Book Buzz | Daniel Tammer & Different Ways of Knowing, an Illustrated DIY Manual

Every weekday, Publisher’s Marketplace emails the latest publishing deals in print, digital, audio and foreign sales (over 200 deals/week). Here are some of my favs -- not necessarily the biggest names or the buzziest deal… but the ones that piqued my interest for one reason or another.

Last week, deals slowed down significantly because of BEA. But there were some gems in there....

A WORLD OF WORDS by Daniel Tammet
Agent: Andrew Lownie at Andrew Lownie Literary Agency
Editor: Tracy Behar at Little, Brown
Description: An exploration of language and what it can teach us about our minds and lives.

Daniel Tammet is also the author of Thinking in Numbers (a nice complement to A World of Words) and the memoir Born on a Blue Day, a memoir about his life with high-functioning autism and savant syndrome.

My youngest brother Chris is autistic but we didn’t know that until he was three or so. Before then and before he could talk, he could identify letters. Point to one, and he’d name it for you. We thought he was a genius, and in a way, he is. I always cringe when I tell people my brother is autistic and they’ll say something like, “Oh, I’m so sorry.” Don’t be sorry. Chris is happy, loved, and intelligent in a way that’s no less valid just because it’s not measured on our typical IQ scale.  Excited to see how Tammet builds out the canon of “neurodiversity”. We still have a lot to learn.

Agent: Amy WIlliams at The Williams Company  
Editor: Chris Heiser at the Unnamed Press 
Description: The inheritance of madness in an iconoclastic family - the scions of a piano manufacturing fortune - set in mid-twentieth century Brooklyn, Taiwan, and Northern California.

I love a multi-generational saga, and upon research, found that I identified with Esme’s long and winding path to publication.

As she writes in her announcement post:

The book was molting and metamorphosing over and over again. What had once taken place in contemporary Northern California was now beginning in World War II-era New York. Characters disappeared and new ones came in their place. Plotlines wilted on the vine. I wrote vastly different endings, and then went back to write vastly different beginnings. By the time I finished my first draft, which clocked in at 300+ pages, three years had passed, and the Nowaks had become real enough for me to dream about at night.

I hear ya, girl!

Agent: Laurie Abkemeier at DeFiore and Company
Editor: B.J. Berti and Courtney Littler at St. Martin's
Description: Illustrated advice for streamlining and improving your home life, looking and feeling better, and creating fun and artsy DIY projects that can brighten your living space.

Yumi's cute and quirky illustrations are all the more winning because they have heart. Does "improving your home life" have a lot of heart? Not always. So, excited to see what Yumi does here.