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Book News for Wednesday, August 6, 2008

  • Scruffy's Children: It's a difficulty we all must face sooner or later: what do you do when the people who are hired to protect your life try to publish a book that besmirches your character?

    The publisher of a book that Salman Rushdie says portrays him as "mean and arrogant" has delayed publication for a week following Rushdie's threat of legal action. On Her Majesty's Service by Ron Evans was due to be published yesterday, but John Blake Publishing has moved this to August 11 in the hope that once Rushdie has read the book in its entirety he will see it as a "light-hearted and affectionate" portrait.

    Rushdie's lawyers contacted John Blake earlier this week over excerpts in the weekend papers from the former Special Branch officer's memoir. These claimed that the security guards protecting Rushdie during the fatwa against him "got so fed up with his attitude that they locked him in a cupboard under the stairs and all went to the local pub for a pint or two". Evans also claimed that the guards nicknamed Rushdie Scruffy, which Rushdie said was untrue.

    I remember my last bodyguard, who boldly took a bullet in the chest that was meant for me. His last words were, "It really wasn't worth it." That hurt, man.

  • 'Bama Threat: Who says going negative doesn't pay off? Turns out anti-Obama books sell in big numbers — not nearly as big as Obama's own books, but still, pretty big.

    "There's a pent-up demand from people on the right side of the aisle who feel that the mainstream media is effusively covering Barack Obama and not critically covering him," says Marji Ross, president and publisher of the conservative Regnery Publishing, Inc., which just released David Fredosso's The Case Against Barack Obama.

    [...] The authors allege that Obama is not a benign spokesman for hope and unity, but an ideologue with close ties to 1960s radicals and the Chicago political machine...."The anti-Obama readership is largely one that has already made up its mind and is looking for validation, while the Obama readership comprises both those who have already made up their minds and those who are curious about him," [Steve Ross, president and publisher of the Collins division of HarperCollins] says.

    Turns out there are enough readers of anti-Obama books to fill, say, a very large amphitheater in Germany in the 1930s. That's a heil of a lot of people!

  • The Early Bird Catches the Bookworm: Lonely book lovers need not be alone any longer, thanks to the Interwebs! Check out "100 Places to Connect With Other Bibliophiles Online." Now you have no excuse not to slip between the covers with someone special!

÷ ÷ ÷

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 Enchantress of Florence
    Used Hardcover $6.95
  2. The Obama Nation
    Used Hardcover $3.50
  3. Case Against Barack Obama: The... Used Hardcover $1.98

2 Responses to "Book News for Wednesday, August 6, 2008"

    lisa_emily August 6th, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Threatening to sue with libel doesn't
    help the I'm-not-a-"mean and arrogant"-
    person cause, does it?

    DeniseB August 21st, 2008 at 2:56 am

    Wow Brockman, that was quite a comparison...I marvel at your way with words!

    Can I get a witness??!!!

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