Category Archives: Books

A trio of great new releases from W.W. Norton & Company

Kafkaesque: Fourteen Stories ($19.95, on sale now)is a mesmerizing interpretation of fourteen iconic Kafka stories. Long fascinated with the work of Franz Kafka, Kuper began illustrating his stories in 1988. Initially drawn to the master’s dark humor, Kuper adapted the stories over the years to plumb their deeper truths. His style deliberately evokes Lynd Ward and Frans Masereel, contemporaries of Kafka whose wordless novels captured much of the same claustrophobia and mania as Kafka’s tales.

Kafkaesque: Fourteen Stories

Kuper has reimagined these iconic stories for the twenty-first century, using setting and perspective to comment on contemporary issues like civil rights and homelessness. Longtime lovers of Kafka will appreciate Kuper’s innovative interpretations, while Kafka novices will discover a haunting introduction to some of the great writer’s most beguiling stories, including “A Hunger Artist,” “In The Penal Colony,” and “The Burrow.” Kafkaesque stands somewhere between adaptation and wholly original creation, going beyond a simple illustration of Kafka’s words to become a stunning work of art.

In End of the Megafauna: The Fate of the World’s Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals ($35, on sale November 13) paleomammologistRoss D.E. MacPhee a look into the fascinating lives and puzzling demise of some of the largest animals on earth. Until a few thousand years ago, creatures that could have been from a sci-fi thriller roamed the earth. These great beasts, or “megafauna,” lived on every habitable continent and on many islands. With a handful of exceptions, all are now gone. What caused the disappearance of these prehistoric behemoths?

End of the Megafauna: The Fate of the World's Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals

MacPhee explores that question, examining the leading extinction theories, weighing the evidence, and presenting his own conclusions. He shows how theories of human overhunting and catastrophic climate change fail to explain critical features of these extinctions, and how new thinking is needed to elucidate these mysterious losses. Gorgeous four-color illustrations by Peter Schouten bring these megabeasts back to life in vivid detail.

Silicon City: San Francisco in the Long Shadow of the Valley($26.95, on sale November 13) is an intimate, eye-opening portrait of San Francisco transformed by the tech boom that asks: Can a city lose its soul? The tech boom of our time is changing San Francisco at warp speed. Famously home to artists and activists, and known as the birthplace of the Beats, the Black Panthers and the LGBTQ movement, the Bay Area has been transformed by Silicon Valley. But the richer the region gets, the more unequal and less diverse it becomes, and the cracks in the city’s facade begin to show. Writer and filmmaker Cary McClelland has spent several years interviewing people at the epicenter of the Bay Area’s rapid change: tech innovators, venture capitalists, coders, homeless advocates, pawn brokers, prosecutors and public defenders, tattoo artists, and tour guides.
Silicon City: San Francisco in the Long Shadow of the Valley
Silicon City masterfully weaves together their voices and unforgettable stories to create a dynamic portrait of a beloved city and a cautionary tale for the entire country.

A Chat with Ken Starr, whose book “Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation” is now out

Two decades after the release of the Starr Report that led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, former independent counsel Ken Starr presents for the first time his full and candid perspective on one of the most contentious episodes in American history, in Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation (Sentinel/Penguin, $28.00).

Here, he chats about the book and then some.

Why did you decide to write this book now?
The time was right, both personally and historically. I was no longer serving at Baylor University, and in my new-found freedom was moved to write–at long last–the story from my perspective of the President’s abuse of power and crimes against our justice system.

What is the significance of the book’s title? Why do you say “contempt” is the dominant quality of the legacy of Bill and Hillary Clinton?
The title literally applies to the former President. Bill Clinton is the only president in American history to have been found in contempt by a court of law. That courthouse judgment pointed to a larger truth–the contempt with which both the President and Hillary treated our foundational value of the rule of law and the human beings with whom they dealt.
Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation
How did you come to be appointed as Independent Counsel in the investigation of the Clintons?
Under the independent counsel law, a three-judge court – the Special Division of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit–appointed me. I definitely did not volunteer for the job. To the contrary, I was asked to serve  I was asked to serve.

As Independent Counsel, you were under continuous attack by the Clintons and their surrogates. They tried to portray your investigation as a politically and personally motivated witch hunt intended to bring down a president. Of course, your book is largely a point-by-point rebuttal of this view. But briefly, why was it wrong?
The unrelenting attacks from the White House were, by definition, politically inspired. They were clearly intended to erode the principles of the rule of law and the fair administration of justice. Our record of professionalism and integrity is demonstrated by the fourteen criminal convictions in Arkansas, and the universal acceptance of the factual accuracy of the so-called Starr Report.

What toll did your vilification by much of the media and the public take on you personally, as well as your family?

The years-long attacks as to my personal and professional integrity were not only profoundly unpleasant, but they took a toll on the investigation itself. In all too many quarters, the Whitewater investigation came to be characterized as a personal and political vendetta. In the process, my family members suffered grievously–most dramatically by the fact that our daughter, Carolyn, had to have round-the-clock security protection due to death threats.

In fact, you were such a lightning rod for controversy that you kept a very low profile throughout the investigation, staying mostly behind the scenes. But when the House considered impeachment, they
wanted only one witness to appear before them—you. What was it like to testify for twelve hours in a single day? What did you think of your performance then, and how do you think it stands up now?
That “longest day” shortly before Thanksgiving was the most difficult single day of my professional life. It profoundly tested my patience, when I had to listen–respectfully–to tirades by Judiciary Committee members such as Maxine Waters and Chuck Schumer.

What disappointed you about the way the House of Representatives handled the Clinton impeachment proceedings?
The House saw fit not to have real witnesses–those who knew the facts from their participation. I was the sole witness before the Judiciary Committee. I was put on trial, but I was simply the custodian of the facts. More fundamentally, I regretted that the House was not willing to consider a lesser sanction, namely a resolution of censure, rather than the ultimate sanction of removing a President from office. The debate would have been
more balanced, and less politicized, if that alternative sanction would have been seriously considered. But I respect the constitutional view that, as to the President’s misconduct, it has to be impeachment or nothing.

Were you surprised when the Senate failed to convict Bill Clinton and remove him from office after he was impeached by the House?
No, I wasn’t surprised at all. First, the House had seen fit not to move forward on our Count 11, namely the President’s abuse of the powers of his office. I describe that in detail in the book. We felt that all ten counts led up to, crescendo-like, his misuse of his powers of office for reasons of self-preservation. Second, impeachment
and conviction represent the ultimate weapon in the arsenal of our representative democracy. The American people would see their considered judgment–rendered at the polls overturned through an inherently political–and highly politicized–process where a President would be stripped of the power granted to him through the election process. That would be inherently destabilizing. The American people want the President to serve out his term, and to be able to get his job done without this sword of Damocles having over his head.

Many people continue to believe that Bill Clinton was impeached for “lying about sex.” What is your response?
That bumper-sticker takeaway ignores the undisputed evidence that he obstructed justice, intimidated witnesses,
encouraged witnesses to lie under oath, and profoundly misused the powers of his office to, among other things,
invent a non-existent privilege to try to hide the truth.

Firefly Books dishes out two tasty cookbooks. Seconds, anyone?

We savor news about new cookbooks, then dish out the information to our hungry readers. Twp tasty treats from Firefly Books.

Casablanca: My Moroccan Food ($35)
Nargisse Benkabbou grew up in a food-oriented family that nurtured her connection with her roots and country of origin, Morocco. On her popular blog,, she shares her family’s recipes and her innovative cross-cultural creations. Named one of 18 talents to watch in 2018 by The Guardian, Nargisse is certainly a rising star in the UK and North America.

Casablanca features 100 recipes for simple and satisfying Moroccan meals for family and entertaining. Nargisse describes the essential elements in Moroccan cuisine and how to make them including Ras el hanout spice mix, preserved lemons, Harissa paste; scented waters, couscous, preserved lemons, Chermoula, Moroccan tea and much more. She also introduces the tagine and explains how to use it.

Nargisse breathes new life into Moroccan cuisine, blending that authentic Moroccan spirit and the contemporary to create accessible recipes for the everyday.

Don’t believe us? SaysNigella Lawson:“A book that is infused with the flavors of Morocco and is as accessible as it is inspiring.”

Nothing is as complex in its simplicity as the taste of an oyster. Salty, sweet, briny notes of merrier – the flavors change from country to country, from week to week, and according to the season.

Patrick McMurray, world record holding Oyster shucker, has written an insightful and entertaining guide to the pleasures of one of the oldest and most universal delicacies in the world–the oyster.

The Oyster Companion: A Field Guide ($19.99) is rich in history and lore providing everything you could want to know about the oyster, how to enjoy them injury free and compares the differences between 50 (!) varieties found world-wide. This is the essential guide to the world of oysters.

He Fucked Stormy Daniels. Now she fucks him. Thanks, Stormy!

How we love Stormy weather.

How we hate Adolph Frump.

He fucked Stormy Daniels. And She now fucks him. Hard.
St. Martin’s Press spotlights Stormy on October 2, when it releases Full Disclosure ($27.99), Stormy Daniels’ memoir. She and the book will really fuck the bastard:  The book will be published simultaneously in the UK, Australia, South Africa and India, and in hardcover, ebook and audio formats.

She was already well-known in some circles before March 6, 2018, but that’s probably the first time you heard the name Stormy Daniels. That’s the day she filed a lawsuit against the prick over a nondisclosure agreement negotiated before the election but never signed.
Now the woman referred to in The New York Times opinion pages as “Stormy Daniels, Feminist Hero” and “Joan of Arc,” and in Rolling Stone as “the hero America needs,” tells her whole story for the first time. In Full Disclosure, she shares everything about how she came to be a leading actress and director in the adult film business, the full truth about her journey from a rough childhood in Louisiana onto the national stage, and the events that led to the nondisclosure agreement and the behind-the-scenes attempts to intimidate her.

In Full Disclosure, Daniels is funny, sharp, warm, and impassioned by turns. “I own my story and the choices I made,” she writes. “They may not be the ones you would have made, but I stand by them.”

A sampling of St. Martin’s Press new releases . . actors, rock ‘n roll, cake and the biggest liar since Nixon

Fear not.
There’s another great book  about Adolph Frump: Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride: The Thrills, Chills, Screams, and Occasional Blackout of an Extraordinary Presidency($28.99). CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett  shares his unique insider’s perspective in this authoritative and entertaining account of the most important and wide-reaching events of the asshole’s first year in office. Mr. Trump's Wild Ride: The Thrills, Chills, Screams, and Occasional Blackouts of an Extraordinary PresidencyAs Entertainment Weekly wrote in a preview of the book, “CBS News’ Major Garrett is a more careful journalist than Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff, but the conceit of his book—the first year in the Trump White House—is similar enough to have us plenty intrigued.”

Just because we can’t stand him doesn’t mean William Shatner shouldn’t have even more attention paid to him. After a brief health scare in 2016, the veteran actor offers one piece of advice to live a long and good life: Don’t die.
Live Long And . . .: What I Learned Along the WayIn Live Long And…: What I Learned Along the Way, he uses a combination of pithy humor and thoughtful vulnerability to reflect on his unique and fascinating life. Booklist says, ” . . . fans will enjoy Shatner’s musings on his passions and adventures.”

Just how much does Jeff Bridges like his friend, Gary Busey’s, new book? “Get to know Gary Busey, who once told me he was an angel in an earth suit. Indeed he is, giving us messages he’s received from on high, messages that inspire and support us in living a beautiful fulfilled life. Get to know my dear friend Gary Busey, read Buseyisms.”
Professional actor and semi-professional wildman Busey has done more things in his life, ranging from the impressive to the insane, than most people have done in ten lifetimes, and he’s still going.

Through it all, Busey has kept a positive outlook, even as he’s endured more extreme highs and lows then one would think possible. He’s rubbed elbows with cinema legends, partied with the rich and famous, and even toured with a hit band. It’s all in Buseyisms: Gary Busey’s Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth ($24.99), along with some sage words from a real character.

Regarded as one of the greatest drummers of all time, Kenney Jones has seen it all, played with everyone, and partied with all of them. He’s enjoyed the highs, battled the lows, and emerged in one piece.
Let the Good Times Roll: My Life in Small Faces, Faces, and The WhoLet the Good times Roll ($29.99) is the long-awaited memoir of the legendary drummer’s life and times in the bands Small Faces, Faces and The Who. Jones has penned a breathtaking immersion into music past that leaves readers feeling as if they lived it too.SS moving memoir from one of ESPN’s top football reporters, Kirkus Rviews says that Adam Schefter’s The Man I Never Met “is affecting not only for the story it tells of how the author learned to honor his wife’s husband as ‘the fifth member of [his] family,’ but also for how it shows a man growing into a mature understanding of the true meaning of love and sacrifice.” The Man I Never Met: A Memoir|
Super Bowl-winning coach and author Tony Dungy calls  “a story every American should read” and New York Times bestselling author Mitch Albom hails this memoir as, “A fresh and triumphant take on the aftermath of 9/11.”

The duo behind Delicious Poke Cakes and Delicious Dump Cakes is back with another book of quick and easy desserts. Delicious Bundt Cakes: More Than 100 New Recipes for Timeless Favorites
In Delicious Bundt Cakes, ($19.99), Roxanne Wyss and Kathy Moore unlock the secret of the Bundt cake. The book features more than 100 recipe—made completely from scratch, as well as recipes based on boxed cake mixes—and color photos throughout, along with all the hints and tips you’ll need to make a spectacular Bundt cake every time.  Chocolate Peanut Butter Tunnel Bundt Cake anyone?

The Angry Therapist teaches you how to stop being a miserable fuck

The New Year is still a few months ago, but we offer you some of the finest advice we can: Get ready for I Used to be a Miserable F: An Everyman’s Guide to a Meaningful Life (HarperOne, $24.99).

John Kim’s book will be released on January 29, 2019 . . . and we promise you must save the date!

Deep in post-divorce soul searching, Kim realized he might be to blame for the problems in his life. In other words, he was a miserable F.  So he created a blog called The Angry Therapist, nodding to the fact that while he was a licensed therapist and life coach, he was no better than the people coming to him for advice. In his first post he wrote about the struggles and shortcomings that had led him to this point. As his work caught on and catapulted him into the role of unlikely and unconventional guide for thousands of people all over the world, he evolved from acting like a boy to living like a man–and showed his clients how to do so alongside him.

In the book, the Angry Therapist delivers the dos and don’ts for stepping up and stepping into your manhood, defined by transparency and strength of character, not abs or a corner office. With his signature no-nonsense approach that will make you both laugh out loud and take a long look in the mirror, Kim takes you on a rugged, rough and tumble road trip of self-exploration and discovery, with the grease-splatters to show for it. Learn why and how:

  • Being nice is for boys, and being kind is for men
  • Scheduling man dates could make you a better friend, lover, and human being
  • Peeing in the shower is indicative of a larger problem
  • Arguing, judging, and saying, “I dunno” are keeping you from a healthy relationship, great career, and happy life

We are not born men. We are born boys. The transition from misery to meaning is an internal process that requires much work: reflection, pain, courage, and sometimes, a rebirth. Kim knows because he’s been there. The truth is, we weren’t meant to just pay bills and die. With this book as your guide, you will love hard, walk tall, and find a life that will make you say “F yea!” instead of “oh, F.”

Tom Coyne’s works have always fit us to a T. “A Course Called Scotland” is par for the course

Tom Coyne’s works have always fit us to a T.

His latest work, A Course Called Scotland (Simon & Schuster, $27), focuses on the heartfelt and humorous celebration of his quest to play golf on every links course in Scotland. For much of his adult life, the bestselling author has been chasing a golf ball around the globe. When he was in college, studying abroad in London, he entered the lottery for a prized tee time in Scotland, grabbed his clubs and jumped on the train to St. Andrews while his friends partied in Amsterdam. Later, he golfed the entirety of Ireland’s coastline, chased pros through the mini-tours, and attended the notoriously grueling PGA Tour Qualifying School.

Yet as he watched the greats compete, he felt something was missing. Then one day a friend suggested he attempt to play every links course in Scotland, and qualify for the greatest championship in golf. The result is A Course Called Scotland, a hilarious golf and travel adventure throughout the birthplace of the sport and home to some of the oldest and most beloved courses in the world, including St. Andrews, Turnberry, Dornoch, Prestwick, Troon and Carnoustie.

With his signature blend of storytelling, humor, history and insight, Coyne weaves together his journey to more than 100 legendary links courses in Scotland with compelling threads of golf history and witty insights into the contemporary home of golf. It is a rollicking love letter to Scotland and golf as no one has attempted it before.

Women are angry with good reason. Now read “Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger”

Save the date: On October 2, Simon & Schuster releases the New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Traister’s latest book: Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger ($27). . . a vital, incisive exploration into the transformative power of female anger and its ability to transcend into a political movement.
This year, it seems as if women’s anger has suddenly erupted into the public conversation. But long before Pantsuit Nation, before the Women’s March, and before the #MeToo movement, women’s anger was not only politically catalytic—but politically problematic. The story of female fury and its cultural significance demonstrates the long history of bitter resentment that has enshrouded women’s slow rise to political power in America, as well as the ways that anger is received when it comes from women as opposed to when it comes from men.Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger
With eloquence and fervor, Rebecca tracks the history of female anger as political fuel—from suffragettes chaining themselves to the White House to office workers vacating their buildings after Clarence Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court. Here Traister explores women’s anger at both men and other women; anger between ideological allies and foes; the varied ways anger is perceived based on its owner; as well as the history of caricaturing and delegitimizing female anger; and the way women’s collective fury has become transformative political fuel—as is most certainly occurring today. She deconstructs society’s (and the media’s) condemnation of female emotion (notably, rage) and the impact of their resulting repercussions.
Highlighting a double standard perpetuated against women by all sexes, and its disastrous, stultifying effect, Traister’s latest is timely and crucial. It offers a glimpse into the galvanizing force of women’s collective anger, which, when harnessed, can change history.

Finally! Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic tell the complete story of the life (and death) of the USS Indianapolis

Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, days after delivering the components of the atomic bomb to the Pacific Islands in the most highly classified naval mission of the war, USS Indianapolis is sailing alone in the center of the Philippine Sea when she is struck by two Japanese torpedoes. The ship is instantly transformed into a fiery cauldron and sinks within minutes. Some 300 men go down with the ship. Nearly 900 make it into the water alive. For the next five nights and four days, the men battle injuries, sharks, dehydration, insanity, and eventually each other. Only 316 will survive.
For the better part of a century, the story of USS Indianapolis has been understood as a sinking tale. The reality, however, is far more complicated—and compelling. Now, for the first time, thanks to a decade of original research and interviews with 107 survivors and eyewit­nesses, Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic tell the complete story of the ship, including a visceral, moment-by-moment account of the chaos on board the sinking ship, to the first moments of shock as the crew plunge into the sea, to the long days and nights during which terror and hunger morph into delusion and desperation.
Welcome to Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man (Simon & Schuster, $28).

The authors go beyond the men’s rescue to chronicle Indianapolis’s extraordinary final mission: the survivors’ 50-year fight for justice on behalf of their skipper, Captain Charles McVay, who is wrongly court-martialed for the sinking and later committed suicide. What follows is a captivating courtroom drama that forever entwines the lives of three captains—McVay, whose life and career are never the same after the scandal; Mochitsura Hashimoto, the Japanese sub commander who sinks Indianapolis but later joins the battle to exonerate McVay; and William Toti, the captain of the modern-day submarine Indianapolis, who helps the survivors fight to vindicate their captain. A sweeping saga of survival, sacrifice, justice, and love, Indianapolis stands as both groundbreaking naval history and spellbinding narrative—and brings the ship and her heroic crew back to full, vivid, unforgettable life.

Award-winning historian David Blight writes the important ” Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom”

This year marks 200 years since the birth of Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became one of the greatest orators and writers of his generation, a leading abolitionist and political activist of the nineteenth century, and one of the most significant figures in American history.

On October 16, Simon & Schuster will publish the first major biography of Douglass in a quarter century: Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom ($37.50) by award-winning historian David Blight.

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

Blight had access to a private collection of papers and letters that have never been used in any full Douglass biography, and his new work offers profound insight into Douglass’s life and legacy. Blight spent ten years writing the book, but has been researching Douglass for over 35 years, beginning with his PhD dissertation completed in 1985. Since then, Blight—who is Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University—has become the nation’s leading authority on Frederick Douglass.

To read this biography is to experience the depth of a great man’s life through the eyes of the author who has worked the longest to understand him best. With Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, Blight breaks new ground in Douglass scholarship, in particular shedding light on the last thirty years of Douglass’s life and his family relationships, his controversial second marriage, his back-breaking and nearly endless lecture tours into old age, and his role as the leader of black America in Washington D.C.