Indie Business Memoir Scores Major Reviews

by | Sep 23, 2009

BizMensch_CoverFinalI moved to the San Francisco Bay Area with my wife and infant son in 1993. We were glad to escape the winters in New York, and had many friends in the area. But leaving home can be hard in other ways.

Growing up in the Bronx and, later, lower Westchester, we were accustomed to delicacies unknown in other parts of the country. Knishes, street vendors roasting chestnuts in steel drums on the winter sidewalks. Bialys slathered with cream cheese and salty nova. Loaves of fresh-baked corn rye, barrels of pickels so sour that Lew, the pickleman, would dare you to eat one and not pucker up.

But the one thing we had, that we absolutely relied on, that formed the backbone of millions of meals throughout the City every day, was the bagel. I knew other places had bagels, but they didn’t have bagels. The real deal, the boiled-then-baked wonders of Jerome Avenue.

So it was with mixed feelings that we emigrated to this new, sunnier world. And although I haven’t had a decent bialy in years, I was wrong about the bagels, because here in the Bay Area we have Noah’s Bagels. As good a bagel as you can get many places in New York, right here in California, and all thanks to Noah Alper, the founder of the eponymous Noah’s.

Noah Goes From Bagels to a Book

Now Noah has written a book that’s part memoir, part business advice. It’s called Business Mensch, (Wolfeboro Press) and it just launched. I was lucky enough to be involved with the project, designing the interior and the typography for the cover. It’s a charming book that tells a real American story.

And bucking the conventional wisdom, he’s gotten good reviews from both Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal. So even though the odds may seem long, keep your hopes up and make sure your review packages, ARCs, and your timing are all lined up. Maybe you’ll get a pre-pub review too!

tbd advanced publishing starter kit


  1. george killingsworth

    in my initial submission of this comment I inadvertently omitted my name .. i am George Killingsworth [[email protected]] thank you for calling this omission to my attention and inviting me to resubmit


    Commendable as it is that Noah Alper is … [comment deleted by admin]

    [Admin: I want to thank Mr. Killingsworth for coming forward with his real name. However, he was not “invited to resubmit” his comment to this blog post. Here’s why: This is a blog about book design, publishing, and helping authors who want to self-publish. Mr. Killingsworth’s comments are completely off-topic for this blog, since they did not address any of these areas. I have no way to discern whether Mr. Killingsworth’s comments are accurate, and to be honest, I have little interest in whether they are accurate or not. I am not the publisher or author of Mr. Alper’s book. I am the designer. If Mr. Killingsworth is interested in discussing the design of this book, the typography, the cover, the editing, or anything else concerned with its physical manufacture, I would be most happy to engage him in a dialogue. However, the past practices of Mr. Alper vis a vis labor unions, fairness to workers, accuracy of his interpretations of Judaism, simply have no place in this forum. I would encourage Mr. Killingsworth to find a more apt forum for his thoughts, perhaps on Mr. Alper’s own website or at some other forum concerned with those topics.]

  2. curiousg


    Commendable as it is that Noah Alper is unapologetically …

    [Admin: This comment, critical of the author, was cut because it was posted anonymously.]

  3. admin


    Just got your comment today, it was stuck in the spam filter.

    I haven’t been as lucky (or as determined) as you and haven’t had a decent eggcream in many many years, although we used to make them at home with our big seltzer bottles that got dropped off at the back door every week.

    Interesting, I lived in lower Westchester (Mt. Vernon) and upper Westchester much later (Tarrytown and Yorktown Heights) and have remained a committed Sunday Times guy myself.

    Thanks for stopping by, and good to meet you!


  4. Michael N. Marcus

    Hi Joel…

    I, too, grew up in DaBronx, and spent 24 years in lower Westchester (and two years in Flushing). I became accustomed to a wide range of readily available gustatorial and intellectual delights.

    I moved from DaBronx in 1952, and again in 1976. Two basic requirements for new homelands were the ability to buy the Sunday NYTimes on Saturday night, and to get a decent eggcream anytime I wanted one.

    In 2001 we moved to Milford, Connecticut. I get parts of the Sunday Times delivered on Saturday morning, excellent bagels and good-enough bialys are baked fresh nearby, and my wife makes fine eggcreams. Even supermarkets have knishes and latkes.

    As our tribe wanders, we re-create the institutions we left behind.

    I’ve just ordered Noah’s book from Amazon. Thanks for the tip and your contribution to my blog. L’shanah Tovah.

    Michael N. Marcus
    author of “Become a Real Self Publisher” — due next month


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