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Archives: October 2004

Help Wanted: This Season’s Most Notable Self-Help Titles


Last week, Publishers Weekly rolled out a laundry-list of new and upcoming titles in the “self-help” genre. And, since GC’s a fan of help of any kind (…hullo, agents! ) and believes PW‘s list didn’t give its books their proper due, she’s decided to cheer along the self-help genre by awarding special (verbal) honors to this season’s most notable titles. We call it the HELP WANTED Honor Roll, and encourage publishers to contact us for publicity or blurbing purposes.












Title HELP WANTED Honor
How to Be Lovely: The Audrey Hepburn Way of Life (Dutton, Sept., $17.95)

Book Most Likely to Anorexi-Size Teen Girls
The Pleasure Revolution: Free Yourself to Live the Life of Your Dreams — A Mother and Daughter Journey Toward Self-Discovery (Free Press, May, $25)

Worst Decline in Quality of Title, Post-Colon
Fat, Stupid, Ugly: One Woman’s Courage to Survive (HCI, Sept., $12.95 paper)

Worst Gift Book Idea
Dante’s Path: A Practical Approach to Achieving Inner Wisdom (Gotham, Sept., $14 paper)

Book Reference Most Likely to Lower Your Term Paper (>) a Full Grade
Cracking the Coconut Code: 7 Insights to Transform Your Life (Hay House/Princess Books, Jan., $14.95)

Most Life-Irrelevent Dilemna
The Last Self-Help Book You’ll Ever Need: The Bliss and Benefits of Embracing Your Guilt, Repressing Your Anger, and Throttling Your Inner Child (Basic Books, June, $24)

Most Likely to Have a Disappointing Sequel
Shining Through: Switch on Your Life and Ground Yourself in Happiness (RED WHEEL/WEISER CONARI Oct., $12.95 paper)

Most Pointlessly Extended Metaphor
Cleaning and the Meaning of Life: Finding Happiness Through Simplicity, Cleanliness and Comfort (HCI, Apr., $12.95 paper)

Most Threatening Lifestyle Title
Open to Desire: Embracing a Lust for Life — Insights from Buddhism and Psychotherapy (Gotham, Jan., $25)

Best Misreading of an Eastern Religion
Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out (HCI, Jan., $12.95 paper) Worst New Lingo

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un·der·state·ment: “Disney saw that possibility far sooner than we did.”

The New York Times reports on the runaway success of Peter and the Starcatchers, the first of a three-part prequel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson to J. M. Barrie’s classic, Peter Pan.

The importance of the Disney marketing machine cannot be underestimated either. Start with the book itself, which was published by Hyperion Books for Children and Disney Editions, two of the company’s three children’s book imprints. The book’s handsomely illustrated cover is embossed with gold-foil lettering, while the text carries lively black-and-white illustrations by Greg Call. The pages are heavy-stock paper with those jagged right-side edges that signal “important book.”

As a franchise, Mr. Pearson said, “Disney saw that possibility far sooner than we did.” Already, plans have been broached for a stage play based on the series. Character tie-ins are certain to come. For now, the company is focused on promoting the book to schools, librarians and teachers, through personal appearances, readings and the like.

The article, though, goes on to note that Peter and the Starcatchers “cannot be published anywhere in the European Union,” since J.M. Barrie donated the copyright of the original Peter Pan story to the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in Britain in 1929.

Mr. Barry professes unconcern about the copyright questions. “The good news is the sick children will get none of our money,” he said last month – jokingly, of course. And he professes full faith in the Disney lawyers: “We figured the people who will kill you if you use Mickey Mouse without permission would be the best ones to figure it out.”