Skip to main content


January 17, 2005

Reading Italian (Grisham Style), Tsunami Aid (Author Style) and Celebs (Without Style)

Posted by admin

Warning: Do not read John Grisham's new one, THE BROKER, if you are hungry. I made the mistake of doing that this weekend. As his character, Joel Backman, travels around Italy, he eats. And Grisham does great descriptions of the food that he eats. And every time you read about the food, you will want to eat. I found myself salvating for panini and yearning for a warm mushroom salad, and let's not talk about both tortellini and tortelloni (he spells out the difference). Keep a pad and pen next to you as you read so you can note what foods you need recipes for!

Reading THE BROKER you can tell that Grisham is very sincere about what he says in the afterward about loving all things Italian. His enthusiastic writing shows how he embraces the country. I have read some reviews which said that this is not a suspenseful book. I disagree. It's mental suspense. Backman is playing to win --- and to save his life. To me, it works. Let's put it this way...I did not get much done this weekend until I finished reading this book. It was a perfect winter weekend read.

I found myself thinking a lot about how Backman the kingpin was very different from Backman the prisoner and how both of these came to aid Backman, the man on the run. Often I find myself thinking about that as I read --- how would this character get himself from point A to point B in this place given what his background has afforded him? I think this one definitely is worth reading.

BTW...last week I read that on American Airlines' six daily flights from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport to London THE BROKER will be given to First Class passengers as part of the book's worldwide launch by Grisham's publisher, Doubleday.

Business Class and Coach Class passengers will also have the opportunity to win a copy of the book by answering Grisham-related or AmericanAirlines Vacations(SM) trivia questions posed by the flight attendant such as "How many New York Times best-sellers has Grisham written to date?" or "What is the most popular vacation destination book through AA Vacations?" Now WHY does nothing like that every happen on the flights that I am traveling on?

I did not watch the Tsunami Aid Show this weekend. I confess that I am a tad weary of celebrities who these days seem to dash and swoop in for every political and social cause. Call me callous, but it really makes me crazy when they talk and say some version, "We must use our celebrity for a greater purpose," while I get the distinct impression they often feel they are smarter than most Americans and the impact of natural disasters and political discussion can only be given credence by their being a part of it.

That said, I did read about a promotion that a number of authors are doing to promote Tsunami Aid that I did embrace. In an unprecedented publishing move, the world's leading writers are coming together to publish the first chapters of their new works in a single volume entitled NEW BEGINNINGS that will appear from Bloomsbury on March 3rd, which is National Book Day (though I admit I never heard of National Book Day before I read this release). All proceeds of this unique venture will be going to the Disasters Emergency Committee fund. Authors who have already agreed to takepart include Alexander McCall Smith,Ian McEwan,Maeve Binchy,

Margaret Atwood,Marian Keyes,Mark Haddon,Nicholas Evans,Nick Hornby,Paulo Coelho,Scott Turow,Stephen King,Tracy Chevalier and Vikram Seth. further demonstrate my theory about celeb-obsessed America, I read last week that People magazine went on newsstand early for the first time in their history with the cover story on Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston's breakup. Call me crazy, but I think in the magazine's history there has to have been another story more gripping than this to warrant an early on sale.

Happy Monday; Happy Martin Luther King Day. Be sure to count the celebs tonight telling us the IMPACT Martin Luther King had on their lives. This is for any of you who doubt that there is a reason for this to be a National holiday and needed it explained to you!