Books for the News

Publicity Round-up: Long Holiday Weekend Edition

Fire up the BBQ and light the sparklers. It’s time to celebrate America’s birthday. And how best to do that? With an super-sized publicity round-up! Oh, and a three day weekend. But before you head out to the parades, check out what’s been going on around here.
jacket imageSerf’s Up: Hayek’s still hanging ten in the top ten on Amazon, and lots of people are still writing about The Road to Serfdom‘s surprise surge in popularity. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Russ Roberts explains why Hayek Is making a comeback (hint: it’s not just because of Beck’s endorsement; Roberts argues that Hayek’s ideas are particularly resonant for our time). Over on Daily Finance, Sarah Weinman calls Beck “the publishing industry’s biggest hope” and points to the success of The Road to Serfdom following Beck’s recommendation as proof. And there’s no doubt the book is selling well: it was third among paperback nonfiction bestsellers, according to the Washington Post.

jacket imageThe Danger of Political Obstruction: Gregory Koger, author of Filibustering: A Political History of Obstruction in the House and Senate, discusses “the slippery rules that guide the process of obstruction” on the Political Bookworm blog of the Washington Post.

jacket imageIn Praise of the Late Bloomer: Writing for the Opinionator blog of the New York Times, Timothy Egan commends those writers who “who kick around in frustration and misdirection for decades before going on a brilliant late-innings streak.” Among the mature masters he singles out is our own Norman Maclean, whom Egan calls “my favorite septuagenarian inspiration.” He goes on:

Norman Maclean published the most beautiful, word-perfect novel of the American West, A River Runs Through It, when he was 74. And then he had a second book in him, Young Men and Fire, published after his death at 87. Old, seemingly doomed, and brilliant—a role model for all second-act aces.

jacket imageElectronic Maps and Their Threat to Freedom: Taking up the themes he explored in greater detail in his recent No Dig, No Fly, No Go, celebrated geographer Mark Monmonier writes in New Scientist about the extent to which electronic maps will constrain and restrict where we go and what we do.

jacket imageA Real Beach Read: If your holiday weekend plans include a trip to the shore, you may want to follow the advice of the Chicago Tribune‘s Cultural Critic Julia Keller and pack The Book of Shells: A Life-Size Guide to Identifying and Classifying Six Hundred Seashells. Writing in the Trib, Keller calls it a “fascinating guide to the external skeletons of mollusks—also known as seashells—that routinely turn the ocean’s fringe into a scattering of treasures. With this book in tow, you can, after an afternoon of shell-collecting, sit down and classify your finds.… And these gorgeous shells with poetic names like Snowflake Marginella, Imperial Harp, Lettered Olive, Gaping Ancilla, Du Petit’s Spindle, Rough-Ribbed Nerite and Reddish Callista have a delicate, almost unearthly beauty.”
Have a safe and happy holiday!