It’s that time of year when my weekly TV consumption increases by about 200% and the first newspaper section I read in the morning is sports. . . The World Series!
I’m not a huge baseball fanatic during the regular season, but when the post-season rolls around, I can’t help but get caught in the fever. In the spirit of this year’s Phillies v. Yankees showdown, I asked our Twitter followers for baseball book suggestions. We got a great variety of answers: from Wait Til Next Year, Doris Kearns Goodwin’s memoir about bonding with her family through their love of the Brooklyn Dodgers, to Sliding into Home, Joanne Rock’s new Harlequin anthology of baseball-themed steamy short stories.
At the start of the season in April, sports blogger Martin Brady wrote a baseball roundup for BookPage. He recommended Matt McCarthy’s Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound with a Minor League Misfit, a memoir of a minor league player in Provo, Utah; Straw: Finding My Way, about former Mets outfielder Darryl Strawberry; and others. If you’re intrigued by the lives of umpires (I am – do they ever get hate mail?), you’ll love Bruce Weber’s As They See ’Em: A Fan’s Travels in the Land of Umpires, in which the author “charts umpiring history, profiles some of the legendary practitioners, explains recent labor disputes and attempts to clarify some famous on-the-field incidents.”
So, in honor of the World Series, here’s a question to think about as you wait for tonight’s first pitch: What book best captures baseball?
The title that immediately comes to my mind is Bette Bao Lord’s now classic In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. My teacher read it to our class in the third grade, and I believe I got scolded for sneaking peeks at the book under my desk during math time (then went out an slugged a homer at my softball game after school.)
In this new weekly series, we’ll excerpt a memorable passage from a book we’re currently reading.
The Privileges by Jonathan Dee
January 2010 from Random House
She looked at him as if he were a little mad, but then she caught something exciting in his eyes and threw up her hands and said, “Why not?” That was it: everything was open to them. What was life’s object if not that?
When I sat down to interview Jessica Verday at Davis-Kidd bookstore in Nashville, I hoped to hear juicy details about how she came to write a paranormal teen romance inspired by The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Well, I got that info (which you can read about here), plus an unexpected gift: perfume inspired by her book.
Abbey Browning, the main character in Verday’s novel, The Hollow, loves to create scents with various herbs and oils. (Perfume-making provides a distraction while she’s falling in love with Caspian, a mysterious guy she met at the Sleepy Hollow cemetery. . . )
Now, there are now real-life perfumes based on Abbey, Caspian and Kristen, Abbey’s best friend.
Product description from Verday’s blog:
Abbey: Clove, blood orange, honey, and red apples dance among a base of sandalwood and incense. Intoxicating. Lovely. Layered. Just like our heroine.
Kristen: Grapefruit, ginger, vanilla, and myrrh swirl together to create a sweetheart of a scent. What else could be a better fit for a best friend?
Caspian: Pumpkin pie, fall leaves, vanilla, and bonfire smoke make up this mysterious and luscious blend. Careful, too much will only leave you wanting more.
To win the perfume, read the profile and answer this question: What is the tentative title of book two in Verday's trilogy? The first person to e-mail me (eliza at bookpage dot com) with the correct answer gets the perfume (which, from the box, smells great!).
Today at the Book Case, we're welcoming author Sara Morgan, an entrepreneur who explains how readers can achieve success on their own terms in a new book, No Limits: How I Escaped the Clutches of Corporate America to Live the Self-Employed Life of My Dreams. Today she shares her top 10 tips for successful self-employment with Book Case readers. Give your own in the comments, and you'll be entered to win a free copy of No Limits!
Top 10 tips for successful self-employment
I have been self-employed for the past four years, and in that time I have learned a few things about what to do and what not to do. The following are what I consider to be the top 10 tips for finding your way to successful self-employment.
#1 – Do something you are passionate about. Without passion, it will be very difficult for you to deal with the inevitable problems that will arise. Don’t pick a business just because it promises a lot of money. I think many small businesses fail because the person running the business did not really love what they were doing.
#2 – Don’t wait till the last minute to consider things like taxes. Schedule a consultation with a CPA if you need to, but don’t put it off until the end of the year unless you enjoy facing stiff penalties.
#3 – Use an accounting program to get organized—I recommend the online version of Quickbooks. It is very affordable and easy to use. Don’t make the mistake of trying to manage your finances with a pen and paper. You may quickly become overwhelmed.
#4 – Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others. This includes not only your family, but people in your community as well. You may be surprised to find out how helpful people really are.
#5 – Consider having multiple streams of income to ensure that you are able to survive financially, even in the event of a downturn or unforeseen circumstance. Just be careful not to take on too much. You do not want to compromise your primary business by putting too much on your plate.
#6 – Trust your instincts. Too many times we ignore our instincts, but research has shown that our instincts are typically correct.
#7 – Become a feedback machine. Get advice from everyone you can before starting out on your own and even after you are established. Don’t think of it as criticism, but rather a source of valuable information.
#8 – Schedule breaks and stick to them. It is very easy to let things get away from you when you own your own business. Resist the urge to over work yourself. You will not be doing your business or family any favors if you are stressed out from working too much.
#9 - Never give up. Most often people fail because they gave up too soon. Running your own business can be hard, but it can also be very rewarding. Hang in there, even during the tough times.
#10 –Don’t forget to have fun. Your business and life should be fun. If you’re not having fun, then it just ain’t worth it.
Since I know our blog followers love free stuff and info about upcoming books (who doesn’t?), I thought I’d make sure our new readers know all about our popular e-newsletter, BookPageXTRA, which goes out twice a month.
In each issue of BookPageXTRA, readers will find something new, like advance access to author interviews and features on BookPage.com, exclusive reviews, or sneak previews of our print edition. We also give away books—and lots of ’em. (In our last issue, one XTRA reader won Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna, David Baldacci’s True Blue, John Irving’s Last Night in Twisted River and Mary Karr’s Lit . . . even with the crazy price wars, that’s still a deal.)
The next issue comes out Nov. 2. . . sign up for free right now!
Over on BookPage.com we have a web-exclusive feature with Brandon Sanderson, the YA and fantasy author who was hand-picked to complete Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. His long-awaited contribution to the cycle (the first of the final three books), The Gathering Storm, goes on sale today.
Are you a Jordan fan? Don't miss our Q&A with him for book 10, where he predicted the series could be completed in just two more books. (Obviously he was an optimist!) The Wheel of Time is an epic quest/battle series in the tradition of Tolkien. What's your favorite fantasy series? Comment letting us know and you'll be entered to win a copy of The Gathering Storm.
Though she made her name with the historical Slammerkin, Irish-Canadian novelist Emma Donoghue is also known for her contemporary fiction. After last year's historical, The Sealed Letter, Donoghue has plans to publish a ripped-from-the-headlines story with Little, Brown. As she describes it on her site, Room is a "dark contemporary novel in the voice of a five-year-old boy," who happens to have been held captive in a garden shed (with his mother) most of his life. Shades of Jaycee Dugard, but, eerily, Donoghue had been working on the novel for months when Dugard was discovered in the Garridos' backyard.
Don't miss our interview with Donoghue for her 2004 historical, Life Mask.
A few weeks ago I posted about Nightlight, the parody of everyone’s favorite vampire love story. The completed book arrived at our office today, and in honor of Halloween (and because we need costume ideas), we will give it away to one creative reader.
To win: In the comments section, give us an idea for a literary-themed Halloween costume. (I dressed up as Nancy Drew two years ago, so that’s out.) The winner will be our favorite, which I'll announce on Thursday at 5 p.m.
And stay tuned, because we’ll have another spooky giveaway later in the week. While you wait, read our handwritten interview from Stephenie Meyer, author of the original Twilight.
Welcome read-a-thon participants! It's almost 12 hours in now, so we at the Book Case hope this mini-challenge will be a welcome break from reading—and a fun contest.
Since our prize is copies of the new Penguin Classics editions of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith, we're asking you to answer one of two questions in the comments.
1.) Which classic are you reading or re-reading for the read-a-thon, and why?
2.) What is your favorite classic, and why?
The challenge will be open until 10 pm, so think about it and come back if you need more time. One winner will be chosen at random to receive the two books. More pictures of these gorgeous classics can be found here. Trust me, you want these for your bookshelf. Good luck and happy reading!
Though the new e-reader from Barnes & Noble generated considerable excitement this week, a more transformative innovation is just around the corner, one that could land dedicated e-book devices in the technological scrapheap along with eight-track tapes and rotary phones. That innovation is Apple's tablet computer, rumored to be in the works for years, with an anticipated release date in 2010.
Before you splurge on a shiny new Kindle or Nook, you might want to spend a few minutes reading Daniel Lyons' recent column in Newsweek, "The Hype Is Right: Apple's Tablet Will Reinvent Computing," for an informative peek at what the future might hold. According to Lyons (and many others), the new tablet computer will become our morning newspaper, our TV and our book, all rolled into one portable and attractive package. This will not only affect how we read but what we read, Lyons says:
Look at how people have turned their creativity loose on the iPhone. In just 16 months, thousands of developers have created 85,000 applications for that device. The same will happen with tablets. These powerful devices with constant Internet access will enable us (and force us) to rethink media. What is a newspaper? What is a book? What is a movie?
How about you: have you purchased a Kindle or Nook? Will you consider doing so? Or will you wait for the next big thing?