Thursday, December 30, 2010

Inside and Out

We’ve been talking a lot about what’s inside some of our favorite books on the blog lately.  Honestly, the words, characters, and ideas inside a book are what move us.  But, on occasion, a book can strike out at a person’s heart, grip them long before the cover is ever opened.  We’re talking about cover art.  Tin House Books’ November 22, 1963 was featured on the CBS website earlier this week, not only for the content of Adam Braver’s chronicle of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and the events surrounding his wife in the aftermath, but also for the moving photo on its face, done by Rodrigo Corral Design Inc.

They say an image is worth a thousand words, which makes this front cover an unwritten prelude to the sorrowful first chapter within.  Check out the CBS article for yourself here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Soho Strikes Gold

Drunken preachers, pans full of dirt and hope, and a ‘one-woman bordello’ make Soho’s newest gold rush novel, Crown of Dust, one of the most jaw-dropping, original novels we’ve come across yet.  Mary Volmer dives deep into one of the most chaotic, exciting times in American history never written about, bringing contemporary humor to bear on the quirky situations of the past. 

‘Golden Boy’ Alex Ford finds a niche in the rough, all-man town of Motherlode by disguising herself as a young man.  With the curious patronage of the town’s matron and innkeeper, Emaline, Alex is able to keep her secret safe and stay one step ahead of her bloody past, but when she strikes gold, the whole town’s attention falls on her and suddenly the rough dudes of Motherlode are looking a lot harder at the slender, quiet boy they’ve been slapping on the back for the past few months.  We could tell you more, things that would have you gaping at the screen, or laughing in disbelief, but if you want to find out why Crown of Dust is on The New York Times’ radar, or what happens when one of these gold-crazy mountain men realizes there’s something about that golden boy he can’t resist, go digging in your local bookstore.  There be gold in them shelves.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Last-minute Holiday News

Our friend Frank Weimann over at The Literary Group has plenty to be proud of over the holidays.  The news came down yesterday that he has signed yet another book to Thomas Dunne, of Thomas Dunne Books.  Doctor Chopra Says: Medical Facts and Myths Everyone Should Know, by doctors Sanjiv Chopra and Alan Lotvin, is sure to be a success with both young and old people dismayed with the cost of simple medical advice as they struggle to make sense of their changing bodies.  What can we say?  Mr. Weimann knows how to pick them and if you ask us he’s knocked this one out of the park.
Speaking of all-star plays, check out this tasteful holiday gift basket we just received from the man of the hour:
Thanks Frank, and thank you, all of our readers.  We’d like to wish everyone a long, satisfying weekend.  Happy holidays!

Tin House at the Top of the Chart

If you like memoirs, or you’re a struggling writer, of if you’re just looking for a compelling, father-son story, Kirkus Reviews has a suggestion for weekend reading and last minute gifts.  This week they’ve named Tin House’s Mentor by Tom Grimes one of the top 25 nonfiction books of the year. 

The book reveals Tom’s journey from waiting tables, to marriage and a few published short stories, to entrance into the exclusive Iowa Writer’s Workshop.  His unlikely teacher, the gruff, smoke-billowing Frank Conroy is at the center of Tom’s life.  He helps Tom navigate “the incestuous logrolling of academic writers” and teaches him how to succeed in the world of publishing.  Mentor offers plenty of lessons, about writing as well as life.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More from Soho

When a series holds its readers’ attention for seven books, you know the author must be doing something right.  The Globe and Mail seems to agree, giving the latest Seymour of Scotland Yard mystery Soho Crime, A Dead Man in Malta, a place in its reviews this month. 
Michael Pearce’s latest follows Sandor Seymour through turn-of-the-last-century Malta as he hunts down the clues to the death of a German balloonist.  Several other deaths seem to be related, and the author does a bang-up job of describing the exotic terrain and mixture of cultures on the island.  While the shady paradise has its roots in Arab culture, the English influence seems to have taken hold well, but with the specter of the First World War creeping over the pristine beaches, the motivations of the natives seem conflicted at best.  Seymour struggles to put their fears to rest, catch the killer, and avoid having his own body wheeled down to the morgue.  How’s a gentleman to spare a moment for the scenery with so much intrigue afoot?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reasonably Crazy, Unreasonably Funny

Hello again, bloggers. We’re proud to share the good news with you about another fresh offering from Tin House Books – Your Wildest Dreams, Within Reason features a collection of hilarious pieces (several of which were featured in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and other publications). David Sedaris of the New Yorker’s Book Bench called it a “standout” book in his yearly review, adding that “he has his finger on a very particular button, this guy, and when he pushes it, I double over laughing.” It may be a good rule to avoid judging a book by its cover, but even that gets tossed out the window by the cleverly mundane image of Captain America checking his mail. “With Your Wildest Dreams,” writes Joe Wurster, “Mike Sacks proves himself to be one of today’s best humor writers. He also proves himself to be completely and utterly out of his mind. Seriously, I don’t want this guy anywhere near me or any of my stuff.” Luckily for you, you won’t need him near you or your stuff to shake with laughter at this compilation of eye-widening juxtapositions and absurdist what-ifs. Look for it at your favorite bookseller today!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Soho a Seattle Favorite

Rock Paper Tiger receives a serious nod this week from the Seattle Times, snagging top billing on Adam Woog’s top 14 crime novels of 2010.  While the plot may be full of twists and intrigue, there is no mystery behind this praise to Lisa Brackmann’s latest.  The story’s foul-mouthed heroine is forced on the run, racing across rural China, while simultaneously chasing down clues on the internet, dealing with her past in Iraq and a broken marriage to a former mercenary love.  Worse, her new Chinese boyfriend might just be more than a charming, passionate artist.  What’s it going to take to get this shell-shocked former medic a break, or at least five minutes away from the Men in Black and her host of lurking stalkers?  Pick up Rock Paper Tiger today and find out.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Mystery from Soho!

More good news and New York Times reviews for Soho this week.  Every Bitter Thing takes its turn basking in the limelight, owing the attention to its main character and the “elasticity of his ethics,” says reviewer Marilyn Stasio. Chief Inspector Mario Silva discovers the depths of a crime that could be pinned on an innocent, unless the inspector finds justice outside the boundaries of the law – but vigilante justice isn’t all Soho’s latest hit has to offer.  Leighton Gage sets his police procedural in refreshingly exotic Brazil, with fresh twists and the challenges of a corrupt criminal justice system plaguing our detective who “must constantly refine the skills that allow him to function.” What are you waiting for? Pick up the latest in the series Publishers Weekly called “intelligent and subtle… suspenseful and sophisticated,” and the New York Times called “Top notch,” and grab one for the suspense fan on your Christmas list, too.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey there bloggers and blog readers. We here at Benay would like to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving. All the best to you and your families on this day of thanks. Now go on, eat 'til you can't walk, and then read a good book by the fire (or watch the Jets/Bengals game.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Collusion Garners NYT Spotlight and other Notable Soho Press Releases

Collusion, a crime-fiction novel by Stuart Neville (now being called an Irish Noir), has earned itself a mention in last weekend's New York Times book review. We've mentioned the book here on our blog in the past and cited the critical amounts of success it has garnered in this age of the super-violent crime-thriller. For those interested in a brief summary of the novel, check out our previous post. The NYT review praised the novel for its gripping intensity and its unrelenting view of reality. "He doesn’t hold out any hope for is an end to the cycle of violence — not in Northern Ireland, where even today, in the midst of peace, organized crime is relentlessly intruding." unrelen The success of Collusion has also garnered Neville a 2-page profile in October's issue of Mystery Scene magazine.

Some of Soho's other releases are also receiving positive reviews from prominent sources:

Every Bitter Thing, a political crime-thriller by by Leighton Gage, has been praised by Lisa's Book Critiques for "giving us another glimpse at a beautiful country, suffering from poverty, violence, and corruption, and a small group of men who struggle against terrible odds to try to maintain a semblance of order" and will also be featured in the NYT on December 12.
Kirkus Reviews said of Devil-Devil, a fictional tale of distrust between the indigenous islanders of the Solomon Islands and the British colonial authorities by Graeme Kent, "The mystery takes a back seat to his knowledge of the exotic location and the combustible chemistry of his protagonists (the oddest couple since The African Queen), which add immensely to his story's charm.”

So if you're looking for a good mystery for this Thanksgiving or gift for the coming Holiday season, here are some great new books from Soho Press

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Binghamton University Marketing Major Publishes First Novel Independently

This one's not about any of our clients, but I thought it was a very interesting story, and it happened in Binghamton, NY (which is where I'm blogging from, BING REPRESENT!). A senior marketing major at Binghamton University wrote a novel last year in his spare time working at an auto dealership and has, just this month, gotten it published by the independent publishing house Black Rose Writing. There are several things great about this story:

1.) Yes, I said marketing major; not English, not Creative Writing, MARKETING!!!
2.) He wrote this book at WORK; he started it in his spare time between selling cars and then took it with him on his semester abroad and finished it in Prague.
3.) The book has been picked up and has already garnered a positive review from Kirkus Reviews.

It's really a great story. It goes to show that there is no conventional way to write a book and get it published, and no one should ever be discouraged from trying to put something out there. For more details, here's the BU student newspaper article. The book is The Ancillary's Mask, and it's written by Daniel Cohen.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Great New Books from Soho Press

Gee Yikes!!! It's been a while since I've blogged anything. Guess I've got some catching up to do.

All right readers, get excited! There are some great new reads coming out from Soho Press and getting some pretty impressive media buzz.

Let's start with Collusion by Stewart Neville, a sequel to his award-winning debut novel, The Twelve (released as Ghosts of Belfast in the US). Collusion follows former paramilitary killer, Gerry Fegan, into New York City. There, he hides from a past he escaped at a terrible cost. The novel is thrilling, suspenseful, and receiving huge buzz. Carlo Wolff of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette wrote, "Neville has a lock on dread... full bodied and credible... The question Neville raises with singularly artful drama is whether survival is enough to keep one going. We'll see." Joseph B. Hoyos of writes, "Collusion is highly recommended reading for those who enjoy gritty crime fiction, especially Irish noir. This complex thriller contains numerous twists and surprises." Furthermore, Collusion earned Neville a spotlight blog on Large Hearted Boy (a MUSIC Blog!), where he revealed his hard-rocking playlist for Collusion. So what is Irish noir exactly? Go pick up Stewart Neville's books now and see for yourself.

Here's another good one: Crown of Dust by Mary Voler. The New York Journal of Books calls Crown of Dust "a lovely paean to all the little towns born during the California gold rush, and an emotional elegy to the forgotten souls who worked, loved, and died in such places."

And of course some of the great books we have spotlighted in the past (Love Songs from a Shallow Grave and Rag and Bone) continue to garner positive reviews.

Don't you have some reading to do?

Friday, October 15, 2010

River House Wins PNBA's Buzz Books Contest!

We have just received word from our good friends at Tin House that River House, the latest from Sarahlee Lawrence, a book that we have featured here on our blog once before, has just won the Buzz Books contest at at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association!

The award winning memoir has been lauded as "An engaging literary piece of work about passion, travel, love, and what it means to come home" -- Wend, and "An exquisite story of personal strength and nature" -- Fort-Wayne News-Sentinel.

This is a really great book and we're so excited that it's receiving such positive acclaim.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Granta in the New York Times

If you've been reading our blog, then you should probably know by no that the latest issue of Granta Magazine is kind of a big deal. Just last week, Granta 113, an issue devoted entirely to spotlighting 22 young, Spanish-speaking authors, was profiled in Publishers Weekly for its ingenuity in bringing the lesser known authors of one of the most widely spoken languages in the West to a wider audience.

Now Granta is being featured in the New York Times. For the past two days (the 2 and 3 of October) the New York Times has released articles on Granta and its achievements today and in the past. The Saturday edition lauded Granta's forthcoming issue, like Publishers Weekly, as an ingenious way of bringing Spanish literature to the English-speaking world. But the Sunday issue looked back on Granta's previous release, the controversial Granta 112: Pakistan $16.99. Issue 112 featured all Pakistani authors writing about their experiences in the radical country and abroad as immigrants in post 9/11 America. Although many of the pieces in the collection are harsh and unrelenting, the New York Times lauded the issue as "a glimpse of a less visible Pakistan... it shows us this side of the country while never ignoring the crueler, more vicious aspects of Pakistani society. If cross-cultural interaction can play a part in minimizing animosities and encouraging amity, this collection is a good place to start."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Granta 113 Featured in Publishers Weekly

The latest issue of Granta Magazine has cought the eye of the major publishing magazine, Publishers Weekly.

Why? Well because, as always, Ganta is putting out something wonderfully original. Rather than focusing on the best new American or English authors or publishing the top 20 under forty, as the latest issue of the New Yorker, this latest issue of Granta Magazine is showcasing the best young spanish-language novelists.

That's right, the entire issue is published in translation. 22 Spanish-speaking novelists from around the world will be showcased to spotlight writing that is not normally seen in the English-speaking parts of the world.

Check out what Publishers Weekly has to say about Granta 113 here, and don't forget to enjoy the brilliant ingenuity of Granta Magazine

From Washington to Japan: Praise of Soho’s ‘Love Songs from a Shallow Grave’ far-reaching

Colin Cotterill’s Love Songs from a Shallow Grave has seen bountiful praise since its august release and now can add glowing reviews in The Washington Times and The Japan Times to its plentiful exposure.

Washington Times reviewer Muriel Dobbin says of Cotterill’s latest work, “His writing, as always, is skillful and smooth and his plot is artfully strung together. The book fascinates as it chills.” The full review can be found online here.

Mark Schreiber, Japan Times reviewer, was just as effusive, “Cotterill, a resident of Thailand, has a gift for creating memorably eccentric characters, while spinning a fascinating array of Southeast Asian history and folklore into his narratives.” The full review can be found online here.

Love Songs from a Shallow Grave, the 7th iteration in Cotterill’s ongoing series, can be found at the Soho website here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sarahlee Lawrence Talks to MOC about River House

Just last week, Sarahlee Lawrence, author of one of Tin House Books' latest titles, River House, sat down with the guys over at Making Owls Cool and gave an insightful interview about the origins and writing of the book that illustrates "the struggle to find contentment somewhere between what you love to do, where you love to be, and who you need to be with."

The book is an incredible work of personal insight and a great read. Check out the interview here and be sure to read River House by Sarahlee Lawrence, when it hits the book shelves this Fall.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Soho's Love Songs from a Shallow Grave Receiving Praise from all Places

Colin Cotterill's latest crime thriller, the seventh in a series of investigation novels featuring one Dr. Siri, finds the author's "coroner" in Laos and is receiving immensely positive reviews.

The book has been reviewed by I Love Mystery as "a bizarre story in an exotic environment - one that provides a disturbing glimpse of what war-torn countries seized by new regimes can be like. Cotterill has come up with a plot that is rendered quite believable in this truly horrifying setting.” It has also been cited by The Olympian as being one of the forerunners of the new "exotic, international mystery" trend, alongside Steig Larsson's immensely popular Dragon Tattoo series. Furthermore, the book is going to be featured in the Washington Times book review in the coming issue this Thursday.

Be sure to read the I Love Mystery review and the article in The Olympian that name drops Cotterill's influence on the genre. And definitely check out the book at the Soho Press website.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rag and Bone, latest release by Soho Press, noted in latest New York Times book review

James R. Benn’s latest, Rag and Bone, was spotted in the September 17th Sunday Book Review. Benn, the established author of a continuing World War Two era crime series, take his famed cop protagonist Billy Boyle to the shores of a besieged London to solve a murder with political implications.

The entire favorable review can still be found on the New York Times website here.

Rag and Bone and its predecessors can be found on the Soho Press website here.

Eskandar opens Milan shop

Eskandar Milano, a Milan based branch of the growing high fashion company Eskandar, opened on September 7th. More information on Eskandar and the new Milan branch can be found on the Eskandar webpage here.

Further questions or inquiries regarding the new Milan shop can be directed to

Monday, September 13, 2010

Win McCormack sits down for interview about the recent re-release of his seminal book, The Rajneesh Chronicles

Win McCormack, venerated author and current editor-in-chief of Benay client Tin House Magazine, recently sat down with interviewer Nancy Rommelmann of to discuss the upcoming re-release of his book, The Rajneesh Chronicles. The book is set for re-release this year to commemorate the 25th anniversary of The Dalles poisonings (one of the critical events in McCormack’s account).

The interview, which can be found here in its full entirety, touched on McCormack’s personal experiences in investigating the Oregon-based ‘cult’ headed by Indian emigrant Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.

McCormack detailed the skepticism and threats he received while covering the Rajneesh ‘cult’ in the mid-eighties, which eventually earned him a William Allen White Commendation for investigative reporting.

The book, originally published in 1987, is available through the Tin House website here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mary Volmer’s Crown of Dust lauded in Publishers Weekly review

Mary Volmer’s Crown of Dust, published by Benay client Soho Press, earned a favorable review in the September 6th edition of Publishers Weekly.

The reviewer described Volmer’s style as, “Distinctive, beautifully written” and punctuated the review by topically noting that Volmer had, “found a fat vein of gold in some heavily mined territory”.

The review is available online through the Publishers Weekly website within their reviews database here (note that registration is required for access).

Crown of Dust is an eloquently conveyed tale of two women of different pasts set in the mid-nineteenth century California gold rush. It is available through the Soho Press website here.

Graham Hancock set for multiple appearances across the country to promote latest book, Entangled, published by Benay client Disinformation®

Graham Hancock, the prolific author who recently appeared in the Disinformation® Original Motion Picture 2012: Science of Superstition, will stop in Boston on September 30th to speak about his latest book, Entangled. More information on the appearance can be found via the Disinformation® facebook page here.

Hancock has also planned stops in Arlington and South Portland before heading west for several stops in the Los Angeles area. Information regarding the entire schedule of appearances can be found on the Disinformation facebook events page here.

Entangled, a thrilling fantasy adventure, is set for release on October 1st. Pre-orders are available through the official Entangled website here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Colin Cotterill’s Love Songs from a Shallow Grave recognized in New York Times book review

Colin Cotterill’s latest compelling chapter in the story of Laotian coroner Dr. Siri Paiboun, Love Songs from a Shallow Grave, caught the eye of the New York Times Crime Section book reviewer Marilyn Stasio within the Sunday, August 15th edition. The book, published by Benay client Soho Press, merited a brief description and recommendation. The full write-up can still be found on their website at the link below.

The book, and the predecessors in the series, can be found at the Soho Press website;

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Seth Godin's words of (business) wisdom

I greatly enjoy reading Seth Godin's blog. His commentary today on business and individual responsibility are well worth sharing so please enjoy and check out his blog for yourself. Dawn

The corporate conscience
There isn't one.

Corporations don't have a conscience, people do.

That means that every time you say, "It's just my job," or "My department has a policy," or "All I do is work here," what you've done is abdicated responsibility--to no one.

It's convenient and even comfortable to blame the anonymous actions of many working in concert on a evanescent brand or organization, but that starts you on an inevitable race to the bottom. Organizations have more power than ever before. They are better synchronized, faster, and possess more tools to change the economy and the people in it than ever before. And the only option available to the rest of us is for individuals to take responsibility (it's not given) for what they do and how they do it.

The very same tools that permit organizations to synchronize their efforts are now available to you and to me. I guess the question is: will we use that power to humanize the systems we've created?

PS It's not just about being a good citizen: when bad behavior comes back to hurt the company, it hurts you, too.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Today is the first day of the rest of your (business) life!

“Do you have the guts to write down your most important goals every single day?” That was the July 26th challenge from Dave Navarro’s Rock your Day
and it has got me thinking about how to set and truly achieve goals.

It’s not enough to say today that “I want a new client” or “I want to make more money” or “I want to provide better service to my existing clients.” To make any of these abstract goals turn into a reality one has to write out the goals, think about the ways and means of achieving them, and them implement a plan of action to ensure that the goals are met, adjusting and adapt the actions and achievements as circumstances evolve. This is a great site to get ideas and encouragement from on a regular basis.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer's end is approaching

Today is the last day we’re able to enjoy the bountiful fruits of the labor of our incredible summer intern Anthony Fiore. He has spent his time with us writing for our blog, both For Beginners and Benay Enterprises, as well as working daily on our soon to be unveiled new For Beginners website.

It is always a joy to have summer interns, to be able to share your ideas and thoughts with them and in turn, be invigorated and excited by their ways of thinking and fresh ideas. This summer has been no different and we have been gifted again by a young, vital, intelligent, and creative college student who certainly has a great future ahead of him, hopefully in writing.

All of us here wish him the best of luck this year at Binghamton and look forward to seeing him again next summer. Dawn

Monday, August 9, 2010

Happy Third Birthday For Beginners!!!

Our friends and clients over at For Beginners Books are celebrating their third birthday in a very big way.

They're giving away all thirty-eight of their titles (that's right, a full catalog) to one talented individual who writes them a catchy and fun tagline for their graphic non-fiction series.

Be that lucky winner. Send them your ideas for a tagline by posting it on their facebook wall, at the facebook event page, post it in the comment box of their blog, email it to them at, or tweet it on Twitter with the hashtag #ForBeginners.

Good luck and Happy Birthday For Beginners!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Granta Looks Back

As their most recent issue suggests, the European literary magazine, Granta, is Going Back.  Granta's 111th issue focuses on themes such as home-coming and the pain, grief, and distress associated with time and memories passed.

In keeping with this somber mood of reflection, recollection, and rememberance, Granta is literally Going Back into their archives and re-releasing all 111 issues (as well as a few special editions) on a new online archive, available to subscribers.

But perhaps what's even more interesting is that they are encouraging their readers to do the same, with their new Nostros Algos project. The project encourages Granta readers to reflect and post a description of a memory on their website where the fine people over at Granta will match the memory to a related piece, dug up from deep within the thirty-year archives. What's coolest is that some of Granta's most famed writers (Doris Lessing, Arthur Miller, Ryszard Kapuscinski, and many others) will then comment on the posts.

According to Granta, Nostros Algos is "a collective exercise in bringing the past into the present and making it part of a shared experience with fellow users and the imaginations of Granta’s famed writers." Help contribute to the project by visiting