Friday, October 18, 2002

New historical thriller

From PW Daily for Booksellers
October 17, 2002

The Baltimore Sun calls Philip Kerr "one of our most gifted novelists, yet his name has not achieved the widespread recognition it deserves. His new novel may change that." The new novel is Dark Matter: The Private Life of Sir Isaac Newton (Crown, $24), which the Sun describes as "a fast-paced historical thriller that makes both science and history seem anything by dry and abstract."

It's 1696, and Newton has assumed the position of warden of the Royal Mint at the Tower of London. Christopher Ellis has been hired as his assistant, and together, the two are directed by the king to find and prosecute counterfeiters. While investigating several murders at the Tower, they uncover a diabolical conspiracy involving the murder of thousands of Catholics, the passing of counterfeit guineas and reigniting the war with France.

The murders are accompanied by esoteric clues, encrypted documents and references to the pseudoscience of alchemy.

In addition to this rich tapestry of interesting characters and page-turning intrigue, Kerr has woven an illuminating look at life at the end of the 17th century: London is beset by whores and ruffians, opium dens, pestilence, grisly executions and a sparkling array of historical figures.--Judi Baxter

From the NY Times, October 17, 2002

Books for the Asking

AFTER spending a year trying to sell her book to publishers and receiving 70 rejection letters as a reward, Laurie Notaro, a newspaper columnist in Phoenix, decided to do it herself. Working with iUniverse, one of many companies that offer "print on demand" services, Ms. Notaro paid $99 to have her book designed, laid out, stored as a digital file and printed and bound only as copies were ordered. Several months later she sold the rights to her book, plus the concept for a new one, to a major publisher for a six-figure sum.

Joe Vitale, on the other hand, had already published several business books with traditional publishers. But for a new book, Mr. Vitale, a marketing consultant in Austin, Tex., decided to try a print-on-demand company, 1stBooks Library. For two days in June, Mr. Vitale's book was the best-selling title on

Read the entire article


2002 National Book Award Nominees
Winners to be announced November 20 in NYC


Big If by Mark Costello (Norton)
Three Junes by Julia Glass (Pantheon)
You Are Not a Stranger Here by Adam Haslett (Doubleday)
Gorgeous Lies by Martha McPhee (Harcourt)
The Heaven of Mercury by Brad Watson (Norton)


Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert Caro
When Smoke Ran Like Water: Tales of Environmental Deception and the
Battle Against Pollution by Derva Davis (Perseus)
Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul
Gawande (Metropolitan)
The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert (Viking)
Mapping Human History: Discovering the Past Through Our Genes by Steve
Olson (Houghton Mifflin)

Young People's Literature

Feed by M.T. Anderson (Candlewick)
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (Atheneum/Jackson)
19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East by Naomi Shihab Nye
This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life & Songs of Woody Guthrie
by Elizabeth Partridge (Viking)
Hush by Jacqueline Woodson (G.P. Putnam's Sons)


Sleeping with the Dictionary by Harryette Mullen (University of
California Press)
The Unswept Room by Sharon Olds (Knopf)
The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body by Alberto Rmos (Copper Canyon)
In the Next Galaxy by Ruth Stone (Copper Canyon)
Shadow of Heaven by Ellen Bryant Voigt (Norton)

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

From The Miami Herald
Posted on Sun, Oct. 13, 2002

Moby launches book club

Who needs Oprah, anyway? Ever the intellectual, techno/dance guru Moby has started a book club as part of his current world tour, reports

The singer and musician (real name Richard Melville Hall) -- who can trace his ancestry to Moby Dick author Herman Melville -- wants fans to bring along second-hand books to swap.

''When someone finishes a book, they put it in a little box and when someone else wants a new book, they look into the box and find one,'' he said.

`` Ozzy Osbourne used to snort ants. Led Zeppelin had sex with hookers on private planes. And I start a book club. Because one can only snort so many ants and have so much sex before one starts to long for the comfort and companionship of a book.''

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