Author News and Book Reports

Bob Schieffer mixes poems and politics, from Nixon to Obama, and comments on his commentaries
Veteran CBS TV news anchor and host of Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer received a warm welcome on a rainy day in Washington, D.C., at the 2008 National Book Festival to promote his most recent book, Bob Schieffer's America. After thanking the large turnout of book-minded people attending the National Book Festival in the rain, and welcoming them to his large tent, Schieffer recalled his early days covering the Nixon White House with legendary Helen Thomas (for video of Helen Thomas, click here). With the historic 2008 presidential election still weeks away at the time of this recording, Schieffer offered comments on the campaign between Barack Obama and John McCain before introducing Bob Schieffer's America, a collection of commentaries, poems, and commentaries on commentaries, which has recently been released in paperback (Berkley Trade; October, 2009). Schieffer delivered an impassioned commentary on civil rights, torture, and American values and contrasted the race riots in Oxford, Mississippi, when James Meredith enrolled at 'Ole Miss' in 1962 and the presidential debate on that very campus in 2008. Schieffer wrapped his appearance by taking questions from the audience on the need for minor party presidential candidates participation in presidential debates; took a compliment from Daniel Schorr and returned the favor; scored one for democracy; and weighed in on the Sarah Palin phenomenon.

Book and Author Headlines

Jeannette Walls leaves 'The Glass Castle' riding her new bestseller, 'Half Broke Horse': Former USA Today celeb reporter, gossip columnist, and bestselling author of 'The Glass Castle' Jeannette Walls offers the back story for her 'true-life novel' about her gunslinging grandmother, Lily Casey Smith.

Roy Blount Jr. takes on linguistics with baby talk and homemade 'alphabet juice': Humorist Roy Blount Jr. disputes conventional linguistics with baby talk, onomatopoeia, and with a little homemade 'alphabet juice.'

Pete Dexter provides the abc's of 'Spooner': The award-winning, bestselling author of 'Paris Trout' and 'Deadwood' synopsizes his new novel 'Spooner'--alphabetically.

Craig Ferguson calls for more fart jokes in books at booksellers Sunday breakfast: The irreverent late,late night TV talk show host and screen actor Craig Ferguson brings his wild-eyed Scottish wit to Sunday breakfast to wake upseveral hundred sleepy-eyed American booksellers and promote his memoir, 'American On Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot.'

Michael Sandel investigates 'justice': Political philosopher and Harvard professor of government Michael Sandel offers a live crash course on 'Justice: What's the Right Thing To Do? at BookExpo America 2009.

Jane Smiley, Nicholas Sparks, and 'Sully' Sullenberger kick-off 2009 book signing season: The fall line-up of bestselling, first-time and emerging authors gets into high-gear as Jane Smiley, Nicholas Sparks, and 'Sully' Sullenberger hit the road signing books for adults and children alike.

Jacob Gold and John Eckberg sort through the wreckage of the economic meltdown: Jacob Gold of Jacob Gold & Associates, named 'one of America's top wealth management firms' by Bloomberg business news, and Cincinnati Enquirer business reporter John Eckberg discuss jobs, retail, money markets, consumer spending and entrepreneurship in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Tracy Kidder discovers inspiration and 'Strength In What Remains' of war-torn, impoverished Burundi: Bestselling narrative non-fiction author Tracy Kidder traces the inspirational story of Deo, a Burundi refugee in New York City, to his hometown and the miracle he brings to an impoverished, war-torn countryside.

Richard Russo and John Irving declare the novel alive and well and living in America: Two literary lions defend the storytelling tradition of Charles Dickens and Herman Melville, declaiming against the notion that plots and novels are dead in the face of technological change.

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