Just as the terrorist attacks of September 11 continue to reverberate throughout the media, new books document the events from a multitude of perspectives. Beginning with its moving dedication ("to those 403 brave souls who went in to help others get out"), Dennis Smith's Report from Ground Zero: The Story of the Rescue Efforts at the World Trade Center is a heartfelt, first-person testament by the author of the firefighting classic Report from Engine Co. 82. (Smith's 1972 debut work has sold more than two million copies and been translated into 13 languages.) The author's 10th book was published by Viking March 18; copies in print total 217,000 after eight trips to press. In addition to multicity radio and TV satellite tours, Smith's appeared on Good Morning America, NPR's Fresh Air, CNN Nightly News, Fox News Live, Fox's Judith Regan Show, etc. A seven-city tour winds up today in Philadelphia with a signing at the Joseph Fox Bookshop and a live interview on NPR's Radio Times. Viking reports that a portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated by both author and publisher to the Foundation for American Firefighters.
Another intensely personal story, Love, Greg & Lauren: A Husband's Day-by-Day Account of His Wife's Remarkable Recovery, was published by Bantam on March 11 (copies in print: 250,000 after four printings). Through e-mail messages to family and friends, Greg Manning chronicles his wife's extensive surgeries and physical therapy following her traumatic injuries she was burned over 82% of her body at One World Trade Center. On March 11, the six-month anniversary of the attacks, the Mannings' story and the book received front-page coverage in the New York Times. Also that day, the couple did a full hour with Oprah, followed by a two-part interview with Today's Katie Couric on the 12th and 13th. While Lauren Manning progresses with her recovery, Greg continues to recount their story in radio and TV interviews across the country.
A third related book continues a mega-selling franchise as it celebrates not only the heroism surrounding September 11, but, in the publisher's words, "those who appear every day in our lives." Chicken Soup for the Soul of America: Stories to Heal the Heart of Our Nation by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Matt Adams has more than 300,000 copies in print following its February 28 publication by HCI Books. The publisher reports that the New-York Historical Society accepted a special leather-bound edition of the book signed by New York Governor George Pataki, Canfield and Hansen as part of its September 11 exhibition.
In addition to their presence on PW's lists, two of these titles have also hit the New York Times bestseller charts, and Smith's book is set to debut on April 7.
With reporting by Dick Donahue.