Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Non-fiction [sic] List.

1. ARGUING WITH IDIOTS, written and edited (!) by Glenn Beck, Kevin Balfe and others. (Mercury Radio Arts/Threshold Editions, $29.99.). A collection of purportedly humorous pieces by the popular television comedian. Tell me, why is he wearing what appears to be a Nazi uniform on the cover?

TRUE COMPASS, by Edward M. Kennedy. (Twelve, $35.). Pointing to the public's short attention span. Projected sell-through percentage?

HIGH ON ARRIVAL, by Mackenzie Phillips with Hilary Liftin. (Simon Spotlight Entertainment, $25.99.). A lurid celeb magazine piece blown up into something resembling a book from those tasteful folks who brought us Posh & Becks, Tori Spelling's Mommywood, and Patrick Swayze: One Last Dance (before he died).

AMERICAN ON PURPOSE, by Craig Ferguson. (Harper/HarperCollins, $25.99.). Another comedian and a perfect example of creative publishing: addiction + recovery + patriotism + yucks + author's TV platform = bestseller.

THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH, by Richard Dawkins. (Free Press, $30.) Famous scientist and atheist repeats himself at thirty bucks a pop. The cutesy title makes it even more tiresome.

WHERE MEN WIN GLORY, by Jon Krakauer. (Doubleday, $27.95.) A year late and likely a few dollars short. Real journalism subordinated to the exigencies of the marketplace.

OFFICIAL BOOK CLUB SELECTION, by Kathy Griffin. (Ballantine, $25) In which the comedienne tries to answer the question, "Will I earn back my advance?"

OUTLIERS, by Malcolm Gladwell. (Little, Brown, $27.99) Another likable book that makes its readers feel just as smart as Gladwell's previous two books did, for just as long. I wonder if the next one will have the same dull white cover?

THE CULTURE OF CORRUPTION, by Michelle Malkin. (Regnery, $27.95) A satirical work of political commentary brought to you by America's premier independent publisher. The author is left-handed and wears a size 6 1/2 shoe.

THE CASE FOR GOD, by Karen Armstrong. (Knopf, $27.95) Is this the sequel to The History of God or the prequel to The Battle for God? I'm confused.

LIBERTY AND TYRANNY, by Mark A. Levin. (Threshold Editions, $25). This stab at political commentary from the canny radio comedian and dog lover has sold a million copies, something everybody at Simon & Schuster can take great pride in.

IN THE PRESIDENT'S SECRET SERVICE, by Ronald Kessler. (Crown, $26.) Washington gossip by an old hand. Got a boost this summer from the publicity surrounding gun-toting "Town Hall" attendees fixated on the President.

A BOLD FRESH PIECE OF HUMANITY, by Bill O'Reilly. (Broadway, $26.) The television comedian's memoir and tongue-in-cheek self-help tract. You can take the boy out of Levittown, but you can't take Levittown out of the boy. Nor would you want to.

BORN TO RUN, by Christopher McDougall. (Knopf, $24.95.) An actual book! Will put you off your Nikes forever, as well it should.

END THE FED, by Ron Paul. (Grand Central, $21.99.) Texas comedian and politician suffers bouts of lucidity in his nostalgic desire to return to pre-Jacksonian America, when Texas belonged to Mexico. Buy now and get the free lawn sign, "RON PAUL 2012."

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