It can’t be April. What the hell is going on with Time? How can anyone possibly get anything done when it’s already tomorrow? My friend Mr. Prince believes we, the people, have screwed up the Earth so badly, Time is wonky. I think he’s on to something.
So, what’s new?
My book, Whiskey Road: A Love Story, is out next month.
A couple of Sundays ago, one of my close friends, Stacey Prussman, had a full page photo and article about her life as a bulimic in The New York Post.
Last week, my friend Sue Shapiro invited me to her journalism class at The New School to meet her students. (Sue wrote a bunch of excellent books including the memoirs Five Men Who Broke My Heart and Lighting Up.) We gave out a few galleys of my book.
My husband and I attended Lori Tharps’s reading from Kinky Gazpacho at our local Borders. She still has the best voice ever.
We saw Spike Lee over the weekend in our neighborhood. (His neighborhood first, I think.) He looked like…Spike Lee. I knew it was him a block away. I smiled when he looked up, but he didn’t smile back. I’m not sure he knew I was smiling at him.
There are too many TV shows I want to watch right now because I’ve been reading so many great things about them. Like Burn Notice, Mad Men, The Tudors, New Amsterdam, Battlestar Galactica, John Adams and Frontline. Mad Men and Burn Notice aren’t even airing now, but there have to be marathons of the first seasons scheduled before their summer season 2 runs begin.
And, hell, Masterpiece Theater is airing a new A Room with a View and a miniseries called Cranford. Two weeks ago PBS aired Madama Butterfly live from the Met, as well as Hansel and Gretel. I’m not much for opera, but it was nice to see these productions for free. This week, they’re offering up Romeo et Juliette.
I wanted to write a bit about the new Sense and Sensibilty (the first part aired Sunday night), but decided it wasn’t worth writing about. It wasn’t bad, but there isn’t much to say about it. We finally watched the last season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, a show several people told me I would love. I’d considered buying the DVDs (we don’t have HBO) and I’m so glad I didn’t. Not my thing, actually. I wanted to choke Larry David.
And there are too many books I want to read! How will I get to them? Not only the novels and health books I’ve purchased. I’ve just found free classics online. Is this illegal? There’s Edith Wharton, Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, PG Wodehouse… I used to love to read the classics. Not so much anymore, but a recent interest in The Gilded Age has left me wanting to read fiction by people who actually experienced it.
Speaking of too many books, last week’s Publisher’s Weekly reports the number of books being published each year is approaching 300,000. There’s a call for publishers to cut down on the number of titles they’re putting out, but I haven’t looked for a breakdown of how many books each year are novels. I stay out of this conversation because I think it’s weird to hear a writer say publishers should publish fewer books. I’ve heard several writers say it, and I always wonder if they’re willing to give up publishing their books to make room for better stuff. You know they aren’t, right? Because they think their books should be published.
Last week’s Publisher’s Weekly also ranks the 2007 bestsellers – always fascinating. Can you guess how many copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows J.K. Rowling sold?
That means she made roughly $40 million. Not including audio rights, film rights, paperback rights, etc. Directly after J.K. Rowling in young adult books is Stephenie Meyer’s third novel, Eclipse. Eclipse sold 1,112,660 copies.
Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns is number one on the fiction hardcover list with 2,201,865 copies sold in 2007. Jodi Picoult sold 609,000 copies of her latest novel in hardcover. Ten more of her books are on the paperback list for a total of over 2 million paperbacks sold. Which goes to show you what can happen when a publisher chooses to get behind a book 100%. (Oh, sure, the books should be good, too, but how many good books go unread because no one heard about them?) Eat, Pray, Love’s Elizabeth Gilbert sold 4,274,804 copies of her memoir in trade paperback.