TIME Media

What It Was Like to Work With David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace edit
Harry Ransom Center Page 1 of corrected proof of David Foster Wallace’s 1996 essay on the U.S. Open for Tennis magazine.

One of the writer's one-time editors looks back on their work together

This post is in partnership with the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin. A version of the article below was originally published on the Ransom Center’s Cultural Compass blog.

In 1995, Jay Jennings, a former editor of Tennis magazine, commissioned David Foster Wallace to write an article about the U.S. Open, which was published as “Democracy and Commerce at the U.S. Open” one year later. In 2010, Jennings contributed a file of corrected proofs and correspondence to the Ransom Center relating to the essay and revealing Wallace’s close involvement in the editorial process. Wallace had warned Jennings that he would be a difficult editee, but the papers demonstrate the contrary. Though Wallace’s comments on the proof pages are often assertive, they are equally good-natured, dotted throughout with smiley faces, and oftentimes showing his humor. Jennings recounts his working with Wallace:

In 1995, I contacted a young writer named David Foster Wallace to ask if he would come to the U.S. Open over Labor Day weekend and riff on the scene, not so much the one on the court but that going on all over the grounds of the National Tennis Center in New York. Though he was not widely known, editors were clamoring to have him to riff on some scene or another on the basis of a hilarious, hyperobservant essay he’d published in Harper’s magazine in 1994 about the Illinois State Fair. A few years earlier he’d written about playing junior tennis on the windy plains of the Midwest for Harper’s, so I knew he was a deft player and knowledgeable fan. The lure of the all-access media pass was the clincher and he agreed to do the story for much less than he could have commanded elsewhere.

We put him up at the official hotel, the Hyatt above Grand Central Station in Manhattan, and I met him in the lobby on Sunday morning to ride the shuttle bus out to Queens. Unshaven and in his trademark bandana, he looked the part of a raucous rock star but was unfailingly polite, appreciative, and both excited and a little nervous. At the site, we settled into the main stadium for the marquee match that day, between eventual champion Pete Sampras and a rising Australian star, Mark Philippoussis. I remember being concerned by how few notes he was taking in his tiny notebook and wondering if he was getting enough material. We chatted about tennis and books and other things, I pointed out my boss (a woman in a sunhat nearby), and after the match he decided to wander off on his own. Over the next two days, we’d meet up occasionally on the grounds, and as we were leaving together one day, he asked me if I wanted to join him and his friend Jon (Franzen, then a struggling novelist in New York) for a showing of Larry Clark’s film KIDS that night. My then-wife had other plans for us, so I had to demur, to my eternal regret, relegating myself to an even smaller DFW footnote in literary history. The story he produced from that weekend and his tiny notebook proved to be one of the longest (and best) Tennis magazine has ever run, and I had difficult battles with the lady in the sunhat, as Dave and I came to call her, to see that it was published as Dave intended it, footnotes, eccentric abbreviations and all. In the essay, after having spent only a few days there, he had crystalized all the annoyances, grievances, glories and grandeur that those of us who had been attending the event for years had observed but with more humor, sharpness and empathy: the “felonious” price of the Häagen-Dazs bars, the “big ginger beard” that made one of the ball boys look like a “ball grad student,” and the “mad crane” style of a 6’6″ player.

We held the story for a year to run in our 1996 U.S. Open issue, and in the interim, Infinite Jest was published and Dave became the reluctant darling of the literary world. After the issue appeared, he generously wrote to thank me for the short profile I’d written of him for the magazine’s “Editor’s Page” and, again later that year, to explain why the Tennis story would not appear in his collection A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, even though he thought it better than another tennis piece, “The String Theory,” originally from Esquire: the latter had received more attention and to include both would be too much tennis for the book. He didn’t owe me that explanation but, like his intellect, his empathy was wide-ranging and deep, and he knew that having the Tennis story in the collection would probably help my editing career. Instead, I got a consolation prize I enjoyed even more: he put me in the acknowledgements as “Jay (I’m Suffering Right Along With You) Jennings,” commemorating our joint battles with my superior.

We continued to correspond sporadically over the years, the last time just months before he took his own life, when I wrote to him about an exhibition match I’d seen between the retired Pete Sampras and John McEnroe. He replied by postcard that he thought McEnroe was ‘so lovely to watch play’ but ‘a ghastly TV commentator,’ a contrarian view I shared. When I heard he’d committed suicide, I remembered an earlier postcard he’d sent me, not so much for what he wrote, which was typically funny and kind, but for the picture. It showed a detail from the exterior of Salisbury Cathedral in England, a close-up of a stone bust in a silent, eternal, open-mouthed scream; on the verso, the work, a portrait of pain, was identified simply as “Head of Man.”

Jay Jennings is the author of Carry the Rock: Race, Football, and the Soul of an American City, and the editor of Tennis and the Meaning of Life: A Literary Anthology of the Game and Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany.

See more about the Ransom Center’s collection here at the Harry Ransom Center blog

TIME Books

Dr. Seuss’ Children’s Books Show a Commitment to Social Justice Relevant Today

what-pet-should-i-get
PRNewsFoto/Random House Children's Books

The 650 million children who have read Dr Seuss' books have been exposed to new ways of rethinking a social order often imbued in prejudice

On February 18, Random House announced the discovery of What Pet Should I Get?, an unpublished – and heretofore unseen – picture book by Dr Seuss. The announcement came 10 days after the same publisher revealed that it would publish Harper Lee’s “discovered” manuscript for Go Set a Watchman in the summer of 2015.

In What Pet Should I Get? – released this week – the very same siblings who first appeared in One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish now struggle with the question of what pet they should choose.

While the siblings in What Pet Should I Get? may not be as familiar as Scout and Jem Finch, Dr Seuss’ new book is the latest addition to a body of work that remains just as committed to social justice as Harper Lee’s famous novels.

From Flit to Horton Hears a Who!

Such matters were not always the chief focus of Theodor Geisel (Dr Seuss’ real name).

In the late 1930s, using the pen name Dr Seuss, Geisel created cockamamie ad campaigns for Flit bug spray. During the early years of World War II, he contributed notoriously vicious caricatures of the people and leaders of Axis nations for the Popular Front tabloid PM. After joining famous Hollywood director Frank Capra’s Army Signal Corps unit in 1943, he co-created propaganda films under Capra’s tutelage.

However in the years after the war, Dr Seuss’ art underwent a radical thematic shift. With a flood of eager baby boomer readers, he decided he wanted to speak to the perspective of children.

The racist caricatures of Japanese civilians and soldiers that Dr Seuss published in PM had drawn on the social prejudice and aggression that Geisel believed lay at the heart of adult humor. So Geisel entrusted Dr Seuss’ postwar art to the belief that children possessed a sense of fairness and justice that could transform their parents’ world.

Geisel described his 1954 children’s book Horton Hears a Who!, in part, as an apology to the Japanese people his propaganda had demeaned during the war. In subsequent children’s books, he began addressing the major issues of the 20th century: civil rights in The Sneetches (1961), environmental protection in The Lorax (1971) and the nuclear arms race in The Butter Battle Book (1984).

The zany wisdom of Dr Seuss

In 1960, Geisel spelled out the stakes of his art:

In these days of tension and confusion, writers are beginning to realize that Books for Children have a greater potential for good, or evil, than any other form of literature on earth.

Like To Kill a Mockingbird, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish was published in 1960. And like Mockingbird, the conflicts, tensions and fears of that era are highlighted (albeit indirectly).

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish follows a brother and sister who encounter a series of increasingly fantastic creatures. Nonsensical skits and slapstick gags disrupt the children’s need to decide on a definitive taxonomy – numbers, colors, oppositions, emotional dispositions – for these animals.

The array of sorting mechanisms communicates the siblings’ attraction to different, ever-stranger living things. The book introduces more than a dozen creatures and each is outlandishly distinctive. Most importantly, the children value all of them because of their uniqueness.

Overall, this tale of inclusivity cultivated an appetite for diversity and a delight for change. It rejected the stereotypical ways of regarding persons and things through strict categorization.

Dr Seuss engaged 1960s unrest more directly in Green Eggs and Ham, also published in 1960. Using visual and verbal eloquence, Dr Seuss forces the the adult, Grinch-looking creature to confront his stubborn prejudice against green eggs and ham: the character is presented with a series of challenging questions designed to expose the absence of any foundation for his bias.

The adult remains stubborn in his intolerance until his much younger counterpart convinces him that there’s no more basis for his distaste for green eggs and ham than the dislike he’s taken to Sam-I-Am.

The 650 million children who have read Dr Seuss’ books have been exposed to new ways of viewing the world, of rethinking a social order often imbued in prejudice. But adults continue to use the themes of One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. It has inspired a CEO’s leadership manual, a Barnes & Noble e-reader and the name of a dating website. The book was quoted by Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan in a dissenting opinion earlier this year.

In 1994, Johnny Valentine and Melody Sarecky even applied it to promote same-sex marriage in their children’s book One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads.

The pet shop that provides the setting for What Pet Should I Get? is inhabited by creatures that display striking resemblances to Horton, the Whos and the Sneetches, along with Sam-I-Am and the fish protagonists of One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. An offshoot of the social vision informing these narratives, What Pet Should I Get? won’t disappoint Dr. Seuss’ readers in the way the Atticus Finch disappointed some To Kill a Mockingbird fans.

As older readers relive their response to a universal question nearly all children face, What Pet Should I Get? will allow a new generation of readers to discover why Dr Seuss remains forever relevant.

This article originally appeared on The ConversationThe Conversation

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Books

Emily Brontë Never Knew How Successful She’d Become

Painting of Emily Jane Bronte who was a femaile poet and romance writer.
Photo 12 / UIG / Getty Image Painting of Emily Jane Bronte

July 30, 1818: Emily Brontë is born

Correction appended, July 31, 2015

When she died of consumption at age 30, Emily Brontë believed her only novel had been a failure. Born on this day, July 30, in 1818, the middle of the three literary Brontë sisters only survived long enough to read the early, negative reviews of Wuthering Heights — of which there were many.

“How a human being could have attempted such a book as the present without committing suicide before he had finished a dozen chapters, is a mystery,” opined the Philadelphia-based Graham’s Magazine in 1848, the year after the novel’s publication. “It is a compound of vulgar depravity and unnatural horrors.”

“Read Jane Eyre is our advice, but burn Wuthering Heights,” suggested Paterson’s Magazine.

Of course, the tide of public opinion soon turned, and Wuthering Heights became a classic — one that has only grown more popular, it seems, as the years have passed. Here are a few of the gothic love story’s many adaptations that enjoyed the critical success Emily Brontë never knew:

The Film. Laurence Olivier was a reluctant Heathcliff in Samuel Goldwyn’s 1939 movie — although only because he preferred the purer art of theater. He complained during filming that “he dislikes working for the movies and only does it for money,” according to TIME. Begrudgingly, he pulled off a brilliant performance all the same: “a speaking tribute to the efficacy of the profit motive,” per TIME. Detailing Goldwyn’s efforts to achieve authenticity, TIME added that he:

…landscaped 540 California acres into a Yorkshire moor. He imported eight British actors, a dialect expert to see that their accents matched, 1,000 panes of hand-blown glass for interior shots and 1,000 heather plants for outdoors. He did not attempt to send for Emily Brontë. In spite of this oversight, there is not much she could have done to improve this screen translation of her masterpiece.

The Opera. While Carlisle Floyd had some criticism of his own for the novel — “I realized it’s very badly written; I could use almost no Brontë dialogue,” TIME quotes the composer as saying in 1958 — his operatic adaptation of Wuthering Heights in Santa Fe won over some influential critics, including a Metropolitan Opera Board Member, who said, “This puts the Met to shame.” (Not everyone shared his high opinion. Per TIME: “‘I liked the movie better,’ said one mink-draped woman.”)

The MTV Musical. Reviewers didn’t love this 2003 version, which turned the brooding Heathcliff into a literal rock star. Still, the critics went easier on MTV than they had on Emily Brontë two centuries earlier. “Teenage girls may get a kick out of it, but for a broader audience it could and should have been better,” the New York Times concluded diplomatically.

The Action Figures. One of the best Brontë remakes was never actually made. A YouTube video of a fake commercial for Transformers-like action figures of Emily and her sisters — produced in 1998 as one in a series of educational shorts, although it never actually aired — shows the Brontë figures confronting the patriarchy with fake mustaches and boomerang books. When outnumbered, the trio combine to form the Brontesaurus, an all-powerful dinosaur equipped with “barrier-breaking feminist vision.”

The Novel, Re-issued, with a Vampire Boost. All it took was a nod from Bella to resurrect Emily Brontë’s masterpiece from the dead. After the heroine of the Twilight saga compared her feelings for Edward to Catherine’s love for Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights attracted a new generation of readers. Sales of the novel quadrupled, according to the Telegraph, after HarperCollins reissued it in 2009 with the tagline “Bella and Edward’s favorite book.”

Read more about Brontë from the TIME archives: More News of the Dark Foundling

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the year Wuthering Heights was published. It was 1847.

TIME Internet

These #NewHarryPotterBooks Won’t Be Coming to a Bookstore Near You

Twitter call for suggestions leads to inspired titles like "Harry Potter and the Fault in Our Scars"

Comedy Central’s @midnight made Harry Potter nerds’ dreams come true on Wednesday when the show started #NewHarryPotterBooks on Twitter, and encouraged fans to jump in with their suggestions.

J.K. Rowling has said over and over again that she won’t write anymore Harry Potter books, but that didn’t stop readers from assuming the hashtag meant another one was in the works. Yes, there was an online contingency that freaked out, but unfortunately “Harry Potter and The People Who Misunderstood A Hashtag And Were Severely Disappointed” will not be hitting local bookstores. Those who did jump in actually came up with some good titles that we wouldn’t mind reading. Check out the best ones:

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME Books

Here Are the Best Books of 2015 So Far

See TIME's picks for our favorite titles from the front half of the year

It’s turning into a big year for readers. Though highly-anticipated releases from authors such as Jonathan Franzen and Harper Lee remain on the horizon, 2015 has already produced enough great books to topple a nightstand.

To help you sort through the year’s offerings or choose which titles to add to your summer reading list, TIME has ranked the best books of 2015 (so far). The picks span genre and form — including a darkly enchanting collection of short stories, a delightful novel featuring a dysfunctional bride-to-be and a singing memoir chronicling both grief and, yes, taming a hawk. Happy reading!

  • A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

    a god in ruins

    Atkinson covers four generations of the Todd family that was at the center of her novel, Life After Life. The narrative jumps throughout the 20th century around the story of Teddy Todd, a Royal Air Force pilot in World War II who struggles with his postwar survival.

  • Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

    seveneves

    When disaster dooms the planet, people across the world unite to send a coalition into outer space and ensure the survival of their species. After 5,000 years, seven races of humans stem from the survivors, and they attempt to return to a changed earth.

  • I Take You by Eliza Kennedy

    i take you

    Lily Wilder, a promiscuous lawyer in New York, prepares to marry her archaeologist fiancé, Will. The novel follows her difficulties embracing monogamy in both theory and practice, told with the inflection of Lily’s humor.

  • Get in Trouble by Kelly Link

    get-in-trouble

    Each of these nine stories takes place in a seemingly normal setting, such as a hotel or at a birthday party, into which dark elements of the fantastic and supernatural subtly intrude.

  • Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman

    trigger warning

    A collection of tales from virtuoso storyteller Neil Gaiman, ranging from horror to science fiction to fairy tales to verse. They include “adventure story,” Gaiman’s rumination on death, and “a calendar of tales,” short takes inspired by his replies to fan tweets.

  • H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

    H is for Hawk

    An experienced falconer, Macdonald resolves to train a vicious predator, the goshawk, as a means to cope with the death of her father. This stunning memoir explores the deep strange bond she forms with her bird.

  • The Story of Alice by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst

    the story of alice

    The Story of Alice charts the curious, controversial friendship between Oxford mathematician Charles Dodgson (more commonly known as Lewis Carroll) and Alice Liddell, the child for whom he created Alice in Wonderland. The book also explores how and why Alice in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass, have had such lasting cultural resonance.

  • The Brothers by Masha Gessen

    Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen’s passionate, opinionated, deeply reported exploration of the long road that led the Tsarnaev brothers to commit the Boston Marathon bombing. She traces the family’s history from Chechnya to a precarious Boston-area immigrant demi-monde, asking urgent questions and avoiding simple answers.

  • The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits

    Inspired by diaries from her childhood, Heidi Julavits chronicles her daily life in this diary-form memoir that is simultaneously about small details and big ideas.

  • How Music Got Free by Stephen Witt

    Journalist Stephen Witt writes a lucid, mordantly funny account of the rise of digital music piracy, starting with the story of a worker in a North Carolina CD-pressing plant who personally leaked more than 2,000 albums over eight years.

    Read next: 29 Books That Will Enrich Your Inner Literati

    Download TIME’s mobile app for iOS to have your world explained wherever you go

TIME Books

Here Is the 2015 Man Booker Prize Longlist

man booker longlist grid

Five American novels made the cut

The 2015 Man Booker Prize longlist is in, and this year’s selection is roughly half men (six) and half women (seven). The prize was historically limited to authors from the U.K., the Commonwealth, Ireland and Zimbabwe; this is only the second year that it has been open to anyone writing in the English language and published in the U.K. The longlist includes five American authors, up from four last year.

One author on the list, Anne Enright, has already won a Man Booker Prize for her 2007 novel The Gathering. Tom McCarthy, Andrew O’Hagan and Marilynne Robinson have all previously been shortlisted, though Robinson was then in the Man Booker International Prize category, which has been reenvisioned to award a book in translation now that the general award is open to all Anglophone writers.

This year’s roundup also includes three debut novels, from Bill Clegg, Chigozie Obioma and Anna Smaill.

Bill Clegg (U.S.) — Did You Ever Have a Family

Anne Enright (Ireland) — The Green Road

Marlon James (Jamaica) — A Brief History of Seven Killings

Laila Lalami (U.S.) — The Moor’s Account

Tom McCarthy (U.K.) — Satin Island

Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria) — The Fishermen

Andrew O’Hagan (U.K.) — The Illuminations

Marilynne Robinson (U.S.) — Lila

Anuradha Roy (India) — Sleeping on Jupiter

Sunjeev Sahota (U.K.) — The Year of the Runaways

Anna Smaill (New Zealand) — The Chimes

Anne Tyler (U.S.) — A Spool of Blue Thread

Hanya Yanagihara (U.S.) — A Little Life

The shortlist will be announced on Sept. 15, and the winner on Oct. 13. Shortlisters will be awarded with £2,500 ($3,918) and the winner will receive an additional £50,000 ($78,358).

 

TIME Books

39 Books to Help You Make Decisions in Life

footprints-two-way
Getty Images

Shane Parrish writes Farnam Street

At Re:Think Decision Making in February, I asked participants to offer up some books on decision making. (If you’d like to be one of the first to know when I open up registration for Re:Think Decision making 2016 in Austin, TX , join the list.)

The crowd at the event was, in the words of one participants, the finest crowd you’ll find at a public event. These people are paid to make decisions for a living and want to find every edge they can. So when I asked them what books on decision making they read and recommend, you can bet they had a lot to say.

Here’s the list:

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work
By: Chip & Dan Heath

How to Measure Anything
By: Douglas Hubbard

How to Make Sense of Any Mess: Information Architecture for Everybody
By: Abby Covert

Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter
By: Cass Sunstein & Reid Hastie

The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures: Simple Rules to Unleash A Culture of Innovation
By: Henri Lipmanowicz & Keith McCandless

Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers
By: Dave Gray, Sunni Brown & James Macanufo

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion
By: Jonathan Haidt

Yes or No: The Guide to Better Decisions
By: Spencer Johnson

The Little Book of Talent
By: Daniel Coyle

The Worry Solution: Using Breakthrough Brain Science to Turn Stress and Anxiety into Confidence and Happiness
By: Martin Rossman

Shantaram: A Novel
By: Gregory David Roberts

The Art of Living
By: Epictetus

The Education of a Value Investor
By: Guy Spier

Devil Take the Hindmost: a History of Financial Speculation
By: Edward Chancellor

Click: The Art and Science of Getting from Impasse to Insight
By: Eve Grodnitzky

The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics
By: Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

The Back of the Napkin & How to Solve Problems and Sell Ideas
By: Dan Roan

Crossing to Safety
By: Wallace Stegner

Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less
By: Barry Schwartz

Streetlights and Shadows: Searching for the Keys to Adaptive Decision Making
By: Gary Klein

The Social Animal
By: David Brooks

The Laws of Simplicity
By: John Maeda

Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness
By: Richard H. Thaler

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator
By: Edwin Lefevre & Roger Lowenstein

This Will Make You Smarter
By: John Brockman

A more Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas
By: Warren Berger

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice
By: Bill Browden

The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat
By: Oliver Sacks

Imprudent King: A New Life of Philip II
By: Geoffrey Parker

Seeking Wisdom
By: Peter Bevelin

Mastery
By: Rober Greene

Synchronicity: The Innes Path of Leadership
By: Joseph Jaworski

The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business
By: Erin Meyer

Ubiquity: Why Catastrophes Happen
By: Mark Buchanan

Family Fortunes
By: Bill Bonner

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
By: Robert Cialdini

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
By: Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger
By: Peter D. Kaufman & Charlie T. Munger

The Brain that Changes Itself
By: Norman Doidge

And there you have it — a list of books on decision making that should give you a great starting point.

This piece originally appeared on Farnam Street.

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TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Books

A New Dr. Seuss Book is Out Today

what pet should i get
Random House

"What Pet Should I Get?", a recently discovered Dr. Seuss work, is on sale starting July 28.

What’s that, you say? A new book out today? Why yes, it’s here! Seuss‘s first book in years.

What Pet Should I Get? a recently discovered, unpublished children’s book by beloved author Dr. Seuss is being released on Tuesday, July 28. The book is believed to have been penned at some point between the late 1950s and early 1960s, according to USA Today, and publishers at Random House explain the book’s discovery in its final pages.

The book centers around a brother and sister who set out to a local pet store in search of a furry friend to call their own. The story reportedly features the same brother and sister pair from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.

USA Today gives the new tale “three stars out of four” for “mundane” rhymes and a less-than-fantastical plot.

But, parents don’t fret. Kids will surely love “pet.”

 

TIME Books

Pretty in Pink Actor to Publish Young Adult Novel

Disney Media Distribution International Upfronts
JB Lacroix—WireImage/Getty Images Andrew McCarthy attends Disney Media Disribution International Upfronts at Walt Disney Studios on May 17, 2015 in Burbank, California.

Andrew McCarthy's book is about half-siblings who meet for the first time

Andrew McCarthy already spoke to Generation X teens through his roles in Brat Pack movies like Pretty in Pink and St. Elmo’s Fire. Now, he’ll speak to Generation Z as an author. The actor-cum-writer is publishing a young adult novel set for release in spring 2017.

McCarthy’s novel, Just Fly Away, is about a 15-year-old girl in New Jersey who meets her half-brother for the first time, never having known that he existed—and lived in the same town. It will be published by Algonquin Young Readers, the L.A. Times reports.

This is McCarthy’s second book, following his 2012 memoir, The Longest Way Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down. He has worked as a travel writer and is an editor-at-large at National Geographic Traveler. He continues to act, and will appear in the The Family on ABC this fall. He has also recently directed episodes of Orange Is the New Black, Grace and Frankie and The Blacklist.

[L.A. Times]

TIME Careers & Workplace

10 Inspiring Books That Will Motivate Your Vision

From traditional entrepreneurial success stories to psychology behind taking risks

An entrepreneur’s work never ends, so many of you might not be taking summer vacations this year. But if you do have a chance to escape to the beach, pool or campground this summer, you’re in luck. With input from Erik Gordon and Josh Botkin (also professors affiliated with the University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies) we did some thinking about the books that have inspired our own entrepreneurial ventures.

Below is a list of our favorite reads, ranging from the traditional entrepreneurial success stories to those focused less on building a business and more on the psychology behind taking risks, facing rejection and communicating. We hope our choices help to motivate your visions and keep your minds sharp and alert all summer long.

  • 1. The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands

    patient-will-see-you-now-cover
    Basic Books

    Author: Eric Topol, M.D.

    Topol, one of the nation’s top physicians, offers an inside look into the entrepreneurial side of medicine, providing insight into how technology will play a major role in its future and evolution. In The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands Topol compares the developing evolution to the “Gutenberg moment,” referring to the famous inventor of the printing press who forever changed the world by altering the consumption of the written word. In his book, Topol makes the claim that mobile Internet is doing the same for medicine, giving American citizens complete control of their own healthcare.

     

  • 2. Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs

    who-built-that-cover
    Mercury Ink

    Author: Michelle Malkin

    It’s no secret that the “big” inventors are the ones who get all of the attention: Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and most recently, Steve Jobs. The truth is that there are thousands of other entrepreneurs who are the masterminds behind the creation of the objects and technologies we have grown to need. In Who Built That, Malkin dives into the little-known stories of the inventors who have contributed to American innovation.

  • 3. Crazy Is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags

    crazy-compliment-cover
    Portfolio

    Author: Linda Rottenberg

    Some might not appreciate being referred to as “crazy,” but a true entrepreneur knows a little bit of madness can pay off in the long run. In Crazy is a Compliment, Rottenberg, co-founder and CEO of Endeavor, the world’s leading organization dedicated to supporting fast-growing entrepreneurs, offers a lowdown on how to take smart risks and focus attention on being more entrepreneurial.

  • 4. DownBeat – The Great Jazz Interviews: A 75th Anniversary Anthology

    downbeat-jazz-interviews-cover
    Hal Leonard

    Author: Frank Alkyer

    According to Jim Price, America’s two great art forms are jazz and entrepreneurship. He says, “As business builders, we can learn so much about creativity, teamwork and harnessing diverse pools of talent to create magic by tuning into both the art and the sage words of the jazz masters.” The DownBeat, edited by Frank Alkyer, includes interviews from the greatest jazz musicians of our time who, in their own right, have similar perspectives as many entrepreneurs and innovators.

  • 5. Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

    broken-open-cover
    Villard

    Author: Elizabeth Lesser

    If you’ve experienced personal loss this is a must-read. Even if you haven’t and you’re an entrepreneur or considering the startup life, it’s important to prepare yourself for rejection — people telling you you’re going to fail — and ultimately, for the real possibility of failure. Will this rejection and loss break you down, or can you grow from it? Broken Open is a collection of personal essays that helps entrepreneurs – or anyone – deal with the painful parts that sometimes come with putting yourself, your money or your dream on the line.

  • 6. The Road to Character

    road-character-cover
    Random House

    Author: David Brooks

    In the age of the selfie, at a time when popular culture shines klieg lights on the narcissist and the self-absorbed entrepreneur, Brooks helps remind us of the importance of character, humility, kindness and honesty. The Road to Character proves that at the end of the day, if entrepreneurs focused more on the relationships they created and built, the other metrics of success would follow.

  • 7. The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation

    the-idea-factory-cover
    Penguin Books

    Author: John Gertner

    Before there was Google, Apple or Xerox PARC, another company was busy churning out one world-changing invention after another: AT&T. For much of the 20th century, the magic happened at the company’s famous Bell Labs R&D center in Murray Hill, NJ. In The Idea Factory, get inspired by Gertner’s fascinating account of the quirky, brilliant folks who developed countless amazing technologies — including the transistor, the laser, photovoltaics and cell phones, among many others.

  • 8. Thinking, Fast and Slow

    thinking-fast-slow-cover
    Farrar, Straus and Giroux

    Author: Daniel Kahneman

    Think you know how people think? Think again. In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Nobel Prize winner Kahneman (one of the fathers of the field of behavioral economics) distills decades of research about human behavior and cognitive biases into an entertaining, informative read. Pick up a copy if you want to better understand how all of us – including your potential customers, partners and employees – really think and decide.

  • 9. The Innovator’s Hypothesis: How Cheap Experiments Are Worth More Than Good Ideas

    innovators-hypothesis-cover
    The MIT Press

    Author: Michael Schrage

    If you’re a Lean Startup fan looking for more insights about how to “test and learn” effectively, look no further. In The Innovator’s Hypothesis, MIT Research Fellow Schrage writes the first page that he “champions simple, fast and frugal experimentation as the smartest investment that serious innovators can make.” And he means it, laying out a “5×5 framework” that requires a team of five people to spend up to five days developing a set of five business experiments (each costing less than $5,000 and taking fewer than five weeks to complete).

  • 10. Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger

    poor-charlies-almanack-cover
    Walsworth Publishing Company

    Author: Charles T. Munger

    An enormous advantage for any great entrepreneur is the ability to step inside the mind of a great investor. In Poor Charlie’s Almanack, Munger offers a peek inside the life of an experienced financier, distributing words of wisdom for budding business people. One bit of advice, which he reveals early on, is “to read all the time.”

    This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com

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