Notes: More Faux Memoires; Wordsmiths Squared; Quick Reads
This season's A Million Little Pieces: Margaret B. Jones, the author of Love and Consequences, a memoir of growing up half-white, half-Native American in South-Central Los Angeles as a foster child and joining the gang world, is actually, the New York Times reported, "Margaret Seltzer, who is all white and grew up in well-to-do Sherman Oaks, in the San Fernando Valley of California, with her biological family. She graduated from the Campbell Hall School, a private Episcopal day school in North Hollywood. She has never lived with a foster family, nor did she run drugs for any gang members. Nor did she graduate from the University of Oregon, as she had claimed." So much for truthiness.
Publisher Riverhead is recalling all copies of the book, published last week, and has cancelled the author's tour.
Only last week, Misha Defonseca, who wrote Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years, published here in 1997, confessed that rather than having been a small Jewish girl who moved around Europe living with wolves during World War II, "she is not Jewish and spent the war safely in Brussels," according to the Boson Globe.
Wordsmiths Books, Decatur, Ga., which opened in June last year (Shelf Awareness, June 13, 2007), is moving later this month a little more than a block to a building on Decatur Square. The store will close on Tuesday, March 25, and re-open in its new location on Friday, March 28.
In a statement to customers and others, owner Zachary Steele said that the new location "will offer us all the space and room for growth that we will need into the far-reaching future. Additionally, we're nothing shy of a few paces from the very lawn that hosts the Decatur Arts Festival, the Decatur Book Festival, the Beach Party, the Wine Fest, Movies on the Square and a host of many other festive activities that take place on the Square throughout the year."
The store will have a moving party on March 24 that includes the second BabyGotBooks.com reading series event, with author Hillary Jordan and music from Wayne Fishell Experiment and Hope for Agoldensummer. There will also be food, drinks, bands and possibly authors on hand.
The store's new address is 545 N. McDonough St., Decatur, Ga. 30030; 404-378-7166; wordsmithsbooks.com.
Quick Reads, a program designed for adults with literacy problems "is improving reading and boosting self-esteem," according to the Guardian. Nine out of 10 of the people who have read the compact titles "told researchers their reading has improved and
they feel better about themselves."
A partnership "between publishers, booksellers, the government, and a range of bodies including the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (Niace) and the Trades Union Congress," Quick Reads was launched two years ago. The 10 titles available "include books by bestselling fiction writers Adele Parks, Josephine Cox and Chris Ryan, and autobiographical accounts of winning out against the odds by the rugby player Scott Quinnell, the athlete Colin Jackson, and the master chef Gordon Ramsay."
The books, generally written in the 20,000-word range, "are supposed to consist largely of one- and two-syllable words, short sentences and brief paragraphs. A new "batch of bite-sized books" will be released on World Book Day this Thursday.
[Editors' note: sorry for not summing this up more quickly.]