Summer’s Over ~ Show September 19 and 20


“The Marriage of Opposites” by Alice Hoffman
“Tiny Little Thing” by Beatriz Williams
“The Book of Speculation” by Erika Swyler
“Saint Maizie” by Jami Attenberg
“Among the Ten Thousand Things” by Julia Pierpont
“In the Country” by Mia Alvar
“Who Do You Love?” by Jennifer Weiner

Beatriz Williams, Author

With autumn just days away, Elaine previews new titles that offer an escape from fall’s frantic pace. These stories offer up a literary romp back to the beach and the lazy days of summer. Beatriz Williams introduces us to her new book, “Tiny Little Thing.”

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Alec Baldwin To Write Memoir

The award-winning actor has a deal with Harper for “Nevertheless,” scheduled for the fall of 2016. Harper stated the book will cover everything from Baldwin’s childhood in Long Island to his acclaimed work on “30 Rock” to the various run-ins and fallings-out he has experienced along the way. It will be a story of “hits and flops, marriage, divorce,” and some “opinions on the media and politics.” Harper also announced that Baldwin, 56, will write the memoir himself.

“Alec Baldwin is a larger-than-life talent with an astonishing range. And his life up to now has been far from dull,” HarperCollins publisher Jonathan Burnham said. “In this memoir he writes about his family, lovers, friends and enemies, confronts his former demons, relives the highs and lows of his career, and opens up in an unflinchingly honest way about his life and times. This memoir will be funny, occasionally combative, often moving and an unbelievably good read.”

Financial terms for his new book were not disclosed.

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Junky old typewriters aren’t typically worth a fortune—unless the screenplay for a Hollywood classic like Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho was written on it. The 1959 faded green Olympia that Joseph Stefano used to adapt Robert Bloch’s novel into the screenplay for Psycho was auctioned on Nov. 20—and the bidding started at an exorbitant $25,000.

Psycho went on to win four Oscars and carve out a place in movie history with its iconic shower murder scene. Stefano’s most notable change from the novel was his decision to begin the movie with Janet Leigh’s Marion Crane, instead of killer Norman Bates. In doing so, “Stefano changed the drift of the audience’s affections, and changed film history in the process: it was the first time a leading lady had been murdered within the first 20 minutes of a movie.”

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French Novelist Wins Nobel Prize In Literature


Patrick Modiano, whose works often explore the traumas of the Nazi occupation of France, won the 2014 Novel Prize in Literature. The Nobel, one of the world’s most financially generous awards, comes with a $1.1 million prize. The literature prize is given out for a lifetime of writing, rather than for a single work.

Modiano, who has published about 30 works, first rose to prominence in 1968 with his novel “La Place de l’Etoile.” Though his works are available in translation, and he is called the “Marcel Proust” of our time, he is not widely known outside of France. In his native country, Modiano is a revered writer whose books, often shorter than 200 pages, are read for their pithy and compact style.

Holiday Entertaining and Travel ~ Show Nov 15 & 16


“Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good” by Kathleen Flinn
“The Tastemakers: Why We’re Crazy For Cupcakes But Fed Up With Fondue” by David Sax
“Proof: The Science of Booze” by Adam Rogers
“Shadows in the Vineyard” by Maximillian Potter
“Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia” by David Greene
“Delancey: A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, A Marriage” by Molly Wizenberg
“Food: A Love Story” by Jim Gaffigan

Allen Salkin, Author; Pauline Frommer, Travel Guru

A spotlight on books to gear you up for holiday entertaining and travel. Elaine gets an insider’s look into the Food Network with author Alan Salkin, and receives fabulous trip advice from travel guru Pauline Frommer.

A look at LA Noir ~ Show November 1 and 2


“The Burning Room” by Michael Connelly
“Perfidia” by James Ellroy
“Rose Gold” by Walter Mosely
“The Golem of Hollywood” by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman
“Imperial Bedrooms” by Bret Easton Ellis
“The Barbarian Nurseries” by Hector Tobar
“The Big Sleep” by Raymond Chandler, a BBC Radio 4 Production

James Ellroy, Author

Elaine travels down the literary 405 for a look at LA Noir – with evocative characters tossed into a literary stew and seasoned with a strong sense of place. James Ellroy introduces us to Book 1 of his 2nd LA Quartet – “Perfidia.”

Royal Watchers…Look For A New Prince Harry Bio


Royalty biographer Penny Junor profiles the “spare” prince in “Prince Harry: Brother, Soldier, Son,” a well-researched, if rose-tinted account of the Royal’s first 30 years.
Junor sympathetically recounts the royal family’s controversies—the affairs, leaked phone conversations, and various betrayals—and speculates on 12-year-old Harry’s feelings about his mother’s death. There are Harry’s own scandals, most of which Junor glosses over or denies, like his underage drinking, his Nazi masquerade-party costume, and the leaked nude photos taken in a Las Vegas hotel room.
Junor documents Harry’s military career from the “tough, brutal, relentless” drilling at Sandhurst to flight training at Shawbury, and his establishment as an Apache copilot gunner. He also covers Harry’s philanthropic activities, his charitable foundation for orphaned children in Lesotho, and his organization of the the inaugural U.K. Warrior games, an athletic event for wounded veterans.
Fans of royalty will also appreciate Junor’s details of the interior of Kensington Palace and Highgrove, the ins and outs of Eton College, as well as descriptions of William and Kate’s wedding and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

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A Song By The Boss Inspires A Book


Simon & Schuster has acquired world rights to Outlaw Pete, an adult picture book based on Bruce Springsteen’s song of the same name about a bank-robbing baby. Cartoonist and writer Frank Caruso will provide illustrations to accompany Springsteen’s lyrics from the song, which appeared on his 2009 album “Working on a Dream.” The book will publish on November 4.
When Bruce wrote “Outlaw Pete” he didn’t just write a great song, he created a great character,” said Caruso. “The first time I heard the song this book played out in my head. Like Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Dorothy Gale and for me, even Popeye, Outlaw Pete cuts deep into the folklore of our country and weaves its way into the fabric of great American literary characters.”
Both the song and the book were inspired by a children’s book, “Brave Cowboy Bill,” which Springsteen’s mother read to him as a child. “Outlaw Pete is essentially the story of a man trying to outlive and outrun his sins,” Springsteen writes.

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A New Trend? Homeless Counselors At Public Libraries

Among the many roles assumed by public libraries, there’s one that can be problematic than the others: the library as a de facto day shelter for homeless people. Washington DC’s downtown’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library attracts many such patrons, and Jean Badalamenti understands why.
“The city drops folks from three shelters off here every morning and picks them up in the evening,” said Badalamenti, a social worker who in May became the D.C. Public Library’s first health and human services coordinator. “The library’s a great place for anybody to spend the day. You get access to computers, look for jobs, connect with your family and friends on Facebook and e-mail, and do lots of creative things.”
Libraries in other cities have addressed homelessness in various ways. Philadelphia has a cafe and Seattle a coffee cart run by workers who were previously homeless; Dallas produces podcasts of interviews with its homeless regulars. But as far as Badalamenti knows, D.C. is only the second U.S. city to hire a library social worker, following San Francisco.
“I really was brought on to figure out how the library can engage more disenfranchised populations in the city,” she said. “And make connections with other organizations to help provide programming.”
Badalamenti noted there are homeless “hot spots” throughout the system, as there are in most cities. One of her tasks is introducing the issue to the approximately 100 new staffers hired last year when the library system expanded its hours. “We are helping them understand what people experience when they’re homeless. Just a sort of sensitivity training, but hopefully we’ll be doing some other kinds of training, even around de-escalation (identifying folks who might be in a crisis), so the library can respond and be helpful.
The library has just begun a staff survey about interaction with patrons who might be homeless, Badalamenti said. “How’s it impacting your day? What do you need so that you can do your job and be helpful to these folks — and every single other customer that comes through the door?”

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Record Breaking Price For A Signed Dickens’ Volume


A signed early edition of “A Tale of Two Cities” sent by Charles Dickens to George Eliot has been valued for an upcoming auction at more than a quarter of a million pounds.

Peter Harrington, a rare-book seller in London, has put a price of £275,000 for the copy of “A Tale of Two Cities,” which features Dickens’ signature and the inscription: “To George Eliot. With high admiration and regard. December, 1859.” Dickens had been a fan of Eliot ever since the author, whose real name was Mary Ann Evans, sent him a copy of her debut book, “Scenes of Clerical Life.”
Writing to her in 1858 to tell her of his admiration, Dickens was one of the first people to guess Eliot might be a woman. He praised the “exquisite truth and delicacy” of her stories, which he said he had “never seen the like of.”
“I should have been strongly disposed, if I had been left to my own devices, to address the said writer as a woman,” Dickens continued. “I have observed what seem to me to be such womanly touches, in those moving fictions, that the assurance on the title-page is insufficient to satisfy me, even now. If they originated with no woman, I believe that no man ever before had the art of making himself, mentally, so like a woman, since the world began.”
Later, when Eliot sent Dickens a copy of her novel “Adam Bede,” in July 1859, she would reveal her identity – a piece of news Dickens told her he would keep in confidence, adding what a “rare and genuine delight” it had been “to become acquainted in the spirit with so noble a writer.”
The copy of “A Tale of Two Cities” he sent to Eliot was a presentation copy – authors would request a handful of copies from their publishers to give away early to the people they wanted to see it. The edition resurfaced in the 1920s, when the step-granddaughter of Eliot decided to sell it. According to the bookseller, there is only one other known book inscribed by Dickens to George Eliot: a copy of the second edition of “The Uncommercial Traveller,” inscribed in January 1861.
According to the BBC, the most a Dickens work has previously gone for is the $290,500 (£175,100), paid for a pre-publication presentation copy of “A Christmas Carol” which Christie’s sold in New York five years ago.

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