Thursday, April 3, 2014

Book Bits

by Annalisa Quinn)

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has signed on to write a political memoir with HarperCollins, according to the Washington Examiner. Citing "publishing sources," the newspaper says the Tea Party luminary is expected to get a $1.5 million advance – which it notes is "even more than the $1.25 million that former 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin received after her sensational rise in Republican politics." Cruz's literary agent would not confirm the reported advance, though he told The Associated Press that the number was "close." A political memoir is something of a requisite for a presidential run, so news of a deal naturally set off speculation that Cruz will run in 2016. But the question real Washington insiders are asking is whether a Cruz memoir could possibly outshine Cruz to the Future, the hit coloring book starring the crayon-happy senator.

Anderson's Bookshops in Naperville, Ill., are launching a Divergent-themed summer camp, which, if not exactly appealing, is undeniably better than the Hunger Games summer camp we were talking about a few months ago.

The National September 11 MemorialMuseum, set to open next month in Manhattan, will feature a quote from Book IX of Virgil's Aeneid: "No day shall erase you from the memory of time." As some commentators have pointed out, the context of the quote may not quite reflect what the museum's builders intended to convey: The "you" refers to Nisus and Euryalus, who, full of "lust for slaughter," sneak up on the sleeping enemy and butcher them until the ground runs with "warm black gore." They are killed for their trouble, and their heads impaled on spears. Of course, creative quote picking happens a lot: There were similar complaints when the new British banknote featuring Jane Austen held an insincere quote about the value of reading from the snide Austen character Caroline Bingley.

In one of a series of poems on surveillance in the Boston Review, Robert Pinsky writes about keywords that trigger monitoring in Internet searches (including pork, cloud and Mexico):
"Delicious, unkosher, dark, vague, the Cloud
Of Mexico Pork threatens our borders."