Dancer and actress Isabella Grosso introduces readers to the complex underground of the strip club industry as seen from the perspective of a sixteen-year-old as she struggles, and ultimately survives as a child-turned-adult with a double life.
The feminine spirit of the West comes alive in early twentieth century Montana.
by Milana Marsenich
Set in the Copper Camp of Butte, Montana in 1917, Copper Sky tells the story of two women with opposite lives. Kaly Shane, mired in prostitution, struggles to
Natasha's Not My Name delves deeply into the dark pockets of sexual abuse, suicide, drug use, exploitation, and the inner strength it takes for a wounded child to grow up to be a strong woman, and what ultimately saves her: a love for dance and the arts, and a desire to share her story to help girls in equally vulnerable situations.
Introspective, unapologetic, and brave, Natasha's Not My Name is inspirational reading for all women.
find a safe home for her unborn child. Marika Lailich, a Slavic immigrant, dodges a pre-ar-ranged marriage to become a doctor. As their paths cross, and they become unlikely friends, neither woman knows the family secret that ties them together.
"Copper Sky is a riveting story of darkness and redemption, rising from the ashes of two fiery tragedies in Butte, Montana. Marsenich creates two heroines whose great losses lead them ever closer to truth. And as their stories unfold, the Butte of one hundred years ago startles to full and undeniable life." -- Phil Condon, author of Clay Center, Montana Surround, and Nine Ten Again
World War Two. Japanese occupied China. One cousin's courage, and another's determination to help a wounded American pilot.
In the summer of 1942, Danny Hardy bails out of his fighter plane into a remote region of western China. With multiple injuries, malaria, and Japanese troops searching for him,
the America npilot’s odds of survival are slim.
Jasmine Bai, an art student who had been saved by Americans during the notorious Nanking Massacre, seems an unlikely heroine to rescue the wounded Flying Tiger. Daisy Bai, Jasmine’s younger cousin, also falls in love with the courageous American.
With the help of Daisy’s brother, an entire village opens its arms to heal a Flying Tiger with injured wings, but as a result of their charity the serenity of their community is forever shattered.
Love, sacrifice, kindness, and bravery all play a part in this heroic tale that takes place during one of the darkest hours of Chinese history.
father is killed by a US drone attack near the Afghan border, their cross-cultural family descends into conflicting ideas of loyalty, justice, identity, revenge, and terrorism. With candor, beauty, and unusual insight, their story reveals both how decent people can justify horrific acts, and the emotional power required to heal.
Now available from
by Kery Arquette
(Poetry / Social Conscience)
As long as I reside in their minds and hearts, I will never truly be gone.
The devastation caused by World War II is described by historians in terms of military strategies and battles, the toll on economics, and
the numbers of dead. But only the stories of those whose lives were changed or lost, can convey the true horror of the war. These were people very much like ourselves—men, women, children, siblings, poets, soldiers, students, professionals, laborers, givers, takers, jokers, dancers, lovers, dreamers, cowards and brave.
Like all of us, they want to be heard. They want to be understood. Most of all…they want to be remembered.
Sworn brothers—one American, one Chinese—captured, imprisoned, tortured. Survival is just the beginning of the battle...
In 1942, Birch Bai, a Chinese pilot, and Danny Hardy, a downed American pilot, become sworn brothers and best friends'
In the summer of 1945, both airmen’s planes go down in Yunnan Province of China during one of many daring missions. They are captured, imprisoned, and tortured by the Japanese for information about the atomic bomb. Just days before the end of WWII, Danny makes an irrevocable decision to save Birch's life.
For Birch, surviving the war is only the beginning of the battle. He must deal with the dreadful reality in China—the civil war, the separation of the country, the death of one friend in the Communist-controlled Mainland and another under the Nationalist government, and his wrongful imprisonment in Taiwan.
From Chungking to Yunnan, and from Taiwan to San Francisco, the sequel to Wings of a Flying Tiger takes readers along on an epic journey.
In The Triumph of Diversity, Dr. Ciaramicoli analyzes prejudice by tracing it to personal origins and relates true stories of courageous individuals who have overcome hatred, cruelty and sadism to become open-minded, loving resilient people. He re-emphasizes that we are in desperate need of those who unite rather than those who ostracize.
Dr. Ciaramicoli shares his observations as a psychologist in clinical practice, his interviews with laymen, clinicians and clergy, and data from current research to conclude, as Thomas Paine said, “My Country is the World; my Religion is to do Good,” and that learned prejudices can be redirected to give way to genuine empathy and inclusion over exclusion.
by Jeff Wallach
Two brothers. One mother. One big question.
Two days before her death, Jenny Elliot suggests to her fifty-year-old son Phillip that, being half-Irish, he should be more careful about his drinking. Phillip, along with his brother Spencer, has grown up believing they were the fully Jewish-
American offspring of Jenny and her late husband who died in the Vietnam War. Was his mother uttering some dementia-inspired fantasy, or was her true character shining through in her last moments to leave the brothers a clue to their real heritage? After her death, Philip decides to take a DNA test.
The brothers set off on a genetic treasure hunt in search of who they really are—and what that might mean. Are they purely products of their genetics; or were they formed more completely by their social interactions and upbringing? Are they merely victims of randomness; or are they some combination of those factors? And who, exactly, is Mr. Wizard?
Pilgrimage to Paris:
The Cheapo Snob’s Guide to the City andAmericans Who Lived There
by Jayne R. Boisvert
An easy-to-use guide devoted to Paris, Pilgrimage to Paris: The Cheapo Snob’s Guide to the City and Americans Who Lived There includes travel tips, main attractions, free (and nearly free) things to do, shopping, museums, churches, cafes, restaurants, as well as short biographies and addresses associated with famous Americans who spent time living la belle vie in the French capit
Open Books Featured Titles
Featured Title 2020
The Soulful Leader: Success with Authenticity, Integrity and Empathy
by Arthur P. Ciaramicoli, Ed.D., Ph.D. with Jim Crystal
The Soulful Leader provides poignant and practical examples of Dr. Ciaramicoli's ground-breaking AIE (authenticity, integrity and empathy) leadership platform for leaders in all industries to help them successfully optimize the potential of employees.
A how-to guide for new and experienced collectors, How to Collect Great Art on a Shoestring explores the unique opportunity to acquire one-of-a-kind works for $2000 or $3000 by hundreds of mostly forgotten yet startlingly good artists who are in the permanent collections of MoMA, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, the Met, among many other museums.
In Chechnya: The Inside Story historian and former advisor to the president of Chechnya, Mairbek Vatchagaev chronicles the dramatic events that took place in Chechnya during the 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Engaged on one side of the Russian-Chechen conflict, he presents what he witnessed, how he
AIE leadership produces an environment where staff members grow to respect each other while producing on the highest possible level.
Dr. Ciaramicoli has developed this approach during 35 years of consulting with and counseling leaders in business, education, politics, and on athletic teams. His pioneering approach offers new promise to a society struggling with fear and doubt about those in powerful positions.
Culled from hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews with Bar Jonah, dozens of others who either knew or were involved with him, Montana State investigators and prosecutors, and Zach Ramsay’s mother, Espy retells Bar Jonah’s entire life—from the time before he was conceived to after his death—and those who were harmed by him in unparalleled detail and scope.
Featured on NPR
2018 Nautilus Award Winner!
A Parasite in the Mind (Book Two of the Bar Jonah Trilogy)
by John E. Espy, Ph.D.
Considered an expert in the area of psychopathic behavior, Dr. Espy has interviewed more than 30 serial murderers throughout the world including Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and Eddie Gein.
But when he was assigned to be the lead evaluator for Montana State Prison inmate Nathaneal Bar Jonah, an already once convicted.
Weighing over 375 pounds, Bar Jonah worked as a short order cook at Hardy’s, carried a stun gun, impersonated police officers, told masterful lies, wrote unbreakable codes, cooked and shared with friends strange-tasting chili and spaghetti sauces, and was thought by Montana State detectives to have murdered and cannibalized at least one victim, 10-year-old Zach Ramsay.
Africa Memoir, Vol.1,2 & 3
by Mark G. Wentling
Visit all 54 African countries with an adventurous American guide who has spent over half a century on the continent.
Africa Memoir tells the incredible lifetime story of Mark G. Wentling, a boy from Kansas who grew up to travel, work, and visit all 54 African countries.
Trailers, Quotes, The World of Literature, Did you know?
Much, much more!
Titles of Special Interest
Derived from over a half century spent working and living on the African continent, Wentling devotes a chapter to each country describing his firsthand experiences, eye-opening impressions, and views on future prospects.
Original and authoritative, this one-of-a-kind, three-volume work deserves a special place on the bookshelves of anyone interested in Africa.
A veteran and avid collector, Gersh offers pro tips on how, what, and which artists to look for while providing unique insights, an invaluable perspective, and a dash of humor into the world of collecting great art.
Recent and Upcoming Events with Open Books Authors
The Ice Palace Waltz
by Barbara L. Baer
In The Ice Palace Waltz, two Jewish immigrant families—the rough and ready Western pioneers and the smooth, “our crowd” New Yorkers—come together in a riveting family saga amid the financial and social tumult of early twentieth century America. Baer's moving multigenerational novel traces the American Jewish experience and the enduring power of family and love.
In China's political chaos, a woman's desperate search for her family and the American pilot she loves.
In the winter of 1942, Jasmine Bai survived the freezing wilderness and decided to keep her baby, even though he was the product of a gang-rape by Japanese soldiers. In 1947, her quiet life in a remote cabin was disrupted by the news of her loved one's death. In the following four decades, Jasmine desperately searches for her family and for Danny Hardy, the American pilot she loves. She is robbed by thugs, thrown in jail by the Nationalist Secret Police, and wrongfully accused by the Communists. In war and political chaos, Jasmine loses her loved ones, but she never loses her sense of decency, nor does she break her promise to the Flying Tiger. Over thousands of miles between Yunnan and Chungking, the third book of the Tiger Saga trilogy takes readers along another incredible journey.
Open Books will publish the much anticipated third book of the Tiger Saga Trilogy, Legacy of the Tigers, in Spring 2020.
Scholarly and Academic titles from around the world
Fred Leavitt received his Ph. D. degree in psychopharmacology from the University of Michigan and did postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley. He served on the faculty at California State University, East Bay, California for 43 years and also taught for one or more semesters at Williams College; Northern Arizona University; the University of British Columbia; the University of Hawaii; the United States International University (in both Kenya and the United Kingdom); the University of Utrecht (Netherlands); Bogazici University (in Turkey); Massey University (in New Zealand); and National University of Singapore.
He has given frequent talks to medical doctors for their continuing medical education requirements.
In his spare time he enjoys trying to solve cryptic crossword puzzles and playing basketball with other over-the-hill players.
In 1964, he married Diane Bright. They live in Oakland, California and have two married daughters and two grandchildren.
Open Books will publish his book, If Ignorance is Bliss, We Should All be Ecstatic in February 2021.
From Timbuktu to Duck and Cover: Improbable Tales from a Career in Foreign Service
by US Ambassador (Ret.) Lewis Lucke
While spending thirty years overseas in the US Foreign Service, and living in eleven countries and working in many more, Ambassador Lucke accumulated many stories that would never have happened “at home.” His work took him to Timbuktu (twice), to places in West Africa where kids ran away in fear at their first glimpse of a person with white skin, to the scary run up to Gulf War I in North Africa, to the jungles of Bolivia and Lake Titicaca in the Andes, the fall of Communism in the old Czechoslovakia, biblical sites of Jerusalem, the passing of King Hussein in Jordan, to interaction with a few US Presidents and many members of Congress. He was thrust into the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, deployed into the war zone of Iraq, and finally served as US Ambassador to the last absolute monarchy in Africa. His take on a thirty-year career abroad: “It was never boring.”
Open Books will publish From Timbuktu to Duck and Cover: Improbable Tales from a Career in Foreign Service in Summer 2020.
The Sugar Maple Grove
by John E. Espy
In early twentieth century Van Lear, Kentucky, miners in a conscripted coal town go down to work in the shaft only to come back up in pieces. Company-hired detectives and preachers terrorize the workforce, their women and widows, and children into submission with threats of violence and eternal damnation while the Knights subjugate blacks to acts of unspeakable violence. Slavery is a way of life. Murder is a daily occurrence. Then one night in the Sugar Maple Grove, Moses Kitchen takes a stand against the members of the Klu Klux Klan, sparking a small but enduring revolt against corporate, religious, and racial tyranny that finds its way throughout the generations from the son of a shoe salesman to a feisty young female lawyer and beyond in this epic Southern Gothic about race, poverty, religion, and barbarism, and those brave enough to dare to see a different society.
“Rodell writes about America the way Sinatra sings about New York, unflinching about the gritty realities, but with abiding affection and relentless positivity about the future.”
—Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge
Ever wonder how old you’ll be in heaven? If righteous cavemen and women will make the heavenly cut? And, gee, if marriage is so great then how come there’s no Mrs. God? Chris Rodell wonders about stuff like that all the time. He wonders about holidays, occupations, traffic and if refrigerating your deodorant adds zing to your morning.
Yes, it’s a wonder-full life.
It’s a zany world out there and it takes a nimble mind to sort it all out. Rodell does it with style, warmth, an engaging euphoria and undaunted optimism that lets every reader know he enjoys being human and enjoys human beings.
Open Books will publish Undaunted Optimist in Summer 2020.
Following up on her popular first book on the City of Light, Pilgrimage to Paris: The Cheapo Snob’s Guide to the City and Americans Who Lived There, Jayne R. Boisvertoffers a bit of a different look on the city of her passion, Paris and Parisians: The Cheapo Snob Explores the City and Its Famousw French Residents. The firsttwo chapters are devoted to lodging and dining. Chapter 3 highlights 12 attractions such as the Opera Garnier, the Pantheon, the homes of Balzac and Hugo, and several museums...as well as the Chateau de Fontainebleau. Chapters 4-13 look at actors, artists, authors, chefs, fashion designers such as: Brigit Bardot, Claude Monet, Albert Camus and Coco Chanel.
Open Books will publish Paris and Parisians in January 2021.
OB Author Carmit Delman Kicks Off Team Storey Video Series
Carmit Delman, author of dystopian foodie novel Consider the Feast, talks about living near the New York State Covid-19 hot spot of New Rochelle, reading and writing dystopian fiction during a pandemic, and how she sees the restaurant scene changing after the crisis is over. Plus, find out what this foodie novelist is eating during the quarantine. All of this and more in this pilot episode of Storey Time, hosted by bestselling historical novelist Stephanie Storey.
stepfather Hoit, and young, attractive, painter-turned-after-school-tutor Emerson. When anonymous letters accusing Hoit of infidelity start to arrive on the doorstep, Searcy develops feelings toward Emerson, and the family begins to fracture in the sunny Southern California suburb they call home. Will Searcy and Emerson act upon their feelings? Will Hoit’s adulterous exploits come back to haunt him? Will the boys at school stop bullying Theo? And where exactly is the location of heaven and other zip codes?
Nothing we think we know - NOTHING - is likely to be correct
If Ignorance is Bliss... explores the limitations of knowledge and argues that neither reasoning nor direct observation can be trusted. Not only are they unreliable sources, but they do not even justify assigning probabilities to claims about what we can know. This position, called radical skepticism, has intrigued philosophers since before the birth of Christ, yet nobody has been able to refute it.
Fred Leavitt uses two unique methods of presentation. First, he supports abstract arguments with summaries of real-life examples from many and varied fields, which make the arguments much more convincing and compelling. He cites more than 200 studies from psychology, mathematics, chaos theory, quantum mechanics, evolutionary theory, history, the corporate world, politics, the military, and current news reporting. Second, Leavitt's writing is user-friendly, even when dealing with complex issues.
Whether answering the telephone, turning on the TV, talking with friends, or munching on an apple, we expect things to happen predictably. These expectations, paired with radical skepticism, exemplify cognitive dissonance at the highest level.
Things always seem to go wrong for Jimmy Harris. The small coastal town of San Buenasara is gripped in a recession. Jimmy’s law practice is in the tank.
Wee Willy’s is the hot pot company in town. And perhaps a way to stay afloat. Willy wants him to be president. To think, him a president.
Alas, things are not what they seem. Mysterious shell companies own the stock. The company is broke, even though boxes of cash keep arriving. Jimmy finds himself up to his eyebrows in a struggle between the law and shadowy people who will do anything to get their way. Is it the drug cartel? The Mafia? Or is it the FBI?
He stumbles. He bumbles. He’s arrested for murder. He needs to find a way through this maze. The alternatives are unthinkable.
With the help of his once and future wife, Karen, and the resourcefulness of his law partner Clyde, maybe he can find a way out. And of course, Bruno, Karen and Jimmy’s long-haired dachshund, wants to help. He has a nose for mysteries.
What are borders? Are they simply political and geographical, marked by posts, walls and fences, or should we think of them more broadly? Consider the borders within countries, determined by race, ethnicity, or caste. Borders may be physical and economic, and even perceptual—the borders of our minds.
In Postcards from the Borderlands, historian and journalist David Mould rambles through a dozen countries in Asia, Southern Africa and Eastern Europe by car, bus, train, shared taxi and ferry, exploring what borders mean to their peoples.
Featured Title 2020
An Emily Winter Mystery
by David M. Hamlin
Chicago's Women's Health Clinic Explodes. Emily Winter's Exclusive Report Tonight!
In the summer of 1977, Chicago’s WSMP-TV investigative reporter Emily Winter covers the confrontation between a woman’s health clinic fighting to preserve a woman’s right to choose and the equally ardent demonstrators fighting against that right.
Before Emily can explore the depths of this battle, the clinic is violently attacked and a beloved clinic staff member is killed.
While there is no lack of suspects—anti-abortion proponents, a wealthy patron of that movement, a scruffy real estate speculator, a disgruntled clinic employee—there are few tangible clues and none of the suspects will cooperate with the investigation.
But all this pales when Emily, her husband Benjamin and their crusty Uncle Max face alarming sniper attacks.
Under that threat and protected by a spirited young and devoted woman bodyguard, Emily uses her ingenuity and her determined desire to get the story and get it right until she tears down the stone wall and brings the truth to light.
Open Books will publish Killer Cocktail in January 2021.
Do you want to understand the science behind finding a mate, maintaining long-lasting relationships, or even what makes some relationships doom- ed to fail? Help your relationships grow and flourish, and have a few hearty laughs along the way.
by Kevin Nelson
Our species existed in the world in a relatively healthy and balanced way for 97% of its history. So how did we get so far off course?
It was only after our ancestors emerged from life in nature as hunter-gatherers that things began to change. By the beginning of civilization some 6,000 years ago, the changes rigidified and became destructive on a large scale. This has now reached the point where we can only avoid species-suicide if we are lucky, and even then we face a dismal future of increasing ecocide and utter alienation from our own psyches (the unity of body, brain, and mind). While complexity and confusion are rampant in our postmodern era making finding a solution to our woes seem impossible, the way forward is actually quite simple.
The way forward then – to get back on course – is a return to the naturalistic view and perspective where our thinking, feeling and actions are once again based on how nature and reality really function. To help us succeed, Reality Unedited calls for a massive reduction in illusions, Toward this end, the author establishes a “simple model of reality” to help counteract illusions and to become re-oriented to our surrounding. Only by reclaiming a naturalistic perspective can we regain wellbeing within society and a healthy balance in the world.
Kevin Nelson has worked in the health care sector as a quality improvement manager, educator, regulator, consultant, and clinical dietitian. He has a B.A. in political science and an M.S. in human nutrition. Mid-career he undertook Ph. D studies in environmental studies until he recognized that the specialization and narrow focus in academia was contrary to his love of ideas, theory and obtaining a “big-picture” perspective.
Kevin Nelson’s writing is focused on understanding the roots of injustice and suggesting relevant and viable solutions. An intense and prolonged program of self-study in philosophy, cognitive neuroscience, social psychology, anthropology, and history has led Kevin to a unique hypothesis tracing back the failure of Homo sapiens to ten thousand years ago.
Mr. Nelson unveils his theories about human nature and behavior over the course of our species’ existence through readings and lectures and through social media.
Open Books will publish his book, Reality Unedited: Rejecting the illusions that break and enslave us in April 2021.
"Excellent historical fiction that intersects with Agatha Christie mystery. A complex tale of court/church intrigue focused on Rene Descartes, with many disguised players. The lengthy novel's reveal is a great & satisfying surprise. Sustained tension punctuated by assault and murder -- and delicious omelettes -- create immersion in a distant space [France, Sweden] time [17th century]. Sharply defined characters -- so that the reader roots/cheers/shudders -- keep the pages turning. Mathematics and philosophy [Descartes!] are deftly, accessibly woven with European history. Meatier than most historical fiction, this novel could be an intro course at a great college. For cognoscenti, it's a satisfying refresher, and for the tyro, what a primer!"
--L. Shapley Bassen
Here’s What You Should Know Before Dipping Your Toes In The Online Dating Pool
The Borders of Our Minds: An Armchair Traveler Event with Global Trekker, David Mould
Join historian and journalist David Mould on a journey to borders, both real and imagined. In his latest book on travel, history and culture, Postcards from the Borderlands, David explores the meaning of borders.
The sheriff, Charlie West, thinks that Lilly is reacting to the trauma and blaming Drake because of a previous conflict between Drake and her father. Lilly’s mother, sister, and her best friend, Jerome West, the sheriff’s son, all think the same thing: that Lilly is trying to make sense of a senseless accident. Left alone to bring Dean Drake to justice, Lilly’s effort is subverted when Drake woos her sister, courts her mother, and moves into their home.
and expatriate lifestyles through the lens of one deeply immersed yet forever removed, fundamentally involved yet perpetually on the perimeter of a most curious culture. Even more than a journal of events and experiences, the essays consider many of life's more profound issues and concerns with insight, optimism and humor.
He was 53, penniless, living in exile in Amsterdam, alone. With much trepidation but not much choice, he arrived in Stockholm in mid-October. Shortly thereafter he was dead.
viving Indians. Riding from one devastated ranch to another, he tries to mend the grief wrought by the Flood. Swift Dam celebrates the native land and the Natives who survive as they have survived throughout time, perilously.
Featured Title 2020
Favorite since 2009!
Good Morning Corfu
by David A. Ross
Good Morning Corfu chronicles the experiences and observations of an American expatriate living on this Mediterranean outpost of dizzying extremes. From wide-eyed wonder to cultural and personal confusion, from unbridled joy to deep despair, and from empathy to outright loathing, these short essays examine both local
The Swan Keeper
by Milana Marsenich
On her eleventh birthday Lilly’s family visits the Cattail Marsh to see the newly hatched cygnets. The family outing turns tragic when Dean Drake shows up with his shotgun and fires on not only the swans, but on Lilly’s family. Unable to prevent tragedy, Lillian witnesses Drake kill her father, injure her mother, and slaughter the bevy of trumpeter swans.
by Andrew Pessin
The sad life and tragic murder of René Descartes, the world’s most famous philosopher. Who would want to murder the world’s most famous philosopher? Turns out: nearly everyone. In 1649, Descartes was invited by the Queen of Sweden to become her Court Philosopher. Though he was the world’s leading philosopher, his life had by this point fallen apart.
by Sid Gustafson
Rain fell upon the deep winter snow the day before the Flood of '64. Waters rose, the rivers raged. The dam failed to hold the Birch Creek flow, and broke, giving way to a wall of water and drowning the Indians. Veterinarian Alphonse Vallerone goes back 50 years to the day after the Flood, when he assisted the sur-
Heartbeats is the light-hearted memoirs of one of the pioneers in modern cardiac surgery, Constantine "Dino" Tatooles, M.D. Dino's stories, as told to his brother James E. Tatooles, will quite literally "warm your heart" as well as provide a background to the advances in cardiac surgery made over the past fifty years. After Medical School, Dr. Tatooles interned at the University of Chicago and received a grant from the Heart Association to open his own medical laboratory. Later, the National Heart Institute selected Dr. Tatooles as one of five doctors to study at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. "That's where we started to perfect a lot of the new operative procedures that are used today," recounts Dr. Tatooles. Ironically, Dr. Tatooles recently had some difficult medicine of his own to swallow when he discovered that he needed a quintuple bypass. As his brother James E. Tatooles relates in Heartbeats, a procedure that Dino helped to develop eventually saved his life.