Shelf Awareness for Thursday, September 9, 2010


Workman Publishing: The Reverse Coloring Book(tm) Mindful Journeys: Be Calm and Creative: The Book Has the Colors, You Draw the Lines by Kendra Norton

Aladdin Paperbacks: Return of the Dragon Slayers: A Fablehaven Adventure (Dragonwatch #5) by Brandon Mull

Norton Young Readers: Children of Stardust by Edudzi Adodo

Union Square & Co.: Wait for Me by Sara Shepard

Grove Press: Sugar Street by Jonathan Dee

Peachtree Teen: Aces Wild: A Heist by Amanda DeWitt

Quotation of the Day

Blair's Journey: 'A Must-Read for Participating in Daily Life'

"It's been absolutely remarkable. We issued a release at the end of Day 1, saying it was proving to be our fastest-selling political memoir of all time. It was breaking all these records, no problem at all, and then it was becoming clear that it was selling more than any other autobiography we've ever had. [It became] a must-read for people wanting to participate in daily life. A book can get to the point where if you haven't read it, and you don't know what it's all about, then you are out of the loop."

--Fiona Allen, spokeswoman for Waterstone's, speaking about former Prime Minister Tony Blair's memoir, A Journey, in the New York Times.

 

 


Berkley Books: City Under One Roof by Iris Yamashita


News

Notes: Muhammad Appears E-arly; Karate and Books

Because of the national debate about the building of an Islamic community center near the site of the World Trade Center, a possible Koran burning this Saturday and Islam in general, Muhammad: A Story of the Last Prophet, Deepak Chopra's fictional biography of the Prophet Muhammad, has gone on sale in e-book form, two weeks before the hardcover's pub date of September 21, the New York Times reported.

This is the first time HarperCollins has sold an e-book edition before the printed version of the same book. In a statement, Michael Morrison, president and publisher of HarperCollins's general books division for the U.S. and Canada, said, "Books spark conversations, and in this case a national conversation has erupted. As the publisher, we want our titles to be available in a timely manner to meet consumer demand and increase readership for our authors; digital publishing allows us to react quickly to achieve these goals."

---

In a partnership between TOON Books and Candlewick Press, TOON Books is launching on October 1 as an imprint of Candlewick. TOON Books will publish five new titles annually.

Candlewick senior v-p of sales John Mendelson commented: "Since its founding in the spring of 2008, we have admired TOON Books and how the list has been received by booksellers, librarians, and teachers. TOON's mission to get kids reading through the accessible vernacular of comics paired with Candlewick's deep sales and marketing relationships within the children's books community will bring a renewed focus to the imprint in the both the retail and school and library channels."

TOON Books founder, publisher and editorial director Françoise Mouly--who is also art editor of the New Yorker and publisher and editorial director of RAW Junior, the children's book branch of RAW Books & Graphics--said, "TOON Books' radical approach, putting to use all the sophisticated tools one can find in good comics to hook kids on reading, could only find support at a house that is as daring and comfortable in its own groundbreaking track record as Candlewick is. Joining forces, we will publish the new classics, the visually literate books that will tickle the fancy of, delight, inspire, and inform the children of the twenty-first century."

---

On tour in the Great Lakes region for her novel, The Tale of Halcyon Crane, Wendy Webb made a stop in Cable, Wis., at Redbery Books. As she recounted in Duluth Superior magazine, Redbery "is a beautiful bookstore located in a cool old building full of nooks and crannies where great books are on display. I love bookstores where the staff really knows their stuff, and Redbery is one of those. The staff here knows books and will help you find what you’re looking for… and things you didn't know you were looking for. After my reading, I left with a bagful of books--it's impossible not to find a great read here.

"The other thing I loved about the store--it's connected to a restaurant featuring wood-fired pizzas, fine wines and microbrews. It's like a bookstore in heaven! If I lived closer, I'd be there every day."

---

Roxanne Coady, owner of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn., is such a fan of Freedom by Jonathan Franzen that the store is offering free shipping on it through this coming Sunday. In the store's e-mail, Coady wrote: "I get what all the fuss is about: it's a 'big' novel--big in page count and big in scope. I had the same reaction to Freedom that I had to his previous blockbuster, The Corrections. Some parts of the novel feel like much ado about not enough, but I was always drawn back to the book. Why? There's a lot Franzen really gets right about marriage and parenting: the highs and lows, how a seemingly enviable marriage can hit a rut and fall apart, how kids can do an abrupt 180 and turn into strangers--all with a smart satirical eye on American culture today. The New York Times was right--it is a 'big, Updikean picture window on American middle class life.' "

---

Cool idea of the day: this Saturday, Boulevard Books & Cafe, which opened in May in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, N.Y., is hosting a karate workshop in the lower level of the store.

---

Will Ron Burkle "fade away?" Forbes blogger Mark Lacter examined Burkle's recent investment history and concluded that the man challenging Len Riggio for control of B&N "will always talk a good game at first, but then he tends to fade in the follow-through.... looking at his history, Burkle shows little inclination to actually take over a business. Even now, in the midst of a proxy fight, he's not proposing any alternative, other than to have him, through his Yucaipa investment arm, control one-third of the board seats. Most likely, that won't be enough to convince shareholders on September 28. All of which means that Burkle might just end up calling it a day--just as he has done so many times before."

---

E-deal or no e-deal? Noting that Amazon is now offering second-generation refurbished Kindles in its warehouse deals program (Kindle for $159.99 and Kindle DX for $289.99), CNET asked whether they are worth buying instead of the third-gen Kindles.

"It's unclear exactly what condition these Kindles are in, but we presume they're basically indistinguishable from new product, and may, in fact, be extra stock that was left over when Amazon announced the new Kindle at the end of July," CNET wrote. "They may also be Kindles that customers returned shortly after learning that a new Kindle was on the way."

The to-buy verdict was "probably not" for the 6-inch model, but where "it gets a little trickier is with the refurbished Kindle DX. Except for the new black, Amazon kept the design the same, but the new DX's screen has better contrast (darker lettering). If you've really been hankering for a DX but thought the price was too steep, $289.99 seems more reasonable."

---

Here's 2day's recipe from Workman's Eat Tweet by Maureen Evans (1020 rcps @ 140 chars each) culled from Twitter's @cookbook:

Lemon Pork Chops


Dredge4chop in flr/s+p. Brwn2T oil; put in bkgdish. Boil2T lem/½c h2o&ketchup/T brsug; cvr chops. 45m@350°F.

---

Book trailer of the day: The Perfection Point: Sport Science Predicts the Fastest Man, the Highest Jump, and the Limits of Athletic Performance by John Brenkus (Harper).

---

Obituary note: Elizabeth Jenkins, "a novelist and biographer of exceptional quality, who was sometimes the victim of her own diffidence," died recently, the Guardian reported. She was 104.

---

Charlie Higson, author most recently of The Enemy, selected his top 10 horror books for the Guardian. "What constitutes a horror book?" Higson asked. "A black and red cover? A primary objective to scare the shit out of the reader? A plug from Stephen King on the back? Most of the books on my list would probably be categorized in other genres first, but then--is Alien a sci-fi film or a horror film, or both? Is Wuthering Heights a ghost story? Is Jane Eyre the mother of all psycho-in-the-attic stories? And Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca is in many ways a haunted house story. I might well have put it in here if I'd ever actually read it."

---

Although "greatest" may be a debatable word choice, the Daily Beast featured a rogues gallery of "History's Greatest Book Burners."

---

Books of Wonder, the New York City bookstore that just celebrated its 30th anniversary, is hosting an exhibit of art from 23 major children's book artists that will be sold via a silent auction to benefit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. The pictures, some created just for the auction, will go on display this Sunday, September 12, and stay there until Wednesday, September 29. All proceeds from the Carle Honors Art Auction go to the museum.

Participating artists are Quentin Blake, Eric Carle, Raul Colon, Pat Cummings, Leo and Diane Dillon, Denise Fleming,  Marla Frazee, G. Brian Karas, Beth Krommes, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Besty Lewin, Grace Lin, David Macaulay, Barry Moser, Jon J Muth, Jerry Pinkney, Majorie Priceman, Peter Reynolds, Uri Shulevitz, Art Spiegelman, Bob Staake and Dan Yaccarino.

---

The nonfiction winner of the Queensland Premier Awards in Australia was The Blue Plateau by Mark Tredinnick, published here last year by Milkweed Editions. The book is also on the shortlist for the 2010 Prime Minister's Literary Awards.

---

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression is holding a raffle for a free trip to the international writers conference sponsored by Books & Books and Florida International University's MFA program in creative writing that will be held in Grand Cayman, October 21-23 (Shelf Awareness, August 9, 2010).

The raffle winner will receive round-trip transportation to Grand Cayman, three nights at the conference hotel, the Sunshine Suites, and free conference registration. Raffle tickets are $25 and may be purchased through the ABFFE store or at 212-587-4025, ext. 12.

The program includes nine daily classes in all genres, afternoon editing and publishing symposia and evening readings. Besides a range of writers, faculty include Daniel Halpern of Ecco and literary agent Marly Rusoff. Co-directors are Mitchell Kaplan of Books & Books and Les Standiford, director of FIU's MFA in Creative Writing.

 

 


KidsBuzz for the Week of 08.08.22


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Franzen on Fresh Air Today

Today on Fresh Air: Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28, 9780374158460/9780374158460).

---

Today on the Diane Rehm Show: Louise Knight, author of Jane Addams: Spirit in Action (Norton, $28.95, 9780393071658/0393071650).

---

Tomorrow on the View: Meghan McCain, author of Dirty Sexy Politics (Hyperion, $23.99, 9781401323776/1401323774).

 


King's Dark Tower to Be Ambitious Film/TV Series

Universal Pictures and NBC Universal Television Entertainment will adapt Stephen King's Dark Tower novels into a film trilogy and a network TV series. Deadline.com reported that the project, which had been in discussion last spring (Shelf Awareness, May 4, 2010), "will be creatively steered by the Oscar-winning team behind A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code. Ron Howard has committed to direct the initial feature film, as well as the first season of the TV series that will follow in close proximity. Akiva Goldsman will write the film, and the first season of the TV series. Howard's Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer will produce, with Goldsman and the author."

Deadline.com compared the project--which will use "a major studio's film and TV platforms simultaneously to tell a story"--to Peter Jackson, who "directed three installments of the Lord of The Rings, back to back, so that they could be released in three consecutive years."

But Howard said the Dark Tower presents its own challenges: "What Peter did was a feat, cinematic history. The approach we're taking also stands on its own, but it's driven by the material. I love both, and like what's going on in TV. With this story, if you dedicated to one medium or another, there's the horrible risk of cheating material. The scope and scale call for a big screen budget. But if you committed only to films, you'd deny the audience the intimacy and nuance of some of these characters and a lot of cool twists and turns that make for jaw-dropping, compelling television. We've put some real time and deep thought into this, and a lot of conversations and analysis from a business standpoint, to get people to believe in this and take this leap with us. I hope audiences respond to it in a way that compels us to keep going after the first year or two of work. It's fresh territory for me, as a filmmaker."

According to the current plan, the project will begin with a feature film, then "create a bridge to the second feature with a season of TV episodes," followed by a movie sequel, then back to the TV series before another film, Deadline.com wrote. The cast will appear in both film and television versions.

 


Movies: Barney's Version

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired U.S. rights to Barney's Version, adapted from the novel by Mordecai Richler, Deadline.com reported. The movie, starring Paul Giamatti and Dustin Hoffman, is directed by Richard J. Lewis and will make its debut at the Hamptons International Film Festival October 7.

 


This Weekend on Book TV: Third World America

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, September 11

1 p.m. William Langewiesche, author of American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center (North Point Press, $15, 9780865476752/0865476756), talks about what went into removing the remains of the collapsed buildings at Ground Zero. (Re-airs Sunday at 4 a.m.)

1:30 p.m. Charles Peters, author of Lyndon B. Johnson (Times Books, $23, 9780805082395/0805082395), recounts the tenure of the 36th president. Peters worked in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations from 1961 to 1968. (Re-airs Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 a.m.)

2:30 p.m. Claire Berlinski, author of There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters (Basic Books, $16.95, 9780465020270/0465020275), contends that the former prime minister deserves credit for reversing Great Britain's decline. (Re-airs Saturday at 9 p.m. and Sunday at 4:30 a.m.)

8 p.m. Matthew Aid, author of The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency (Bloomsbury Press, $19, 9781608190966/160819096X), talks about the history and purpose of the NSA. (Re-airs Sunday at 2 a.m. and 1 p.m.)

10 p.m. After Words. CNBC's Maria Bartiromo interviews Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post and author of Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream (Crown, $23.99, 9780307719829/0307719820). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m., Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

Sunday, September 12

11 a.m. At an event hosted by Boulder Book Store, Boulder, Colo., Andrew Bacevich, author of Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War (Metropolitan Books, $25, 9780805091410/0805091416), argues that U.S. national security policy has remained the same since the tenure of President Truman. (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

3 p.m. Retired Orange County Superior Court judge James Gray, author of A Voter's Handbook: Effective Solutions to America's Problems (Forum Press, $17.95, 9780984275229/0984275223), offers advice on reforming our justice, education and healthcare systems. (Re-airs Sunday at 10:45 p.m. and Monday at 6:45 a.m.)

 



Books & Authors

Max Lucado: Making a Difference

Howard Zinn once said, "Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world." Max Lucado firmly believes that, and in a new book calls on all of us to part of that transformation. Lucado, a bestselling Christian author, has been writing for 25 years and has sold 65 million books. To celebrate his silver anniversary, Thomas Nelson is publishing Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference ($24.99, 9780849920691/0849920698) on September 14, 2010.

Lucado says ours is the wealthiest generation ever, and we have ample resources (there is enough food on the planet to offer every person 2,500 calories a day; from a purely statistical standpoint, American Christians by themselves could house the 145 million orphans in the world): "The storehouse is stocked. The problem is not in the supply; the problem is in the distribution. God has given this generation, our generation, everything we need to alter the course of human suffering." But can an ordinary person make difference? Lucado says we can; it doesn't have to be a major undertaking, although it will probably involve getting outside our comfort zone, but if we remember that while no one can do everything, everyone can do something: "Save one life. Save the world."

Marilyn Dahl talked with Max Lucado as he was preparing to tour for Outlive Your Life.

 

You are an author with a vast Christian audience, but your book can speak to everyone. How would you convince secular bookstores, especially independents, to carry Outlive Your Life? How would it appeal to all readers?

I think compassion is a universal emotion regardless of our background or heritage; it's appealing, it makes the world a better place. But compassion is hard to stir up; the need is great, but we get cynical. But I do think the desire is there in every person.

That's what this book discusses--I write from a Christian perspective but the principles are universal.

 

1.75 billion people are poor, one billion are hungry. Here, people are homeless in every town. It's overwhelming. Most of us think we can't do anything.

It can be a failure of imagination. I tell stories of very ordinary people, like the woman in Florida who put together a group of women who stitch together disposable pads for cancer patients. Or the nine-year old boy who took his $20 savings and challenged the staff of his church's children's ministry to match it, which resulted in enough money to dig two wells in El Salvador. Or the London taxi driver who started microlending with just $55 and transformed the life of a Brazilian pharmacist in a Rio de Janeiro slum, which in turn helped the favela dwellers. I think stories like these can be replicated. Sometimes teaming up with an organization can get you started.

 

How do people find the right organization?

That's such an important question. I've had many occasions to meet with different organizations that say they do good works, but some of them strike me as being definitely shady--no accountability, no board of directors, no transparency. I try to vet by accountability and track record. World Vision has been at this for over 50 years, and they score highly on both.

I picked World Vision to receive the royalties from my book for those reasons, and also because I first went to them with my idea of giving them the proceeds from my book, but asked them what they'd do with the money. If they didn't have good ideas, then I'd try someplace else. They decided to use it in northern Uganda, which has been decimated by the Lord's Liberation Army. They have already used the advance to drill water wells. They know what to do and how to do it.

Organizations like World Vision are needed to tackle poverty because simple solutions just don't exist. As Rich Stearns, president of World Vision, says, "Poverty is rocket science."

 

How do we overcome disaster or compassion fatigue? How do we move out of our comfort zone?

It's a unique challenge for our generation because we get crisis details 24/7, which can be overwhelming. There's a lot of wisdom in the thought that everyone can do something, you just have to figure out your assignment. Identify what calls to you--something overseas, something in your neighborhood. Something with a group, something one-to-one.

 

For missions, or church outreach programs, the question that often arises can be summed up by asking, "Salvation or water?" Which thirst do you quench first, spiritual or physical?

The big danger is to tend toward extremes. I do think it's hard to explain the Gospel if someone has physical needs. I do believe you have to feed the belly. Maybe your job is to provide the hot meal and the next person's job is the spiritual message. World Vision balances this very well.

People mistrust organized religion, often with good reason, and our best response to that is compassion--compassion is the best apologetic. In my book, I write about the early church in Jerusalem, and the way they made sure the Greek widows were not neglected. A cold drink of water is the first step. We can all provide that.

 


Shelf Starter: At the Dark End of the Street

At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance--A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power by Danielle McGuire (Knopf, $27.95, 9780307269065/030726906X, September 7, 2010)

 

Opening lines of a book we want to read:

 

On September 3, 1944, the Rock Hill Holiness Church, in Abbeville, Alabama, rocked late into the night. It was nearly midnight when the doors of the wooden, one-story church swung open releasing streams of worshippers, all African American, into the moonlight. After a night of singing and praying, Recy Taylor, Fannie Daniel, and Daniel's eighteen-year-old son, West, stepped out of the country chapel and strolled toward home alongside the peanut plantations that bounded the Abbeville-Headland highway. Taylor, a slender, copper-colored, and beautiful twenty-four-year-old mother and sharecropper, noticed a rattletrap green Chevrolet pass them at least three times, young white men gawking from its windows....

 

Seven men, armed with knives and guns, got out of the car, kidnapped Recy Taylor and drove to a grove of pecan trees a few miles away.

[PFC] Lovett was the first of six men to rape Taylor that night. When they finished, someone helped her get dressed, tied a handkerchief over her eyes, and shoved her back in the car. Back on the highway, the men stopped and ordered Taylor out of the car. "Don't move until we get away from here," one of them yelled. Taylor heard the car disappear into the night. She pulled off the blindfold, got her bearings, and began the long walk home.

A few days later, a telephone rang at the NAACP branch office in Montgomery, Alabama. E.D. Nixon, the local president, promised to send his best investigator to Abbeville. That investigator would launch a movement that would ultimately change the world.

Her name was Rosa Parks.

In later years, historians would paint her as a sweet and reticent old woman, whose tired feet caused her to defy Jim Crow on Montgomery's city buses.... But Rosa Parks was a militant race woman, a sharp detective, and an anti-rape activist long before she became the patron saint of the bus boycott.--Selected by Marilyn Dahl

 

 


Book Review

Mandahla: Amore

Amore: The Story of Italian American Song by Mark Rotella (Farrar Straus Giroux, $28.00 Hardcover, 9780865476981, September 2010)

Although Mark Rotella grew up in an Italian-American family, it wasn't until he and his wife moved to Brooklyn in 1998, and after she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, that he became fascinated with the Italian-American singers from the postwar years. They were familiar to him from his childhood, but it was during that emotionally wrought time that they acted "as a tonic to [his] despair." As his wife, Martha, recovered from surgery and chemotherapy, he created a warm, loving atmosphere with Italian music and food. In Amore, he explores the reasons the songs and the singers are so compelling for him.

The singers Rotella writes about "had a kind of charisma not seen before. They sang with a passion that nevertheless appeared casual and easy," embodying the Italian idea of la sprezzatura, making hard work appear easy. They had an elegant simplicity, they sang with passion, and they conveyed a huge range of emotions with tiny modulations in their voices. For many, Dean Martin epitomizes this ease, with "dreamy good looks, cocktail in hand. The girls love him, but he sings for the guys." His cool manner and sexy voice are showcased in "That's Amore," his first big hit (a song he claimed he never liked.)

Rotella, senior reviews editor at Publishers Weekly, tells the story of singers and songs in chapters that follow the songs, but not the singers, chronologically. He starts with an old song, "O Marenariello (The Sailor)," that was written in the late 19th century by two Neapolitans, and became as popular with Italians as "Danny Boy" is for the Irish. In 1947, it was recorded as "I Have but One Heart" by both Frank Sinatra and Vic Damone (Damone's version was more popular). Every year since 1943, Sinatra had been one of the top 10 recording artists, but in 1947 he had just two hits ("I Believe" and "Mamselle") and his career went into a decline that lasted seven years. In that period, more than 25 Italian-Americans crooned to America, including Tony Bennett, Jerry Vale, Al Martino, Joni James, Perry Como, Frankie Laine, Ezio Pinza, Mario Lanza and Dean Martin. Most of them continued on into the '50s and '60s, adding to their ranks singers like Lou Christie, Dion and the Belmonts and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

Song histories and singers are mixed with the stories of Italian-Americans--Fiorello La Guardia; the immigration laws that limited the number of Italians to 42,057 per year in 1921 to 3,845 in 1924; Joe DiMaggio, who was described by Life magazine as never reeking of garlic; why bricklaying drew Italian immigrants. He starts with the Old Country, and Russ Columbo, "the Vocal Valentino," whose "Prisoner of Love" was wildly popular, and, of course, with Enrico Caruso and "O Sole Mio." Louis Prima, whose music came from the New Orleans hot jazz tradition, introduced Italian lyrics into popular song with the southern Italian tarantella "Angelina/Zooma Zooma." Frank Sinatra turned toward the blues as he developed his style, and learned his trademark timing--singing behind the beat--from Billie Holiday, which he melded with the open vowels of the Italian language, graceful phrasing and vocal agility of bel canto, as in "All or Nothing at All."

Perry Como, an Italian-American who was seen as all-American and safe, with his smooth, effortless voice and cardigan sweaters, recorded Columbo's signature song, "Prisoner of Love"; while smooth and elegant, it contrasts with the passion of the earlier version. With encouragement from Como, Vic Damone, another smooth and precise singer, with just a touch of vibrato, had his first hit with "You're Breaking My Heart." Frankie Laine, who said in an interview that he was the first white singer to sound black, "was a ninety-year-old man looking back on his life with mild incredulity, as if he thought he should have gotten more notice for it." He was a big success, but like many of the singers in the book, he had hard times. In 1938, in New York to audition for radio shows, he ran out of money and slept on Central Park benches. He finally made it with "That Lucky Old Sun"; the record begins with a guitar, then his voice hits, "and damned if it doesn't sound like Elvis, the crazy top notes quickly descending to deep guttural lows." Al Martino--"Here in My Heart"--disappeared in 1953 in the middle of a tour. He ended up in London, where he lived for a decade, to get away from the Mob; then, after returning to live in Los Angeles, played Johnny Fontane in The Godfather, a role reputed to be based on Frank Sinatra's career.

Tony Bennett--not your typical all-American heartthrob (but still a heartthrob for many of us)--was drafted during World War II and sent to France, where he saw what America was really like. "It's hard to imagine the insulation that city neighborhoods provided for Italian Americans," and on one occasion he was punished for palling around with a black friend from Queens. After being tapped for the Army Air Force Band, he returned from the war a jazz musician. His first recording was the magnificent "The Boulevard of Broken Dreams," and when Sinatra first heard it, he said, "That kid's got four sets of balls." Bennett's voice sounds "as if cigarettes and whiskey had burned his vocal chords." Rotella notes that with his first album, Bennett bridged the safe, close-knit Italian world of Queens and mysterious Harlem, melding swinging pop standards with cool jazz sounds.

The book continues with Jerry Vale ("Innamorata"), whom Rotella calls the link between opera, Italian popular song and American pop standards. Domenico Modugno, an Italian singer, had a big hit with "Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu"; listen to Dean Martin's version ("Volare") to see why Nick Tosches characterized Martin as a menefreghista, someone who doesn't give a damn, but does it with a cool smile and a wink. Bobby Darin, Connie Francis, Lou Christie ("Lightnin' Strikes Again")--they are all here, along with stories of women, the Mob, Hollywood and Vegas, as well as tales of family, immigration, hard times and success.

"Cocky and tender, tough and vulnerable, serious and playful, forward-thinking and nostalgic"--this is the distinctive quintessential Italian-American voice, and Rotella celebrates the lack of cynicism that some consider sentimentality, but he finds refreshing. Amore will fly you to the moon on a breeze of romance and magic.--Marilyn Dahl

Shelf Talker: A breezy and captivating history of Italian-American singers and songs, written with love and respect for both.

 

 


KidsBuzz: Enemies (Berrybrook Middle School #5) by Svetlana Chmakova
Powered by: Xtenit