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Boom in Memoir Industry as Ordinary People Record Their Stories

…people have different reasons for wanting to record their lives. “Sometimes their motivation to write their biography might be as a result of a big moment in their life, be that an achievement or a turning point, good or bad. But a lot of the time motivation simply comes from either themselves wanting to get their stories down to pass on to their families, or their families wanting to record stories from parents or grandparents.” Read more

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2021 Was a Stellar Year for Publishing

In 2021, trade sales jumped again, but so did sales in the other segments, resulting in a 12.3% increase in total sales, to $29.33 billion, according to the Association of American Publishers’ final statistics for the year. The final figure marks a major improvement over numbers from the previous four years, when sales ranged between $25 billion and $26 billion. In 2021, sales in all segments except professional books topped their 2019 numbers, which have become a measuring stick many companies use given the volatility of the past two years. Read more

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What the Music You Love Says About You

This Is What It Sounds Like is a journey into the science and soul of music that reveals the secrets of why your favorite songs move you. But it’s also a story of a musical trailblazer who began as a humble audio tech in Los Angeles to became Prince’s chief engineer for Purple Rain, and then create other No. 1 hits as one of the most successful female record producers of all time. Now an award-winning professor of cognitive neuroscience, Susan Rogers leads readers to musical self-awareness. She explains that we each possess a unique “listener profile” based on our brain’s natural response to seven key dimensions of any song. Are you someone who prefers lyrics or melody? Do you like music “above the neck” (intellectually stimulating), or “below the neck” (instinctual and rhythmic)? Whether your taste is esoteric or mainstream, Rogers guides readers to recognize their musical personality, and offers language to describe one’s own unique taste. Like most of us, Rogers is not a musician, but she shows that all of us can be musical–simply by being an active, passionate listener. Read more

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Black Sparrow Press Is Back

Joshua Bodwell is glad he doesn’t have to personally deal with Charles Bukowski. Or Wanda Coleman. Or Paul Bowles. Or, for that matter, any of the late, legendary writers synonymous with Black Sparrow Press — the avant-garde publishing house established by John and Barbara Martin in 1966, in Los Angeles, and shuttered in 2002, in Santa Rosa. Bringing the long-dormant Californian imprint back to life is already more than enough pressure.

“It would be a lot of anxiety if one were tending to some of those legacy authors,” admits Bodwell, who, after being appointed editorial director of Boston-based publisher Godine in the winter of 2019, began working that July to relaunch the imprint under its umbrella. Starting with the spring 2020 publication of Coleman’s Wicked Enchantment, he’s tried to quietly oversee the release of 10 new additions to Black Sparrow’s 600-plus-title catalog. He’s held off on making a big announcement about the press’s rebirth, choosing to build up a body of work he could be proud of first. Read more

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‘Confess, Fletch’ Coming to Theaters & Digital On September 16th

In this delightful comedy romp, Jon Hamm stars as the roguishly charming and endlessly troublesome Fletch, who becomes the prime suspect in a murder case while searching for a stolen art collection. The only way to prove his innocence? Find out which of the long list of suspects is the culprit – from the eccentric art dealer and a missing playboy to a crazy neighbor and Fletch’s Italian girlfriend. Watch trailer

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