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Books

BU Journalism Prof Tops New York Times Bestsellers List

13HoursCoverMitchell Zuckoff is number one with a BU-llet. The Boston University journalism professor’s non-fiction tome 13 Hours, based on interviews with a half-dozen security personnel involved in the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, hit number one this weekend on the New York Times Non-Fiction Bestsellers list.

The proud prof and Pulitzer winner finalist spoke to Mina Corpuz, associate news editor of BU student newspaper The Daily Press. In the article, he receives praise from a pair of colleagues:

“Most of the professors continue to be practitioners,” journalism school chair William McKeen said in an email. “They love to teach, and they love to continue to report and write, make films, deliver commentary on politics, and in other ways remain in the game… One of the cool things about all this is that the guy with the No. 1 book on the non-fiction list is teaching our beginning journalism course this semester. That course assignment was his request…”

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Mediabistro Course

Pitch Your Magazine Article

Pitch Your Magazine ArticleStarting October 1, learn how to write queries for magazines and websites! In this course, you'll learn how to write and send an effective pitch, generate pitch letters, research outlets for your articles, and follow-up with editors to ensure that your queries get results. Register now! 

Leslie Bennetts Inks Deal for Joan Rivers Biography

LeslieBennettsPicThe Little, Brown tome won’t be out until 2016. But that’s a sign that the publisher and Vanity Fair contributor Leslie Bennetts (pictured) are serious about doing their subject justice.

From Alexandra Alter‘s New York Times item:

In a statement announcing the acquisition, Judy Clain, editor-in-chief of Little, Brown, called Ms. Rivers “an icon and a role model to millions.”

Ms. Bennetts, who met Ms. Rivers several times but never interviewed her, said in a statement that she was drawn to the biography because “Rivers’ career was also enormously significant in American cultural history, breaking down barriers for women in television and comedy and continually redefining the acceptable boundaries of truth-telling for women in public life.”

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Keith Richards: ‘It’s Time to Make Grandpas Hip’

That’s one of the things children’s book author Keith Richards told Matt Lauer this morning on the Today show. The Rolling Stones guitarist’s tome Gus & Me, about the major formative influence played by grandfather “Gus,” is out today. The book is 32 pages long, with illustrations provided by Richards’ 29-year-old daughter Theodora.

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Massachusetts Dentist Unearths Lost Dr. Seuss Stories

HortonKwuggerbugCoverIn 2011, The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories was a New York Times bestseller. The success of this book has also paved the way for a second tome of “lost” Dr. Seuss stories coming out Tuesday.

Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories features an introduction by Charles D. Cohen, a Massachusetts dentist and avid Seuss collector. He had been trying for many years to get some stories published, in book form, that Theodor Geisel wrote for Redbook in the early 1950s. One scholar tells U-T San Diego staff writer John Wilkens that these transitional efforts essentially demonstrate how “Seuss became Seuss.” From the article:

During his Seuss research, Cohen kept finding references to the early magazine stories and eventually tracked down about 30 different ones from Redbook and other publications. He’d buy copies of the original magazines, upgrade when he found some in better condition, and sell the duplicates on eBay.

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Journalist Revisits a Celebrity Biographer’s Fraudulent Ways

The late author’s editor would not talk to reporter David Cay Johnston. Neither would Simon & Schuster spokesperson Paul Olewski.

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But there it is, nonetheless, detailed in the latest issue of Newsweek magazine. The litany of errors and fabrication committed by celebrity biographer C. David Heymann, who passed away two years ago in New York City:

It’s too bad CBS didn’t want to hear more, because all the celebrity bios Heymann wrote for them and other publishers — dealing with JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe — are riddled with errors and fabrications. An exhaustive cataloging of those mistakes would fill a book, so a sampling from his long career will have to suffice.

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Swoon Reads Releases Fan-Voted Young Adult Title

ALittleSomethingDifferentCoverThanks to a healthy amount of advance online sampling and a community rating of five hearts, A Little Something Different is out today as the first title for Macmillan Publishing’s new Young Adult imprint Swoon Reads. A first run of 100,000 copies of the book has been ordered for the U.S ., alongside simultaneous releases in the UK and Australia.

The novel was written by 33-year-old Morristown, New Jersey librarian Sandy Hall. From a recent New York Times write-up:

By bringing a reality-television-style talent competition to its digital slush pile, the publisher is hoping to find potential best sellers that reflect not editors’ tastes but the collective wisdom and whims of the crowd.

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Former CNBC Reporter Mines Mercantile Exchange Days for Debut Novel

DangerousTradesCoverIt’s been a while since Jeff Leshay earned his living as a journalist. But the newsroom and field notes he took in the 1990s, prior to easing into PR, proved invaluable for the writing of his first novel.

From an interview feature by Sun-Times Media columnist Jackie Pilossoph:

“I think it makes sense — write about what you know, as the saying goes,” said Alec Sirken, who worked with Leshay at CNBC and is now a producer for CBS News in New York. “Jeff certainly knows about the oil industry. He’d always talk about the characters he met who worked in the industry, so it’s not surprising that he remembered some of the tales and embellished them in a novel.”

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VICE Chats with an Atypical Crack Reporter

RubenCastenedaCoverWe thoroughly enjoyed this week’s interview by VICE staff writer Matt Taylor with Ruben Castaneda, the Washington Post alum who once upon a time covered the crack beat while also, himself, regularly getting high on crack.

Castaneda’s book about this incredible and dangerous odyssey, Street Rising, was published at the beginning of the month. Here’s what Castaneda, who before the Post was with the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, he told Taylor when asked about the first time he tried the addictive drug:

“I was on a reporting assignment on the western edge of downtown LA in a pretty tough neighborhood. This very, very attractive young woman caught my eye. She gestured for me to come over, so I put the reporting aside for a moment and went over to flirt with her. Now, I was already, at this time, drinking heavily. In fact, I had already gotten pretty toasted that afternoon at Corky’s — a dive bar — so I was pretty impaired in judgment.”

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A New York Journalist Fit for Two Romance Novels

SeamsCoverThe first romance novel, Seams, was published by Lori Bell through Amazon’s CreateSpace in March. From the plot description:

Kelsey Duncan has settled into a life in New York City as a newspaper reporter. As a journalist, she thrives on telling other people’s stories. But it is her story, her life as a woman in her late twenties, that she sometimes wishes she could rewrite. Or at least rejuvenate with passion and excitement and fulfillment…

The sequel tome, Unraveled, came out in May. Per a write-up in the Belleville News-Democrat, Bell is a Midwestern stay-at-home mom of two children who, previously, was a newspaper reporter through 2005 after graduating with a journalism degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville:

“I gave up what I thought I would do for a career,” she said. “I didn’t regret it, but there was a hole there. As a writer, I think you need to keep feeding that passion.”

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Graham Norton’s Summer: Broadway Musicals and a Second Autobiography

On break from his fantastic weekly BBC-TV talk show and equally fantastic Saturday morning BBC Radio program, Graham Norton is this summer whiling it away in New York City. This past weekend for example, there was time for a couple of top-notch Broadway shows:

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Ha ha. Prior to that “glitter snog,” per an item by Fiona Gribben in Ireland’s Evening Herald, Norton put the finishing touches on autobiography #2. Slated for release in October, his new book is delightfully titled The Life and Loves of a He Devil:

This time round the Cork native is writing on the theme of love, telling stories of his Irish childhood and all the things he loved about home as a young boy, as well as the new loves and obsessions of his life.

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