Writing and Publishing – Fact and Fiction


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A Second Bite at the Apple / Dana Bate

Sidney Strauss is writing for the local food market’s weekly newsletter when she gets the opportunity at a story that could make her career as a food journalist or permanently end it.

My Paris Dream: an education in style, slang, and seduction in the great city on the Seine / Kate Betts

As a young woman Kate Betts nursed a dream of striking out on her own and discovering who she was meant to be in Paris. Upon graduation from Princeton and not without trepidation, she took off, renting a room in the apartment of a young ‘BCBG’ family and throwing herself into Parisian culture, determined to master French slang, style, and savoir-faire, and find a job that would give her a reason to stay. After a series of dues-paying jobs, she began a magnificent apprenticeship at Women’s Wear Daily and was initiated into the high fashion world at a moment that saw the last glory of the old guard and the explosion of a new generation of talent.

Romance is My Day Job: a memoir of finding love at last / Patience Bloom

A romance editor describes her fantasies about love, her dream job in the romance business in spite of her lackluster dating life, and the reconnection with an old friend that helped her find the relationship she had been seeking.

The Race for Paris: a novel / Meg Waite Clayton

Normandy, 1944. To cover the fighting in France, Jane, a reporter for the Nashville Banner, and Liv, an Associated Press photographer, have endured enormous danger and frustrating obstacles—including strict military regulations limiting what women correspondents can do. Even so, Liv wants more. Encouraged by her husband, the editor of a New York newspaper, she is determined to be the first photographer to reach Paris with the Allies, and capture its freedom from the Nazis. However, her Commanding Officer has other ideas about the role of women in the press corps. To fulfill her ambitions, Liv must go AWOL. She persuades Jane to join her, and the two women find a guardian angel in Fletcher, a British military photographer who reluctantly agrees to escort them. As they race for Paris across the perilous French countryside, Liv, Jane, and Fletcher forge an indelible emotional bond that will transform them and reverberate long after the war is over.

 

Muse / Jonathan Galassi

The story of an editor caught up in a publishing scandal around the manuscript of a renowned and beautiful female poet.
Big Magic: creative living beyond fear / Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert reveals the inner workings of her own creativity as she shows readers how to use their curiosity to fuel their creativity and adopt the constructive creative tools capable of helping them write a book, address work challenges, achieve a forgotten dream, or complete a work of art.

Publishing: a writer’s memoir / Gail Godwin 

Publishing is a personal story of a writer’s hunger to be published, the pursuit of that goal, and then the long haul–for Gail Godwin, forty-five years of being a published writer and all that goes with it. A student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1958, Godwin met with Knopf scouts who came to campus every spring in search of new talent. Though her five pages of Windy Peaks were turned down and the novel never completed, she would go on to publish two story collections and fourteen novels, three of which were National Book Award finalists, five of which were New York Times bestsellers. Publishing reflects on the influence of her mother’s writing hopes and accomplishments, and recalls Godwin’s experiences with teachers Kurt Vonnegut and Robert Coover at the Iowa WritersWorkshop; with John Hawkins, her literary agent for five decades; with John Irving and other luminaries; and with her editors and publishers. Recollecting her long and storied career, Godwin maps the publishing industry over the last fifty years, a time of great upheaval and ingenuity. Her eloquent memoir is illuminated by Frances Halsband’s evocative black-and-white line drawings throughout. There have been memoirs about writing and memoirs about being an editor, but there is no other book quite like Publishing for aspiring writers and book lovers everywhere.

The Way of All Fish: a novel / Martha Grimes

Cindy Sella struggles with writer’s block and a lawsuit by her unscrupulous former agent, L. Bass Hess, who is targeted by bumbling hitmen Candy and Karl’s zany efforts to drive him out of New York City.

The Last Magazine: a novel / Michael Hastings

A posthumous debut novel, wry, wise, and outrageous, from award-winning journalist Michael Hastings, based on his experiences working for a National news magazine in the mid-2000s.

Paris in Love: a memoir / Eloisa James

James chronicles her joyful year in one of the most beautiful cities in the world–Paris–all the while inviting her reader into the life of her most enchanting family.

Paris: a love story: a memoir / Kati Marton

In this remarkably honest memoir, award-winning journalist and distinguished author Marton narrates an impassioned and romantic story of love, loss, and life after loss.


The Accidental Life: an editor’s notes on writing and writers / Terry McDonell

The editor, journalist, and publishing entrepreneur traces his storied career, sharing insights into his tenures with “Rolling Stone” and “Sports Illustrated,” as well as his literary encounters with such personalities as Hunter S. Thompson, Jimmy Buffett, and Steve Jobs.

The Story: a reporter’s journey / Judith Miller

A Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and best-selling author of Germs describes her youth and career, sharing insight into the controversial reporting style that has rendered her the longest jailed correspondent for protecting her sources.

The Travelers: a novel / Chris Pavone

When a woman with whom he has shared a harmless flirtation shows up at his hotel door with a gun, travel writer and food expert Will Rhodes discovers the real reason his job occasionally requires him to assume different names and deliver mysterious parcels.

These Girls: a novel / Sarah Pekkanen

Cate, Renee, and Abby have come to New York for very different reasons, and in a bustling city of millions, they are linked together through circumstance and chance. Cate has just been named the features editor of Gloss, a high-end lifestyle magazine. It’s a professional coup, but her new job comes with more complications than Cate ever anticipated. Her roommate Renee will do anything to nab the plum job of beauty editor at Gloss. But snide comments about Renee’s weight send her into an emotional tailspin. Soon she is taking black market diet pills—despite the racing heartbeat and trembling hands that signal she’s heading for real danger. Then there’s Abby, whom they take in as a third roommate. Once a joyful graduate student working as a nanny part time, she abruptly fled a seemingly happy life in the D.C. suburbs. No one knows what shattered Abby—or why she left everything she once loved behind.

Daemon Voices: on stories and storytelling / by Philip Pullman

The author of the “His Dark Materials” trilogy shares insights into the art of writing while exploring how education, religion, and science, as well as his favorite classics, helped shaped his literary life.

The Imperfectionists: a novel / Tom Rachman

An “imperfect” crew of reporters and editors working for an international English language newspaper stumble toward an uncertain future as the era of print news gives way to the Internet age. The story is set against the gorgeous backdrop of Rome.

Three-Martini Lunch / Suzanne Rindell

In 1958, Greenwich Village buzzes with beatniks, jazz clubs, and new ideas–the ideal spot for three ambitious young people to meet. Cliff Nelson, the son of a successful book editor, is convinced he’s the next Kerouac, if only his father would notice. Eden Katz dreams of being an editor but is shocked when she encounters roadblocks to that ambition. And Miles Tillman, a talented black writer from Harlem, seeks to learn the truth about his father’s past, finding love in the process. Though different from one another, all three share a common goal: to succeed in the competitive and uncompromising world of book publishing. As they reach for what they want, they come to understand what they must sacrifice, conceal, and betray to achieve their goals.

 

Manderley Forever: a biography of Daphne du Maurier / Tatiana de Rosnay

As a thirteen-year-old de Rosnay read and reread Rebecca, becoming a lifelong devotee of Du Maurier’s fiction. Now de Rosnay pays homage to the writer who influenced her so deeply, following Du Maurier from a shy seven-year-old, a rebellious sixteen-year-old, a twenty-something newlywed, and finally a cantankerous old woman. 

The Knockoff: a novel / Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

The story of Imogen Tate, editor-in-chief of Glossy magazine, who finds her twenty-something former assistant Eve Morton plotting to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and reduce the magazine to an app. When Imogen returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine.

Where the Past Begins: a writer’s memoir / Amy Tan

From New York Times bestselling author Amy Tan, a memoir on her life as a writer, her childhood, and the symbiotic relationship between fiction and emotional memory.

The Hating Game / Sally Thorne

For Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman, executive assistants to the CEOs of newly merged Bexley-Gamin Publishing, it’s hate-at-first-sight. So begins a series of daily passive-aggressive maneuvers, including the staring game, the mirror game, and the HR game, each played with the intensity of the Hunger Games. Their mutual antipathy grows when a new executive position opens at Bexley-Gamin, and both their bosses put their names up for the promotion. Then, the high-stakes games begin! After another 60-hour work week, Lucy logs off her computer and hops on the elevator to head home, as does Joshua. When Joshua hits the emergency button and stops the ride, Lucy is certain her nemesis is going to kill her. Instead, he plants a kiss on her, and Lucy begins to wonder if she really does hate Joshua after all, or if this is yet another game.

If Looks Could Kill / Kate White

Meet Bailey Weggins, the thirty-something, single-again true crime writer for a leading Manhattan woman’s magazine. Smart and savvy, she’s got a sixth sense when it comes to seeing the truth in a story-especially if it’s murder. Bailey’s in bed with her commitment-challenged lover K.C. when she gets a frantic call from her high-maintenance boss at Gloss magazine. Grabbing coffee and a cab outside her Greenwich Village apartment-the consolation prize in her divorce settlement-Bailey reluctantly heads uptown. At Cat Jones’s Upper East Side town house, she finds something that seriously clashes with the chic décor: the dead body of the family’s line-in nanny.

Sailor and Fiddler: reflections of a 100-year-old author / Herman Wouk

The literary master reflects on his life and times from the unique vantage point of one hundred years of age, covering such topics as his work on Fred Allen’s radio shows, his World War II military service, and the inspirations behind his written works.

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Just In – November


 

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The Silence of the Girls: a novel / Pat Barker

The Iliad, as experienced by the captured women living in the Greek camp in the final weeks of the Trojan War.

The House of Broken Angels: a novel / Luis Alberto Urrea

Across one bittersweet weekend in their San Diego neighborhood, revelers mingle among the palm trees and cacti, celebrating the lives of family patriarch Miguel “Big Angel” De La Cruz and his mother, and recounting the many tales that have passed into family lore.

The Splendor Before the Dark: a novel of the Emperor Nero / Margaret George

When a fire engulfs ancient Rome, Nero Augustus is targeted with suspicion about his complicity, forcing him to navigate a web of false friends and spies to save the empire, in a follow-up to The Confessions of a Young Nero.

I Didn’t Talk / Beatriz Bracher

A professor packing up for retirement in the countryside of Brazil is besieged by memories of being arrested and tortured alongside his brother-in-law, who was eventually killed, in 1970 during the country’s totalitarian rule.

Conversations with Friends: [a novel] / Sally Rooney

Devoting herself to an intellectual life and the self-possessed lover with whom she performs spoken-word poetry readings, a college student is drawn into the lives of a sophisticated journalist and her husband before the increasingly intimate relationship tests the boundaries of her resolve.

Valley Forge / Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

Recounts the Continental Army’s six-month stay at their winter camp in Valley Forge, where George Washington took his starving and depleted troops and transformed them into a professional army.

A Terrible Country: a novel / Keith Gessen

After Andrei Kaplan returns to Moscow to care for his ailing grandmother, he becomes entangled with a group of leftists and he is forced to come to terms with the Russian society he was born into and the American one he has enjoyed since he was a kid.

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock: a history in three volumes / written by Imogen Hermes Gowar

When one of his trading vessels returns to eighteenth-century London with the remarkable body of a mermaid, Jonah gains entry into high society and falls in love with a highly accomplished courtesan, with unexpected consequences.

The Shortest Way Home: a novel / Miriam Parker

Despite having a fast track to a successful professional and romantic life in Manhattan, Hannah leaves it all to take a job helping to save a failing Sonoma winery.

Virgil Wander / Leif Enger

Virgil Wander survives a car crash with some speech and memory problems, and encounters a kite-flying stranger searching for information about his long-lost son. Enger explores and intricately layers the feelings and stories of an entire town full of people, each trying to survive their own life-changing experiences.

So Much Life Left Over / Louis de Bernières

A closely-knit group of British men and women struggle to cope with the world, and their own traumas, in the aftermath of World War I.

Brother / David Chariandy

One sweltering summer in the Park, outside of Toronto, Michael and Francis are coming of age and learning about the careless prejudices and low expectations that confront them as young men of immigrant ancestry. While their Trinidadian single mother works double shifts so her boys might fulfill the elusive promise of their adopted home, Francis helps the days pass by inventing games and challenges. Propelled by the beats and styles of hip-hop, Francis dreams of a future in music. Michael’s dreams are of Aisha, the smartest girl in their high school whose own eyes are firmly set on a life elsewhere. But, a tragic shooting violently irrevocably thwarts the bright hopes of all three.

Italian Fiction


italy1Call Me by Your Name / André Aciman.

The story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. Each is unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, when, during the restless summer weeks, unrelenting currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion and test the charged ground between them. Recklessly, the two verge toward the one thing both fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.

 

Four Hundred and Forty Steps to the Sea / Sara Alexander

Nestled into the cliffs in southern Italy’s Amalfi coast, Positano is an artist’s vision, with rows of brightly hued houses perched above the sea and picturesque staircases meandering up and down the hillside. Santina, still a striking woman despite old age and the illness that saps her last strength, is spending her final days at her home, Villa San Vito. The magnificent eighteenth-century palazzo is very different from the tiny house in which she grew up. Moreover, as she decides its fate, she must confront the choices that led her here so long ago.

The House at the Edge of Night: a novel / Catherine Banner

Spanning nearly a century, through secrets and mysteries, trials and sacrifice, this beautiful and haunting novel follows the lives of the Esposito family and the other islanders who live and love on Castellamare: a cruel count and his bewitching wife, a priest who loves scandal, a prisoner of war turned poet, an outcast girl who becomes a pillar of strength, a wounded English soldier who emerges from the sea. The people of Castellamare are transformed by two world wars and a great recession, by the threat of fascism and their deep bonds of passion and friendship, and by bitter rivalries and the power of forgiveness.

In Calabria / Peter S. Beagle

Claudio Bianchi has lived alone for many years on a hillside in Southern Italy’s scenic Calabria. Set in his ways and suspicious of outsiders, Claudio has always resisted change, preferring farming and writing poetry. However, one chilly morning, as though from a dream, an impossible visitor appears at the farm. When Claudio comes to her aid, an act of kindness throws his world into chaos. Suddenly he must stave off inquisitive onlookers, invasive media, and even more sinister influences.

The Light in the Ruins: a novel / Chris Bohjalian

Hoping to safeguard themselves from the ravages of World War II within the walls of their ancient villa in Florence, the noble Rosatis family become prisoners in their home when eighteen-year-old Cristina’s courtship by a German lieutenant prompts the Nazis to take over the estate, a situation that leads to a serial murder investigation years later.

The Tuscan Child / Rhys Bowen

Thirty years after her British bomber pilot father parachuted from his stricken plane into German-occupied Tuscany, Joanna embarks on a healing journey to learn about her father’s hidden wartime past.

 

Inferno: a novel / Dan Brown

In Italy, Harvard professor Robert Langdon is drawn into a world centered on one of history’s most mysterious literary masterpieces–Dante’s “Inferno”–as he battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle.

Death at Sea: Montalbano’s early cases / Andrea Camilleri

Set on the Sicilian coast, a collection of eight short stories featuring the young Inspector Montalbano. In 1980s Vigàta, a restless Inspector Montalbano brings his brash yet clear-sighted investigative style to eight enthralling cases. Death at Sea finds the detective seeking to bring justice to crimes — from those involving jilted lovers and deadly family affairs to an encounter featuring the assassination attempt against the Pope to murders in unexpected places — always with the mafia not far behind.

The Lost Girls of Rome / Donato Carrisi

A forensic analyst in Rome investigates the supposedly accidental death of her own husband and uncovers a series of disappearances that may have connections to an ancient, secret society.

Bella Fortuna / Rosanna Chiofalo

Valentina DeLuca has made hundreds of brides’ dreams come true. At Sposa Rosa, the Astoria, New York, boutique where she, her sisters, and their mother design and sew couture knock-off gowns, she can find the perfect style for even the most demanding customer. Now, it is her turn. Valentina has loved Michael Carello ever since he rescued her from a cranky shopkeeper when she was ten years old. He is handsome, chivalrous, and loyal. In addition, in a few weeks, she is going to marry him in Venice. But just when she thinks everything is falling into place, Valentina is forced to re-examine her life to see what truly makes her happy.

Numero Zero / Umberto Eco

A novel about the murky world of media politics, conspiracy, and murder. A newspaper committed to blackmail and mudslinging, rather than reporting the news. A paranoid editor, walking through the streets of Milan, reconstructing fifty years of history against the backdrop of a plot involving the cadaver of Mussolini’s double. The murder of Pope John Paul I, the CIA, red terrorists handled by secret services, twenty years of bloodshed, and events that seem outlandish until the BBC proves them true. A fragile love story between two born losers, a failed ghostwriter, and a vulnerable girl, who specializes in celebrity gossip, yet cries over the second movement of Beethoven’s Seventh. Then a dead body that suddenly appears in a back alley in Milan. Set in 1992 and foreshadowing the mysteries and follies of the following twenty years, Numero Zero is a scintillating take on our times.

Siracusa / Delia Ephron

Secrets and relationships unravel for two couples vacationing on coastal Sicily in a tale told from alternating points of view that gradually reveal an affair and a precocious 10-year-old’s role in the group’s psychological undoing.

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions / Mario Giordano 

On her sixtieth birthday, Auntie Poldi retires to Sicily, intending to while away the rest of her days with good wine, a view of the sea, and few visitors. However, Sicily is not quite the tranquil island she thought it would be, and something always seems to get in the way of her relaxation. When her handsome young handyman goes missing–and is discovered murdered–she can’t help but ask questions. Soon there is an investigation, a smoldering police inspector, a romantic entanglement, one false lead after another, a rooftop showdown, and finally, of course, Poldi herself, slightly tousled but still perfectly poised.

The Lost Painting / Jonathan Harr

Recounts the search for a long-lost masterpiece by Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Caravaggio, following a young graduate student across hundreds of years and four countries to uncover the mystery of “The Taking of Christ.”

The Abomination / Jonathan Holt

THE VICTIM: On the steps of Santa Maria della Salute lies the body of a woman, wearing the robes of a Catholic priest. In the eyes of the Church, she is an abomination. THE INVESTIGATOR: Captain Kat Tapo has matched the victim’s tattoo to graffiti in an abandoned asylum. Now she’s been ordered to close the case. THE HACKER: Carnivia.com is a virtual Venice that holds the city’s secrets. Only its reclusive creator can help Kat unearth the shocking truth… THE ABOMINATION has arrived.

Lake Como / Anita Hughes

Hallie Elliot has a perfect life. She is an up-and-coming interior designer in one of San Francisco’s most sought after firms, and has just recently become engaged to Peter, a brilliant young journalist. But when she stumbles upon Peter and her boss in what seems to be a compromising position, her trust in her perfect life is shaken. So Hallie escapes to Lake Como, Italy to spend time with her half-sister. But just as Hallie is beginning to find her footing on Italian soil, she uncovers a family secret that upends all the truths she’s believed about herself, and calls into question the new life she has built in Lake Como.

The Painter of Souls / Philip Kazan
A fictionalized account of the life of the Renaissance painter who became a friar, taught Botticelli, and was a confidante to the Medicis.

Women in Sunlight: a novel / Frances Mayes

Four American women become unexpected friends during a magical year in Tuscany marked by a writer’s complicated relationship with the subject of her biography, long-postponed dreams, and shifting senses of adventure and bravery.

Whispers of Vivaldi: a Tito Amato mystery / Beverle Graves Myers

Venice, 1745. The once celebrated male soprano, Tito Amato, is now determined to prove himself as a director. With the theater losing subscribers to a rival company headed by an unscrupulous impresario, San Marco’s Maestro Torani charges Tito with locating the perfect opera to fill the seats in time for the opening of Carnival. Surprisingly, a second-rate composer provides the very thing–an opera so replete with gorgeous melodies the public speculates it was written by the late Antonio Vivaldi. Even more disconcerting are the rumors swirling around Angeletto, a male soprano imported from Naples to sing the lead. Is the singer truly a castrato or a female soprano engaging in a daring but lucrative masquerade? Both matters lead the perplexed Tito into dangerous waters that turn murderous when Maestro Torani undergoes a series of increasingly vicious attacks ending in his death. And Tito is the prime suspect. His own life as well as the future of Teatro San Marco now depend on his skills as a sleuth.

The Body in the Piazza: a Faith Fairchild mystery / Katherine Hall Page.

While celebrating their anniversary in Italy, amateur sleuth/caterer Faith Fairchild and her husband, the Reverend Tom Fairchild, find murder on the itinerary when a new acquaintance is killed in the Eternal City and someone tries to sabotage her former assistant’s new cooking school in Florence.

The Garden of Letters / Alyson Richman

In World War II Italy, cello prodigy Elodie Bertolotti joins the Italian Resistance to Mussolini’s fascist regime, and soon she must seek sanctuary with a young doctor who has painful secrets of his own.

My Italian Bulldozer / Alexander McCall Smith

A hilarious new novel about one man’s misadventures in travel and romance in the Italian countryside. When writer Paul Stewart heads to the idyllic Italian town of Montalcino to finish his already overdue cookbook, he expects it to be the perfect escape from stressful city life. But when he arrives, things quickly take a turn for the worse. His hired car is nowhere to be found, and with no record of a reservation at the car-rental counter and no other cars are available, it appears that Paul will be stuck at the airport–that is, until an enterprising stranger offers him an unexpected alternative: a bulldozer. With little choice in the matter, Paul accepts, and so begins a series of laugh-out-loud adventures as he trundles through the Tuscan countryside.

The Shoemaker’s Wife: a novel / Adriana Trigiani

Two star-crossed lovers–Enza and Ciro–meet and separate, until, finally, the power of their love changes both of their lives forever. Set during the years preceding and during World War I.

Beautiful Ruins: a novel / Jess Walter

Follows a young Italian innkeeper and his almost-love affair with a beautiful American starlet, which draws him into a glittering world filled with unforgettable characters.

The Scribe of Siena: a novel / Melodie Winawer

Accomplished neurosurgeon Beatrice Trovato knows that her deep empathy for her patients is starting to impede her work. So when her beloved brother passes away, she welcomes the unexpected trip to the Tuscan city of Siena to resolve his estate, even as she wrestles with grief. But as she delves deeper into her brother’s affairs, she discovers intrigue she never imagined–a 700-year-old conspiracy to decimate the city. After uncovering the journal and paintings of Gabriele Accorsi, the fourteenth-century artist at the heart of the plot, Beatrice finds a startling image of her own face and is suddenly transported to the year 1347. She awakens in a Siena unfamiliar to her, one that will soon be hit by the Plague. Yet when Beatrice meets Accorsi, something unexpected happens: she falls in love–not only with Gabriele, but also with the beauty and cadence of medieval life.

italy2