Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy 131st Birthday, FDR!

Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal By William E. LeuchtenburgToday in 1882, our 32nd and longest-serving President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was born. To honor the occasion, Kenneth C. Davis, historian and author of Don't Know Much About the American Presidents, has written a blog post on why he believes Roosevelt was the most influential American President. “Whether you like it or not,” Davis writes, Roosevelt’s “New Deal” transformed the country, and his call for a “social safety net” remains at the heart of American political debate today.  

If you’re interested in learning more about Roosevelt’s profound legacy, we are proud to have a true classic on our list, William E. Leuchtenburg’s Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, hailed as “the best one-volume study of Franklin D. Roosevelt” by the Chicago Sun Times.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Amity Shlaes, author of THE FORGOTTEN MAN and COOLIDGE, Visits the Office

Coolidge By Amity ShlaesWe had a really cool start to our Friday in Academic Marketing, because economist Amity Shlaes, author of New York Times bestsellers The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression and The Greedy Hand, and the upcoming Coolidge, stopped in to see us. Amity writes a syndicated column for Bloomberg View and directs the Four Percent Growth Project at the George W. Bush Presidential Center. She also teaches MBAs at New York University/Stern.

We're sending out a mailing to professors who adopted the groundbreaking The Forgotten Man with a copy of her new book Coolidge and letter written by Amity herself. She came in today to sign the letters before we sent them off.

I had talked to Amity on the phone before, but she was a pleasure to meet in person (especially since she grew up in Chicago, too), and it was great to speak with an author who is so excited about getting course adoptions. Her book Coolidge is a really insightful look at American economic policies from 1923-1929, told through the lens of one of our often overlooked, but remarkably capable presidents, Calvin Coolidge. Coolidge comes out February 12!

A picture of Amity post-signing, just hanging with her new book:


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Two Adoptions Today for Mark Doty

Fire to Fire By Mark DotyDiane brought two incredible authors with her to the MLA conference this January—one of whom was Mark Doty. Author of four memoirs and nine books of poetry, he is the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and, in the United Kingdom, the T. S. Eliot Prize. In 2008, he won the National Book Award for Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems.

Today, we learned that two of Mark Doty's books are being adopted, and we wanted to share. His memoir Firebird is being taught at California State University, San Marcos in a course entitled “On The Writing Process.” A “Readings in Contemporary Poetry” course at Bennington College will be using Fire to Fire. Congratulations, Mark! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lights! Cameras! Action! Awards! Books!

The Hollywood award season is officially in full-swing, and it is nice to note that four movie tie-in titles published by HarperDesign and Newmarket Press are associated with films that have garnered a combined 31 award nominations this year. The movie tie-in titles are Lincoln:  How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America by Harold Holzer, Zero Dark Thirty:  The Shooting Script by Mark Boal, The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey Chronicles:  Art & Design by Weta. and The Making of Life of Pi:  A Film, A Journey by Jean-Christophe Castelli.

Common Core Texts from HarperCollins

Teachers and school librarians—are you ready to meet the Common Core Standards in your classroom? Get ready with books that are recommended by the Common Core State Standard Initiative.

Little Bear
Grades K1 Text Exemplars
Amazing Whales! by Sarah L. Thomson
Fire! Fire! by Gail Gibbons
Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean by Arthur Dorros
Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel
Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik, illustrated by Maurice Sendak
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
My Five Senses by Aliki
Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel
Starfish by Edith Thacher Hurd
Truck by Donald Crews
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Sarah, Plain and Tall
Grades 23 Text Exemplars
Ah, Music! by Aliki
Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
A Medieval Feast by Aliki
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
Where Do Polar Bears Live? by Sarah L. Thomson

Grades 45 Text Exemplars
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Horses by Seymour Simon
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Volcanoes by Seymour Simon, illustrated by Marc Simont

Grades 68 Text Exemplars
Dragonwings by Laurence Yep

Black Boy
High School
The American Reader: Words that Moved a Nation, 2nd Edition, edited by Diane Ravich
Black Boy by Richard Wright
Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Richard lattimore
“Our Town” by Thornton Wilder
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Use Barnes & Noble's Educator Appreciation Days discount on these common core books this week!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Course Adoptions for Jessica Grogan's ENCOUNTERING AMERICA

Encountering America By Jessica GroganIn Encountering America: Humanistic Psychology, Sixties Culture, and the Shaping of the Modern Self, cultural historian Jessica Grogan traces the impact of the humanistic psychology movement on contemporary American cultural consciousness—from New Age yoga and sensitivity training to the ever-present concerns about wellness, identity, and purpose. Drawing on massive, untapped primary sources from iconic thought leaders like Abraham Maslow, Rollo May, and Timothy Leary, Grogan offers new and invaluable insight into humanistic psychology’s origins, and how these luminaries and the culture of the 1960s have come to shape our contemporary cultural sensibilities.

Grogan's book just came out at the end of December, but it seems to have quickly amassed a following in the academic community: we just found out that it's already being taught at two institutions! Professors at Vassar College adopted Encountering America for a group-taught course in the psychology department entitled "Individual Differences and Personality." It's also being taught in a 130 person lecture class on psychology and religion at the University of Virginia!

Click here or on the picture above to begin browsing the book for yourself.

Praise for Encountering America:

“Spot-on reporting, an unbiased presentation, and an admirable attention to detail make this a valuable resource for psychologists and scholars of American counterculture movements.”Publishers Weekly

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Presenting the Louise Erdrich Catalog!

The Round House By Louise ErdrichWe're very excited to announce the newest addition to our online catalog collectionErdrich: The Works of Louise Erdrich! Encompassing all of Erdrich's published work, the catalog boasts eighteen titles, including two poetry collections (Baptism of Desire and The Original Fire), a short story collection (The Red Convertible), and a personal memoir (The Blue Jay's Dance). And, of course, it features Ms. Erdrich's much-celebrated fourteen novels, including the 2012 National Book Award Winner for Fiction, The Round House.

Louise Erdrich is truly one of the most distinguished authors of our time, and is consistently one of our most adopted authors in literature, creative writing, and Native American studies courses. We're so happy to be able to present her complete works all in one place, so click on catalog tab on the right to begin browsing!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Modern Language Association 2013

I spent last week at the Modern Language Association’s 2013 conference in Boston.  Our booth was filled with classic and new books. 

Here are just a few of the highlights.

Soul Mountain by Gao XingjianA high point of the conference was Gao Xingjian—winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature—making a rare appearance in the United States. Mabel Lee, translator of many of Gao Xingjian’s works—including Soul Mountain—co-hosted a reception for Gao that was sponsored by the MLA, the French Consulate Boston, Cambria Press, HarperCollins, and the Reverie Foundation in Hong Kong.

Louise Erdrich’s The Round House—winner of the National Book Award—was the book that captured the most attention. Professors who have taught Erdrich were truly happy to see the National Book Award medal on her latest novel. And, the subject matter (“A stunning and devastating tale of hate crimes and vengeance. . . . Erdrich covers a vast spectrum of history, cruel loss, and bracing realizations.” —Donna Seaman, Booklist, starred review) of the novel drew in people who hadn’t considered teaching Erdrich’s previous novels. The paperback edition will be available in May 2013.

The stack of galleys of The Lady and Her Monsters: A Tale of Dissections, Real-Life Dr. Frankensteins, and the Creation of Mary Shelley’s Masterpiece by Roseanne Montillo (Emerson College) generated a lot of talk and excitement. One professor told me that she’s putting together a course on Monsters in Literature and the reading list will include books such as Frankenstein, The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff, and Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow, and now The Lady and Her Monsters! If you’d like to follow suit, here’s a terrific resource on monsters in literature and film from Dr. Michael A. Delahoyde of Washington State University.
Mark Doty, winner of the National Book Award for Poetry for Fire to Fire, was interviewed during the conference—and he stopped by our booth to sign copies of his memoirs (Firebird, Heaven’s Coast, Dog Years) and his poetry (Fire to Fire, Source, School of the Arts).

Other hits included Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon, Stanley Fish’s How to Write a Sentence, Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose, and Family Fang by Kevin Wilson.

I gave away copies of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain (featured on list after list of best books of 2012) because I am determined that it will be adopted—and professors were impressed by its subject and themes, the reviews, and how accessible the book is.

Another giveaway was Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles—a re-imagining of The Iliad written from Patroclus's point of view.  Ms. Miller's novelwinner of the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction—beautifully brings to light the romantic love between the narrator and Achilles ("[A] timeless love story."—O magazine)—and those teaching gay literature as well as professors of the classics were happy to have a copy.

Conference going means eating out so here’s my tip for Boson: B&G Oysters on Tremont Street. Great, very fresh raw oysters—and their fried oysters—no mean feat—are equally amazing. In the warmer weather, the patio out back is a wonderful place to have lunch or dinner.


Cyber Warfare and TUBES by Andrew Blum

Tubes By Andrew BlumWorking in academic marketing you get a firsthand look at how creative college courses can be. Our books are used in so many interesting and varied classes every day, oftentimes replacing the drier textbooks we were all forced to trudge through at one time or another. But every once in a while, we find a course that sounds so intriguing that we have to share (and makes us nothing short of envious of the students who get to take it). We just got notice that Penn State is using Andrew Blum's Tubes for such an upcoming course entitled "Using Serious Games to Promote Strategic Thinking and Analysis."

In the course description the instructors reveal that they will be using the Ancient Chinese game of "Go" to challenge their students to think strategically, analytically, and visually to preempt cyber attacks. In our world where cyber warfare has emerged as one of the greatest threats to national security, we need people who are able to understand and protect areas of the internet as we would protect physical spaces. This is where Andrew Blum's Tubes comes in—students "journey to the center of the internet" to understand the physicality of cyberspace in order to make decisions about best ways to protect the freedom, privacy, and security of the internet.

Blum's book has been adopted all over the country. It has had great success for us in specialized courses like this, but also in Freshman Common Read programs. The variety of its adoptions is a testament to Blum's ability to illuminate complicated, abstract material in a highly understandable and actually perceptible way. In his book, Blum brings the physical, visible infrastructure of the internet to life, and a clear picture of its reality emerges from the amorphous concept of the "web" that many of us have always had in our heads.

P.S. If you're interested in cyber warfare, you may also want to check out another great HarperCollins book, Cyber War by former presidential advisor and counter-terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Our Trip to the AHA Annual Conference in New Orleans

Empires, Nations, and Families By Anne F. HydeAnnie and I just got back from wonderful, warm (comparatively) New Orleans, where we travelled to attend the American Historical Association annual meeting. It was my second academic conference ever, and we had a lot of fun the whole weekend—it was definitely a nice way to start out 2013!

We woke up last Wednesday at a frighteningly early hour to catch a morning plane, and got to New Orleans around 9:30 am for set up. We sent a smaller number of books for this conference, which allowed me more time to get a real sense of the strength of our history list. Some of the titles, like Howard Zinn's incomparable A People's History of the United States, were familiar to me (I, along with most classmates, read it and loved it in high school—it served as the antidote to many of the drier history textbooks that we had been subjected to). Others, however, were entirely new, and the long set-up time gave me a chance to get better acquainted.

The next day, the convention hall opened to conference-goers at 3pm, and as people started to wander in, I learned what texts history professors and AHA members are truly excited about. Anne Hyde's Empires, Nations, and Families was definitely a standout. We sold out on the second day, spurred, of course, by its distinguished status as a finalist for the Pulitzer, excellent word of mouth, and Anne Hyde's talk at the conference, which a number of people came to the booth lauding (Hyde also stopped by the booth to check in, which was very cool). Other big sellers were The Storm of War, Stasiland, Tinderbox, The Partnership, and A Train in Winter.

The conference was a lot calmer than my first one. It was nice to really get to speak with the historians who came up to the booth about what they were teaching and what they were interested in. A few told us how much they love our books for their students, which was really nice to hear.

It was a wonderful second conference, and I know that this is how I ended my post about NCTE, but it would be a crime if I didn't mention the food in New Orleans. I'm coming to realize that conferences = amazing food in new places, and I could not be happier about it. I think I may have taken a few years off of my life with all the artery-clogging deliciousness that I consumed, but let me tell you, IT WAS WORTH IT. I don't think I've ever been to a city with better food, which was definitely a nice topper to a great working weekend.


Friday, January 4, 2013


I am a proud font geek going way back. My late father worked as a scenic designer/art director, and I have fond memories as a child of playing for hours with the endless combination of adhesive fonts he had in his basement workroom that were known as Letraset. Nowadays everyone is aware of fonts, and like a favorite color, everyone has a favorite typeface. Mine is Century Gothic. It's clean and simple and is easy to read on both the computer screen and the printed page. 

Graphic designers and typographers the world over will tell you that every typeface is different, but even lifelong professionals can find it difficult to spot the unique characteristics differentiating typefaces of similar styles and proportions—until now. Obsessively organized into 17 group classifications, The Anatomy of Type:  A Graphic Guide to 100 Typefaces by Stephen Coles explores 100 typefaces in loving detail, and contains enough information, from the quirky to the illuminating, to turn anyone into a proud font geek.

Each entry showcases a specific typeface, with letters enlarged and annotated to reveal their key features and anatomical details, teaching students about the fine elements of type design. Sidebar information lists each font's designer and foundry, the year of its release, and the different weights and styles available; feature boxes explain the origins, attributes, and best uses for each typeface. Ever wonder how Claredon, Didot, and Centaur came to be? Or why Gil Sans proportionally resembles old-style serif faces, despite its inconsistent weight stress? Or who "pirated" the first font? The Anatomy of Type provides answers these questions—and so much more. just published a terrific review of The Anatomy of Type (“If your aim—like mine—is to blow past jovial dorkery, level up, and ascend to a realm reserved for the truly insufferable pedant . . . may I recommend a new coffee table hardback from Stephen Coles? The Anatomy of Type offers granularity that would glaze the eyes of a normal, well-adjusted human. I couldn’t get enough of it.”), and the Rhode Island School of Design this week has featured the book on their blog.