June 2008

Bring us his head!

  • About the author MS
  • June 27, 2008

The Strand Bookstore’s Fulton Street location in downtown NYC will close August 31. The lease is up for renewal and the landlord plans to increase rent by 300%, according to the Downtown Express. The Strand’s owner issued some rather stoic statements, citing that the bookstore was merely a victim of circumstance (rents, construction) and that he didn’t see the closing as a sign of bad business. Though I have faith in the strength adaptability of The Strand (their flagship Broadway store and Central Park kiosks will remain open), it’s still heartbreaking to see such a fantastic store close its doors. Does anyone know who the landlord is?

Stephen King flat-out loved it

  • About the author EB
  • June 26, 2008

imagename When a book gets too much hype, I’m automatically suspicious. Could it really be as good as everyone says it is? One of the books everyone seems to be talking about lately is The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, published by our good friends at Ecco. In simplest terms, it’s the story of a boy and his dog(s). But this work, by first-time novelist David Wroblewski, comes complete with echoes of Hamlet and meditations on family, faith, loyalty, and tragedy. Clocking in at 576 pages, it’s weighty but well worth it. As someone obsessed with my own pet, I was moved by Edgar’s relationship with his dog, Almondine, and impressed by how vividly Wroblewski expressed Edgar’s terror and turmoil.

Wroblewski read last night at McNally Robinson here in NYC and will be hitting Washington, the west coast, and the rest of the country in the coming days. Click here to check out his tour schedule and by all means, read this book that totally deserves every bit of hype.

Party Girl!  Book Giveaway

  • About the author MS
  • June 25, 2008

imagename Are you in need of a summer read? If so, I’m a capable provider. The first FIVE readers to write me at Michael.Signorelli@harpercollins.com will receive a complimentary copy of Party Girl by Anna David.

Celebrity journalist Amelia Stone is the quintessential Hollywood party girl: she stays out late, rubs shoulders (and occasionally more) with celebrities, and ingest copious amounts of cocaine. But after losing her job, her friends, and much of her mind, Amelia makes the drastic decision to end her drug abuse. Once sober, she’s hired by a big-name magazine to write a column detailing her wild adventures and she starts seeing the man who could be her Mr. Right.

There’s just one problem. Overnight, Amelia, newly sober, has become the face of Hollywood nightlife, and her editors — who don’t know she’s come clean — want her to play the part. As the lure of her former fast-and-furious lifestyle begins to pull at her, she must decide whether to save herself or salvage her reputation as the ultimate party girl.

Party Girl has been praised as “laugh-out-loud hysterical and Capote-elegant” by Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight and as “a smart, hilarious, and poignant page-turner that takes you past the velvet ropes and into the rabbit hole of the Hollywood party scene” by Cindy Chupack, writer and executive producer for Sex and the City.

imagename That’s not to say that you’ll get nothing but a party (not that that’s a bad thing). David sheds candid light on the good and the bad of the Hollywood fastlane, and even inspired praise from Dr. Drew Pinsky: “At once uproarious and poignant, Anna David’s portrayal of the experience of addiction and nuances of recovery is the most accurate I have come across.”

Even so, that didn’t stop us as publishers from laminating an actual line of cocaine onto each copy of the book — it’s ready whenever you are!

Anna David has written for Playboy, Details, and the New York Times, among many other publications. She’s the sex and relationship expert on G4’s Attack of the Show!, and she appears regularly on CNN and Fox.

For more information visit Anna’s website — and don’t forget to write in for you free copy! (And if you can’t wait — Browse Inside!)

  • All copies have been claimed. Thanks so much for writing in!

X-Rated BEA Adventures!

  • About the author MS
  • June 25, 2008

All the BEA gossip has died down over the last few weeks, but some stories remain to be told. Tony O’Neill, author of the forthcoming Down and Out on Murder Mile, had a singular experience in L.A. with fellow authors Slash and, most prominently in this story, Ron Jeremy. Ron (Hogan) at GalleyCat links to Tony’s recollection of his journey from the literary lights of BEA to the pornographic lowlands of the Valley…“Tony O’Neill’s X-Rated BEA Adventures.”

Don’t Leave Home Without It

  • About the author CK
  • June 20, 2008

Our friends over at The Guardian have asked some authors to recommend some holiday (that means vacation to you non-Brits) reading…

Adam Thirlwell, author of Politics and most recently The Delighted States, discusses the following….


The problem is that there is no such thing as France. There are infinite Frances – because there are infinite places, and infinite times. So the happy summer reader needs to choose both a place and a time.

For the Paris of the 19th century, there is the spiky novel by Guy de Maupassant, Bel-Ami (Penguin Classics), with its lovely comic structure, based on exponentially increasing, unassailable good luck. Which makes it the opposite of much sadder summer reading: the Normandy of the 19th century which Maupassant describes in his novel Une Vie (Wildeside Press), with its structure of exponentially increasing, unassailable bad luck….read the rest!

Happy Bloomsday!

  • About the author MS
  • June 16, 2008

June 16th, Bloomsday.

Meet Jessica Anya Blau!

  • About the author MS
  • June 16, 2008

imagename The author of The Summer of Naked Swim Parties will read at McNally Robinson Booksellers today, Monday, June 16th.

Here’s some recent praise:

“[Y]ou finish [THE SUMMER OF NAKED SWIM PARTIES] wishing it were twice as long. It’s hard to recall a debut as warm, charming and comically satisfying as THE SUMMER OF NAKED SWIM PARTIES . . . Blau conveys Jamie’s world with compelling insight and wit . . . It’s a good measure of Blau’s skill that she takes what could easily be a tired stereotype [surfer Flip Jenkins] and instead fashions a comic creation of vivid complexity . . . [Blau’s] sharp observation and affectionate humor [give] surprising depth to this shimmering novel.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“Blau has written about what she knows, basing her debut on her own family. It’s a coming of age story for 14-year-old Jamie in 1970s Southern California at the height of its excesses, where she deals with her pot-smoking mom and clay pot-spinning dad. If nothing else, we love this one for its title (yes, her parents threw such parties). — New York Post, naming THE SUMMER OF NAKED SWIM PARTIES the #2 Guilty Pleasure Summer Read

“A fantastic beach read about painful adolescence in the 1970s.” — Oklahoma City Oklahoman

“Move over, summer of love. Here comes the summer of naked swim parties . . . [Blau] knows adolescence inside out . . . [S]he skewers what needs skewering and celebrates the rest with humor, style, and an appropriate degree of affection.” — Booklist

IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

  • About the author MS
  • June 13, 2008

imagename De Niro’s Game by Rawi Hage has won the 13th Annual IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. The IMPAC Award is presented annually with the objective of promoting excellence in world literature. It is open to novels written in any language and by authors of any nationality, provided the work has been published in English or English translation within the specified time period. Nominations are submitted by library systems in major cities throughout the world. For more information and a list of past winners, please visit: http://www.impacdublinaward.ie/News.htm

Harper Perennial will publish the trade paperback in August. For even more coverage visit PW or Shelf Awareness.

Swing ‘Em Home

  • About the author MS
  • June 12, 2008

Proud to say that we just bought Jon Glaser’s book (he’s the guy with the goatee in the video below). *Reminder: it’s satire.

You can see more of his work at 236.com

Heat Hitting Down

  • About the author MS
  • June 09, 2008

I keep seeing small, moving dots in my periphery. I keep thinking they might be bugs. But everytime I square my gaze they’re gone. I think I’m seeing the ghosts of bugs. Or it could be the heat.

Also, floating through my periphery have been the following links and factoids:

Wendy Lee, a HarperCollins colleague and debut novelist, celebrates the publication of her first book, Happy Family. She will read from and discuss her novel Wednesday, June 18th, 7:00pm at McNally Robinson bookstore in downtown NYC.

This morning I was pleasantly surprised to find an e-mail from Dan White, author of The Cactus Eaters, which linked to an astute and wonderful “Summer Reads” review at Salon.com. Neither of us knew it was coming. And they consider Dan almost in the same thought-breath as David Sedaris! Yay! Buy the book!

There will be a n+1 panel discussion this Tuesday, June 10th, 7:00pm at The Kitchen. The topic is — wait for it — “The Internet: We All Live There Now.” It’s worth talking about since I can barely string three thoughts together before clicking some blinking digital orifice crawling across my monitor. There’s one now! No, wait, that’s a bug ghost.
imagename The July edition of The Atlantic will have a relevant and even-tempered article on the subject: “Is Google Making Us Stoopid?”

Gabriel Josipovici is an author with whom I’ve had the honor to correspond. His novel Goldberg: Variations came out in early 2007 but is still winning converts in 2008. The blog So Many Books has posted an aptly exuberant response to the novel: “Where Do I Sign Up for the Josipovici Fan Club?” I was also lucky enough to interview Gabriel over at the wracked and ruined Cruelest Month.

In other illustrious conversations, Willy Vlautin, author of, most recently, Northline, talks with the infamous Chuck Palahniuk over at The Oregonian. And here’s what the San Francisco Chronicle had to say about the Willy’s latest:

“…(W)hen a work of pure fiction comes along that reads like the best that journalism has to offer, it brings with it a sense of hope. Hope because there are no concerns that we’re being manipulated without our consent. Willy Vlautin’s second novel, “Northline,” is just such a book. Quiet, sad and suffused with a melancholic serenity, it begs to be read, if for no other reason than it seems true.” — June 7, 2008

Also, today Janet Maslin took time in her review of Andre Dubus III latest novel, The Garden of Last Days, to direct praise to Russell Banks’s Continental Drift. That’s what we call a backlister.

Lastly, an event I hope to attend, an evening of drinks and poetry this Thursday, June 12th, 7:00pm. The literary magazine A Public Space hosts the poets Peter Gizzi, Matthea Harvey, and Cathy Park Hong. Click here for more information on the poets, the event, and the magazine.

Summer of Naked Swim Parties

  • About the author MS
  • June 04, 2008

imagename Hell yeah! All summer long at my rooftop pool in Tribeca. That’s right: my publishing salary affords me a penthouse suite next door to Deniro. He borrows sugar every now and again. All I do is throw naked pool parties. So bring the SPF.

Coincidentally, Summer of Naked Swim Parties by Jessica Anya Blau went on-sale this past week. On June 16th at 7pm she’ll read at the impeccable McNally Robinson in Soho. Definitely visit here for a great book video and IF you’re in the area, definitely hang out on the 16th!

Poetic Justice

  • About the author MS
  • June 04, 2008

Remember those bratty vandals that destroyed Robert Frost’s former home? As part of their punishment, they must study Frost’s poetry.

Frost biographer and Middlebury College professor Jay Parini is teaching the vandals about roads taken and not taken. In discussing the classic poem that begins, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,” Parini told his captive audience, “Believe me, if you’re a teenager, you’re always in the damned woods. Literally, you’re in the woods—probably too much you’re in the woods. And metaphorically you’re in the woods, in your life. Look at you here, in court diversion! If that isn’t ‘in the woods,’ what the hell is ‘in the woods’? You’re in the woods!”

(Via CNN and Shelf Awareness)

Hair today, Gone tomorrow

  • About the author MS
  • June 03, 2008

Our friends at Shelf Awareness report the following …

The Jane Austen Hair Club? The Guardian reported that a locket “containing what is believed to be Jane Austen’s hair is expected to reach more than £5,000 (US$9,812) at auction.”

H.O.W. Fundraiser

  • About the author MS
  • June 02, 2008

If you’re in the NYC area, the literary journal H.O.W. will throw an Issue #2 Launch Party & Fundraiser this Tuesday, June 3rd from 7-9pm.

Grace Bar at 114 Franklin St. in Tribeca.

Reading by Justin Taylor
Musical performance by Stephanie Mckay
Free cocktails and appetizers!
Tickets available at the door for $20.
Hope to see you there!


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