- Dean Koontz’s dog has written a book: a chapbook-sized ode to lapping toilet water.
- An inmate has sued Stephen King for The Green Mile, claiming that there are, in fact, no magical black men inside prison.
- It’s been reported elsewhere, but Cynthia Ozick’s book tour diary dishes fun dirt.
- Amber Frey is set to release a memoir this week. Sample chapter titles include “Oh My God! Laci’s baby is due on my birthday!” and “You know, Scott, this murder might affect our relationship.”
- The Rutles 2 is coming to DVD. Believe it or not, Salman Rushdie is in it.
- A number of prominent Canadians highlight their top reads for 2004 (including Neil Peart, who champions John Barth’s The Book of Ten Nights and a Night!).
- The Age does an admirable job trying to account for The Da Vinci Code‘s success.
Some distressing news from Publisher’s Lunch. The ironically named Committee for Truth in Psychiatry has sued Houghton Mifflin and writer Daniel Smith for $20 million in punitive damages. The suit comes about because Smith’s investigative piece on electroshock treatment appeared in The Best Science and Nature Writing, 2002.
Even if this suit is settled or dismissed, there’s still the larger issue of whether hard-hitting exposes will appear in Houghton Mifflin’s compilations. Will Houghton Mifflin backpedal on future selected essays? Even if the author were to prove all of the facts were on his side, my fear here is that tomorrow’s compilations will be fluff that maintains the status quo.
[1/21/06 UPDATE: It is difficult to determine what happened with this suit, for there has been no news reported during the past two years. The CTIP website looks like it hasn’t been updated since early 2004. A Google search reveals only Ron Hogan and myself dwelling upon the lawsuit. I’ve sent off an email to Natalie Angier, who edited The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2002, to see if she knows anything. Should I hear back from her or get any leads, I’ll report it in a followup post.]