Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A Repackaged Book and A New One

I went into a Barnes and Noble on Tuesday and was assaulted by the huge stack of paperback editions of The Da Vinci Code. The publishers left no impulse denied when issuing versions of this book, which has been a bestseller for about two years.

There was a trade paperback edition, a mass market edition, an annotated edition, an illustrated edition, a recorded edition, and an Italian edition. That’s six different versions of this book. There was also an illustrated study guide. I can’t believe there is anyone who hasn’t read this book yet, but if there is, they have numerous variations to choose from.

By the end of the day, the trade paperback was #22 on Amazon. I guess there are people who are looking for more space on their shelves, and decided to buy a smaller version and ditch the hardback.

As for me, I read the book when it first came out and can barely remember it anymore. There was something about Jesus and Mary being married?


The buzz has started on Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. It won’t be released until April 11, but Time Magazine already has a positive review. Here’s an excerpt:

“Consider the Chicken McNugget. What's in it exactly? There's some chicken, of course. Salt, no doubt. And then there's all that mysterious stuff identified in the ingredients brochure. Sodium aluminum phosphate--what is that, and where does it come from? For that matter, where does the chicken come from?
Right there, Michael Pollan tells us, is the problem with the way we eat now. We're clueless. In The Omnivore's Dilemma (Penguin Press; 450 pages), he tries to cut through this fog of unknowing.”

Pollan is about to start making the rounds of bookstores and lecture halls. He is an engaging speaker – personal, self-deprecating, and knowledgeable. Even if you don’t plan to buy his newest book, it’s worth seeking him out. He’ll be interviewed by Davia Nelson of the Kitchen Sisters at the UC Berkeley Haas Business School on April 17 and will be talking with Roy Eisenhardt at City Arts and Lectures on April 26, among many other appearances.

No comments: