Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October Literature Release: Wally Lamb’s WE ARE WATER

We Are Water By Wally LambI met Wally Lamb at the American Library Association annual conference this summer. At the time, I had never read any of his books. But after meeting him, and hearing so many people say that his books had changed their lives, I immediately grabbed a galley of his newest novel, We Are Water, and started reading. I have become a Wally Lamb convert—I really cannot say enough wonderful things about this book.

After 27 years of marriage and three children, artist Annie Oh has fallen in love with Viveca, the wealthy Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her success. They plan to wed in the Oh family’s hometown of Three Rivers in Connecticut. The wedding itself provokes some very mixed reactions from Annie’s family. But more importantly, it acts as a catalyst, opening up a Pandora’s Box of toxic secrets—dark and painful truths that have festered below the surface of the Ohs’ lives for much too long.

With humor and compassion, Wally Lamb brilliantly captures the essence of human experience—our inexorable need for understanding and connection, and the ways in which we search for love and meaning in our lives.


Praise for We Are Water:
“We are water: ‘fluid, flexible when we have to be. But strong and destructive, too.’ That’s evident in this emotionally involving new novel from the author of She’s Come Undone…. Clear and sweetly flowing; highly recommended.”Library Journal, starred review
To watch Wally talk about his newest book, check out the video below. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Understanding This Year’s Nobel Prize in Physics: HIGGS DISCOVERY by Lisa Randall

Higgs Discovery: The Power of Empty Space By Lisa Randall
Kate McCune, a sales rep for HarperCollins, just published a new post on her excellent Tumblr, all about Lisa Randall’s Higgs Discovery:

"Peter Higgs and Francois Englert have been jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 'for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.'

Uh, right.

If you'd like to understand why this is one of the most remarkable scientific achievements of the twenty-first century check out Lisa Randall's brief, eloquent paperback, Higgs Discovery: The Power of Empty Space. Randall is herself a theoretical physicist. She's also a bestselling author thanks to her lucid, witty writing.

'Serious stuff, delivered with a light touch. Randall goes beyond the poetic one-liners and beyond what any single news article could deliver in terms of explaining the significance of the [Higgs] discovery, how it was made, and what might come next.'The Guardian

Higgs Discovery: The Power of Empty Space (9780062300478) by Lisa Randall. $9.99 trade paperback. 9/24/13 on sale."

To check out Kate’s Tumblr about her favorite HarperCollins titles, please click here

Monday, October 7, 2013

ORPHAN TRAIN Chosen as a High School Freshman Read!

Orphan Train By Christina Baker KlineWe just received some really exciting news: Christina Baker Kline’s OrphanTrain has been adopted as a freshman common read at a high school in Waynesville, Missouri. The book will serve as the centerpiece of their interdisciplinary unit, where students will write research papers on everything from immigration to the foster care system.
Orphan Train tells the story of the unlikely bond between Molly, a 17-year-old foster care kid hoping to avoid juvie, and of Vivian, who spent time on little known orphan trains as a child—two women united in their courage and their resilience in the face of childhood trauma. 
We think this book is a wonderful pick for freshman common reads, both in high school and in college, as students will be captivated by the strong characters, and the forgotten piece of American history. Kline will be attending the First-Year Experience annual conference with us this February, acting as a speaker at our Monday night dinner. If you would like to RSVP to any of our events in San Diego, please click here.


Monday, September 23, 2013

THIS COLUMBUS DAY—INVITE BESTSELLING AUTHOR KENNETH C. DAVIS TO SKYPE WITH YOUR CLASS ABOUT WHO REALLY DISCOVERED AMERICA



Don't Know Much About Geography By Kenneth C. DavisIn a world of Google Maps, FourSquare, GPS and "Checking In" on smartphones—who needs geography?
Of course, we all do. Geography isn't just about dots on a map or a turn-by-turn list of driving directions. Geography is about asking questions, being curious about the world, and understanding that where things happen has everything to do with why they happen.

Tying in Columbus Day on October 14, as well as with the release of the new revised and updated edition of Don't Know Much About Geography (HarperCollins and Random House Audio), bring author Kenneth C. Davis into your classroom to discuss the joys of geography with your students as he poses and ponders such questions as:
 
      *Why did Columbus think the world was shaped like a pear?
      *What can you build with BRICS?

      *Does the World Bank have ATMs?

      *Is all the talk of global warming just hot air?

      *And, that old standard, how many oceans are there?
      (Hint: More than before.)


Davis will discuss the central role geography plays in history, literature, world economics and religion—and all the other subjects we "need to know."

He will do so in a LIMITED number of free SKYPE sessions offered to middle school and high school geography and social studies classes, based on his availability. Each session will last about 30 to 45 minutes and include time for students to ask questions. To inquire about booking a session, please go to http://dontknowmuch.com/contact/
Be sure to include the name and full address of your school along with any school or class website if applicable. The sessions will be offered from mid-October through Geography Awareness Week (Nov. 17-23), to a limited number of classes, subject to the author's availability. 
 
You can listen to an audio sample from Don't Know Much About Geography here

And remember, what you don’t know can be thrilling!

Friday, September 20, 2013

September Release: Richard Dawkins' AN APPETITE FOR WONDER



Appetite for Wonder, An By Richard DawkinsThere are so many wonderful books coming out from HarperCollins this fall, but one we’re particularly excited about is Richard Dawkins’s An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist (on sale 9/24). This is the sparkling first memoir from the world’s most famous evolutionary biologist, which explains how he went from being a curious, if academically indifferent child growing up in colonial East Africa to the author of one of most important books of the the twentieth century, The Selfish Gene.

When I read An Appetite for Wonder, I was struck by the very personal nature of Dawkins's depictions of his childhood and his blossoming intellectual curiosity. I had the opportunity to hear him speak twice in the last few months—once, when he came into the New York office, and once at BEA—which honestly turned me into a bit of a fangirl. He noted his longing for science appreciation courses, like the non-practical art or music appreciation courses often taught in schools, but to me, his memoir is just that.  His book will make even the most liberal arts-type (me) excited about biology, because behind everything he writes is an unmistakable sense of wonder at the natural world, an enthusiasm that is undeniably contagious. 

“The Richard Dawkins that emerges here is a far cry from the strident, abrasive caricature beloved of lazy journalists. . . . There is no score-settling, but a generous appreciation and admiration of the qualities of others, as well as a transparent love of life, literature - and science.”—The Independent 
“[Here] we have the kindling of Mr. Dawkins’s curiosity, the basis for his unconventionality.”The New York Times Daily

Two Upcoming Thornton Wilder Events in NYC



Our Town By Thornton WilderWe want to draw your attention to two very special upcoming events honoring the works of Thornton Wilder, who won the Pulitzer Prize an amazing three times for Our Town, The Skin of Our Teeth, and The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and remains the only winner ever for both fiction and drama.  Please see below for details. 

Working Progress: An Exploration of Thornton Wilder's Playlets
Sept 18, 19, 21, 22, 26 & 27 at 8:00 p.m.
GALLERY MC, 549 West 52nd Street, 8th floor NYC 10019
This reading of Thornton Wilder's 3-minute plays features actor/ writer/ musician Bill Weeden reading stage directions and performing musical accompaniment.  
For reservations, please visit www.thelocal-theater.org or call 212.581.1966.

The Long Christmas Dinner
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 7:00 p.m 
Joe's Pub at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St, New York
A one-night-only reading of Wilder's one-act play at The Public Theater's Joe's Pub.  The Long Christmas Dinner will be read and discussed by actor/playwright Lisa Kron; media theorist Douglas Rushkoff; Thornton Wilder's nephew and literary executor, Tappan WilderAnne-Marie Slaughter, the president and CEO of the New America Foundation and author of the recent cover story in The Atlantic about trying to have it all; her son, Edward Moravcsik; and more. 
Tickets go on sale September 23 and can be purchased at 212.967.7555, www.publictheater.org