Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Google Killed The Travel Star

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Frommer's First EdLike many library reference sections, Frommer’s print travel guides recently became the latest victim of Google. In this case, the link is even more direct, since Google actually owns Frommer’s (they bought the series from Wiley for $22 million last year).

The reasons may seem obvious, but Fortune explores them anyway and notes that other guidebooks may be under the gun. The L.A. Times objects that there are still places in the world that don’t get decent cell service (there’s a business opportunity; print travel guides for places without cell service).

Frommer’s continues as a Website, featuring the indefatigable Arthur Frommer’s blog. Long before Rick Steves, he encouraged Americans to travel, self-publishing his first book, The GI’s Guide to Traveling In Europe in 1955 and followed that with the first Europe on 5 Dollars a Day (cover above).

New Title Radar: Sept 24 – 30

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Believe it or not, J.K. Rowling‘s first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, is not the only book going on sale next week, though it will surely get a lion’s share of media attention. The other lion of the week is rocker Neil Young, who delivers his first memoir. Other noteworthy nonfiction includes a compilation of President John F. Kennedy’s audio tapes and transcripts, put together by the John F. Kennedy Library and historian Ted Widmer. In adult fiction, there’s a debut novel from popular memoirist J.R. Moehringer, and a BEA Buzz panel pick by Antoine Wilson. Usual suspects include Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall and Deepak Chopra - and in YA fiction, there’s a mystery from adult author Francine Prose.

Major Comeback

EMBARGOED: The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (Little Brown; Hachette Audio) comes with a big question: does J.K. Rowling’s first book for adults have a fair chance at success, given the wildly outsized expectations that come with being the author of the Harry Potter series? Her first and only U.S. interview about the book will be on September 26, on ABC’s Good Morning America (7:00-9:00 AM), World News with Diane Sawyer (6:30 PM), and Nightline (11:35 PM-12:00 AM), and will re-air on Good Morning America on September 27.

Watch List

Sutton by J.R. Moehringer (Hyperion; Hyperion Audio; Thorndike Large Print) is a debut novel about the bank robber and folk hero Willie “The Actor” Sutton, by the author of the popular memoir The Tender Bar. It begins in 1969, after Sutton’s release from Attica prison at age 68, as he looks back on stealing more than $2 million over 40 years (often in costume) and his three impressive prison breaks. Entertainment Weekly‘s review begins, “There’s a quality to J.R. Moehringer’s writing that makes you feel you aren’t stepping into a book so much as a dimly lit but welcoming bar…He brings a raconteur’s grace and rhythm to his first novel.” The reviewer admits that the ending is unsatisfying, “But isn’t closing time always a bit of a letdown when you don’t want an entertaining night to end?”

Panorama City by Antoine Wilson (HMH; Blackstone Audio) was a BEA Editors Buzz Panel pick about a self-described “slow-learner” recovering from a traumatic accident, who composes a letter about what it takes to be “a man of the world” to his unborn son and pregnant wife. Booklist says, “Readers who enjoy Mark Haddon and Greg Olear will appreciate Wilson’s authorial voice, which blends Oppen’s good-natured naiveté and humorous asides with incisive cynicism.”

The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo by F. G. Haghenbeck (S&S/Atria) is a fictional biography of the beloved Mexican painter’s life, chronic illness and many loves, based on Kahlo’s unpublished notebooks, including actual recipes tied to her most important moments and relationships. Kirkus says, “despite the repetitiousness and pretentious hyperbola that drags on this novel, Kahlo remains a rich character and inevitably irresistible.”

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova (S&S/Gallery; S&S Audio; Thorndike Large Print) follows two grieving mothers who meet by chance in Nantucket, and help each other heal and move on. Kirkus says, “There’s a point in the narrative where one of the characters becomes so engrossed in reading a book that she loses track of time. Readers of Genova’s latest excellent offering might very well find the same happening to them.”

Usual Suspects

Brink of Chaos by Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall (Zondervan; Zondervan Audio; Thorndike Large Print) is the third installment in The End series of political apocalyptic thrillers.

God: A Story of Revelation by Deepak Chopra (HarperOne) is a “teaching novel” by the popular author of Jesus and Buddha, that aims for a better understanding of God by profiling 10 historical figures: Job, Socrates, St. Paul, Shankara, Rumi, Julian of Norwich, Giordano Bruno, Anne Hutchinson, Baal Shem Tov and Rabindranath Tagore. Kirkus says, “Of particular interest are the humorous, humble Baal Shem, the brilliant, witty Shankara and the visionary Julian, a man Chopra calls ‘the most touching figure in this book’.”

Young Adult

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by Maxine Paetro  and James Patterson (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio) begins a new teen mystery series from the team behind the Women’s Murder Club series for adults. PW is not impressed: “The intriguing setup loses cohesion… For writers with their crime-writing experience, Patterson and Paetro show little interest in common sense, motivation, or believable storytelling.”

The Turning by Francine Prose (Harper Teen) is the story of a teen who takes on a spooky summer job caring for two orphans on a remote island, inspired by Henry James’s Turn of the Screw. PW says, “Remaining true to the ambiguous nature of the original, Prose (Touch) masterfully builds suspense. Like Adele Griffin’s Tighter (2011), this spin on the classic tale is an enticing blend of gothic elements and psychological complexities.”

The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray) is the story of a 15 year-old whose parents take away his role-playing game guides and send him to camp to get socialized by the author of It’s a Funny Story. Kirkus says, ” Though the world building is thin at times, there are some moments of genuine pathos and terror, with the final climactic fight scene leaving plenty of room for sequels. Great geeky fun.”

Nonfiction

Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy, selected and with introduction by Ted Widmer, foreword by Caroline Kennedy (Hyperion) makes available for the first time selections from the 256 hours of JFK’s presidential conversations that were taped on hidden recording systems in the Oval Office and in the Cabinet Room. It includes two 75-minute CDs and covers decisions related to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Space Race, Vietnam, and the arms race, compiled by John F. Kennedy Library and historian Widmer.

Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young (Penguin/Blue Rider; Penguin Audiobooks) is  a memoir by the iconic rocker, whose career spans 50 years, from playing with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, & Nash to Crazy Horse and becoming the “godfather of grunge.”

One Last Strike: Fifty Years in Baseball, Ten and a Half Games Back, and One Final Championship Season by Tony La Russa (Harper/ Morrow; HarperLuxe) is the story of the St. Louis Cardinals unusual end-of-season run and victory in the 2011 World Series, by their manager.

The Chew: Food. Life. Fun. by The Chew with contributions from Mario Batali, Gordon Elliott, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly, Daphne Oz and Michael Symon (Hyperion) is a companion cookbook to The Chew, a daytime show on ABC-TV.

Safari: A Photicular Book by Dan Kainen, text by Carol Kaufmann (Workman) recreates a Kenyan safari featuring eight animals portrayed with a new technology that resembles a 3-D movie on the page, in the next leap after the publisher’s best selling Gallop.

Movie Tie-in

Killing Them Softly (Cogan’s Trade Movie Tie-In Edition) by George V. Higgins (RH/Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) ties in to the movie starring Brad Pitt from the Weinstein Company, which was recently rescheduled to the end of November, to move it into consideration for an Oscar. (Deadline, 9/11/12)

New Title Radar: Feb 6 – 12

Monday, February 6th, 2012

This week, contemporary short story masters Nathan Englander and Dan Chaon return, while Josh Bazell delivers the sequel to his breakout debut. Usual suspects include Lisa Gardner, Vince Flynn, J.A. Jance and YA author Sara Shepard. Our major title to watch details the life of a slum in Mumbai by Katherine Boo. In nonfiction, historian James Simon probes the faceoff between FDR and Chief Justice Hughes, and Tucker Max delivers his third raucous memoir.

Watch List

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo (Random House; BOT Audio; Thorndike Large Print; ebook and audio, OverDrive) focuses on Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels in Mumbai, as India starts to prosper. As we’ve said before, we think this one is headed for best sellerdom. Lots of media attention this week should help it along.

Wild Thing by Josh Bazell (Hachette/Little,Brown/Reagan Arthur; Hachette Audio) is the sequel to Bazell’s popular debut, Beat the Reaper, once again featuring Dr. “Peter Brown,” this time as he accompanies a sexy but self-destructive paleontologist on the world’s worst field assignment. LJ says, “it’s as good as [Bazell’s debut] and more. In addition to the mayhem and madness of the original, there’s an element of ecoconsciousness and political satire (the long-delayed appearance of the government official is worth the purchase price) that will leave readers wanting still more.”

What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank: Stories by Nathan Englander (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; OverDrive ebook and audio) includes eight new stories from celebrated novelist and short fiction author (For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and The Ministry of Special Cases). Kirkus says his “voice evokes a long legacy of Jewish storytelling and the sharp edge of contemporary fiction” and pronounces his tales of Israel, American Jewry and suburbia the work of “a short-story master.” The newspaper reviews, however, have not been so complimentary (WSJ and L.A. Times). The NYT profiled the author’s “Sunday Routine.”

Stay Awake: Stories by Dan Chaon (RH/Ballantine; ebook, OverDrive) is a collection of 12 stores about fragile characters who wander between ordinary life and a psychological shadowland by National Book Award finalist Chaon, following hss critically acclaimed novel Await Your Reply. LJ says, “The powerful writing in this intense and suspenseful collection draws us into the emotional maelstroms experienced by the characters. A highly recommended work, not to be missed.” The NYT Book Review calls the best of the stories “superbly disquieting.”

Usual Suspects

Catch Me by Lisa Gardner (Penguin/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike Large Print) finds Detective D. D. Warren faced with a client who believes she will be murdered in four days, and she wants D. D. to handle the death investigation. In a starred review, Booklist says, “Last year, Gardner had three titles on different New York Times bestseller lists; her latest D. D. Warren novel will launch a new streak for 2012.”

Kill Shot by Vince Flynn (S&S/Atria; S&S Audio) is a suspenseful political thriller that follows a deadly mission to hunt down the men responsible for the Pan Am Lockerbie terrorist attack. LJ says, “If you loved the author’s The Secret Supper, you’ll probably love this, too.”  USA Today profiles Flynn, who has defied odds after being diagnosed with cancer in 2010

Left for Dead by J. A. Jance (S&S/Touchstone; Thorndike Large Print; S&S Audio) Ali Reynolds investigates two shocking cases of victims brutally left for dead — Santa Cruz County deputy sheriff Jose Reyes, Ali’s classmate from the Arizona Police Academy, and an unidentified young woman presumed to be an illegal border crosser.

Young Adult

Two Truths and a Lie (The Lying Game Series #3) by Sara Shepard (Harper Teen; HarperAudio) is the third installment in the new series by the bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars, about one twin trying to solve the murder of another, by unraveling her cryptic journal, tangled love life, and the dangerous pranks she played.

Nonfiction

FDR and Chief Justice Hughes: The President, the Supreme Court, and the Epic Battle Over the New Deal by James F. Simon (Simon & Schuster) recounts how the two men fiercely collided at a pivotal moment in history — during the initial stages of FDR’s New Deal. PW says, “With the present-day Court poised to rule on health care reform amid controversies over the governments power to address economic turmoil, Simons account of a very similar era is both trenchant and timely.”

Hilarity Ensues by Tucker Max (S&S/Blue Heeler Books) is the third volume by the author of the bestsellers I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell and Assholes Finish First, about his sexual and drunken exploits.

New Title Radar; Week of 10/3

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Next week holds many riches: Michael Lewis‘s follow up to The Big ShortSusan Orlean‘s much anticipated Rin Tin Tin bio, a new novel from Michael Ondaatje that’s said to be his most engaging since The English Patient, and Jose Saramago‘s final work, plus a new novel from Booker Prize-winner Anne Enright.

Watch List

The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright (Norton, Thorndike Large Print) is the story of an ill-fated affair that leads to the collapse of two marriages, set in Ireland as the Celtic Tiger wanes into recession. It follows Gathering, Enright’s Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller (for more than five months). Kirkus says Enright “once again brings melancholy lyricism to a domestic scenario and lifts it into another dimension.” It was also a pick on our own Galley Chat.

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan (Algonquin; Highbridge Audio; Large Type, Thorndike, 9781410445063) is a dystopian take on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, in which Hannah Payne wakes up after having been injected with a virus to turn her skin red, punishment for aborting her unborn child. Library Journal says, “Jordan offers no middle ground: she insists that readers question their own assumptions regarding freedom, religion, and risk. Christian fundamentalists may shun this novel, but book clubs will devour it.” It was a GalleyChat Pick of ALA, in which one reader called it a “brilliant, disturbing, unexpected turn. Much more than 1984 meets The Scarlet Letter.”

Eagerly Awaited

The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje (Knopf; Random House Audio; Books on Tape) is the author’s “best novel since his Booker Prizewinning The English Patient,” according to Publishers Weekly. It starts with an 11 year-old boy’s voyage from Ceylon to London to live with his divorced mother, getting up to all sorts of mischief with two other children on the ship, in adventures that color his life for years to come.

Night Strangers by Christopher Bohjalian (Crown; Random House Audio; Books on TapeRandom House Large Print) is the story of a traumatized pilot – one of nine plane crash survivors – who retreates with his family to a New Hampshire town, but doesn’t find much peace. Library Journal calls it a “genre-defying novel, both a compelling story of a family in trauma and a psychological thriller that is truly frightening. The story’s more gothic elements are introduced gradually, so the reader is only slightly ahead of the characters in discerning, with growing horror, what is going on.”  It was also got some enthusiastic mentions on GalleyChat last July.

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman (Scribner) is historical fiction centering on four powerful women, set during the Roman siege of the Judean fortress on Masada. It’s a librarian favorite.

Cain by Jose Saramago (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Center Point Large Print) is the Nobel Prize-winner’s final novel, following his death in 2010, in which he reimagines the characters and narratives of the Bible through the story of Cain, who wanders forever through time and space after he kills Abel. Booklist says, “an iconoclastic, imaginative roller-coaster ride as Cain whisks about through all the time levels of the Old Testament, witnessing the major events in those books of the Bible, from the fall of Sodom to the Flood, through his own perspective of God as cruel and vengeful.”

Young Adult

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan (Random House Audio; Books on Tape) is the second book in the Heroes of Olympus series.

The Lost Stories (Ranger’s Apprentice Series #11) by John Flanagan (Philomel/Penguin) is a collection of “lost” tales that fill in the gaps between Ranger’s Apprentice novels, written in response to questions his fans have asked over the years.

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick (S & S Books for Young Readers) is the conclusion to the Hush Hush saga, in which Patch and Nora, armed with nothing but their absolute faith in each other, enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything.

 

 

Usual Suspects

Shock Wave (Virgil Flowers Series #5) by John Sandford (Putnam; Penguin AudioCenter Point Large Print) finds Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent Virgil Flowers tracking a bomber who attacks big box chain Pyemart, after local merchants and environmentalists in a Minnesota town join forces to oppose the construction of a new mega-store. Kirkus says, “the tale drags at times, but the mystification and detection are authentic and the solution surprisingly clever.”

Nonfiction

Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis (Norton; S&S Audio) is a follow up to The Big Short, in which the bestselling author visits societies like Iceland, which transformed themselves when credit was easy between 2002 and 2008, and are paying the price. As we’ve mentioned, Michiko Kakutani has already given the book a glowing review in the New York Times, which caused the book to rise to #17 on Amazon’s sales rankings. Lewis will appear on NPR, CBS radio and TV, and on MSNBC.

Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres (Grand Central; Hachette Audio) is a collection of humorous musings by the afternoon talk show host, that comes eight years after her last bestseller. Kirkus says, “though DeGeneres doesn’t provide many laugh-out-loud moments, her trademark wit and openness shine through.”

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True by Richard Dawkins (Free Press; S&S Audio) finds the master science writer and author of The God Delusion teaming up with a master of the graphic novel to create a new genre: the graphic science book that considers the universe in all its glory, magical without creator or deity. Kirkus says, “watch for this to be mooted and bruited in school board meetings to come. And score points for Dawkins, who does a fine job of explaining earthquakes and rainbows in the midst of baiting the pious.”

The Price of Civilization by Jeffrey Sachs (Random House; Random House Audio; Books on Tape) is the blueprint for America’s economic recovery by the well-known economist, who argues that we must restore the virtues of fairness, honesty, and foresight as the foundations of national prosperity. Kirkus says, “A lucid writer, the author is refreshingly direct—tax cuts for the wealthy are ‘immoral and counterproductive’; stimulus funding and budget cutting are ‘gimmicks’—and he offers recommendations for serious reform.” He will appear on NPR’s Morning Edition and on several TV news shows.

Movie Tie-ins

The Descendants: A Novel (Random House Trade Paperback) ties into the movie starring George Clooney, which opens 11/18. A dark comedy about a dysfunctional family in Hawaii, it received raves at the Toronto Film Festival (Variety: “one of those satisfying, emotionally rich films that works on multiple levels.”) By director Alexander Payne, whose earlier movie Sideways increased tourism to Napa Valley, this may do the same for Hawaii; it is also a good opportunity to reintroduce readers to the book, the first novel by Hawaiian Kaui Hart Hemmings, which came out to strong reviews in 2007 (as exemplified by this one in the NYT Book Review). Trailer here.

The Rum Diary: A Novel by Hunter S. Thompson (S&S) is the tie-in to the film adaptation of the only published novel by the gonzo journalist, starring Johnny Depp (who played Thompson in the poorly received Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas). The movie, opening Oct 21, has a strong cast, but it’s based on one of Thompson’s weakest works, so it may do more for rum sales than for the book. Trailer here,

Siberian Holiday

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Reviewers say that, even if you are not remotely interested in Siberia, you will want to read Ian Frazier’s Travels in Siberia (S.F. Chronicle; “It’s always easy to figure out whether you should read the latest book by Ian Frazier: If he’s written it, then you’ll want to read it.”).

Frazier appears on The Colbert Report tonight.

Travels in Siberia
Ian Frazier
Retail Price: $30.00
Hardcover: 544 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux – (2010-10-12)
ISBN / EAN: 0374278725 / 9780374278724

S&S Audio; UNABR; 9781427210531; $59.99

Nancy Pearl Armchair Traveler

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

An Evening with Nancy Pearl is being broadcast on the local Seattle cable channel this week.

Mantle Rises Again

Friday, October 8th, 2010

What more can be said about baseball great Mickey Mantle?

Apparently, quite a bit. Jane Leavy bases her biography The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood on more than 500 interviews with friends and family, teammates, and opponents.

Entertainment Weekly gives it a measly C+:

Leavy does little more than recount Mantle’s feats on the diamond and recycle the crude off-the-field behavior exposed in Jim Bouton’s Ball Four. There’s little new info; the Mick seen here is familiar, a brittle demigod who never saw himself as the golden boy his public demanded.

But lots more media is coming: the New York Times will feature the book in the sports section on October 12, the Wall St. Journal has a review scheduled for October 15, and Leavy will be interviewed on CBS-TV’s The Early Show on October 19 – with more to follow.

The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood
Jane Leavy
Retail Price: $27.99
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2010-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0060883529 / 9780060883522

Other Notable Nonfiction On Sale Next Week

Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandela (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) makes many of the South African leader’s personal letters and diaries available for the first time, including journals kept on the run during the anti-apartheid struggle of the early 1960s and diaries written in Robben Island and other South African prisons during his 27 years of incarceration.

Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me by Condoleezza Rice (Delacorte) is a book for young readers about the childhood of the Secretary of State under George W. Bush. Lots of media coming on this one: On October 12, Rice will appear on NPR’s Morning Edition, the Today show and Larry King Live, while USA Today runs an interview. On October 13, she’ll be on the Early Show and Tavis Smiley’s radio show on PRI.

Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) chronicles a series of adventures in Russia’s most desolate areas. It’s an Amazon Book of the Month, and was serialized in New Yorker this summer.

Dewey’s Nine Lives: The Legacy of the Small-Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions by Vicki Myron (Dutton) includes nine stories about loving cats who improved their owner’s lives.

Great Migrations: Epic Animal Journeys by Karen Kostyal (National Georgraphic) arrives next week in anticipation of National Geographic’s seven-part TV series airing in November, narrated by Alec Baldwin. Half the librararies we checked had reserves in line with their modest orders, and the rest have not yet ordered it.

The Deeds of My Fathers: How My Grandfather and Father Built New York and Created the Tabloid World of Today by Paul David Pope (Philip Turner/Rowman & Littlefield) is about the family that made the National Enquirer into a tabloid giant.

Next Week: Tasty Nonfiction by Women

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Next week brings three female authors with fresh takes on topical subjects.

Big commercial expectations accompany The Wave: In Pursuit of Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean, by O magazine editor-in-chief Susan Casey, about rogue waves exacerbated by global warming (the largest was taller than the Empire State Building) and the extreme surfers who chase them. It is listed in USA Today’s fall books roundup. A review is scheduled for the upcoming NYT BR and it will be featured on Good Morning America on Monday, followed by The Daily Show the next evening.

The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean
Susan Casey
Retail Price: $27.95
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Doubleday – (2010-09-14)
ISBN / EAN: 0767928849 / 9780767928847

Promise Me: How a Sister’s Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer by Nancy Brinker, is a memoir by the woman who founded Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which has raised more than a billion dollars for breast-cancer research.  Kirkus finds it “touching and inspring.” Library holds are growing, and it has been rising on Amazon too.

Promise Me: How a Sister’s Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer
Nancy G. Brinker
Retail Price: $25.99
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Crown Archetype – (2010-09-14)
ISBN / EAN: 0307718123 / 9780307718129

Big Girls Don’t Cry by Salon.com staff writer Rebecca Traister is a nuanced look back at the election of 2008, arguing that it changed the role of women in national politics. She spoke to librarians earlier in the year at the S&S editors’ Fall books presentation (the next one is Fri., Sept 24 from 9 to 12:30 at the S&S offices in NYC; email Michelle Fadlalla to RSVP or for more information). Traister is thoughtful, dynamic and passionate; sure to be on many talk shows.

PW says that “Traister does a fine job in showing that progress does not proceed in straight lines, and, sometimes, it’s the unlikeliest of individuals who initiate real change.”

Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women
Rebecca Traister
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Free Press – (2010-09-14)
ISBN / EAN: 1439150281 / 9781439150283

Other Notable Nonfiction on Sale Next Week

Pinheads & Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama by Bill O’Reilly (Morrow) is another round of liberal bashing from the Fox News pundit.

Power Thoughts: 12 Strategies to Win the Battle of the Mind by Joyce Meyer (Faithwords) is the TV preacher’s followup to her bestseller Battlefield of the Mind. PW says “critics of Meyer will say she sounds like an infomercial (‘You will see amazing results’). Yet her many fans will continue to appreciate her upbeat attitude and her ability to offer practical tips on the toughest topics.”

Heavy Reserve Alert; ‘Don’t Go There’

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

No doubt that vacation budgets are slim right now, so an “essential guide to the must-miss places of the world” has a definite sour-grapes appeal.

Peter Greenberg’s Don’t Go There is now #52 on Amazon and shows heavy reserves at many libraries. Greenberg is the Today Show‘s Travel Editor.

In one of the few reviews to appear so far, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said, “Despite the laugh-out-loud title for a travel guide, Don’t Go There! provides some serious advice that can save you time, money and lots of grief.”

Don’t Go There!:

The Travel Detective’s Essential Guide to the Must-Miss Places of the World

by Peter Greenberg

  • Paperback: $17.95; 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (November 11, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1605299944
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605299945

Travel Book Confidential

Monday, April 14th, 2008

A new book by Thomas Kohnstamm, a former Lonely Planet author, is shaking up the travel book world. In Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? he claims he wrote about Colombia for Lonely Planet, without ever going there, relying instead on information from “a chick I was dating” who worked at the Colombian Consulate. He also claims he took favors in exchange for good coverage, and was forced to supplement his travel-writing income by selling drugs.

The story has been covered by Reuters and the AP and by The New York Times blog, “The Lede.”

Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?: A Swashbuckling Tale of High Adventures, Questionable Ethics, and Professional Hedonism

  • Paperback: $13.95
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (April 22, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0307394654
  • ISBN-13: 978-030739465

The Lonely Planet says in a statement that they are fact-checking the books Kohnstamm wrote for them (Chile & Easter Island, 7th edition; South America on a Shoestring, 10th edition and Caribbean Islands, 4th edition). It also says, “Thomas talks most about his work on Brazil (6th edition). This book is now out of print and has been replaced by the current edition. This has been fully updated, and Thomas has not contributed to it at all.” The 6th edition is still owned in many libraries, however.

A contributer to the travel Web site “Gadling” concludes the story is “Just another example of Kohnstamm blowing things out of proportion for the sake of shilling his own book.” He refers to a piece in the Guardian, that points out Kohnstamm was never expected to go to Colombia:

Lonely Planet publisher Piers Pickard told Associated Press that Kohnstamm’s revelation of not having been to Colombia was “disingenuous” because he was hired to write about the country’s history and not to travel there to review accommodation and restaurants.

Kohnstamm later told AP: “It was expected I would never go to Colombia.”

Separately, the New Zealand Herald reports that a Lonely Planet author has also questioned Kohnstamm’s story and called him an “embarrassment.”

Copies of Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? are on order for half the libraries I checked.