“A newsreel of 2020 that viscerally and angrily captures the tragedy, confusion, and communal anxiety of the years from an author who lived in one of the country’s first virus epicenters…revisited with a cathartic burst of articulate, biting political commentary.” —Kirkus
“With equal measure of lively wit and solemnity, former New York Times columnist Laura Pedersen powerfully recalls the unprecedented events of the Covid-19 pandemic…It’s Come to This is a must read for anyone trying to make sense of our tumultuous year.” —BlueInk Review (starred review)
“Pedersen’s writing is conversational, but with occasional breathtaking lines. In response to the common refrain in the early days of the pandemic that we’re all in this together, she writes ‘We were in the same tempest, but very different boats—from rafts and rowboats to yachts and speedboats.’… It’s Come to This is an ideal pandemic diary; it captures the changes and strangeness brought about by Covid-19.” —Foreword Reviews
She sums up a world gone haywire with enticing depth and wry humor, reminding readers of the “feral swine bomb” that hit the news just before election day, and relishing the marvelously obscene handwritten sign a liquor store posted establishing new rules for its customers. Pedersen offers readers a clear-eyed, cathartic recap of a devastating time.” —BookLife Reviews
As New York becomes the world’s hardest-hit city by the coronavirus, best-selling author and former New York Times columnist Laura Pedersen reports on how the populace is turned upside-down. Practically overnight millions of people went from living according to facts and figures to being at the mercy of fever and fate. It’s Come to This chronicles the pandemic year as it unfolded, with every week bringing a new set of seemingly impossible challenges and contradictions. Pedersen explains how people became more interested in baby wipes than babies, and in board games over boardrooms, along with many other pandemic conundrums and curiosities, such as how the expressions “going viral” and “pass the Corona” would never sound the same.
All proceeds go to Monday Night Hospitality and Friday Soup Kitchen at All Souls NYC.
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“A pleasing combination of cheer, diversion and incisiveness.” —Kirkus
“A spirited and observant collection of musings on her past and on modern American culture.” —Publishers Weekly
That elusive Holy Grail of modern physics, A Theory of Everything (ToE), would explain the universe in a single set of equations. Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking tackled the problem during their lifetimes and the quest continues today in laboratories around the world.
Leaving string theory, galaxy clusters, and supersymmetry to the Quantum Computer and Hadron Collider crowd, Pedersen has taken up the rest―that is, A Theory of Everything Else (ToEE), based on her own groundbreaking experiences as a dog walker, camp counselor, and Bingo caller. Pedersen’s essays are a series of colorful helium balloons that entertain as well as affirm and uplift. Why, she ponders in one essay, are thousands are perishing as a result of assault weapons, carbon emissions, forest fires, pesticides, and processed foods―and yet how lawn darts were banned in the 1980s after two people died?
In A Theory of Everything Else, Pedersen vividly demonstrates how life can appear to grind us down while it’s actually polishing us up―and why everyone wants to live a long time but no one wants to grow old.
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“The prolific author and playwright parcels her stream of consciousness into wily and witty essays in Life in New York.” —Sam Roberts, The New York Times
Seven Sisters Book Award Winner for Best Nonfiction
Laura serves up a hilarious memoir about three decades of city life as she experienced the best and worst of times. Neighborhoods that now feature chai bars, Pilates, and Gymboree were drug dens, ganglands, and shantytowns. A trip to Central Park often ended at Central Booking, checking out perp lineups. New Yorkers are portrayed as being as diverse as the city they so colorfully inhabit, cautious but generous, brash but welcoming. Enjoy an uproarious romp down memory lane as the city emerges from its “late middle-age Elizabeth Taylor period” to become the modern metropolis we know today.
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Dana Digs In is a delightful romp in which a girl, her brother, and their friends surmount the obstacles to starting a community garden by employing creativity and determination. Through self-direction and ingenuity, the youth learn about the environment, nutrition, and feeding the hungry. An illustrated children’s book for ages 3 – 8.
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“A child discovers that she has a special gift for spotting and solving engineering problems. In her realistic illustrations, Penny Weber emphasizes close-ups of the young inventor’s mobile expressions and light bulbs going off overhead as she visits in turn each member of her mixed-race family. Bright encouragement for young scientists and makers.” —Kirkus Reviews
A hilarious tale of a young person’s misadventures while pursing some inventive ideas she’s hatched. The story inspires young people to pursue the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math. Women in the US earn just over 57% of bachelor’s degrees in all fields, yet they receive less than 20% of degrees in computer science, engineering, and physics. Ask people to picture a physicist, and they will likely imagine Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, or Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.
Wanda’s Better Way depicts a young person struggling to find solutions without substantial parent or teacher involvement as some children don’t have a strong support system. Likewise, the projects don’t require financial backing or access to expensive equipment. The book contains diversity in the portrayal of its characters, including within the family. Wanda’s brother plays an active role in the story so it should appeal equally to boys and girls. Wanda’s Better Way can be read aloud or individually. It can also be read to children who are not yet reading on their own. This is a terrific book for story time at schools, libraries, and camps that promotes imagination and should provoke a lively discussion.
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Laura Pedersen is an author, humorist, and playwright. She was also the youngest person at age 20 to have a seat on the American Stock Exchange, while earning a finance degree at New York University’s Stern School of Business. She wrote about that experience in her first book, Play Money, which received rave reviews and became a bestseller. At age 25, she was the youngest columnist for The New York Times.