Seems like one of the judges thinks so: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D93H89QO0&show_article=1
Publisher's Weekly reports that a whole new crop of Wall Street disaster-related books are being sold and proposed. Writer Matthew Thornton smartly compares the situation to what happened with books on 9/11; a year from now, prepare for a flood on the subject.
Of course, you won't be able to afford the books by then, but perhaps you can ride your bike down to the neighborhood library and check 'em out.
Here's an unsettling story from The Guardian about an attack on the London home of a publisher of a controversial novel about the child bride of the Prophet Muhammad by American author Sherry Jones.
The book, entitled The Jewel of Medina, was originally to be published by Random House, which bailed out when faced with threats by extremists.
I promised a full-length review of Kate Atkinson's When Will There Be Good News? and here it is. I've been debating calling it better than Case Histories, the first Jackson Brodie novel, but maybe that's going a little far. But if you liked CH, check out this one ASAP.
Rumor has it this novel ends the trilogy of Jackson Brodie books. Here's hoping that is one rumor that does not become fact.
Philip Smith grew up in Miami in the 1950s and '60s, but his upbringing was just a bit different than yours. His dad, famous decorator Lew Smith - who worked with Caribbean dictators, The Jackie Gleason Show and was heralded (by the Herald) as "the King of Beads" for his drapery designs - was also a psychic healer. And here you thought it was tough growing up in a strict Catholic family.
Smith went on to become an artist - his extremely cool paintings hang in the Whitney Museum, among other spots - and now he's written a memoir, Walking Through Walls, which he'll talk about at 7 p.m. Saturday at Books & Books in the Gables.
And if you think you need to believe in psychic healing to be thoroughly engrossed in Walking Through Walls, think again. Even for a skeptic, the book is endlessly intriguing, with a couple of moments that just may make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. It's just fascinating. It's also kind of a kick to read names like Food Fair and Super X Drugs and remember that this place really did used to be one big redneck swamp.
You can read my story on Philip here.
I've seen worse costume dramas - The Other Boleyn Girl comes to mind - but I was lukewarm on The Duchess, which stars Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Charlotte Rampling and that cute dark-haired boy who sang Lay All Your Love On Me in Mamma Mia!
If you're a fan of period costume drama it should hold your interest, but ultimately, I'm not sure it adds up to much. You can read my review here and judge for yourself if it's worth your time. On the other hand, who am I to complain? At least I didn't have to see Nights in Rodanthe, also adapted from a book.
Maybe it's me. Maybe my attention span is faulty, or I'm just looking ahead to vacation or sweating out the details of how we're going to cover the busy Miami Book Fair International, but I could not get very far in A Partisan's Daughter, the new novel by Louis de Bernieres.
I loved his last book, the heartbreaking Birds Without Wings, and of course there's the old favorite Corelli's Mandolin, but A Partisan's Daughter seems slight and inconsequential in comparison. Set in '70s London, it's about a lonely middle-aged man, Chris, who gets involved with Roza, a young immigrant who catches his eye by pretending to be a prostitute (which she does because she's bored, and really, who hasn't done that on a particularly blue day?) Chris is sad because his wife - whom he refers to as The Great White Loaf - won't have sex with him any more. Honestly, who could blame her?
Anyway, I can't tell you what happens, because I'm not going to finish it, so read at your own peril. If you want to be swept away, get Birds Without Wings. You won't regret it.
The National Book Foundation will salute five authors under the age of 35 on Nov. 17 as part of National Book Week in November (which culminates in the National Book Award). Each one of these whippersnappers was chosen by a former NBA winner or finalist.
Sana Krasikov, One More Year (selected by Francine Prose, Blue Angel)
Nam Le, The Boat (selected by Mary Gaitskill, Veronica)
Fiona Maazel, Last Last Chance (selected by Jim Shepard, Like You'd Understand Anyway)
Isn't it great when someone's affliction turns out to be a boon for the rest of us? Alda was hilarious Tuesday night at Temple Judea at an event for Books & Books, where he talked about his book Things I Overheard While Talking To Myself, which combines biographical stories, speeches he's given in the past and his quest for discovering what constitutes a meaningful life.
Pay attention to the present moment, he suggested. Good advice, especially since most of the moments at the temple were full of laughter, and don't we all need more of that? Alda's a natural and gifted comedian, and his stage roots were apparent as he spoke to the capacity crowd about science, his brush with death, M*A*S*H* and the effects of celebrity. Turns out he's not immune to goofy fandom either: He told of meeting Liv Ullman in a parking lot outside a Chinese restaurant and being unable to hear what she was saying because he was so taken with her. "We're standing by the exhaust fans and it smells of rancid oil," but all he's smelling is the newly mown hay he'd seen her running through in movies (and his imagination).
His talk was entertaining and chatty and funny, but Alda was at his best in a short question and answer period, as he walked around the audience handing out his microphone (always a dangerous business - people simply can't stop themselves from being random and pointless). Here's what we learned: People still come up to him and say they loved the film Same Time Next Year and that "It's my life story." He's baffled. "It's a movie about two people having an adulterous affair for 25 years. Why would you tell a stranger that?"
One audience member asked him about playing Republican Arnold Vinick on NBC's The West Wing, an experience Alda enjoyed, he said, because the writers made the character real, not just a straw man for the Democratic characters to knock down. But one thing still puzzles him. "People always say, 'It must have been so hard to play a Republican,' " he says. "But nobody ever asked me that when I played an axe murderer."