Dutton Books

Featured Author Event: H. Jon Benjamin (NYC)

Actor, author and comedian H. Jon Benjamin is launching his new Dutton book, FAILURE IS AN OPTION: An Attempted Memoir, at The Strand in New York City on Tuesday, May 1, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Benjamin is best known for voicing characters, including Sterling Archer in Archer, Bob Belcher in Bob’s Burgers, Dr. Katz in Dr. Katz, and Jason in Home Movies. He will be joined at The Strand by fellow comedian, actor and writer Eugene Mirman, known for playing Yvgeny Mirminsky on Delocated, and voicing Gene Belcher on Bob’s Burgers.

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In his book, Benjamin reminds everyone that as great as success can be, failure is also an option. And maybe the best option. Breaking down one's natural ability to succeed is not an easy task, but also not an impossible one. Society as we know it is, unfortunately, opposes failure. If failure became more accepted it would make the world a different place, a kinder, gentler place, where gardens are overgrown and most people stay home with their pets. A vision of failure, but also a vision of freedom. With stories, examples of artistic and literary failure, and a powerful can't-do attitude, FAILURE IS AN OPTION is the book the world doesn't need right now but will get regardless. Fun bonus fact: H. Jon Benjamin’s first job in NYC was at The Strand!  

How the “Million-Dollar Brain” Replaced the “Million-Dollar Arm”

Why couldn’t Michael Jordan, master athlete that he was, crush a baseball? Our new Igloo Book Buzz selection, Zach Schonbrun’s THE PERFORMANCE CORTEX, published by Dutton on April 17, provides an answer to that question and many others while revealing what actually drives human movement and its spectacular potential. Whether it is timing a 95 mph fastball or reaching for a coffee mug, movement requires a complex suite of computations that many take for granted. With this book, Schonbrun ushers in a new way of thinking about the athletic gifts we marvel over and seek to develop in our own lives. It’s not about the million-dollar arm anymore. It’s about the million-dollar brain.

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[caption id="attachment_111171" align="alignright" width="249"] Stephen Morrow[/caption] Stephen Morrow, Vice President, Executive Editor, Dutton, said, “From the first moments of engagement with Zach Schonbrun’s proposal, his passionate curiosity was captivating. I had the impression he was a sports reporter, but that oversimplification of his immense journalistic talent was quickly swept away. I didn’t grow up with baseball (cricket guy), but I loved Moneyball and this book promised to take the science of sport to a new level. Zach had found two neuroscience start-up entrepreneurs, an unsung brilliant researcher at John’s Hopkins, and was burning to talk to someone in England. All this in pursuit of an understanding of what exactly makes the best athletes so good at making impossible feats look easy. It has been an utter delight and profound pleasure to work with a first time author of such skill and poise on the page and in the field, wherever his investigations take him. Including airline flights themselves, as you can see here. [caption id="attachment_111174" align="alignright" width="261"] Zach Schonbrun © Curtis Cort[/caption] Schonbrun reveals the stories behind THE PERFORMANCE CORTEX: “I came across the topic when my wife found a small blurb in the Columbia alumni magazine about neuroscientists trying to work with Major League Baseball teams. I certainly didn't think at the time that it might lead me here, but I kept tugging at that thread of neuroscience and sports and there was just so much to unravel. I began to realize, well, maybe I've been looking at athleticism all wrong. And I figured if I had, then probably others had as well. The book formed from my own curiosity, and a desire to kind of set the record straight. “My background is in sports journalism, not science, so there was a fairly steep learning curve for me. I leaned on the researchers that I profiled to make sure that what I was writing was fair and accurate. And I also leaned on Stephen, whose own knowledge and vision kept this as a science-sports book, rather than the other way around. But one thing I never struggled with was enthusiasm for and interest in the subject, and I'm grateful for that. It made this experience much more enjoyable.” Here is a sampling of advance media praise for THE PERFORMANCE CORTEX: “A must-read for the cerebral sports fan…like Moneyball except nerdier. Much nerdier.” --Sports Illustrated “Fans of sport science, sport psychology, robotics, and neuroscience will find this to be informative and inspiring.” --Library Journal “[A] revealing tour of the minds of winning athletes… readers interested in the applications of neuroscience to everyday life will find plenty of value here.” --Kirkus Reviews “Poised to guide the sophisticated sports fan in such examination, Schonbrun lucidly explains the fascinating new world of neuroathletics…The stereotype of the dumb jock may not survive this explosive jolt!” --Booklist

Dutton Acquires Debut Novel by Hank Green

Christine Ball, Senior Vice President, Publisher, Dutton, announced this week the acquisition of AN ABSOLUTELY REMARKABLE THING, the first novel by Hank Green, best known for his enormously popular Vlogbrothers YouTube channel, which he created with his brother, John Green.  Executive Editor Maya Ziv won North American rights in a two-book deal at auction from Jodi Reamer at Writers House, LLC, with the first book to be published in Fall 2018. 

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News of this acquisition was revealed in The New York Times (click here to read the article) and was also featured in stories by the Associated Press, EntertainmentWeekly.com, Vulture.com, and other outlets. Christine Ball said, “It is a huge honor to have Hank Green join the Dutton list.  We’re excited to be launching his literary career with his utterly unique novel.  AN ABSOLUTELY REMARKABLE THING will not only appeal to his massive fan base, but to lovers of exceptional fiction.” AN ABSOLUTELY REMARKABLE THING tells the story of April May, an art student in New York City who happens across an impressive, mysterious sculpture of a giant robot in midtown Manhattan.  With the help of her friend Andy Skampt, she makes a video with the figure, naming it Carl. After news spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world – and nobody knows how they got there– April is thrust into an international spotlight and finds herself at the center of the quest to find out not just what The Carls are, but what they want from us.
Hank Green said: “We’re at a really weird moment in history, and April’s story helps highlight several of those oddities that we’re now seeing as more and more normal.  It’s a story I’ve wanted to tell for a long time that was seeded by a lot of my personal experiences, but it’s April’s story, and it’s been a pleasure watching her live her absolutely remarkable life. I am so excited to have a real-live novel be published by such a talented team.” AN ABSOLUTELY REMARKABLE THING also grapples with big themes, including how the social Internet is changing fame, rhetoric, and radicalization; how our culture deals with fear and uncertainty; and how vilification and idolation spring from the same dehumanization that follows a life in the public eye. Hank Green is no stranger to fame himself. He started making YouTube videos in 2007 with his brother, John Green, #1 bestselling author of numerous young adult novels including THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and the forthcoming TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN, published by Penguin Random House’s Dutton Books for Young Readers.  Since then, the two have built an enormous and dedicated community of fans.  Across their YouTube channels, which include Crash Course and SciShow, their videos have now been viewed more than 2 billion times.

Dutton to Publish Book Detailing Alex Honnold’s Historic Yosemite Climb

dutton lockupTHE IMPOSSIBLE CLIMB, Mark Synnott’s exclusive book-length story of his ten-year relationship with legendary climber Alex Honnold and his increasingly challenging, death-defying climbs, has been acquired by Dutton, it was announced by Christine Ball, Senior Vice President, Publisher, Putnam Dutton Berkley.

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The book will unfold against the backdrop of Honnold’s historic free solo climb of the Freerider route on El Capitan in Yosemite, one of the greatest feats of rock climbing in history, which took place his past weekend. Honnold became the first person to free solo El Capitan’s 3,000-foot vertical ascent, without the assistance of ropes or other safety gear. Synnott was there for the event and was the first person to interview Honnold afterward. Read his National Geographic piece here. Synnott is a pioneering big wall climber himself and one of the most prolific adventurers of his generation. His search for unclimbed and unexplored rock walls has taken him on nearly 30 expeditions to places like Alaska, Baffin Island, Greenland, Iceland, Newfoundland, Patagonia, Guyana, Venezuela, Pakistan, Nepal, India, China, Tibet, Uzbekistan, Russia, Cameroon, Chad, Borneo, Oman and Pitcairn Island. Closer to home, Synnott has climbed Yosemite’s El Capitan 22 times, including several one-day ascents. When he’s not in the mountains, Synnott works with The North Face Research, Design and Development team and lectures frequently on his life as a professional climber and explorer. He has done motivational speaking for clients like General Motors, Bank of New York, Vanity Fair, the X Prize Foundation and the National Geographic Society. An accomplished journalist and author, Synnott is a regular contributor to National Geographic Magazine, and his work has appeared in many other publications including Men’s Journal, Outside, Climbing, Rock & Ice, Skiing, and New York Magazine.