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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 31, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am EST

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work from there. >> you can watch this and other programs on-line at >> host: you're watching booktv on c-span2. as 2012 draws to a close one of the things we like to do is look back at the year in nonfiction books and look ahead to 2013. joining us to help us are two guests in our new york studio. sara wine mann is the news director for publishes marketplace and bob mintheimer is being book reviewer and reporter for "usa today." start with you. if you would, give us your general assessment of 2012 for the book industry especially nor nonfiction books and what are one or two notable books you want to talk about? >> guest: let's start off by saying 2012 is very eventful year in the book publishing
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world between publishers consolidating the department of justice suing five publishers and apple on ebook pricing and many developments which we'll cover later on in the program. amazon expanding its publishing operations. the google settlement also moving forward in different directions. those alone accounted for substantial portion of book publishing news. on the nonfiction front i would have to say it was a very strong year. in particular we're seeing a lot of best of 2012 lists dominated by the likes of catherine booz, behind the beautiful forevers. winner of the national book award. robert caro latest volume in his ongoing biography of lyndon johnson. andrew solomon, far from the tree. it was only recently published. a 900 page compendium looking at different child rearing examples of special needs children. those three books alone loan
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are meaty substantial and but those are tip of iceberg. >> host: bob, same question. >> guest: sticking a little bit with what sara said it was a big year for dead presidents. she mentioned robert caro, fourth probably will be five volumes on lyndon johnson which is incredible act of both reporting and writing about a seminal figure in 20th century american history. but we also, doris kerns goodwin's book, team of rivals, which was published in 2005 is back on the best-seller list, thanks to steven spielberg's movie, lincoln. in our list it was up to 20 or so, remarkable for a serious book that has been out so long. john meacham's new biography of thomas jefferson. when you think there is not more to be said about thomas jefferson, one comes along,
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writes popular, readable, somewhat controversial book. so presidents have been in the news as well. >> host: it is hard to mention dead presidents and not talk about bill o'reilly and his two books, killing lincoln, killing kennedy. both best-sellers this past year. >> bill o'reilly and his writing partner, martin dugard, i actually interviewed bill o'reilly about his process. o'reilly says, his partner does the research. he does the writing. the idea is to write history like a thriller. not in an academic sense. there are very few footnotes there. you basically have to trust him where he got his information from. kind of like history as a page turner. he is promising to announce his next book, which in o'reilly fashion, he says is going to, you know, blow the walls down, be the biggest book in nonfiction history. we'll see about that. yes, his point, o'reilly's
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point is that history is often treated as too dryly. dryly being a word, maybe. but, need not be and so there's a lot of personality as well as probably more personality than policies in his books. >> host: now, sarah, a lot of books come out on current presidents, this year was no exception. for president obama, rachel swarnes wrote one about mrs. obama. called american tapestry. jody cantor, wrote the obamas a reporter with "the new york times" and david marenes, first half of his biography on president obama, barack obama the story, came out as well. >> yes. i mean obviously whenever there is a sitting president it is a boon for publishers who can jump on a bandwagon and publish as many books as well. the maraniss was interesting to me in particular because it dealt into the early life of barack obama from his childhood, to when he was a student in new york to his
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early organizing days. he really did a thorough job in terms of talking with a whole plethora of different people who knew the president in his early life. jodi cantor also clearly did quite a bit of reporting and investigation with her book about the marriage between barack and michelle obama and rachel swarnes, from what i understand, took a larger view looking at the first lady and her larger ancestry and putting together a larger story as a result. . .
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i thought that was a good strong and i feel unless you're part of the mayor just awful hard not to stand especially when cantor tried to make a the case that michelle obama was far more political than she let on and there was a lot of constant infighting in the obama white house likely in the early days. rachel swarns history, although the attention of some president obama being the first black president, because his white ancestors came from elsewhere, there were no slaves and his family. michelle obama had both slaves and white ancestors, that great american complexity and how we
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reduce race to black black-and-white but it really isn't. >> host: and facts to quickly mention david maraniss' barack obama story, booktv travel to kenya with mr. maraniss and we did a lot of taping over there so you can see all of that in a special david maraniss at our web site, simply use the search function in the upper left-hand corner, type in his name and he can watch the footage. it was quite a trip to kenya to see that background. yes, sir? >> guest: one of the great parts of his reporting was he deconstructed obama's early memoir, faith of our fathers? dreams of our father, excuse me. i think it got john mccain in there. dreams of our father. i had the fathers part right. which he wrote and 95 or so, 95, 96 and maraniss went back and
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sort of rerecorded some of the offense and we learned what was accurate in the book, what was not so accurate and what was popular so it's a great companion to read if you have read obama's memoir. >> host: now there are some publishers, regnery and counter sentinel, wnd, that put out a lot of anti-president obama books including edward klein's the amateur, david limbaugh the great destroyer ,-com,-com ma charles kesler, and the change and dinesh d'souza obama's america, quite critical of president obama. sarah weinman did these books sell well? >> they do sell well largely because they serve rightly or wrongly as a counterpoint. many readers wish to buy into that counterpoint and as a result these books have a very active audience and now the president obama has been reelected, i am sure that the
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publishers with conservative imprints or who are conservative inclined will continue to produce books that sell well because they will continue to it appeal to an audience that demands these books. >> host:>> host: bob mintz and r have you of these critical authors. >> you know, well let's see, the land back but he has not recently taken on obama. it's sort of interesting, i think whoever's in power in the white house, the opposite political slant on books does better so when a liberal democrat in the white house conservative books tend to do better and when there's a conservative in the white house like under president bush, folks critical under the present tend to do better. in fact i remember bush at one point when he was being questioned about jobs he said look what i'm doing for the book
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industry. there were so many books that were out critical of him. it was the middle of his second term. >> guest: the irony of the president -- former bush, i believe if it wasn't the best-selling book it was awfully close. >> guest: people voted the bookstore in much smaller numbers. that you show your alliance by going out and buying a book that agrees with your political position. generally most of these political books are being bought by people who are authors. >> host: real-time policy books also came out in 2012 including james mann, the obama and of the struggle inside the white house are redefined power, jeffrey toobin, the obama white house versus the supreme court and michael gruenwald's the new new deal, the hidden story of change in the obama era along with bob woodward's the price of
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politics. i want to ask both of you, did up woodward's most recent book get the attention the most of his books get? >> guest: my feeling is that it got initial attention but that it was crowded out by just the nature of the news cycle happening so initially at least to my mind there were a couple of nuggets that have not been reported before that there wasn't that many other ones that emerged after the initial one or two so it lost some of its momentum. i'm sure bob will have an equally subjective answer on this front too. >> guest: i mean, there is always a standard of what you're comparing it to. bob woodward it was not his most commercially successful book. i think sarah touched on two things. one is the news cycle has -- and the other factor was the topic. it was about the negotiations over the budget, the debt and that's not exact he and exciting
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topic for a lot of people as opposed to his books on maneuverings in the bush white house which i think would have more interest. >> guest: one thing i also wanted to bring up that's tangential to the particular books but an emerging trend we saw a lot of in 2012 is that a lot of current events topics are not just the larger nonfiction titles that take a very long time to produce by the larger publishers, but the advent of shorter forums, digital books through companies by the likes of newspapers and magazines like "usa today" that launches one e-book usa tomorrow with the idea being that with an e-book publisher and a strike can come to market very early and especially with timely topics of the political nature as the election season showed.
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they could get the news out in a wider way with an e-book benefit would have had to wait several months or a year or a book. >> guest: i thought michael gruenwald's will come of the new new deal, which was about the economic stimulus should have got more attention than it did. i found it very interesting and it was not the kind of stuff you are reading in the daily papers are magazines and being discussed on tv. grunwald writes for times magazine as him nonpartisan and he has an appreciation of what it did for the economy but it means to them are men and all of that and it's sort of a story that got lost in all the politics. >> host: bob mintz and shiner -- minzesheimer we have to have a comment on usa tomorrow. >> guest: i should think sarah for her plug. newspaper in september we were 30 years old so the whole bunch
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of reporters were sent out to talk to people who could predict with the world would be like in 30 years from now. what are you talking about, 2042? 2042. serrazin little better at math than i am. anyway they made their predictiopredictio n and talked about what it means for their industry and they put out a little tab and now that she is now an e-book which i think you can buy for a grand total of $1.99 or $2.99. it hasn't really taken off yet. the short form, somewhere between a book and a magazine, by line and amazon has been doing them. they can be posted almost immediately and they sell for $2 or $3, $4. a few of them have made the list in some have been for fiction.
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amy tan wrote a story that she called too long to be a short story and too short to be a novel which works perfectly into this. >> host: the wars i should say continue to produce books including sandra schrager and, the war within the war for afghanistan, tom ricks, the general, mark bodin's the finish, the killing of osama bin laden and another book on the killing of osama bin osama bin laden as mark owens no easy day the first-hand account of the mission that killed osama bin laden and then there was a book in the education of general david petraeus by paula broadwell. sarah weinman, any comments on moe's books? >> guest: it's funny you alluded to miss broadwell spoke as a former title that got second wind because of course in light of general petraeus' resignation this broadwell's
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role in that, that's exactly why her book, why the paperback publication was pushed up. i think what it is done a little bit though is take away from the larger aspect of these books. when scandal rears its head it's focused too much on that rather than the substance of the book but one thing that is worth pointing out in relation to mark bowen and mark owen was a pseudonym for the navy s.e.a.l.s involved in the mission to kill osama bin laden is that the books publisher, penguin press, they announced that with weeks to spare and i felt they did a brilliant job of marketing that book. of course it didn't help depending on who you asked that mark owens real name was dutifully revealed by the media
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which then caused its own firestorm but the upshot is many of these books even with commensurate media attention, it doesn't translate into sales. no easy day did phenomenally well and the other thing that is worth pointing out too is anything to do with the killing of osama bin laden back in the news again with the upcoming movie hero dark 30 directed by bigelow and written by him mark bowles, the oscar-winning movie the hurt locker and it's interesting to see the cia has been cooperating and also whether the account of the movie conflicts with the account of mark owens book which conflicts with the account of mark bodin's looks at taking all these things together and trying to piece together a comprehensive account of what has happened is almost like rashomon. >> guest: according to our
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list part -- paula -- paula broadwell's book does not do well commercially. it did not crack or top the 400 in any one week despite all the publicity. although there was another title which did make our list which was some sort of romance, perhaps, somewhere in between that. i have not read either of them of the nonfiction and they fiction. there's an interesting book, fred kaplan has a book coming out i think in january called the insurgent. it's about what he considers a new greet of soldiers and is tried to redefine the role of the military and general petraeus is one of the major subjects i think. it will be interesting to see whether the personal scandal will have died down to get back to the policy issues of the role of generals.
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>> guest: the one side benefit relating to the kaplan book, i believe simon & schuster pushed up the publication of this book in large part in reaction to the ongoing scandal so it was going to be late january and now it's the beginning of january. >> host: we also want to look at some of the award winners of 2012, the national book awards as we mentioned katherine boo behind the beautiful rivers won the national book award for the but the other nominees included anne applebaum iron curtain and robert caro the passage of power, the boy kings of texas and the late anthony should deed, house of stone. bob minzesheimer any comment on those? >> guest: i admired the anthony should deed book. i read it just after he died. anthony shadid was a reporter for "the washington post" and "the new york times" and died of apparently related asthma attack
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while covering the civil war and syria. his book is a memoir. anthony shadid grew up in oklahoma of all places with within american lebanese family and he ended up fascinated and became a reporter. his life mission was to try to explain this region to america. it's no easy thing to do. and he covered more than his share of wars and in the course of that, his first marriage fell apart because he was always up for overseas covering the war. he ends up lying his families somewhere in lebanon. i forget the name of the village and he takes a year off to restore this house. it sounds like a movie almost -- which he does with great difficulty. the book, his memoir, it lands end lebanese history and its laureate past which is been
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badly destroyed by the civil war as well as his own personal story. shortly before the book came out he died. he was 40 or so, 45. >> host: sarah weinman? >> guest: well, i feel like in looking at this list, i feel an unmitigated search to talk about how much i adore the katherine boo both. on twitter is quite active that if katherine boo's book made every 2012 list that would be perfectly fine by me. it's a phenomenal piece of literature. she writes beautifully. she writes with tremendous sympathy and she is a new yorker staff writer and a previous recipient of the macarthur genius grant. her husband is indian and she spent at least three years right
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outside of mumbai essentially chronicling these people's lives and seeing how they coped, being on the periphery of great industrial change but also struggling with poverty. she presents her life in a way that is obviously taking into account the tremendous suffering but also shows this tremendous humanity and there are moments of humor. there are moments of great familial joy that some of the people involved go through. i felt it was just unbelievably moved reading it and it's a book that frankly i could not put down either. i just had to keep reading so i absolutely see why not did it only when the national book award but so many people have responded to it and why it has sold very well and why i think it will take its place as one of the very best books published in the last two years.
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>> guest: if i remember right, she's not in the book much at all. it's really old-fashioned reporting done incredibly well in britain as well. >> host: and sarah weinman of publishers marketplace mentioned, a lot of best of lists are coming out by publications, "the washington post," the economist etc. etc.. all of those have been aggregated by the way of so go to our web site and you'll be a lessee a lot of these best of 2012 looks lists. they are under our section called news about books. pulitzers this year, steven greenblatt won for general nonfiction, this word, the late manning marivel one for malcolm x and bore a biography or autobiography, john lewis gaddis, george f. kennan, an american life. bob minzesheimer what is this
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worth about? >> this work if i remember right, it dipped into the book when it came out. it's fascinating, it was a little on the side of being, intellectual. i don't mean to say that dismissively, but it is about -- sarah, help me here. do you remember the name of the poem? >> guest: oh gosh, not offhand. >> guest: rediscovered in the renaissance. and then, it changed the way -- it was published i guess you would say. printed or something. >> host: i didn't mean to put you on the spot there. is called the swerve and -- >> guest: cultures of war get
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bit and took a more modern take on life and the fear of dying is the thing that it dealt with, the fear of dying which was far more predominate in stopping people from doing things. >> host: sarah weinman if the book is nominated or wins a national book award or is nominated and wins a pulitzer, does it change sales? >> guest: i think as an example, to answer your question, the pulitzer prize did not award a prize in fiction. is the first time that it happened since the late 1970s and there was a huge uproar largely because certainly for fiction fiction winner so pulitzer does have an appreciable effect on sales. paul harvey when he won the fiction prize, he had been published a very tiny press called literary press and in the wake of the pulitzer win not
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only did the book sell more than 100,000 copies but his next will be published by random house in september 2013. so it has completely changed his career and his trajectory. jennifer eagan is another example, when she won the pulitzer fiction for a visit from -- she had pulled all right but she was now firmly entrenched as one of the most sought-after writers in american literature right now. not awarding the fiction prize, it certainly sends shockwaves and will be interesting to see in 2013, if they will learn from that pole unquote mistake and make sure -- wins a fiction prize. >> guest: a lot of libraries as soon as the awards are announced will check their holding to see if they have the books and if they don't have those books they will order those books.
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that doesn't mean it's a bestseller but it's established in a different round. and i think prices are most important when a person is not that well-known. certainly it establishes curiosity. >> host: several members of congress have written books this past pastor including senator rand paul, government bullies and represented john lewis wrote another book, across that bridge about his experience. senator marco rubio a biography, an american son and represented tim ryan a mindful nation how a single practice can help reduce stress, improve performance and recapture the american spirit. a little off the beaten path for members of congress. senator tom coburn, the debt bomb and robert draper has written a book about congress. do not ask what good we do inside the u.s. house of representatives. do either of you look for these
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books when they come out by members of congress or politicians? >> guest: i certainly know them but i feel as if at least from my standpoint that these books are way too entrenched the members of congress not only in their positions but also potentially to position them for future runs, be it within their current offices or maybe something different. so, it seems as if it's more of a calling card then it is furthering their career as authors. certainly, being authors of books is yet another feather in the cap of politicians so it's just a way of announcing to the larger public that they are part of the larger comp or station. >> guest: i am going to sound a little cynical and may be skeptical but i also wonder how much of the book is -- given their schedules and their time. they need to raise money.
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>> guest: so you are you're looking at brand management. >> guest: i don't know. who was it, nathaniel hawthorne wrote some presidents -- and then got a job, patronage job so it's an old tradition of the campaign focus. the beauty of obama's memoir was he put it before he was a politician so it was a little less, a little more open i think. i know we come excuse me, we paid attention to the marco rubio book as long as he was being touted as a vice presidential candidate and then when he wasn't, people lost interest in a book. but you know he has a future with the republican party so people would going back to him. >> host: so well-known former members of congress and politicians and government officials have also written some
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books this past year including colin powell, it worked for me in life and leadership in madeleine albright, another book prague winter a personal story of remembrance and more. the late senator arlen specter has another book out in april of 2012, life among the cannibals and finally former california governor arnold schwarzenegger, total recall. sarah weinman how to total recall to? >> guest: as far as i know it did not quite live up to expectations. that said i feel as bob would have been interesting answer because i understand he had quite an interesting profile piece of the former governor. >> guest: i got to interview the governor and the author and remember, for those who have forgotten, after he left the governorship, he came out the governor schwarzenegger had an affair with the housekeeper who
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had fathered his son. and that led to his wife, maria shriver, and the kennedys are involved in everything -- i think filing for divorce. all right so, he comes out with this i think it's 600 pages or so and everything arnold schwarzenegger has ever done from growing up in a town in austria, the bodybuilding, pages and pages about bodybuilding and i know this is an incredible, in some ways an incredible american immigrant story. he comes to america and this is his dream to become a movie star. he becomes a movie star and then he becomes governor of california. meanwhile, the affair with the housekeeper, which is about five pages in the book. he deals with it. he doesn't say much.
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he doesn't say he regrets it or that sort of thing. i got an interview with him on the phone the friday before the book was coming out. he had already agreed to be on 60 minutes and they had a lot more time. midway through the interview he said, and i cannot do arnold well. he said i don't like the way this interview is going. the questions had to do with the housekeeper and not about his accomplishments as governor. if you like arnold schwarzenegger, it's all there. it briefly made her bestsellers list and then went away. >> host: political pundits, always we get the political pundits books every year including charles murray is coming apart, save america, glenn beck, and rachel maddow, "drift" and ann coulter's
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mugged. did either of you pick up any of these books because they always make the best sellers list for a couple of weeks, don't they? >> guest: yeah, they do. specifically the ann coulter book, she switched publishers largely because of one point anytime you put a book with her name and her face on the cover, it would have guaranteed sales well into the six figures. with time that has been dropping and dropping. it seems as if she has had to bump rhetoric and argumentative streak in order to sell fewer and fewer copies. so it will be interesting to see what she does for her next book and how far she is willing to go to make a buck to sell the book so to speak. >> guest: i thought "drift" by rachel maddow went beyond the usual pundit polemic vote.
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it's questioning american military power and a lot of that you could say is not really written from a liberal perspective. she is an unabashed and liberal but she is also, she is on tv but i think she has a ph.d. in something. political science i think and i think charles murray would be gummy probably would not want to be called the pundit. he is famous for the controversy over the bell curve but this is a book that looks at the white working class and looked at the white working class to try to separate class from race which complicates everything and he looks at how the values of the lower white working class has gone down hill and there is this sort of white elite adopts a middle-class and sort of a complex argument.
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he goes to two places to describe these things. is inching and provocative book so more than someone is ranting and raving. >> host: and of course -- with the american enterprise institute so not fair to call him a political pundit. what about glenn beck? he launched his own imprint but his flock show is off the air. can you see the results in his sales? >> guest: as far as i can tell, glenn beck, what he has been doing since he left fox's has been really trying to build a brand that reaches a dedicated community not only through satellite oriented radio show. he is a new site called blaise. he does have this dedicated imprint with simon & schuster so i feel like he has been moving
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toward trying to reach the same dedicated loyal following over and over again and build on that a little bit at a time. rather than necessarily going for the reach that fox had exist this way glenn i suppose can do what glenn does best. what is interesting to see if that he has sort of shifted what he has done over the last few years and no doubt he will continue to adapt his persona over the next year or so. >> guest: he has a new novel out, which is on the u.n. which is interesting for fiction but his previous novel, which is by glenn beck into other people. sometimes we see novels written by two people, james patterson being a great example of that
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our history books written by two people but usually you don't see three people. i asked him them in the interview, who wrote the book? he said i wrote the book. i said did you write the key part? he said no, these guys did that. i sort of supervised so it's a team effort. so, to call him an author, he might dispute this but it's sort of part of his whole brand of marketing. he has the newsletter and the cable show. he has the internet and he is his own little media empire. whether fox forced him out or he jumped i'm not sure. but he is still very popular and his books sell. he writes about christmas and writes about politics. >> host: prior to taping this interview with sarah and bob minzesheimer, we asked their favorite pics. one of the books was a finalist,
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kevin powers, the yellow bird. >> guest: i know booktv doesn't do a lot of fiction but the yellow bird is a novel. kevin powers served in iraq. he joined the army. it's an incredible story. he grew up in richmond virginia, joined the army out of high school because that is what people and his family did and ended up serving in iraq. came back it also had this love of poetry. he came back and went to school both undergraduate and got an msa. he has written this beautiful novel. it's a novel about war in the destruction of war and what war does to people. two young kids from virginia. he says it's not all that autobiographical about what happened to him in iraq. but it's a great sense of what it was like to be there for people who have not been there.
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is called the yellow birds. it's a remarkable accomplishment. >> host: sarah weinman and david nasaw's the patriarch. >> guest: i am almost done reading it. forward ever reason i read fiction faster than nonfiction especially because it's such a thorough and conference and biography of joseph p. kennedy who is the father of president kennedy and many other kennedys also active as having the fcc. he was the ambassador to london. he was in the hollywood film industry. he is course was active in the roosevelt administration. sometimes the relationship between him and the president can get very contentious and i feel he has done an excellent job of putting together so much research and spent more than six years on this book ,-com,-com ma going to archive after archive after archive crosschecking. one of the things he proves
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definitively is that joe kennedy was not in fact the bootlegger. those rumors persisted for decades. i really really admire the scholarship and i am very glad he spent for many weeks that i have with this book. >> guest: and enduring fascination by the kennedy family. i was talking to someone and we were talking about, one of those alternative history things. what if nixon had beaten kennedy and what it john henriette never been president? we started thinking of all the thousands of books that never would have been written. there may have been maybe different books written. i once interviewed caroline kennedy who has edited several books, her mother's writing mostly and some tapes from the white house. caroline kennedy is famous for staying on message and talking about certain things. an attempt to get her off that,
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i said if you ever thought of the idea that kennedy bookstore and she was not, if she was thinking about her she wouldn't say anything about it. i think it's possible to have an entire bookstore devoted to the kennedys with serious history. arnold schwarzenegger's book could be in there as well. he tells a story going back to governor arnold where he and maria are househunting and someone shows them a house i guess in los angeles, hollywood. the real estate agent said, you know, joseph kennedy lived here for a while and there was a tunnel underneath the house and it went next door to gloria swanson's house. maria was both interested and embarrassed by the story. i asked arnold about why he put that in the book and didn't he think that would embarrass maria? he didn't give me an answer.
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kennedy bookstore. there is a link in bookstore in chicago. i think there is a link in bookstore. >> guest: which is done phenomenally well this year. i think a kennedy bookstore would be good. if anything it could fold in all the coulomb's a virtue of their granted ceasing to exist relationship but still a relationship nonetheless. >> host: this is maybe not a fair question but if we compared bill o'reilly's killing kennedy to david nasaw's the patriarch about joseph p. kennedy, if bill o'reilly's book would sell, how many copies? 1 million? david nasaw, 10,000? are those figures even close? >> guest: actually i think you are a little low on nassau but not too low. bill o'reilly, the killing lincoln book has sold close to 2 million copies. it has been out for more than a
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year and it's not in paperback and it has not slowed down. i asked -- o'reilly talked in more serious history books. these guys, they are brilliant. you need to be on vacation or retire to read their books. his books are 200 or 300 pages. o'reillys, you could read them in a couple of days so it depends how much readers want to devote. although, here's the thing publishers don't think about i think, is that bigger books pretty much top out at $35. >> guest: sometimes 40 and i've seen them as high as 55. >> guest: but the 300 pages for $25 so if you sold them per page amounts like meat is sold by the pound or something, that bigger books you are getting
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much more for your money and also you are getting to occupy your brain for a much longer period of time. i don't think it was worth it as an appeal but -- >> guest: i think is important to point out one of the reasons the david nasaw's it if he has -- is because there are almost 100 pages of source notes, footnotes and there there is a conference of index index so as i'm reading i want to check, where did he get this fact? you can look it up not just in the index or the appended notes but also look on line and going down the rabbit hole so to speak. it's not that i'm just engage with the text in the book but also looking at the different sources that were used in creating the book so it becomes a very inverse of experience in a way. >> guest: there's also the question of how long the book is going to be out.
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[inaudible] as opposed to a book that is suddenly popular in a year or so. and this is going to sound academic but the importance of footnotes. i mean, a lot of publishers do not like, do not like the paper being spent i think on footnotes. ..
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all these names for as much as it was worth, and the sentence that says, everybody seeing them knew that president kennedy was going to sleep with marilyn monroe that night. seriously. no attributions, and i thought, how does he know this? he had a source. the source was an interview in the "london daily now" which is a tabloid in london that reported this years ago, and he said it was confirmed by a secret service agent who was at the party but could not be identified. now, is that verifiable? it's something, but sources are
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important. how a writer knows what he is writing about is important, and some of the popular histories gloss over that. >> guest: and just to add one last point, i think 2012 in general, there were many, many conversations about fact-checking and corroborating sources, verifying facts, making sure what you wrote was actually true. all of these things to some degree background down general lay her, who had been thought of as a rising star. and his newest book came out and it turned out he had fabricated at least one source and copied extensively from earlier writings, and so as a result, his publisher had to withtrue the book and remains to be seen what his next move will be and what, if any, career he will have as a result.
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>> host: we're running out of time. we want to show you "the new york times" bestseller list, hard cover and ebooks. nonfiction, the most weeks on the list, and the top of the list is "unbroken" published in 2010, followed by bill o'reilly, killing lincoln. and steve jobs, number four, publishedded in 2011. harold stayed. another 2011 title. the power of habit. edward klein, the amateur. tina fey, and american sniper was published in january, and that was on the list for 17 weeks. sarah weinman, what is "wild"?
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>> guest: a really amazing memoir by a woman who had previously written a novel called "torch. toy toy and she disguised in retrospect how in her mid-20s, after a failed marriage and herma had died, there had been in drug issues, she decided, on essentially a whim, she would walk the pacific coast trail, which is well over a thousand miles, and she did so with minimal preparations and she described essentially how doing this long distance walk broke her apart and put her back together again. the big reason why the book was on the bestseller list for so long, even though there had been a great deal of -- i read it before publication, and certainly understood all the advance hype -- is that oprah win free started her new book club. she has the oprah winfrey
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network, and the magazine, so when she chose it as the first selection of her reconstituted book club, it still led to a great uptick in sales and mend -- meant that her other books, a book of advice columns, were re-issued and sold rather will. oprah has made her next selection a debut novel, by a woman who had never previously published fiction before. she had written extensively for glossy magazines. >> host: bob, late look at some publishing news for this past year, and i want to start with the price of ebooks. what's the status on the ebook
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pliesing,. >> guest: how much time do we have? >> you have about two minutes. >> guest: i measure defer to sarah. it comes down to a battle between publishers and amazon, how cheap ebooks will be. sarah can jump in if i'm oversimply identifying. >> guest: i'll do my best to keep it simple as well there has been a class -- burgeoning has lawsuit, and five of the six publishers were charged with cluing on the ebook prices for what's known as the agency model. he agency model is where the publishers sets the pricers, not retailers. before then eretailers could set their own prices, like am month
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and barnes & noble. the justice department did not like that and in the wake of the suit, simon & schuster and harper collins all settled, and now we're seeing some fluctuations in the pressurers' ebook prices. mcmilan, penguin, and apple, continue to fight the suit. a trial is set for, i believe, june 3, 2013. the case is still ongoing in court, many legal maneuverings, and an state settlement involving all states except minnesota, and $69 million will be allocated to give back to customers who felt they paid too high a price on ebooks. >> guest: is the day of the 9.99 ebook coming back? >> guest: that assumes the 9.99 ebook existed in the first place. it was really more amazon was shipping prices lower and lower and the publishers thought they
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cooperate make any profit. what the agency model enabled them to do is make larger profits. we saw that if you look at the bottom line of publishing earning report us throughout the year, where ebooks contributed a very healthy bottom line. of course, what's interesting is that a side point that another major publishing story is them impending merger between random house and penguin, announced in late october. how that will come about departments on what the department of justice has to say, because if penguin is in litigation with them, how can they approve what would create the largest publisher in american history. >> guest: publishers will also say they're complaint against amazon is amazon is trying to sell ebooks as cheap as possible in order to sell kindles, the devices they sell, and they really want to sell the kindles, and the irony now is that one of the -- amazon has
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now gotten into traditional publishing, and is beginning to sign some big-name authors, saying it's using its -- so am son is competing with publishers on many levels and creating all kinds of tension. >> guest: what's interesting with respect to amazon publishing is some of the names they thought would be big enough to sell, have not sold. penny marshall's book, my mother was nuts, sold for a very high six-fig amount. wildly underperformed, and the they've been doing -- the new york operation has been getting interestingly enough some critical acclaim, the big problem is that many retailers, including barnes & noble, and independent book stores, are not stocking these titles. amazon's publishing operations, when it comes to genre fiction, science fiction, romance, those have been selling rather well because those do very well as ebooks. but in trying to come pet with
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the big six, they haven't shown themselves to be a worthy competitor quite yet. that may change in 2013. >> host: according to the association of american publishers, ebook sales, year to date, are up nearly 37%. while the entire adult trade books are up 10.4%. very quickly, sarah, what happened in october with regard to the so-called google settlement? >> guest: the google settlement also it stands now, it's still ongoing in respect to the authors' guild fighting it out. however, google did, i believe, reach a new settlement with publishers so that segment will no longer be fought in court. this suit has been going on for almost eight years, if not more. the presides judge, has since moved on to the appeals court at
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least two or three years now and this is one of his last-standing cases. so i'm sheared like to see some resolution in some form but seems the author's guild would like to fight it out. >> host: bob, 30 seconds on self-publishing in 2012. >> guest: self-publishing is when you pay to get your book published. you do not get money. you don't get royalties. for years this was looked down upon. vanity publishing. anyone could do it. a couple thousand dollars, you, too, can be an author. the digital world has changed that, and suddenly on our lists, u.s.a. today's list, self-published books that you might not -- some of them are not even in print, just ebooks. the big -- i'm running out of time here but the big barrier to
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self-published books was distribution. getting them in stores. if you didn't have a publisher, you didn't have a distribution channel in a digital world that's changing. so now the publishers have been buying some of these services. this is very complicated because it's all becoming one thing. penguin bought this thing called author solution which has all -- published hundreds of thousands of books, books that sell 50 copies. most self-published books seles than 100 copies but every once in a while one comes along and becomes a big hit, mostly through word of mouth and the internet. so penguin bought authors solutions, simon & schuster now has a deal to work on -- i'm not sure what they're doing because they're not really publishing the book. >> guest: they're being like a white hat label where they put their name but author solutions does all the work.
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>> guest: and for readers, guess this is good, more choices. publishers fear what happens when these -- if the big-name author decides to self-publish. what happens when james patterson, stephen king, decide, i'll be my own publisher. >> host: and unfortunately -- >> guest: hasn't happened yet. >> host: unremember fortunately we're out of team. but quickly, we asked sarah and been, looking ahead to 2013, some of their picks. sarah? of publishers marketplace, looking for lawrence wright's, going clear, scientology, hollywood, and the prism of police, anes suppose say on scientology, and of course the looming tower. some of the books bob is looking forward to is the king years, ross perot, my life, al gore, the future, and a couple other
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books, mcchrystal, my share of the task, and dick cheney on coronary disease. sarah and bob, we appreciate your time today on book tv. >> you don't always find many newspaper editors embracing investigative reporting. the point we have seen is it's actually economics. it's the discomfort that investigative reporting causes in a newsroom, because it's troublesome. it's that more than the economics. if you're going to ruffle the feathers of something powerful, that gets them complaining to the publisher and stories are legion about those things happening. we were fortunate through the '70s and almost all our career to work for people who were really strong and upright in that area and let the chips fall where they made.


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