- Ch-Ch-Changes: My, how the blogosphere is all fired up on Game Change, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin's juicy behind-the-scenes tell-all of the 2008 election, which hits shelves today.
The New York Times' Michiko Kakutani says the book "does leave the reader with a vivid, visceral sense of the campaign and a keen understanding of the paradoxes and contingencies of history." In other words: she likes this.
Many tongues are wagging (on keyboards, I guess) about certain Bill Clinton gaffes, from inappropriate comments about future-president Obama to an alleged affair Bill had that the Hillary camp feared would hit the front pages and derail her campaign.
After some discreet fact-finding, the [Hillary campaign staff] concluded that [the rumors] were true: that Bill was indeed having an affair....For months, thereafter, the war room within a war room braced for the explosion, which her aides knew could come at any moment.
New York Magazine has an excerpt giving readers a taste of just how crazy-nuts the John Edwards camp was.
For all the high drama of the Obama-Clinton battle and the historic import of the former's general-election victory over McCain, Edwards's story is equally, lastingly resonant: an archetypal political tragedy in which the very same qualities that fuel any presidential bid — ego, hubris, vanity, neediness, a kind of delusion — became all-consuming and self-destructive.
(There will be plenty of dirt flung on Edwards in February, when Andrew Young's The Politician: An Insider's Account of John Edwards's Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down is published.)
The Daily Beast spills the beans on some of the book's juiciest highlights, such as:
John and Cindy McCain's Epic Fights
"F**K YOU! F**K, F**K, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k!!"
McCain let out the stream of sharp epithets, both middle fingers raised and extended, barking in his wife's face. He was angry; she had interrupted him. Cindy burst into tears, but, really, she should have been used to it by now.
Asterisks added by me; this is (sort of) a family blog, people. It's a shame McCain didn't hire David Mamet to be his speechwriter. His speeches might have been a little less creepy and a lot more like this (language NSFW, in case you hadn't guessed):
- Year of the Rooster: Oh, yeah... it's almost that time of year again! I'm referring, of course, to the Morning News Tournament of Books — the bright light of the literary scene that has gotten so many of us through the dark, wet winter for the past few years.
The actual tournament begins in earnest in March, but they've just posted the 2010 shortlist and judges' names. (No, our beloved Brockman won't be returning; I'm not sure his... er, distinctive style went over that well.)
Between now and the tournament, all 16 shortlist titles are 30% off at Powells.com!
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker
Fever Chart by Bill Cotter
Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis
The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
Big Machine by Victor Lavalle
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
Miles from Nowhere by Nami Mun
That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo
Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower
Lowboy by John Wray
Click here to vote for your choice for the Zombie Round — you have until Tuesday, January 26th. (Note: scroll to the bottom of the page to cast your vote.) Then check back on Tuesday, March 9th, when the tournament gets underway!
Book News Round-up:
- This morning, Oregon Public Broadcasting's call-in radio show Think Out Loud featured Joe Sacco, the Portland-based writer/artist whose latest book is the graphic novel Footnotes in Gaza.
- Google apologizes to Chinese writers.
- Lemony Snicket answered questions yesterday during a live web-chat. Check it out here!
- Why aren't more foreign writers published in the United States? Here's a theory.
- There's nothing like an action-packed videogame to get the kids reading classics like Dante's Inferno. Although, one wonders if the little scamps will be disappointed when Virgil gets to the final boss battle against Satan (he doesn't kick as much demonic ass as one might hope).
- There's an art to translating books into film. Will Peter Jackson have mastered that art with his adaptation of Alice Sebold's bestseller The Lovely Bones? We'll find out on Friday!
- I almost made it through an entire Book News without a single eBook story. And then this happened. So close!!
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Chris Bolton co-created the all-ages webcomic Smash, which will soon be published by Candlewick Press, and created the comedy series Wage Slaves. His short story "The Red Room" was published in Portland Noir from Akashic Books.
Books mentioned in this post