Category Archives: Books and authors

Book News

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The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • In an unusually metaphysical copyright case, that an American psychologist — and not Jesus Christ — is the author of a book that she said Christ dictated to her in a “waking dream.” The late Helen Schucman said she was a vessel for the words of Christ in her book A Course in Miracles, and a German Christian group called the New Christian Endeavour Academy argued that they were therefore free to put text from the book up on their website without paying for it (Jesus, apparently, does not require payment.) The U.S.-based Foundation for Inner Peace, which owns the, uh, worldly rights to the book, sued. According to The Guardian, the New Christian Endeavour Academy “argued that Schucman had not considered herself the author of the work, and referred to a 2003 ruling by a New York court that it said had put the work into the public domain.” The academy also said: “For many there is no doubt that Jesus of Nazareth is the author of the course and that copyright law therefore doesn’t apply to his work.” The German court, however, ruled that the rights go to the actual writer of the book, regardless of divine inspiration.
  • Two new Flowers in the Attic novels will revisit the arsenic- and incest-laced world of the Dollanganger siblings, . Series creator V.C. Andrews died in 1986, but her estate has continued to churn out ghostwritten sequels. The novels Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth and Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger pick upthe story in present day “when 17-year-old Kristin Masterwood — a distant relative of the Dollangangers — discovers the diary in the ruins of Foxworth Hall, the Virginia house in which the Dollanganger kids were imprisoned, and his story becomes a dangerous obsession for Kristin,” according to the Reporter. The first book is set to come out in October; the second in January.
  • In one of the more unexpected literary/commercial collaborations, Jonathan Safran Foer has joined forces with Chipotle to print stories from Toni Morrison, George Saunders and other major authors on the chain’s paper cups. that he got the idea after sitting in Chipotle with nothing to read. He said Chipotle gave him complete control in choosing the text: “I selected the writers, and insofar as there was any editing, I did it. I tried to put together a somewhat eclectic group, in terms of styles. I wanted some that were essayistic, some fiction, some things that were funny, and somewhat thought provoking.” Asked whether he had any concerns about the ethics of working with Chipotle (he’s been a vocal critic of the meat industry), he said that “what interested me is 800,000 Americans of extremely diverse backgrounds having access to good writing. A lot of those people don’t have access to libraries, or bookstores. Something felt very democratic and good about this.”
  • The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin has bought the archive of British author Ian McEwan. The archive includes drafts of his novels as well as “letters written to McEwan by other literary figures, including Christopher Hitchens, David Lodge, Michael Ondaatje, Harold Pinter, Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie and Zadie Smith,” according to . It adds, “From 1997 onward, McEwan’s complete email correspondence is preserved as part of the archive.” Asked about the value of his archive , McEwan said, “The writer tends to forget rapidly the routes he or she discarded along the way. Sometimes the path towards a finished novel takes surprising twists. It’s rarely an even development. For example, my novel Atonement started out as a science fiction story set two or three centuries into future.”

Daniel Radcliffe Featured in Fan Book Series


Dan Radcliffe 3Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe will be the first star spotlighted in a new fan book series for Creative Partners Publishing House. Author Randy Jernigan to write the series.


New York, NY, May 14, 2014 –(– Celebrity biographer Randy Jernigan has been contracted to write a series of “fan books” for his publisher–the first to be spotlighted in the series is Harry Potter actor, Daniel Radcliffe.

The book is expected to cover Radcliffe’s early childhood years, little known facts about the actors private life, as well as his very busy career in film, television and the theater.

The Radcliffe biography will be the first in the fan book series to be published for Creative Partners Publishing House.

Well known for his concise, biting interview style, Randy Jernigan has worked as an entertainment journalist for twenty-two years covering the careers and private lives of such celebrities as Tom Cruise, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Jernigan will release a biography of singer Marie Osmond later this year, and recently released The Road to Happiness through Creative Partners Gift Books.

“I’m excited to be a part of this project,” says Jernigan. “After reviewing all the material on Dan I can tell there’s a lot of crap that’s been written–my job will be to wade through all the rumor and turn out a factual piece of history of an amazing actor.”

Jernigan has already begun interviews for the book.

It’s expected that “The Life and Career of Daniel Radcliffe” will hit store shelves later this year.

Alicia Silverstone’s Candid Discussion About Her Parenting Strategy, New Book and Dealing With Her Critics


When Alicia Silverstone talks or writes about pregnancy, motherhood, or anything environmentally kind, her passion for the subject matter fuels every word.

About her 3-year-old son, Bear, she says, “Honestly, every moment since the day he was born has been incredible and I am just thrilled to be on this journey — this is the greatest love.”

Well-known for her role in the movie, Clueless, the actress has added bestselling author, activist, and conservationist to her credits. Silverstone’s first book, The Kind Diet, which is a guide to vegan nutrition, climbed to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Currently, there’s swirl around her follow-up book, The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning, from both avid supporters and critics. Silverstone describes the book as, “a recipe for having the happiest, healthiest baby around.”

I interviewed Silverstone, who openly discussed issues including: The Kind Mama, attachment parenting, and her critics, as well as her advice for maternal anxiety and smartphone-addicted parents.

Attachment Parenting
Silverstone’s framework for The Kind Mama comes out of attachment parenting, which has its roots in attachment theory developed by psychologist John Bowlby. The idea is that the emotional bond children have with their parents early on affects their future well-being. If children trust that their parents can meet their needs, they will then form a healthy attachment and have the capability for healthy relationships throughout life.

According to, part of nurturing and sensitively responding to a child’s emotional needs includes among other things, empathic understanding, affection, breastfeeding, and co-sleeping.

For Silverstone, attachment parenting is about, “getting back to basics and doing away with excess.” She is drawn to this framework because, “You are your baby’s food, solace, entertainment, transportation, and education, and all of that brings you and your baby closer together than you could ever imagine. It strengthens your bond with your child and helps him develop a sense of contentment and belonging in the universe.”

Why She Wrote The Kind Mama
With The Kind Mama, Silverstone says she, “wanted to provide women with a book that was full of valuable information that would help them get pregnant, have an ailment-free pregnancy (free of the icky stuff we all assume is unavoidable — from hemorrhoids and swollen ankles to diabetes), know their birth options, and empower them to make the choices that feel right for them throughout, so that they could have the most healthy little baby.”

And to Her Critics She Says …
Silverstone and her book have sparked dialogue and debate about pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Her response to critics is, “I have done my research — have read the studies, spoken with doctors, scientists, and other experts in the field — and I am confident in my choices. And I trust my intuition when it comes to parenting. When I do need advice, I look to women who I’ve admired for how they were pregnant/birthed/raised their children. Frankly, the rest of it is all noise to me and I don’t pay it any mind.”

Smartphone-addicted Parents
A recent study in Pediatrics found parents on smartphones tend to ignore their kids and have negative interactions with them. I wanted to get Silverstone’s take on this and what her advice is to multitasking, smartphone-obsessed, stressed-out moms.

She empathizes, “Believe me, I know what it’s like to feel like you’re drowning in emails — all of them time sensitive, of course — and trying to spend time with your child, which is why I think it’s more important than ever to create boundaries when it comes to tech and parenting.”

Silverstone goes on to advise, “When I am with Bear, I make a point to be completely focused on him and aim to be totally present for both our sakes — I want to soak up every morsel of his sweetness — so no computers and phones when he is around. Having him feel seen and heard is very important. So, when something comes up that urgently needs to be addressed, I take a mini-break to go deal with it, and then come back and re-focus. Institute 100 percent phone-free time… when you can and catch-up on things during work hours. Ninety-nine percent of the time, those emails coming in are not life or death and can wait until later in the evening or even the next day.”

Worries That Keep Moms Up At Night
For many parents, an inherent part of the experience is waking up at night with worries. I asked Silverstone if she experienced this and what she does to cope with the maternal anxiety. She answers, “Like many moms, I sometimes find myself going down a rabbit hole of paranoid worries — things like ‘What if he falls out the window?’ or ‘What if I die in a plane crash and he’s left without his mama?'”

She continues, “But then I take a deep breath and assure myself that I’m doing everything possible to keep him safe and I let those thoughts go. There are always going to be things beyond our control and it helps to just focus on what you can control, which is being present and loving to your kids when you are with them. And I do worry about the kind of world we live in — one in which people can be unkind and disconnected from each other and make decisions based on fear. That said, we aim to surround our family with a tribe of positive, loving, warm, open, and smart people.”

A Growing Family?
Silverstone is married to musician and activist Christopher Jarecki. When asked if she is going to expand her family of three, she indicates that she, “would love to, but not right now!”

As she and her husband raise Bear, they make an effort to model the values they want him to have. “When it comes to values, he is amazing and sweet and loving. He sees the way in which we live our lives — with respect for each other, our planet, it’s people and animals — and I imagine and hope he will stay that way,” she says wistfully.

The daily Lowdown–Books and Authors

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*Doris Pilkington Garimara, the aboriginal author who wrote of the forced separation of mixed-race aboriginal children from their families, . She was thought to be 76. Garimara’s novel Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence was based on the story of her mother, one of the so-called Stolen Generation, who was taken from her family and placed in a government settlement. She escaped with two other girls and walked more than 1,000 miles through the Australian wilderness. Garimara, too, was a member of the Stolen Generation and grew up in a mission believing she had been abandoned by her mother. “[W]hile we were in the mission, again, we were continually told, you know, that the Aboriginal culture was evil … [a]nd the people who practiced it were pagans and devil worshippers,” she said in a . Reunited years later, Garimara’s mother told her the story of her escape, which became a novel and then a celebrated film.

*Author Randy Jernigan spills more than just a few personal secrets in his new publication out today. In The Road to Happiness (Creative Partners Books) Jernigan goes into greater detail about his deep depression issues while attending Brigham Young University, and how a close friend and member of the famous singing Osmond family once saved him from suicide. “My depression was just more than I could handle at the time,” Jernigan writes. “…I was in such a dark, lonely place. I didn’t want to live any more. I’m grateful that there was a friend there to talk to me and slap some sense into me.” The Road to Happiness is the first in a series of 6 essays books Jernigan will publish for Creative Partners Books.

J K Rowling tells BBC’s Woman’s Hour this morning of the sadness she feels that her mother, who died of complications related to MS at 45, never knew of her success with her Harry Potter novels. Her mother died after suffering with an aggressive form of the disease 15 years ago; “Her death was an enormous shock to me,” Rowling tells the show’s host. Earlier this week it was also reported that her “Casual Vacancy” will be produced as a television miniseries for both HBO and the BBC.

* Michele Glazer has a poem titled in the Boston Review:
We have arrived at what we dread: the
diminution of loved ones, livid

and unmistakable lapses, quick
angers that lap at, lick at

dread: dread

that is the one certain shore.
The Best Books Coming Out This Week:
*Lisa Robinson began reporting at a time when rock journalism “was in its infancy and mostly populated by boys who had ambitions to become the next Norman Mailer,” she writes in her pleasantly gossipy memoir, There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll. Her memories of some of music’s biggest legends, from Mick Jagger to Michael Jackson to Lady Gaga (whom she describes as “a cute girl in her twenties who had really good manners”), animate this book, though Robinson sometimes gets a little too misty with nostalgia.

* Francine Prose’s Lovers At the Chameleon Club, 1932 follows Lou Villars, a French lesbian racecar driver who spied for the Nazis. Told by competing narrators, the book is more a story about the unreliability of memory and storytelling than a tale about Lou. The book is flawed, mostly because of its habit of assigning ever-more elaborate identities (lesbian Nazi racecar driver, wealthy baroness who worked for the Resistance) to its characters rather than developing them as people. But it also makes a persuasive point about the ways that the authors of history have their own agendas.