Today in books: The most in-demand out of print books, a second, more user-friendly guide to the 100 greatest works of non-fiction, and an excerpt from Errol Morris's new book of photographs and essays.
- Madonna's Sex is 2011's most sought-after out of print book, according to Book Finder's ninth annual ranking of the site's most frequently searched for out-of-print titles.The 100-book list is a curiosity, dominated by classic children's books (365 Bedtimes Stories, No. 26) pop culture artifacts (Johnny Cash's Man in Black, No. 7, and Norman Mailer's Marilyn, No. 8), hobbyist holy grails (The Lovely Reed: An Enthusiasts Guide to Building Bamboo Fly Rods, No. 64, and the ABCs of Long-Arm Quilting, No. 78) , and highly specific military histories (British Campaign Furniture: Elegance Under Canvas, 1740-1914, No. 97) [BookFinder via Jacket Copy]
Time has listed the 100 greatest non-fiction books of all-time and, as these things go, it's quite good. It's certainly more accessible than the list The Guardian published back in June, thanks to Time's decision to confine the field to books written post-1923, mercifully eliminating Plato, Erasmus and Rousseau from the pool. Along with the requisite entries for Silent Spring and A Brief History of Time, some genuine (pleasant) surprises make the cut, including Richard Ben Cramer's What It Takes, Stephen King's On Writing, and Ben Hecht's A Child of the Century. (Two complaints:
First, Naomi Klein is the only author listed more than once, which at the very least seems unfair. And Michael Lewis isn't listed at all. Liar's Poker, Moneyball, and The Big Short all make a strong claim for inclusion.) Correction: Naomi Klein is only listed once, just like Naomi Wolf. [Time]
- Haruki Murakami stopped by The New Yorker for a chat about his short story "Town of Cats," which the magazine is running this week as an excerpt from his upcoming novel 1Q84. He didn't exactly shed much light on the story's origins when asked where it came from. “Town of Cats” is a story that I made up," he tells New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman. "I think I probably read something like it a long time ago, but I don’t have a very precise recollection of whatever it was that I read." [The New Yorker]
- Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris's book of "photography essays" Believing Is Seeing is coming out Thursday. An excerpt is available on Morris's Web site. Somehow, he's managed to transport the feeling of his Interrotron two-way camera hookup to the printed page. Uncanny. [Errol Morris via unBeige]
- Jeffrey Ashton, the prosecutor in the Casey Anthony trial, has landed a book deal with Harper Collins. Called Imperfect Justice, the book is scheduled to publish in November. As GalleyCat notes, the pre-order page for the book on Barnes & Noble's Web site somehow already has 25 five-star reviews. [GalleyCat]