ellsberg, whistleblowing, the Pentagon Papers and more. The guide uses a variety of teaching strategies, including role play, critical reading, discussion, mock trial, small group imaginative writing, and personal narrative.

In addition to the fantastic activities included in the teaching guide, the Zinn Education Project has included a thorough list of additional reading resources to supplement the study of the film. Be sure to check out:

  1. Walter Dean Myers’s Patrol
  2. Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States
  3. Marilyn Young’s The Vietnam Wars
This film—and the accompanying teaching guide and supplementary materials—are sure to help students learn about the Vietnam War while engaging them in critical thinking about their own responsibilities as truth-tellers and peacemakers.

Maud Hart Lovelace: Deep Valley series

Jennifer Hart, Associate Publisher and editor, is crazy about Maud Hart Lovelace. She carefully tended to the reissued editions of Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy high school and beyond books last fall—and now, Jennifer has done the same for Maud Hart Lovelace's Deep Valley series. Carney's House Party and Winona's Pony Cart—both set in Deep Valley—are available again in a beautiful combined edition.

Put your feet up for a few minutes and read a bit of this lovely series.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Isn't It Time For You To Start Your Own Happiness Project?

One day, Gretchen Rubin realized that her life was passing by quicker than she had anticipated and that she hadn’t been spending enough time on things that really mattered. She decided to spend the next year of her life completing her “happiness project.” The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun is the New York Times’ bestselling chronicle of Rubin’s adventures test-driving many of the widely known suggestions for a happier life.

Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions drawn from a wide array of sources like scientific research, popular culture, and wisdom of the ages. She kept a “gratitude notebook,” made a greater effort to ask for help, and sought out more fun in her life. She immersed herself in the principles set forth by everyone from the Dalai Lama to Oprah.

Rubin gives readers a compelling and charming look at a new way of approaching one’s life. Her passion is infectious and has inspired many to start their own “happiness projects.” This concept has even begun making its way into the classroom. For example, psychologist Tom Glaser is teaching a community education course called “Your Happiness Project.” Inspired by The Happiness Project, Glaser designed a course which uses the text as well as the fields of positive psychology, emotional intelligence, and resilience theory. Consisting of exercises like meditations, music, and discussions, Glaser gives students daily homework and helps them to map out their one unique happiness plans for a more fulfilling life.

The Happiness Project’s societal impact doesn’t stop there! Recently it was announced that Sex ad the City star Kristin Davis will star in the NBC adaptation of Rubin’s book.

Praise for The Happiness Project:

“This book made me happy in the first five pages.” —AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible

“Rubin’s funny, perceptive account is both inspirational and forgiving, and sprinkled with just enough wise tips, concrete advice and timely research . . . to qualify as self-help. Defying self-help expectations, however, Rubin writes with keen senses of self and narrative, balancing the personal and the universal with a light touch.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

For more information on the “happiness project” movement, please check out Gretchen Rubin’s blog. Please let us know if you need a desk copy or an examination copy.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Hillariously "Tragic" Life and Times of Adrian Mole

The Adrian Mole Diaries By Sue TownsendAs the resident “young one” in the office (look out 23, here I come!), I am the least removed from that wondrously terrible and confusing time known as adolescence. Perhaps it is because of this that I found myself drawn to the classic coming of age tales of Sue Townsend presented in The Adrian Mole Diaries. This new packaging of Townsend’s classics, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Age 13 3/4 and The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole, gives an honest and unabashed look into the experiences of an adolescent.

Feelings of nostalgia and fits of laughter are inevitable as Adrian takes you through the bumpy road of a teenager; we get candid reflections on everything from his parents’ marital troubles to the agony of love. Readers young and old have been (and will continue to be) compelled by the life of a self-proclaimed “misunderstood intellectual” struggling with a world set against him. Sue Townsend’s brilliant comic creation is an unforgettable lad whose self-absorption only gets funnier as his life becomes more desperate. He is just as agonizingly funny as he was over twenty years ago when he was first released upon the world.

Praise for The Adrian Mole Diaries:

“As sad and devastating as it is laugh-out-loud funny. A delight!” —New York Times

“The trouble with trying to read passages from the Adrian Mole Diaries aloud is that you find yourself laughing so hard you can’t go on. It’s that kind of book.” —Kansas City Star

If you think your students would enjoy The Adrian Mole Diaries, please request a desk copy .

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Real-Life Politics That Reads Like Fiction: GAME CHANGE by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin


In 2008, the presidential election became blockbuster entertainment. Everyone was watching as the race for the White House unfolded like something from the realm of fiction. The meteoric rise and historic triumph of Barack Obama. The shocking fall of the House of Clinton—and the improbable resurrection of Hillary as Obama’s partner and America’s face to the world. The mercurial performance of John McCain and the mesmerizing emergence of Sarah Palin. But despite the wall-to-wall media coverage of this spellbinding drama, remarkably little of the real story behind the headlines has yet been told.

In Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, two of the country’s leading political reporters, use their unrivaled access to pull back the curtain on the Obama, Clinton, McCain, and Palin campaigns. Based on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Game Change is a reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes your students will find intriguing, this is the occasionally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of the campaign of a lifetime.

Praise for Game Change:

"A fascinating account. . . . Heilemann and Halperin serve up a spicy smorgasbord of observations, revelations, and allegations. . . . The authors mix savvy political analysis in these pages with detailed reconstructions of scenes and conversations. . . . Game Change leaves the reader with a vivid, visceral sense of the campaign and a keen understanding of the paradoxes and contingencies of history."—Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

"A thoroughly researched, well-paced and occasionally very amusing read. . . . The result is something that conveys the feel, or perhaps more accurately the smell, of one of recent history's most thrilling elections, and it does so better than any of the other books already on the market."—The Economist

“An amazing piece of work. . . . One of the best books on politics of any kind. . . . An absolutely gripping read.”—Financial Times

Please let us know if you would like to receive a desk copy or examination copy of Game Change.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Making Wise Food Choices with RIGHTEOUS PORKCHOP by Nicolette Hahn Niman


Students know that it’s best to avoid the meat, poultry, milk, and eggs produced by the often-shocking practices of big agribusiness—but do they know how to do this? Do they know how to reclaim the pleasures of delicious, healthful, honest food? In Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms they learn how to do all this and more.

One of the most appealing things about Righteous Porkchop is the gentle, nonthreatening tone that Nicolette Hahn Niman uses throughout her book: she is never preachy, shrill, or pedantic (relax—you and your students do not have to become vegetarians or vegans—it’s a delicious twist that Nicolette is married to Bill Niman, the founder of the Niman Ranch, a collective of traditional farms and ranches in Northern California that raise and treat animals kindly). Niman simply advocates that we care about our food sources so that we all make wise food and eating choices, such as what to look for on labels, why to skip animal products from outside the United States, and what questions to ask when eating out.

Praise for Righteous Porkchop:

“This book is without a doubt the best piece of writing on animal agriculture I have encountered in 25 years of work in animal welfare and agriculture . . . [I]t is a totally captivating read.”—Dr. Bernard E. Rollin, Colorado State University, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biomedical Sciences, and Animal Sciences

“[B]rims with hope and charts a practical (and even beautiful) path out of the jungle.”—Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food

Please let us know if you would like to receive a desk copy or examination copy of Righteous Porkchop.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Now Available in Paperback—1492: THE YEAR THE WORLD BEGAN by Felipe Fernández-Armesto

1492:  THE YEAR THE WORLD BEGAN by Felipe Fernández-Armesto

“The world would end in 1492—so the prophets, soothsayers, and stargazers said. They were right. Their world did end. Ours began.”—From 1492: The Year the World Began by Felipe Fernández-Armesto

1492: The Year the World Began is a look at one of the most fascinating years in world history, the year when many believe the modern world was born. Everything changed in 1492: the way power and wealth were distributed around the globe, the way major religions and civilizations divided the world, and the increasing interconnectedness of separate economies that we now call globalization.

Historian Felipe Fernández-Armesto, who is the William P. Reynolds Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, covers such iconic figures as Christopher Columbus and Alexander Borgia and explores cultures as diverse as that of Spain, China, and Africa to tell your students the story of 1492, a momentous year whose lessons are still relevant today.

Praise for 1492:

“In this admirable history, Fernández-Armesto has written a book of travels not unlike those of Marco Polo, filled with marvels and sensations, rich in description and replete with anecdote. 1492 is a compendium of delights.”—The Times (London)

Please let us know if you would like to receive a desk copy or an examination copy of 1492.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Resources in the Fight to Stop Bullying

THE BULLY, THE BULLIED, AND THE BYSTANDER by Barbara ColorosoRecent headlines have brought stories of one tragedy after another as a result of bullying. It seems as if everyone is talking and thinking about bullying and how serious an issue it is in our society. Schools are constantly doing every thing they can to counteract this phenomenon but educators across the country are left craving more advice on ways to put this behavior to an end. Two of our powerful titles on the subject of bullying are valuable resources for educators, administrators, and parents alike.

Barbara Coloroso’s The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School—How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle is a groundbreaking and trusted guide on bullying. Drawing on her decades of work with troubled youth, Coloroso helps teachers understand
  • What bullying is—and what it isn’t
  • How to read subtle clues that a child is being bullied
  • Seven steps to take if a child is being bullied
  • Four abilities that help protect a child from succumbing to bullying
  • Why zero tolerance policies can equal zero thinking
  • Why contempt, not anger, drives bullying, and how to confront this in bullies)

This title is an essential component of any anti-bullying school effort and serves as a valuable resource to school personnel, parents, and guardians in this struggle.

Another important work is Letters to a Bullied Girl: Messages of Healing and Hope by Olivia Gardner, Sarah Buder, and Emily Buder.The result of a tragic event in the life of Olivia, a 14-year-old student, this eye-opening book is a startling look at the long-term impact bullying can have. After having a seizure in front of her classmates, Olivia was bullied mercilessly; the impact this had on her was predictably crushing. Emily and Sarah Buder, sisters and classmates of Olivia, asked the rest of the school to write letters to her in an effort to raise her spirits. As a result of media attention, the simple plan to collect a few letters of encouragement grew to near 3,000 “Dear Olivia” emails and handwritten notes. What is most powerful about the collection of letters found in Letters to a Bullied Girl is that they are written not only by those who have been bullied, but by those who have bullied themselves or have been a bystander to bullying taking place. This text, in addition to the extensive curriculum guide available, is sure to go a long way towards changing the culture of a school community and its views on bullying.

As recent events have shown, students can and have been bullied for practically any aspect of who they are, including their sexual orientation. Eric Marcus’ Is It a Choice: Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Gay & Lesbian People provides insightful and no-nonsense answers to commonly asked questions about homosexuality. This is yet another valuable resource for educators to stop bullying of students because of their sexual orientation.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Discover the Science of Human-Animal Relations with SOME WE LOVE, SOME WE HATE, SOME WE EAT by Hal Herzog

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat:  Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals by Hal Herzog

Does living with a pet really make people happier and healthier? What can students learn from biomedical research with mice? Who enjoys a better quality of life—the chicken on a dinner plate or a rooster who dies in a Saturday night cockfight? Why is it wrong to eat the family dog? Drawing on over two decades of research in the emerging field of anthrozoology, the science of human-animal relations, Hal Herzog, a Professor of Psychology at Western Carolina University, offers surprising answers to these and other questions related to the moral conundrums we face day in and day out regarding the creatures with whom we share our world.

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals is a highly entertaining and illuminating journey through the full spectrum of human-animal relations, based on Herzog’s groundbreaking research on animal rights activists, cockfighters, professional dog show handlers, veterinary students, and biomedical researchers. Blending anthropology, history, brain science, behavioral economics, evolutionary psychology, and philosophy, Herzog carefully crafts a seamless narrative enriched with real life anecdotes, scientific research, and his own sense of moral ambivalence.

Praise for Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat:

"A fascinating, thoughtful, and thoroughly enjoyable exploration of a major dimension of human experience."—Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Language Instinct : How the Mind Creates Language

"Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat is one of a kind. I don't know when I've read anything more comprehensive about our highly involved, highly contradictory relationships with animals, relationships which we mindlessly, placidly continue no matter how irrational they may be." —Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Deer: Lessons from the Natural World

“Hal Herzog does for our relationships with animals what Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma did for our relationships with food. Presenting cutting-edge research and real-world stories with wit, sophistication, and charm, Herzog shows us that the relationships we have with animals, even the ones that just a minute ago seemed so sensible, are riddled with contradictions and complexities. The book is a joy to read, and no matter what your beliefs are now, it will change how you think.” —Sam Gosling, Professor of Psychology, University of Texas, Austin, and author of Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You

Please let us know if you would like to receive a desk copy or examination copy of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat.

A Special Offer: Omid Safi's MEMORIES OF MUHAMMAD

Today’s students live in a world filled with so much media noise surrounding Muhammad and Islam that it is essential for them to learn about the historical Muhammad before they can engage in meaningful discussions.

In Memories of Muhammad: Why the Prophet Matters, Omid Safi, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, provides a three-dimensional portrait of Muhammad—and the one billion people who follow him today.

Here is a lens through which students can view both the genesis of Islamic religion and the grand sweep of Islam history—right up to the hot-button issues of today.

“A fresh investigation of Islam’s Prophet that uncovers a complex personality. . . . [Safi’s] depiction of a profoundly humane and compassionate visionary offers a much needed corrective to the darker perspective promulgated by some Islamic extremists.”—Booklist (starred review)

SPECIAL OFFER FOR PROFESSORS: Memories of Muhammad will be available in paperback ($14.99) in November—in time to assign for the spring semester. The first 250 professors who respond may have a FREE hardcover to examine now for possible course adoption. The hardcover ($24.99, ISBN 978-0-06-123134-6) will ship to college addresses in the United States only. This hardcover examination copy is yours to keep whether you assign for class or not. Please use this form to request a copy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bible Basics for Students

BIBLICAL LITERACY by Timothy BealAfter my first week in college, it became very clear to me that I would not flourish as a literature major if I didn't "get" the Biblical references that are peppered throughout most of Western literature. Only one student in my intro course did—and she was a minister's daughter. The rest of us barely knew the basics—and we spent the rest of the semester playing catch up.

I'm glad that I put in the effort. Yes, I did nicely on the my term paper—but—even today—knowing the key stories of the Old and New Testaments helps me make sense of art, politics, world affairs, and people.

Frankly, I would have been grateful to have been assigned Timothy Beal's Biblical Literacy: The Essential Stories Everyone Needs to Know. Professor Beal's book covers the Old and New Testaments—and he showcases the Bible stories that have most shaped history and our world. He provides the key information students need to understand these profound stories—and he delves into important historical and cultural background information so that students can fully understand the impact of these stories on the world we live in now.

The paperback edition will publish in October (ISBN 9780061718670, $15.99). If you think Biblical Literacy makes sense for your students, please request a desk copy.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Other People's Lives: Memoirs

We publish our share of memoirs—and I'm always amazed at how they arrive in my in-box rubberbanded together into the oddest pairings.

This week? Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude by Neal Pollack, The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book with a Foreword by M.F.K. Fisher, and Phoebe Potts's Good Eggs—a graphic memoir about her aspirations as an artist, neurotic family, and her quest to conceive a baby—arrived on the same day.

What do an overweight, skeptical guy who unexpectedly falls into bliss with yoga, Gertude Stein's "secretary companion," and a woman struggling with infertility have in common? Well, not much—except that they're interesting people—and I'm glad I got to meet them.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Be One of the First 200 to Respond and Receive a FREE Hardcover Examination Copy Now!*

Heresy: A History of Defending the Truth by Alister McGrath In today’s age, the line between heresy and orthodoxy is becoming increasingly blurred; many are eager to reject the sanctioned beliefs about Christianity, claiming the dogma is outdated and restricts individual freedom. Heresy: A History of Defending the Truth by Alister McGrath makes the argument that the church must continue to defend the truth about Jesus by revealing the surprising history of heresy and rival forms of Christianity. In anticipation of the upcoming paperback release, we are offering free hardcover examination copies to the first 200 to respond.

McGrath refutes many misconceptions regarding the history of Christianity, equipping the church to meet the challenge from renewed forms of heresy by presenting a powerful and deeply attractive new orthodoxy backed by historical evidence.

Praise for Heresy:
“Not only a riveting story of ancient controversies, but also a much needed and timely correction to the commonly held notion that heretics were mostly free thinkers who challenged a narrow and closed orthodoxy.”— Justo L. González, author of The Story of Christianity

“A penetrating examination by an intellectual powerhouse.”—Booklist

*While supplies last. Requests must be made before October 31, 2010. Books will be shipped to college addresses only. Please send requests with required information to

Ellen Galinsky's MIND IN THE MAKING Gives Groundbreaking Advice on Child Development

Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs by Ellen GalinskyHow can teachers foster the skills that children need to achieve their full potential—the skills that will allow them to take on life's challenges, communicate well with others, and remain committed to learning? Ellen Galinsky, President of the Families and Work Institute, has provided the answer in Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs.

Here are Galinsky’s own studies and the findings of the most outstanding researchers in child development and neuroscience—grouped into seven critical areas in a child’s life: (1) focus and self control; (2) perspective taking; (3) communicating; (4) making connections; (5) critical thinking; (6) taking on challenges; and (7) self-directed, engaged learning.

For each of these skills, Galinsky shows teachers what the studies have proven, and she provides numerous concrete things that teachers can do—starting today—to strengthen these skills in their students.

Also, be sure to check out Ellen's interview with Katie Couric!

Praise for Mind in the Making:
“A valuable resource! Ellen Galinsky’s extensive research reveals important insights into the science of early learning.”—Adele Faber, co-author of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk

“Ellen Galinsky—already the go-to person on interaction between families and the workplace—draws on fresh research to explain what we OUGHT to be teaching our children. This is must-reading for everyone who cares about America’s 21st century.”—Judy Woodruff, Senior Correspondent for the PBS NewsHour

Let us know if you need a desk copy or examination copy, and please tell us what you think

Monday, September 13, 2010

Early Christianity Expert Pamela Eisenbaum Presents Little-Known, True Story of the Apostle Paul

Paul Was Not a Christian: The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle by Pamela EisenbaumIn Paul Was Not a Christian: The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle, Professor Pamela Eisenbaum gives students an intense look at the historical Paul to reveal some startling truths: The apostle Paul was NOT a convert to Christianity. In fact, he believed that Jesus would unite Jews and Gentiles and that his work would be part of an evolution of the Jewish faith. Since there was no religious category known as “Christianity” at the time, Eisenbaum positions Paul’s faith in Jesus and his teachings as his hope for a reformation of the Jewish faith—not the formation of a new one.

Eisenbaum, reverses the image we have of Paul as a model for Christian conversion and greatly increases our understanding of both Judaism and Christianity. Provocatively argued and far-reaching in its implications, Paul Was Not a Christian is a much-needed corrective to the traditional portrait of Paul and his divisive legacy.
Praise for Paul Was Not a Christian:

“This book’s great accomplishment is to show us a historically plausible picture of a fully Jewish Paul who was also fully committed to Christ.”—Dr. Stanley Stowers, Chair of Religious Studies, Brown University

“Very highly recommended to both scholars and laypersons as all will gain from it.”—Alan F. Segal, Professor of Religion and Jewish Studies Barnard College, Columbia University

Please let us know if you need a
desk copy or examinatnion copy of Paul Was Not a Christian and feel free to let us know what you think

Teaching Humane Food Production and Sustainability: RIGHTEOUS PORKCHOP by Nicolette Hahn Niman

Righteous Porkchop:  Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms by Nicolette Hahn Niman

Students know that it’s best to avoid the meat, poultry, milk, and eggs produced by the often shocking practices of big agribusiness—but do they know how to do this? Do they know how to reclaim the pleasures of delicious, healthful, honest food? In Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms they learn how to do all this and more.

Nicolette Hahn Niman takes students along on her search for that “righteous porkchop,” the one that is produced from a traditionally farmed animal in an environmentally sound and humane manner. As students witness the worst and the best practices of ranchers and farmers, they’ll learn how to make better choices for themselves and the environment. And, Nicolette ends their trip in the grocery aisle—where she teaches students what to look for on labels, why to skip animal products from outside the United States, and what questions to ask when eating out.

Praise for Righteous Porkchop:

“[B]rims with hope and charts a practical (and even beautiful) path out of the jungle.”—Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food

Please let us know if you would like to receive a desk copy of Righteous Porkchop.