FORMER NEW YORK TIMES CRITIC KEEPS IT CLEAN

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/beth wareham

Despite repeated requests by his editor to write something dirty about classical music, former New York Times Chief Critic Bernard Holland refused, saying “classical music showers daily, just like me.”

To read more of Mr. Holland’s thoughts, check out http://amzn.to/1S9AQIV. You’ll hear the music. No way you can’t. I even loved it and baby, I’m a rocker.

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First Verified Photo of Former New York Times Critic Bernard Holland, author of Something I Heard

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Beth Wareham talks to Something I Heard author, Bernard Holland

1. You’ve been away from the New York Times for 7 years. Why did you release this book now?

Two close friends – Richard and Dee Wilson – (Richard Wilson is a composer/pianist and holds the Mary Conover Mellon Chair of Music at Vassar) came upon the piece on Glenn Gould and said I should think about a book. It was some kind of tipping point for me and seven years after leaving the paper, I thought “yes, I’ll do a book.”

2. A google of your by-line puts your contribution to music criticism at the Times to over 4600 articles and reviews. How did you begin to approach what you wanted in this compilation?

I remembered certain reviews and started rereading them together. I began to appreciate the work more. Before, I just wanted to enjoy being retired. Now, I can look back at a career and think “it was a wonderful job but there was too much of it.” I needed to put it all aside. I was overloaded.

3. As a writer, you are known as a skilled “aphorist.” How did you get to be that way?

I say it in the book. I had to write hundreds of short reviews. I had strict boundaries and that allowed me freedom. Boundaries are liberating. You know exactly where you are and it really makes you think. I became good at throwing out any word I didn’t need.

I had to operate within a space and that space only. There’s a quote from Stravinsky that says – and I paraphrase – when I begin to compose, I have limitless opportunities. It’s up to me to choose one.

As a writer, you can’t sprawl, you can’t run everywhere. I feel the same way musically about Mahler. I think sometimes in his symphonies, he abuses his space.

4. I have to ask it: What are your desert island pieces?

Haydn’s “Last Seven Words of Christ”
Wagner’s “Parsifal”
Schubert’s G Major Piano Sonata
Liszt’s “The Fountains at the Villa d’Este”,
Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time”
Debussy’s “Iberia”
Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony
Astor Piazzolla’s “Maria de Buenos Aires”
Any Nelson Riddle arrangement of Frank Sinatra and Linda Ronstadt.

5. And finally, what’s your favorite part about being married to me?

You like Jimi Hendrix and I’m cool with that.

Get more of the music in Something I Heard by clicking here on the title.

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Food of the Hive-Mind

Hive-Mind, Gabrielle Myers, organic farm, memoir, Tip Top Farm, Laura Trent

To Purchase Hive-Mind click on cover

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excerpt from Hive-Mind
by Gabrielle Myers

“When I go into the kitchen, the sun’s started to angle itself at Mount Vaca. The golden light casts a reddish filter on my knife work as I thinly slice the halibut filet, fish so fresh the white flesh looks slightly blue and feels sturdy under my knife. After I cut the halibut into tiny cubes, I place it in a stainless steel bowl on top of an ice bag, grate a pinch of lemon zest, sprinkle sea salt and mix in a good amount of olive oil. All the time I maneuver around the kitchen’s gravel floor and awkward cutting boards that jut over the table at weird angles….

Baker walks across the herb circle to the kitchen; her leg brushes a tarragon plant the size of a small citrus tree.

We each do our bit of tidying, and set the table. Gina arrives smiling, flush and tan from her day in our fields. I begin to disk the okra with my sharpest knife. I gently mix the tartare and arrange a thin circular layer on each plate. I distribute five disks of okra on each circle, drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the whole plate and sprinkle wild fennel pollen that I harvested near Lake Berryessa last weekend over the tartare.

Tartare: beef, lamb, tuna, halibut; all I have to do is cut, put sea salt on, pair it with a good olive oil and garnish. The tender fragile quality of the meat or fish plays against the texture present in each bite. Tartare was my favorite dish to serve at Oliveto. We’d fry capers until they were stiff star-like flowers, or take nasturtium petals and dot them over eye of round, ground and moist with oil so the dish looked like a Monet painting…

To purchase Hive-Mind, click on the title.

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Every Publication is a Startup: A Q&A with Chris Heivly, “The Startup Whisperer”

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/Beth Wareham

Chris, when I read your book about how to get to yes in the startup scene, I was relieved that the startup I was working on – in this instance, a publishing company – had made many of your moves instinctively. It turns out that I was building my own publishing fort. I also realized your book, Build the Fort, was about startups and each publication was a microcosm of that launch.

1. Do you view your book as a fort-building experience?

Yes very much so. I can even take it a step further and share that I viewed the book as a startup in itself. So if fort building is like startups . . . you get the picture. Like every startup, I had a concept that I thought people would enjoy. I also experienced highs and lows as I built out the product (the book) and now I get to enjoy the feedback (good or bad) from my customers (readers).

2. In Build the Fort, your 5 essential steps for startup success are presented as a parable about building a hideout in the woods with your friends when you were young. The analogy works. Step 1 in Build the Fort is to socialize the idea. Many a book has failed because it could not be described succinctly. How should an author “socialize the idea”?

The first thing is to go talk to your target audience and share the concept and point of view. In Build The Fort, I had a thesis that there are no books that concentrate on the months leading up to your decision to leap. So, I asked a bunch of people about that and determined that I was right. Interestingly, I also used the socialize the idea to talk to potential publishers, agents, other writers and industry people so I could understand how this was going to play out and what my options were.

Writers need to be matched to publisher carefully or the entire project can derail. How do you recommend, as you do in your book, that a writer find the right people? Obviously, information is power and the only way to get information is to talk to as many people as possible. Or Step 1 in the parable. Some talk to too few and others dont talk to as diverse a group as they should. I talked to major publishers, agents, hybrid publishers, 1st time writers, freelance editors and startup publishing services folks. Sound like a lot? It is easy when you have no fear and nothing to lose.

3. Every author confronts the same difficult beast: marketing and promotion. Can you talk about how you gather the assets closest to you to move your book sales.

Yea, this is the biggie for me right now. I decided early on that ultimately the success of the book was going to be on me. I heard that from everyone during my socialization tour. Turns out that writing the book was the easy part. The marketing assets are a mix of mine and others. My assets were the 6,800 email contacts I had amassed over the last 5-6 years. It took me all weekend to get them into one email database. I also started turning every one of my speaking opportunities into a Build The Fort story a year ago. Every public opportunity was a chance to tell people that a book was coming out. Call it brand building. I also researched a ton of ideas on marketing a book and took the ones I thought I could execute and put them in a spreadsheet of ideas. I am still adding, subtracting and rolling those out.

4. Create short term goals is perfect for the independent authors. Many get discourage when their book doesn’t perform immediately, but it is a process for the tortoise, rarely the hare. Can you talk about your short term approach for Build the Fort?

This makes me laugh as I am struggling with this right now. Let’s start with the actual writing of the book. I have a full-time gig so I needed to give myself permission to only write 3-4 times per week for 1-2 hours per sitting. My overall goal was to finish by the end of 2014 (I started writing in April). My near term goals were to write 1,000 words per sitting.

In terms of sales and marketing, I set a personal goal for sales and then asked the publishing team their goals. I then readjusted mine down. But, like any startup, I am not satisfied with the pace. That will never change for me. The one point I will make is that with 2 other businesses (The Startup Factory and Big Top Reverse Job Fair) the book comes in third on my priorities. To that end, I needed to give myself permission to execute at 30-40% of what was possible. Time is my enemy. I told me to not beat myself up for not executing everything that was possible. Knock off the big items one by one when I can. That is good enough.

5. At what point in your publication will you be satisfied that you have Built a Fort?

I have already built many forts, and look forward to building more, it is my passion. Now, I have a published book that thousands of future entrepreneurs are reading. It is an exciting life.

To order, click on the title, Build the Fort

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Is Classical Music Funny? 25 Ideas from SOMETHING I HEARD by Bernard Holland

 

Something I Heard, Bernard Holland, music critic for New York Times, classical music criticism

To order SOMETHING I HEARD, click on the title or cover

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“Holland has a remarkable ability to conjure up the essence of a composer or a piece of music in a few deftly chosen words. He is, I think, an aphorist of unparalleled virtuosity.”
— San Francisco Chronicle

“No one today can match the limpid elegance and intellectual precision of his style…”
— The New Yorker

/Bernard Holland

CRITIC’S CREDENTIALS
The day I put “music critic” after my name people started asking me about music. Before that no one asked my opinion about anything.

ON GLENN GOULD’S “WELL-TEMPER ED CLAVIER.”
He is the most interesting Bach player in memory, but when taken as a model of how Bach should sound, he is a catastrophe. People who blow up buildings get our attention, and sometimes their messages clean out our heads, but we don’t let them be architects.

ON THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS
They will no more grow than Mother Nature will take the liver spots off my hands. We have grown old together.

SYMPHONIC BLACKNESS
There’s a more relevant question behind the one that asks why so few black musicians go into classical music, and that is: Why should they want to?

ON EARLY MUSIC
If the early music movement taught us anything it is that all music is contemporary.

TANGO
The tango is sublimated warfare. It rarely smiles. Elegance, ritual and a deep dignity win out over darker impulses. In a single Argentine dance form the universal paradoxes of romance between two human beings seem to gather.

ON AMERICAN MUSIC
I would trade some Strauss, most of Hindemith and even a little Brahms for the first eight bars of “April in Paris.”

ON ELLIOTT CARTER AND HAYDN
One wonders what kind of music Carter would have written had he, like Haydn, lived his teenage years in frightening poverty.

SCHOENBERG ON HIS CRITICS
“My music isn’t modern. It’s just played badly.”

FARRAKHAN AND HIS VIOLIN
In the green hills of North Carolina on Saturday night, the lion lay down with the lamb. A reputed sower of discord communed with a maker of harmony. Louis Farrakhan, meet Felix Mendelssohn.

ON CASTING BAYREUTH’S “RING.”
Gabriele Schnaut’s Brünnhilde bore down on the helpless listener like a sopranic freight train threatening derailment at any moment. Her Siegfried (Wolfgang Schmidt) could offer only strangled desperation. When we were lucky, Mr. Schmidt landed on no pitch at all, creating a kind of 19th-century German Romantic rap.

HENRY BRANT INDOORS
The Brant aesthetic, when brought under a roof, shrinks to a form of encirclement. Here the audience, Custer-like, receives incoming fire from every direction.

RING FOLLOWERS
Wagner lovers are besotted people, like the sharers of some extraterrestrial visitation who are compelled to gather in cities like Seattle, Vienna, New York, San Francisco and, of course, Bayreuth to trade sightings.

RING FOLLOWERS II
When doom is announced on Monday but does not arrive until Saturday, the “Ring” and its audiences are captives in time, forming a kind of space capsule in which listeners are as much crew members as the performers.

PETER SELLARS AND EL NINO
Mr. Sellars takes his usual role as honorary member and emotional spokesman for the oppressed and the slighted. It must gall him at times to be so showered with attention and success.

OUTIS AT LA SCALA
The brothel scene steams with bare skin, gyrating pudenda and simulated (I think) copulation.

ON THE SORROWS OF YOUNG WEATHER
The sorrows of this story’s title lie in togetherness and loneliness made to stand side by side.

GIACINTO SCELSI AND HIS BLACK HOLE
A Beethoven sonata begins at the front door, takes a trip, meets new friends, goes home. A Scelsi piece closes the front door and digs in the basement.

CASTING WOES AT THE MET
Gorgeous to look at but virtually uninhabited, the Metropolitan Opera’s new ”Traviata” seems to have been the victim of a neutron bomb.

ON AVERY FISHER HALL
This building is cursed and should be leveled. It doesn’t need an architect. It .needs an exorcist.

ON HIGH PAY AND THE THREE TENORS
Perhaps a more apt title for these events would be “Three Tenors, One Conductor and Four Accountants.”

ON BRUCKNER AND CLASSICAL STYLE
Bruckner is a Mozart sonata that ate too much.

ON BLOGGING
All of us should go home, find a dark room, sit down and be silent.

ON MUSIC APPRECIATION
That leap from ”understand” to ”appreciate” is long and blind.

ON CONDUCTING MAHLER
You do not keep “Das Liêd von der Erde” together by snapping your fingers like Harry James.

ON ACOUSTICS AND LISTENING
Good acoustics, like a good haircut, go unnoticed.
Acoustics are to music what bookbinding and typeface are to Faulkner. If our minds are doing their work, Faulkner’s voice will sound the same in the roughest, smallest and most unwelcoming old paperback as it does in the most luxurious special edition.

MYSTERIES OF CONDUCTING
Look no farther than Leopold Stokowski who managed to pack his dessert-like sound into a suitcase and carry it from city to city.

RELUCTANT CRITICISM
The critic’s duty is to report that Mr. Bocelli is not a very good singer.

MOZART FROM MINOR TO MAJOR
Just as we put up our umbrellas, the sun comes out. We don’t know whether to be happy or sad, and so we are both.

ON CRITICISM
Critics may speak German or English but they can’t speak music. Music is sublimely illiterate

ON RELIGION
Messiaen invented a Christianity with no missionaries and a congregation of one.

To order, click on the title Something I Heard.

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WE SUBMIT FOR YOUR APPROVAL: Books to Make You Smarter, Books to Entertain

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Dear Friend: Shadow Teams now powers Lisa Hagan Books, an independent publishing company working in the United States, Canada and the U.K. We now believe everything everyone told us about how hard you must work on a startup.
We are extremely proud of our first group of books. We offer them below.

Simply click on the title of the book to order.

Please forward on this email to family, friends and other readers. We would love your feedback and help in spreading the word. http://www.shadowteams.com

Anyone who signs up for our email will get three chapters of our next release for free. (What is the book, you ask? It will be a surprise, just like all presents.)

If you wish to review the book — for print, blog or possible interviews – or for potential inclusion in curriculum, please email beth@shadowteams.com

ADULT NON-FICTION

SOMETHING I HEARD
b9thnolinelargery Bernard Holland
New York Times Critic Remembers 1981-2008

For twenty-plus years, music critic Bernard Holland heard it all. He reviewed and interviewed many of the most celebrated classical artists – singers, conductors, instrumentalists, composers and the avant garde – of the twentieth century for the New York Times.

Reporting both sides of the culture war between music history and radical change, Holland writes critiques on Philip Glass to Verdi, Messiaen to Bach, Peter Sellars to Zeffirelli, and Linda Ronstadt to The Three Tenors.

Along the way, the reader chats with Herbert von Karajan, takes a plane trip with Yo-Yo Ma, joins in with the boos at Bayreuth, and walks the slow walk with Robert Wilson.

“No one today can match the limpid elegance and intellectual precision of his style, which recalls the heyday of
Virgil Thomson.”
-The New Yorker

MEMOIR

Hive-Mind
by Gabrielle Myers
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With the lyrical precision of Annie Dillard and the exquisite food writing of M.F.K. Fisher, Gabrielle Myers takes us on a Northern California idyll – an internship at the Tip Top Farm and Produce in Vacaville.

Here, the beauty of the land – light streaming through fig branches; carnelian tomatoes exploding in front of rows of sweet peas – is tended by the mysterious frenetic Farmer and her companion, Baker. Together with their intern Gabrielle, the trio tends a landscape full with sustenance and life. Their days are filled with back-breaking farm labor and their nights are alive with the freshest, most creative meals imaginable.

At night, Gabi lays in her yurt pondering her mother’s suicide attempt, working on stories to tell herself to make it alright, while just up the hill another mind, busy as a hive, fights a storm of loss and sorrow that threatens to shatter their eden. And what of these stories we tell ourselves? Myers asks.

Sometimes, they can’t be rewritten.

“The voice in Hive-Mind is complicated, edgy, vulnerable and deeply in love with fig trees, cherry tomatoes, and the sound of crickets on a hundred-and-ten degree day. In these dark, environmentally catastrophic times, we need books like this one to shake us out of our slumber, remind us where we came from, reconnect us to what we have.”
– Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted

Order now from Amazon.com by clicking on the title above.

PARANORMAL

Men in Black:Personal Stories and Eerie Adventures
by Nick Redfern

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Nick Redfern’s new, and third, book on the Men in Black is filled with the very latest revelations on the sinister and deadly MIB. Never-before-seen witness testimony combines with papers from some of the leading figures in UFO- and paranormal-themed research to provide an outstanding look at this creepy and disturbing phenomenon.

Men in Black: Personal Stories & Eerie Adventures takes the reader on a mysterious, macabre, and menacing journey into the world of the dark-suited silencers. It’s a journey that encompasses tales of UFO conspiracies, government agents, strange and bizarre monsters, the occult, demonology, and psychic attack.

“Reading and reviewing the always-fascinating writings and research of author and “unsolved mysteries” lecturer Nick Redfern, for more than a decade, has allowed me to gain new insight on conspiracies and paranormal subjects. And Redfern refuses to let up…..”

– Red Dirt Report

Order now through Amazon.com by clicking on the title above.

BUSINESS

Build the Fort: 5 Simple Lessons You Learned as a 10-Year Old Can Set You Up for Start-Up Success
by Chris Heivly

In Build the Fort, Heivly breaks down his childhood personal fort-building experiences and uses them as an analogy to his journey as co-founder of MapQuest (sold to AOL for $1.2 billion) as well as The Startup Factory (a seed-stage investor & mentorship program).

Build the Fort outlines five basic elements that are common to both fort-building and startups:
• Socializing Your Idea without fear or inhibition,
• Identifying and Marshaling the People You Trust,
• Gathering the Minimal Resources Closest To You,
• Acting on the Smallest and Simplest of the Idea, and
• Build the Fort.

Build_The_Fort_cover_final
Whether you are 16 or 60, Build The Fort will provide the reader a better understanding of the earliest micro-steps of starting your own business by overlaying Chris’s 30 years of experiences in startups, investments, big-company intrapreneurship and community development.

“Chris is a ‘been there, done that’ kind of guy when it comes to startups. From his own highly successful startup, to leading a venture capital firm, to running a successful accelerator, to personally mentoring hundreds of entrepreneurs, Chris is not only someone who knows his stuff, but is the kind of person who truly cares.”
– F. Scott Moody
CEO of AuthenTec (sold to Apple)

Available on Amazon.com by clicking on the title above.

YOUNG ADULT FICTION

Motherless
by Gabriel Horn

An island appears and disappears. A mysterious animal stands at the edge of the forest, watching. A door becomes a portal to the deepest secrets of the ocean. Through the darkness, a wolf strikes for life.

Born in a downpour that breaks a record drought, she is named Rainy. A young Native American girl, orphaned at 5, she lives with her grandfather on the white sandy shores of the Florida coast. As she approaches adolescence, Rainy struggles with her love for the Earth and the horrors inflicted on our natural world, facing questions of loss and identity, and the very essence of the human spirit. They are questions that hours spent in classrooms, and even her grandfather’s ancient wisdom, cannot answer. Exasperated, a storm rages inside of her, ultimately releasing her own spirit to the storm raging outside, and lifts her into a dream that is more than a dream.

Beyond this dream, in a place where the ordinary and extraordinary merge, Rainy Peek realizes her destiny and what it truly means to be MOTHERLESS.

“…insightful and eloquent”
– The Tampa Tribune
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