Friday, January 06, 2006

The 50 Top-Selling Books of 2005

1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Rowling, J.K. (Arthur A. Levine Books, 0439784549, 7/1/2005, $29.99)

2. A Million Little Pieces, Frey, James, (Anchor Books, 0307276902, 9/1/2005, $14.95)

3. The Kite Runner, Hosseini, Khaled, (Riverhead, 1594480001, 4/1/2004, $14.00)

4. 1776, McCullough, David, (Simon & Schuster, 0743226712, 5/1/2005, $32.00)

5. The Da Vinci Code, Brown, Dan, (Doubleday, 0385504209, 3/1/2003, $24.95)

6. The World Is Flat, Friedman, Thomas L. (Farrar Straus Giroux, 0374292884, 4/1/2005, $27.50)

7. The Purpose-Driven Life, Warren, Rick, (Zondervan, 0310205719, 10/1/2002, $19.99)

8. Angels & Demons, Brown, Dan, (Pocket Star, 0671027360, 7/1/2001, $7.99)

9. You: The Owner's Manual, Oz, Mehmet, (HarperCollins, 0060765313, 5/1/2005, $24.95)

10. Eldest, Paolini, Christopher, (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 037582670X, 8/1/2005, $21.00)

11. The Broker, Grisham, John, (Doubleday, 0385510454, 1/1/2005, $27.95)

12. Your Best Life Now, Osteen, Joel, (Warner Faith, 0446532754, 10/1/2004, $19.99)

13. Blink, Gladwell, Malcolm, (Little, Brown, 0316172324, 1/1/2005, $25.95)

14. Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About, Trudeau, Kevin, (Alliance Publishing, 0975599518, 6/1/2005, $29.95)

15. Freakonomics, Levitt, Steven D. (William Morrow, 006073132X, 5/1/2005, $25.95)

16. The Secret Life of Bees, Kidd, Sue Monk, (Penguin, 0142001740, 1/1/2003, $14.00)

17. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Haddon, Mark, (Vintage, 1400032717, 5/1/2004, $12.95)

18. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Brashares, Ann, (Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, 0385730586, 3/1/2003, $8.95)

19. The Broker, Grisham, John, (Dell, 0440241588, 11/1/2005, $7.99)

20. French Women Don't Get Fat, Guiliano, Mireille, (Knopf, 1400042127, 12/1/2004, $22.00)

21. Wicked, Maguire, Gregory, (ReganBooks, 0060987103, 12/1/2000, $15.00)

22. True Believer, Sparks, Nicholas, (Warner Books, 0446532436, 4/1/2005, $24.95)

23. The Mermaid Chair, Kidd, Sue Monk, (Viking, 0670033944, 4/1/2005, $24.95)

24. Black Rose, Roberts, Nora, (Jove, 0515138657, 6/1/2005, $7.99)

25. The Penultimate Peril, Snicket, Lemony, (HarperCollins, 0064410153, 10/1/2005, $11.99)

26. The Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis, C.S. (HarperCollins, 0066238501, 10/1/2001, $19.99)

27. Mary, Mary, Patterson, James, (Little, Brown, 031615976X, 11/1/2005, $27.95)

28. The Historian, Kostova, Elizabeth, (Little, Brown, 0316011770, 6/1/2005, $25.95)

29. Girls In Pants, Brashares, Ann, (Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, 0385729359, 1/1/2005, $16.95)

30. The Second Summer of the Sisterhood of Traveling Pants, Brashares, Ann, (Delacorte Press, 0385731051, 12/1/2004, $8.95)

31. My Sister's Keeper, Picoult, Jodi, (Washington Square Press, 0743454537, 2/1/2005, $14.00)

32. Red Lily, Roberts, Nora, (Jove, 0515139408, 12/1/2005, $7.99)

33. The Last Juror, Grisham, John, (Dell, 044024157X, 12/1/2004, $7.99)

34. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Rowling, J.K. (Scholastic, 0439358078, 8/1/2004, $9.99)

35. The Five People You Meet In Heaven, Albom, Mitch, (Hyperion, 0786868716, 9/1/2003, $19.95)

36. At First Sight, Sparks, Nicholas, (Warner Books, 0446532428, 10/1/2005, $24.95)

37. Eragon, Paolini, Christopher, (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 0375826696, 4/1/2005, $9.95)

38. Deception Point, Brown, Dan, (Pocket Books, 0671027387, 12/1/2002, $7.99)

39. He's Just Not That Into You, T, Behrendt, Greg and Tuccillo, Liz (Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 068987474X, 9/1/2004, $21.95)

40. Rachael Ray's 365, Ray, Rachael, (Clarkson Potter, 1400082544, 10/1/2005, $19.95)

41. Honeymoon, Patterson, James, (Little, Brown, 0316710628, 2/1/2005, $27.95)

42. The Tipping Point, Gladwell, Malcolm, (Back Bay Books, 0316346624, 1/1/2002, $14.95)

43. 4th of July, Patterson, James, (Little, Brown, 0316710601, 5/1/2005, $27.95)

44. Why Do Men Have Nipples?, Leyner, Mark, (Three Rivers Press, 1400082315, 7/1/2005, $13.95)

45. Teacher Man, McCourt, Frank, (Scribner, 0743243773, 11/1/2005, $26.00)

46. Team of Rivals, Goodwin, Doris, Kearns, (Simon & Schuster, 0684824906, 10/1/2005, $35.00)

47. Our Endangered Values, Carter, Jimmy, (Simon & Schuster, 0743284577, 10/1/2005, $25.00)

48. Trace, Cornwell, Patricia D. (Berkley, 0425204200, 6/1/2005, $7.99)

49. Bad Cat, Edgar, Jim, (Workman, 0761136193, 10/1/2004, $9.95)

50. Predator, Cornwell, Patricia, (Putnam, 0399152830, 11/1/2005, $26.95)

The Biggest of 2005: The 200 Bestselling Books of the Year: "The 50 Top-Selling Books of 2005"

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Publishers toss Booker winners into the reject pile
Jonathan Calvert and Will Iredale

THEY can’t judge a book without its cover. Publishers and agents have rejected two Booker prize-winning novels submitted as works by aspiring authors.
One of the books considered unworthy by the publishing industry was by V S Naipaul, one of Britain’s greatest living writers, who won the Nobel prize for literature.

The exercise by The Sunday Times draws attention to concerns that the industry has become incapable of spotting genuine literary talent.

Typed manuscripts of the opening chapters of Naipaul’s In a Free State and a second novel, Holiday, by Stanley Middleton, were sent to 20 publishers and agents.

None appears to have recognised them as Booker prizewinners from the 1970s that were lauded as British novel writing at its best. Of the 21 replies, all but one were rejections.

Only Barbara Levy, a London literary agent, expressed an interest, and that was for Middleton’s novel.

She was unimpressed by Naipaul’s book. She wrote: “We . . . thought it was quite original. In the end though I’m afraid we just weren’t quite enthusiastic enough to be able to offer to take things further.”

The rejections for Middleton’s book came from major publishing houses such as Bloomsbury and Time Warner as well as well-known agents such as Christopher Little, who discovered J K Rowling.

The major literary agencies PFD, Blake Friedmann and Lucas Alexander Whitley all turned down V S Naipaul’s book, which has received only a handful of replies.

Critics say the publishing industry has become obsessed with celebrity authors and “bright marketable young things” at the expense of serious writers.

Most large publishers no longer accept unsolicited manuscripts from first-time authors, leaving the literary agencies to discover new talent.

Many of the agencies find it hard to cope with the volume of submissions. One said last week that she receives up to 50 manuscripts a day, but takes on a maximum of only six new writers a year.

Last week, leading literary figures expressed surprise that Naipaul, in particular, had not been talent spotted. Doris Lessing, the author who was once rejected by her own publishers when she submitted a novel under a pseudonym, said: “I’m astounded as Naipaul is an absolutely wonderful writer.”

Andrew Motion, the poet laureate, who teaches creative writing, said: “It is surprising that the people who read it (Naipaul’s book) didn’t recognise it. He is certainly up there as one of our greatest living writers.”

While arguing that the best books would still always find a publisher, he added: “We need to keep the publishers on their toes as good books are as rare as hens’ teeth.”

Middleton, 86, whose books have a devoted following, wasn’t surprised. “People don’t seem to know what a good novel is nowadays,” he said. Naipaul, 73, said the “world had moved on” since he wrote the novel. He added: “To see that something is well written and appetisingly written takes a lot of talent and there is not a great deal of that around.”

“With all the other forms of entertainment today there are very few people around who would understand what a good paragraph is.”

Publishers toss Booker winners into the reject pile - Sunday Times - Times Online

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ali Smith's 'Accidental' Wins Whitbread Award

Associated Press
Wednesday, January 4, 2006

LONDON, Jan. 3 -- Scottish writer Ali Smith's "The Accidental" has been named novel of the year by Britain's prestigious Whitbread Book Awards.

Smith -- best known as a short-story writer -- won the best novel category Tuesday for her first full-length novel, the tale of an enigmatic young woman who disturbs a family's uneventful holiday in an English town.

Finalists included Nick Hornby's "A Long Way Down" and Salman Rushdie's "Shalimar the Clown."

The panel of judges described the book as "a glorious work of fiction that inspired both laughter and sadness and that none of us could stop reading."

Smith, 43, said it was "as great a surprise to have reached its final list as it was to be listed at all, especially on such a tough and wide-ranging shortlist and in a year when there's been such strong fiction."

"I still can't quite believe it. I've been very lucky," said Smith, who has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

The Whitbread prizes are awarded in five categories -- novel, first novel, poetry, biography and children's book. Each category winner receives $8,700. One of the five will receive the $43,000 Whitbread Book of the Year Award on Jan. 24.

The first-novel award went to Tash Aw for "The Harmony Silk Factory," set in his native Malaysia in the 1930s and '40s. Christopher Logue won the poetry category for "Cold Calls," a modern reworking of Homer's "Iliad." Hilary Spurling took the biography prize for "Matisse the Master," while Kate Thompson's "The New Policeman" won the children's book award.

The British retail and leisure group Whitbread Group PLC announced last year that it would no longer sponsor the prizes, which were founded in 1971 and are open to residents of Britain and the Republic of Ireland. A search is underway for a new backer.

Ali Smith's 'Accidental' Wins Whitbread Award

Monday, January 02, 2006

2nd Annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival

January 20-22, 2006

Old School Square, 51 North Swinton Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444

Couple of comments: This year the Poetry Festival was fortunate to get Susan Mitchell to do a reading. I took a class with her at FAU a few years ago and she is brilliant and so very interesting, I'm sure her reading will be fabulous. And returning this year is Sharon Olds - I was thrilled to get to see her last year and she is funny and passionate and a pleasure to listen to. There are many other incredibly talented poets as well, I highly recommend attending as many of the readings as possible.

Schedule of Events:

Friday January 20, 2006 Crest Theatre (Book Signings: Ocean Breeze Room)

1:15-2:30 PM Laure-Anne Bosselaar and Kurt Brown Read; followed by book signings
Introduced by Myra Shapiro

Laure-Anne Bosselaar grew up in Belgium, where her first language was Flemish. She is the author of a book of poems in French, Artemis (1973), and two collections of poems in English from BOA Editions: The Hour Between Dog and Wolf (1997) and Small Gods of Grief (2001), which won the Isabela Gardner Award. She is also editor of three anthologies, Outsiders: Poems about Rebels, Exiles and Renegades (Milkweed Editions, 1999); Urban Nature: Poems about Nature in the City (Milkweed Editions, 2000), and Never Before: Poems about First Experiences (Four Way Books, 2005). With her husband, Kurt Brown, she co-edited the anthology Night Out: Poems about Hotels, Motels, Restaurants and Bars (1997), also from Milkweed Editions. She teaches poetry workshops at Sarah Lawrence College.

Kurt Brown is the author of five chapbooks: The Lance & Rita Poems, which won the Sound Post Press competition in Columbia, Missouri (1994); Recension of the Biblical Watchdog, which won the Anamnesis Poetry Chapbook Competition (1997); A Voice in the Garden: Poems of Sandor Tádjèck published by Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center (1998); Mammal News, Pudding House Press (2000); and Fables from the Ark, which won the Woodland Press Poetry Chapbook Competition (2002). Two full-length collections of poems, Return of the Prodigals, (1999) and More Things in Heaven and Earth (2002) were published by Four Way Books. He teaches a graduate poetry workshop at Sarah Lawrence and is the founding director of the Aspen Writers’ Conference and Writers’ Conferences & Centers (a national association of directors.) His poems have appeared in many literary journals and he has edited numerous poetry anthologies.

8:00-10:00 PM Marilyn Nelson and Thomas Lux Read followed by book signings.
Introduced by Denise Duhamel

Marilyn Nelson Named Poet Laureate of Connecticut in 2001, her books include Fortune's Bones: The Manumission Requiem (2004), a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and Carver: A Life in Poems (2001), a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, a National Book Award finalist, and a Newbery Honor Book; A Wreath for Emmett Till (2005); The Cachoiera Tales and Other Poems (2005); The Fields of Praise: New and Selected Poems (1997) a Poet’s Prize winner, a Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize finalist, a National Book Award finalist, and a PEN Winship Award winner; Magnificat: Poems (1994); The Homeplace (1990), an Annisfield-Wolf Award winner and a National Book Award finalist; Mama's Promises (1985), and For the Body (1978). Since September 2004 she is Emeritus Professor at the University of Connecticut and director of Soul Mountain Retreat, a writers' colony. Other honors include two Pushcart prizes, two creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Thomas Lux holds The Bourne Chair in Poetry and directs the McEver Visiting Writers Program at Georgia Tech. in Atlanta. His books of poetry include The Cradle Place (Houghton Mifflin, 2004); The Street of Clocks, (2001); New and Selected Poems, 1975-1995, (1997), a finalist for the 1998 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; The Blind Swimmer: Selected Early Poems, 1970-1975, (1996); Split Horizon, (1994), winner of the Kingsley-Tufts Poetry Award. His distinguished teaching career includes twenty-seven years on the writing faculty and Director of the MFA Program in Poetry at Sarah Lawrence. Lux has taught poetry writing at Emerson, Warren Wilson, and many other universities. He has been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in Poetry and has received three National Endowment for the Arts grants and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Saturday January 21, 2006 Crest Theatre (Book Signings: Ocean Breeze Room)

1:30-2:30 PM Laure-Anne Bosselaar Craft Discussion: The End…. right? Right!

There are countless ways to end poems, and yet the great majority of endings do one of two things: greatly contract the focus of the poem, or expand it wider than any first time reader could anticipate. By taking a close look at some poems we’ll discover how the use of imagery, line-breaks, focus, leaps, surprises and other “tricks” lead to their satisfactory conclusions. This will be an inter-active workshop: participation in the discussion is most welcome.

2:45-3:45 PM Kurt Brown Craft Discussion: Restraint in Poetry

The word ‘restraint’ may suggest many things: humility, decorum, tact, breeding and good taste, as well as moral, political, or ethical discretion, but I mean to infer none of those social graces—except, perhaps, tangentially. Instead, I will deal only with matters of craft and aesthetic restraint in poetry—those formal, thematic, conceptual, and emotional checks on passion and self-indulgence that can overburden the reader and sink a poem.”

4:00-5:30 PM Readings by Campbell McGrath and Susan Mitchell
Introduced by Nick Carbo

Campbell McGrath is the author of six full-length collections: Capitalism, American Noise, Spring Comes to Chicago, Road Atlas, Florida Poems and Pax Atomica. He has received numerous awards, including a MacArthur Genius award, the Kingsley Tufts Prize, the Cohen Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Witter-Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress. McGrath lives in Miami Beach with his wife and two sons and teaches in the M.F.A. program at Florida International University.

Susan Mitchell is a poet, essayist, and translator who has won many awards, including fellowships from the NEA, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Lannan Foundation. She is the author of three books of poems, including Erotikon and Rapture, which won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Her poems have been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, the New Republic, Poetry London, and The Yale Review, as well as in five volumes of the Best American Poetry annual anthologies and the Best of the Best American Poetry. She lives in Boca Raton, and teaches in the MFA Writing Program at Florida Atlantic University.

7:30-9:30 PM Readings by Jane Hirshfield and Tony Hoagland
Introduced by Barbara Hamby

Jane Hirshfield is the author of six collections, including After (HarperCollins, Jan 2006), Given Sugar, Given Salt (finalist, 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award, winner of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award), The Lives of the Heart, and The October Palace, as well as a book of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry. She also edited and co-translated The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by Komachi & Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Court of Japan, Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women, and Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems. Other honors include The Poetry Center Book Award; fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets. In 2004, she was awarded the 70th Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement by The Academy of American Poets. She has been a visiting professor at UC Berkeley and elsewhere and a member of the Bennington College MFA faculty.

Tony Hoagland has published three collections of poetry: Sweet Ruin (a winner of the Brittingham Prize), from the University of Wisconsin Press, Donkey Gospel (a winner of the James Laughlin second book award), and What Narcissism Means To Me, (2003). He is the 2005 recipient of the Mark Twain Award for his contributions to humor in American Poetry, and has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment on the Arts, and the Academy of Arts and Letters. His poems and essays about poetry have appeared widely. He currently teaches in the graduate writing program of the University of Houston and in the Warren Wilson MFA program.

9:30-11:30 PM Poetry Café in the Vintage Gymnasium

Join us for coffee, cordials, desserts and a raucous fun-filled slam competition between festival poets and local Delray Beach Poets. Bring a poem to read at the open microphone. $5 admission at the door.

Sunday January 22, 2006 Crest Theatre (Book Signings: Ocean Breeze Room)

1:15-5:00 PM High School Contest Awards Ceremony followed by Open Microphone

Awards Ceremony: The Palm Beach Poetry Festival has sponsored a county-wide poetry contest open to high school students enrolled in public and private high schools throughout Palm Beach County. Dr. Jeff Morgan, Chair of the Department of English at Lynn University, judged the contest. A winner and four runners up have been chosen. Join us for the presentation of their awards, prizes and for their readings that will kick off the open microphone session.

Open Microphone: Workshop participants and others who hold tickets to attend this event are invited to read a poem, not to exceed thirty lines. Due to the popularity of this event, we must strictly enforce the limitation on the length of the poem. Ticket holders who wish to read must place their names in the box provided near the door. Workshop participants names will be entered by staff for each workshop. We will draw names randomly and will proceed so long as time permits.

7:00-9:00 PM Readings by Sharon Olds and Galway Kinnell
Introduced by David Kirby

Sharon Olds former Poet Laureate of New York State, was born in San Francisco in 1942. She studied at Stanford University and received a master's degree from Columbia University. Her numerous honors include a National Endowment for the Arts grant; a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship; the San Francisco Poetry Center Award for her first collection, Satan Says, (1980); and the Lamont Poetry Selection and the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Dead & the Living, (1983). Her other books of poetry, all published by Alfred A. Knopf are Strike Sparks (2004); The Unswept Room, (2002); Blood, Tin, Straw, (1999); The Gold Cell, (1997); The Wellspring, (1995): and The Father (1992). Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Ploughshares and many other literary journals. She teaches poetry workshops in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University and was one of the founders of the NYU workshop program at Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island in New York.

Ms. Olds was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2004.

Galway Kinnell was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1927. He studied at Princeton University and the University of Rochester. His volumes of poetry include A New Selected Poems (Houghton Mifflin, 2000), a finalist for the National Book Award; Imperfect Thirst (1996); When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone (1990); Selected Poems (1980), for which he received both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; Mortal Acts, Mortal Words (1980); The Book of Nightmares (1971); Body Rags (1968); Flower Herding on Mount Monadnock (1964); and What a Kingdom It Was (1960). He has also published translations of works by Yves Bonnefoy, Yvan Goll, François Villon, and Rainer Maria Rilke. He retired this year as the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing at New York University and is currently a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

The Barnes & Noble Palm Beach Poetry Festival Bookstore is located in the Ocean Breeze Room
and is open for business during the following hours:
Friday, January 21: 1:00-10:00 pm
Saturday, January 22: 1:30-9:30 pm
Sunday, January 23: 1:00-9:00 pm

Festival Pass Tickets admit one to readings, craft discussions, high school awards & open microphone and you SAVE up to $140 compared to individual event prices!

Reserved Seating (orchestra center) $85
General Admission (orchestra side & balcony) $75
General Admission Discount $60
Discount applies to seniors (65+), full-time college & high school students with ID, and groups (10 or more)

Individual Event Prices per Event
Reserved Seating (orchestra center)
Readings: $25 afternoon / $35 evening
Craft Discussions: $25
High School Contest Awards & Open Mic $20
General Admission (orchestra side & balcony)
Readings: $20 afternoon / $30 evening
Craft Discussions: $20
High School Contest Awards & Open Mic $15
General Admission Discount*
Readings: $15 afternoon / $25 evening
Craft Discussions: $15
High School Contest Awards & Open Mic: $10
* For seniors (65+); full time college/high school students with ID; groups of 10 or more

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