We Washingtonians are a bookish lot (Seattle once again has topped the list of most literate U.S. cities, according to a survey by Jack Miller, the president of Central Connecticut State University). This results not only in a lot of book reading, but a lot of book writing. Here is just a sampling of folks in the Seattle area who are working at writing, publishing or promoting new books.
Miryam Gordon has an exciting publishing project through her small press, Green Elms. While doing some research on Julius and Ethel Rosenberg a while back, she met David Alman, 91. David and his late wife, Emily, who had known the Rosenbergs, had written a book he was trying to publish. (For younger readers, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were controversially executed for spying for the Soviet Union in 1953.)
Exoneration: The Rosenberg-Sobell Case in the 21st Century will be released in June, on the 57th anniversary of the execution. This first-person account of the Almans’ efforts to win clemency for the Rosenbergs includes new information, published here for the first time, and deals with anti-Semitism in the federal government during a period of extraordinary societal paranoia.
“It’s clear from just reading the transcript,” says Miryam, “that there was prosecutorial misconduct.”
For more information or to place an advance order, call 206-367-713 or visit www.greenelmspress.com.
Sondra Kornblatt has been teaching people how to cope with insomnia for 10 years and now she’s written a book, Restful Insomnia: How to Get the Benefits of Sleep When You Can’t. Sondra laughed when I asked her how her sleep is.
“Everyone asks me that,” she says, adding that her sleep is fine, thank you.
Her book is mistaken for one about sleeping better, but really it’s about learning to relax when you have insomnia, making it restful and not distressing.
The science writer is hoping to teach another ‘Restful’ class in September, but meanwhile you can learn more at her Web site, www.restfulinsomnia.com — or buy the book! Her next book will be about the female brain.
David Volk has decided to Web-publish his entertaining travelogue, Fresh American Bananas: Memoirs of an Itinerant Idiot on his Web site, www.davidvolk.com. Like a lot of authors today, David searched high and low for a publisher before deciding just to do it himself. He calls it the “humorous coming-of-age-through-travel-tale of a man who thought he was too old to come of age,” and includes stories of his travels in Asia, New Zealand and Australia. Three sample chapters are posted, and more will come.
Meanwhile, our intrepid traveler is home-bound, working furiously on a project for Globe Pequot Press, The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to Seattle. David’s still collecting suggestions on how to experience Seattle on the cheap, particularly ideas for entertaining kids. You can contact him through his Web site or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over at Temple Beth Am, in Seattle’s “Jewishly happening” Northeast quadrant, music director Wendy Marcus, a former journalist, has been maintaining her writing chops.
After founding the literary journal, Drash: A Northwest Mosaic, she published a collection of her short stories through Beth Am’s publishing arm. Polyglot: Stories from the West’s Wet Edge was a Jewish Book Council fiction finalist last year and won Snake Nation Press’s Serena McDonald Kennedy 2009 award for fiction.
You can find Polyglot and back issues of Drash online and at local booksellers. More information on Drash — Volume Four is in production — is at www.templebetham.org under “Music & Arts.”
Journalist-turned-judge Adam Eisenberg has published his book, A Different Shade of Blue. While working as a prosecutor and still writing articles for local papers, he struck up a conversation with a policewoman at the court house. Thinking it might make an interesting article, he asked what it had been like to work as a female officer 30 years ago, when women were first being hired on the force. The subject proved so compelling that it became this book, which you can learn more about at www.adifferentshadeofblue.com.
“Seattle has a unique place in history.” Adam says. “It was first place to
hire women police officers in 1912.”
Women also earned the vote in our state 10 years earlier than the rest of the nation.
Currently working as a commissioner in Seattle Municipal Court, Adam is seeking appointment to the Superior Court.
Information on purchasing the book is on the Web site.
Baseball author Steve Steinberg has a new book coming out written with Lyle Spatz: 1921, The Yankees, the Giants and the Battle for Baseball Supremacy in New York, will be published by University of Nebraska Press early next month.
“I’m quite modest about my work,” Steve writes us, but says he can’t help be pleased with enthusiastic responses and comments from national sports commentators Bob Costas and Frank Deford (I always wondered how I could work those two into my column!).
Steve will be at the newly relocated Elliott Bay Books on May 21, at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park on June 16, and at the Federal Way Regional Library on July 15. Visit him online at www.stevesteinberg.net and read more about the book under “What’s New.”
One of the byproducts of Seattle’s being the most literate city in America is its abundance of local bookstores, so support your local bookstore!