The  2015 James Beard Foundation’s Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards winners were announced last Friday (4/24) evening and award-winning chef/author Dan Barber won a 2015 James Beard Foundation Book Award in the Writing and Literature category for The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food.  Penguin Press published this title in hardcover in 2014 and Penguin Books published the paperback edition early last month. In his book, Barber discusses how, traditionally, Americans have dined on the “first plate,” a classic meal centered on meat with few vegetables. Thanks to the farm-to-table movement, many people have begun eating from the “second plate,” the new ideal of organic, grass-fed meats and local vegetables.  But neither model, Barber shows, supports the long-term productivity of the land. Indeed the inefficiency of these systems exacts a high cost on the land, and in the case of the “second plate,” on the price and accessibility of food.   Instead, Barber calls for a “third plate,” a new way of eating rooted in cooking with and celebrating the whole farm—an integrated system of vegetable, grain, and livestock production. Drawing on personal insight as well as the wisdom and experience of chefs and farmers from around the world, Barber proposes a new definition for ethical and delicious eating that inspires us to look at food and the land on which it grows in an entirely new way.
The Mystery Writers of America announced the 2015 Edgar Awards winners Wednesday night at its 69th gala banquet in New York.  Acclaimed Penguin author Chris Abani took home the Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original for his latest thriller, The Secret History of Las Vegas (Penguin Books, January 2014). Abani’s visceral and gritty novel explores the blurry line between good and evil through the story of a detective trying to solve a series of murders of Las Vegas’s homeless. The New York Times Book Review praised it, saying “In the end, what lifts the novel is its energy, the audacity of Abani’s imagination, and most of all the breadth of vision that supplies its moral context.” Abani has also previously won a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and PEN Hemingway Book Prize, among other honors. He is known for his fiction, poetry, and work on humanitarian causes related to art and ethics. This is the third year in a row that Penguin Books had taken home an Edgar Award.  Congratulations all!
Avery’s The Plantpower Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for the Whole Family had an ultra-exciting launch this week, which should come as no surprise considering that author Rich Roll is one of iTunes’ top ten health podcasters and a renowned Ultra-athlete. This week, Rich and his wife Julie Piatt (check them out here) expanded their already impressive vegan lifestyle community by sharing their stories and health secrets on over 30 podcasts like NoMeatAthlete and School of Greatness, through recipe features on Yahoo! Health and top vegan websites like Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Wellness and Veg Kitchen , and in interviews with LA Confidential  and NPR Southwest.  And the media attention doesn’t stop there – stay tuned next week for The Plantpower Way’s takeover of Yahoo! Health social media accounts, a KQED interview, features on the Joe Rogan podcast and Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Life,  and much, much more. Grab a copy of this gorgeous book if you can – it is a beautiful gift!
G. P. Putnam’s Sons has acquired North American publication rights to Maestra, a new psychological thriller by British author L. S. Hilton, the first book in a trilogy.  This deal announcement was covered on Tuesday night by Alexandra Alter in The New York Times’ Arts Beat blog, which also noted that Columbia Pictures has optioned the novel for Amy Pascal to produce through her new company, Pascal Pictures. Maestra features a feisty, morally complex and sharp heroine named Judith Rashleigh, an assistant at a London art auction house who is fired after she discovers a forged painting. She suspects a conspiracy, fears for her life and flees to the French Riviera.  Putnam Senior Editor Tara Singh Carlson describes Judith as “sexy, smart and very, very bad in all the best ways.” Maestra will be published by Putman in Spring 2016.
Sabaa Tahir’s debut novel An Ember in the Ashes came out this week from Razorbill to rave reviews. In an interview titled “Why An Ember in the Ashes could launch Sabaa Tahir into JK Rowling territory,” PRI’s “The World” says, “An Ember in the Ashes kept me up at night. I couldn’t put the book down. I’m not the only one. It seems as though anyone who touches the book cannot stop reading until the story ends. It has the addictive quality of The Hunger Games combined with the fantasy of Harry Potter and the brutality of Game of Thrones.”  US Weekly writes, “Sabaa Tahir spins a captivating, heart-pounding fantasy,” and The Huffington Post raves, “One thing I can say for sure: this is a page-turner. There comes a moment when it’s impossible to put it down. Sabaa Tahir is a strong writer, but most of all, she’s a great storyteller. writes, ““Fast-paced, well-structured, and full of twists and turns, An Ember in the Ashes is an evocative debut that’s left me invested in knowing what happens next.” and revealed two official book trailers for An Ember in the Ashes. Other media includes feature interviews with The San Jose Mercury News, The Salt Lake Tribune, Publishers Weekly and PRI’s “To the Best of Our Knowledge.” Reviews are confirmed in Cosmopolitan, Justine, The New York Times Book Review, US Weekly, The Washington Post,,,,, PopSugar, Shelf Awareness, BookPage,, and among others. Set in a high-fantasy world with echoes of ancient Rome, An Ember in the Ashes tells the story of a slave fighting for her family and a young soldier fighting for his freedom. This is the story of Laia, a girl who, in spite of her fear, will risk everything—her freedom, her safety, her life—in an attempt to save her brother, the only family she has left. It’s the story of Elias, a young man raised from boyhood to be a member of an elite, ruthless, and cruel force of assassins, whose iconic silver masks are the physical embodiment of a faceless, senseless violence that at once erases their own identities and yet defines them. It’s also the story of Helene, whose capacity for great love is eclipsed only by the loyalty she has to a regime she can’t bring herself to question. Of Marcus, a man whose ambition and bloodlust will cost him the only thing he ever cared about. Of Keenan, a boy whose faith in those who thinks he will save has people has trapped him in a corrupt and hopeless cause. Because this is the story of all the casualties that cultures of violence demand, literal and figurative. Love, loyalty, freedom, friendship – all will be put to the test when lines are crossed and the violence comes to a head. Sabaa Tahir is currently on a two-week national tour, visiting schools and stores in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Washington, DC, Philadelphia and Chicago. Read more…
John Sandford is celebrating the silver anniversary of his #1 New York Times-bestselling Prey series starring Lucas Davenport with Gathering Prey, which Putnam published on Tuesday (4/28). Sandford launched his 25th Prey novel at Poisoned Pen, where owner and good friend Barbara Peters marked the anniversary with a special cake (and a huge amount of book sales!). Sandford will end his short tour in Minneapolis with events at Once Upon a Crime and Barnes & Noble.  In Gathering Prey, we meet the Travelers. O They move from city to city, panhandling, committing no crimes—they just like to stay on the move. And now  somebody is killing them. Lucas Davenport’s adopted daughter, Letty, is home from college when she gets a phone call from a woman Traveler she’d befriended in San Francisco. The woman thinks somebody’s killing her friends, she’s afraid she knows who it is, and now her male companion has gone missing. She’s hiding out in North Dakota, and she doesn’t know what to do. Letty tells Lucas she’s going to get her, and, though he suspects Letty’s getting played, he volunteers to go with her. When he hears the woman’s story, though, he begins to think there’s something in it. Little does he know. In the days to come, he will embark upon an odyssey through a subculture unlike any he has ever seen, a trip that will not only put the two of them in danger—but just may change the course of his life.
Daniel James Brown’s The Boys in the Boat returns to the #1 spot on The New York Times paperback nonfiction bestseller list. Penguin Books celebrated this achievement with a champagne toast and a clever book display in the shape of #1.  In addition to having spent 48 weeks on the paperback printed list and over a year on the eBook fiction bestseller list, The Boys in the Boat continues to be embraced by the public and the media with recent pieces in the New York Times  and not only a feature in the San Jose Mercury News but also inclusion in a piece about the rowing rivalry between California and Washington in the San Jose Mercury News. number one  

USA Today revealed the new look and title for Sue Grafton’s X, including an exclusive excerpt and interview with Sue.

“Sue Grafton is breaking the mold with the title of the next book in her best-selling Alphabet mystery series starring private investigator Kinsey Millhone. It’s just plain X.

Fans have fun guessing which alphabetical word Grafton will come up with for each new book title. The series, set in fictional Santa Teresa, Calif., started in 1982 with ‘A’ is for Alibi… But not this time.

‘I first thought of using ‘X is for Xenophobe‘ or Xenophobia, which suggests a fear of foreigners, but alas, not one single foreigner materialized in the course of the writing,” Grafton says. “There’s a box of files with an X on the lid, a Father Xavier, a married couple whose last name is Xanakis, and a missing painting of a xebec which is a three-masted sailing vessel, but none of these seemed to encompass the whole. Finally, it occurred to me that since I was the one who invented this ‘rule’ about ‘…is for…’ I was surely entitled to break it.’”

Patricia Morrisroe’s  9 ½ Narrow: My Life in Shoes, which went on sale from Gotham Books last week, has been generating high-profile media coverage, including a People Magazine Review as part of People’s “Best New Books” page and a great WSJ reviewMorrisroe also appeared on NPR’s A Touch of Grey and TheSEAMS with Jacki Lyden. Morrisroe’s “coming-of-age” memoir is, at its heart, the story of a generation of women who’ve enjoyed a world of freedom and opportunity that was unthinkable to their mothers.  Spanning five decades and countless footwear trends,  9 ½ Narrow is about how we remember important events through a coat, or a dress, or in this case, a Beatle boot or Confirmation “wedgie.”
Capital: The Eruption of Delhi by Rana Dasgupta (Penguin Books) has been shortlisted for the UK’s Orwell prize, Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing. Every year, the competition committee awards prizes for the work which comes closest to George Orwell’s ambition “to make political writing into an art.” The short list was announced April 22 and includes five other books in addition to CAPTIAL. The New Yorker calls the book “[An] unsparing portrait of moneyed Delhi, no telling detail seems to escape Dasgupta’s notice.”