Wednesday, April 2, 2014

More Book Bits

by Jocelyn McClurg)

Just Duckie: Jon Cryer is the latest celebrity to announce he's writing a memoir. The star of the long-running hit CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men has signed with New American Library, the publisher announced on Wednesday. The so-far untitled book is due in spring 2015. NAL promises it will be "revealing, humorous, and introspective."

Dr. Bracco: Actress Lorraine Bracco will dispense health-related advice to women over 40 in a new book called To the Fullest: Clean Up Your Act and Be the Best You Can Be, Rodale has announced. It's due in winter 2015. Bracco's best-known role is as Dr. Melfi on The Sopranos, as Tony Soprano's sounding board. In a release Bracco said, "I've learned from my own experiences that if you want to stay vibrant and dynamic after 40, you need to replace attitudes and habits that deplete you with positive actions for change."

'Chocolate' treat: This year marks the 50th anniversary of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Penguin Young Readers Group is planning a yearlong celebration that includes a "Golden Ticket Sweepstakes" contest. USA TODAY's Whitney Matheson (Pop Candy) spoke with Dahl's grandson, Luke Kelly, about the milestone. Kelly oversees the Roald Dahl Literary Estate. His memories include the first time he ready the story of Willy Wonka: "It's such a part of my life that I can't remember not being aware of it. The house was filled with chocolate and aspects of the stories, and Roald had such a Wonka quality about him that it's not something I remember being without."

Cruz control: Tea Party darling Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will write a memoir for HarperCollins, according to publishing sources, The Washington Examiner reports. He is expected to receive an advance close to $1.5 million, the paper says.

Beside herself: Karen Joy Fowler has won the 34th PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for her novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. It's the story of a girl whose family raises a chimpanzee as though it's a child.

Lewis takes questions: Michael Lewis' new book, Flash Boys, released this week, is causing an uproar on Wall Street, and it's selling like crazy. In it, he says the stock market is "rigged" by high-frequency traders and Wall Street firms. Lewis is scheduled to appear live on C-SPAN2 on Saturday on Book TV to take viewer questions from 11 a.m.-noon. Viewers can participate by calling in during the program or by sending questions/comments to Book TV via e-mail (, Facebook ( and Twitter (@BookTV).

Colwin legacy: The New York Times' Food section offers a piece on the enduring appeal of food writer Laurie Colwin, the home cook who died in 1992. "Her food writing, collected in the books Home Cooking and More Home Cooking, has attracted a new, cultishly devoted generation of readers," says The Times.

Ex libris: Lovers of "real books," as I like to call them, will enjoy this selection of 23 attractive book plates (remember those?), offered up by The Huffington Post.