Talking about Books . . .

Here’s what they put on the dust jacket: “This gritty street tale is a breakout book by an author who bears watching.  His wildly imaginative epic offers an edgy, sensual, and utterly unflinching visionary view of life that brilliantly defies categorization.”

Here’s what they really mean: “This gritty street tale (Black author from the hood) is a breakout book (Hail Mary pass) by an author who bears watching (as opposed to one you are actually going to want to read).  His wildly imaginative (wrote book high on mescaline) epic (long) offers an edgy (contains no adult voice of reason), sensual (soft porn), and utterly unflinching (has a lot of bad words) visionary (can’t be proven wrong yet) view of life that brilliantly defies categorization (even the author has no clue what he’s turned in).”

You can read the hilarious definitions of the publishing industry buzzwords used above and many more here.  Warning: After this, dust jacket blurbs and book reviews will never be the same.

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I’m not telling you not to go, but if you go to a restaurant be aware that you are exposing yourself to countless germs.  They are on the chair you pull out at your table, and on the menu you browse.  Quick, bring out the hand sanitizer.  Wait, wait!  That may not be such a good idea because the hand sanitizer dries out your skin, making it more vulnerable to attacks by bacteria.  While you’re at it, avoid the salad since the lettuce is probably loaded with germs.  And, for goodness sake, don’t eat the sushi or the blueberries.

It’s not that I’m paranoid, it’s just that I’ve been reading the Scientific American review of the new tongue-in-cheek book Encyclopedia Paranoica by Henry Beard and Christopher Cerf.  This book could have been written by the TV detective Adrian Monk.

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We lost a number of great writers in 2012 including Ray Bradbury, Gore Vidal, Maurice Sendak and Donald J. Sobol.  The Daily Beast lists them in an article.

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The recent exit of Philip Roth from the world of fiction writing was the impetus for Michael Dirda to look into the autumnal years of a number of other artists.  And what is their fate?  “Gods that survive too long,” he concludes, “tend to be taken for granted or ignored or even mocked.”  A few have beaten the odds.

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Dinah Bucholz is the author of a number of cookbooks including The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory–More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Muggles and Wizards and The Unofficial Narnia Cookbook: From Turkish Delight to Gooseberry Fool–Over 150 Recipes Inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia Cookbooks.  But there are many cookbooks based on movies and books.  Here is a list compiled by the folks at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

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Some of Bernie Madoff’s books are on sale on EBay.  Fittingly, the titles include Black Money, When Genius Failed, The Liars’ Club, Without Remorse, and Crime and Punishment.

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