Articles on this Page
- 09/04/14--13:00: _Hut, Hut, . . . Hik...
- 09/08/14--10:02: _Escape to the Past:...
- 09/09/14--06:13: _Behind the Forbidde...
- 09/10/14--11:00: _Lore Segal's America
- 09/11/14--05:00: _Touchdown! Football...
- 09/12/14--06:00: _Escape the Classroo...
- 09/12/14--13:44: _Ebooks de Los chico...
- 09/17/14--04:00: _Why Exactly Are Hor...
- 09/17/14--06:00: _Dr. Media's Wacky L...
- 09/17/14--11:01: _Four Reads for Nati...
- 09/18/14--11:17: _A Family Affair: Th...
- 09/19/14--08:30: _Fantasy and Science...
- 09/19/14--12:00: _Sweet Stories to Ce...
- 09/22/14--06:07: _Get Your Gone Girl ...
- 09/24/14--05:00: _Yom Kippur for Youn...
- 09/24/14--06:16: _Writing Clever Hero...
- 09/24/14--11:00: _Celebrating Ordinar...
- 09/25/14--13:32: _Happy Constitution ...
- 09/29/14--08:15: _A Memorable Day for...
- 09/29/14--13:15: _We’ll Always Have P...
- 09/04/14--13:00: Hut, Hut, . . . Hike!! Four Great Football Reads
- 09/08/14--10:02: Escape to the Past: Historical Romances for Every Reader
- 09/09/14--06:13: Behind the Forbidden Bookshelf: Interference by Dan E. Moldea
- 09/10/14--11:00: Lore Segal's America
- 09/11/14--05:00: Touchdown! Football Stories from Fred Bowen
- 09/12/14--06:00: Escape the Classroom and Travel to a New World!
- 09/17/14--04:00: Why Exactly Are Horses So Good for Young Girls?
- 09/17/14--11:01: Four Reads for National Hispanic Heritage Month
- 09/19/14--12:00: Sweet Stories to Celebrate a New Year
- 09/22/14--06:07: Get Your Gone Girl Fix with True Crimes of Passion
- 09/24/14--05:00: Yom Kippur for Young Readers: A Learning Experience Through Ebooks
- 09/24/14--06:16: Writing Clever Heroes AND Clever Villains
- 09/24/14--11:00: Celebrating Ordinary Magic in Alice Hoffman’s Early Novels
- 09/25/14--13:32: Happy Constitution Week!
- 09/29/14--13:15: We’ll Always Have Paris
Football season is here and you’re all ready: You found the bar that will play your team’s game every week, your office pool is lined up, and you know this is the year your team will go all the way. But what about your required football reading? Dwight Garner from the New York Times has already listed the best of football nonfiction (including Roy Blount Jr.’s About Three Bricks Shy of a Load), and now we are here to recommend the best fiction reads based on different interest levels.
“Football is LIFE!”
Former wide receiver with the Dallas Cowboys Peter Gent’s classic novel North Dallas Fortylooks at the unseen side of the pro game, chronicling eight days in the life of Phil Elliott, an aging receiver for the Texas team. Running on a mixture of painkillers and cortisone as he battles to keep his fading legs strong, Elliott tries to get every ounce of pleasure out of his last days of glory, living the life of sex, drugs, and football.
“I want to know what goes on behind the scenes.”
The first in Richard Curtis’s The Pro series, $3 Million Turnoverintroduces us to the former-football-player-turned-sports-agent Dave Bolt. By day, he takes a cut of his athletes’ standard profits. But unofficially, he is the go-to man when people in the sports world need someone to help unglue the fixes and wrestle with the drug problems, the gangsterism, and the sex scandals.
“Football is my salvation.”
From bestselling author Susan Straight, I Been in Sorrow’s Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots is a historic novel about a young woman forced to grow up quickly. Her life changes with the current of the times. Beginning in the late 1950s, Marietta Cook is a young mother raising her sons in Charleston, South Carolina, where she takes a growing interest in football and the civil rights movement. The boys grow huge and talented at the game, playing pro football in California. A new world and new travails await, but Marietta’s great resilience endures.
“There is a seedy underbelly in all sports…”
Another novel from Peter Gent, The Franchise examines a corrupt football team in a Texas city, where the sport is life. The Texas Pistols never should have been. At first, they’re worthless, playing in an empty stadium for slack-jawed fans, but the owners have a plan. And it starts with Taylor Rusk. But Rusk, the finest college quarterback of his generation, is no fool, and he realizes quickly that all is not honest in Park City. He doesn’t want to stop the corruption—he wants a piece of it. And for a price, he will lead his new team to glory.
We hope you discovered a novel that satisfies your level of football enthusiasm, to read in between game day commercials. Let us know about your favorite football reads, and which team you’re rooting for!
Labor Day has come and gone, which means the summer is (unofficially) over. As you settle back into real life and the kiddies go back to school, why not treat yourself to a special getaway? Allow yourself to escape to the past, to any era you desire. Whether you want the Scottish Highlands of 1813 or the passion of 12th century France, we have the perfect read to awaken your desire.
Coyote Woman by Judith Redman Robbins
Shawanadese was the name bestowed on her when she was born into the prehistoric Anasazi tribe. Her fate seemed much like that of any other young girl until her magical powers began to erupt at the dawning of womanhood. It was then that a sacred name--Coyote Woman--was granted to her, a name that would come to identify her as a high priestess and draw the lustful and the faithful to her side.
Stealing Heaven by Marion Meade
In 12th century France, two of Europe’s greatest minds met and fell in love. It was a love forbidden by the world around them and eventually they were torn apart from each other. But the spark of it remained smoldering inside the lovers until their death and beyond.
Mistress of the Morning Star by Elizabeth Lane
Born to an Indian chieftain and then sold as a slave by her mother, the pagan princess Marina becomes the fierce Conqueror Cortes’s concubine. Of course this is to the displeasure of the jealous yet gentle soldier Juan, whose fire burns strong for Marina as he watches the warrior Cortes possess the key to his Golden Empire—a key he is determined to possess himself.
Blood Red Roses by Katherine Deauxville
Fulk de Jobourgh is a knight of the court of King William, commanded to oversee the lands of a noble who was hanged for treason. He is also instructed to marry the dead traitor’s rebellious daughter and ensure her loyalty to the king. He brings her to the altar, and to his bed, before galloping off once again to command in the King’s war. Although Alwyn, his unwilling bride, is barely able to remember the face of Fulk, she cannot forget her response to his touch. At every turn, she thwarts his efforts to take control of her father’s estate and finds herself enslaved by her passion for him. Will she be able to resist the sensual pleasure of his touch in order to save her rightful legacy and family honor?
Love’s Gentle Journey by Kay Cornelius
A new world and a new way of life await young Ann McKay, as she makes the perilous journey across the ocean to the American frontier. Although she is afraid to leave the home and family that are all she has ever known, she knows that to grow she must move on. Caleb Craighead is a Scottish schoolteacher, newly ordained in the ministry. His firm beliefs and strong determination to make a difference in the world lead him to the shores of America. He feels that he has been called to this rough new land for a higher purpose. Little does he know that he will not be alone, as a special young woman comes to take her rightful place at his side.
Jasmine Moon by Frances Patton Statham
Lili innocently thought her disguise as a servant was a harmless way to find out what the man she married was really like. She didn’t consider that her husband would force her to become his mistress and then sell her as a slave before she could reveal her true identity. Before she can utter a sound, Lili is ripped from her pampered life on a Carolina plantation and forced to begin a dangerous journey that will test her willingness to survive and strength of spirit. In the unfamiliar Canadian wilderness, Lili discovers that her passion cannot be tamed.
To Tame a Dukeby Patricia Grasso
Set against the turbulent historical background of the War of 1812, this star-crossed romance pits a grieving English nobleman, James Armstrong, the 14th duke of Kinross, against The Gilded Lily, a spy-catcher of formidable reputation and great skill. When he finds his prey, he is dismayed to discover that the Lily is no common soldier; “she” is 18-year-old Lily Hawthorn, the beautiful raven-haired daughter of a tavern owner with sapphire eyes and a daring spirit.
TheGirl with the Persian Shawl by Elizabeth Mansfield
“The Girl With Persian Shawl” was a strangely bewitching masterpiece that had hung in the Rendell household for generations. Kate Rendell graciously let the dashing Lord Ainsworth view the work, and was outraged when he dared to insinuate that the painting came into the family by nefarious means. She was unfazed that Lord Ainsworth left her estate believing she was little more than an arrogant spinster. But everything changed when she discovered that her beloved but flighty younger cousin was to be betrothed to . . . a rake!
The Secret Heiress by Lillian Shelley
Caroline Chessington is not enchanted by the suitors who flock to Brampton Hall to court her. Caroline’s heart is in search of something out of the ordinary for the time–-love–-and she refuses to settle for less. She has devised a plan to be courted for her personal charms and not her tiara—and leaves Brampton Hall for London immediately. When Caroline, in disguise, meets Giles Kendal, the son of an Earl, she begins to know love. But the web she weaves to falsify her identity makes a courtship between the two nearly impossible—until she reveals her identity and allows love and truth to prevail.
Blossom by Constance Bennett
Case Longstreet is an Apache Tribesman who changes his name and learns the ways of the white men in order to change his future. Following a secret plan to destroy his enemies, Case is unprepared to fall in passionate love with a headstrong daughter of the frontier. Libby Ashford has gone west to find freedom. She claims the love of a man no one can tame, unleashing her inner desires. Together, they fight for their bold dream of love . . . and defy both worlds.
When Lightning Strikes by Rexanne Becnel
Kidnapped from her Oregon-bound wagon train, a schoolteacher falls into the hands of a handsome bounty hunter and finds herself swept up in an entirely different kind of adventure.
Grey Mask by Patricia Wentworth
Charles Moray has come home to England to collect his inheritance. After four years wandering the jungles of India and South America, the hardy young man returns to the manor of his birth, where generations of Morays have lived and died. Strangely, he finds the house unlocked, and sees a light on in one of its abandoned rooms. Eavesdropping, he learns of a conspiracy to commit a fearsome crime. To unravel their diabolical plot, he contacts Miss Silver, a onetime governess who applies her reason to solve crimes and face the dangers of London’s underworld.
For over half a century, America’s vast literary culture has been disparately policed, and imperceptibly contained, by state and corporate entities well-placed and perfectly equipped to wipe out wayward writings. As America does not ban books, other means—less evident, and so less controversial—have been deployed to vaporize them. The purpose of Forbidden Bookshelf is to bring such vanished books back to life.
In this blog series we will look at each book in the Forbidden Bookshelf and discover how it was erased from the public consciousness.
Why Interference Was Forbidden, by Dan E. Moldea
After the publication of a lying review of my book, I wanted opinion writers to be held to the same standards of accuracy and honesty as news reporters. The result? My book and I became “forbidden.”
On August 18, 1989, William Morrow and Company published my fourth book, Interference: How Organized Crime Influences Professional Football. The work contained well-documented evidence of the Mafia’s penetration into the multibillion dollar world of professional football, including new information about mobbed-up team owners, killed investigations, and even fixed games.
Anticipating a public relations problem, the National Football League had already reacted strongly to my work, initiating attacks against me seven months before the book’s release date. In response to the NFL’s assault, I aggressively defended Interference during a first-rate, 13-city media tour arranged by William Morrow.
Meantime, no libel suits were either threatened or filed against Interference. No source quoted in the book denied the accuracy of his or her quote. In fact, during my entire, 40-year career—which has included eight controversial true-crime books—I have never had to defend myself in a defamation suit for anything I have ever said or written.
However, I predicted in the prologue to Interference that, upon publication, the NFL “will remain aloof from the charges, deny them from afar, and then send its front line of defense, the loyal sportswriters, to attack the messenger.”
Indeed, on September 3, 1989, the week before the NFL season began, Gerald Eskenazi, a New York Times sportswriter who had covered the National Football League for three decades, reviewed my book for the New York Times Book Review. In this review, Eskenazi grossly misrepresented the facts contained in my work, concluding that my book contained “sloppy journalism,” a charge that, if true, could end a nonfiction author’s career.
But the reviewer had based his opinion on a series of provably false facts. In other words, he made statements of fact that were simply not true. Incredibly, he claimed that I stated facts I never did, or that I omitted other facts that were clearly contained in my book.
For example, as New York magazine observed:
“[Eskenazi charges that]: ‘[Moldea] revives the discredited notion that Carroll Rosenbloom . . . met foul play when he drowned in Florida 10 years ago.’ In fact, Moldea interviewed witnesses who were at the scene, obtained the autopsy photos, and concluded on page 360 of Interference: ‘Rosenbloom died in a tragic accident and was not murdered.’”After reading Eskenazi’s false and misleading review, I immediately wrote to the reviewer and asked for a retraction, citing the errors he made in the review. He did not reply.
I then retained an attorney who called the Times’s chief in-house counsel and asked that the Times publish corrections. The Times refused.
In a mere effort to defend myself against the false charges against my work in Interference, I wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Times Book Review, who refused to publish my defense.
Finally, I tried to get my side of the story out through other publications. But, given the task of going up against the New York Times, no one would give me the opportunity to do so.
Unfortunately, with my career in serious jeopardy, a lawsuit became my only means of self-defense. And from the moment that my attorney, Roger Simmons, filed the suit on my behalf, I knew that, though the legal process, my work in Interference would be subjected to standards that the New York Times did not even hold its own reporters.
What the Times did in its review was tantamount to an act of censorship of my work. And the National Football League was the beneficiary of that act.
Our case piggybacked the June 1990 US Supreme Court landmark decision, Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Company, which stated, in part, that published opinions may be libelous if they are based on provably false facts.
The Times immediately engaged our suit, filing a motion for summary judgment and high-handedly proclaiming that my litigation jeopardized the “robust exchange of views in the marketplace of ideas.” Certainly, the Times’s refusal to publish my letter to the editor—which would have completely averted this litigation—denied me the opportunity to participate in this cherished “exchange of views.”
From the outset of the filing of this suit, editorials and op-ed columns relentlessly brushed me off as a thin-skinned author with “a wounded ego,” who simply received a bad review, and then retained a top legal gun to challenge the right of all reviewers and opinion writers to state their opinions freely and fully. This was simply not true. And, as a longtime writers’ rights activist, I resented being placed in a position where I was constantly forced to deny such an unfair charge.
The obvious tactic employed by the media was to punish me for having the audacity to defend myself, while the reviewer and his newspaper which started all of this, as well as the National Football League, were given a complete pass from the fray.
To no one’s surprise, in January, 1992, US District Judge John Garrett Penn—in a narrow view of Milkovich—granted the Times’s motion and dismissed our case.
Then, on February 18, 1994, after over six months of study and debate, the federal appellate court for the D.C. circuit shocked the media world when it overturned Penn’s ruling. The court of appeals passionately ruled, 2–1, in my favor, immediately causing an onslaught of cataclysmic editorials and shoddy op-ed columns, led by, among others, the Washington Post and the Boston Globe, which was owned by the New York Times. (In an editorial, the Globe had actually fabricated a quote from me—for which it had to publish a correction.)
Completely ignored by these usually responsible publications was the key passage of the appellate opinion, which stated: “We certainly do not mean to suggest that all bad reviews are actionable. We do hold, however, that assertions that would otherwise be actionable in defamation are not transmogrified into nonactionable statements when they appear in the context of a book review.”
Essentially, the appellate court stated that opinion writers should be held to the same standards of accuracy and honesty as news reporters. That was the principle upon which my attorney and I based our lawsuit.
In support of the ruling, the Legal Times published an article on March 14 that clarified the decision by stating, “[T]he Moldea ruling will most likely prompt book reviewers to do more factual homework, a habit the First Amendment cherishes. And to the extent the decision chills reviews that maliciously and factually mislead the reader—the proof required for damage recovery when the book author is a public figure—it chills what ought to be chilled.”
Then, on May 3, the appellate court suddenly and inexplicably reversed itself in the midst of a firestorm of editorials and op-ed criticism of its first decision. Without any new evidence, legal precedents, or oral arguments, the judges sheepishly issued a new unanimous opinion: “Indeed, some bad reviews may be written with an aim to damage a writer’s reputation. There is nothing that we can do about this, at least without unacceptably interfering with free speech.”
In effect, the appellate court, in this bizarre and unprecedented reversal, created an exemption from libel for opinion writers when they engaged in “mischievous intent,” as the court now called it. News reporters and nonfiction authors had no such exemption and continued to be held to a “malice” standard.
Nevertheless, the New York Times concluded in its self-congratulatory May 7, 1994, editorial that the appellate court’s second opinion safeguarded “spirited argument,” adding: “The whole society, freer to speak and argue about matters of public concern, is the winner.”
However, the Times’s original failure to publish my letter to the editor in response to its false and misleading review of my book—as well as my reply to its May 7 editorial—denied me the opportunity to participate in this “spirited argument.”
Notably, the responsible reporting of some publications countered at least some of the op-ed nonsense in the aftermath of the reversal.
For instance, in the Nation, journalist Carlin Romano wrote:
Moldea v. New York Times is the most provocative First Amendment case in years. It offers subtle facts and complicated philosophical questions about the respective verifiability of facts and evaluations. It pits deeply entrenched legal ideals against each other: the “breathing space” that criticism needs to be effective, and the right of an individual to defend his reputation. Perhaps most singularly, it exhibits the Times, normally on the noble side of free-expression controversies, confronting its raw power in the marketplace of ideas, particularly in regard to books . . .Writing for the Columbia Journalism Review, reporter Christopher Hanson stated: “Moldea has reason to be upset . . . [A]fter comparing what the book says with what the review says it says, one might conclude that Eskenazi was some distance from Pulitzer territory.”
Learning to love Moldea v. Times as a watershed libel ruling requires bringing together the facts of the case, the legal analysis they generate and the realities of power politics in book reviewing. It isn't a pretty picture . . .
Appreciating why Moldea v. Times turned into such a mess requires reflection on a too-little-pondered subject: how the Times, as a matter of practice rather than policy, often discourages free expression.
Sadly, after its release in 1989, Interference did not have much of a life. And I appreciate Open Road Media for resurrecting this book from the dead 25 years later as part of its Forbidden Bookshelf series.
Recognized for her work with both adult and children’s literature, Vienna-born author Lore Segal writes novels that give a poignant look at history and the Jewish experience, often drawn from Segal’s firsthand experiences. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and a number of other prestigious awards, we are proud to release Other People’s Housesand Her First American. Segal shares her own thoughts and inspiration behind the novels.
What is Her First American about?
Her First American is a novel about the depth of affection between two improbable lovers. Ilka, a refugee from post-war Europe, boards a train going west to search for “the real America,” and finds Carter Bayoux, who is en route to New York, “sitting on a stool in a bar in the desert, across from the railroad.” He buys Ilka a drink.
Carter is a portly, older black man, an intellectual, a journalist, and an alcoholic. He will induct the 20-year-old into an America that is not open to most new immigrants. A Holocaust survivor, Ilka is keenly aware of the eternal parallels and differences between the Jewish and black experiences.
Ilka is fascinated by Carter’s stories about his childhood humiliations and glamorous affairs as a brilliant young black man in Paris. But Carter Bayoux is a man on the skids. Ilka’s love sees him through his alcoholic benders and she visits him in the state hospital, but she is gathering her own strength to do what she must: leave Carter and move on to her own future.
Or is it Carter’s love for the young Jewish girl that makes him return to the West Coast and set her free?
How about Other People’s Houses?
Other People’s Houses is a novel based on my experiences under the Nazis after Hitler’s annexation of Austria in March, 1938, four days after my 10th birthday. It began with the segregation of Jewish and Aryan school children in my school, my father’s firing from his bank, our being forced out of our apartment. By November’s infamous Kristallnacht that shattered Vienna’s Jewish businesses, getting out of the country looked to be impossible and my father put me onto the train that was transporting several hundred children to safety in England.
There for the next six years, I moved from one foster family to another, but was instrumental in getting my parents jobs as a cook and a butler in the south of England.
Part two tells of the three years the surviving members of my family spent in the Dominican Republic waiting for our “quota”—the number which permitted our entry into the United States, and the beginning of a new life in New York.
How did you come up with the ideas for both novels?
I remember thinking that the Levines, my first Liverpool foster parents, did not understand what was happening in Vienna. My youngest, dearest foster sister, Ruth, got me the kind of copy book English children use to do their homework and I wrote my story in German. (Ruth had it translated.) I remember feeling that I was not recreating the terror of life under the Nazis well enough and I added exclamation points and extra sunsets to emphasize what I did not know how to get written right until 20 years later, in Other People’s Houses.
Most characters in most novels are probably aspects of people we know combined with the people we are. [For Her First American,] I met my “Carter Bayoux” in a class in creative writing at the New School. I recognized “Ilka” sitting in my dentist’s waiting room where I deduced her intelligent inner life behind her self-conscious smile.
To learn more about Lore Segal and her breathtaking novels, visit her author page here.
Returning to old stomping grounds after a summer away. The muggy August air that hits your face as you climb out of mom’s van for two-a-days. The smell of fresh cut grass, newly lined. Feeling the smoothed leather of a worn football as it slides through your fingers for that first throw. Ahhh yes, we’re talking about football season.
While chilly matchups watched by hot chocolate-laden spectators seem far out of sight, autumn is quickly approaching. And with it, the boys of fall.
Fred Bowen has always held this time of year in the highest regard, with athletics being a hallmark of his youth. “I've been a big sports fan since I was a kid,” he recalls. “My best childhood memories are from playing Little League in the park and basketball on the playground. I can still remember home runs, bad calls, and great comebacks from those games.”
Remembering those occasions isn’t where it ends for Bowen—recollections of childhood continually inspire his entire series of fast-paced sports novels geared towards reluctant young readers. As a kid’s sports columnist for the Washington Post, he thinks writing is about more than the stories—it’s about encouraging children to become readers. “My whole purpose, through sports and through writing sports stories, is to use the kid’s love of sports to get interested in just books.”
With fall quickly approaching, and the new release of Bowen’s Double Reverse this September, now is the perfect time to introduce your young reader to his All-Star Sports Stories:
Double Reverse - The Franklin High Panthers need a new quarterback. Freshman Jesse Wagner knows the plays, but he feels he is too small to be QB material. Jesse’s brother Jay has a problem of his own: his college coach wants him to switch from quarterback to safety. The brothers agree on a deal: Jesse will try out for quarterback, and Jay will try playing safety. Meanwhile, Jesse and his teammates recruit an unlikely kicker for their team—a girl named Savannah.
Quarterback Season - Matt Monroe is a shoo-in for starting quarterback for the Parkside Middle School football team this year. Or is he? Devro, a new seventh grader, looks pretty impressive. He’s consistent and can run the plays almost as well as Matt. And he’s got speed. As the fall football season unfolds, the team has more than its share of surprises and unexpected challenges, as well as plenty of victories and upsets on and off the field—all of which Matt records and analyzes in a journal he keeps for his English class. By the last kickoff of the season, Matt has learned that a team is only as good as the sum of its parts and that playing together is the only way to win.
Touchdown Trouble - Sam loves football. There’s nothing better than the rush he gets when his team, the Cowboys, are working together—moving closer and closer to the end zone. In a key game, the Cowboys beat their arch rivals to remain undefeated, thanks to a major play by Sam. But the celebration ends when he and his teammates make an unwelcome discovery. Is the Cowboys’ perfect season in jeopardy?
It’s the end of the summer. The bliss of vacation and time away from school has quickly shifted to the mundane schedule of the academic calendar. But escapes from the real world don’t have to end with the changing of the season. Take a journey to new worlds with some of our fantasy titles.
Below the Rootby Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Orbora, the capital city of Green Sky, sits perched within the treetops of the densely forested planet. The indigenous Kindar build their homes atop the foliage, traveling from tree to tree via an intricate system of vines and bridges. But in a pinch, you can always glide from one treetop to the next with your Shuba: a silk cape-like garment that attaches at the hands and feet. Lessons are available to tourists in the mornings, before the real afternoon hustle begins. No worries if you aren’t completely trained in hang gliding maneuvers, though. The planet’s low gravity levels allow for a safe fall from great heights. Just be wary of the Pash-shan on the forest floor—locals claim the monsters trapped beneath a web of vines kidnap young children who have fallen from the trees before learning to use a Shuba, never to be seen again.
In general, the Kindar are a ceremonious people, with ritual being one of the hallmarks of the culture. Enjoy the daily chants and songs of the locals, or befriend the child population to get a taste of Spirit-force. Though their powers typically fade by early adolescence, some Kindar maintain their psychic abilities into adulthood, often rising through the ranks of the Ol-zhaan, Green Sky’s elite ruling class. Stop by the chambers of the upper crust for a Foretelling session that may unlock the mysteries of your future!
Nihal of the Land of the Windby Licia Troisi
Visit Salazar, an architectural anomaly comprised entirely of immense and elaborately organized towers. These 50-story metropolitan pillars soar into the sky, divided into distinct districts by function. Populations within each of these districts are, for the most part, self-sufficient. But the nucleus of each tower is, undoubtedly, its roofless central garden. Each tower’s garden acts as the community’s cultural epicenter, hosting merchants and vendors daily. Peruse the market’s fare, sampling the finest local produce Salazar has to offer. Or browse the large selection of vibrant textiles, always crafted locally with authentically organic materials. But if shopping isn’t high on your priority list, a simple stroll through the botanic rooftop would satisfy even the most critical spectator—be sure to check out the views of the sea of green below. The tower city is the Land of the Wind’s last urban outpost before the vast woodlands lining the border with the neighboring Land of the Rocks. Take a gander at the Fortress, the region’s regal monument, which is intentionally structured to be visible from any location in Salazar.
The Eye of the Stoneby Tom Birdseye
Welcome to the Vale, home of the Timmran and Yakonan people. Walk down any street to get the authentic rustic vibe you’ve been looking for—the clay structures, all equipped with a thatched roof, are reminiscent of simpler times. It’s an agriculturally oriented community, and the village markets boast everything from lush, vibrant vegetables to savory spices. All meats are locally raised and butchered, so you can be sure of the richness of the product you’re seeing. The venison stew is a local claim to fame: a combination of fresh game, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and earthy spices simmer for hours until the meat just melts in your mouth—an unbelievable meal.
You also can’t go without trying the region’s famous Daru tea: a refreshing spring spritzer with a slightly sour but primarily floral taste. Imagine a very light, warmed lemonade. If the food scene isn’t your only interest, the region’s archery community is enough to entice and entertain for hours on end. An integral part of the Timmran lifestyle, archery lessons are often available to tourists for a small fee, or a comparable item to barter from the market.
La inolvidable serie de literatura infantil, que ha vendido más de cincuenta millones de copias y está compuesta por 130 títulos, está disponible por primera vez en formato electrónico para los lectores hispanos.
Nueva York, NY—7 de agosto—(OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA)—A finales de julio, el sello editorial digital Open Road Español publicó por primera vez en español tres títulos de la clásica serie infantil, incluyendo La isla de las sorpresas, El misterio de la casa amarilla y el libro homónimo que lo inició todo, Los chicos del vagón de carga. El próximo 30 de septiembre, el sello editorial publicará dos nuevos ebooks de la misma serie: El misterio de Mike y El rancho del misterio.
A finales de 2010, Albert Whitman & Company, la editorial que publica la versión impresa de los libros en inglés, creó una alianza estratégica con Open Road Integrated Media para publicar la serie de The Boxcar Children Mysteries en formato ebook. Ahora, mediante su nuevo sello editorial Open Road Español, lanzado a comienzos de marzo de este año, la editorial digital comienza a publicar los libros de The Boxcar Children Mysteries también en lengua española bajo la traducción de Los chicos del vagón de carga. Con esta iniciativa, sumada a la reciente publicación de nueve ebooks del famoso escritor Robert Munsch, Open Road Español se adentra en el terreno de la literatura infantil, una categoría que tiene una gran demanda entre la audiencia hispana.
Publicada por primera vez en 1942, la famosa serie infantil cuenta la historia de cuatro niños huérfanos que se hacen una casa de un vagón de carga abandonado hasta que conocen a su abuelo, quien generosamente los acoge. Cada libro relata las aventuras y los misterios de los niños en el barrio o en los destinos turísticos que visitan con su abuelo.
Los ebooks de Los chicos del vagón de carga están a la venta en las principales tiendas electrónicas del mundo, incluyendo Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes Store, Google Play y BajaLibros.
La escritora Gertrude Chandler Warner publicó el primer título de Los chicos del vagón de carga hace más de medio siglo y, desde entonces, escribió casi veinte títulos más. Después de su muerte en 1979, niños alrededor del país comenzaron a solicitar más libros, de manera que otros escritores siguieron la historia de Henry, Jessie, Violet, Benny y Guardián, el fox terrier que siempre les hace compañía. Actualmente, la serie de Los chicos del vagón de carga está compuesta por 130 libros.
Sobre Open Road Español
Open Road Español es un sello editorial digital exclusivamente dedicado a publicar ebooks en lengua española alrededor del mundo. Desde escritores reputados de Hispanoamérica a autores del panorama internacional traducidos al español, el catálogo de Open Road Español incluye a los autores Alonso Cueto, José María Merino, María Pilar Queralt, Ellery Queen, Sherwood Anderson, Robert Munsch y Gibran Jalil Gibran, entre muchos más.
It seems like every young girl goes through a phase of pony obsession in her childhood or adolescence. For some, that passion manifests itself in rows of new stuffed animals. For others, copies of Misty of Chincoteague and The Black Stallion are checked out of the local library, substantiations of her wildest imaginings. A lucky few twist their parents’ arms into purchasing riding lessons, enthusiastically bouncing in the backseat of the car on the way to the local equestrian center. But whether she dreams of ponies or becomes an accomplished rider, the fact remains: young girls love horses. And horses are great for young girls. Here’s why.
They teach responsibility.
Horses are hard work to care for and maintain, whether it be mucking the stalls, grooming or tacking these gentle giants. Your child will need to work a significant amount to keep their horses happy and healthy.
They inspire confidence.
Horses force children to, quite literally, take the reins and control a situation. For young girls, learning to ride a horse may be the first opportunity they’ve had to exert some agency in their lives. A new rider can only get away with being a passenger for so long—soon, she will need to make decisions and trust her instincts, both for her own welfare and the welfare of her horse.
They help develop a sense of empathy and, consequently, selflessness.
Horses, as herd animals, are inherently social and behave with a certain degree of emotionality. In order for your child to build the trust necessary to do more than sit passively on her animal’s back, she will need listen to the needs of her companion and act accordingly. Riding, real riding, is not about forcing a horse to do what you want to do. It’s about becoming the kind of rider the horse wants to do things for. Learning when to encourage her horse and when to step back and recognize the animal’s hesitations are fundamental lessons in empathy and perception. But more importantly, it forces a young girl to be mindful of something other than herself.
They provide young riders with an opportunity to get involved in their community, even local government!
Even if your child is too young to participate in horse-policy advocacy, attending local council meetings when horse-related legislation is on the floor exposes them to the community and the workings of local government. The horse community is always in need of grassroots activists, and who knows—you may have the next American Horse Council lobbyist on your hands!
They can be a saving grace to children with behavioral or emotional struggles.
Working with children who have an inherent distrust of adults is a challenge, one that could potentially be navigated with the help of a service animal. Interacting with horses serves as an incredible developmental opportunity for kids who deal with various disabilities. By teaching a child to care for and communicate with a horse, instructors facilitate growth in self-esteem, emotional control, and anxiety management. And eventually, the skills developed in the barn can be translated to the real world.
For the young horse-lover in your life, check out the number of equine titles in our catalog—by authors like Bonnie Bryant, Jessie Haas, Chris Platt, and Linda Chapman.
A few of our favorites are:
Annan Water by Kate Thompson
Pony Crazy by Bonnie Bryant
Astra by Chris Platt
Unbroken by Jessie Haas
Loving Spirit by Linda Chapman, now on sale for $1.99 through September 30!
Welcome, my dear students, welcome. Do come in and don’t by shy! For many of you, this may be your first lecture—hopefully it won’t be your last. My name is Dr. Open R. I. Media and this is my class, Books 101.
Featured Open Road Guest
Today, I would like to introduce Mr. Robert Masello, the bestselling author of the Romanov series, who somehow manages to put his head down and write despite waking up to this every day:
He’s also taught a seminar at UCLA. It’s nice to live in California.
I mention Mr. Masello, however, not for his sci-fi thrillers or seminars, but rather for his more scholarly work—a history of magic. Now, I know magic might not seem so scholarly, but it has played a significant role in our world history. Think, for instance, of the very real Salem Witch Trials of 1692, or the fact that Isaac Newton, known for formulating the laws of gravity, was also an advent alchemist.
In his book Raising Hell, Mr. Masello takes the time to investigate all the nooks and crannies of magic—from the origins of the pentagram and the sacred circle to the multitude of superstitions revolving around the evil eye—and helps you to understand how and why these customs came about.
(Sidenote: If you were wondering how to avoid the evil eye, try spitting three times or putting a bell around your neck. For more tips, go read the book!)
So that got me thinking about what would be included in my seminar on historical magic . . .
Dr. Media’s Syllabus of Suggested Readings
If you’re looking for a very different kind of Victorian Romance . . .
The Steampunk Trilogyby Paul Di Filippo
You might have heard of Queen Victoria of England. You probably haven’t heard that she was once replaced by a human-lizard hybrid clone with a most troubling flaw: an insatiable sexual appetite.
If you like round tables from the first century . . .
Parsival or a Knight’s Tale by Richard Monaco
This book takes a slice of the Arthurian legend and creates a thoroughly modern-minded re-imagining of the classic tale.
If you have the luck of the Irish . . .
The Book of Kells by R. A. MacAvoy
John Thornburn and Derval time travel to ancient Ireland to avenge a Viking attack. There, they become embroiled with one of the most famous and beautiful illuminated manuscripts in history: the legendary Book of Kells.
If you almost bought that feudal sword from the pawn shop . . .
Heart of the Roninby Travis Heermann
Written while the author lived in Japan, this book combines historical fiction with fantasy to tell the tale of feudal Japan. There, Ken’ishi, a 17-year-old boy, must fight warriors and demons (and, of course, save the girl) to uncover the mysterious circumstance behind the death of his parents.
If ancient Native American magic is your thing . . .
Coyote Woman by Judith Robbins
Shawanadese was the name bestowed on her when she was born into the prehistoric Anasazi tribe. Her fate seemed much like that of any other young girl, until she is granted a new name—Coyote Woman—a name that would come to identify her as a high priestess and draw the lustful and the faithful to her side.
Any Last Questions?
If you want to share some cool book facts or have a topic you want us to cover, then contact me using the hashtag #DoctorMedia on Twitter!
“They’d moved around so much in the past three years that she’d gone to six different schools. Palm Springs, Cabazon, Indio: she didn’t look like the rich or poor blond kids or the black kids or the kids who’d just gotten here from Mexico. And everyone asked, ‘What are you, anyway?’” —Highwire Moon
In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we are highlighting our favorite authors who have distinctly portrayed Hispanic culture and experience. With everything from fiction to poetry, we hope these works will inspire you to pick up a Hispanic Heritage book this month.
Born in Riverside, California, Susan Straight was exposed to Hispanic culture as she grew up. She often traveled to Mexico, making frequent trips to the border towns as a college student. It was both the poverty in Mexico and the hardships of immigrant life in the United States that inspired her writing, and eventually led her to pen Highwire Moon, which was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2001. The novel centers on a young Mexican Indian mother, Serafina, struggling to survive with her three-year-old daughter, Elvia, in Southern California. When immigrant officials detain her, she is unable to communicate that her daughter has been left behind. After her deportation, Serafina vainly tries to return to Elvia, who has been relegated to the unforgiving foster system and struggles over the years to survive her grim fate as she also attempts to find her mother.
Known for his writing on the gritty reality of growing up Mexican American in the United States, Luis J. Rodríguez is an award-winning author who is best known for his memoir, Always Running. In addition to his memoirs, he is also a prolific poet. His collection, My Nature Is Hunger, represents the best of his lyrical work during his most prolific period as a poet, a time when he carefully documented the rarely heard voices of immigrants and the poor living on society’s margins. For Rodríguez’s subjects, the city is all consuming, devouring lives, hopes, and the dreams of its citizens even as it flourishes with possibility.
Deemed one of Puerto Rico’s greatest literary voices, Rosario Ferré’s fiction retains many of the characteristics of South American magical realism while also grappling with the culture, poverty, racism, and society of Puerto Rico itself. Another finalist for the National Book Award, The House on the Lagoon is a multigenerational epic that tells the story of two families and the history of Puerto Rico through the eyes of Isabel Monfort and her husband, Quintín Mendizabal. Weaving the intimate with the expansive on a teeming stage, Ferré crafts a revealing self-portrait of a man and a woman, two fiercely independent people searching for meaning and identity.
Eduardo Galeano, one of South America’s more legendary writers, has inspired authors with his groundbreaking works, which constantly push boundaries. With his Memory of Fire Trilogy, Galeano creates a lyrical history of North and South America, from the birth of the continent’s indigenous peoples through the end of the 20th century. In telling the forgotten story of South America, Galeano also seeks to unmask the injustices perpetrated on the indigenous population, and how the inequality colored the future of South America. The three volumes form a haunting and dizzying whole that resurrects the lives of Indians, conquistadors, slaves, revolutionaries, poets, and more.
To learn more about the authors, visit the author pages. And if you are still looking for a great read for National Hispanic Heritage Month, check out our literary guide here.
Ken Burn’s new documentary "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History" airing this week on PBS, has attracted considerable attention, as focus on the Roosevelts generally does. Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor are among the most fascinating and influential politicians and social activists, their personal and professional lives closely tied. Go beyond the documentary with some of our most notable Roosevelt titles:
Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox (1882-1940), James MacGregor Burns
Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom (1940-1945), James MacGregor Burns
Kindred Souls, Edna P. Gurewitsch
Roosevelt’s Navy, James Tertius De Kay
The Wisdom of Theodore Roosevelt, Philosophical Library
The Wisdom of Eleanor Roosevelt, Philosophical Library
Fantasy and science fiction have the unique ability to captivate audiences in ways no other genre can. From extraordinary worlds built into the pages of the text to magical encounters with unexpected heroes, these novels deliver on the promise of intrigue and adventure.
We talked to three of our favorite authors to get their take on science fiction and fantasy—from what inspires them and what they love to writing and world-building.
Q: How would you define fantasy?
A: Well, a fantasy is a story where things happen that you wouldn’t really expect to happen. Or maybe couldn’t possibly happen, until you begin to read it.
Q: You choose to incorporate a lot of magical, supernatural elements in your books. Why is that?
A: I just enjoy fantasy—I enjoy using my imagination. I guess I have all my life. It used to drive my mother crazy.
Daniel Handler, also known by his pen name Lemony Snicket, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events
Q: Why do you think it’s important for children to read fantasy?
A: I’m probably not a good person to ask because I live in my imagination, you know, a good 75% of the time. But I think you imagine a different world in order to get a grip on the one you’re stuck with. And I think, particularly when you’re a child, so much of the world is bewildering that you begin to make up a mythology that helps you deal with it.
A: When it first occurred to me to start to write for children, Zilpha [Keatley Snyder] was definitely someone that I began to re-read more carefully . . . But it was the first time that I began to think of writing for children, and what she did, and maybe that I could steal some of it.
Q: What about her writing intrigued you so?
A: Certainly, the idea of the kind of darkness that she weaves in is atmospheric. Darkness was important to me—I stole that for sure . . . She also has this kind of fantastic world of imagining, things that you’ve glommed from mythology, and from your reading, and from your own imagination that become this other world. I think her books explore the world of childhood—both the literal world of childhood and the imaginary world of childhood.
Q: Would you say that you’ve successfully incorporated bits of her style in your own?
A: I think my work and Zil’s work both peer into this secret and dark world that is scary but also watchable from a distance, and that both my work and her work have some imaginary characteristics. But they always reflect on a real darkness that I think any kid can relate to.
Q: You say that you’ve read her books as an adult. How did that experience compare to your childhood reading?
A: There’s a lot of children’s literature about a group of kids getting along. And there’s children’s literature about a fantastical situation. But she really has intertwined those two and . . . she makes the reader realize that those are the same thing. And when you’re a child, you know that instinctively, because you’re playing and all your boundaries are loose between who your friend is and who you’re imagining. But when you’re an adult, you might forget some of that. When you read her work now, it’s a reminder that those are all part of the same experience.
Q: What elements of fantasy writing would you consider paramount?
A: World-building, in fantasy, is really important. But in major ways it’s not all that different from world-building in real life. . . . You’re presenting a world that the reader is not familiar with and trying to make it real to them.
Q: How do you build convincing worlds for readers?
A: You do that by giving the reader very specific details about certain aspects of life—it’s kind of a soap bubble effect where you provide just a few specific details and then it looks like you know everything about the world, but really it’s a soap bubble. It’s full of air. And the other thing is by internal consistency.
A: A fantasy, in particular, doesn’t have to be consistent with reality, because it isn’t real. It’s got magic. But if you say that the magician cannot wave his hand and create fire, then he better not wave his hand and create fire three chapters later just because you need it to happen. There has to be an internal consistency about what happens and how it happens and why it happens. It’s one of the more powerful tools that a fantasy writer has, that consistency.
Rosh Hashanah typically inspires memories of snacking on apples and honey and a sounding of the shofar, each tradition symbolizing the beginning of a “sweet” new year. The two-day period of merriment kicks off the year’s observance of the High Holy Days: a monumental return to spirituality and the foundations of the Jewish religion. But Rosh Hashanah itself can be more than a celebration of the New Year—the holiday provides an incredible opportunity to read with your little ones and teach them about their heritage in an engaging way! Why not kick off your celebration of the High Holy Days with a few of our festive titles?
Sammy Spider’s First Rosh Hashanah by Sylvia A. Rouss
Sammy Spider wants to taste the golden honey the Shapiros set out for a sweet New Year. Mom tells him to stick to spinning webs, but will curious Sammy listen?
What a Way to Start a New Year! by Jacqueline Jules
Starting off the New Year in a new city isn’t easy, and it sure isn’t starting out very well for Dina and her family! But when they’re welcomed by warm and generous hosts in their new community, it becomes a very happy New Year for all.
What’s the Buzz? by Allison Ofanansky
Visit a bee farm, and follow the bees, as they carry “kisses” from flower to flower, and return to their hives with their tummies full of nectar. Learn how the honey is extracted from the combs and makes its way from the hive to the table, to be enjoyed with slices of apples for a Rosh Hashanah treat.
Talia and the Rude Vegetables by Linda Elovitz Marshall
“How can a vegetable be ‘rude’?” Talia wonders, when she mishears her grandmother asking her to gather “root” vegetables for a Rosh Hashanah stew. As Talia digs in the garden, she collects the twisted, ornery carrots and parsnips—the “rude” vegetables that she thinks her grandmother wants—and finds a good home for the rest.
It’s Shofar Time by Latifa Berry Kropf
It’s Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It’s time to learn new things, wear new clothes, and taste new fruits. It’s time to toss crumbs into the water and say, “I’m sorry.” It’s time to hear the sounds of the shofar. Join preschoolers as they prepare to celebrate the holiday. Fifth in the It’s Holiday Time series.
What special activities do you do to engage with your children on Rosh Hashanah? Let us know in the comments section below!
Think Amy Dunne’s in deep trouble? You haven’t seen anything yet. If you love the dark, deceptive story of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl,or the nonfiction grit of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, then you’ll die for these true crime works fueled by stories of love gone wrong. Before you see director David Fincher’s adaptation of Flynn’s novel—starring Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tyler Perry—get a glimpse at some real-life horror tales, from the chilling, true account of Wisconsin’s murderous Barbara Hoffman to the twisted tale of Hollywood’s Hillside Stranglers. Many of our featured true crime stories below explore the sometimes terrifying, always captivating, dark side of love. Check out the following ebooks to get some insight into real-life crimes of passion committed by some of the world’s most infamous murderers, and the aftermath that followed.Winter of Frozen Dreamsby Karl Harter
In the aptly titled Winter of Frozen Dreams, author Karl Harter recounts the bone-chilling story behind one of the most infamous murder cases Wisconsin has ever encountered. Intelligent and riddled with promise, college student Barbara Hoffman drops out of school and dives head first into a world of drugs, prostitution, and, eventually, murder. Harter tells the story of two men, seduced and murdered for their money, and the cold-blooded, beautiful killer behind it all.Click here to read an excerpt.
The Hillside Stranglersby Darcy O’Brien
Over the course of four months, more than 10 women were found savagely murdered, their mangled bodies sprawled throughout the Hollywood Hills, leaving the surrounding community distraught and fearing for their lives. Shortly after, a manhunt for the Hillside Strangler ensues. Two men are accused of abducting, torturing, and strangling multiple women to death. O’Brien’s riveting, fast-paced take on the story allows readers to be flies on the wall during the trial of the criminally charming cousins Kenny Bianchi and Angelo Buono. If terrifying true-crime accounts like Helter Skelter and Ann Rule’s The Stranger Beside Me pique your interest, then The Hillside Stranglers will prove murderously satisfying.Click here to read an excerpt.
The Murder of Dr. Chapmanby Linda Wolfe
Love gone wrong doesn’t even begin to describe the intricate, grisly story in Linda Wolfe’s The Murder of Dr. Chapman. Set in pre–Civil War Philadelphia, Wolfe recounts the true story of the successful, driven Lucretia Chapman and the infamous Cuban con man, Lino Espos y Mina, who fatally wedged his way between the young woman and her husband, Dr. William Chapman. When Dr. Chapman mysteriously passes, and authorities learn of the romantic relationship that had formed between Lucretia and the con artist, all signs point to foul play, and the trial of the century begins. Wolfe invites readers into the infamous trial, which plays out with more suspense, passion, and mystery than even the most riveting courtroom drama.
Click here to read an excerpt.
Murderous Mindsby Dean Haycock, PhD
Ever wonder what goes on in the minds of serial killers and rapists? Find yourself questioning the lethal motivations behind the criminally insane? Neuroscientist Dean Haycock has the answer to all of our questions and more, providing disturbing insight into the thought processes of murderous masterminds, and giving readers their side of the story. By delving into the minds and inner workings of clinically diagnosed psychopaths, Haycock’s work allows readers to see how and why these CSI-worthy criminals committed their confusing crimes.
Click here to read an excerpt.
The Bloodingby Joseph Wambaugh
A serial killer on the loose, two terrifying murders, a seemingly endless manhunt, and a breakthrough so astounding, it will change the world of forensic science forever. Joseph Wambaugh’s The Blooding has all the workings of the next great Gone Girl, but with the facts and credentials to earn its status as a nonfiction bestseller. Wimbaugh invites readers to experience the true story of England’s search for a ravenous murderer and the discovery of an incredible scientific breakthrough.
Click here to read an excerpt.
Killer Charm: The Double Lives of Psychopathsby Linda Fairstein
Billowy blonde hair, smoldering eyes, and a nasty appetite for murder. Legal expert Linda Fairstein provides readers with all the telltale signs of sinister sex criminals with golden boy facades, a la Ted Bundy and Marvin Teicher, and helps them to pinpoint these types of predators in real life. Using extensive experience from her time at Manhattan’s District Attorney’s office, Fairstein aids readers in discerning all-American quarterbacks from homicidal sociopaths, and notes just how these homecoming kings use their good looks and charm to their murderous advantage. One look at Fairstein’s book, and you’ll realize Desi Collings has nothing on these slick slaughterers.
Click here to read an excerpt.
White Mischiefby James Fox
With all the lavishness of a Jay Gatsby party and the grim exposition of an episode of Criminal Minds, James Fox’s White Mischief tells the true and bleak story of Lord Erroll, a wealthy British Earl who spent his time partying frivolously and lustfully with English aristocrats in colonial Kenya. Erroll was shot in the head after a sexual encounter with another man’s wife, but the exact details of the murder remain murky to this day. Join Fox as he lays out the stark, gritty facts of the murder and attempts to crack the case of a great party gone wickedly wrong.
Click here to read an excerpt.
Anatomy of a Juryby Seymour Wishman
Think you’re qualified to decide the fate of a murderer? With Seymour Wishman’s in-depth look at our national judicial system, you may just gain the insights you need to declare “guilty” or “not guilty.” Wishman dives into the fascinating logistics of the American judicial system and transports readers from the page to the crime scene to the courtroom. Based on an actual investigation of a man accused of a brutal homicide, Wishman’s book will have readers on the edge of their seats as they learn the fate of an alleged murderer and piece together the workings of our complex judicial system.
Click here to read an excerpt.
The Von Bülow Affairby William Wright
What do you get when you mix an unfaithful husband, his millionaire wife, and a lethal dose of insulin? The Von Bülow Affair provides objective insight into the attempted murder of heiress Sunny Von Bülow, left in a vegetative coma for 28 years after what doctors deemed to be an unnatural display of hypoglycemia. But when Sunny’s children learn of the marital discontent and tension that had formed between their mother and her husband in the days leading up to her death, they soon accuse their stepfather of foul play. Wright provides readers with a gripping look into the trial and its aftermath via real-life transcripts and interviews, allowing us to see just what happened behind the expensive closed doors of the Von Bülow family.
Click here to read an excerpt.
Certain holidays are practically made for kid-friendly celebrations. Between gilt coins, the dreidel game, and making latkes with Mom, Hanukkah is a breeze for entertaining the kids. Rosh Hashanah provides its own degree of good-spirited fun with opportunities to venture out for Tashlich, listen to the shofar, and of course dip apples in honey.
But Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year, introduces unique challenges to families with small children as far as practices are concerned. Fasting tends to be the hallmark experience for adults on this holiday. Abstaining from food demonstrates a personal dedication to God, while bringing on the Torah-mandated affliction necessary to fully appreciate the holy day. Assuming your children are too young to fast, properly conveying the gravity of Yom Kippur becomes increasingly complicated. A day solely dedicated to repenting a year’s amount of sin? Pretty heavy stuff for a child under six. Luckily, we have a number of accessible children’s titles that can make this Yom Kippur an enjoyable learning experience, both for you and your child. Spend the day with your little ones, reading:
The Hardest Word by Jacqueline Jules
The Ziz, a wonderful bird who lived long ago, is so big and clumsy that he can’t keep from bumping into things. When a tree he knocks over destroys the children’s garden, he seeks God’s help to fix things. “Bring me the hardest word,” God instructs him, and the Ziz flies off to search. He brings back words like rhinoceros, rock, and Rumplestiltskin, but none is acceptable, until he makes an important discovery.
Oh No, Jonah! by Tilda Balsley
With beautiful artwork and rollicking rhyme, the Bible story of Jonah and the whale is retold in a fun and unique fashion.
Sammy Spider’s First Yom Kippur by Sylvia A. Rouss
When Josh breaks the rules and plays ball indoors, he finds himself apologizing not only to his parents, but to Sammy Spider as well. A Yom Kippur story about saying, “I’m sorry.” This fixed-layout ebook, which preserves the design and layout of the original print book, features read-along narration.
What family traditions do you have to practice Yom Kippur with your children? Share below or with us on twitter using the hashtag #YomKippur4Kids.
Meet Timothy Zahn, the science fiction author who describes his books as “Star Wars played on a chessboard.” In this video, see the genius behind Zahn’s many worlds—worlds where action and thrills collide with calculated intellect and where sometimes, amidst the ensuing chaos, even the villains may find redemption. Zahn's newest book, Soulminder, explores the moves and counter-moves of the hero and villains in the way only he can.
Alice Hoffman has been a literary juggernaut since the early 1990s, and she is best known for her most commercially successful novels Practical Magic and Here on Earth, both of which were turned into successful films. At Open Road, we are honored to publish the first of Hoffman’s eight novels, including her gritty debut, Property Of—which we consider “Alice Hoffman before she became Alice Hoffman”—as well as numerous bestsellers such as Seventh Heaven, which catapulted her to the literary star we know today. Though she’s one of the most prolific American authors of magical realism and contemporary literary fiction, Hoffman has found readers in all genres who connect with her deeply moving stories about relationships, family, identity, and survival. The release of these novels is an opportunity to celebrate one of the most influential authors of the 21st century, and share in the imaginative vision and powerful prose of Alice Hoffman.
In Property Of, Hoffman showcases the vivid imagery, lyricism, and emotional complexity that are the hallmarks of her extraordinary career. On the Night of the Wolf, the Orphans drive south on the Avenue, hunting their rival gang, the Pack. In the lead is McKay, their brooding, courageous president. Left waiting at the clubhouse is the Property of the Orphans, tough girls in mascara and leather who have declared their allegiance to the crew. Tonight, a new girl has joined their ranks. She waits only for McKay. To the 17-year-old heroine, the gritty world of the Avenue is beautiful and enthralling. But her love for McKay is an addiction—one that is never satisfied and is impossible to kick. Deeper and deeper she falls, until the winter’s day when she decides to break the spell once and for all.
A New York Times and national bestseller, Seventh Heaven is a novel of suburban daydreams and the magic of one woman who makes her own way in the world. On Hemlock Street, the houses are identical, the lawns tidy, and the families traditional. A perfect slice of suburbia, this Long Island community shows no signs of change as the 1950s draw to a close—until the fateful August morning when Nora Silk arrives. Though Nora is eager to fit in on Hemlock Street, her effect on the neighbors is anything but normal. The wives distrust her, the husbands desire her, and the children think she’s a witch. But through Nora’s eyes, the neighborhood appears far from perfect. Behind every neatly trimmed hedge and freshly painted shutter is a family struggling to solve its own unique mysteries. Inspired by Nora, the residents of Hemlock Street finally unlock the secrets that will transform their lives forever.
If you haven’t already, we hope you take the time to explore Alice Hoffman’s work. For more on Hoffman, watch this exclusive video in which Hoffman discusses the transformative power of imagination in her fiction, and be sure to visit her author page here.
In May, 1787, delegates from 12 legislatures met in Philadelphia to amend the Articles of Confederation—or so they thought. Instead, the Congress of the Confederation developed and proposed the United States Constitution, and it was signed 227 years ago this week. At Open Road, we are commemorating this important event with the works of Howard Fast, John Jakes, and Gwen Bristow, whose historical accounts bridge the gap between 21st- and 18th-century Americans.
“The streets are filled with drunken bullies in red coats—and there remains only a memory of what the city once was. It is not our choice but our necessity to prevent the same thing from happening here in the countryside, and we are drawn up here for that purpose. Here we stand with our arms in hand, but with no belligerence in our hearts.”
“For Washington, the future was desperate and bleak; the enlistment period of three-quarters of his army was running out, and in exactly two weeks the Continental Army of the Thirteen American Colonies would cease to exist as a meaningful or viable force, that is, considering that nothing of great moment happened. And the only contingency that held promise of great moment, a victory over the British, was hardly even a vague possibility. Yet, he had to move or perish.”
“No man is anointed, but in many men the blood flows and the heart throbs only if they seek the freedom of their own kind; and then this freedom is not an abstraction but a liberation for themselves from their own chains. It is the salt with which they savor their food, and without it they would starve.”
“‘When a thousand British infantrymen close their eyes and fire together, they can destroy anything standing in front of them. If we had such muskets, we could rule the world. Lacking them, we’ve nearly lost it. Try another shot.’ He smiled across the sun-gleaming brown barrel. ‘You hold her as though born to it. Must be the blood of that soldier father of yours.’”
“Every state retains its sovereignty, and the Congress is granted jurisdiction only in certain limited areas. It can declare war—but can’t wage it unless each state approves. There’s a proviso saying Congress may borrow money, but not a single word about how the central government may raise money to repay the loans. In short, if the Congressional fiddler wants to play a tune, the states collectively pretty well tell him yea or nay.”
‘His name is Thomas Jefferson,’ said Christopher promptly, ‘and fifteen million dollars is four hundred and thirty-three tons of silver.’”
“The redcoats were gone, and before long there would be scarcely anything to remind you that they had been here. Nothing but a few scars to be pointed out to children, scars of honor.”
As Americans, we may have our differences, but the Constitution is the red, white, and blue thread that connects us all. Happy Constitution Week!
Piers Anthony, author of the bestselling Xanth fantasy series, has not one, not two . . . but SIX new ebooks hitting the e-shelves on October 21.
Three Brand New Novels
1.) Five Portraits: The newest novel in the beloved Xanth fantasy series. Follow the same lovable characters as they adventure together through the lands of Xanth and Mundania. Along the way, they save five children and together fight off a virus that threatens the very puns of Xanth.
2.) Aliena Too: In this sequel to Aliena, Anthony continues the love triangle between a man, a woman, and an alien starfish.
3.) WereWoman: An inventive twist on paranormal fantasy. Phil is a male PI who can change into a woman.
Three Ebook Reprints
4.) One and Wonder: A treasure trove of science fiction short stories from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s that inspired Anthony to become the author he is today. It includes science fiction giants such as Isaac Asimov and James Gunn.
5.) Metal Maiden: This four-part saga of a female sex robot named Elasa who saves the world is now available as a single ebook collection.
6.) Cautionary Tales: A collection of Anthony’s raunchy and irreverent short stories. Not even Xanth itself is safe from the author’s boundary-pushing stories.
Win an Autographed Map of Xanth!
So what can you do to celebrate?
Enter our sweepstakes for a chance to win one of five beautiful poster maps of Xanth, autographed by Piers Anthony himself!
Enter here before October 17!
French novelist Dominique Marny says everything about Paris inspires her.
Paris is, and will always be, the city of love. It is where people fall in love, but it’s also where artists—perhaps because of its romantic landscape—find inspiration. From Ernest Hemingway and Oscar Wilde to George Méliès and Jim Morrison, it has attracted innumerable writers, artists, musicians, and filmmakers around the world.
Like all of them, Paris has also captivated French novelist Dominique Marny. Everything about the city inspires her, from the cafés to the noises on the street. So it comes as no surprise that Marny decided to set her love story I Looked for the One My Heart Lovesin the French capital.
Dominique Marny’s novel is a story of impossibility. It is the tale of two people who meet at a very young age and are separated by war, but find each other years later. They both have established lives, but find in their reencounter an unexpected force.
Read the beginning of I Looked for the One My Heart Loves and let Dominique Marny transport you to Paris, the Paris that lovers will always remember.
ANNE RUSHED TO GET to the Cimitière de Montmartre before it closed. Along the main path, tourists worked their way toward the exit, along with the guide who had led the tour. The graves of countless celebrities lined the trails. Degas, Feydeau, Guitry, Fragonard, Offenbach, and Stendhal, to name only a few, always attracted admirers who placed flowers on their graves. After walking past a gardener pushing a wheelbarrow filled with weeds, Anne reached the roundabout beneath the metal bridge linking the Place de Clichy to Montmartre. Turning left, she climbed a few stone steps and began walking among the tombstones. She could’ve found her way with her eyes closed. In her hand was a bouquet of dahlias. Hearing footsteps, a black-and-white cat scampered under a bush. Hordes of them made their home among this kingdom of the dead. Anne walked more quickly. She’d never come so late. A traffic jam near the Saint-Lazare train station had held her up.
As she turned down the final path, Anne stopped in her tracks. Thirty yards or so away from her, a young man stood praying in front of the very headstone she was heading for. Not wanting to make her presence known, she hid behind a chestnut tree. Then she observed the visitor, whose back was turned to her. Brown hair, average height, wearing jeans and a plaid shirt, he looked like a student. Anne glanced at her watch, hoping he would leave soon. Finally, he took a step back and, with a pensive look, walked away. She waited until he was gone to move toward the headstone, on which only one name was inscribed. As she’d done for the past four years on this day, she placed her bouquet on the ground.