Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Book Bits

(from usatoday.com
by Joceyln McClurg)

Hot stuff: Flea, the bassist and founding member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, will write a memoir, Grand Central Publishing announced on Tuesday. No publication date has been set for the untitled book. According to a press release, the book will include such topics as Flea's "young, rebellious life on the streets of L.A. where he befriends Anthony Kiedis and founds the Red Hot Chili Peppers with Kiedis and two other high school friends; details about his sometimes complex friendship and collaboration with Kiedis; his myriad experiences with hard drugs; and, of course, the tumultuous creative journey" of the band.

More celeb chat: Giuliana Rancic is also writing a memoir. The E! star will discuss everything from her battle with breast cancer and difficulties having a baby to her TV career. Her untitled book is due from Crown Archetype in spring 2015.

Simply Divine: Bette Midler has reissued her 1980 book A View From A Broad with a new introduction. In an interview, she tells USA TODAY's Elysa Gardner that the reissue is "a bit of a soufflé for this dreary world."

New USA TODAY review: Emma Donoghue follows her smash hit Room with Frog Music, historical fiction inspired by the murder of a young woman in 19th-century San Francisco. Says USA TODAY's Martha T. Moore: "With rich, well-researched details, Donoghue evokes a multicultural, rough-and-tumble San Francisco (*** out of four)."

Happy April's Fool: PBS has posted a video preview of its American Masters bio of author George Plimpton, recalling his April 1, 1986, hoax in Sports Illustrated, profiling Sidd Finch, an unknown pitcher for the New York Mets who threw 168 mph fastballs thanks to his Buddhist training. In an 2003 appreciation, USA TODAY's Bob Minzesheimer called Plimpton a "graceful writer and stumbling athlete who cornered the market on sports fantasies."

Judges chosen: The judges have been announced for the 2014 National Book Awards. Fiction panel judges include Geraldine Brooks (March) and Adam Johnson (The Orphan Master's Son), while the non-fiction panel includes Robert Atwan (editor of The Best American Essays series) and Tom Reiss (The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo). The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Nov. 19.

'Flash ' point: With Michael Lewis' new book Flash Boys making headlines, W.W. Norton announced it is going back to press for 50,000 more print copies, says Publishers Weekly. Lewis appeared on 60 Minutes and claimed U.S. stock market was "rigged" by high-speed traders.

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