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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Wasn’t This About Books?

posted by on May 31 at 13:00 PM

You may have noticed that I have blogged about celebrities and Scientology, but not at all about books. All the publishers, as is the thing at BEA, are giving away tons of advance copies of their fall and winter lists. Yesterday, I mostly walked around the floor picking up books and having publishers push books into my hand. There’s a stack of books about three feet high in my hotel room. I am concerned about bringing it all home with me, and airplane luggage weight limits.

Here are some books that are in my hotel room right now. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, the new Haruki Murakami book that will be out in August. I’ve read about half of it—it’s a skinny little book—and it’s a memoir about Murakami’s experience as a runner who trains for marathons. It’s a little weird. American Savior is, I think, a first-time novelist’s book about Jesus coming back and running for president. Couch is a novel about three guys trying to move a couch out of an apartment—I’m actually really excited about that one. I also have five reprints of pulps by L. Ron Hubbard—him again!—because the Church of Scientology is rereleasing all his pulp novels (80 books) over the next two years. And a book by Roger Ebert about Martin Scorsese that will be out in November, although it’s only credited to “Ebert,” so perhaps he has finally made the jump to one name a la Prince or Cher. And there’s a book called I Shot a Man in Reno, about death in popular music by the same people who do the 33 1/3 series. The nice man at that booth gave me two older books in the 33 1/3 series: one about 69 Love Songs and one about a Celine Dion album.

There’s a lot more, but I have to get back to the business of collecting a bunch of free books.

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Book hint: mail them to yourself Media Rate (used to be called Library Rate). Not too expensive. They'll get there in a week or so.

Posted by Fnarf | May 31, 2008 1:22 PM

Murakami will always be weird, even if his work is nonfiction. That is what makes him so delightful as an author, a surreality in all things that still seems to make sense.

Posted by Jaye | May 31, 2008 1:41 PM

the one about celine dion is by carl wilson, and its the most impt book about taste and popular culture i have read in a decade, esp. in how it realtes it to geography, gender, sexuality, race and class,

Posted by anthony | May 31, 2008 2:32 PM

Murakami could write a menu or directions on how to assemble a box and it would be the best fucking read in the history of the world...

Posted by M | May 31, 2008 3:06 PM

@3 -- you meant to write "important", right? I agree -- it's the best 33 1/3 I've read.

Posted by Fnarf | May 31, 2008 3:29 PM

Can we get some comments about the weird photos you're using to illustrate these posts? Thanks.

Posted by Gurldoggie | June 1, 2008 12:14 AM

I'm hearing a lot of buzz about THE GARDEN OF LAST DAYS by Andre Dubus III - and that was before Stephen King's article in EW! Pick it up if you haven't and it's available!

Posted by booklova | June 1, 2008 4:45 AM

Cosign on the Celine Dion 33 1/3 book. Required reading for pop music critics.

Posted by Eric Grandy | June 1, 2008 11:03 AM

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