Books & Authors

Our Books on the 2018 Rainbow List

The Rainbow Book List Committee has announced its 2018 Rainbow Book List, recognizing books with significant gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning content, for youth and children 18 and under.  This year’s Rainbow Book List includes five titles published by Penguin Random House imprints, and one title published by a Penguin Random House Publisher Services client: 

Middle Grade Fiction FELIX YZ by Lisa Bunker (Viking Books for Young Readers) Young Adult Fiction ASHES TO ASHEVILLE by Sarah Dooley (Putnam Books for Young Readers) WE ARE OKAY by Nina LaCour (Dutton Books for Young Readers) 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE by Carrie Mac (Knopf Books for Young Readers) PERFECT TEN by L. Phillips (Viking Books for Young Readers) HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME by Adam Silvera (Soho Teen, a PRHPS client publisher) View the complete 2018 Rainbow List here.

Activist DeRay Mckesson to Publish Book with Viking

Viking is pleased to announce ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FREEDOM: The Case for Hope, a new book by DeRay Mckesson, civil rights activist and host of the podcast Pod Save the People, coming September 4, 2018. Georgia Bodnar and Wendy Wolf at Viking acquired North American rights, as well as audio and first serial, from CAA. 

In August of 2014, the twenty-nine-year-old activist stood with hundreds of others on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, to push a message of justice and accountability. These protests, and others like them, resulted in the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, in his first book, Mckesson lays out the intellectual, pragmatic political framework for a new liberation movement. [caption id="attachment_9584" align="alignright" width="262"] DeRay Mckesson, photographed in New York City.[/caption] Honest, courageous, and imaginative, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FREEDOM is a work brimming with hope. Drawing from his own experiences as an activist, organizer, educator, and public official, Mckesson exhorts all Americans to work to dismantle the legacy of racism and to imagine the best of what is possible. Honoring the voices of a new generation of activists, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FREEDOM is a visionary’s call to take responsibility for imagining, and then building, the world we want to live in.Continuing a conversation about activism, resistance, and justice that embraces our nation’s complex history, he dissects how deliberate oppression persists, how racial injustice strips our lives of promise, and how technology has added a new dimension to mass action and social change. He argues that our best efforts to combat injustice have been stunted by the belief that racism’s wounds are history, and offers a new framework and language for understanding the nature of oppression. With it, we can begin charting a course to dismantle the obvious and subtle structures that limit freedom. DeRay Mckesson says, “In the past three years I’ve seen unrest sweep America, first in the streets in Ferguson and then all over the country. I have seen people claim their power, knowing that this country has not yet delivered on its promise of equity and justice. In this book, I explore the causes of the current inequity and offer a vision for how we get beyond it, to a place of freedom. I’m excited to work with Viking and am excited to write my first book. I believe that we will win.” Brian Tart, President and Publisher of Viking, says, “DeRay Mckesson is the voice of a new generation, leading the charge in the fight against racism and injustice today. In this book, he holds America accountable, but also brings a message of hope and shows us the way forward. We are thrilled to publish him at Viking.” Mckesson is a civil rights activist, community organizer, and the host of Crooked Media’s podcast, Pod Save the People. He started his career as an educator and came to prominence for his role in documenting the Ferguson protests and the movement they birthed and for publicly advocating for justice and accountability for the victims of police violence and the end of mass incarceration. He’s spoken at venues from the White House to the Oxford Union and universities and appeared on TV shows across the political spectrum. He was named #11 on Fortune’s World’s Greatest Leaders list and Harvard’s Black Man of the Year in 2016, among his many other accolades. A leading voice in the Black Lives Matter movement and the co-founder of Campaign Zero, a policy platform to end police violence, he lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Friendship, Secrets & Thumps in Surgical Scrubs

Our latest Igloo Book Buzz selection is Kimmery Martin’s debut novel, THE QUEEN OF HEARTS, published by Berkley on February 13.  An emergency medicine doctor, born and raised in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, Kimmery sets her book’s narrative in a world of hospital rounds and life-or-death decisions, while exploring the heart’s capacity for forgiveness. 

[caption id="attachment_9577" align="alignright" width="239"] Kimmery Martin Photo: © Stephen B. Dey[/caption] “My goal in writing THE QUEEN OF HEARTS,” said Kimmery, “was to create a story about female friendship that is both entertaining and smart.  The kind of books I enjoy the most as a reader are the ones that give you the sense you are learning something in depth about a particular subject, but you don’t necessarily realize it at the time because you’re so hooked in the action or transfixed by the characters. TQOH gives a detailed insider’s look at the medical world, in a way that would be difficult to do without having lived it, or at least without having done a lot of research. Interestingly, when the publisher asked me to raise the stakes for one of the characters by placing her in a difficult surgical situation, I squirmed even writing about losing a patient.” Berkley Executive Editor Kerry Donovan: “I first fell in love with Kimmery’s voice for the emotional intensity of the setting she chose.  THE QUEEN OF HEARTS offers an up-close-and-personal look at the lives of two female doctors working in trauma surgery and pediatric cardiology—and I savored this chance to learn more about the stakes of committing to a surgery career, especially when the central characters are also juggling responsibilities at home.  An ER doctor who knows firsthand the sacrifices demanded by a successful surgical practice, Kimmery’s writing hit every emotional note I craved: hilarity in the domestic scenes, the gratification of a career running along its charted course, and sudden despair after a tragedy threatens to derail everything. Kimmery puts it best in her Author’s Note where she details what inspired her to set her debut novel in a hospital environment: “Medicine is a consuming field and a career without equal in its reward. Doctors have the immeasurable blessing of seeing life in all its anguish and glory.”

Featured Author Event: Jed Perl Tonight in NYC

Join The Art Students League of New York for a Gallery Lecture by renowned art critic and Knopf author Jed Perl, as he discusses his biography CALDER: The Conquest of Time (Knopf). Tonight, February 13, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at The Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, Jed will show why Alexander Calder (1898-1976) was–and remains–a barrier breaker, an avant-garde artist with mass appeal.  A wine, cheese and book-signing reception will follow the lecture.  

Only now, forty years after the artist’s death, is the full story of Calder’s life being told in this biography, which is based on unprecedented access to private letters and papers as well as scores of interviews. Calder’s life takes on a transatlantic richness, from New York’s Greenwich Village in the Roaring Twenties, to the Left Bank of Paris during the Depression, and then back to the United States, where the Calders bought a run-down old farmhouse in western Connecticut. New light is shed on Calder’s lifelong interest in dance, theater, and performance, ranging from the Cirque Calder, the theatrical event that became his calling card in bohemian Paris to collaborations with the choreographer Martha Graham and the composer Virgil Thomson. Penguin Random House author Joshua Cohen ( Book of Numbers and Moving Kings) praises CALDER: “Not all brilliant studies are definitive, and not all definitive studies are brilliant: Jed Perl’s Calder succeeds at being both. It’s a masterwork account of the life of one of America’s greatest artists that’s also an account of America coming into its own. Passionate, learned, playful and ranging, it’s as solidly-grounded as a stabile, but like a mobile it appears to defy gravity—and float.” Jed Perl is a regular contributor to The New York Times Review of Books. He was the art critic for The New Republic for twenty years and a contributing editor to Vogue for a decade, and is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. His previous books include Magicians and Charlatans, Antoine’s Alphabet, and New Art City, which was a New York Times Notable Book and an Atlantic Book of the Year.  

Viking to Publish New Novel by Deborah Harkness This Fall

Deborah Harkness, #1 bestselling author of the All Souls Trilogy (A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of NightThe Book of Life), will publish her next novel for Viking on September 25, 2018.  The book is called TIME’S CONVERT and set in the same universe at the All Souls Trilogy, as it jumps between contemporary London and Paris as well as the American colonies during the Revolutionary War. Readers can expect to see some of their favorite characters from the Trilogy, as Harkness uses her expertise as a professor of history at USC to deftly weave historical events into her page-turning story. 

Here is a preview: On the battlefields of the American Revolution, Matthew de Clermont meets Marcus MacNeil, a young surgeon from Massachusetts, during a moment of political awakening when it seems that the world is on the brink of a brighter future. When Matthew offers him a chance at immortality and a new life, free from the restraints of his puritanical upbringing, Marcus seizes the opportunity to become a vampire. But his transformation is not an easy one and the ancient traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus’s deeply-held beliefs in liberty, equality, and brotherhood. Fast forward to contemporary London, where Marcus has fallen for Phoebe Taylor, a young employee at Sotheby’s. She decides to become a vampire, too, and though the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers that the challenges facing a human who wishes to be a vampire are no less formidable in the modern world than they were in the 18th century. The shadows that Marcus believed he’d escaped centuries ago may return to haunt them both –forever. A passionate love story and a fascinating exploration of the power of tradition and the possibilities for change, TIME’S CONVERT will delight fans of the All Souls trilogy and all readers of magic, the supernatural, and romance.
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Featured Author Event: Dave Eggers (Washington, D.C.)

From bestselling author Dave Eggers comes the incredible true story of a young Yemeni American man, raised in San Francisco, who dreams of resurrecting the ancient art of Yemeni coffee but finds himself trapped in Sana’a by civil war.  Enjoy an evening with Dave Eggers as he discusses his latest book, THE MONK OF MOKHA (Knopf), on February 13 with Politics & Prose at Sixth & I in Washington, D.C.  The discussion, beginning at 6:00 p.m., will be followed by a book signing. 

Mokhtar Alkhanshali is twenty-four and working as a doorman when he discovers the astonishing history of coffee and Yemen’s central place in it. He leaves San Francisco and travels deep into his ancestral homeland to tour terraced farms high in the country’s rugged mountains and meet beleaguered but determined farmers. But when war engulfs the country and Saudi bombs rain down, Mokhtar has to find a way out of Yemen without sacrificing his dreams or abandoning his people. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Gabriel Thompson calls THE MONK OF MOKHA “Exquisitely interesting… This is about the human capacity to dream—here, there, everywhere.” Dave Eggers grew up near Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2002, he co-founded 826 Valencia, a nonprofit youth writing and tutoring center in San Francisco’s Mission District. Sister centers have since opened in seven other American cities under the umbrella of 826 National, and like-minded centers have opened in Dublin, London, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Birmingham, Alabama, among other locations. Egger’s work has been nominated for the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and has won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, France’s Prix Médicis, Germany’s Albatross Prize, the National Magazine Award, and the American Book Award. Eggers’ novels include The Circle, A Hologram for the King, and Heroes on the Frontier.  

Our 23 Finalists for IACP 2018 Awards

The International Association of Culinary Professionals announced the finalists for its 2018 Awards, recognizing the very best food writing and publishing of the year, from cookbooks and journalism to photography and digital media.  We received 23 nominations for books, authors and editors from Crown Publishing Group imprints Clarkson Potter, Ten Speed Press and Lorena Jones Books, as well as Alfred A. Knopf and America’s Test Kitchen (a PRHPS publisher client). The winners will be selected at the annual IACP conference on February 25 in New York.  

  Our IACP 2018 Awards finalists: Cookbooks Baking CANDY IS MAGIC: Real Ingredients, Modern Recipes by Jami Curl (Ten Speed Press) SWEET: Desserts from London's Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh (Ten Speed Press) Chefs & Restaurants CHEERS TO THE PUBLICAN, REPAST AND PRESENT: Recipes and Ramblings from an American Beer Hall by Paul Kahan with Rachel Holtzman (Lorena Jones Books) Compilations CHERRY BOMBE: The Cookbook by Kerry Diamond; Claudia Wu (Clarkson Potter) THE GRAND CENTRAL MARKET COOKBOOK: Cuisine and Culture from Downtown Los Angeles by Adele Yellin; Kevin West (Clarkson Potter) Culinary Travel KING SOLOMON"S TABLE: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World by Joan Nathan (Alfred A. Knopf) Julia Child First Book Award BREAD TOAST CRUMBS: Recipes for No-Knead Loaves & Meals to Savor Every Slice by Alexandra Stafford with Elizabeth Lowery (Clarkson Potter) General DINNER: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark (Clarkson Potter) Health & Special Diet THE BOOK OF GREENS: A Cook's Compendium of 40 Varieties, from Arugula to Watercress, with More than 175 Recipes by Jenn Louis; Kathleen Squires (Ten Speed Press) VEGAN FOR EVERYBODY: Foolproof Plant-Based Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and In-Between by The Editors at America's Test Kitchen (America's Test Kitchen, PRHPS Client Publisher) International KING SOLOMON'S TABLE: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World by Joan Nathan (Alfred A. Knopf) NOPALITO: A Mexican Kitchen by Gonzalo Guzmán with Stacy Adimando (Ten Speed Press) Reference & Technical PEPPERS OF THE AMERICAS: The Remarkable Capsicums That Forever Changed Flavor by Maricel E. Presilla (Lorena Jones Books) Single Subject HELLO, MY NAME IS ICE CREAM: The Art and Science of the Scoop by Dana Cree (Clarkson Potter) THE PHO COOKBOOK: Easy to Adventurous Recipes for Vietnam's Favorite Soup and Noodles by Andrea Nguyen (Ten Speed Press) Wine, Beer & Spirits THE BLOODY MARY: The Lore and Legend of a Cocktail Classic, with Recipes for Brunch and Beyond by Brian Bartels (Ten Speed Press) CHAMPAGNE: The Essential Guide to the Wines, Producers, and Terroirs of the Iconic Region by Peter Liem (Ten Speed Press) MEEHAN'S BARTENDER MANUAL by Jim Meehan (Ten Speed Press) Beverage-Focused Column Jon Bonné “Jon Bonné on Wine” PUNCH Food-Focused Column Scott Hocker “A Kitchen in New Orleans” TASTE Narrative Beverage Writing Garrett Snyder “How an LA Bar Built One of the World’s Greatest Stockpiles of Rare Spirits” PUNCH March 28, 2017 Culinary Travel Writing Francis Lam “In Good Hands” AFAR May/June 2017 Podcast or Radio Show The Splendid Table, American Public Media The Splendid Table Host, Francis Lam View the complete list of finalists here.

12 Penguin Random House Audio Titles are 2018 Audie Awards Finalists


The Audio Publishers Association has announced its 2018 Audie Awards finalists, including 12 Penguin Random House Audio titles.  This year’s honorees were revealed via a social media campaign, with each category’s finalists announced by a notable author, narrator, or media outlet. Three PRH Audio authors nominated this year participated in the announcement. George Saunders revealed the Short Stories/Collections category on his Facebook (30.21K followers), John le Carré revealed the Mystery category on his Twitter  (6.4K followers), and Libba Bray revealed the Middle Grade category on her Twitter (55.8K followers).  

Winners in all categories will be revealed during the Audies Gala on May 31 in New York during BookExpo 2018. Our Audie Awards finalists: Fiction ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman, read by Cathleen McCarro (Penguin Audio) Thriller Suspense A LEGACY OF SPIES by John le Carré, narrated by Tom Hollander (Penguin Audio) Mystery THE GIRL WHO TAKES AN EYE FOR AN EYE by David Lagercrantz, narrated by Simon Vance (Random House Audio) Multi-Voiced Performance LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders, narrated by George Saunders, Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, and 163 others (Random House Audio) Nonfiction AMERICAN WOLF: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee, narrated by Mark Bramhall (Random House Audio) SHATTERED: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, narrated by Kimberly Farr (Random House Audio) Inspirational Faith-Based Nonfiction WAKE UP TO THE JOY OF YOU: 52 Meditations and Practices for a Calmer, Happier Life, written and narrated by Agapi Stassinopoulos (Random House Audio) Science Fiction BATTLEFRONT II: Inferno Squad (Star Wars) by Christie Golden, narrated by Janina Gavankar (Random House Audio) Young Adult BEFORE THE DEVIL BREAKS YOU by Libba Bray, narrated by January LaVoy (Listening Library) YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR by Mitali Perkins, narrated by Sneha Mathan, Shivali Bhammer, Priya Ayyar, and others (Listening Library) Middle Grade THE EPIC FAIL OF ARTURO ZAMORA, written and narrated by Pablo Cartaya (Listening Library) SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS by Jack Cheng, read by Kivlighan de Montebello and Various (Listening Library) View the complete list of 2018 Audie Awards finalists here.

WWE Champion and Global Celebrity John Cena to Make Publishing Debut with RHCB

Random House Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, will publish a line of books written by globally beloved WWE champion, movie star, multi-talented entertainer, and philanthropist John Cena. The acquisition was announced today by Mallory Loehr, Senior Vice President, Publisher, Random House Books for Young Readers Group. Worldwide publishing rights were acquired from Jennifer Joel, ICM Partners.  

Inspired by John Cena’s own experiences growing up with four brothers, the books feature a hilarious family of monster trucks and promote values of perseverance and believing in oneself—which are central to Cena’s personal life credo. The first to launch will be the ELBOW GREASE picture book this fall on October 9, with a first printing of 250,000. Readers are introduced to a little monster truck with a big problem—he is smaller than his four brothers, but on a mission to prove that he has the guts, grit, and gumption to do big things. Howard McWilliam (I Need My Monster) will illustrate. Full of high-octane images and a new character to cheer for, Cena’s debut is a fun and fast-paced book that proves to kids that a little Elbow Grease can go a long way. “With ELBOW GREASE and the books to follow, I want to offer kids a fun and engaging way to learn about the power of ambition, dedication, and heart,” says Cena. “These concepts have been transformative in my life, from my childhood up to now, and it’s so important to me to pass the positivity on and help our youngest generation see that right mindset is key to achievement. [caption id="attachment_9407" align="alignright" width="257"] John Cena[/caption] Following the picture book release will be a full range of multi-format books, including board, Step into Reading early readers, and novelty formats, all featuring Elbow Grease and his boisterous brothers: Pinball, Flash, Crash, and Tank. “We are beyond thrilled to have John Cena and Elbow Grease at Random House to inspire kids—and grown-ups!—to never give up and to be true to themselves,” says Loehr. “The character Elbow Grease has John’s sense of humor and scrappiness, so our books will be lots of fun for children as well as imparting valuable lessons that parents and teachers will appreciate and love.” The book launch and program will be supported by an extensive national marketing and publicity campaign. Follow #ALittleElbowGrease and connect with John Cena via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @JohnCena. Cena is best known as the face of the WWE, where he is a 16-time world champion, as well as an actor and television personality. His most recent films include Ferdinand (2017) and Daddy’s Home 2 (2017). In 2018, he will appear in the upcoming Transformers spin-off Bumblebee and voice a role in Nickelodeon’s new Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, and he will host the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards for the second year in a row. Howard McWilliam is the illustrator of eight picture books. His first, I Need My Monster, won seven state young readers’ prizes and has been translated into five languages. His other works include the popular What if You Had series; Hey, That’s My Monster; Schmelf the Hanukkah Elf; and When a Dragon Moves In.

The Truth about the Border in Francisco Cantú’s THE LINE BECOMES A RIVER

THE LINE BECOMES A RIVER: Dispatches from the Border, published by Riverhead Books, presents a first-person narrative by author and former Border Patrol agent Francisco Cantú.  The border between the United States and Mexico is in his blood: his mother, a park ranger and daughter of a Mexican immigrant, raised him in the scrublands of the Southwest.  Haunted by the landscape of his youth, Cantú became an agent for the United States Border Patrol in 2008, working in the deserts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. He and his partners were posted to remote regions crisscrossed by drug routes and smuggling corridors, where they learned to track other humans under blistering sun and through frigid nights. They hauled in the dead and delivered to detention those they found alive. Plagued by nightmares, Cantú abandoned the Border Patrol for civilian life in 2012. But when an immigrant friend traveled to Mexico to visit his dying mother and did not return, Cantú discovered that the border had migrated with him.

In our Behind the Pages interview, Francisco Cantú and Rebecca Saletan, Vice President, Editorial Director for Riverhead, share personal insights into the creation of THE LINE BECOMES A RIVER, ongoing border-related issues, and the harsh realities that this book illuminates. 

[caption id="attachment_9400" align="alignright" width="200"] Francisco Cantu, credit Beowulf Sheehan[/caption] What inspired you to become a writer and chronicle your life experiences on the page? FC: What initially led me to become a writer was the need to make sense of the years I spent working as a Border Patrol agent. I signed up for the job after college, looking for answers to all the questions I encountered in my studies of immigration and border policy.  I was looking for the something that would bring me close to the border, something that would let me experience it to its fullest extent. The Border Patrol seemed like the only way to do that, to witness the harsh day-to-day realities of the border, to be out in the desert day in and day out. The job, of course, was a violent one, in ways that were both obvious and more subtle. Instead of finding the answers I was looking for, I ended up coming away with more questions, and that’s what led me to writing—it became a compulsion, something I had to do in order to come to terms with all the complicated ways my work had caused me to normalize and participate in structural violence. How did you discover this author and what were your first impressions of the manuscript for this book? RSI received an early draft of the book on submission in late September 2016, weeks before the election. Although we did not know then how large the border would loom in the national conversation, I could not stop thinking about it. Sometimes projects move so quickly editors don’t have time to see how the reading experience sits with us, but because the author was coming up from Tucson to meet with interested publishers, I had a little time to take my own temperature. What stayed with me was the understated force of the storytelling. I felt haunted by it, the way the US-Mexican border—the border whose line becomes a river—haunts America. The way the past and the present and the fate of those on both sides of it are inextricably entwined, no matter how high a wall we build. [caption id="attachment_9401" align="alignleft" width="300"] Rebecca Saletan, credit Louie Saletan[/caption] What was involved in working with Francisco during the editorial process? RS: I like to say that editing is 99 percent deletion, taking out what doesn’t need to be there, creating white space for the reader’s emotional response. But in this case what was needed was to imagine what wasn’t yet there that would help deepen and sharpen the arc of the narrative without making it heavy-handed.  I thought readers needed to feel a little more the effect of Cantú’s experience on him so that we could feel its effect on us. That meant judiciously adding material: signal moments from his childhood, his family background, and the deeper history of the border itself. These elements, which he deftly wove in, amplify the narrative and allow the reader to accompany him toward a kind of reckoning that we don’t see coming until it is upon us. What takeaways do you hope readers will glean from your book? FC: If nothing else, I want readers to come away feeling that the border is a place that is immensely complex and nuanced, to the extent that they reject simplified rhetoric about immigration and border policy. I think it’s important at this particular moment to take stock of all the things that are missing from our conversation about the border, such as the actual human costs of our current policy. People seem to forget that migrants are dying in the desert, and it’s not a small number, we’re talking about hundreds of people each year, and those are just the ones that get reported. Our current policy of “enforcement through deterrence” has weaponized the landscape, pushing people to cross in the most rugged and inhospitable terrain there is. There’s a humanitarian crisis occurring at our border but we don’t seem to recognize it as such—we don’t acknowledge the people who are dying there, we don’t name their bodies, we don’t mourn their deaths. That’s unacceptable; it has to change. We have to understand each number in each statistic as representing an individual life.