books

final-cover-giantHow to be Married

At age thirty-four, Jo Piazza got her romantic-comedy happy ending when she met the man of her dreams on a boat in the Galápagos Islands and was engaged three months later. But before long, Piazza found herself riddled with questions: How do you make a modern marriage work in a world where you no longer need to be married? How does an independent, strong-willed feminist become someone’s partner—all the time?

In the tradition of writers such as Nora Ephron and Elizabeth Gilbert, award-winning journalist and nationally bestselling author Jo Piazza writes a provocative memoir of a real first year of marriage that will forever change the way we look at partnership and commitment.

A travel editor constantly on the move, Piazza journeys to twenty countries on five continents to figure out what modern marriage means, gleaning wisdom from matrilineal tribeswomen, French ladies who lunch, Orthodox Jewish moms, Swedish stay-at-home dads, polygamous warriors, and Dutch prostitutes along the way.

Written with refreshing candor, elegant prose, astute reporting, and hilarious insight into the human psyche, How to Be Married offers an honest portrait of an utterly charming couple. When life throws more at them than they ever expected—a terrifying health diagnosis, sick parents to care for, unemployment—they ultimately create a fresh understanding of what it means to be equal partners, in good times and bad. Through their journey, they reveal a framework that will help the rest of us keep our marriages strong, from engagement into the newlywed years and beyond.

 

 

9780385539586 (1)The Knockoff

An outrageously stylish, wickedly funny novel of fashion in the digital age, The Knockoff is the story of Imogen Tate, editor in chief of Glossymagazine, who finds her twenty-something former assistant Eve Morton plotting to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and reduce the magazine, famous for its lavish 768-page September issue, into an app.

When Imogen returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine. Eve, fresh out of Harvard Business School, has fired “the gray hairs,” put the managing editor in a supply closet, stopped using the landlines, and hired a bevy of manicured and questionably attired underlings who text and tweet their way through meetings. Imogen, darling of the fashion world, may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she can’t tell Facebook from Foursquare and once got her iPhone stuck in Japanese for two days. Under Eve’s reign, Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop—hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to Beyoncé. Wildly out of her depth, Imogen faces a choice—pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career. A glittering, uproarious, sharply drawn story filled with thinly veiled fashion personalities, The Knockoff is an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of fashion and a fabulous romp for our Internet-addicted age.

 

Jo

If Nuns Ruled the World

Veteran reporter Jo Piazza profiles ten extraordinary nuns and the causes to which they have dedicated their lives-from an eighty-three-year-old Ironman champion to a brave sister who rescues victims of human trafficking Meet Sister Simone Campbell, who traversed the United States challenging a Republican budget that threatened to severely undermine the well-being of poor Americans; Sister Megan Rice, who is willing to spend the rest of her life in prison if it helps eliminate nuclear weapons; and the inimitable Sister Jeannine Gramick, who is fighting for acceptance of gays and lesbians in the Catholic Church. During a time when American nuns are under attack from the very institution to which they pledge, these sisters offer inspiring, provocative counterstories that are sure to spark debate. Overthrowing our popular perception of nuns as killjoy schoolmarms content to live in the annals of nostalgia, Piazza defines them instead as the most vigorous catalysts of change in an otherwise constricting patriarchy.

From Nick Kristof of the New York Times:

“IN an age of villainy, war and inequality, it makes sense that we need superheroes. And after trying Superman, Batman and Spider-Man, we may have found the best superheroes yet: Nuns.”

“I may not believe in God, but I do believe in nuns,” writes Jo Piazza, in her forthcoming book, “If Nuns Ruled the World.” Piazza is an agnostic living in New York City who began interviewing nuns and found herself utterly charmed and inspired.

“They eschew the spotlight by their very nature, and yet they’re out there in the world every day, living the Gospel and caring for the poor,” Piazza writes. “They don’t hide behind fancy and expensive vestments, a pulpit, or a sermon. I have never met a nun who rides a Mercedes-Benz or a Cadillac. They walk a lot; they ride bikes.”

LoveRehabLove Rehab: A Novel in Twelve Steps

For anyone who has ever overdosed on love—or planned the wedding before the second date—Jo Piazza’s dazzling debut novel is a must-read

Cyber-stalking, drive-bys, drunken text messaging, creating fake email accounts—you’re gonna have to face it, you’re addicted to love.

Sophie isn’t dealing with her breakup well. Dumped by her boyfriend, Eric, for his sexting, D-cupped, young Floozy McSecretary, Sophie leaves Manhattan and lands back in her hometown, crushed and pajama-bound, blaming herself and begging her ex for a second chance.

But when her best friend, Annie, gets in trouble for driving drunk and is forced to go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, something clicks in Sophie’s strung-out mind. Women need love rehab, she realizes, to help fix the craziness that comes along with falling for someone.

If you start it, they will come. When she opens up her home to the obsessed and lovelorn, Sophie finds a way to help women out there who have overdosed on the wrong men—and she saves herself in the process.

Love is a drug and the only things that can save us are the steps, rules, and one another. Step one: Admit you have a problem, and keep the hell away from Facebook.

Celebrity Inc.: How Famous People Make Money

From $10,000 tweets to making money in the afterlife, a recovering gossip columnist explores the business lessons that power the Hollywood Industrial Complex

Why do celebrities get paid so much more than regular people to do a job that seems to afford them the same amount of leisure time as most retirees? What do Bush-era economics have to do with the rise of Kim Kardashian? How do the laws of supply and demand explain why the stars of Teen Mom are on the cover of Us Weekly? And how was the sale of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s baby pictures a little like a street drug deal? After a decade spent toiling as an entertainment journalist and gossip columnist, Jo Piazza asks the hard questions about the business behind celebrity.

Make no mistake: Celebrity is an industry. Never in the course of human history has the market for celebrities been as saturated as it is today. Nearly every day most Americans will consume something a celebrity is selling—a fragrance, a sneaker, a song, a movie, a show, a tweet, or a photo in a magazine.

With the benefits of Piazza’s unique access to the celebrity market, Celebrity, Inc. explains in detail what generates cash for the industry and what drains value faster than a starlet downs champagne—in twelve fascinating case studies that tackle celebrities the way industry analysts would dissect any consumer brand.