I loved that book -- Story of My Life. And now we discover Edwards' mistress inspired its main character in the 1980s. As I recall, it was told in the second person -- and the character, Alison Poole, inspired an Elvis Costello song called "Allison." CNN piece below. Glad the book is back. I think I will re-read it.
(CNN) — Author Jay McInerney may have John Edwards to thank for a likely influx of book royalties.
His twenty-year old novel, based on the life of Edwards' mistress when she was a young adult, is soaring in sales rankings — so much so that the book's publisher has commissioned an additional 2,500 copies for print on Monday.
McInerney has said the book's main character, described as an "ostensibly jaded, cocaine-addled, sexually voracious 20-year old," was inspired by Rielle Hunter — the film producer who Edwards recently acknowledged having an affair with in 2006.
The book, about the New York singles scene amidst the excess of the 1980s, is now 299 on Amazon.com and 393 on Barnes&Noble.com — moves of a couple hundred places in only a handful of days. Before news of the affair broke, the book was thousands of spots lower.
Edwards, the former presidential candidate and 2004 vice presidential candidate, said he had a brief affair with Rielle Hunter in 2006 when she was employed by his political action committee to make "webisodes" about his campaign.
Despite breathing new life into one of his novels, McInerney said earlier this week he is no fan of the former North Carolina senator.
"To say that he slept with her but he wasn't in love with her — that's not very chivalrous," the author told the New York Daily News. "He's trying to distance himself from her."
"I don't feel my questions have been answered with regard to Edwards," he also said. "It was a half-assed confession."
Naguib Mahfouz has long been one of my favorite writers. Definitely up in the top three with a Russian and an American :)
Born in Cairo in 1911, he was the first Arab to win a Nobel Prize in Lit for his tremendous work. My favorite was The Cairo Trilogy, which included the fat novels Palace Walk, Palace of Desire and Sugar Street."
He died a few months ago at the age of 94, making him the longest-lived Lit Laureate and only Arab Lit Laureate to that point.
I truly recommend his trilogy for a rolicking and inside look into the homes and customs of middle-class Egypt in the early 20th century. Fantastic reading for a long plane ride.
This new book should be interesting. "My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles," by recording engineer Geoff Emerick and Howard Massey.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - There haven't been many people who can say that there was a time when they had had enough and decided to quit working for The Beatles.
But so begins Chapter 11 of "Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles" by recording engineer Geoff Emerick and co-author Howard Massey.
It was July 1968, and Emerick had his hands on the recording console at Abbey Road Studios, creating the signature distorted guitars for John Lennon's "Revolution."
An impatient Lennon, seemingly forgetful of the hard work his engineer had put into great such seminal works as "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Bands" and "Revolver" impatiently snorted, "Three months in the Army would have done you good."
A few days later, while recording "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" for "The Beatles" (aka "The White Album"), Paul McCartney snapped at veteran Beatles producer George Martin, after he gave McCartney direction on recording his vocal. "Paul said, 'Well, why don't you come and f***ing sing it.'
It was the last straw in a painful period in which Emerick saw the world's most famous rock band begin to fall apart.
Unlike other books detailing the group's recording history, Emerick's provides the kind of day-to-day experience of what it was like working with the world's most famous rock group.
At age 15, Emerick was present at The Beatles' very first recording session in September 1962 at the famed EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London, and he recorded their last, in January 1970. He continued to work with former Beatle Paul McCartney over the years, as well as recorded the group's "reunion" songs in the mid-'90s, "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love."
Well, I started reading Kerouac's seminal beatnik novel On the Road. I read it the last time in high school, but now it just resonates. Some of the sentences are hilarious. His writing is pure -- pure like a tequila is pure -- and dead on.
I remember tequila even though it's been six years since I've had a drink, but tequila is a hard one to forget.
Another hard thing to forget is what it's like to have a TV job -- the reporting, the calling, the booking, the waiting for the sound guy and shadows, the logging of tapes, the editing, and the final win of having a good looking piece at the end. I guess you guys know I worked for ABC News on-air for several years, doing just this for Good Morning America and World News Tonight.
Well, I am back in TV. I can't say for who because it is all still a STATE SECRET, but I can tell you that I will definitely be back on the air (so to speak) and back on the road very soon.
By the way, since I quit TV and had the baby three years ago, I had this idea that I would just grow my hair and never stop until someone made me or it got waist-length, whatever came first.
Well, it's almost waist-length -- or was -- when I got this job offer. So the hair's going, the Mac makup's coming back home and it's back on United.
Everything old is new again. How strange. And exciting! This job is going to be a blast! When I can tell you more, I will. Promise.
I liked this book. I don't care if he exaggerated or prevaricated or what, I just liked reading it.
But in case you haven't read it, here's an excerpt:
"I wake to the drone of an airplane engine and the feeling of something warm dripping down my chin. I lift my hand to feel my face. My front four teeth are gone, I have a hole in my cheek, my nose is broken and my eyes are swollen nearly shut. I open them and I look around and I'm in the back of a plane and there's no one near me. I look at my clothes and my clothes are covered with a colorful mixture of spit, snot, urine, vomit and blood. I reach for the call button and I find it and I push it and I wait and thirty seconds later an Attendant arrives. How can I help you? Where am I going? You don't know? No. You're going to Chicago, Sir. How did I get here? A Doctor and two men brought you on. They say anything? They talked to the Captain, Sir. We were told to let you sleep. How long till we land? About twenty minutes. Thank you. Although I never look up, I know she smiles and feels sorry for me. She shouldn't. A short while later we touch down. I look around for anything I might have with me, but there's nothing. No ticket, no bags, no clothes, no wallet. I sit and I wait and I try to figure out what happened. Nothing comes. Once the rest of the Passengers are gone I stand and start to make my way to the door. After about five steps I sit back down. Walking is out of the question. I see my Attendant friend and I raise a hand. Are you okay? No. What's wrong? I can't really walk. If you make it to the door I can get you a chair. How far is the door? Not far. I stand. I wobble. I sit back down. I stare at the floor and take a deep breath. You'll be all right. I look up and she's smiling. Here. She holds out her hand and I take it. I stand and I lean against her and she helps me down the Aisle. We get to the door. I'll be right back. I let go of her hand and I sit down on the steel bridge of the Jetway that connects the Plane to the Gate. I'm not going anywhere. She laughs and I watch her walk away and I close my eyes. My head hurts, my mouth hurts, my eyes hurt, my hands hurt. Things without names hurt. I rub my stomach. I can feel it coming. Fast and strong and burning. No way to stop it, just close your eyes and let it ride. It comes and I recoil from the stench and the pain. There's nothing I can do. Oh my God. I open my eyes. I'm all right. Let me find a Doctor. I'll be fine. Just get me out of here. Can you stand? Yeah, I can stand. I stand and I brush myself off and I wipe my hands on the floor and I sit down in the wheelchair she has brought me. She goes around to the back of the chair and she starts pushing. Is someone here for you? I hope so. You don't know. No. What if no one's there? It's happened before, I'll find my way. We come off the Jetway and into the Gate. Before I have a chance to look around, my Mother and Father are standing in front of me. Oh Jesus. Please, Mom. Oh my God, what happened? I don't want to talk about it, Mom. Jesus Christ, Jimmy. What in Hell happened? She leans over and she tries to hug me. I push her away. Let's just get out of here, Mom. My Dad goes around to the back of the chair. I look for the Attendant but she has disappeared. Bless her. You okay, James? I stare straight ahead. No, Dad, I'm not okay. He starts pushing the chair. Do you have any bags? My Mother continues crying. No. People are staring. Do you need anything? I need to get out of here, Dad. Just get me the fuck out of here. They wheel me to their car. I climb in the backseat and I take off my shirt and I lie down. My Dad starts driving, my Mom keeps crying, I fall asleep. About four hours later I wake up. My head is clear but everything throbs. I sit forward and I look out the window. We've pulled into a Filling Station some-where in Wisconsin. There is no snow on the ground, but I can feel the cold. My Dad opens the Driver's door and he sits down and he closes the door.
I don't get this. As a writer, I know that memoir writers (unlike autobiography writers, which I am with the Wozniak book) are allowed to take license. Memoirs a literary, they are not journalistic reports. Then again, if he outrighted "lied" ....
Well, it all remains to be seen.
I did read A Million Little Pieces. I liked its style, even though I disagreed with James Frey's vehement hatred of the 12 Step Program. If you are familiar with the 12 steps, on reading the book you will see that Frey followed them verbatim -- from admitting faults to finding a higher power (in case The Tao).
Anyway, here is the story from Reuters. An excerpt:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Random House is offering refunds to readers who bought James Frey's drug and alcohol memoir "A Million Little Pieces" directly from the publisher, following accusations the author exaggerated his story.
Readers calling Random House's customer service line to complain on Wednesday were told that if the book was bought directly from the publisher it could be returned for a full refund. Those who bought the book at a bookstore were told to try and return it to the store where it was bought.
"If the book was bought directly from us we will refund the purchase price in full," one Random House customer service told Reuters, adding that readers would have to return the book with the original invoice. "If you bought it at a book store, we ask that you return the book to the book store."
Only a small portion of consumers buy books directly from publishers. However, the agent said Random House normally sells books to consumers as nonrefundable but is offering refunds on Frey's book "because of the controversy surrounding it."
Random House subsequently issued a statement saying it was standard procedure to offer refunds. Bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc. also said it is standard practice to offer refunds for returned books.
Frey's memoir of alcohol and drug-induced mayhem sold 1.77 million copies last year after being chosen by Oprah Winfrey's book club in September, making it the best-selling nonfiction book in 2005. Only Harry Potter sold more copies.
But investigative Web site The Smoking Gun on Sunday reported the book, published by Random House's Doubleday division, was full of exaggeration and inaccuracies.
Frey, who will appear on Larry King Live to discuss the controversy for the first time, has called the accusations "the latest attempt to discredit me."
"I stand by my book, and my life, and I won't dignify this bullshit with any sort of further response," Frey wrote this week on his personal Web site, bigjimindustries.com.
I happen to know. But I won't ruin it for you. Excerpt below from this book review.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Have you ever wondered why your teeth chatter when you're cold, or if you could really catch a disease from sitting on a toilet seat?
New York physician Billy Goldberg, pestered by unusual questions at cocktail parties and other social gatherings over the years, puts the public's mind at ease in his book "Why Do Men Have Nipples?" which hits the book stores on Tuesday.
"It's really remarkable how often you get accosted," said Goldberg, 39. "There are the medical questions from family and friends, and then there are the drunk and outrageous questions where somebody wants to drop their pants and show you a rash or something."
The book, subtitled, "Hundreds of Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini," (Three Rivers Press), is co-authored by humorist Mark Leyner.
"People tend to know so little about their bodies as compared to their cars or their laptops," said Leyner, 49, of Hoboken, New Jersey. "When I worked in a pharmacy in Washington, D.C., people would ask me medical questions all the time. I was just a 22-year-old cashier at Rite Aid."
Chattering teeth is one way the body tries to generate heat.
When the body gets too cold, the area of the brain called the hypothalamus alerts the rest of the body to begin warming up. Shivering, the rapid muscle movement that generates heat, then begins. Teeth chattering represents localized shivering.
During the course of their research, Goldberg and Leyner found reports of gonorrhea, pinworm and roundworm found on toilet seats -- but catching something from it isn't common.
The authors discovered that an office setting might be worse for your health than toilet seats. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, found the typical office desk harbors some 400 times more disease-causing bacteria than the average toilet seat.
Goldberg had compiled a list of nagging questions for several years before embarking on the book after meeting Leyner. The two met while working on a short-lived ABC-TV medical drama, "Wonderland," in which Leyner served as a writer, while Goldberg was its medical advisor.
Last night in San Francisco, I heard Daniel Goleman speak about his new book, Destructive Emotions. The premise is that destructive emotions (ie, hatred, craving) ruin your serenity and equilibrium, and his conversations with the Dalai Lama explore what you can do about it.