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Authors, readers, critics, media — and booksellers.


Book News for Tuesday, March 3, 2009

  • Mound of Lies: Matt McCarthy's book Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound with a Minor League Misfit may have created yet another new genre classification — the baseball hoaxoir.

    The New York Times finds some troubling errors in the book, which details McCarthy's year-long exploits as a Minor League pitcher in Mormon country.

    Several times in the book, which he devotes mostly to the antics of libidinous teammates and his manic manager, Tom Kotchman, McCarthy directly quotes people stating incorrect facts about their own lives and tells detailed (and mostly unflattering) stories about teammates who were in fact not on his team at the time. The book's more outrageous scenes could not be independently corroborated or disproved; several teammates who were present said in interviews that they were exaggerated or simply untrue.

    You may be scratching your head, after the James Frey debacle and oh so many countless others in recent years, as to how these kinds of errors can still slip past the publishing industry's gatekeepers. Well, here's your answer right here:

    Carolyn Coleburn, the vice president and director of publicity for Viking, which is an imprint of Penguin Group USA, said, "We rely on our authors to tell the truth and fact-check."

    Inspired by this approach, federal courts are no longer requiring witnesses to swear an oath before testifying in the courtroom, police departments are entrusting criminals to turn themselves in after committing a crime, and fire departments fully expect fires to extinguish themselves in a quick, efficient, and timely fashion.

  • Reading On a Prayer: How does a blockbuster band from the '80s that's been coasting on nostalgic fumes for nearly two decades commemorate its 25th anniversary? With a triple-live album and a retrospective DVD?

    Nah. With a book. Just ask Bon Jovi.

    The multiplatinum rockers are marking their 25th anniversary with Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful, an "insider portrait" that includes previously unpublished photographs and text by the band members.

    "The book offers unprecedented insights into the members' lives on stage, on the road, and at home, as well as intimate reflections on the highs and lows of their 25 years together," according to a statement issued Tuesday by publisher HarperCollins.

    The book will be released this fall, to coincide with a documentary. Special limited editions will include locks of Jon Bon Jovi's mane, which were clipped and cryogenically frozen in 1986.

Book News Round-up:

  • Some Jodi Picoult fans aren't pleased that the film adaptation of her bestseller My Sister's Keeper will have a different ending.

    I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that Cameron Diaz being in the film didn't scare them away to begin with.

  • Phoenix Books shelled out six figures to have impeached former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich write a memoir, due in October.

    Publicist Glenn Selig promises the book will "expos[e] the dark side of politics" and contends Blagojevich "will reveal information and provide insights that will at times be embarrassing to himself as well as to others." By "others," I assume he means Blagojevich's hairstylist.

  • In what may well be an harbinger of things to come, Christian publisher Thomas Nelson announced NelsonFree, a program that (in their words) "allows readers to receive content in multiple formats for one price."

    In other words: buy the hardcover and you also get the audiobook and e-book free. Hallelujah!

  • The New York Times's "Gadgetwise" blog finds the Kindle 2's controversial read-aloud feature "more of a distraction than a benefit," noting that although the user can choose between a male or female voice, "either gender is afflicted with that computer-common robotic inflection." Does not compute.
  • The bestselling author of Who Moved My Cheese? has a new book coming out, Peaks and Valleys: Making Good and Bad Times Work for You — At Work and in Life, that aspires to be a feel-good parable for "these troubled times."

÷ ÷ ÷

Brockman is the head writer for the daily Book News posts on the Powells.com 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. Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound...
    Used Hardcover $15.50
  2. Peaks and Valleys: Making Good and...
    Used Hardcover $6.95
  3. Who Moved My Cheese?
    Used Hardcover $4.95
  4. My Sister's Keeper
    Used Trade Paper $7.50

One Response to "Book News for Tuesday, March 3, 2009"

    kelly March 4th, 2009 at 9:31 am

    *lmao* Love it! Thanks for the much-needed laugh!

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