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Book News for Thursday, September 20, 2007

  • Feast of Buzz: Coffee lovers, rejoice! In honor of the new film Feast of Love (based on the novel by Charles Baxter), much of which takes place in a coffee shop (that is actually the Fresh Pot on N. Mississippi in Portland), today is...

    from 2 to 4 p.m.!

    Click here to find a participating location near you. Now go get your buzz on.

  • Big, Bad Naomi Wolf: Did you miss Naomi Wolf on The Colbert Report last night? Don't worry, I've got your back.

    I have to say, she handled herself with aplomb. It's a given that Colbert was going to go after her, tooth and nail — and I always get nervous when writers and intellectuals appear on the show, because there's no guarantee that they'll actually get the joke. But Wolf rolled with the punches nicely, I thought.

    Free tip for authors who appear on Colbert in the future: let Colbert tell the jokes. Play it as straight as you can. Anytime the guest tries to be funny, it's doomed to failure.

  • Winter Arrives Early: The Philadelphia Inquirer has more details about the late, lamented David Halberstam's book tour this fall:

    On Tuesday, an unusually synchronized memorial will converge into a publication-date publicity blitz for The Coldest Winter, a sweeping history of America and the Korean War whose proofs Halberstam corrected three days before his death. Famous journalists such as Frances FitzGerald, Leslie Gelb, Adam Hochschild and Cynthia Gorney will lead or join discussions and readings in seven locations across the country: New York City; Portland, Maine; Martha's Vineyard; Chicago; Milwaukee; San Francisco, and San Diego.

    [...] Other post-publication events include panels in Washington, Nashville, Boston, and a second session in Manhattan featuring Gay Talese and Robert Caro. Beginning Nov. 15, a 30-minute documentary on Halberstam and The Coldest Winter, produced by, will tour more than 70 independent bookstores.

    Click here for more details on that film.

  • Peeping Brock: Powell's own Kevin Sampsell strikes again! His newest ASAP piece examines the phenomenon of writers in coffee shops and asks: "Are these writers really working or just using their computer screens as people-watching shields?"

    Well, forgive my nervous laughter, but COME ON, Kevin! What are you talking about? (Tugs at collar.) People with laptops in coffee shops and public parks are ONLY updating their MySpace or Facebook pages, checking email, or working on soon-to-be-great pieces of art. (Fidgets with sweat-soaked shirt sleeves.) What kind of slime bag uses his her laptop as a prop to spy on strangers? That's, heh... that's immoral and indefensible! (Mops damp brow with shirt tail.) Now, let's have no more of these salacious and unfounded rumors, okay?

    If you'll excuse me, I need to repair to my nearest coffee shop for free java and a chance to spy on some beautiful start the first chapter of my long-awaited autobiography, which shall now be titled Brock Around the Clock: The Human Party That Never Ends!

÷ ÷ ÷

Brockman is the head writer for the daily Book News posts on the blog. In his free time he's hard at work on his fictional memoir, which changes titles daily.

The views and commentary posted by Brockman are entirely his own, and are not representative of the whole of Powell's Books, its employees, or any sane human being.

Books mentioned in this post

  1. The Feast of Love
    Used Trade Paper $5.50
  2. The Coldest Winter: America and the...
    Used Hardcover $9.95

One Response to "Book News for Thursday, September 20, 2007"

    Miss Gretchen September 20th, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    Just now watched Wolf on Colbert and Wow. She just kept coming back to SC on point and so fast and furious that you'd think they'd rehearsed it. She got to make every point from her book, and she would have been just as great if she looked very non-pretty and had very non-fabu shoes.

    BTW I always love when Colbert has authors on the show. The director of the Hayden Planetarium, (quick websearch) Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is always a treat -- I keep meaning to get his book.

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