Gone are the days when we could look forward to a new book in which Christopher Hitchens skewers Mother Teresa or where we could read how great Tim Russert's dad was. No, our reading list for the new year is full of first-time authors who have a lot to share, from personal experiences raising their kids to Kafkaesque tales of sucking off Barack Obama.
Here's what we'll be reading in 2009:
Joe The Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream by Samuel J. Wurzelbacher (with Thomas N. Tabback)
We discussed the Joe the Plumber book way back in November, when a few people still cared who Joe the Plumber was. Of course, the mere idea that you could milk a book out of this guy's life experiences is dumfounding. The man is Kato Kaelin without the hair and smarts.
According to his publisher, Joe the Plumber "was catapulted into the media spotlight after asking then Senator Barack Obama a simple question while campaigning in Joe's neighborhood. Their famous exchange has been replayed for millions of viewers the world over. Joe has since become an American folk hero and the ultimate icon of the working class."
And while Joe will certainly join the ranks of Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill, we don't know how many people will actually shell out 25 smackaroos to hear his political views and life story. Who the hell cares if he had an abusive father and liked Sarah Palin? That describes 90 percent of the Republicans in Ohio.
But he sure does know how to bite the gnarled, hand-esque, claw-like appendage that feeds him. In his long-awaited magnum opus, he apparently turns on John McCain, the man who single-handedly transformed him from an unheralded ignorant bald asshole into an unheralded ignorant bald asshole with a book.
How's that for gratitude? We just wish that old bag who told John McCain that Obama was an Arab had written a book. Now that's a biography we could sink our teeth into.
Barack Obama & Larry Sinclair: Cocaine, Sex, Lies & Murder? by Larry Sinclair
Seriously, shouldn't the cocaine, sex, and murder be enough? Are the lies really going to push this story over the top?
For those of you remain blithely unfamiliar with Larry Sinclair, he's the former Minnesota man who for nearly a year now has been telling a series of implausible stories about Barack Obama.
For instance, despite looking like an overfilled liposuction bag on which Old World artisans drunkenly stitched Ted Williams' cryogenically frozen head, Sinclair claims he fellated Barack Obama in Chicago in 1999 while Obama smoked crack cocaine in the back of Sinclair's rented limo.
Sinclair has produced absolutely no evidence of the encounter, apart from a hotel receipt that supposedly shows he stayed in Gurnee once.
Early in 2008, Sinclair uploaded a much-watched YouTube video detailing his accusations. He later followed that up with a failed polygraph, a press conference that The Huffington Post's Seth Colter Walls called "stupefying," and a thinly veiled implication that Obama was somehow involved in the murder of the choir director at Obama's former church.
Oh, and did we mention that Sinclair is a convicted felon who specialized in forgery?
Nevertheless, the indefatigable Sinclair has attracted a small, ardent (though apparently dwindling) following that hangs on his every word and continues to underwrite his exposés with PayPal contributions.
Most assuredly, these people are cuckoo not just for Cocoa Puffs but for the entire General Mills product line. At this point the only difference between the Sinclairtards and the Heaven's Gate folks is about 15 pairs of testicles and some quality brand-name footwear. Enter, The Book.
On December 21, Larry promised, "The Final nail to seal Obama's crooked political coffin is soon to be released." Yes, preordered copies of Barack Obama & Larry Sinclair: Cocaine, Sex, Lies & Murder?, a book that Sinclair was still in the process of writing, were guaranteed to be in people's hands by January 5. Later that same day, Larry declared, "For those who are claiming there is no book, I suggest you find another occupation, because your talents at predicting the future sucks more than me!"
Seriously, we're really excited to see how this guy's book reads. Keep in mind there is no publisher or editor on record, and at one point Sinclair claimed he needed to pre-sell at least 200 books to guarantee that his publisher would publish for nationwide distribution prior to January 20. So we're guessing Bantam Doubleday. Larry promises that the book will spill all sorts of juicy secrets that he somehow neglected to spill in the 11 months he's been trying to convince the media to pick up his story, including this teaser, which he released on his blog:
"The Physical Description"
"Many people wanted over the past year for me to give details on the internet so they could edit, misrepresent and hide the truth. I invited Barack Obama to submit to a private independent exam to verify my description of Obama's private area.
"So let's set out some details about Barack Obama's penis..."
While Larry is hoping for a nationwide distribution, that probably simply means he's sold copies to one racist idiot in Georgia and another in Alabama. Then again, the book has received widespread publicity in the Globe and, well, that's pretty much it. Just the Globe. But, hey, it's not bad for a book that was still being written 15 days before launch and still has no ISBN number.
For all the gory details, or to order a copy, go here.
Tales From the Dad Side by Steve Doocy
This little stocking stuffer by the amiably evil Fox & Friends co-anchor is almost certainly the worst-named release of last year. Honestly, Steve. Just because you're on TV every day doesn't mean you're guaranteed sales. This isn't your show. You don't have to broadcast every stupid thought that enters your head. Either that's a typesetting error, the awkward literal translation from the Japanese version, or something you thought of at about 4:30 a.m. on a Sunday in a Malaysian opium den.
On his Web site, you can watch a video of Steve in his own living room explaining the "buy two, get one free" offer. He also shows how you can get signed copies with a certificate of authenticity. Because you'd hate to give someone a signed Steve Doocy book only to be accused later of signing it yourself. Imagine your irate father raging at you, screaming, "That is not a real Doocy signature!" Of course, anyone who'd go to the trouble of forging Steve Doocy's signature on a book is certainly Machiavellian enough to drop by Kinko's and print up a fake certificate of authenticity, but that's really beside the point.
But if you're still not sold, just check out some of the reviews on his site. Don't worry, there aren't any lengthy New York Times articles or joyless, carping Publishers Weekly screeds. No, you'll get glowing reviews from the likes of Glenn Beck, San Diego radio host Mark Larson, and Lesley Bergen of Ontario.
Yes, THE Lesley Bergen of Ontario.