Monday, Feb 1, 2010: Dedicated Issue: HarperStudio

HarperStudio: Heroes for My Son by Brad Meltzer

HarperStudio: Critical Care by Theresa Brown

HarperStudio: Someone Will Be With You Shortly by Lisa Kogan

HarperStudio: The Little Big Things by Tom Peters

HarperStudio is cooking up a storm

Editors' Note


In this dedicated issue, supported by the publisher, Shelf Awareness catches up again with HarperStudio as it enters its first full year publishing. Congratulations!



HarperStudio: Words That Matter from the editors of O, The Oprah Magazine


HarperStudio Crushes It

Less than a year after publishing its first title, HarperStudio has had three New York Times bestsellers: Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk; The 50th Law by 50 Cent and Robert Greene; and Emeril Lagasse's Emeril at the Grill.

The other dozen titles published by the HarperCollins imprint have sold solidly, too, and not surprisingly president and publisher Bob Miller is happy with the results. As he had envisioned, he said, by sharing risks and collaborating with authors, "We've published our books in a way that we can sell 25,000 to 100,000 copies and be successful."

The projects continue to develop organically. Altogether HarperStudio has acquired more than 65 titles so far, and the imprint is, as Miller put it, developing an emphasis on business books, cookbooks and books about the performing arts. This was not planned, but has come in part because of having bestsellers in those areas: those titles have attracted a lot of material in the same areas. Miller noted, "With those categories, there are ways to reach audiences. These are subjects that lend themselves to reaching niches online." With a bit of awe, Miller said, "I'm very excited by the people who've come our way." They include Gary Vaynerchuk, Tom Peters, Emeril Lagasse, Mollie Katzen, Adam Perry Lang, Amanda Hesser, Kevin Rose, Stanley Fish, Erica Jong and Harold Bloom. In some cases, titles are by established authors who are known for a certain type of book and want to try something different. For example, Brad Meltzer, who has published a string of bestselling mysteries and thrillers with Grand Central, has turned to HarperStudio for two nonfiction titles, the first of which, Heroes for My Son, appears this spring. (See more on this title below.)

One surprise: "I thought we would do fiction, but we really haven't yet," Miller said. "It just hasn't worked out that way, but I wouldn't rule it out in the future."

In one of the most difficult times for publishing as economic forces and technological developments remake the book world, Bob Miller's vision remains consistent. "I still think our model fits," he said. "It's not a model that supports existing brand names that deserve huge advances. We're doing more speculative material that's farther out on the long tail. We've seen some break out. But we're also a viable model for brand names who want to do something a little different. We take chances together."

HarperStudio: Words That Matter from the editors of O, The Oprah Magazine

Books & Authors

Winter and Spring Roundup

In The Economics of Integrity: From Dairy Farmers to Toyota, How Wealth Is Built on Trust & What That Means for Our Future, Anna Bernasek uses examples ranging from milk to mortgages to explore the "deficit of trust" President Obama highlighted in his State of the Union address last week. A regular contributor to the "Economic View" column in the New York Times and a Fortune magazine staff writer, Bernasek calls integrity part of the "invisible infrastructure of the economy."  Economist Alan Blinder said, "In this fascinating little book, Anna Bernasek shows what delivering milk has in common with financial reform. The common thread? Both need mechanisms to ensure integrity."

Bob Miller called this "a Freakonomics-like view of how integrity is the critical glue in the ability to function" and noted that Bernasek points to "how to build systems that build trust." The Economics of Integrity goes on sale February 23. You can count on it.


In The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence, his first book since 2003, Tom Peters (of In Search of Excellence fame) offers tips learned from decades of following and advising businesses. Sometimes going against conventional wisdom--such as wanting competitors to do well so that a market will grow--Peters counsels business people to "get back to the basics" and "never forget why you're here." He "shows that the very small things in business have a very large effect," Miller said, "and shows the importance of doing things like sending notes and walking down the hall that makes employees and customers feel attended to and cared for. This book is proactive and practical."

Peters will be promoting the book extensively, including on his popular blog and at the many speaking events he does. He's also recording the audio version. By the way, at 576 pages, The Little Big Things is a big book. It goes on sale March 9.


Mind in the Making is by Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute, who spent nearly a decade interviewing more than 70 scientists about the latest research into how children learn. Here she presents that research in a way that's useful for parents and educators, boiling it down to seven life skills. As some of us with spotted academic records may be happy to hear, the latest research shows that doing well in school is not as important as learning how to take on a challenge and loving to learn, among other skills.

Galinsky outlines basic things to do with children to build those skills, which will be ever more important in the post-industrial world, and she emphasizes "how teachable kids are," as Miller put it. The book goes on sale April 6.


Elaine Hall, a former Hollywood acting coach for children and mother of an adopted son with autism, has been called "The Child Whisperer" by the New York Times. In her memoir, Now I See the Moon: A Mother, a Son, a Miracle, Hall tells her story of traveling to Russia to adopt Neal, her son; learning how to coach autism through the performing arts in Autism: The Musical; and the foundation of the Miracle Project. Dr. Stanley Greenspan, author of Engaging Autism, said, "This magnificent work vividly demonstrates the joy and hope of discovering the creative and emotional capacities which exist in all children, but especially in those children with autism and other special needs." Now I See the Moon pubs on June 30.


Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between is by Theresa Brown, who as an English professor at Tufts was so moved by the work of nurses when she had her three children that she decided to go to nursing school. Now an oncology nurse, Brown has published pieces in Science Times and contributes to the New York Times's Well blog. Here she tells what it's like to be a nurse and how important nursing is, particularly as more and more nurses are delivering medical care beyond what is ordered by physicians.

As Julie Salamon (author of Hospital and The Devil's Candy) noted, "If Theresa Brown tends her patients as well as she tells her story, they are lucky patients indeed. This absorbing dispatch from the front lines of medical care captures the daily travails and triumphs of nursing with humor, compassion, and sometimes terrifying immediacy." Critical Care goes on sale June 1. Galleys will be available in the galley room at the Winter Institute this week.


With her trademark humor, Lisa Kogan, the popular O, The Oprah Magazine columnist, writes about single motherhood, sex, aging and other subjects large and small in Someone Will Be with You Shortly. Each selection concludes with an appreciation of her life. Author Amy Hempel said, "Lisa Kogan has a singularly humane stance as she makes comic sense of the annoying and baffling facts of life. The inventor of 'the dessert potato' has made me laugh for years--she's been a comfort, too." And Kelly Corrigan (author of The Middle Place) called Kogan "the Erma Bombeck of our generation. Sassy, blunt, and so damn true." The book appears March 2.


Carmindy, the makeup artist for TLC's What Not to Wear, follows up The 5-Minute Face with Crazy Busy Beautiful: Beauty Secrets for Getting Gorgeous Fast, offering more than 597 beauty tips for "busy chicks." Tip: Crazy Busy Beautiful goes on sale March 30.


And on April 21, the 100th anniversary of the author's death, HarperStudio is publishing a paperback edition of Who Is Mark Twain?, which was the imprint's first title, published exactly a year earlier. Edited by Robert Hirst, the original book contained 24 pieces that had never before been published; this edition includes two more pieces that have never been published.

Words That Matter: 'An Open Window to Other Worlds'

"A year after I launched the book club, a woman who appeared on the show said something I'll never forget: 'Before I joined the book club, I had never read an entire book.' Reading has always been an open window to other worlds. Had I not been taught to read at an early age, I'd be an entirely different person. Thanks to books, I knew there was another kind of life. The chance to give another person that same gift? That was one of my proudest moments."--Oprah.

From Words That Matter, which appears on April 5, in time for Mother's Day. The book is a collaboration with O: The Oprah Magazine and collects more than 600 of the best quotations from people writing for or quoted in the magazine, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in May.


Heroes for My Son, Brad Meltzer's Nonfiction Debut

In his first nonfiction book, Heroes for My Son, which appears May 11, Brad Meltzer presents the stories of 52 heroes. Subjects range from the Wright brothers to less well-known heroes. Here Meltzer explains the book's genesis.

Eight years ago, on the night my son was born, I was driving home from the hospital when it hit me. I remember looking up at the crisp black sky and thinking about this baby boy we were just blessed with. That's when I asked myself the question for the first time: What kind of man did I want my son to be?

From there, I started a book of advice for my son--a book I planned to write throughout his life--but I got stuck when it became clear that so much of what you want to tell your child about life, about being in this world, cannot be contained in exhortations alone. You can't simply say: "Be nice. Be kind." So I began thinking about my own life: where I'd learned about kindness, patience and selflessness. I realized that one of the most potent of influences had been my grandfather, who would spend hours telling and retelling a made-up story about Batman and Robin--simply because it was something I loved hearing again and again.

At that moment, I realized that there are heroes all around us--from Jim Henson to Rosa Parks to Mr. Rogers--and it was those heroes that I wanted to share with my son. Heroes for My Son is a book that shows you far more than great people. It shows you the single moment that makes each person great. And since it's for my son, you know I'll do anything for it.

This is the project of my life.  So thanks for all you're doing to support it.

For more on Meltzer's inspiration, watch the video. To share a story about your hero and be entered to win a Flip camera, visit

BBQ 25: Chef Lang's 'Foolproof' Grilling Recipes

In BBQ 25: The World's Most Flavorful Recipes--Now Made Foolproof, chef Adam Perry Lang offers 25 "step-by-step, foolproof" barbecue recipes for everything from steak and burgers to chicken, lamb and hot dogs. Lang, who was trained at several haute cuisine restaurants and wrote Serious Barbecue, plans to open a barbecue restaurant in London this fall with Jamie Oliver. On sale May 11, in time for Father's Day, the book has a board book format--easy for cleaning after some time near the grill. Here's a recipe:

Hamburgers/Cheeseburgers (serves 6)

Griddle ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil
6 small to medium sweet white onions, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil
6 thin slices cheddar cheese (optional)

Ingredients for seasoning

1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon sea salt or kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground
black pepper


1. Mix the cold water into the ground beef in a bowl. Shape into 6 patties 3/4 to 1 inch thick.
2. Right before you are ready to cook, season the hamburgers with the salt and pepper. Press in the seasoning and dab the burgers on the cutting board to collect any excess. Glisten the burgers with canola oil.
3. For indirect/direct grilling, preheat the BBQ to medium-high. Set a griddle on the grill, add half the butter or extra virgin olive oil and let it melt. Add the onions, season with the salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften and start to brown.
4. Push the onions to one side of the griddle. Lightly season the hamburgers again with salt and pepper and put them on the empty side of the griddle with the remaining butter or extra virgin olive oil.
5. After 2 minutes, flip the meat and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
6. Move the hamburgers onto the grill and cook until medium-rare (or cook to the desired doneness), flipping them halfway through, approximately 4 minutes total.
7. Stir the parsley into the onions and spoon the onions on top of the hamburgers. Lay a slice of cheese on top of each one, if desired, and cook until it melts or "weeps," then serve.

Choose your buns wisely... soft buns are best!!


Leonard Maltin's 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen

On February 9, in the runup to the Oscars, HarperStudio will release Leonard Maltin's 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen. The following are Maltin's top three movies adapted from books that you haven't seen:

The films I've chosen are The Door in the Floor (from John Irving's A Widow for One Year) starring Jeff Bridges, Thumbsucker (from the novel by Walter Kirn, who also wrote Up in the Air), and The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (from the memoir by Terry Ryan).

The marvel of The Door in the Floor is that filmmaker Tod Williams was able to fashion such an exceptional and fully-realized work from just a small portion of Irving's novel. And Jeff Bridges should have had an Oscar nomination that year for his performance.

Thumbsucker is one of my favorite indie films of recent years. It marks the feature debut for graphic designer-turned-moviemaker Mike Mills, who also set himself the task of adapting Kirn's novel. I think his work as a screenwriter is as impressive as his sure-handed direction of this terrific (and well-cast) movie.

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio
proves once again that real life is an endless source of great material. Terry Ryan didn't have to invent a story; she grew up as one of 10 children, nurtured by a mother who sacrificed everything for her kids--at a time when women were expected to be happy homemakers. So her mom supported the family by using her wit and determination to win jingle contests. Jane Anderson adapted the book and did a great job directing the stylish film, while Julianne Moore gives an outstanding performance as Evelyn Ryan, with Woody Harrelson as her ne'er-do-well husband.


Emeril Goes Green in Farm to Fork

In Farm to Fork, Emeril Lagasse's third book with HarperStudio, the chef brings out the "green," offering recipes that will inspire cooks, new and old, to use fresh, organic and locally-grown ingredients throughout the year. Here is one recipe from the book, which appears June 1:

Asparagus and Baby Russian Red Kale Slaw

People do not usually think about eating asparagus or kale raw, but if you use these ingredients when they are at their freshest and still young and tender, they make a delicious crunchy slaw.


1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese plus 2 ounces shaved with a peeler
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch pencil asparagus, sliced on the bias at 1-inch intervals
1/2 pound baby red Russian kale, about 1 bunch, stemmed and cut into thin strips crosswise

In a small mixing bowl combine the grated parmesan, lemon juice, lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Whisk in the olive oil and set aside.

Combine the asparagus and kale in a medium bowl. Season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and mix well. Add the shaved parmesan slices, toss with the dressing, and let stand for at least 10 minutes. Toss again and serve. This is best served at room temperature.

Yield: 4 servings

Fifth Avenue, 5 AM: The Making of Breakfast at Tiffany's

In Fifth Avenue, 5 AM, Sammy Wasson goes behind the scenes of Breakfast at Tiffany's, one of the country's most iconic movies, offering a delicious slice of social history. With a cast of characters including Truman Capote, Edith Head, director Blake Edwards and, of course, Hepburn herself, Wasson immerses us in the America of the late '50s, before Woodstock and birth control, when a not-so-virginal girl by the name of Holly Golightly raised eyebrows across the nation, changing fashion, film and sex forever. Peter Bogdanovich praised the book as "a brilliant chronicle of the creation of Breakfast at Tiffany's. Wasson has woven the whole so deftly that it reads like a compulsively page-turning novel. This is a memorable achievement."

Here the author offers five things you may not know about Breakfast at Tiffany's:

  1. Marilyn Monroe was first choice to play Holly Golightly.
  2. Audrey Hepburn was afraid Holly would debase her image--she didn't want the part.
  3. Harper's rejected Truman Capote's manuscript.
  4. There were two different endings--one romantic, the other melancholy--and both were shot.
  5. Breakfast at Tiffany's had the most expensive party scene Paramount ever shot.



Book Brahmin: Kristine Carlson

Just over three years ago, Richard Carlson, author of the Don't Sweat the Small Stuff series, died suddenly at age 45. In Heartbroken Open, which will be published April 6, his wife, Kristine Carlson, tells of their idyllic life before his death--and the difficult and rewarding path since then. Once defining herself as a wife and mother, Carlson has rebuilt herself. While this was not a way she would have wanted to become much more than the person she was, she learned much and offers hope to everyone who has lost a loved one.

On your nightstand now:

Brida by Paulo Coelho; A Symphony in the Brain by Jim Robbins; Chocolate for a Woman's Blessings by Kay Allenbaugh; The Power of Now and A New Earth by Eckhart Toll; The Language of Letting Go by Melodie Beattie; Hindsight: What You Need to Know Before You Drop Your Drawers by Maryanne Comaroto; The Gift: Poems by Hafiz; and What About the Big Stuff? by Richard Carlson.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Magic Friendmaker
and Harry the Dog.

Your top five authors:

Richard Carlson, Eckhart Tolle, Pema Chodron, Melodie Beattie, Paulo Coelho.

Book you've faked reading:

Homer's Iliad and The Odyssey.

Book you're an evangelist for:

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Sinfully Delicious: A Dessert Cookbook.

Book that changed your life:

The Game of Life by Florence Scovel Shinn.

Favorite line from a book:

"It's how you play the hand not the hand you've been dealt."--Randy Pausch in The Last Lecture.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Bridge Across Forever
by Richard Bach.

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