Long lost Dr Seuss book, “What Pet Should I Get?” to be released in July

whatpetcoverRandom House Children’s Books said on Wednesday it will publish a recently discovered manuscript with illustrations called What Pet Should I Get? this summer, on July 28, 2015. The book was most likely written between 1958 and 1962 (Theodore Geisel died in 1991) and features the same brother and sister seen in Dr. Seuss’s 1960 classic, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. This newly-discovered story is available for pre-order from Amazon.com and other bookstores.

via Long lost Dr Seuss book What Pet Should I Get? to be released in July | Books | The Guardian.

Go the F-ck to Sleep Has a Sequel

It’s called ‘You Have to F-cking Eat’.

Adam Mansbach’s new book,You Have to F-cking Eat is a “long-awaited sequel about the other great parental frustration: getting your little angel to eat something that even vaguely resembles a normal meal,” according to the publisher, Akashic books. You Have to F-cking Eat, which is illustrated by Owen Brozman, comes out on November 12.

Read more here:

Go the F-ck to Sleep Has a Sequel | TIME

Laura Ingalls Wilder Memoir to Give Grittier View of Prairie Life

sdsds-liw-bio-cvr-4-low-resI was a BIG Little House fan — the books, much more than the show. I loved to hear about Laura’s adventures, her friends and enemies, her romance with Almanzo. I’ve “dug deeper” in the past and know that the books were, of course, a slightly rosy depiction of the truth. And, as any devotee of the literary series who’s gone far enough to read both “On the Way Home” and “West From Home” knows, Laura and Almanzo had a tough go of it, financially, for years.

Laura’s heretofore unpublished autobiography will be released this fall, and promises a more realistic and grittier view of frontier living — but one that is not completely unrecognizable different from what we already know. Think of it as the grown-up version of her Little House books — one she and her daughter tried to get published for years, in the 1930s, with no success.

Wilder details a scene from her childhood in Burr Oak, in which a neighbor of the Ingalls’ pours kerosene throughout his bedroom, sets it on fire and proceeds to drunkenly drag his wife around by her hair before Wilder’s father — Pa in the children’s books — intervenes.

 

Scenes like that make Wilder’s memoir sound like it’s filled with scandal and mature themes, “which isn’t exactly true either,” according to Amy Lauters, an associate professor of mass media at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

“It’s just that that first version was blunt, it was honest. It was full of the everyday sorts of things that we don’t care to think about when we think about history,” said Lauters, who has read the original manuscript and also is writing a book on Rose Wilder Lane.

Laura Ingalls Wilder penned one of the most beloved children’s series of the 20th century, but her forthcoming autobiography will show devoted “Little House on the Prairie” fans a more realistic, grittier view of frontier living.

“Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography” — Wilder’s unedited draft that was written for an adult audience and eventually served as the foundation for the popular series — is slated to be released by the South Dakota State Historical Society Press nationwide this fall. 

via Wilder Memoir to Give Gritty View of Prairie Life – ABC News.

Believe it when we see it: “George R.R. Martin to focus on the books”

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly at San Diego’s ComicCon, author George R.R. Martin said he won’t be writing an episode in season five of the HBO show, “Game of Thrones”, even though he wrote one in each of the first four seasons.

“I’m not actually writing an episode for season five,” the author said. “I have this book that I have to finish. I figured I’d better write the book rather than the episode.”

Not the worst idea, right? Since your fans are fairly worried that the sixth installment, The Winds of Winter, won’t out before the show catches up to the books. We’ll believe it when we see it, though…

via Book Buzz: George R.R. Martin to focus on the books.

Harry Potter is back! JK Rowling writes Rita Skeeter report

Harry-Potter-1JK Rowling has released a new little snippet of Harry Potter prose on her Pottermore web site.. Exciting news, but bear in mind it doesn’t reveal much more than what is in the Epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. And since it’s written as a gossip column from Rita Skeeter, there’s no saying how much of it is accurate… 😉

Visit Pottermore to read the story — “New on Pottermore: Rita Skeeter is in Patagonia with her Quick-Quotes Quill and reporting in today’s Daily Prophet!

via Harry Potter is back! JK Rowling writes Rita Skeeter report for her website pottermore.com | Books | Entertainment | Daily Express.

Interesting title: Advent by James Treadwell – Simon & Schuster

Sent my way recently by the publisher — and free to a good within-the-48-states home (first come first serve). Drop a line in the comments if interested.

Advent by James Treadwell – Simon & Schuster

A drowning, a magician’s curse, and a centuries-old secret.

“1537. A man hurries through city streets in a gathering snowstorm, clutching a box in one hand. He is Johann Faust, the greatest magician of his age. The box he carries contains a mirror safeguarding a portion of his soul and a small ring containing all the magic in the world. Together, they comprise something unimaginably dangerous.

London, the present day. Fifteen-year-old Gavin Stokes is boarding a train to the countryside to live with his aunt. His school and his parents can’t cope with him and the things he sees, things they tell him don’t really exist. At Pendurra, Gavin finds people who are like him, who see things too. They all make the same strange claim: magic exists, it’s leaking back into our world, and it’s bringing something terrible with it.

First in a trilogy, Advent describes how magic was lost to humanity, and how a fifteen-year-old boy discovers that its return is his inheritance. It begins in a world recognizably our own, and ends an extraordinarily long way from where it started—somewhere much bigger, stranger, and richer.”

Book Review: The Woman Who Wasn’t There

Angelo Gugliemo isn’t just the co-author of The Woman Who Wasn’t There, along with Robin Gaby Fisher. He’s one of the people whose lives were twisted around, hearts wrung out, and their 9/11 experience exploited by the woman known as Tania Head. Tania was the president of the board of the World Trade Center Survivors’ Network and, with her tragic story of surviving the collapse of the south tower but losing her husband (fiancé? husband? his description varied) in the north tower, striking a deep chord with fellow survivors and the world in general. She was one of the faces of 9/11, a woman struggling with loss but striving to help others heal. An inspiration to many, she was a sometimes a trial to others, lashing out, demanding undivided attention, and ruling the Survivors’ Network with an iron fist. She had deeply devoted friends, including Guglielmo, a filmmaker, all of whom were dedicated to protecting Tania from further suffering.

Tania’s story, however, was all a lie. She wasn’t in the south tower. She wasn’t even in the United States on 9/11. She wasn’t engaged to, or married to, the man named Dave who died in the north tower. She wasn’t even named Tania (her real name was Alicia Esteve Head). She’d made it all up.

Fisher and Guglielmo’s book tells Tania’s story the way he and her friends experienced it. It begins with her harrowing escape from the south tower, as their friendships began with hearing her tale. It continues with her increased involvement in survivor activities, and it describes the new bonds formed, and sometimes shattered, as Tania struggled to maintain her grip on the Survivors’ Network and retain her place in the spotlight. The book ends with Guglielmo’s stark, heartbroken realization of how he’d and so many others had been manipulated, and how cold and calculating a person he’d once thought of as gentle and compassionate truly was. His bitterness is more than justified, and his disappointment is palpable.

While the prose isn’t exactly polished or lyrical, this is a compelling story, with all the horror of a car crash you can’t turn away from. I would have liked to know more about the people, the survivors, who knew “Tania” and whose lives had been so adversely affected by her lies, and how they have moved on. As a reader, you certainly hope they have been able to do so.

Giveaway! “The Cottage at Glass Beach” by Heather Barbieri

Released today by HarperCollins, Heather Barbieri’s “The Cottage at Glass Beach” is a terrific summer read. Comment here to win a free copy!

“40-year-old Nora Cunningham has it all: a handsome husband, Malcolm, the youngest attorney general in Massachusetts’ state history, and daughters, Annie, 7, and Ella, 11. That is, until she learns of Malcolm’s affair—and his refusal to give up his lover, turning their lives upside down. At the height of the scandal, Nora receives an invitation to visit her maternal aunt, Maire. To escape the growing political storm and gain perspective on her marriage and complicated past, Nora packs up her daughters and heads to Burke’s Island, a remote island off the coast of Maine, originally settled by Irish immigrants. Nora hadn’t been there since age five, the summer her mother disappeared and she and her father moved to Boston, never speaking of the matter again. One night, while sitting alone on Glass Beach, below the cottage where she spent her childhood, Nora lets down at last. Her tears flow into the sea, where, according to local legend, they might call a selkie, to console her. Not long afterward, Owen Kavanagh, a fisherman with a mysterious past, is shipwrecked on the rocks. As the weeks pass, Nora finds more questions than answers on Burke’s Island, regarding her relationships, her mother’s fate, and her own identity. And, as she deals with her headstrong daughters and their needs, and her own wants and desires, Nora finds the courage to chart her own course, and that the secrets surrounding that long ago summer finally come to light.”

We’re giving away a FREE copy of “The Cottage at Glass Beach”. All you have to do is comment here on this blog before midnight, on Thursday May 17th, and tell us what your favorite “summer read” is. Winner will be chosen using random.org and announced here.

Guest blogger: Heather Barbieri, author of new release “The Cottage at Glass Beach”

Heather Barbieri’s new novel, “The Cottage at Glass Beach” (HarperCollins), available May 15, is a gem of a summer read. Ms. Barbieri shares here some thoughts about her ancestral heritage and where her novels are set.

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Tell me a story, I’d say to my grandmother, as I sat in the red velvet stool at her feet. I was four years old and it is one of my earliest memories, being in that house on Galena Street in Butte, Montana, listening to her voice, which still carried a hint of the Irish lilt, far from her ancestral home of Donegal. Her family had left Ireland, having survived the Famine, and crossed the Atlantic, eventually settling in Eastern Pennsylvania. There, they worked in the coalmines, and there she was born. Their stories sustained them through those difficult times, through relatives who lost their lives to underground explosions, cave-ins, black lung, or alcoholism. As the years passed, the myths of the old country gradually gave way to narratives involving the colorful characters around them in sessions that could last long into the night. They brought the tradition with them when they traveled across the country to Butte, where they’d heard an Irishman had opened a copper mine. They liked the idea of working for one of their own, thought perhaps conditions would be better. They were wrong, but they made the best of it. Thousands of Irish joined them and within a few years, Butte became home to the largest Gaelic-speaking population outside of Ireland.

From the front window, the giant “M” on the hill glowed to life as the sun set on the dusty town that looked like something out of a Capra film. The hills in several Western Montana towns are lettered in this way with white stones or lights. In the summer months, the “M” would light around 10 p.m., the time for me to go to bed, though I could often persuade my grandmother to let me stay up later, begging for another story, and she obliged. She liked an audience. She’d been a teacher and an amateur theater actress, a tiny woman, 4’11” and 90 pounds, superstitious (don’t walk under ladders, don’t let a black cat cross your path, make the sign of the cross whenever you need extra courage) and stylish in her fur coats and high heels. She would relate outrageous anecdotes with a straight face; she would have been a skilled poker player, if she’d been so inclined. My father inherited that gift, no hint of the ruse until a glint in his eye led to a chuckle, after his gullible victim had been thoroughly fooled.

The landscape was completely different from Ireland in that part of Montana, the mountains sable colored, the skies wide and blue, the nights wild with booming thunder and fingers of lightning bright as a flashbulb. God’s taking pictures, my grandmother said during a particularly violent storm. Or the angels are bowling. Butte, the setting of my first novel, Snow in July, was fascinatingly different from the Pacific Northwest town where I was raised, a place that approached the rainy green of Ireland itself. I found hints of the old myths in the harbor seal that frequented the bay near my maternal grandfather’s property. It would venture close to us when we swam in the chill Puget Sound waters, heedless of the chill, diving, surfacing, watching us with its large, dark eyes. When I told my grandmother about the seal—its eyes looked like a person’s, I said. Well, maybe it is, she said with a knowing smile. You never can tell.

Later, I visited the New England coast, and Ireland too, (the settings for The Cottage at Glass Beach and The Lace Makers of Glenmara), retracing the route my ancestors took as they came west. I could hear their voices along that journey, my grandmother’s too. Maybe it’s time to tell your own stories, she said.

She didn’t live long enough to see me become a published author, but I think she’d be happy that those early days spent in her cozy living room with its lush velvets and gleaming cranberry glass had a lasting effect on me. Her stories became, to a certain extent, my own, the best gift she could have given me.

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Check back here on the 15th for a giveaway of The Cottage at Glass Beach!

Amazon unveils Best Books of 2011

Yesterday, Amazon announced its Best Books of 2011. From their web site: “So many books. So many choices. It’s not easy putting together a list of the year’s best books, but we’ve held many meetings and votes, we’ve pored over the books and occasionally poured our hearts out to get you this final Top 100. For every book on the list, there has been an impassioned plea and an argument made–so don’t just look at the Top 10 or 20. There are great books all up and down the Top 100 list.”

Here’s the “Best of” list, but there are category break-downs as well (Mystery & Thrillers, Nonfiction, Quirky & Strange, etc. — actually, there are bound to be some great finds in there!).

1. The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach: “The Art of Fielding” is the veritable baseball book that’s actually about much more than baseball, and it’s on par with the work of Bernard Malamud and David James Duncan. It’s rare to see a debut so confident, intimate, unpredictable and wholly memorable.

2. 1Q84” by Haruki Murakami: Murakami has created a sensation: a nearly 950-page novel that is ordered and scrupulous, and reads like a meditation. “1Q84” is the story of two people living in parallel, who we know must meet each other eventually, and their twisting arcs drive this magnum opus by one of the world’s finest novelists.

3. What It Is Like to Go to War” by Karl Marlantes: The veteran marine and best-selling author of “Matterhorn” draws on his brutal experiences in foreign jungles to look at the nature of combat with unflinching honesty. Balancing novelistic descriptions of fear, power games and courage with a thoughtful prescription for our soldiers’ well being, Marlantes lifts the bar for understanding the experience of war.

4. In the Garden of Beasts” by Erik Larsen: Master storyteller Larsen describes the life of America’s first and only ambassador to Nazi Germany, along with the scandalous adventures of the ambassador’s carefree daughter. “In the Garden of the Beasts” is an historical portrait that is as entertaining as it is important, and it reads like the best of political thrillers.

5. The Marriage Plot” by Jeffrey Eugenides: Eugenides’ third novel, and his first after the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Middlesex,” describes the lives of three college seniors at Brown in the early 1980s. It is a thoughtful, and at times disarming, novel about life, love and discovery, set during a time when so much of life seemed filled with deep portent.

6. Daughter of Smoke and Bone” by Laini Taylor: With this young adult novel, National Book Award finalist Taylor has created a magical world that will sweep up even the most jaded of readers. The story of 17-year-old Kalou is an enchanting tale of magic, star-crossed love and difficult choices with heartbreaking repercussions that could make it the next hot YA sensation.

7. Before I Go to Sleep” by S.J. Watson: Suspenseful from start to finish, Watson’s ”Before I Go to Sleep” — the story of Christine, who wakes up every day not knowing who she is — presents profound questions about identity and is one of the best literary thrillers of the past few years. Compelling, immersive and chilling.

8. Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson: Few in history have transformed their time like Steve Jobs has. In this timely book, Isaacson paints a vivid, compelling portrait that pulls no punches — the end result is satisfying, complete, and gives insight into a man who managed to turn his contradictions into potent strengths.

9. Lost in Shangri-La” by Michael Zuckoff: A riveting story of survival and deliverance from a notorious valley in the New Guinea jungle, Zuckoff’s ”Lost in Shangri-La” deserves its place among the great survival stories of World War II.

10. The Tiger’s Wife” by Téa Obreht: Croatian native Obreht tells the story of a young doctor seeking answers around her grandfather’s death, delving into a land of storytelling, mythology, and conflict in her extraordinary debut.