RUDY TOOT TOOT:
TIME Man of the Year Rudy Guiliani hawked his book, er, gave the opening night speech at BookExpo, at a huge cocktail party thrown by his publisher, Talk Miramax. Hizzoner's book, "Leadership," will be published in October. Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein introduced the former mayor with gusto. "I love reading!" declared Weinstein. "I love the smell of bookstores! I have a day job where people don't read."
No one novel stood out at BEA this year like "The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen did last year. But Farrar, Straus, Franzen's publisher, is hoping that it has another winner in "Middlesex" (September), a novel by "Virgin Suicides" author Jeffrey Eugenides. Will lightening strike twice?
IN A MANNER OF SPEAKING:
Author Judith Martin, a.k.a. Miss Manners, was feted at an elegant party at Eleven Madison Park by Norton, her satisfied publisher. Her next book, "Star-Spangled Manners: In Which Miss Manners Defends American Etiquette (For a Change)," will be published in November. We spoke for a while with The Divine Miss M, and found her delightful and brainy. America, she says, has the "manners of egalitarianism. We are the leaders in manners that show respect to everyone. The British have gotten good at pageantry. The pomp of royalty is fun to watch, but it doesn't go over in America. The mere idea of bowing your knee because of birth should be anathema to any American."
MY BACK PAGES:
The first volume of Bob Dylan's biography, "Chronicles," will be published by Simon & Schuster on September 24. Dylan has been at work on it for six or seven years. This volume covers mainly the early 1960s. Buzz doesn't begin to describe the interest in this book.
Get ready for a blast of publicity about "The Sexual Life of Catherine M." by Catherine Millet, translated by Adriana Hunter (Grove Press; June 12). The book is an extraordinarily frank sexual memoir by a well-respected editor in Paris. The book has already sold 300,000 copies in France.
CAST YOUR VOTE AT THE CASH REGISTER:
The Democratic ticket, complete with their wives, will be back at a bookstore near you sometime soon. A beardless Al Gore, with Tipper at his side, regaled booksellers at BEA with jokes about his reduced station in life. The Gores were talking up their two new books, "Joined at the Heart: The Transformation of the American Family" (Holt; November 12) and "The Spirit of Family" (Holt; November 12). In January, losing veep candidate Joseph Lieberman and wife Hadassah will share their observations about the 2000 campaign in "An Amazing Journey."
Heidi Fleiss, madam to the stars, provided a little entertainment to the attendees of BookExpo, with her soon-to-be self-published book, "Pandering." In a booth decorated like a bordello, with tiger-skin rugs, red brocade walls and comely young "models" with bare midriffs, Fleiss advertised her forthcoming coffee table book. (We're still trying to imagine the person for whose coffee table this is intended.) The book is described by Pages magazine as "a multimedia collage, a cultural document, a pop-art concoction, a witty roman a clef, incorporating court documents, pages from Fleiss' personal and business diaries, old post-it notes scribble with phone numbers about which one can only guess, candid photographs, wiretap transcripts Fleiss bought from federal investigators, and the unique, world-weary philosophy of a woman who describes herself as '36 years old, going on 500.'"
TO DREAM THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM:
Christopher Reeve gave an impassioned lunchtime speech at BookExpo in honor of the publication of "Nothing Is Impossible: Reflections on a New Life" (Random House; September). His new book looks back at the seven years since his paralyzing accident. He describes the book as edgier than his earlier book, "Still Me," with more complicated topics. One of them is his desire to commit suicide after his accident, which abated only after his wife proved her continuing love for him.
PRIME MINISTER PUBLISHING:
Academy Chicago's biography of Ariel Sharon, "Sharon: Israel's Warrior Politician" by Jordan and Anita Miller, and Israeli-American writer Siglit Zegtouni, will be published in June.
MOST AMUSING SPEAKER:
Pat Conroy, author of "The Great Santini," "Prince of Tides," "The Lords of Discipline," and the like, quipped to a BEA crowd that while last year's big book was "The Corrections," this year's will be "The Erections," featuring "the simple love story between Jonathan Franzen and Oprah Winfrey."
TWELFTH GRADE WONDER:
Nick McDonnell, the precocious 18-year-old author of "Twelve" (Grove Atlantic; July), is the son of Terry McDonnell, the managing editor of Sports Illustrated. The author, who is being compared by his publisher to Brett Easton Ellis," has written the story of "the extremely privileged young on the upper east side." The extremely privileged young author is on his way to Harvard in September.
TAKE IT OR LEVITT:
Lots of buzz at BEA about "Take on the Street: What Wall Street and Corporate America Don't Want You to Know and How You Can Fight Back" by former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt Jr. (Pantheon; October). The word is that 60 Minutes is interested.
FROM THE MASTHEAD: