Nonfiction: March 2009 Archives

'Sunshine' and crime scenes

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I saw "Sunshine Cleaning" over the weekend, starring Amy Adams, Emily Blunt and Alan Arkin. For those not in the know, it's about a couple of sisters who start up a business cleaning up crime scenes and other bio-hazardous messes where death has occurred. I enjoyed the movie, and it still has me thinking... Not that I would want to do it myself, but in these tough economic times, if you're looking to start your own business, it's probably best to find some kind of niche in the market.

So, if you are interested in the crime scene cleanup biz, there's a book out there loaded with real-life stories. In Mop Men: Inside the World of Crime Scene Cleaners (St. Martin's, 306 pages, $24.95), author and journalist Alan Emmins writes about his time hanging out with a guy named Neal Smither and his crew as they cleaned up after murders, suicides, etc., in the San Francisco area.

mop men

Here's what Publisher's Weekly had to say about it:

"Emmins delves into the zany character of Smither, a loving family man who puts on a coarsely humorous persona as protective armor as he surrounds himself with the dark realm of death, monitoring his multimillion-dollar business in a highly competitive field. Hanging around with Smither means a grisly experience of suicide surrounded by transgender porn, bodies splattered by gunfire or the decayed corpses of those ruined by meth or contagious disease. ... a totally gonzo way of looking at the crime scene cleaning business."

First Sully book to come out by year's end

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William Morrow has two books in the works with pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, and the first one will come out late this year.

The publisher, an imprint of HarperCollins, said the first book will include stories of Sullenberger's boyhood, military service and, of course, the experience of landing his US Airways plane in New York's Hudson River on Jan. 15, averting major disaster and saving all 155 passengers. The subject and timing of the second book is not yet known.

Obama Speech
Capt. Chesley Sullenberger salutes in the House
Chamber on Capitol Hill last month prior to
President Barack Obama's address to a joint
session of Congress.
(AP Photo)

In a statement issued by the publisher, family spokesman Alex Clemens said Sullenberger is eager to return to work as a pilot sometime this summer.

Sullenberger lives in the San Francisco Bay area town of Danville, Calif.