I interviewed Dan Rather about the graphic novel adaptation of his essay collection What Unites Us, out this month.
You can read our talk here at Publishers Weekly.
One of the year’s more interesting books is Christopher Ingraham’s If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now. A data reporter for the Washington Post, Ingraham became the focus of some viral blowback after publishing a story in 2015 about how federal government-compiled data showed that Red Lake County in Minnesota was supposedly the worst place in America to live.
The residents were not happy. He went to visit, ended up moving his family there, and wrote a book about the experience.
My interview with Ingraham ran in Publishers Weekly.
Since it’s the end of the year, and there’s only so much champagne one can drink while watching Andy Cohen/Anderson Cooper and hoping that 2019 will show 2018 how things should have gone, it’s time to look back at some of the best that the year that was had to offer.
To that end, I contributed some pieces to a few different publications who make a point of cataloging this sort of thing:
Now you’ll have something to do this January besides catch up on new TV shows and ignore your dieting pledges.
In All the Answers, Michael Kupperman tells the story of the strange childhood of his father, a brilliant professor who in his youth starred on a hugely popular wartime radio show called Quiz Kids. It’s an engrossing and emotional personal history in which Kupperman discovers more about his reticent father on the Internet than through living with him.
Every year, the good folks at Publishers Weekly ask all of us lucky writers who review comics for them to put our votes in for what we thought were the best books of the year. The results came out this week in their Annual Graphic Novel Critics Poll.
The winner was Emil Ferris’s My Favorite Thing is Monsters. Some of the runners-up were:
This is the killer Kickstarter pitch for a new proposed film project with the can’t-go-wrong title of Books: A Documentary:
This past August over 300,000 antiquarian books from Larry McMurtry’s Booked Up were sold at auction: This is the story of those Books.
Color us intrigued.
For those not already in awe of the man, Lonesome Dove and Brokeback Mountain author McMurtry also owns one of the nation’s great used-book emporiums. He told the tale of last fall’s great blowout sale at the New York Review of Books.
According to Publishers Weekly, the filmmakers (husband-and-wife Sara Ossana and Mathew Provost) have already shot about half of the doc and need $50,000 to finish it up. Ossana notes that the film, which uses McMurtry’s sale to explore the modern book landscape, might be expected to be a downbeat tale about an industry and way of life in decline:
“We weren’t sure if the film would be a moratorium, or more uplifting,” Ossana said. “It’s turning out to be more uplifting.” That, she thinks, is due to a larger cultural shift afoot in America—brought on by the country’s economic need to develop a stronger foothold in the production of goods and in manufacturing—that is driving more people to ask where the objects they have come from, whether it’s the food on their table, or the hardcover novel on their shelf. “There is a cultural awakening happening now,” Ossana explained, “around what people find valuable. I think the book is a large part of that,” she said. And, with that, Ossana thinks physical bookstores are becoming more important as “cultural centers” on the community level.
Here’s to hoping that she’s right.