No. 1: Filmmaker John Sayles (Matewan, Sunshine State, Eight Men Out, Lone Star, City of Hope, Honeydripper and, most awesomely of all, Piranha) just made a deal for historical novel about the U.S. occupation of the Philippines with McSweeney's. The tentative title is Some Time in the Sun and - brace yourself - it's more than 1,000 pages. The Associated Press reports it'll be out in 2011. Sayles, who has written other books and short stories, had complained of not being able to find a publisher, says the AP.
Sayles is the author of four previous novels, two short story collections and a nonfiction book on the making of Matewan. He also directed the Bruce Springsteen's Glory Days video (and the videos for Born in the U.S.A. and I'm On Fire, if we're keeping track, which apparently we are.)
No. 2: If serious reflection on U.S. history is not your thing, maybe you'll be more intrigued by news that Saved By the Bell's Elizabeth Berkley will be publishing Ask Elizabeth, a "self esteem handbook for teens" according to the AP. Due out next spring, the book is allegedly based on questions Berkley has been asked over the years, hopefully including "Why on EARTH did you think you'd ever live down Showgirls?"