Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Book News, In Brief

Rosie O'Donnell dropped two f-bombs on the Miami Book Fair, then went on to make this stellar observation: "I’ve never been to a book fair, so I didn’t know what to expect. I thought maybe there would be rides, cotton candy...Turns out it’s a bunch of smart people talking about books."
For those of you too cool to watch crappy daytime television, O'Donnell is the author of the recently published/critically lambasted memoir, Celebrity Detox, as well as the star of the film adaptation/abomination of Anne Rice's Exit To Eden.

After all the fuss, it turns out that only 1,700 people requested a refund on their copies of James Frey's A Million Little Pieces. If 1,700 seems like a rather large number to you, keep in mind that millions of copies were originally sold -- along with another 100,000 being purchased after the 'fabrications' were revealed.

Faris al-Saqqaf, head of the General Authority for Books (possibly one of the coolest job titles in existence, no?) says that 'the shortage of reading, and subsequently the shortage of publishing, is damaging the Middle East’s development.' He has called upon the governments in Arab countries to help support and further their book industries by decreasing the cost of customs on materials used for book production, and is asking for tax exemptions for publishing houses. (He is also pushing for e-books for schoolchildren, but hey, nobody's perfect.)