Spooner Lands at Business Plus
Rick Wolff at Grand Central's Business Plus imprint pre-empted world rights to the new, currently untitled, work by novelist and business book author John Spooner, which is written as a collection of letters to his grandchildren offering investment and general life advice. Spooner is a regular on Bloomberg Radio and also director of investments at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney; his previous efforts include the novel The Foursome (Houghton Mifflin, 1993) and Do You Want to Make Money or Would You Rather Fool Around? (Adams Media, 1999). Agent John Taylor "Ike" Williams, of Kneerim & Williams, represented Spooner in the deal.

Basic Explores ‘Spinoza'; Da Capo Gets 'Stupid'
Agent Sandra Dijkstra sold North American rights, in a two-book deal, to Irvin D. Yalom's The Spinoza Problem to T.J. Kelleher at Basic Books. The novel, which Basic described as a "psycho-philosophical" work, examines the influence of the titular Dutch Jewish philosopher on the high-ranking Nazi, Alfred Rosenberg. Kelleher explained that Rosenberg is actually the source of the phrase "the Spinoza problem." The Spinoza Problem is scheduled for early 2012. The second book in the deal will be a follow-up to the author's 1989 novel, Love's Executioner (which Basic Books originally published and will be reissuing). That novel contained 10 tales about a psychotherapist's patients and their compulsions. The second book in the deal will also contain the e-book original, I'm Calling the Police, which Basic released in March.

In another deal from a Perseus imprint, Da Capo executive editor Ben Schafer took world rights to a humor book by Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black called Stupid for America. Robert Guinsler at Sterling Lord brokered the deal for the unlikely duo, who met each other, hit it off, and then came up with the idea for the book. The pair will be touring the country this summer, talking to everyday Americans about politics, to find out why, as the publisher put it, the system is "so f-ed up." McCain is the single, conservative, blogger daughter of former Republican presidential nominee John McCain, and Black is a 40-year-old, left-wing, married, liberal, standup comic who's known for such cult TV comedy shows as The State and Stella. Each of the pair has written bestselling books, and Da Capo described the concept as "Chelsea Handler meets Hunter S. Thompson on a political cannonball run across America."