A New Pope's First

Pope Benedict XVI's 2004 tome Without Roots: Europe, Relativism, Christianity, Islam, a critique of the spiritual, cultural and political crises afflicting the West, will be published in the U.S. by Basic Books in February 2006. It is the first book of his to appear in English since his election to the papacy, and the first ever to be published by a major trade house. Basic publisher Elizabeth Maguire acquired world English rights from Italian publisher Mondadori, for which Without Roots was a bestseller.

Publishers mainstream and theological alike saw great profit during the tenure of John Paul II, a prolific author whose most successful book, Crossing the Thresholdof Hope, sold more than 20 million copies internationally.

The Basic edition of Without Roots will include a new foreword by Roman Catholic theologian George Wiegel, author of the international bestseller Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II.

Book of Choppers

The Discovery Channel's hit show American Chopper features an upstate New York family of mechanics and their custom motorcycle business. Now, the Teutuls, father Paul Sr. and sons Paul Jr. and Mikey, are going to tell the story of their newfound fame, as well as their family history, in a book tentatively titled Orange County Choppers: The Book, which Colin Fox at Warner won at auction from agent Scott Waxman. The substantial deal was for North American rights.

All three Teutuls will have voices in the book, offering their perspectives on family, success in business, favorite episodes of the show, their fans and favorite bikes. A co-writer for the book has not yet been selected; publication is projected for fall 2006 and the book will include about 50 photographs.

Two Preempts

Heather Jackson at Rodale preempted world rights to Dr. Neal Barnard'sProgram for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically-Proven System for Reversing Diabetes Without Drugs—Three Times More Effective than Other Diet Plans from agent Mary Ann Naples in a significant six-figure deal. Barnard's program, based on a series of NIH-funded studies, reportedly controls blood sugar three times more effectively than the diet promoted by the American Diabetes Association. Barnard is president and founder of the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine; his previous books include Breaking the Food Seduction.

Agent Barbara J. Zitwer accepted a pre-Frankfurt "significant six-figure preempt" from Rachel Kahan at Putnam for Kathleen Jacobs's The Friday Night Knitting Club, a debut novel billed as "Steel Magnolias meets The Joy Luck Club meets The Jane Austen Book Club—with knitting." Jacobs, a former staffer at Redbook, is a freelance editor at Lifetime Television. Zitwer sold North American rights, and publication is expected in 2007.

The Briefing

Philistines at the Hedgerow and The Sky's the Limit author Steven Gaines's new book, A Season in South Beach, was won at auction by Rick Horgan at Crown, who bought world rights from agent Richard Pine at Inkwell Management.... Also at Crown, Shana Drehs has acquired world rights to a yet-untitled book by Today Show and VH1 contributor Steve Santagati, an insider look at bad boys—how they think, date and mate—from agent Susan Lehman.... Twenty-three-year-old Karen Russell, whose story "Haunting Olivia" was featured in the New Yorker's summer fiction issue, has followed that up with a "significant six-figure," two-book deal for North American rights with Knopf's Jordan Pavlin, via agent Denise Shannon, the first of which is a novel titled Swamplandia.... Charlie Spicer at St. Martin's has signed bestselling Shooter author Jack Coughlin's next novel, titled The Sniper, to be co-written with Donald A. Davis, from agent Jim Hornfischer in a six-figure, world-rights deal.