Book Expo 2013 Richer, More Distracting Than Web

Pot Pourri of Fetching Science Titles at University Presses

Fine Production Values Unmatched by Virtual Books

But Are Publishers Scraping the Barrel for Science Titles?

C-SPAN Book TV is an annual and impressive presence outside the ropes at every BEA to greet visitors

The 2013 Book Expo America at Javits presented the usual cacophony, as vibrant as ever, of booths offering every kind of author and book to trade, media and fans.

In a sign of the times, however, major booths such as Harper and Random House, showed no actual physical books at all, since all their production was no available to the trade on line. Was this a foretaste of urban life to come, where actual bookstores will be a thing of the past? Probably not, judging from the current flowering of small local bookshops.

But the days of big Barnes and Noble outlets in New York may be numbered, as Amazon crushes their margins with its cheaper (often tax free) warehouses and ruthless pricing and makes many unprofitable, and expiring ten year leases can only be renewed at forbidding cost which promises to drag them under later. The closing of Borders has not yielded an uptick in Barnes and Noble’s sales.

Such an absence would lose exactly the serendipity which makes the Book Expo such a pleasure. The only way to deal with such abundance is to look for specific kinds of books, in our case science, politics and economics.

Outstanding books

Here are our finds in that realm which seem to comprise distinctly fewer big topics than last year (has all the available ground been covered? Are we entering the End of Science Writing?):

The Polish Cultural Institute is a presence at BEA under the direction of David Goldfarb with Dorota Piotrowska. A prize offering at the Polish Cultural Institute was Artur Domoslawksi's biography of the remarkable literary journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski: A Life. (David Goldfarb Literature and Humanities Programming Polish Cultural Institute 239 7300 x 3002

Norton (Louise Brockett VP Exec Dir Publicity and PR 790 Fall 2013:
Shores of Knowledge by Joyce Appleby (288pp October)
Feminine Mystique by Betty Friendan intro by Gail Collins, Afterword by Anna Quindlen (592 pp, September)
Spillover: Animal Infections and the next Human Pandemic by David Quammen (592 pp, September)
The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body by Frances Ashcroft (September)
Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience by Laurence Gonzales (272 pp, October, Pbk)
Double Entry: How The Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance by Jane Glesson-White (304 pp, October Pbk)
Poems of Jesus Christ trans by Willis Bernstone (288 pp December Pbk)
E E Cummings Complete Poems 1904-1962 (September 1136 pp)
The Wasteland T.S. Eliot (intro by Paul Muldoon) (112 pp September)
The Myth of America’s Decline: Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies by Josef Joffe (272 pp, Liveright, November)
Stop Me If You’ve Heard This: A History and Philosophy of Jokes by Jim Holt (160 pp, Liveright, October)
George Orwell Diaries Ed by Peter Davison Intro by Christopher Hitchens (624 pp, Pbk, October)
Chess Tactics for the Tournament Player by GM Sam Palatbik and GM Lev Alburt (256 p, Pbk, September)
Recent: Short (International Anthology of Five Centuries of Short-Short Stories, Prose Poems, Brief Essays and other Short Prose Forms ((under 1250 wds) Ed by Alan Ziegler (368 pp, February)
Naked Statistics Charles Wheelan,
Mary Roach Gulp (Adventures of the Alimentary Canal) 352 pp April 2013.
Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection by Ethan Zuckerman
Joe Stiglitz The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future
Extra Virginity: The Scandalous World of Olive Oil by Tom Mueller
Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams
Neil deGrasse Tyson Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier
The Big Switch: Rewiring the World from Edison to Google by Nicholas Carr (The Definitive Guide to the Cloud Computing Revolution)

Harper Collins imprint Ecco Michael McKenzie Senior Director of Publicity

Penguin Katie Grinch Ass Dir Publicity Putnam’s 366 2574 General Tel 366 2847.

Thames and Hudson Christoper Sweet Ed Director 354 9181
Are We Being Watched: The Search for Life in the Cosmos by Paul Murdin (p x).

Naked Calories and Rich Food, Poor Food by Jayson Calton (CaltonNutrition 941-882-4297 Excellent guides by an independent author and his wife, who traveled the world to find out the truth about diet and health for themselves – curing her of very early osteoporosis in the process. Beautifully produced volumes with accurate information.

Princeton (Casey LaVela Publicity c 609-258.9491
The Universe in Zero Words: The Story of Mathematics As Told Through Equations by Dana Mckenzie. Against the tide of editing science books which seeks to include as few equations as possible,. Dana Mackenzie, a mathematics professor turned author, fearlessly lifts the veil of mystery from mathematics and equations, traversing all the surprising, concise, consequential and universal equations that are the jewels in the crown of mathematics. Mr Mackenzie’s zeal and clarity are unmatched, and he manages to o embody his material in story telling throughout.

Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard Carlson (Princeton, 500 pp, May 12) is a definitively thorough but readable account of the life of the sane madman who first wired the world (by inventing alternative current) which is well indexed and written by a professor of history, science, technology, engineering and society at the University of Virginia who has read every other book (good and bad) and source on Tesla, whose reputation for original genius is safe in his sober hands. Included is a nice discussion of why individuals such as Tesla are motivated to do the hard and risky work of developing disruptive technology.

ECW Press. Mad Like Tesla: Underdog Inventors and Their Relentless Pursuit of Clean Energy by Tyler Hamilton. A fine rundown on quirky clean energy inventors who follow in the tradition of Tesla, whose story of incredible mystic inventiveness in electricity is summarized very well in the opening pages, justifying his recent renaissance in reputation which now exceeds Edison in the field.

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