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
New & Noteworthy
World War Two. Japanese occupied China. One cousin's courage,
another's determination to help a wounded American pilot.
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
These eleven contemporary stories also pose challenging situations, including a woman getting punched in the face in Yosemite, a father and daughter on the run with an AMBER alert issued about them, a couple struggling to decide what’s best for a foster dog in their care, a school bus driver accused of inappropriate and possibly criminal behavior, a widow adjusting to a new life, a young woman hindered by her complicated relationship with her mother, a woman’s adult son missing after crashing his car in the desert. Throughout these stories, the pull of family, the power of love, and unshakable human decency prevail.
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.
The Four Trials of Henry Ford
and his Pursuit of the Dark Fruit of Narcissism
by Gregory R. Piché
In recounting the Ford litigation, Piché examines Ford’s parallel manipulation of public media to advance his own political and narcissistic agenda to become a public sage and an American President. It follows the initial rise of his reputation as a Progressive capitalist to its ultimate erosion as a mean-spirited bigot and contributor to
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 Chameleon Shuffle
by Jere Krakoff
Is he liberal? Or is he conservative? The highest judge in the land can't make up his mind.
Leonard Zweig is the accidental result of a tryst between High Court Justice Franz Babel and trapeze artist Isabella Trotsky. After languishing in The Depository for Foundlings and other Discarded Children, he is adopted by Milton and Miriam Zweig. The Zweigs are ideological opposites. Milton, who practices law in a large firm that caters to the needs of corporate clients, is a devout follower of Conservative legal thought. In contrast, Miriam is a pious Liberal lawyer at a small operation that represents people living on the margins.
Leonard's adoptive parents launch a secret program to indoctrinate him in the dogma of their respective sects. Over time, the simultaneous indoctrinations corrupt the impressionable adolescent's mind, causing him to involuntarily oscillate between Liberalism and Conservatism every few days.
Upon graduating from law school, Leonard takes an entry level position at Milton's firm. When he is suspended, he runs for a municipal judgeship. The chameleon narrowly wins, after his opponent drops out of the race on the eve of the election.
Meanwhile, the Republic is mired in a judicial crisis that stems from the death of High Court Justice Franz Babel, Leonard's biological father. To stave off a leftward shift, Benito Ionesco, Leader of the Conservative-controlled legislature, turns to Isadora Apostate, his wily secretary/dominatrix, in search of a viable way to end the crisis. Fortuitously, Apostate has recently read about Leonard's ideological switching in a tawdry tabloid.
Will the Liberal Chancellor be willing to nominate a part-time Liberal to the highest Bench in the land? If Leonard is confirmed, will he be treated as a pariah by his colleagues? Will an aversion conditioning program remedy his bifurcated brain, making him a normal judge with only a single ideological bias? This satirical novel hilariously exposes our current political climate, judicial system, and leaders.
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.
A former newspaper and TV journalist, David H. Mould moved from the UK to the US in 1978 for graduate study and stayed. He had a 30-year academic career at Ohio University as a faculty member and administrator, and retired with the rank of Professor Emeritus, Media Arts & Studies. For the last 25 years, he has worked as a consultant, trainer and researcher in communication for development (C4D), international media and journalism for international organizations, most recently UNICEF. As a freelancer, he has written for the Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, Times Higher Education, Transitions Online, Columbus Dispatch, History Today, AmericanHeritage.com, History News Network, The Montreal Review, Global Beat Syndicate and other print and online media. His previous books include: Monsoon Postcards: Indian Ocean Journeys (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2019), Postcards from Stanland: Journeys in Central Asia (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2016), Global Journalism Practice and New Media Performance (co-editor) (New York: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2015), American Newsfilm, 1914-1919: The Underexposed War (Routledge, 2014, a re-publication of the original book from 1984), and Catching Stories: A Practical Guide to Oral History (co-author) (Athens: Swallow Press, 2009).
Open Books will publish his current book, Postcards from the Borderland in Fall 2020.
Postcards from the Borderlands
(History, Travel and Culture)
by David H. Mould
Exploring the meaning of borders in our world...
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.
Mould finds topics of interest even in the most ordinary places—an airport departure lounge, a food court, a roadside restaurant, a government office. Every road trip offers a moving window display of landscape features, crops, livestock, houses, churches, temples, mosques, schools, factories, military bases, vehicles. He notes what people are selling on the roadside and the markets, the restaurant menu, the indecipherable instructions for the TV remote in his hotel room. What people wear. What they eat. How they talk to each other. The questions they ask him. The questions he asks them. Away from the tourist hotspots, he finds that it is often the commonplace that is most fascinating and revealing of culture.
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. Boisvert offers 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.
10/9/20 12:00 pm Bookshop at the End of the Internet
10/10/20 12:00 pm Writers Atelier on Facebook Live
Annie Bloom's Books
Monday, September 28th, 7:00 pm
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.
As a retired Professor of Literature, George Hodge knows that if life were art, his story would be over. He has outlived his wife, his children and finally his money. With little more than his wits, his thumb, and a resignation to serendipity, he sets out on a journey of discovery. Along the way he acquires two traveling companions, a single mother and her precocious daughter who have reasons of their own for hitting the road. For three damaged individuals between the ages of ten and seventy-eight, the line between the American Dream and the American Nightmare is a delicate thread not easily seen until it breaks, and the difference between a tragic end and a new beginning is sometimes seen only in hindsight.
When a Marine fireteam searches an isolated Vietnamese village believed to be a supply depot for the Viet Cong an IED explodes, leaving only one survivor of the five-man unit. But who is he: Bunny, Hillbilly, Poke, Injun, or "the LT"? Because he is horribly burned, disfigured, and unable to speak, the military doctors don't know, but the people back home in a coal mining camp in southern West Virginia think they know. Most unsettling of all the survivor himself isn't certain who he is.
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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?
This contemporary novel explores family, guilt, manipulation, betrayal, and love.
In China's political chaos, a woman's desperate search for her family
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.