A second novel by Aurelie Sheehan (The Anxiety of Everyday Objects) went for six figures to Molly Sternat Viking. It's called History Lessons for Girls and involves two 1970s teenagers who create an intense private world to shut out the travails of their families. The North American rights sale was made by Ellen Levine at Trident Media Group, for publication probably late next summer.... A book about how Sir Isaac Newton, in his role as head of Britain's Royal Mint, carried out an obsessive hunt for a leading counterfeiter of the time and eventually brought him to justice (and execution) was won at auction by Becky Saletan at Harcourt. It's called Newton and the Counterfeiter and is by MIT professor and author Thomas Levenson. The auctioneer was Theresa Park, in one of her biggest deals since leaving Sanford Greenburger to go off on her own in January.... Not to be outdone by ReganBooks' near-monopoly of Scott Peterson titles to date, SMP's Charlie Spicer, normally quick off the mark in such matters, has signed his own: it's Inside the Mind of Scott Peterson, and its author, forensic psychiatrist and novelist Keith Ablow, promises to offer those insights, as he already has done frequently on TV. The six-figure deal was signed with agent Beth Vesel, for publication in August....A book about Mel Allen, the celebrated sportscaster known as "The Voice of the Yankees," was sold to Mitch Rogatz and Michael Emmerich at World Books. It's The Voice: Mel Allen's Untold Story by baseball broadcast historian (and Allen friend) Curt Smith, and the world rights sale was made by agent Andrew Blauner.... The recent suicide of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson was sure to inspire a book, and Norton's Amy Cherry has already signed one. It's American Dreamer: The Life and Death of Hunter Thompson by journalism professor William McKeen, a longtime authority on, and admirer of, Thompson's work. The book, part memoir, part appreciation and part literary biography, was signed with agent Jane Dystel.
Volume 252 Issue 14 04/04/2005