Welcome to Issue 64 of the SUPERIOR BOOK PRODUCTIONS newsletter!
Happy New Year, Everyone!
I’m happy to announce that I plan to publish two new books in 2017. One of them will be Arthur’s Bosom, the fifth and final volume of the Children of Arthur series about King Arthur and his descendants into the twenty-first century. Look for its release toward the end of the year, and to catch up on the series, visit www.ChildrenofArthur.com.
The other book I’m keeping under wraps for now. I’ll just say that it will be out in time for Halloween, so stay tuned.
Many of you also know that I’m the President of the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association. Mark your calendars for our annual meeting this year in Marquette, Michigan on May 20th at Peter White Public Library. We’ll have updates about the meeting this spring at www.uppaa.org. We also are now having monthly meetings the first Friday of each month at noon at the downstairs café in the library if you care to join us.
And as always, Superior Book Productions will be bringing you the latest great books that we get to review. Check out our most recent offerings below and have a great 2017!
This Month’s Great Book Quote:
Let’s start off the new year with something old—the newly released edition of Charlotte Smith’s 1789 novel Ethelinde, or The Recluse of the Lake. This is the first edition of this book in decades and it’s long overdue. Charlotte Smith has long deserved a revival of interest because she was a major influence on the Romantic poets. (She knew Wordsworth personally.) While she was best known at the time for her poetry, she also wrote wonderful novels that would influence better known novelists who came after her like Mrs. Radcliffe and Jane Austen. Ethelinde is one of her best novels, set in the Lake District, and may have encouraged Wordsworth to move there. The story is of a young heroine who falls in love with an impoverished local man who is rather a child of nature. The novel has many eighteenth century elements but also Romantic and Gothic ones, including gambling, illegitimacy, and most shocking of all for its time, an adultery plot. If you love Jane Austen, you have to read Ethelinde. This new edition is complete with an introduction and notes by literary scholar Ellen Moody.
To read more, visit Ethelinde.
In The Essence of Lean, David Hinds explores what is at the very core of the Lean method. He defines Lean, explores its methods, and shows how it can be applied in any organization to eliminate wasteful procedures and provide the greatest benefit to employees and customers. The book is especially directed toward leaders who are unfamiliar with Lean but who want to seek out new ways to improve their organizations and help them grow. That said, people already familiar with Lean will also find much beneficial information in these pages.
The book’s foreword is written by Keith and Andrew Koenig, the President and Vice President of City Furniture. They testify to how they improved their business by applying Lean principles. In writing this book, Hinds carried out extensive fieldwork with them and with other organizations that have implemented Lean.
Early in the book, some definitions of Lean are provided although there is no truly standard one. In the Foreword, Keith Koenig describes Lean as “the best management system in the world.” Hinds’ own simplified definition is, “Lean is a vision of how to do work and how to treat people.” Both definitions are very accurate.
To read more, visit The Essence of Lean.
Succeeding in College and Life by Jonathan Wong is jam-packed with everything a prospective college student will need to know to succeed. As a former English professor who taught freshman composition, I wish this book had been in print when I taught because I would have made it recommended reading for all of my students.
For me, what makes Succeeding in College and Life stand out is that it gives a bird’s-eye view of the college experience. Yes, there is plenty of advice in it about studying to get good grades, but the college experience is far more than that. It is about discovering oneself. It is about building relationships with friends that could last forever. It is about being away from home and living on one’s own. It is about the educating of the mind and the awakening of the personality in new, surprising, and magical ways. Jonathan Wong, who has been a longtime college instructor himself, understands all that, and he’s got it all covered between the covers of this book.
To read more, visit Succeeding in College and Life.
As a scholar of the classic Gothic novel of the nineteenth century, I’m happy to report that authors like Michelle Pillow are keeping the Gothic tradition alive and well by utilizing standard Gothic plot devices but making them their own as the Gothic evolves into something more spiritual and less terrifying than its originators may have first imagined.
Forget Me Not has all the classic Gothic elements a reader could want, and it draws heavily upon those early novels for its setting and atmosphere. We can also define it as a regency novel—since it’s set in England in 1812—when George IV was still Prince Regent of England. Readers today might call it paranormal rather than Gothic, and, of course, it also falls into the romance novel category.
The story begins when Isabel Drake and her sister Jane are speculating about whether Rothfield Park is haunted. The family has let the manor house from its owner, the Marquis of Rothfield. Legend says that during a fire, a child and servant died in the house. Jane claims that she has seen evidence of hauntings in the castle, but Isabel thinks Jane has just let her imagination get the better of her after reading a “shilling shocker.”
To read more, visit Forget Me Not.
Michelle Pillow, the author of Forget Me Not and numerous other bestselling novels that range from regency novels and other historical fiction to the supernatural and romance, is interviewed here by Tyler Tichelaar. In the interview, Michelle speaks about how she came to write Forget Me Not, discusses its characters, talks about her favorite authors, and reveals her writing habits including her secret to having written over 100 books.
To read more, visit Interview with Michelle Pillow.
When we think of leaders, we think of people in the front of the line who are in charge, know what they’re doing, and inspire others to follow, but Matt Jenkins knows there’s more to being a leader as he explains in his new book, Becoming a Great Leader. Being a leader is not all about being in the limelight. It’s really about serving others. If you are not a leader who has the best interests of your followers in mind, then no one will follow you for long. Leadership is also one of the greatest aspirations a person can have, not out of a desire for fame or fortune or power, but simply because a true leader is someone esteemed by others, someone who has the attributes required not only to make a great leader but also a great person.
Therefore, we should all aspire to becoming great leaders, and Matt Jenkins, author, entrepreneur, army officer, and leadership coach shows us how. In the introduction, he promises us, “In this book, you will see how to practice attributes that will provide a path for you to go from being a follower who is running with the crowd, to being the great leader you have always wanted to be.” He goes on to explain that, “You will see why trusting others, becoming self-educated, controlling your temper, and being charitable will help you to make the journey of becoming a great leader.”
To read more, visit Becoming a Great Leader.
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