Friday, May 02, 2008

Books You Just Don’t Want to Know About

Lately it seems like every few days there’s a new crop of books announced that make you roll your eyes and pledge to avoid them. At the very least, they make you groan. Last week, the groaners for us were the prospect of Mylie Cyrus’ “memoir” and “rehab singer” Amy Winehouse’s (ahem) marriage manual.

In another groaner, we announced that Chuck Norris had been contracted to write a book about the time he spent on a bus with (then) presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee. A few days later, Huckabee announced his own book, but by then we were so sick of hearing about him, we didn’t bother passing it on. (I mean, there’s who cares and then there’s who cares. In this case, I couldn’t make myself care enough to move fingers to type the story. I have a feeling that by the time that book appears, sales will reflect my apathy. Call that a crystal ball prediction. We’ll see how it all turns out.)

All of this is taking us pretty far from this week’s Books You Just Don’t Want to Know About. Ready? I knew you would be.

First up, you have this to look forward to:
A little more than a month after New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced his resignation, Penguin Group imprint Portfolio will be publishing a book about his career “from start to finish,” president and publisher Adrian Zackheim told CNN.

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned from office in March, saying he wants to “atone for his personal failings.”
But here’s my favorite part:
Peter Elkind, editor-at-large at Fortune and author of a 2005 profile of the governor called “Satan or Savior?” in that magazine, will be collaborating with filmmaker Alex Gibney to produce a book and documentary which will be released together, according to Penguin spokeswoman Allison McLean.
So maybe I’m a little slow on the update, but are they calling the book Satan or Savior? Or From Start to Finish? Either would work pretty well. (And I do loathe titles that include punctuation. CNN has the whole skinny here, but everyone is talking about this one right now.

Now here is something completely different. It’s pretty subjective. I mean, I don’t want to know about this book, because I’m not so big on babies. If tiny humans are of interest to you, this may well be one you’ll care about. For the rest of us? Not so much., a new mother and baby social networking site, which claims to be the UK’s first, is set to launch a series of books on parenting with publishing house HarperCollins.

Due to be published in spring 2009, the series of three paperback books aim to combine educational articles from the site with user-generated information.
Another from the blog-to-book department. Two, really:
A mere month after a book based on popular website Stuff White People Like was sold to Random House for a rumored $350k comes word of another blog-to-print deal. Postcards From Yo Momma, a website that runs user-submitted e-mails and chat transcripts from real moms, is being turned into a hardcover work of literature by the people at Hyperion, publishing next April.
And while both of these sound kinda fun (no babies!) I’m at a bit of a loss to understand why these high dollar deals are being made over what is basically reworked blog content. I mean, it sounds pretty good in theory, right? Clever content, wide established readership, yada yada yada. But unless my memory is playing tricks on me, this has been done before (and done and done) without a great deal of success. No crystal ball on this one, though. We’ll just have to wait and see.



Blogger Barbara said...

Why read free content when you can pay for it? What a topsy-turvy world.

I don't get it, either, nor do I get why a) somebody thinks publishing Wikipedia articles is a good idea and b) it got enormous amounts of news coverage.

I had visited the things White People Like blog in the past and it is funny. But in small doses, and with a bit of surprise. I don't think a whole book of it would amuse me.

Friday, May 2, 2008 at 5:56:00 AM PDT  

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