Friday, June 26, 2009

Scholars on crime

Crime is always an interesting topic. Crime in the summertime is nearly irresistible. Amid the fleet of scholarly books underway right now, crime studies are the pirate vessels...

Dr. William F. McDonald has a new book, Immigration, Crime and Justice, part of Emerald Book's Sociology of Law and Deviance series. Whoo-hoo! Here's a description: "Driving the white-hot arguments over immigration are myths, fears and political correctness. As the US Congress prepares to take another shot at comprehensive immigration reform, you will want to know the many unexpected and vexing facts about this complex topic. William F. McDonald’s Immigration, Crime and Justice tells the whole story: immigration reduces crime; immigrants are victimized in numerous ways; local police disagree as to what role they should play; laws and policies intended to better manage the immigration phenomenon have unintended negative consequences; open borders policy is seen as the answer by some.

The only readers for whom this book is not relevant are those who have no ancestors who were immigrants in the past."

Given that all of my ancestors on one side came from the Italian town of Calabritto, in the hills near Naples, I can relate.

Image from Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, upcoming in July.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Brian Tracy on How to Write a Book

Every now and then I need a fresh hit of Brian Tracy. He's an old-school motivational speaker, and I've learned so much from his materials. We have somewhat different perspectives (he's far more ambition-oriented, and I am currently gleaning much from the more contemplative, "little way" path), but if you feel that you need to get moving, Brian Tracy can do it. Here's a link to his audio on how he has written books that have sold over 50 million copies.

Back from the AAUP

AAUP can stand for two things in academic circles: the American Association of University Professors, and the Association of American University Presses. I have been invited to speak at both over the years, which makes it doubly confusing. But it was university presses that had my undivided attention this weekend as I joined three bookish colleagues on a panel, "From Book Labs to Publishing Liaisons: University-Based Programs for Authors.”

My buddies were moderator Amy Benson Brown, Director of the Manuscript Development Program at Emory University, whose genius was behind the panel in the first place; Rebecca Sestili, the Author-Publisher Liaison from the University of Michigan; and Steven Feldman, Book Publications Officer, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. We bonded the night before over a Chinese dinner in Philadelphia, and then Saturday morning we enjoyed a lively event with about 35 attendees (pretty much a full room).

The biggest things we learned from one another are that many faculty publishing concerns are universal:

* Weird writing issues that crop up when the job is on the line? Check.
* Faculty nervous around most university press editors? Check.
* Confusion over publishing requirements, industry standards and more? Double-check.

It was a great weekend, and I plan to attend the full conference in Salt Lake City next year, along with the rest of the panel.