Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Big Books Cometh

Hot off the press - literally, as Kirkus Reviews remains among one of those full-fledged magazines with a print edition - is the new Big Books Special from Kirkus, featuring titles likely to make a big splash at BookExpo America (BEA), being held May 28-31 in New York City, and the American Library Association's annual blowout July 9-15 in Chicago.

Inside, you'll find two feature interviews written by yours truly, the first with the very articulate NPR and ABC analyst Cokie Roberts, and the second, well, a bit more of a revealing interview with human guinea pig and Esquire writer A.J. Jacobs. You'll also find interviews (by other contributors) on the fiction side with Tracy Kidder and Jonathan Lethem. I also wrote smaller spotlights on new books by The NFL Today's James Brown (an outstanding interview subject), super-evolutionist Richard Dawkins (not so much), MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, and debut novelist Paul Harding (Tinkers).

Elsewhere in the issue are glances at some outstanding new titles, including rundowns of Pat Conroy's South of Broad, Pete Dexter's Spooner, Joseph Kanon's Stardust, and Richard Russo's That Old Cape Magic, including a comment I love by Russo: "I was determined that my next novel wouldn't leave me alongside the road for dead."

Now, after writing nearly 7,000 words in the past week, I'm going out to the desert to clear my head. I might not even bring a book with me when I go. So there.

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