Crown Publishing Group

Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden to Moderate “A Conversation with Former First Lady Michelle Obama” at ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition

Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden will moderate a conversation with former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama during the Opening General Session of the 2018 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition on Friday, June 22. This session will take place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

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The Opening General Session will feature a performance by Trombone Shorty and students from his foundation followed by ALA President Jim Neal’s presentation of key ALA Awards. Dr. Hayden and Mrs. Obama will end the program with an in-depth conversation around Mrs. Obama’s forthcoming memoir, BECOMING (Crown Publishing Group, November 13), and the experiences that have impacted her life, her family, and the country. Dr. Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress in September 2016. She is the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library. She was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama in February 2016 and her nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in July 2016. Prior to her current post, she served as CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. She was nominated by President Obama to be a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board in 2010 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate later that year. She began her career with the Chicago Public Library and served as President of the American Library Association (2003-2004). Hayden received a BA from Roosevelt Library, and an MA and PhD from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago. Mrs. Obama’s highly-anticipated memoir, BECOMING will be published in the U.S. and Canada on November 13 by the Crown Publishing Group. BECOMING will also be published in 25 languages around the world. Considered one of the most popular First Ladies of recent times, Mrs. Obama in her book invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it – in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory BECOMING is an unusually intimate reckoning from a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same. Michelle Obama has described writing BECOMING as “a deeply personal experience. It has allowed me, for the very first time, the space to honestly reflect on the unexpected trajectory of my life. I hope my journey inspires readers to find the courage to become whoever they aspire to be. I can’t wait to share my story.”

CONVICTED and THE RED BANDANNA Win Christopher Awards

The 69th annual Christopher Awards, presented in New York City on May 17, celebrated and honored writers, producers, directors, authors and illustrators whose work “affirms the highest values of the human spirit.” WaterBrook’s CONVICTED: A Crooked Cop, An Innocent Man, and an Unlikely Journey of Forgiveness and Friendship by Jameel McGee and Andrew Collins with Mark Tabb won in the Books for Adults category. Viking Books for Young Readers’ THE RED BANDANNA by Tom Rinaldi won in the Books for Young People category.

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Warm congratulations to the authors as well as their editors and publishers. [caption id="attachment_113543" align="alignright" width="341"] Jameel McGee, Campbell Wharton, and Andrew Collins[/caption] CONVICTED is a remarkable true story about a man who chose to forgive the cop who falsely imprisoned him. As current as today’s headlines, this explosive story reveals how these radically conflicted men chose to let go of fear and a thirst for revenge to pursue reconciliation for themselves, their community, and our racially divided nation. In the young readers’ adaptation of his New York Times bestselling Penguin Press book. THE RED BANDANNA, award-winning ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi brings Welles Crowther’s inspirational story of selflessness and compassion to life. On a day that changed a nation, one young man found his calling. Welles didn’t see himself as a hero. He was just an ordinary kid who played sports, volunteered for the fire department in his town, and eventually headed off to college and then to Wall Street to start a career. Throughout it all, he always kept a red bandanna in his pocket, a gift from his father when he was little. On September 11, 2001, Welles was at his job on the 104th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center when the Twin Towers were attacked. What he did next would alter the course of many lives. That day, the legend of the Man in the Red Bandanna was born. View the complete list of 2018 Christopher Awards winners here. The Christophers, a nonprofit founded in 1945 by Maryknoll Father James Keller, is rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition of service to God and humanity. The ancient Chinese proverb—“It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness”— guides its publishing, radio, and awards programs.

Growing Up Black, Christian and Female in White America

From Austin Channing Brown, a powerful new narrative nonfiction voice on racial justice, comes I’M STILL HERE: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, published by Convergent today, May 15. This book is an eye-opening account of growing up Black, Christian, and female in middle-class white America. Ms. Brown’s first encounter with a racialized America came at age 7, when she discovered her parents named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man.

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Growing up in majority-white schools, organizations, and churches, Ms. Brown writes, “I had to learn what it means to love blackness,” a journey that led to a lifetime spent navigating America’s racial divide as a writer, speaker and expert who helps organizations practice genuine inclusion. In this “Meet Our Author” interview, Ms. Brown discusses her path to becoming a published author, the process of chronicling her experiences in book form, why Convergent was the best publishing home for I’M STILL HERE, and what she hopes readers will recognize, consider and take to heart. What inspired you to develop your writing talents and become an author? I have always loved reading and admired authors, but I never imagined I could be one! The experience of blogging gave me the first taste of possibility. I am so grateful for the ways technology has opened doors of opportunity. Once I started blogging, then I had friends and mentors who really encouraged me to take writing to a new level by writing articles and then a book. How would you describe the genesis of this book and the process of deciding what experiences to chronicle and which points to emphasize? The genesis of this book was hard won. It took me quite a bit of time to figure out who I am as an author. It felt so big – writing a book. I thought I had to pretend to be a historian or theologian or academic of some kind. Eventually I had to realize that what I am an expert in is my life experience. I can bring in some of those other elements, but I had to embrace me first. I was very inspired by two works of art: BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuff by Ntozake Shange. I really wondered what it would like to have a book that sort of lived at the intersection of those two works – really addressing race in America like Coates, but focusing intentionally on the experiences of black women like Shange. Once I had that mission in mind, it became much easier to organize the content around those two ideas. Why is Convergent the best publishing home for I’M STILL HERE? There are a few reasons why Convergent was the best place for I’M STILL HERE. It was really important to me that my voice remain true. I didn’t want to be tampered down, from being able to use four-letter words when appropriate to not making my voice softer or more palatable. As a black woman, talking about race I knew many publishers would be tempted to smooth over my rough edges to make the book as universal as possible. I liked that Convergent seemed to appreciate my edges rather than desire to erase them. Also when I talked to the Convergent team about my proposal, they just seemed to "get it." We had a really rich conversation building on one another’s ideas. I knew they understood what I was trying to do, and I trusted they could make the project better. What elements of your book do you hope will resonate most strongly with readers? I hope that readers will begin to give greater consideration to the inherent dignity of black bodies, black culture, and all that black history has given to America.  

Our 2018 James Beard Chef Award Winners: Gabrielle Hamilton Named Outstanding Chef and Abraham Conlon is Best Chef: Great Lakes

Champagne corks were popping in Chicago on Tuesday night at the 2018 James Beard Foundation Chef and Restaurant Awards ceremony when it was announced that the Outstanding Chef Award went to Gabrielle Hamilton, chef/owner of Prune restaurant in New York’s East Village and Random House author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, BLOOD, BONES & BUTTER: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, and her cookbook, PRUNE. Random House will publish her new memoir, KIND REGARDS, next year.

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The bubbly flowed again when Fat Rice chef Abraham Conlon, co-author of THE ADVENTURES OF FAT RICE: Recipes from the Chicago Restaurant Inspired by Macau (Ten Speed Press), won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes. Congratulations to Ms. Hamilton and Mr. Conlon as well as their editors and publishers. View the complete list of 2018 James Beard Foundation Chef and Restaurant Awards winners here.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama to Open 2018 ALA Annual Conference

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is a lawyer, author, and the wife of the 44th President, Barack Obama. Through her initiatives as First Lady, she has become a role model for women and girls, and an advocate for healthy families, service members and their families, higher education, and international adolescent girls’ education. She will appear at the opening general session of the 2018 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference and Exhibition on Friday, June 22, 4:00—5:30 pm, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Her appearance at the conference is sponsored by Penguin Random House.

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[caption id="attachment_112390" align="alignright" width="214"] Michelle Obama, Credit David Slijper[/caption] Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s much-anticipated memoir, BECOMING, will be published in the U.S. and Canada on November 13, 2018, by Crown, and will be released simultaneously in 24 languages. Considered one of the most popular First Ladies of recent times, Mrs. Obama in her book invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. Warm, wise, and revelatory, BECOMING is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same. Michelle Obama has described writing BECOMING as “a deeply personal experience. It has allowed me, for the very first time, the space to honestly reflect on the unexpected trajectory of my life. I hope my journey inspires readers to find the courage to become whoever they aspire to be. I can’t wait to share my story.” A product of Chicago public schools, Obama studied sociology and African-American studies at Princeton University and is a graduate of Harvard Law School. Mrs. Obama started her career as an attorney at the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she met her future husband, Barack Obama. She later worked in the Chicago mayor’s office, at the University of Chicago, and at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Mrs. Obama also founded the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an organization that prepares young people for careers in public service. For more information, visit the ALA Conference website.
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Two Multnomah Authors Win 2018 Christian Book Awards

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) announced the winners of the 2018 Christian Book Awards on Tuesday, May 1, at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, during the ECPA Leadership Summit. Among the prize winners were two authors and their books published by Crown Publishing Group’s Multnomah imprint:

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WHISPER by Mark Batterson won the Christian Living Award. FOLLOW THE CLOUD by John Stickl won in the New Author category. Congratulations to our authors, their publishing teams, and everyone at Multnomah and CPG. View the complete list of the 2018 Christian Book Award winners here. The Christian Book Award program has recognized the highest quality in Christian books since 1978. Based on excellence in content, literary quality, design, and impact, the Christian Book Award program is the oldest and among the most prestigious awards in the religious publishing industry. The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, formed in 1974, is an international non-profit trade organization comprised of member companies that are involved in the publishing and distribution of Christian content worldwide.

CPG’s Ten Speed Press and Clarkson Potter Take Home Multiple James Beard Foundation Awards

The James Beard Foundation announced the winners of its definitive Cookbook, Broadcast Media, and Journalism awards for 2018 on April 27, at a dinner in Manhattan—and Crown Publishing Group imprints ruled the night: Ten Speed Press books and authors received four awards while Clarkson Potter authors were recognized with two prizes. Of special note: the 11 JBF Cookbook Award nominations received by Ten Speed Press are the most in its history (and in the history of the JBF Cookbook Awards for one imprint), and its 4 JBF Cookbook Award wins are the most for Ten Speed since 2008.

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COOKBOOK Beverage MEEHAN’S BARTENDER MANUAL by Jim Meehan (Ten Speed Press) International NOPALITO by Gonzalo Guzman and Stacy Adimando (Ten Speed Press) Reference, History, and Scholarship CHAMPAGNE by Peter Liem (Ten Speed Press) Single Subject THE PHO COOKBOOK by Andrea Nguyen (Ten Speed Press)   BROADCAST MEDIA Television Program, in Studio or Fixed Location “Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro,” Ina Garten, Food Network (Garten’s upcoming Clarkson Potter book, COOK LIKE A PRO, will be published 10/23/18)   JOURNALISM Innovative Storytelling Melissa Clark, “The New Essentials of French Cooking,” The New York Times (Author of DINNER: Changing the Game, Clarkson Potter)   Congratulations to all of our prize-winning authors, as well as their editors and publishers. View the complete list of James Beard Foundation 2018 Cookbook, Journalism, and Broadcast Media Awards winners here. Winners of the 2018 James Beard Foundation Restaurant & Chef Awards (Ten Speed Press, Lorena Jones Books and Clarkson Potter authors/chefs/restaurateurs have 17 nominations among them) will be announced at a ceremony in Chicago on May 7.

Crown Hosts NYU Students for an Inside Look at the Making of a Book That Matters

A contingent of 28 students from the NYU School of Professional Studies, led by Andrea Chambers, Director of NYU’s Center for Publishing, visited the Crown Publishing Group offices at 1745 Broadway on Friday, April 6, to learn about and discuss a forthcoming Fall 2018 title, THIRST by Scott Harrison, to be published on October 2 by CPG imprint Currency. The book is an inspiring personal story of redemption, second chances, and the transformative power of change, from the founder and CEO of the successful nonprofit charity: water.

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The Crown presentation featured Campbell Wharton, Associate Publisher, Currency; Group; Derek Reed, Editor, Convergent; Donna Passannante, Vice President, Executive Director, Marketing, Crown Publishing Group; Carisa Hays, Vice President, Executive Director of Publicity, Crown Publishing Group; and Megan Schumann, Manager, Publicity, Crown Publishing Group. They provided insights into the acquisition, editing and publishing processes as well as marketing and publicity campaigns for the book, and how it could help change the conversation about charities and our personal involvement in good works. The event concluded with a lively question & answer session. A few days later, NYU student Amanda Orozco wrote a wonderful blog post titled “Thirst for Change: Crown Publishing and Author Scott Harrison Team Up to Make a Difference.” Here is an excerpt: “What if… ?” This question is a leitmotif for Scott Harrison’s life and new book. What if a nightclub promoter wanted to do more with his time? What if he gave up the New York club scene to help people in developing African nations have clean water? What if he started a charity, charity: water, that put 100% of its donations into building wells in African nations with poor or polluted water supplies? What if his efforts helped 7.3 million people in Africa finally have clean drinking water and a reduction in disease? What if he could grow his charity from two people to over 70 in less than ten years? What if he could raise $3 million in less than 15 minutes? What if he could change the way charities are run forever… and change lives? “NYU M.S. in Publishing: Digital & Print Media students found out the answers to these and other questions when they were invited to be early readers of THIRST, Harrison’s forthcoming memoir. They were given special reading galleys in preparation for a recent visit to Harrison’s publisher, the Crown Publishing Group. During their visit, the students got to hear the story behind the story – the amazing publishing process of this book – from the members of the team that are bringing the book to life.” To read the complete NYU blog post, click here. Please note: author Scott Harrison will be featured at a Penguin Random House “Lunch & Learn” on Tuesday, June 5 at 1745 Broadway. Check back on Igloo for details in the coming days.

TRUE ROOTS: First Rodale Books NY Times Bestseller from Crown Publishing

The Crown Publishing Group is celebrating an historic milestone: its first New York Times bestseller since the venerable wellness publisher became an imprint within its division earlier this year. Rodale Books’ TRUE ROOTS by Kristin Cavallari debuts at #3 on the NYT April 22 Advice, How-to, and Miscellaneous list.

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Cavallari is a popular television personality whose previous NYT bestseller, BALANCING IN HEELS, focused on sharing what she has learned from her personal journey. Her newest, subtitled “A Mindful Kitchen with More than 100 Recipes Free of Gluten, Dairy, and Refined Sugar,” presents her approach to enjoying a toxin-free, healthy diet. The book was published by Rodale on April 3, was the #1 overall Nielsen Bookscan nonfiction title in its first week on sale, and is #1 on the April 16 Publishers Weekly overall bestseller list. Rodale Books’ Adult nonfiction publishing program is part of Crown’s Illustrated and Lifestyle division, whose other imprints are Clarkson Potter, Ten Speed Press, and Harmony Books. Aaron Wehner, who oversees the division as Publisher, described this occasion as “really thrilling,” adding that “special notice is due to several of our new colleagues--editor Dervla Kelly, originating publisher Gail Gonzales, and marketer Brianne Sperber—with a big assist from the Harmony team under Diana Baroni, Vice President, Associate Publisher, Editorial Director, who is also responsible for Rodale Books. TRUE ROOTS is a terrific book, published by a terrific team, and it should continue to roll.”

Hogarth’s Alexis Washam on How Jo Nesbø Transformed MACBETH

The newest novel in the Hogarth Shakespeare Series is Jo Nesbø’s MACBETH, published on April 10. Set in the 1970s in a run-down, rainy industrial town, this gripping transformative take on one of Shakespeare’s bloodiest plays centers around a police force struggling to shed an incessant drug problem. Creating an engrossing story of love and guilt, political ambition, and greed for more, Nesbø explores the darkest corners of human nature, and the aspirations of the criminal mind.

In this “Three Questions for an Editor” interview, Alexis Washam, Executive Editor, Crown Publishers and Hogarth, offers insights into the Hogarth Shakespeare Series, the process of working with Nesbø on this project, and how readers may embrace the remarkable novel that was created. Read on.

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What was involved in the process of having Jo Nesbø retell MACBETH as part of the Hogarth Shakespeare Series? When we first conceived of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, my colleagues here and in the UK agreed that we wanted to give the participating authors as much latitude as possible on this project. When we approached Jo, we asked him which Shakespeare play he would be most excited about retelling, and when he came back with MACBETH, we were both thrilled and not entirely surprised. It is, after all, one of the Bard’s bloodiest. Once we matched the author with the play, there was very little directive – basically, “write a novel!” - and I’ve been amazed to see how each book has come back with its author’s own unique take on his or her play. Nesbø is no different – he took a timeless tale of ambition and madness and set it in a police department in an atmospheric port town, and the result is a page-turning thriller that stands up to the best of them.   How would you describe working with the author as his editor as this book came to be? [caption id="attachment_110713" align="alignright" width="197"] Alexis Washam[/caption] It’s been a true honor to work with all of the authors on our Hogarth Shakespeare list, and each of them has been incredibly open and gracious about the editorial process. All of the books in the series are published in collaboration with my colleagues at Hogarth UK, so in the case of MACBETH, Jo delivered his manuscript, fully finished and translated by Don Bartlett, to myself and the UK editor at the same time. We both read it at once (it was exciting to be one of the first to read a new Nesbø novel!), and then sent along our editorial notes to Jo and his agent. There was not very much that needed changing, as you can imagine. But he took our thoughts into consideration, and we did a small bit of work on the opening chapter in particular. Since the setting and the cast of characters would be new to Nesbø fans, we wanted to make sure we got the first pages exactly right, so they’d be instantly drawn in. We also had a conversation about the title: MACBETH is the only book in our series that shares its title with the play. At first, we weren’t sure about this exception, but after reading the manuscript it made sense. Since Jo had kept the names of the characters (he’s the only one who has done so, at least to this extent), we decided to stick with it. And it looks fantastic on a book cover! What elements of Nesbø’s MACBETH do you think will resonate with longtime fans of his Harry Hole novels as well as readers – particularly Shakespeare devotees – who may be coming to his fiction for the first time? Jo Nesbø’s novels are not just pulse-racing thrillers; his work has always explored the darkness and evil that is present in any seemingly functional society, and the chaos and infighting that serves as the backdrop to his MACBETH should be familiar to any fan of the play. Also, of course neither the play nor Nesbø’s work are strangers to violence – man’s worst impulses often result in murder and violent crime, and the Harry Hole novels and this new book make those acts of violence central to their plots. However, neither Nesbø nor Shakespeare was interested in bloodshed for its own sake; both in the original play and the novel, the character Macbeth’s deepest psychological demons and personal failings make for a compelling tale of a tragic fallen man.