Friday, September 11, 2009

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

10:00 am Amish Amore
For those seeking an exciting new reading experience, The Wall Street Journal suggests Amish romance novels as just the thing to get your barn raised and set your butter churning. A panel discussion of the genre reveals that, like other romance novels, these books feature hunky cover models, but dressed less like half-naked pirates and more like the guy on the Quaker Oats box--picture Fabio buttoned up to the neck in his "for gut" clothes. Another distinguishing characteristic is that in these romances, bodices are more often mended than ripped. These so-called "bonnet novels" are popular among mainstream readers, but many Amish women admit to reading them under the quilt, indulging in titillating depictions of illicit hand-holding and the provocative use of buggy whips. Some Old Order Amish communities don't approve of the books, however, with many church leaders saying they would flush such literature down the toilet if they had indoor plumbing. The program concludes with a young Amish woman sharing her enthusiasm for the genre, followed by a hidden-camera recording of an authentic Amish ceremony in which she is shunned by her community for appearing on TV.

2:00 pm Down These Mean Streets a Man Must Go...
Copies of the late Ted Kennedy's embargoed memoir True Compass were leaked almost two weeks before the book was to go on sale, resulting in a premature New York Times feature story and review. The New York Observer reports that the publisher, Hachette, has hired a private detective to look into the matter "but would not elaborate on his or her identity or specific objective." Here a panel of mystery editors speculates about what kind of detective a publishing company might hire. Would this P.I. get $50 a day plus expenses? Exercise the little grey cells? Observe and deduce? Or just stay home and tend to the orchids? Opinions vary, but there is agreement regarding the specific steps the detective would follow in pursuing the investigation:

1. Assemble the servants for questioning.
2. Crawl around on the carpet with a magnifying glass.
3. Drop in on the vicar for a cup of tea.
4. Get hit on the head in an alley and black out.
5. Go home and tend to the orchids.
6. Uncover corruption at the highest levels of the book distribution process.
7. Gather all the suspects and reveal the identity of the leaker.

The panelists also unanimously conclude that Thursday Next is the most likely detective for the job--she has by far the most experience in books.

11:00 am How Now Dan Brown?
"Today" Show host Matt Lauer discusses his series of daily clues to locations featured in Dan Brown's forthcoming blockbuster The Lost Symbol, on sale next week. Security surrounding the book has been so tight that even Lauer was only permitted to read a heavily redacted manuscript consisting of just adverbs. He remains tightlipped about plot details, confirming only that a Harris Tweed jacket features prominently in the book. Anticipation for The Lost Symbol has reached a fever pitch in the media and on the Internet, with the hottest speculation devoted to the question of what Tom Hanks's hair will look like in the movie.

2:00 pm James Patterson
The bestselling author discusses his new contract, which calls for him to write no fewer than 17 books over the next three years. During the interview Patterson demonstrates the work habits that enable him to be so prolific, typing on three keyboards simultaneously (one for each hand, and a third that he pecks with his nose) while clutching Sharpie pens in the toes of both feet so he can sign additional book contracts.

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