Friday, August 28, 2009

Things I'd Like to See This Weekend on C-SPAN's "Book TV"

10:00 am Glenn Beck
The cable news pundit discusses his ongoing problems with sponsors. More than forty companies have pulled their advertising from Beck's Fox News Channel show over his statement that President Barack Obama is a racist. Now he faces similar difficulties with several of his published books. Recently the word "idiots" was removed from the title of Beck's Arguing with Idiots following a carefully orchestrated campaign by a determined, well-organized group of idiots; Thomas Paine returned from the dead to demand that all references to him and his treatise Common Sense be purged from Glenn Beck's Common Sense; and Jesus has pulled the word "Christmas" from Beck's novel The Christmas Sweater.

2:00 pm Child & Child
The phenomenal revival of interest in Julia Child, spurred by the success of the film Julie & Julia (based on Julia Powell's book), has inspired a new Child-related book project--one that will posthumously fulfill the late cookbook author's frustrated ambitions to be a novelist. Here thriller writer Lee Child discusses his forthcoming book Child & Child, in which rugged hero Jack Reacher attempts to make Julia Child's tricky Coq au Vin recipe, dogged by agents of the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) who are determined to see him fail. The novel opens with a bang as Reacher, in the process of preparing his ingredients, beats the crap out of a chicken.

11:00 am Obama's Beach Reads
The White House was careful to announce the list of books that President Obama planned to take on vacation--five acclaimed and respectable works of fiction and nonfiction, including David McCullough's John Adams, Thomas Friedman's Hot, Flat and Crowded, and Kent Haruf's Plainsong. Here White House press secretary Robert Gibbs tries to explain a widely-circulated photo of the President lying on a beach in Martha's Vineyard reading Tucker Max's I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, with copies of Chelsea Handler's My Horizontal Life and Tori Spelling's Mommywood lying in the sand nearby. At first Gibbs calls it an attempt to smear the President, though he later insists this was a reference to an incident involving sunscreen.

2:00 pm Obscure Dickens
A series profiling lesser-known Dickens characters. This week: Abie Cadabra, wily magician in David Copperfield who teaches the title character how to make an elephant disappear.

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