Today: Colin Powell is the latest veteran of the Bush White House to go to the memoir well, the best parts of Michael Chabon's kids book are available online, and an unpublished Arthur Conan Doyle book that perhaps should have stayed unpublished.
- HarperCollins has reached a deal with Colin Powell to publish his new memoir/leadership manual, titled It Worked for Me, this coming May. According to the Associated Press, the publisher issued a release yesterday noting that the book is built around the former Secretary of State's "13 rules of leadership" and includes "revealing personal stories," but wouldn't comment on whether the book would rebut any of the criticism of Powell from Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney's recent memoirs. [Associated Press via The New Yorker]
- Michael Chabon's children's superhero book The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man is 40 pages long and has a list price of $17.99. Unless you have kids, that's probably more than you're willing to spend, even if you do enjoy Chabon big people novels like The Yiddish Policemen's Union and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Klay. For completists with an eye on their bottom line, NPR has a new slideshow that generously excerpts the text and showcases illustrator Jake Parker's vibrant, Incredibles-tinged illustrations. And the price is right [NPR]
- Michael Moore announced in a blog post last week that he'd be asking his publisher to remove all copies of his new book Here Comes Trouble from bookstores in Georgia to protest the state's controversial execution of Troy Davis last week, adding he would "donate every dime of every royalty my book makes in Georgia to help defeat the racists and killers who run that state." Georgia governor Nathan Deal, for one, failed to see the threat. "We think it’s cute that he thinks anyone in Georgia would buy his book," a Deal spokesman told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "but if any Georgian does, I’m happy to double the royalties and buy a pack of gum for a charity of Michael Moore’s choice.” [GalleyCat]
- British Library Publishing paid paid almost £1 million for the manuscript of The Narrative of John Smith, a lost first novel from Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle at auction in 2004. The book is being released in England today, and it looks like the publishing house may have overpaid. The Independent published four excerpts from the book--"about a 50-year-old man who is stricken with gout and confined to his couch for a week"--yesterday, kindly noting that the near absence of plot and character development is proof that the "creation of first-rate fiction [is] far from elementary." This was not lost on the publisher, which added a preface to the new edition noting that it is "not successful fiction." [The Independent]