A plentiful book harvest

Published on FayObserver, by Hillel Italie, September 14, 2008.

In case you’re wondering which books to read this fall, Michael Moore has a suggestion: Don’t read any. Not the new fiction by Toni Morrison or Philip Roth or Stephen King. Not that policy book by Sen. Barack Obama, whom Moore is supporting for president; or Bob Woodward’s latest on the Bush administration; or Thomas Friedman’s manifesto on the environment.

Not even a little paperback meant as a handbook to the political campaigns. It’s called “Mike’s Election Guide 2008,” and it’s written by a certain Academy Award-winning filmmaker and well known agitator named Michael Moore …

… Publishers did hold some books until after Election Day, such as Patrick Tyler’s “World of Trouble,” a history of presidents and the Middle East that Farrar, Straus & Giroux will publish in December. Around the same time, Collins will release “My Word is My Bond,” a memoir by actor Sir Roger Moore.

“We just felt the media coverage would benefit from a clearer field postelection, and that is looking increasingly true,” says Steve Ross, president and publisher of Collins, a HarperCollins division. Three September releases that won’t be overlooked: Obama’s “Change We Can Believe In,” a policy book and collection of speeches; Woodward’s fourth volume about the Bush administration; and Friedman’s “Hot, Flat and Crowded,” his first book since the million-selling “The World Is Flat” …

… A ritual for any season: celebrities telling all.

Ted Turner gets personal in “Call Me Ted,” Alec Baldwin sounds off on parenthood and divorce in “A Promise to Ourselves.” Prince takes you on stage for “21 Nights,” and Maureen McCormick adds to the mini-mountain of “Brady Bunch” literature with “Here’s the Story.” Memoirs also are coming from Eminem, Tony Curtis and Bill O’Reilly, who calls his book “A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity,” a title that Barnes & Noble buyer Edward Ash-Milby declined to comment on, saying, “I’d rather keep it PG here.”

Don Rickles, 82 and fresher than ever, is working on a book of letters that should be out in November.

They’re not real, just messages he’s made up for departed friends (Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson), living friends (Bob Newhart) and some he’s never met, such as Lincoln and George Washington. “I call myself the Jewish Mark Twain,” says Rickles, who acknowledges he’d rather publish a book than read one. He’s just the kind of man who might take up Michael Moore on his offer to keep his night stand clear. (full text).

Link: Elect to find the new fall books, September 1, 2008.

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