Archive for the ‘Book Promotion’ Category

101 Great New Jersey Books

imagesThis year New Jersey is celebrating it’s 350th Anniversary. As part of that celebration, the New Jersey State Library, Rutgers Library, and the New Jersey Historical Commission developed a list of the 101 best New Jersey books and Millicent Fenwick: Her Way made the cut!

I’m in good company. Other authors on the list include Sylvia Nasar for her biography, A Beautiful Mind about John Forbes Nash, Jr.; David McCullough for his book 1776 shedding new light on the Revolutionary War; and Phillip Roth’s classic Goodbye, Columbus. More recent titles include Junot Diaz’s award winning novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and This is How You Lose Her.

Here’s the full list of great New Jersey books:

101 Great New Jersey Books List

GENERAL HISTORY
1. Patricia Bonomi – The Lord Cornbury Scandal: the Politics of Reputation in British America
2. Charles Boyer – Old Inns and Taverns in West Jersey
3. John Cunningham – This Is New Jersey
4. Giles Wright – “Steal Away, Steal Away”: a Guide to the Underground Railroad in New Jersey
5. Graham Russell Hodges — Slavery and Freedom in the Rural North: African Americans in Monmouth County, New Jersey, 1665-1865
6. Michael Immersa – Newark’s Little Italy: the Vanished First Ward
7. Nelson Johnson – Boardwalk Empire: the Birth, High Times and Corruption of Atlantic City
8. Robert Kurson – Shadow Divers: the True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II
9. Marc Mappen – Jerseyana: the Underside of New Jersey History
10. Dermot Quinn – The Irish in New Jersey: Four Centuries of American Life

FICTION (SET IN NJ)
1. Mary Higgins Clark – On the Street Where You Live
2. Harlen Coben – Fade Away
3. Junot Diaz – The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
4. Janet Evanovich – Four to Score
5. Richard Ford – The Bascombe Novels
6. Nathan Heard – Howard Street: a Novel
7. Curtis Lucas – Third Ward, Newark
8. Joyce Carol Oates (ed.) – New Jersey Noir
9. Philip Roth – Goodbye, Columbus
10. Joe Vallese & Alicia Beale – What’s Your Exit?: a Literary Detour Through New Jersey

CHILDREN & YOUNG ADULTS
1. Judy Blume – Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
2. Eileen Cameron – G is for Garden State: a New Jersey Alphabet
3. Wende and Harry Devlin – Cranberry Thanksgiving
4. David Lubar – Dunk
5. Joyce McDonald – Swallowing Stones
6. Carol Plum-Ucci – The Body of Christopher Creed
7. Mary Pope Osborne – Revolutionary War on Wednesday
8. Ann Rinaldi – Time Enough for Drums
9. Gertrude Chandler Warner – The Boxcar Children: The Boardwalk Mystery
10. David Wiesner – Flotsam

SCIENCE, BUSINESS & NATURE
1. Thomas Belton – Protecting New Jersey’s Environment: From Cancer Alley to the New Garden State
2. Joanna Burger – A Naturalist Along the Jersey Shore
3. Jack Connor – Season at the Point: the Birds and Birders of Cape May
4. Ernest Freeberg – The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America
5. Jon Gertner – The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation
6. Wheaton Lane – From Indian Trail to Iron Horse: Travel and Transportation in New Jersey, 1620-1860
7. John McPhee – The Pine Barrens
8. Robert Sullivan – The Meadowlands: Wilderness Adventures at the Edge of a City
9. Richard Veit – Digging New Jersey’s Past: Historical Archaeology in the Garden State
10. Peter Wacker & Paul Clemens – Land Use in Early New Jersey: a Historical Geography

POLITICS
1. Paul Clemens – The Uses of Abundance: a History of New Jersey’s Economy
2. Ovid Demaris – The Boardwalk Jungle
3. Steven Hart – The Last Three Miles: Politics, Murder, and the Construction of America’s First Superhighway
4. Bob Ingle and Sandy McClure – The Soprano State: New Jersey’s Culture of Corruption
5. Alan Karcher – New Jersey’s Multiple Municipal Madness
6. Duane Lockard – The New Jersey Governor: A Study in Political Power
7. Richard McCormick – New Jersey: From Colony to State, 1609-1789
8. Gerald Pomper – The Political State of New Jersey
9. Salmore & Salmore – New Jersey Politics and Government: the Suburbs Come of Age
10. John Wefing – The Life and Times of Richard J. Hughes: the Politics of Civility

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
1. Martin Duberman – Paul Robeson: A Biography
2. Gillan, Gillan and Giunta – Italian American Writers on New Jersey
3. Howard Greenfeld – Ben Shahn: An Artist’s Life
4. Walter Isaacson – Einstein: His Life and Universe
5. S. Mitra Kalita – Suburban Sahibs: Three Immigrant Families and Their Passage from India to America
6. Sylvia Nasar – A Beautiful Mind: a Biography of John Forbes Nash,Jr., Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, 1994
7. Amy Schapiro – Millicent Fenwick: Her Way
8. James Still – Early Recollections and Life of Dr. James Still
9. Patricia Tyson Stroud – The Man Who Had Been King: the American Exile of Napoleon’s Brother Joseph
10. Mary Walton – A Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot

NEW JERSEY AT WAR
1. Michael S. Adelberg – The American Revolution in Monmouth County: The Theatre of Spoil and Destruction
2. Joseph Bilby – “Remember You Are Jerseymen!”: a Military History of New Jersey’s Troops in the Civil War
3. Joseph G. Bilby, ed. – New Jersey Goes to War: Biographies of 150 New Jerseyans Caught up in the Struggle of the Civil War
4. Kevin Coyne -Marching Home : to War and Back with the Men of One American Town
5. Mark Di Ionno – A Guide to New Jersey’s Revolutionary War Trail : for Families and History Buffs
6. David Hackett Fisher – Washington’s Crossing
7. William Gillette – Jersey Blue: Civil War Politics in New Jersey, 1854-1865
8. Arthur Lefkowitz – The Long Retreat: The Calamitous American Defense of New Jersey, 1776
9. Mark Lender – One State in Arms: a Short Military History of New Jersey
10. David McCullogh – 1776

ARTS & POETRY
1. Meredith Bzdak and Douglas Petersen – Public Sculpture in New Jersey : Monuments to Collective Identity
2. Walter Choroszewski – New Jersey, a photographic celebration
3. Alan Ginsburg – Howl
4. Robert P. Guter – Building by the Book: Pattern Book Architecture in New Jersey
5. Joyce Kilmer – Trees and Other Poems
6. Robert Pinsky – Jersey Rain
7. John R.Quinn – Fields of Sun and Grass: An Artist’s Journal of the New Jersey Meadowlands.
8. Gerald Stern – This Time: New and Selected Poems
9. Lynd Ward – Vertigo
10. Walt Whitman – Leaves of Grass
11. William Carlos Williams – Paterson

REFERENCE
1. Joan Burstyn – Past and Promise: Lives of New Jersey Women
2. The Lenape-Delaware Indian Heritage:10,000 BC to AD 2000, By Herbert C. Kraft.
3. Joseph Felcone – New Jersey Books. Vols. I & II.
4. Maxine Lurie & Marc Mappen – Encyclopedia of New Jersey
5. Maxine Lurie, Peter Wacker ( eds.) & Michael Siegel – Mapping New Jersey: An Evolving Landscape
6. Clement Price – Freedom Not Far Distant: a Documentary History of Afro-Americans in New Jersey
7. Helen Schwartz – The New Jersey House
8. Donald Sinclair – New Jersey Biographical Index: covering some 100,000 biographies and associated portraits in 237 New Jersey cyclopedias, histories, yearbooks, periodicals and other collective biographical sources published to about 1980
9. Skinder-Strauss Associates (pub.) – Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey
10. John Snyder – The Mapping of New Jersey: the Men and the Art

RECENTLY PUBLISHED
1. Peter Ames Carlin – Bruce
2. Junot Diaz – This is How You Lose Her
3. Mark Di Ionno – The Last Newspaperman
4. Charles Graeber – The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder
5. George Kirsch – Six Guys from Hackensack: Coming of Age in the Real New Jersey
6. Cathy D. Knepper – Jersey Justice: The Story of the Trenton Six
7. Marc Mappen – Prohibition Gangsters: the Rise and Fall of a Bad Generation
8. Barksdale Maynard – Princeton, America’s Campus
9. Holly Metz – Killing the Poormaster: a Saga of Poverty, Corruption, and Murder in the Great Depression
10. Maxine Lurie and Richard Veit – New Jersey: A History of the Garden State

Brian Lamb

One of the few staples in my life has been watching Brian Lamb on C-Span every Sunday night at 8 p.m. First, it was for his hour-long author interview program called Booknotes. Each week it featured a different author and book; and Brian Lamb read them all. Then that program, in 2004, morphed into Q & A. It was still an hour-long program, but not necessarily with an author.  “Every Sunday night, we introduce you to interesting people who are making things happen in politics, the media, education, and science & technology in hour-long conversations about their lives and their work.” That’s how C-Span describes Q & A.

Today, March 19, marks the 33rd anniversary of C-Span, and a surprise announcement. Brian Lamb, the CEO and founder of the Cable Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-Span), is stepping down. His efforts to bring more transparency to government by providing public access to the political process by offering live feeds from the House and Senate floors and congressional hearings, has transformed the landscape of political news coverage.

He also transformed lives. When I started down the biography path I knew no writers nor I had taken any writing classes. What Brian Lamb did through Booknotes, was bring authors to my living room. He not only asked them questions about their subject, but also their writing process. And what those authors shared gave me new ideas, and, often validated what I was doing. It was the best education one could get, and it was accessible and free.

Although Brian Lamb is stepping down from the C-Span helm, he plans to continue hosting Q & A. My Sunday night tradition will continue.

 

2011 National Book Festival

The 2011 National Book Festival in Washington, DC


Another week is coming to a close and I still haven’t posted the events from last weekend! I kicked it off on Friday night with the emerging writers event, and the following night proved to be another enjoyable evening. I was one of a half dozen authors featured at the New Jersey State Society’s (NJSS) Author Reception along with fellow biographer Al Felzenberg who wrote a biography of Tom Kean (Millicent Fenwick was the only person who defeated Kean –  leading Fenwick to Congress and Kean to the governorship); New Jersey Scholar Maxine Lurie (I blogged about her New Jersey Anthology back in April which featured a chapter excerpted from Millicent Fenwick: Her Way); Dr. Masood Hatamee; Stylist George Worrell; and children’s author, Tom Yezerski. He brings a fresh perspective about the environment and lessons learned to a young audience in his book Meadowlands: A Wetlands Survival Story.  As always, NJSS Executive Director Nancy Fatemi orchestrated another great event.

Authors Masood Khatamee, Amy Schapiro, Tom Yezerski, Maxine Lurie,and Al Felzenberg at the NJSS Authors Reception

Sunday marked the first time the National Book Festival, started by First Lady Laura Bush, expanded to two days – thank goodness as it was the only day I made it! I never left the History & Biography tent. Highlights included friend and fellow Washington Biography Group member Kristie Miller who told the engaging tale of Woodrow Wilson and the two women in his life. Ellen Axson, his first wife, had more impact on the office of the First Lady then most realize. She is even responsible for the introduction of legislation to revamp alleys in the shadows of the Capitol that were in squalor. In fact her dying wish in 1914 was that Congress pass the Alley Bill, H.R. 13219, and later S. 1624. The Senate obliged.

Author Kristie Miller speaks at the National Book Festival

President Wilson’s second wife, Edith Bolling, is more widely remembered. Her primary focus as First Lady was quite different than Ellen’s. She did not take much of a vested interest in policy, her sole focus was her husband and adhering to his wishes. After President Wilson’s debilitating stroke in 1919, Edith made it her mission to keep her husband in office, per his desire, and, in the process she deceived the country and those in Congress about the president’s failing health. In Miller’s book, Ellen and Edith: Woodrow Wilson’s First Lady, Miller juxtaposes these two women and presents a fascinating portrait that is contrary to popular belief about President Wilson and his two wives.

The big finale in the History & Biography tent was David MCullough. He enthralled the audience with his insight about education, history, and, of course, his latest book The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris. As he said, “Not all pioneers went west.” During his talk, McCullough emphasized the importance of story telling and curiosity. “Curiosity is an essential element of the human being. The more we know the more we want to know.” How true.

Author David McCullough at the National Book Festival

Those of us in the audience were treated to a double dose of McCullough. Following his book talk, he did a 1-hour live Q & A with C-Span’s Senior Executive Producer, Peter Slen. You can watch it at: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/301663-9. To hear Kristie Miller visit: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/301663-5

C-Span's Peter Slen hosts a Q&A with David McCullough at the National Book Festival, September 25, 2011

You’re Invited

Be sure to join the New Jersey State Society for a cocktail reception featuring New Jersey authors this Saturday, September 24, 5-7 pm at the Elephant & Castle Restaurant, 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC. Stop by after the National Book Festival on the Mall and enjoy complimentary appetizers and one free drink ticket per guest. Savor NJ’s own “OktoberFish” on tap from Flying Fish Brewery.  Although there is no charge for this fun event, we do urge you to bring your checkbook and buy a book. You can get a head start on your holiday gifts and ensure that the NJ State Society does this again next year. Hope to see you Saturday!

The following New Jersey authors will be signing and selling their books, including me:

Amy Schapiro, Millicent Fenwick: Her Way;

Al Felzenberg, Governor Tom Kean: From the New Jersey State House to the 911 Commission;

Dr. Masood Khatamee, Doctor are You Listening?;

Dr. Maxine Lurie, Mapping New Jersey, Encyclopedia of New Jersey, and New Jersey Anthology;

George Worrell, On the Other Side of Style;

Tom Yezerski, Meadowlands  (children’s illustrated book featured at National Book Festival)

The Authors Show

Walter Boyne, a family friend, and author of dozens of books has released his latest “How the Helicopter Changed Modern Warfare.” He’s the former director of the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, and, as you’ll hear, completely engaging.  He was interviewed by Don McCauley on the “Authors Show,” an online vehicle to promote authors and their books.  It’s new to me, but definitely seems like a great marketing tool. For more information, you can visit: www.authorsshow.com and hear Walter Boyne talk about writing, research, his first helicopter flight (crashed), helicopters & modern warfare (including Vietnam, Desert Storm, and today), and, revamping the procurement system in general, but specifically for more resources for helicopter research and development and he makes the case why.

The catch is you only have 24 hours to listen to the interview with the clock ticking until midnight (although I think it reairs this weekend).  I’m definitely going to remember this for book #2. If you want to be a guest on the program, scroll down to the bottom of the website http://www.authorsshow.com and submit an online interview request form. Let me know if they feature you and I’ll be sure to blog about it!

As a footnote, since this blog was originally posted nothing could illustrate Boyne’s point better than the revelation and use of the Stealth Helicopter, critical in the success of the Osama Bin Laden raid. I hope it drives up Boyne’s sales, and so does he, “The raid was perfect timing, and it illustrates the two main premises of the book.” We should all have such timing…