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The Book Beat - March 6, 2020

T(im)BR Pile Madness!

Hello, book friends! What a week here in southeast PA. 60-degree weather yesterday, snow flurries tonight. Our flowers are so confused! I have one serious book story from the week (with a book-review-within-the-story) and some fun book news. But first, a word. TSUNDOKU. A Japanese noun, "tsundoku" means buying books and not reading them and letting them pile up around your house, on the floor, in your closet, etc. We all have this, right? Not just me? I've written before about the literal 2am crash of my entire closet organization system due to too many books. My hubby still huffs about it!

In honor of learning about my affliction (thanks, Patty!), I share a snap of my insanely tall TBR pile. Well, one of my TBR piles (the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?). I'm also including an adorable print you can buy (I'm not affiliated with the artist at all, I just thought it was very cute) that shows this concept. And after that, on to the news!

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About

Woody Allen...Not So Fast

Hachette Publishing published Ronan Farrow's terrific book, Catch and Kill (review below). It was reported this week that they didn't tell Ronan (he claims that they purposely hid it from him) that they were also publishing his father, Woody Allen's autobiography Apropos of Nothing this April. Ronan found out and cut ties with the publisher. Ronan's sister Dylan has long alleged that Woody abused her when she was a 7-year-old child. Today (after Hachette employees walked out in protest yesterday), they announced they were no longer publishing the book. Some critics decried censorship (Stephen King) and others said a corporate entity has every right to deny someone an advance for and marketing of a book. It's a compelling debate and it also shows how tied media and capitalism are to both the #MeToo movement and sexual assault in general.

If you haven't read or listened to Catch and Kill yet, what are you waiting for? It's terrific...and infuriating. Ronan reads the audiobook about his reporting on the decades of sexual assault against women committed by sexual predator and Miramax head Harvey Weinstein. A past voiceover artist and news show host, Ronan does accents and voices and does an amazing job with the narration. Why would he need accents, you wonder? Well, spies are involved in this horrifying and convoluted story. Basically, through a network of spies and intimidation and nondisclosure agreements, Weinstein was able to hide that fact that he assaulted and terrorized women for decades. Almost everyone knew about it (well, except Meryl Streep). Jokes were made about it on awards shows. Women cautioned other women not to be alone with him. Yet, due to his immense power in both Hollywood and political circles, he was able to intimidate and bribe so that he was never reprimanded for it. Ronan's work on the story--including how NBC killed it (it's insinuated that they did this because of their knowledge of their own problem with Matt Lauer and almost constant pressure by Weinstein)--and his eventual publishing of it in The New Yorker is fascinating and a must-read...or must-listen. Definitely check it out if you haven't already.

Oy With the Book & Binge Recs Already

Credit: Elizabeth Weinberg for The New York Times

Lauren Graham, the star of my favorite show of all time, Gilmore Girls, shares the books she read and shows she binged over the course of a week. Lauren, an author herself, is a huge reader (Rory would be proud!), which just makes me love her even more.

Also a short-and-sweet review in this story. I watched the first ep of Lauren's new show, Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist. I liked it. It didn't immediately capture my heart like GG, but it was still entertaining. Definitely a unique premise in a vast network TV sea of procedurals, NCISes, Chicago Whatevers, and revamps and reboots.

For Fans of Austen

Aside from this picture being Darcy from the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie, this has nothing to do with this story.

The Patron Saint of the Novel (in my humble opinion), Ms. Austen has withstood the test of time and we've seen many (many) revamps, reboots, reissues, etc. of her six major books. If you're a fan of her work (and you better be!), here's a list of upcoming books that you'll love. In deference to my tsundoku affliction, I've already pre-ordered three.

The Sidewalk Ends...on a Houseboat

Looking for a houseboat? Look no further than the late Shel Silverstein's Sausalito houseboat, which is for sale! Got a cool $800,000 lying around? If you do, it could be yours! Check out the pics. It's pretty nice!

Cover of the Week:

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

I loved Josie's One Day in December and am looking forward to reading this one. And the cover! Adorable and inventive, right? The story's about Lydia dealing with the death of her love Freddie. But, then something inexplicable happens. She finds herself living two lives at once: one with Freddie as if he hadn't died and one without. I like how the cover shows you both of Lydia's "realities" in a bright, cute, chick-litty way. Sounds like an outside-the-box, inventive romance to me!

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