Cover for The Sex Lives of Cannibals

At the age of twenty-six, Maarten Troost who had been pushing the snooze button on the alarm clock of life by racking up useless graduate degrees and muddling through a series of temp jobs decided to pack up his flip-flops and move to Tarawa, a remote South Pacific island in the Republic of Kiribati. He was restless and lacked direction, and the idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the Earth was irresistibly romantic. He should have known better. The Sex Lives of Cannibals tells the hilarious story of what happens when Troost discovers that Tarawa is not the island paradise he dreamed of. Falling into one amusing misadventure after another, Troost struggles through relentless, stifling heat, a variety of deadly bacteria, polluted seas, toxic fish, and worst of all, no television or coffee. And that’s just the first day. Sunburned, emaciated, and stinging with sea lice, Troost spends the next two years battling incompetent government officials, alarmingly large critters, erratic electricity, and a paucity of food options. He contends with a cast of bizarre local characters, including “Half-Dead Fred” and the self-proclaimed Poet Laureate of Tarawa (a British drunkard who’s never written a poem in his life), and eventually settles into the ebb and flow of island life, just before his return to the culture shock of civilization. With the rollicking wit of Bill Bryson, the brilliant travel exposition of Paul Theroux, and a hipster edge that is entirely Troost’s own, The Sex Lives of Cannibals is the ultimate vicarious adventure. Readers may never long to set foot on Tarawa, but they’ll want to travel with Troost time and time again.

Twenty years after the release of Nirvana’s landmark album Nevermind comes Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge, the definitive word on the grunge era, straight from the mouths of those at the center of it all.
 
In 1986, fledgling Seattle label C/Z Records released Deep Six, a compilation featuring a half-dozen local bands: Soundgarden, Green River, Melvins, Malfunkshun, the U-Men and Skin Yard. Though it sold miserably, the record made music history by documenting a burgeoning regional sound, the raw fusion of heavy metal and punk rock that we now know as grunge. But it wasn’t until five years later, with the seemingly overnight success of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” that grunge became a household word and Seattle ground zero for the nineties alternative-rock explosion.

Everybody Loves Our Town captures the grunge era in the words of the musicians, producers, managers, record executives, video directors, photographers, journalists, publicists, club owners, roadies, scenesters and hangers-on who lived through it. The book tells the whole story: from the founding of the Deep Six bands to the worldwide success of grunge’s big four (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains); from the rise of Seattle’s cash-poor, hype-rich indie label Sub Pop to the major-label feeding frenzy that overtook the Pacific Northwest; from the simple joys of making noise at basement parties and tiny rock clubs to the tragic, lonely deaths of superstars Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley.
 
Drawn from more than 250 new interviews—with members of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Screaming Trees, Hole, Melvins, Mudhoney, Green River, Mother Love Bone, Temple of the Dog, Mad Season, L7, Babes in Toyland, 7 Year Bitch, TAD, the U-Men, Candlebox and many more—and featuring previously untold stories and never-before-published photographs, Everybody Loves Our Town is at once a moving, funny, lurid, and hugely insightful portrait of an extraordinary musical era.

Book cover for The Art of Slow Writing

In a series of conversational observations and meditations on the writing process, The Art of Slow Writing examines the benefits of writing slowly. DeSalvo advises her readers to explore their creative process on deeper levels by getting to know themselves and their stories more fully over a longer period of time. She writes in the same supportive manner that encourages her students, using the slow writing process to help them explore the complexities of craft. The Art of Slow Writing is the antidote to self-help books that preach the idea of fast-writing, finishing a novel a year, and quick revisions. DeSalvo makes a case that more mature writing often develops over a longer period of time and offers tips and techniques to train the creative process in this new experience.

DeSalvo describes the work habits of successful writers (among them, Nobel Prize laureates) so that readers can use the information provided to develop their identity as writers and transform their writing lives. It includes anecdotes from classic American and international writers such as John Steinbeck, Henry Miller, Virginia Woolf and D. H. Lawrence as well as contemporary authors such as Michael Chabon, Junot Diaz, Jeffrey Eugenides, Ian McEwan, and Salman Rushdie. DeSalvo skillfully and gently guides writers to not only start their work, but immerse themselves fully in the process and create texts they will treasure.

Between 1975 and 1988 New York City spawned an incredible and wild array of artistic communities that overlapped and interbred with scant heed for generic “purity” (let alone posterity): every musician, it seemed, was also an artist, every artist a filmmaker and every filmmaker was in a band. These heady years saw the births of Punk at CBGB and Max’s Kansas City, of Hip Hop in the Bronx, the emerging art music activities of Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson, Free Jazz and the No Wave art/rock scene around James Chance, Lydia Lunch and Mars. “New York Noise” is Paula Court’s photographic tour of these colliding worlds. From her arrival in New York City in 1978, Court diligently photographed the likes of Glenn Branca, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, David Byrne, Rhys Chatham, Lou Reed, James Chance, Patti Smith, Afrika Bambaata, John Cage, Robert Longo, Jim Jarmusch, Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince, as well as bands like DNA, Suicide, Bush Tetras, ESG and the Rock Steady Crew. Also captured in these pages are nascent musicians and actors such as Michael Stipe, Steve Buscemi, Willem Dafoe and Madonna, who came into artistic maturity amid these diverse scenes. With over 400 images, many of them previously unpublished, “New York Noise” follows Soul Jazz Records’ critically acclaimed CD series, providing an unprecedented visual record of one of New York’s liveliest cultural eras.

Supersonic presents over 300 striking pages of today’s best-designed music products with a focus on Independent and Alternative Rock as well as Electronica. In addition to abundant visuals, the book features portraits of selected designers and companies, who are creating outstanding work in these musical fields. With its stunning images from today’s most exciting music, Supersonic is a source of inspiration for all music insiders, graphic artists creating music packaging and anyone interested in cutting-edge visuals.

Book cover for Everybody Writes

Finally a go-to guide to creating and publishing the kind of content that will make your business thrive.

Everybody Writes is a go-to guide to attracting and retaining customers through stellar online communication, because in our content-driven world, every one of us is, in fact, a writer.

If you have a web site, you are a publisher. If you are on social media, you are in marketing. And that means that we are all relying on our words to carry our marketing messages. We are all writers.

Yeah, but who cares about writing anymore? In a time-challenged world dominated by short and snappy, by click-bait headlines and Twitter streams and Instagram feeds and gifs and video and Snapchat and YOLO and LOL and #tbt. . . does the idea of focusing on writing seem pedantic and ordinary?

Actually, writing matters more now, not less. Our online words are our currency; they tell our customers who we are.

Our writing can make us look smart or it can make us look stupid. It can make us seem fun, or warm, or competent, or trustworthy. But it can also make us seem humdrum or discombobulated or flat-out boring.

That means you’ve got to choose words well, and write with economy and the style and honest empathy for your customers. And it means you put a new value on an often-overlooked skill in content marketing: How to write, and how to tell a true story really, really well. That’s true whether you’re writing a listicle or the words on a Slideshare deck or the words you’re reading right here, right now…

And so being able to communicate well in writing isn’t just nice; it’s necessity. And it’s also the oft-overlooked cornerstone of nearly all our content marketing.

In Everybody Writes, top marketing veteran Ann Handley gives expert guidance and insight into the process and strategy of content creation, production and publishing, with actionable how-to advice designed to get results.

These lessons and rules apply across all of your online assets — like web pages, home page, landing pages, blogs, email, marketing offers, and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media. Ann deconstructs the strategy and delivers a practical approach to create ridiculously compelling and competent content. It’s designed to be the go-to guide for anyone creating or publishing any kind of online content — whether you’re a big brand or you’re small and solo.

Sections include: How to write better. (Or, for “adult-onset writers”: How to hate writing less.) Easy grammar and usage rules tailored for business in a fun, memorable way. (Enough to keep you looking sharp, but not too much to overwhelm you.) Giving your audience the gift of your true story, told well. Empathy and humanity and inspiration are key here, so the book covers that, too. Best practices for creating credible, trustworthy content steeped in some time-honored rules of solid journalism. Because publishing content and talking directly to your customers is, at its heart, a privilege. “Things Marketers Write”: The fundamentals of 17 specific kinds of content that marketers are often tasked with crafting. Content Tools: The sharpest tools you need to get the job done.

Traditional marketing techniques are no longer enough. Everybody Writes is a field guide for the smartest businesses who know that great content is the key to thriving in this digital world.

Sonic Youth spent most of the 80s sleeping on floors, driving used vans, touring across a neurotic America and the globe beyond. Before they became part of the national bloodstream, they created an underground swell, encouraging adventurous listeners to jack into their matrix of pantonality, feedback, and chiming scree. All the while, Lee Ranaldo was drinking in the landscape, the clubs, the people; recording a journal of this wild ride.

A harrowing story of breakdowns, suicide attempts, drug therapy, and an eventual journey back to living, this poignant and often hilarious book gives voice to the high incidence of depression among America’s youth. A collective cry for help from a generation who have come of age entrenched in the culture of divorce, economic instability, and AIDS, here is the intensely personal story of a young girl full of promise, whose mood swings have risen and fallen like the lines of a sad ballad.

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society. 

In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

Book cover for The Ultimate History of the 80s Teen Movie

A trip back to the era of troubled teens and awesome soundtracks; of Reagan, rap, and Ridgemont High; of MTV, VHS, and “Axel F”; of outsiders, lost boys, and dead poets; of Bill and Ted, Brooke Shields, and the Brat Pack; of three Porky’s flicks, two Coreys, and one summer when “Baby” refused to be put in a corner.

The Ultimate History of the ’80s Teen Movie goes behind the scenes of a genre where cult hits mingled with studio blockbusters, where giants like Spielberg and Coppola rubbed shoulders with baby-faced first-timers, and where future superstars Sean, Demi, and Tom all got their big break. Music, comedy, and politics all play a part in the surprisingly complex history of the ’80s teen movie. And while the films might have been aimed primarily at adolescents, the best tackle universal issues and remain relevant to all ages.
From a late ’70s Hollywood influx to an early ’90s indie scene that gave youth cinema a timely reboot, film expert James King highlights the personal struggles, the social changes, and the boardroom shake-ups that produced an iconic time in movie history.

Book cover for The Devil in the White City

Bringing Chicago circa 1893 to vivid life, Erik Larson’s spell-binding bestseller intertwines the true tale of two men–the brilliant architect behind the legendary 1893 World’s Fair, striving to secure America’s place in the world; and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling. Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.

Most people don’t know what they’re doing. They imitate others, go with the flow, and follow paths without making their own.

Best known for creating CD Baby, the most popular music site for independent artists, founder Derek Sivers chronicles his “accidental” success and failures into this concise and inspiring book on how to create a multimillion-dollar company by following your passion.

Sivers details his journey and the lessons learned along the way of creating CD Baby and building a business close to his heart. In 1997 Sivers was a musician who taught himself to code a Buy Now button onto his band’s Web site. Shortly thereafter he began selling his friends’ CDs on his Web site. As CD Baby grew, Sivers faced numerous obstacles on his way to success. Within six years he had been publicly criticized by Steve Jobs and had to pay his father $3.3 million to buy back 90 percent of his company, but he had also built a company of more than 50 employees and had profited $10 million.

Anything You Want is must reading for every person who is an entrepreneur, wants to be one, wants to understand one, or cares even a little about what it means to be human.

Book cover of Page Turner

What makes a page-turner? What mysterious literary essence holds a reader so hard they feel they must keep reading? And then tell friends, “I couldn’t put it down!”

And what do literary agents and publishers really look for in a manuscript?

Internationally-acclaimed author and story coach Barbara Kyle reveals the answers in Page-Turner with insights into:

– the essentials of story structure
– how to create a “storyline”
– the power of “deep character”
– the art of crafting dialogue
– mastering point of view
– maximizing settings
– plus practical advice on how to query agents and get published
… and more

Page-Turner shows how to create the kind of novel that brings offers from publishers and praise from readers.

For emerging writers who want to break in, and published authors who want to produce a breakout book, Page-Turner is an indispensable guide.

Book cover for Fire Cannot Kill A Dragon

The official, definitive oral history of the blockbuster show from Entertainment Weekly‘s James Hibberd, published with HBO’s official support.

It was supposed to be impossible. George R.R. Martin was a frustrated television writer who created his bestselling A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels to be an unfilmable saga bound only by the limits of his vast imagination. Then a pair of first-time TV writers teamed with HBO to try and adapt Martin’s epic. We’ve all seen the eight seasons of the Emmy-winning fantasy series that came next. But there is one Game of Thrones tale that has yet to be told: the 13-year behind-the-scenes struggle to pull off this extraordinary phenomenon.

In All Men Must Die, award-winning Entertainment Weekly writer James Hibberd chronicles the untold story of Game of Thrones, from the creative team’s first meetings to staging the series finale and all the on-camera battles and off-camera struggles in between. The book draws from more than 50 revealing new interviews, rare and stunning photos, and unprecedented access to the producers, cast, and crew who took an impossible idea and made it into the biggest show in the world.

Who wore the first pants? Who painted the first masterpiece? Who first rode the horse? This madcap adventure across ancient history uses everything from modern genetics to archaeology to uncover the geniuses behind these and other world-changing innovations.

Who invented the wheel? Who told the first joke? Who drank the first beer? Who was the murderer in the first murder mystery, who was the first surgeon, who sparked the first fire–and most critically, who was the first to brave the slimy, pale oyster?

In this book, writer Cody Cassidy digs deep into the latest research to uncover the untold stories of some of these incredible innovators (or participants in lucky accidents). With a sharp sense of humor and boundless enthusiasm for the wonders of our ancient ancestors, Who Ate the First Oyster? profiles the perpetrators of the greatest firsts and catastrophes of prehistory, using the lives of individuals to provide a glimpse into ancient cultures, show how and why these critical developments occurred, and educate us on a period of time that until recently we’ve known almost nothing about.

Book cover for Where Good Ideas Come From

The printing press, the pencil, the flush toilet, the battery–these are all great ideas. But where do they come from? What kind of environment breeds them? What sparks the flash of brilliance? How do we generate the breakthrough technologies that push forward our lives, our society, our culture? Steven Johnson’s answers are revelatory as he identifies the seven key patterns behind genuine innovation, and traces them across time and disciplines. From Darwin and Freud to the halls of Google and Apple, Johnson investigates the innovation hubs throughout modern time and pulls out the approaches and commonalities that seem to appear at moments of originality.

A stolen child.

An ancient evil.

A father’s descent.

And the literary masterpiece that holds the key to his daughter’s salvation.

Professor David Ullman is among the world’s leading authorities on demonic literature, with special expertise in Milton’s Paradise Lost. Not that David is a believer—he sees what he teaches as a branch of the imagination and nothing more. So when the mysterious Thin Woman arrives at his office and invites him to travel to Venice and witness a “phenomenon,” he turns her down. She leaves plane tickets and an address on his desk, advising David that her employer is not often disappointed.

That evening, David’s wife announces she is leaving him. With his life suddenly in shambles, he impulsively whisks his beloved twelve-year-old daughter, Tess, off to Venice after all. The girl has recently been stricken by the same melancholy moods David knows so well, and he hopes to cheer her up and distract them both from the troubles at home.

But what happens in Venice will change everything.

First, in a tiny attic room at the address provided by the Thin Woman, David sees a man restrained in a chair, muttering, clearly insane . . . but could he truly be possessed? Then the man speaks clearly, in the voice of David’s dead father, repeating the last words he ever spoke to his son. Words that have left scars—and a mystery—behind.

When David rushes back to the hotel, he discovers Tess perched on the roof’s edge, high above the waters of the Grand Canal. Before she falls, she manages to utter a final plea: Find me.

What follows is an unimaginable journey for David Ullman from skeptic to true believer. In a terrifying quest guided by symbols and riddles from the pages of Paradise Lost, David must track the demon that has captured his daughter and discover its name. If he fails, he will lose Tess forever.

Book cover for Green Eyes

A carnival worker dead of alcohol poisoning, Donnell Harrison has been reborn with new memories and a profound literary talent. To reconnect him to the world and make him pliant, the reanimation team employs Jocundra Verret, a therapist who has gained the trust of numerous subjects, but when Donnell finds his latent power to control energy, Jocundra shares his doubts about the scientists’ goals. Together they flee on a quest to discover Donnell’s true origins and potential, and ultimately to confront evil at the heart of a fabulous bayou dynasty, where Donnell must restore order among strange and brutal alternate worlds.

From Daniel M. Lavery comes a collection of darkly mischievous stories based on classic fairy tales. Adapted from his beloved “Children’s Stories Made Horrific” series, The Merry Spinster takes up the trademark wit that endeared Lavery to readers of both The Toast and his best-selling debut Texts from Jane Eyre. The feature become among the most popular on the site, with each entry bringing in tens of thousands of views, as the stories proved a perfect vehicle for Lavery’s eye for deconstruction and destabilization. Sinister and inviting, familiar and alien all at the same time, The Merry Spinster updates traditional children’s stories and fairy tales with elements of psychological horror, emotional clarity, and a keen sense of feminist mischief.

Readers of The Toast will instantly recognize Lavery’s boisterous good humor and uber-nerd swagger: those new to Lavery’s oeuvre will delight in his unique spin on fiction, where something a bit mischievous and unsettling is always at work just beneath the surface.

Unfalteringly faithful to its beloved source material, The Merry Spinster also illuminates the unsuspected, and frequently, alarming emotional complexities at play in the stories we tell ourselves, and each other, as we tuck ourselves in for the night.

Bedtime will never be the same.

Book cover for The Complete Cthulhu Mythos Tales

The Cthulhu Mythos was H. P. Lovecraft’s greatest contribution to supernatural literature: a series of stories that evoked cosmic awe and terror through their accounts of incomprehensibly alien monsters and their horrifying incursions into our world. The Complete Cthulhu Mythos Tales collects 23 of Lovecraft’s greatest weird tales, including “The Call of Cthulhu,” “The Colour out of Space,” “The Dunwich Horror,” “The Shadow over Innsmouth,” and “The Shadow out of Time.” It also features six collaborative “revisions” through which Lovecraft expanded the scope of his dark mythology.

In these stories, monstrous entities traverse the gulfs of time and space and humankind cowers in fright at the havoc they wreak. The Complete Cthulhu Mythos Tales is your passport to realms of unimaginable horror.

Contents:
1. Dagon
2. Nyarlathotep
3. The Nameless City
4. Azathoth
5. The Hound
6. The Festival
7. The Call of Cthulhu
8. The Colour out of Space
9. History of the Necronomicon
10. The Curse of Yig
11. The Dunwich Horror
12. The Whisperer in Darkness
13. The Mound
14. At the Mountains of Madness
15. The Shadow over Innsmouth
16. The Dreams in the Witch House
17. The Man of Stone
18. The Horror in the Museum
19. The Thing on the Doorstep
20. Out of the Aeons
21. The Tree on the Hill
22. The Shadow out of Time
23. The Haunter of the Dark

Book cover for Nightflyers & Other stories

On a voyage toward the boundaries of the known universe, nine misfit academics seek out first contact with a shadowy alien race.

But another enigma is the Nightflyer itself, a cybernetic wonder with an elusive captain no one has ever seen in the flesh. Soon, however, the crew discovers that their greatest mystery – and most dangerous threat – is an unexpected force wielding a thirst for blood and terror….

Also included are five additional classic George R. R. Martin tales of science fiction that explore the breadth of technology and the dark corners of the human mind.

Southern California—sunny days, blue skies, neighbors on flying bicycles…ghostly submarines…mermen off the Catalina coast…and a vast underground sea stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Inland Empire where Chinese junks ply an illicit trade and enormous creatures from ages past still survive. It is a place of wonder…and dark conspiracies. A place rife with adventure—if one knows where to look for it. Two such seekers are the teenagers Jim Hastings and his friend, Giles Peach. Giles was born with a wonderful set of gills along his neck and insatiable appetite for reading. Drawing inspiration from the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Giles is determined to build a Digging Leviathan. Will he reach the center of the earth? or destroy it in the process?

Book cover for Blackfish City

After the climate wars, a floating city is constructed in the Arctic Circle, a remarkable feat of mechanical and social engineering, complete with geothermal heating and sustainable energy. The city’s denizens have become accustomed to a roughshod new way of living, however, the city is starting to fray along the edges—crime and corruption have set in, the contradictions of incredible wealth alongside direst poverty are spawning unrest, and a new disease called “the breaks” is ravaging the population.

When a strange new visitor arrives—a woman riding an orca, with a polar bear at her side—the city is entranced. The “orcamancer,” as she’s known, very subtly brings together four people—each living on the periphery—to stage unprecedented acts of resistance. By banding together to save their city before it crumbles under the weight of its own decay, they will learn shocking truths about themselves. 

Blackfish City is a remarkably urgent—and ultimately very hopeful—novel about political corruption, organized crime, technology run amok, the consequences of climate change, gender identity, and the unifying power of human connection.

The shimmering, cloud-covered planet of Venus conceals a wondrous secret: the strikingly beautiful yet deadly world of Amtor. In Amtor, cities of immortal beings flourish in giant trees reaching thousands of feet into the sky; ferocious beasts stalk the wilderness below; rare flashes of sunlight precipitate devastating storms; and the inhabitants believe their world is saucer-shaped with a fiery center and an icy rim. Stranded on Amtor after his spaceship crashes, astronaut Carson Napier is swept into a world where revolution is ripe, the love of a princess carries a dear price, and death can come as easily from the blade of a sword as from the ray of a futuristic gun.

Whodunit?

On a bleak, rainy night, a strange dinner party is held at a gloomy mansion. The guests don’t know each other. They don’t even know their host. Why have they been called together? Who is the mysterious Mr. Boddy? No one has the answers, but before the evening is over, six people have been killed. Who is the murderer? Is it Miss Scarlet? Professor Plum? Mrs. White? Mr. Green? Mrs. Peacock? Colonel Mustard? Or did the butler do it?

This mystery isn’t like any other, because it has four solutions, so read carefully, follow the clues to CLUE, and choose the ending you like best.