Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Big Short Week

Well, since last Tuesday was such a massive book release day, this week is of course, a little lighter. Not to mention that March Madness begins this week - reports say that the brackets could cost employers $1.8 billion in unproductive wages this year, based on the amount of time we all watch basketball on the clock. Personally, I think this statistic is ridiculous - I would never watch basketball at work. (If you need a bracket though, you can email me at Still, there're a handful of books to note:
  • The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis - hot on the heels of Sandra Bullock's Oscar win for her role in The Blind Side (written by Lewis), comes his book on the collapse of the American economy. From the publisher:  "Truth really is stranger than fiction. Who better than (Lewis) to explain how the event we were told was impossible - the free fall of the American economy - finally occurred; how the things that we wanted, like ridiculously easy money and greatly expanded home ownership, were vehicles for that crash; and how shareholder demand for profit forced investment executives to eat the forbidden fruit of toxic derivatives. (Lewis) proves yet again that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our times."
  • Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline - lawyer's evil twin sister gets mixed up in drug-running & tries to impersonate her. Sweet!
  • The Pallbearers by Stephen J. Cannell - the bestselling author and creator of every super-cool TV show from the late-70's and early-80's (The A-Team, 21 Jump Street, The Greatest American Hero, The Rockford Files) returns with another in his series of Shane Scully novels. Meet the man himself, at Warwick's on Tuesday, March 23rd at 7:30.
  • Dimiter by William Peter Blatty - it's been awhile, but I know you remember him - this is the new novel from the author of The Exorcist. PW gave it a surprising starred review, calling it "a beautifully written, haunting tale of vengeance, spiritual searching, loss, and love."

  • Tuesday, March 16th - Anil Ananathswamy, author of The Edge of Physics: A Journey to Earth's Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe. From the pub: "In this timely and original book, science writer Anil Ananthaswamy sets out in search of the world's most audacious physics experiments: the telescopes and detectors that promise to shed new light on things like dark matter, dark energy, and the phenomenon of quantum gravity (which string theory tries to explain). He soon finds himself at the ends of the earth - in cold and remote and sometimes dangerous places. As it turns out, extreme physics requires extreme environments."  
  • Thursday, March 18th - Chang-rae Lee, author of The Surrendered. Reviews have already been calling this "masterful", "haunting", "engrossing", "harrowing", "heartbreaking", & "breathtaking".
Birthdays are fun to know!  The late Douglas Adams (1952-2001), author of the Hitchhickers Guide to the Galaxy series was born on March 11. Penelope Lively, author of the Booker Prize-winning Moon Tiger (as well as over 40 other books for both kids and adults), was born in Cairo on St. Patrick's Day in 1933.  The late John Updike, winner of virtually every major literary prize out there, was born on March 18, 1932. And Philip Roth's 77th birthday is March 19 - so send him a card.

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