Thursday, March 24, 2011

Galley Giveaway: Miriam Toews’ Stirring Memoir, SWING LOW: A LIFE

Swing Low: A Life by Miriam ToewsOne morning Miriam Toews’ father, Mel put on his coat and hat and walked out of town, prepared to die. A loving husband and father, faithful member of the Mennonite church and immensely popular schoolteacher, he was a pillar of his close-knit community. Yet after a lifetime of struggle, he could no longer face the darkness of manic depression. In Swing Low: A Life, Miriam gracefully and compassionately recounts her father’s battle with mental illness in a moving meditation on illness, family, faith, and love.

Praise for Swing Low:

“Miriam Toews’ memoir of her father’s troubled life is audacious, original and profoundly moving. . . . A deeply affecting work. . . . This is a document for the living, and its virtues are more than literary; healing is a likely outcome of a book imbued with the righteous anger, compassion and humanity of Swing Low.”—The Globe and Mail (Canada)

“Toews’ novelistic skills are richly apparent in her evocative characterizations and in the deft drama of the narrative. . . . A profoundly affecting book.”—Toronto Star

Swing Low: A Life comes out in September, 2011, but you can be one of the first to read this heart wrenching memoir. We are offering free galleys to the first 10 people to email us at*. In your email please provide your:

1. Name
2. Position
3. Institution/School
4. Campus/School Shipping Address

*You will receive a confirmation email If you are one of the first 10 people to respondents. If you do not get a response, you were not one of the first 10 to reply. Please allow 1-2 weeks from the date of the confirmation email for the galley to arrive.

Coming Soon: Dr. Joann Fletcher, Renowned Egyptologist, Shows Students the Real CLEOPATRA THE GREAT

Cleopatra the Great: The Woman Behing the Legend by Dr. Joann FletcherIn an unparalleled biography, Cleopatra the Great: The Woman Behind the Legend, Egyptologist Joann Fletcher draws on a wealth of overlooked detail and the latest research to reveal Cleopatra to students as she truly was, from her first meeting with Julius Caesar to her legendary death by snakebite. Fletcher also explodes a series of long-standing myths and addresses her heritage, with some exciting results.

Cleopatra the Great
tells the story of a turbulent time and the extraordinary woman at its center. Until now, our understanding of Cleopatra has been obscured by Roman propaganda, Shakespearean tragedy, and Hollywood, with little attempt to tell her true story.

Bringing the ancient world to life, Cleopatra the Great is full of tantalizing details about the Pharaoh’s infamous banquets and massive library, her reputation as a magician, her relationships with both Julius Caesar and Marc Antony, and her skillful use of goddess outfits, beauty regimes, hairstyling, and face veiling. In this absorbing, stunning biography, Dr. Joann Fletcher discovers the real woman behind the myth.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In Memoriam: Elizabeth Taylor 1932-2011

FURIOUS LOVE by Sam Kashner and Nancy SchoenbergerThe news this morning that Elizabeth Taylor died was not surprising—she had been ill for several years with congestive heart failure, and throughout her life she had valiantly fought a litany of maladies—but it was nevertheless still very sad and poignant since Taylor's death truly symbolizes the last of the old Hollywood vanguard of glamour stars that are now gone. Taylor was world famous from the time she was a child, starring in Lassie Come Home and National Velvet. Her astounding beauty was legendary—those violet eyes!, and did you know that she had a genetic mutation that gave her two rows of eyelashes?—and her eight marriages and love of all things big and expensive and sparkling made her irresistible catnip for the tabloids and paparazzi. The man she will always be linked with is Welsh actor Richard Burton. Theirs was a relationship that was so tempestuous and over the top that they married each other twice—talk about drama! Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger deliciously documents the larger-than-life outrageous passion that was Taylor and Burton.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Paula J. Giddings Wins Award from Duke University

Congratulations are also in order for Professor Paula J. Giddings for winning the John Hope Franklin Research Center Book Award from Duke University. The book award was established “to recognize a recent work of scholarship that best exemplifies the mission of the research center and champions the importance of archival research” and Giddings won for her compelling book Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching. Giddings, renowned scholar and professor at Smith College, presents her masterpiece on Ida B. Wells--a crusading journalist and pioneer in the fight against segregation and lynchings.

Lola Shoneyin's THE SECRET LIVES OF BABA SEGI'S WIVES Nominated for The Orange Prize

Congratulations to Lola Shoneyin! Her debut novel The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives has been longlisted for the presitigous Orange Prize for Fiction, which celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women's writing from throughout the world. Previous winners of this award include Barbara Kingsolver, Ann Patchett, and many other fantastic women writers.

Shoneyin's novel, is a wonderful piece for students of world literature, telling a perceptive, entertaining, and eye-opening tale of polygamy in modern-day Nigeria. The struggles, rivalries, intricate family politics, and the interplay of personalities and relationships within the complex private world of a polygamous union come to life in The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives.

“Shoneyin, a magical writer, spins her web of story with deceptively simple elegance. Her novel opens the door wider to a reader’s understanding with each chapter. Those who appear to be villains are suddenly revealed as tortured souls. Shoneyin, like all good writers, knows that villains aren’t one-dimensional.... Deceptively straightforward, with lines that merited re-reading and being turned like jewels to catch the light, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives is one of those wonderful books which has brain-building nutrients tucked into the delicious story.”—Huffington Post

George Makari, author of REVOLUTION IN MIND, is now blogging for Psychology Today

George Makari, author of REVOLUTION IN MINDGeorge Makari's look back at one of the most important intellectual endeavors of the 20th century, Revolution in Mind, has been called "the best informed history of psychoanalysis."* Now, Dr. Makari is writing about current concerns in his new blog for Psychology Today. You'll find his response to the New York Times article "Talk Doesn't Pay" here!

*Harold Bloom
Photo by Nancy Crampton

Bart D. Ehrman's FORGED--Revealing the True Authors of the Bible

New from Bart Ehrman—bestselling author of Misquoting Jesus and Jesus, Interrupted is Forged: Writing in the Name of God—Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are.

The books of the New Testament are widely assumed to be written accounts of Jesus’s life by those who knew him best. Using his own original research, Ehrman takes students on a journey to the Roman Empire to reveal how counterfeit works written in the name of Jesus’s disciples have actually been included in the Bible we read today.

Ehrman investigates ancient sources to:

  • Reveal which New Testament books were outright forgeries.

  • Explain how widely forgery was practiced by early Christian writers—and how strongly it was condemned in the ancient world as fraudulent and illicit.

  • Expose the deception in the history of the Christian religion.

Here is essential reading for those studying the Bible and the history of Christianity.

Praise for Bart Ehrman:

“Ehrman’s ability to translate scholarship for a popular audience has made the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill a superstar in the publishing world”—IndyWeek

Be sure to also check out our Religion catalog

for more from Ehrman plus many more!

Let us know if you'd like to consider Forged (9780062012616, Hardcover, $26.99) for one of your classes by using our desk copy form.*

*No phone calls please. This offer is valid in the United States only and will expire on April 4, 2011. No more than one book per person. Ship to college address only. Proof of employment at college must be given upon request. Limited supply. Requests will be filled while supplies last. Our receipt of a request does not guarantee fulfillment

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Laura Brodie's ONE GOOD YEAR- An Intriguing Look Into One Home-Schooling Parent's Journey

Laura Brodie’s One Good Year: A Mother and Daughter's Educational Adventure is a funny and inspiring story of human foibles and human potential, in which love, anger, and hope mingle with reading, math, and American history.

After years of watching her eldest daughter, Julia, struggle in a highly regimented public school system, Laura Brodie determined to teach her ten-year-old at home for a year. Although friends were skeptical and her husband predicted disaster, Brodie had visions of one ideal year of learning. The monotony of fill-in-the-blank history and math worksheets would be replaced with studying dinosaurs and Mayan hieroglyphics, conversational French, violin lessons, and field trips to art museums, science fairs, bookstores, and concerts.

As today’s parents ponder their children’s educations, wondering how to respond to everything from homework overload to bullying to the boredom of excessive test preparations, One Good Year gives a informative look into the popular alternative of home-schooling, which has been embraced by millions.

“A detailed, lesson-by-lesson story of the challenges and delights mother and daughter faced in Julia’s ‘sabbatical’ year. [Brodie] offers a compromise to frustrated parents—a mixture of home and public schooling that many readers will feel is the solution they have been looking for.”—Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

DESERT FLOWER Premiers on March 18

DESERT FLOWER by Waris DirieA film based on our book Desert Flower by Waris Dirie with Cathleen Miller premieres this Friday in New York and Los Angeles—and it will roll out across the rest of the country in the following weeks.

The book and film are just right for educators during March—Women’s History Month. Waris Dirie ran away from her oppressive life in the African desert when she was barely in her teens, illiterate and impoverished, with nothing to her name but a tattered shawl. She traveled alone across the dangerous Somali desert to Mogadishu—the first leg of a remarkable journey that would take her to London, where she worked as a house servant; then to nearly every corner of the globe as an internationally renowned fashion model; and ultimately to New York City, where she became a human rights ambassador for the U.N. Desert Flower is her extraordinary story.

“Waris Dirie is a remarkable and courageous person. Her story is an inspiration. Not only did Waris overcome obstacles that would defeat most people, but as UNFPA Special Ambassador for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation, she will serve as a leader in the struggle to end all forms of discrimination against women.”—Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund

You can watch the trailer for the film here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sample Chapter from Ben Thompson’s BADASS: THE BIRTH OF A LEGEND—“The Most Kick Ass Cliff Notes Available”

Hitting stores today, Badass: The Birth of a Legend celebrates fearless berserkers of every stripe, male and female, from the hoary pages of mythology, fantasy fiction, and the silver screen—from Zeus to Beowulf to Dirty Harry Callahan, the most merciless gods, monsters, heroes, villains, and mythical creatures ever envisioned.

We were surprised to hear from several high school teachers that, while it might not be best suited for course use, reading Ben Thompson’s fresh and always-entertaining take on some of the most famous literary characters has given them an interesting perspective to bring into class discussions. One teacher called Ben’s first book Badass: A Relentless Onslaught of the Toughest Warlords, Vikings, Samurai, Pirates, Gunfighters, and Military Commanders to Ever Live "the most kick ass Cliff Notes available."

hat do YOU think? We’ve put up the table of contents from Badass: The Birth of a Legend as well as the chapter on Melville’s Moby Dick on our Sribd page. We’d be very interested in hearing your feedback on how this might (or might not!) be useful to teachers as they prepare lectures.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Galley Giveaway! Be one of the First to Read Matthew Norman’s DOMESTIC VIOLETS

In his debut novel, Domestic Violets, Matthew Norman gives readers a darkly comic family drama about love, loss, and ambition that will leave them laughing and grimacing with every page.

Tom Violet is simply too busy for a full-fledged downward spiral. His now-homeless dad has decided to move in for an undisclosed amount of time. His doctor is trying to convince him that his erectile dysfunction is all in his head. His dog suffers from acute anxiety. His stepfather is in desperate need of marital advice. His boozy stepmother might be stalking him. And, of course, he’s slowly beginning to suspect that his wife may be having an affair with a guy from her gym. So when he orchestrates a truly stupid revenge stunt at work and gets fired, he’s not too surprised.

With hints of subtle satire, Norman tells the story of Tom, an unfortunate everyman fighting against the never-ending barrage of disappointments coming at him from every direction.

Even though Domestic Violets comes out in September, 2011, you can be one of the first to read this outstanding debut novel. We are offering free galleys to the first 20 people to email us at*. In your email please provide your:

1. Name
2. Position
3. Institution/School
4. Campus/School Shipping Address

*You will receive a confirmation email If you are one of the first 20 people to respondents. If you do not get a response, you were not one of the first 20 to reply. Please allow 1-2 weeks from the date of the confirmation email for the galley to arrive.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Amanda Little, Author of POWER TRIP Featured in the NEW YORK TIMES

Amanda Little, author of Power Trip has recently written an Op-Ed piece for the New York Times, discussing a solution to "energy obesity" in America. It imagines a high-tech labeling system that would track the consumption of "energy calories" in all aspects of our lives and make it easy to use less. Little discusses how virtually everything we consume—from hamburgers, running shoes and chemotherapy to Facebook, Lady Gaga MP3s and “The Daily Show”—is produced from or powered by fossil fuels and their byproducts. Little, a prominent journalist continues to shine a light on the history and future of America’s energy addiction in this piece, following the work she started with Power Trip.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bestsellers in Botany and Zoology

It’s always a good thing to see our books on a bestseller list. And, since I spend most of my day marketing our books to academics—it’s especially gratifying to find two of our books on Library Journal's Bestsellers in Botany/Zoology to College Libraries list:

SOME WE LOVE, SOME WE HATE, SOME WE EAT by Hal HerzogHal Herzog’s Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard To Think Straight About Animals is a departmental favorite. We admire this book because Hal is thoughtful, rational, and often funny—and he shows us how illogical we are in our relationships with animals. It’s not a polemic. It’s a book that truly fosters debate and conversation. It’s already been adopted in all sorts of courses from ethics to anthropology. And, we're not the only ones who admire it: Robert M. Sapolsky of Stanford University said, “It's a wonderful book—wildly readable, funny, scientifically sound, and with surprising moments of deep, challenging thoughts.” The book will be available in paperback in August.

EELS by James ProsekEels: An Exploration, from New Zealand to the Sargasso, of the World’s Most Amazing and Mysterious Fish by James Prosek—not only has one of my favorite jackets of the year—the beauty continues inside with Prosek’s black-and-white illustrations. According to the New York Times Book Review, “Eels [is] more than a fish book. It is an impassioned defense of nature itself. . . . In Eels, he passes on the truth that the often disdained eel, like all migratory fish, is vital and mysterious and worthy of our full effort to bring it back.”

One-Book Events for Neil Gaiman

NEVERWHERE by Neil GaimanYesterday, Chicago’s Mayor Daley announced the city’s twentieth book in its One Book, One Chicago program: Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. You'll find their wonderful guide to the book here. We also have a guide for teachers.

And, on a smaller scale—but terrific in its own way—Neil’s The Graveyard Book has been assigned to Brigham Young University students who are spending a semester in London. Chris Crowe of Brigham Young University’s London Centre told me, “The day we discuss Gaiman’s book, we’ll hold class in the very eerie setting of Kensal Green Cemetery.” When we told Neil, he was delighted, “That’s wonderful. And Kensal Green Cemetery sort of crept into the mixture: it was there on a very cold day in, what, 1989?, that Terry Pratchett and I were photographed for the author picture of Good Omens, and I told Terry about The Graveyard Book.”

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Give Your Students An Edge In Negotiations With Joe Navarro's LOUDER THAN WORDS

Joe Navarro’s Louder Than Words: Take Your Career from Average to Exceptional with the Hidden Power of Nonverbal Intelligence is sure to prepare your students for the business world by teaching them skills and strategies for reading nonverbal clues. Navarro, a former counterintelligence officer—teaches students skills with chapters such as:

· How the Body Talks—The subtle behaviors that offer clues to what others are thinking or feeling

· Influence at Your Fingertips—Mastering the first impression and picking up cues that may indicate agreement or disagreement

· “To See Ourselves As Others See Us”—Social behaviors that may make you look poorly in the eyes of others

In today’s tumultuous job market, Louder Than Words gives business students a much-needed edge in negotiations and sales by showing them how to train their brains to see what others are feeling, thinking, or intending.

Praise for Louder Than Words:

“Joe Navarro brings together the art and science of nonverbal communications for the business sector with the edge of a former FBI agent and the insight of a world-class observer.” –Jack Canfield, co-author of The Success Principles

Let us know if you'd like to consider Louder Than Words (9780062015044, paperback, $16.99) for one of your classes by using our desk copy form.*

*No phone calls please. This offer is valid in the United States only and will expire on March 18, 2011. No more than one book per person. Ship to college address only. Proof of employment at college must be given upon request. Limited supply. Requests will be filled while supplies last. Our receipt of a request does not guarantee fulfillment.