Jodi Kantor, a New York Times correspondent, says she got the idea for The Obamas back in 2009, when she interviewed the couple in the Oval Office for a piece about their marriage. “After the article was published, I couldn’t stop thinking about the subtle tension I had felt in that room,” she writes. Although she never interviewed either the president or his wife again, she went on to talk to 33 White House staffers. The book that resulted isn’t, as advertised, about the Obamas’ marriage — not just because Kantor never spoke to them again, but also because the Obamas lead a cloistered life in Washington, going out even less than George and Laura Bush, who were famously private. The Obamas doesn’t tell us more than we already know about Barack Obama, either. It’s really a portrait of Michelle — and it’s not a kind one. READ FULL STORY
Category: Barack Obama (1-10 of 16)
The cover of First Lady Michelle Obama’s book was revealed this morning on iVillage, featuring a fantastic-looking Obama holding a basket of vegetables in front of that famed White House garden. American Grown: How the White House Kitchen Garden Inspires Families, Schools and Communities, due out on April 10, will be about the First Lady’s passion project: healthy food for everyone.
What’s on your workout playlist? For Michele Obama, it’s a whole lot of Beyonce
Barack Obama, Steven Spielberg, Bill Gates and others remember Apple legend Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs’ food weirdnesses: Fasts, living on apples or carrots for weeks on end, fruit smoothie diets
On the Books: Morgan Spurlock wants to hear about your failed novel, National Book Awards announce 5 under 35
++ Chad Harbach need not apply. For those of you (okay, us) who moonlight as authors but have failed to write the Great American Novel, filmmaker and author Morgan Spurlock might be looking to tell your story — especially since you haven’t been able to do it yourself yet. Spurlock’s camp posted a casting call on Mediabistro for dreamers, including starving writers, who might be looking to switch to the much more stable profession of documentary subject. At the very least, starring in a movie will give you great material.
From the posting: READ FULL STORY
++ Parks and Recreation showrunner Michael Schur, a David Foster Wallace fan, based the “Calamity Song” video he directed for the Decemberists on Wallace’s seminal novel Infinite Jest. Let the tennis balls fly!
++ Self-published author John Locke, not to be confused with the 17th century philosopher or a Smoke Monster, has entered an exclusive deal with Simon & Schuster to handle the distribution of physical copies of his books. Locke’s Donovan Creed novels, which have sold more than a million digital copies, will be available in traditional bookstores starting February 2012. READ FULL STORY
First lady Michelle Obama has signed on with Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, to pen a book about her garden on the South Lawn of the White House. To date, the garden has produced 2,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables and folds into the first lady’s campaign to promote healthy eating, creating community, and supporting local foods. Obama explained to the AP her intentions behind the project: “So we wanted to share the story with the rest of the nation and perhaps with the rest of the world, because we get so many questions about the garden: How did we do it? Why did we do it? How do I do this in my own home or community?” READ FULL STORY
O: A Presidential Novel, the author has been unmasked. Mark Halperin of Time has confirmed that John McCain aide and speechwriter Mark Salter is the pen behind the work of speculative semi-fiction. Well, that was certainly quicker than with Primary Colors: Scribe Joe Klein managed to elude identification for about seven months back in 1996 when that anonymous political novel was published. Salter and Simon & Schuster head Jonathan Karp have yet to confirm this revelation.O, what a trip it’s been. Less than a month after politicos and journalists got themselves all frothed up over an Amazon.com posting for the anonymously written
Top-Secret Obama novel excerpts: The President loves golf, hates voters, is attracted to Sarah Palin
O: A Presidential Novel is a novel that claims to explore “some resonant truths about what President Obama is thinking” through the veil of fiction. Because the author of O has remained anonymous, comparisons abound to Primary Colors, the Joe Klein novel about a Clinton-esque politician that was published anonymously. But Simon & Schuster is aiming a little bit higher with O. “By choosing anonymity,” writes Publisher Jonathan Karp over at the book’s website, “our author is following in the tradition of Jane Austen, the Brontës, The Federalist Papers, The Story of O, and, of course, Lemony Snicket.” So, just to clear things up, the author of O is remaining anonymous because they don’t want readers to know they’re a woman, because they want to influence the ratification of the Constitution, because O is a sadomasochistic novel that savagely deconstructs French sexual mores, and also because they want O to appeal to children. Who’s excited? READ FULL STORY
There has already been much hubbub over O: A Presidential Novel, the book that mysteriously appeared on Amazon earlier this month, and about which little is known other than it’s unlikely to have anything to do with this or this. On the Amazon product page, the author is listed as “Anonymous,” leading a few political prognosticators to think that it would be something akin to the 1996 Clinton-in-all-but-name novel Primary Colors, except about President Barack Obama. Now the publisher has released a cover image and a little more information: For one, the events depicted will take place in the future.
According to Simon & Schuster, it is “a novel about aspiration and delusion, set during the presidential election of 2012 and written by an anonymous author who has spent years observing politics and the fraught relationship between public image and self-regard” and the author has “has been in the room with Barack Obama and wishes to remain anonymous.” So straight off the bat it doesn’t appear that it will be as much of a straight political roman á clef as a speculative work of semi-fiction, albeit one that will center around the current president. And it will undoubtedly set pundits pondering for at least a little while as to the identity of the author. O: A Presidential Novel is set to release on January 25.
The new Archie Comics, released on Wednesday, finds the red-headed hero and his girlfriend Veronica talking environmental issues with President Obama. Meanwhile, Archie’s long-time rival, the rich-kid Reggie Mantle III, gets his picture taken with Sarah Palin. Both political alliances are used for Archie and Reggie to further their campaigns for student-body president.
In the final panel of Archie issue #616, Obama and Palin are each depicted as holding up different front pages of the Riverdale school newspaper, each of which implies that Obama and Palin have endorsed Archie and Reggie, respectively. Obama and Palin yell angrily, in unison, “Who’s responsible for this!?” READ FULL STORY
Christine O’Donnell, the Tea Party politician whose campaign for the U.S. Senate in the state of Delaware was overshadowed by her years-old comments about witchcraft, has signed a book deal with St. Martin’s Press, according to the Associated Press. O’Donnell, who was endorsed by Sarah Palin, was a surprise winner of the Republican primary but lost the general election to Democrat Chris Coons. The book intends to share her “frustrations” with the political process.
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