At Random House Struik in South Africa, founding managing director Stephen Johnson will step down in March 2012, the end of the unit’s fiscal year, as he reaches retirement age. Johnson will become chairman of the company’s board in April. Current managing director of London’s New Holland Publishers (and a former Struik md) Steve Connolly will return to South Africa to run Random House Struik as of April.
Nicola Way will join Harper Children’s UK as marketing director in January. She was most recently a board director at Iris Nation, a UK integrated marketing agency.
Sumya Ojakli has been named senior director of special sales for Simon & Schuster, reporting to Michael Selleck. Ojakli has been a consultant since 2003, after working as general manager of Golden Books at Random House.
Books & Books will launch B&B Press: A Project of Books & Books at the Miami Book Fair this weekend with two titles, LAST TRAIN TO PARADISE by Les Standiford and BLUE CHRISTMAS: STORIES FOR THE REST OF US, a collection of unorthodox fairy tales. “I just felt that these books called out for us to do them, basically,” Books & Books owner Mitch Kaplan told the Miami Herald about the new print publishing venture. “I don’t think I started out thinking I was going to have a publishing house, and I’d look for books. It was the other way around.”
Kirkus has begun trickling out their best books of the year on a weekly basis, starting with fiction. (The “complete list” includes QR Markham’s withdrawn ASSASSIN OF SECRETS, though the review itself has been purged from their site.) Their top 25:
11/22/63, by Stephen King
1Q84, by Haruki Murakami
THE CALL, by Yannick Murphy
FAITH, by Jennifer Haigh
THE FORGOTTEN WALTZ, by Anne Enright
THE GRIEF OF OTHERS, by Leah Hager Cohen
THE INFERNALS, by John Connolly
LAST MAN IN TOWER, by Aravind Adiga
THE LEFTOVERS, by Tom Perrotta
THE MAGICIAN KING, by Lev Grossman
THE MARRIAGE PLOT, by Jeffrey Eugenides
THE MIGHTY WALZER, by Howard Jacobson
A MOMENT IN THE SUN, by John Sayles
OPEN CITY, by Teju Cole
OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY, by Justin Cartwright
THE OUTLAW ALBUM, by Daniel Woodrell
THE PRAGUE CEMETERY, by Umberto Eco
THE SENSE OF AN ENDING, by Julian Barnes
STATE OF WONDER, by Ann Patchett
THE SUBMISSION, by Amy Waldman
THE TRAGEDY OF ARTHUR, by Arthur Phillips
TROPHY, by Michael Griffith
TURN OF MIND, by Alice LaPlante
UNTIL THE DAWN’S LIGHT, by Aharon Appelfeld
THE YEAR WE LEFT HOME, by Jean Thompson
Deputy superintendent of Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site in Washington Rae Emerson wrote a report on Bill O’Reilly’s KILLING LINCOLN recommending that the book not be sold in the site’s store. Emerson objected to some factual errors, and the lack of citations of primary sources. Separately, historian Edward Steers, Jr. also listed a number of factual errors he found in a review for North & South magazine.
But the Washington Post admits that “some of the errors that experts have pointed out are minor.” They add: “According to Steers, the authors misidentified theater owner John Ford’s chief carpenter as James J. Clifford; his name was James J. Gifford. Emerson says the book was wrong about the number of times the play “Our American Cousin” was performed at Ford’s Theatre before Lincoln saw it on that fateful night. In the O’Reilly-Dugard account, there were eight previous performances; in fact, there were seven.” His biggest objection is to the account of how conspirator Mary Surratt was treated while being held for trial.